Our Photo Equipment


Nikon D7100

D7100 is current Nikon's top consumer-level DSLR, introduced in early 2013.

Nikon D7000

D7000 was Nikon's top consumer-level DSLR, as of late 2010.

Nikkor 12-24 f/4 G ED-IF AF-S DX (ø77 mm)

The Nikon's wideangle for digital; to 18-36 on FX.

Nikkor 16-85 f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S DX (ø67 mm)

Nikon's new (early 2008) generation of mid-range mid-level consumer zooms. We use two of them.

Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G AF-S DX (ø52 mm)

A "normal" lens for DX, sharp and fast.

Nikkor 50 f/1.8 D (ø52 mm)

A "normal" lens for FX, sharp and fast.

Nikkor 85 f/1.8 D (ø62 mm)

An excellent long portrait or short telephoto lens, used primarily for shooting indoor sports. Sharp and fast.

Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 G ED-IF AF-S VR-I (ø77 mm)

First generation of one of the Nikon's "big guns"; top-of-the-line tele-zoom with vibration reduction.

Nikon 70-300/4.5-5.6 G ED AF-S VR (ø62 mm)

A new-generation consumer zoom with VR.

Sigma 105 f/2.8 EX Macro (ø58 mm)

An excellent, albeit slow-focusing, macro/portrait lens.

Sigma 400 f/5.6 APO Macro (ø77 mm)

Pretty good for a third-party lens. Focuses close enough for 1:3 magnification ratio.

Nikkor TC-14E II 1.4x AF-S, AF-I

A 1.4x teleconverter for Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 G ED-IF AF-S VR.

Nikon Speedlight SB-900

Nikon's new (summer 2008) powerful dedicated flash.

Nikon Speedlight SB-28

A powerful dedicated flash for Nikon cameras. Update: In June 2002 there was some electronic failure compounded by a leak and corrozion in the battery chamber. The repair price (gray market unit - no warranty) was ~60% of the new price. Update: Unfortunately, this flash is not 100% compatible with the Nikon's line of digital SLRs.

Manfrotto 3021Pro + 488RC2

A taller and sturdier Manfrotto tripod with a ballhead and RC2 quick release plate. One can lock the legs at 4 different angles independently; central column can be removed rapidly for a very low-to-ground setting. The ballhead is a little inconvenient for portrait orientation.

Benro C058-EX + Manfrotto 324RC2

A light carbon-fiber tripod with a "joystick" head using the same quick release plate.

Canon S95

Canon's mid-level digital P&S, successor to S90, introduced in summer of 2010. Lens AOV is eqivalent to 28-105 mm; image stabilization; extended manual control.


Nikon D40x

D40x is Nikon's 10 megapixel entry-level DSLR introduced in 2007. Much smaller than Nikon D70, simplified user interface, doesn't autofocus with non AF-S lenses. Update: Retired in spring of 2013, replaced by Nikon D7100.

Nikon D70

D70 is Nikon's entry-level DSLR. Introduced in early 2004, it was the first DSLR that met our needs in price, quality and features. It has a 6 Mp CCD sensor with FOV factor of x1.5, ISO from 200 to 1600, 5-point AF, and spot meter. Our unit backfocused as shipped; we had to send it to Nikon service for adjustment. Update: A well-aimed hit (a stumble in the field) in August 2004 cracked the top LCD; the camera remained operational but the LCD lost its function. Repaired by Nikon service. Update: Sometime during the summer of 2007 the buil-in flash stopped working intermittently; hot-shoe flash control is OK. Update: Retired in spring of 2011, replaced by Nikon D7000.

Nikon N65

N65 is a very basic SLR. Still it has all the features an advanced beginner needs - manual, aperture and shutter priority metering modes; manual and five-point auto focus. The only feature we seriously miss is the spot-metering mode. Low-light autofocus precision and autofocus speed are not up to a professional standards too. Update: Film door latch broken in the field in August 2006. Repaired by Nikon service.

Canon S90

Canon's mid-level digital P&S, introduced in summer of 2009. Lens FOV is eqivalent to 28-105 mm; image stabilization; extended manual control. Update: Retired in spring of 2011, replaced by Canon S95.

Canon A590IS

Canon's digital P&S, introduced in early 2008. Lens FOV is eqivalent to 35-140 mm; image stabilization. Update: Retired in early winter of 2010, replaced by Canon S90.

Canon SD800IS

Canon's digital P&S, introduced in late 2006. Lens FOV is eqivalent to 28-105 mm, one of the few wide-angle digicams. Image stabilization works. The camera is very small, but with a proper technique can be held firmly and comfortably. Lost in Action in May 2009 in Costa Rica (flooded underwater box).

Pentax Espio 24EW

A P&S camera with 24-105 zoom lens. One of the widest at the wide end. The rest is almost identical to 105SW. Update: De facto retired as of the end of 2005.

Pentax 105SW

A P&S camera with 28-105 zoom lens. One of the few in it's class with zoom starting in the wide angle area. Minimal focusing distance of 50 cm and passive autofocus are additional attractive features. Interface has some annoying features, e.g. the infinity focus mode is reset to AF after each frame is taken. Update: after about a year of use the camera developed a defect - at certain exposures a lower left corner of a frame gets some ghost reflections. As the repair estimate exceeded 75% of the original price, we decided to leave it as is. Update: De facto retired as of the end of 2005.

Nikon LiteTouch 120 ED

A really nice P&S camera with 38-120 mm zoom lens. Reasonably sharp, with focus/exposure lock and controlled flash. Lost in Action in October 2001 in Dolly Sods, WV.

Nikkor 18-70 f/3.5-4.5 G ED-IF AF-S DX (ø67 mm)

The kit lens for D70; equivalent to 27-105 on FX. An excellent all-around lens.

Nikkor 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 D (ø62 mm)

A "semi-professional" lens, replacing our 28-80 zoom. Seems to be very good.

Nikkor 70-300 f/4-5.6 ED (ø62 mm)

A relatively cheap telephoto zoom. Not really sharp, especially at the long end of the zoom. Update: A lens-down drop of the camera in November 2003 broke down the zoom mechanism. Repaired by PennCamera (repair cost ~40% of the new price); works now. Superseded by Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 G ED-IF AF-S VR for any serious work.

Nikkor 28-80 f/3.5-5.6 D (ø58 mm)

A cheap consumer zoom lens. Now superceded by Nikkor 28-105 f/3.5-4.5 D.

Sigma 17-35 f/2.8-4 EX (ø82 mm)

A very good ultra-wide angle lens.

Manfrotto 3001Pro + 3030

A sturdy aluminium tripod with three-section legs and a three-way panning head with RC2 quick release plate. It is rated for most 35 mm SLR camera combinationss with the exception of the heaviest glass, but light enough to be carried while hiking. We like its ability to lock legs at variable angles; it is good for macro shots or for setting tripod in difficult terrain (rocks etc.). It is qiuite short, although. Update: In October 2002 airline bagage handlers managed to break off a leg lock. Repair price was shocking (but still below the price of a new unit). Update: a fall on a rocky surface in July 2006 dented the top section tube, making extending/collapsing the legs very difficult. Replaced by the Manfrotto 3021Pro+488RC2 combo.