MyGear - Cuda Nature Art
Cuda Nature Art

My Gear

Although gear has almost nothing to do with your creative vision, it is a great deal of what makes your image what it is. I am not one who says "gear doesn't matter" because, let's be honest, it does. Being a photographer is a synergy (hate that word), between creativity and technology. We can't make a great photo without both the camera and our creative brains. When both our creativity and gear are in perfect tune, then we are setup for a great shot! Below is a list of gear I use.

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Camera Bodies
Sony A7R III The Sony A7r III is my goto for anything that requires a high resolution. At 42 megapixels, this camera can handle heavy cropping (often needed in wildlife photography).
Sony A7 III The Sony A7 III is an amazing camera that offers better autofocus, noise performance and video than the Sony A7R III. It serves as a go to for birds in flight or other fast moving subjects.
Canon EF 50mm 1.8 II Without a doubt a true plastic fantastic, and you will not find better glass at this price point. I use it primarily for macro (with extension tubes), human portraits and table top work. I do not use it at all for any wildlife work.
Samyang 24mm 1.8 for Sony This is a newcomer to my arsenal and so I am in the process of evaluating it in 2022. I believe it will be a nice replacement for my aging Canon EF 24mm.
Canon EF 100mm Macro 2.8 Canon's 100mm macros are known for their sharpness. I use this 100 when I need to get in close for 1:1 macro shots.
Sony 200-600mm G f5.6-6.3 OSS All I can say is this lens is amazing! It gives me the reach, sharpness and quality that I need, plus the native lens mount for speed. This is my new go to lens for wildlife photography.
Kenko Pro 300 DGX Tele Plus 1.4x Teleconverter This is a "decent" teleconverter when I absolutely have to have something to get me more reach. As with most teleconverters there is some image degradation, but it beats missing the shot. The price is certainly right on this model. Make sure you get the "Pro" version as it is sharper.
Opteka Extension Tube Set These extension tubes will connect with your Canon EF mount body and EF lens to allow for closer focusing. i use these for macro shots with my 70-300 and 50mm.
Bogen/Manfrotto 3221 The 3221 is still my workhorse tripod after all these years! I have been using this tripod regularly since 1995 and it is still going strong. This version is no longer made, but Manfrotto does make great tripods, at a reasonable price. You may find it used on eBay and probably a killer deal at that. The image pictured is a newer variant, but should work great for you.
Bogen 3030 Pan-tilt Head Another great piece of engineering. This is a strong, all metal head, which offers the budding wildlife photographer a poor man's gimbal head. As an added bonus, It can also be used in a pinch for basic pan/tilt video work, but it is not quite as smooth as heads made specifically for video. It is no longer made, but can be purchased on the used market.
Neewer TT520/560/660 Manual Flashes I don't often use flash, but when I do, I use this inexpensive and simple manual flash. I actually own three of them which are normally used when I photograph hummingbirds. It is a cheap and easy to use flash.
Lumiquest Softbox (LQ-107) This little softbox is perfect for providing soft lighting when photographing tame birds and animals. I first started using this softbox many years ago for photojournalism and weddings, but now I use it for backyard birds, and when I am working an event such as PhotoWild.
Tiffen 77mm Circular Polarizer I consider this a must for landscape photographers, but has only limited value in wildlife. This is especially true if you are photographing water and need to reduce the relections in the water. Currently, there is no way to do this in photoshop or lightroom. It also will darken a blue sky and increase color saturation in vegetation. Note that I have the 77mm filter pictured here as I recommend getting a larger diameter filter and using step rings to make it fit on smaller diameter lenses. Otherwise, you end up buying the same filter over and over agin for each of your lenses, and that is not a cost effective solution.
Tiffen 77mm aXent Filter (for long exposures) Essentially this is a 10 stop ND filter for making long exposures during the daytime. The effect can be the blurring of clouds or the smoothing of lakes and seas.
Fotasy Neck Strap This is an inexpensive version of the kind of technology used in black rapid straps. I have used this on many shoots over the last two years and find nothing wrong with it. It works as advertised and will even support my heavy Canon 1D Mark II with my Sigma 150-600 mounted. If you find your strap hurting your neck, you need a strap like this which distributes the weight and makes bringing the camera to your eye easy.
Grizzly Camera Bean Bag This is an absolute must for me when I am shooting from the car. In locations such as Blackpoint Wildlife Drive, Cades Cove Loop and Cataloochee this bean bag provides me with the ability to use my car as a blind. Resting your heavy lens on this bean bag provides support for the lens and a much more stable shot.
Mindshift Moose Peterson MP-3 Backpack Make no mistake this is an amazing piece of engineering designed by nature photogrpher Moose Peterson. This pack will even hold a 500mm f4 Canon prime, two bodies and several smaller lenses. In my case, I carry my Sigma 150-600, Canon 7D Mark II, Canon 1D Mark III, Canon EF 24mm, Canon 100mm macro, Kenko 1.4 TC, Tamron 70-300, filters and accessories.
Sony UHS-II SD Cards The Sony A7R III and A7 III both can use the UHS-II SD cards. These cards offer the highest performance for these cameras. However, only one slot is available on these cameras for the UHS-II. You must use the UHS-I for the other card slot. I keep three of these on hand at all times. I usually will have them in the 64 gig size.
Sandisk Extreme UHS-I SD Cards (170 mbps) Use these cards for the second card slot and also have them in plenty for backup purposes. Should slot 1 become damaged, this card will fit the bill nicely.
Mini Maglight Flashlight This is my favorite mini flashlight and even comes with a little holster. I find this setup ideal for any pre-dawn shooting scenarios. It is great for viewing a control on your camera or lens or taking a quick look at that noise you just heard in the woods :)
Aputure Cable Release No frills, it's cheap, but works well. It also has a lock for long exposures. I have used this same release for about 5 years now.

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