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Recommended Equipment

About the Recommended Equipment

Listed here is equipment I have actually used. Quite a few website's will recommend equipment they have never even seen let alone used. My opinion about the gear on this page is from using it, testing it, and again using it.

About Updates to This List

This is a work in progress, it will be updated whenever I come across worthwhile products that I would recommend anyone to use. Don't forget to bookmark this page and come back to it from time to time for new and interesting products.

About This Website and B&H

This website has been a labor of love for me for the past 3 years. Over the years the cost of maintaining this website has increased dramatically due to bandwidth increases. The sample images on my website take great deal of bandwidth but I feel they are the most important part of the review. The pictures speak for themselves and lets you the reader make the final decision about the products.

To offset these costs I have advertised with B&H. Any product link that links back to B&H that is clicked on by you before purchase helps to support this website. It costs nothing to you but helps this website more than I can say. B&H is the retailer I trust most to deliver quality products at the best prices. I have shopped with them since 2005 - longer than I have actually run this website and I have never had a negative buying experience with them.

Thank You!!

To all my readers I want to say a HUGE thanks. I love all of the email I receive regarding my reviews. I read them all and value your input greatly! Keep those emails coming :)

The dream kit:

That would be my dream kit, now lets see what I'm actually using, or have tested enough to recommend:)

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Recommended Equipment
Nikon Wireless Flash Setup
Nikon mf Lens Versions
Lens Cleaning
Best of the best, lenses:
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G
Nikon PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D
Nikon AF-S 24-70mm f/2.8G
Nikon AF-S 50mm f/1.4G
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm VR
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED
Best of the best, cameras

Nikon D3s
Nikon D3x
Nikon D700
Nikon D300s
Nikon D90

Best Value, lenses
Nikon AF-S 18-105mm VR
Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8

Nikon AF 85mm f/1.8D
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm VR
Nikon AF 80-200mm f/2.8D ED

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Zoom lenses Comments

Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-105mm 3.5-5.6G ED-IF VR

Great starter lens, incredibly sharp. Good zoom coverage. only real drawback is the plastic mount.
Nikon AF-S 14-24mm f/2.8G ED-IF The ultimate super wide angle zoom for the FX format, a truly perfect lens. It does not take filters though.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 17-35mm f/2.8D An almost perfect lens, one of my all time favorite lenses.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED-IF Another perfect optical lens, best of the best normal zoom lenses for Nikon AF cameras
Nikon Zoom Nikkor 35-70mm f/3.5 AI The best manual focus normal zoom for Nikon cameras
Nikon AF Micro-Nikkor 70-180mm f/4.5-5.6D ED One of my favorite lenses, biggest drawback is that it's discontinued
Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6G VR ED-IF All round killer lens. slightly soft wide open at 300mm, after that the lens simply performs
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G IF-ED VR Perfect with the DX format cameras, if you use FX camera either get the new 70-200mm or the older 80-200mm
Nikon AF Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Outstanding performance, AF will not work on lower end Nikon Dslr's though
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED-IF Works on all the current Nikon Dslr's, lens is discontinued though
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 200mm f/2G ED-IF VR Even wide open this lens is a dream!
Nikon Nikkor 200mm f/4 AI A perfect lens, a real pity that this one is discontinued
Nikon Nikkor 400mm f/2.8 AI-S Great performer, shows a small amount of lateral CA wide open.
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8G ED VR A perfect optical lens with a mediocre tripod mount, if you get this lens, replace the tripod mount.
Prime Lenses Comments
Nikon AF-S Fisheye-Nikkor 10.5mm f/2.8G ED DX Great Fisheye for the DX cameras, superb close focusing performance.
Nikon Fisheye-Nikkor 16mm f/2.8D I love this lens, it's always in my bag. Great overall performance, a bit weak wide open
Nikon PC-E Nikkor 24mm f/3.5D ED Perfect performer, a must have for landscape and architecture photography
Nikon Nikkor 50mm f/1.2 AI-S A solid performer, a must have for low light photography or if you need shallow DOF (Depth Of Field)
Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm f/1.4G The best 50mm I've tested for Nikon cameras.
Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D Best value by far for the 50mm lenses. Not as sharp wide open as the 50mm f/1.4 AF-S or the AF-D
Nikon AF 85mm f1.4D IF If you are a serious portrait photographer you need this lens
Nikon AF Nikkor 85mm f/1.8D Great value, slightly soft wide open, and not as good built quality as the f/1.4 but the price is nice on it.
Lens Accessories Comments
Lens coat Hoodie, Lens Hood Cover Great product, way better then the stock Nikon covers, I use these for my 300mm f/2.8 and 400mm f/2.8 lenses.
Nikon 77mm Circular Polarizer Filter II (Slim) One of the few filters I carry around
Nikon 52mm Clear NC Glass Filter Used in the 400mm f/2.8
Nikon 77mm Clear NC Glass Filter Used for protection if I feel that it's needed
Nikon TC-14E II 1.4x Teleconverter One of the best teleconverter's out there, will only work on AF-I or AF-S lenses though.
Nikon TC-20E II 2x Teleconverter Good performance if you stop down a few stops. This one will also only work on AF-I and AF-S lenses.
Cameras Comments
Nikon D2H Great camera for sports and action shooting as long as you are careful with framing, don't push the ISO on it, that get's nasty. Currently a D2H is my Infrared camera
Nikon D2X Great camera for long lenses, I mainly use it for my 400mm f/2.8 and my 300mm f/2.8
Nikon D3 Buffer on the low side, other then that an amazing camera
Nikon D3s Updated version of the D3, Buffer upgraded. The best action camera ever made period. Insane high ISO performance
Nikon D700 A small D3, half the price, same sensor, same performance but buffer is on the small side for action shooting.
Nikon D3X If you need resolution, this is the camera for you. Great base ISO result, great dynamic range
Nikon D300s The best DX camera ever made by Nikon. I do miss the built-in vertical grip though, and that is the reason I use the D2X as my long lens camera
Nikon D90 Great performer, great value, a lot more compact than it's more expensive cousins. Biggest drawback is that there isn't any light metering with manual focus lenses without a CPU. It can still be used with older manual focus lenses in manual mode, but without light metering.
Camera Accessories Comments
Nikon MC-30 Standard remote release for 12pin Nikon cameras. It works perfect, but it's made of plastic.
Nikon MC-36 More advanced than the MC-30, about the same build quality.
Nikon DK-17M Magnifying Eyepiece for D2 and D3 series cameras, I use this on my D3, D2X and D2H IR
Memory cards Check the link for up to date recommendations on memory cards. In general get the fastest cards you can get. Both Lexar and Sandisk cards works great.
Berlebach Mulda Tripod Great small and compact mini tripod, I use this for macro, and for my 400mm f/2.8
Sachtler Video 25 plus II A must have for those long telephoto lenses.
Kodak Tri-X Yes I still shoot some film, and this is one of my favorite ones
Fujifilm Neopan 1600 Another great BW film, I usually push this one to 6400 ISO for the ultimate grain feeling.
Flash Comments
SB-400 Great upgrade over the built in flashes, with catches; no wireless flash, no external connections and manual mode only works on a few cameras
Nikon SB-600 Powerful flash that supports Nikon's CLS. Great value. Drawbacks; no commander mode, no external connections
Nikon SB-800 Powerful flash with external connections and commander mode, discontinued and replaced by the SB-900
Nikon SB-900 The most complete Flash Nikon has ever made.
Nikon SU-800 Wireless Speedlight Commander Unit Small and compact way to control your Nikon wireless flashes, easy to use.
PocketWizard Plus II

Simply the best way to trigger cameras or flashes wirelessly

Impact Umbrella shoe mount multi clamp Great umbrella/flash holder, very nice price!
Impact Convertible Umbrella 30" Works great with the shoe mount clamp and the light stand, very portable setup.
Impact Light stand I love the size and weight of these Impact stands, perfect for shoe mount flashes.
Impact Air-Cushioned Heavy Duty Light Stand I use the air-cushioned stands for studio flashes. These stay in the studio, for on location shooting I use Speedlight's
Impact Reflector Disc Collapsible Gold/White - 12" Great for adding light to macro photography, small and compact. Always have one of these in my bag
Manfrotto 420CSU Convertible Boom, I use this all the time for skateboard photography, great tool to have in your kit.
Sekonic L-758DR DigitalMaster Flash Meter This light meter is a must if you are using PocketWizards, makes everything so much easier.
Cleaning Products Comments
Visible Dust Arctic Butterfly 724 (Brite) The Arctic Butterfly is always in my bag, just remember to get new brushes for it when it starts getting too wide.
Visible Dust BriteVue Sensor Loupe 7x Works like a charm, makes cleaning so much easier, the best loupe out there at the moment
Visible Dust DHAP-Vswab Orange Series Sensor Swabs Great swab for the D3 and the D3X cameras.
VisibleDust Green Series Sensor Cleaning Swab Best swab for those particles that's really stuck to the sensor, also great for the D3 and D3X
Photographic Solutions Eclipse Works great with the Orange series swabs, biggest drawback is that it is not travel friendly.
Photographic Solutions BRUSHOFF Only use this to clean my lenses, don' find it much useful for cleaning the sensors on DX or FX cameras.
VisibleDust Lens Clean Great product for cleaning lenses, works great with the Magic Cleaner, travel friendly.
VisibleDust Magic Cleaner Great micro fiber cloth, I keep several of these in my bags
Photographic Solutions Brushoff I use this for cleaning lenses, I don't find this product useful for cleaning FX or DX sized sensors
Giottos Rocket Air Blower - (Large) 7.5" I have one of these in my bag for emergencies, at home I usually use a compressed air canister
Computers / Hardware Comments
Apple 13.3" MacBook Pro My on location and travel computer, get a fast SSD drive it really makes a difference
Wacom Intuos4 Makes selections and masks so much easier in Photoshop, highly recommended
Crucial Technology 256GB SSD Mind blowing performance, best upgrade you can do to your PC or Mac
Samsung HDD's By far the most reliable HDD's on the market. I've used pretty much all the different brands over the years, Samsung is the only brand that has never failed. If you want added reliability get the Server HDD's by Samsung
NEC Multisync P221W Amazing screen, simply the best value for money for a screen with 96% Adobe RGB gamut
Xrite i1XTreme Color Calibration Solution Best profiling solution on the market today. This package will profile pretty much everything.
Software Comments
Adobe Photoshop CS4 All my images goes through Photoshop at some point.
Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 I mostly use this to create galleries, but it is a quite good package overall.
Nikon Capture NX2 Powerful application, though still has some way to go before it's really there. I start all my edits with Capture NX2
Nikon View NX2 This is where my workflow starts
Nik Silver Efex Pro My favorite BW conversion plug-in
Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 Has some great filters for Photoshop, it has to many, easy to get lost in all the presets
Nik Dfine 2.0 Great noise reduction plug-in for photoshop
Alien Skin Exposure 2 Great film simulator Plug-in for Photoshop
© 2010 Fredrik A. Rasmussen. All rights reserved.