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I’ve done quite a few wildlife photography trips in 2019, from hosting a trip to Isabela in the Galapagos (literally on the Equator) to Svalbard in the Arctic Circle. I’ve given my gear a solid workout and made quite a few changes and additions.
I’ve got two Sony A7rIII cameras, one of which I picked up secondhand recently. These cameras, while far from cheap, are a total bargain now that the A7rIV camera – an update, which looks very nice – has come out. The A7rIII autofocus is good, they’re highly customizable, and the 42 MP resolution is fantastic for wildlife photography.
Sony 100-400 mm GM lens : My go-to wildlife lens. Sharp and light. I replaced Sony’s tripod foot with a Really Right Stuff foot, which can be attached directly to a tripod head, and also makes the lens easier to carry around. I’ve also got a LensCoat neoprene cover over it for protection.
I use APS-C mode on the A7rIII (set to the C1 button) to create a 42 MP 100-400 mm, plus a 401-600 mm 18 MP setup when I need “more lens” quickly. I’ve got Sony’s 1.4x teleconverter for this lens too, which is good and sharp but does slow down tracking autofocus a bit.
I use a Peak Designs Slide Lite camera strap for this setup, which is perfect. I always hated camera straps before I bought the Slide Lite, but I’ve been totally converted to Peak Designs’ camera attachment system. Very clever.
I’ll be renting a Sony 200-600 mm G lens for a Kruger National Park trip in South Africa in December, so it’ll be interesting to see how that one goes. There’s a good chance I’ll pick one up next year, before I head back to the Arctic in June.
Sony 24-105 mm G lens: I’ve recently bought this one to use a second lens for wider shots.
Sigma 14-24 mm Art FE lens: I’ve been looking to purchase a wide-angle option for the Sony A7rIII. The Sony 16-35 mm GM lens always seemed a bit overpriced, and the Tamron 17-28 mm wasn’t quite wide enough. I had (almost) settled on the Sony 12-24 mm G lens, but the Sigma 14-24 was announced just before I bought it. The Sigma is an f/2.8, wider, potentially somewhat sharper, and cheaper! Nice. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but it’ll doubtless get a good workout in Antarctica in Feb-Mar 2020.
Canon 8-15 mm (on a Metabones V adapter): This is my main lens for underwater photography, and I often find uses for it above water too!
Think Tank Airport Accelerator: Great travel bag.
Shimoda Explore 40
Dry duffle: great on zodiacs, reason why I got the Shimoda.
My Mindshift Sling 13: Love this bag!!! Fits water, camera or gear… use it all the time.
5TB drive, 4TB backup, moved to a full Synology NAS system at home.
Spare batteries, memory cards etc.