So, what gear do I use?

I get this question a lot times. In my opinion, having an "eye for photography" is more important than having the latest state-of-the-art gear. However, these days technology is not to be overlooked.

 

In the digital era we live, technological developments go with a fast pace which can be hard to keep up with. I always ask myself how technology can improve my workflow and how it can add to better photos. As a result I change gear from time to time. 

As I travel a lot it is impossible to carry all of my gear with me. Hence, for every trip, I choose carefully what to put in my bag and what not. Often, it is a real challenge to decide what to put in my bag, and what to leave home. In particular on longer trips or hikes this is always a difficult choice.

 

One the one hand I do not want to miss out on a shot, because I did not bring the necessary gear for that particular shot. On the other hand, I do not want to mis a shot because I was worn out as a result of carrying all my heavy gear. 

Here's a list of the gear I use at this moment.

 

Camera and Lenses:

  • Nikon D850: My main workhorse. I love this camera because it delivers rock solid image quality, has great weather sealing and loads of other features. I think it is arguably the best DSLR of all times.   

  • Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8: My favorite and most used lens. I love the bold compositions with strong foregrounds I can make with ultra wide angle zoomlens. Because it is a fast lens it is great for shooting the milky way and northern lights. If I had to choose one lens it would be this one.

  • Nikon 16-35mm f/4: My second wide angle zoom. I love this lens because its is relatively lightweight and takes screw-on filters. I choose this lens when I need to pack light and know I won't be doing night photography (e.g. milky way or northern lights).

  • Nikon 24-120mm f/4: My favorite allround zoom lens. I love the zoom range and because of its small size and weight I have it in my bag most of the times. Some may argue its performance is a little soft on the long end of the zoom range. However, I made some pretty decent shots that would not have been possible when I did not had this lens with me.

  • Nikon 70-200mm f/4: My favorite tele zoomlens. This lens is super sharp over the entire zoom range. The maximum aperture of f/4 is perfectly fine for me because I only shoot landscapes and do not need the shallow depth of field a f2.8 lens can provide (same goes for the 24-120). 

Tripod and head:

  • Gitzo Systematic 2 series Carbon tripod: My main tripod. This tripod is light, is very short when folded and can go very low. Also it is form Gitzo systematic range which is a big plus for me since I can insert a leveling base in it. 

  • Really Right Stuff BH-40 ballhead: I love this ballhead because it is very straighforward in use and is very reliable. 

  • Really Right Stuff leveling base: With this base I can level my ballhead in seconds. Works fantastic for panoramas. Fits right into my Gitzo Systematic tripod. 

  • Really Right Stuff TFA-1 mini tripod: Beautifull small and light tripod. Usefull for compositions very close to the ground.

  • Really Right Stuff L-plates, nodal rail, and other accessoires: I use several Really Right Stuff accessoiries. They are not cheap but very well-built and reliable which is paramount for me.

Filters:

  • Lee SW150 filters: I use various Lee SW150 filters (Big and little stoppers, polarizer and some grads). Because of the design of the Nikon 14-24 this lens needs a special adapter and holder and only takes large 150mm filters. These are big and heavy. In my opinion this is the only serious downside of the 14-24mm. 

  • Hoya Screw-on filters: For my other lenses I use several neutral density and polarizer screw-on filters. 

  • Polar Pro Filters for my drone: I use a collection of varous nd filters and polarizers.

Aerial photography:

  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro: I recently upgraded from the Mavic Air and did not have many chances to put this bird up in the sky and test it extensively. However, from my experience of the few times I did fly it I must say I am really impressed. Can't wait to use this one on my next serious trip. 

Processing:

  • Macbook Pro: Most of my post processing is done from my Macbook Pro. The screen is calibrated for acurate colors.

  • Ipad mini: I use this for processing and backups when I am the road.

  • Adobe Lightroom: I always start my processing in Lightroom. Amazing what this software can do. 

  • Adobe Photoshop: When I am finished editing in Lightroom I take my images into Photoshop for more advanced editing. Photoshop is magic.

Printing:

  • Epson P800: Only my very best images make it to the printing stage. The Epson is a high quality printer capable of printing up to A2 size.

  • Photospeed paper:  To print my images I use papers form Photospeed. They many kinds of high quality papers. 

Curious about my story? Read it here

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Frans van der Boom is a landscape photographer based in the Netherlands and works mainly all over Europe. To share his knowedge he provides workshop and tutorials