My Gear

by Anthony Morganti

Camera Gear

I’m often asked gear questions and more specifically, I’m asked what kind of gear is it that I use. The purpose of this article is to tell you about the camera stuff I use and why I use it, but I encourage you to make your own decision and not copy me or any one else.

Before we get much further, let’s discuss the stupid Canon versus Nikon debate. I say it’s stupid because it is. Simple as that.

In my opinion all of the major DSLR manufacturers make quality product. I’ve seen great images created with Pentax cameras, Olympus cameras, Fuji cameras, Sony Cameras and not to mention, Canon and Nikon.

I’ll say the same about their lenses and the aftermarket lens manufacturers such as Tokina, Tamron, Sigma etc.

What gear we use is a personal decision each of us must make and rest assured, there is very little junk out there.

With that said, if you’re just starting out, I suggest that you choose either Canon or Nikon gear. The reason I recommend that you use Canon or Nikon stuff is because you’ll find, as you buy lenses, accessories and software, that all third party manufacturers will always make sure that their product is compatible with Canon and Nikon before they make it for anything else. Most often they’ll only make their stuff compatible with Canon and Nikon ignoring all other brands. So, it could be an aftermarket lens or flash or maybe an aftermarket flash trigger – shoot with Nikon or Canon and you’ll have a plethora of options to choose from and they’ll often be cheaper than original manufacturer equipment.

I shoot Nikon. I can’t give you a precise answer why I do.  When I was a wedding photographer in the days of film, I used Canon equipment. When I moved to digital, I went with Nikon and I’m very happy with my choice but can’t really tell you why I chose Nikon over Canon.

So, I’m going to tell you about my camera equipment. The links below are for the Amazon.com U.S. Store and are my affiliate links so if you purchase anything by clicking on those links, this website makes a small commission that will help me maintain it. I’m also an affiliate for Amazon in Canada and the United Kingdom. If you live in those countries, click through from the links in the previous sentence and this website will be credited with anything you purchase.

If you don’t want to use my links simply search for the product that you’re interested in from your favorite camera store.

I’m breaking this article into two parts because… um, I have a lot of gear. This first part will cover my camera bodies and lenses. In part 2 I’ll talk about everything else including flashes, strobes, filters, tripods etc.

Camera Bodies

 

Nikon D810 – Updated Version of my D800e

I’m a degenerate pixel peeker. I blow images up to see how crisp and clean the pixels are — not for any concrete defendable reason. I just have a problem and need a 12-step program. So, how could I use any other camera except the 36.3MP D800e?

Seriously, the camera is awesome. It has the features that work with the way I shoot and that’s what we should look for when we shop for a camera body — look for something that has features that you’ll take advantage of. Beside the low noise that the D800e affords, I love the ease of bracketing and how easy it is to manipulate the controls.

The new D810 has everything my D800e has and more!

 

 

 

Nikon D7100 — Updated Version Of My D7000

I enjoy this camera immensely! I use it when I want to take advantage of the 1.5x crop factor that this DX body provides. Because of the crop factor, I often shoot wildlife with it and because it has a fairly high frame rate of 7fps, I often use it for action photography. Nikon has since come out with the D7100 which eclipses the D7000 in just about every feature. They’ve kept the D7000 in their lineup though, reducing its price so it slots in below the D7100. In my opinion, you can’t go wrong with either camera.

 

 

Fujifilm X-T1 16 MP Compact System Camera

I use this little gem primarily for my street and travel photography and more recently for some concert photography. It’s unobtrusive, light and easy to carry around. Often when traveling with my family and photography isn’t my main reason for traveling, the larger Nikon cameras can become a burden. I researched mirrorless cameras because they’re so small and light and I was pleasantly surprised at how great the images are with this little guy. It has excellent image quality at all ISO’s all the way up to 6400 and the color reproduction is awesome — I believe Fuji’s history of making  and selling film contributes to the beautiful colors this camera produces. Also, it’s weather sealed so if it begins to rain or snow when I’m out and about, I don’t have to worry about my camera being damaged.

 

 

 

 

Lenses For My Nikon Cameras

Nikon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR AF-S

This is my D800e walk-around lens. This lens is on my D800e 80% of the time and, because of it’s wide focal length, comes in very handy. If I want to shoot a wide landscape or a closeup of a bird on a branch, this lens has me covered. As can be expected, there is some pincushion and barrel distortion at the extreme ends of the zoom range but those distortions are easily corrected in Lightroom.

 

Nikon 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G AF-S ED VR II DX

This is the walk-around lens for my DX bodied, D7000. Everything I mentioned above about the 28-300mm lens can be said about this lens. Similarly it’s on my D7000 80% of the time.

 

Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8G ED AF-S

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest lenses every made. It is superb optically and built to last. I do strongly dislike that the front lens element protrudes past the front making it difficult to add filters — ND filters specifically — but I am able to use the LEE filter system on this lens and will talk about my filters more in Part 2 of this article.

 

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S

This is another newer lens of mine. I haven’t used it too much but I definitely will be using it more. Professional build and incredible optics make this one the best lenses on the market.

 

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II AF-S Nikkor Zoom Lens

I just added this lens to my arsenal. It’s fairly big and heavy but it is super sharp and focuses so very fast. Since I bought it I’ve been thinking of all kinds of creative things I can do with it and can’t wait to get out and shoot with it. Even though I just purchased it, I’ve already taken one of my favorite images that I’ve ever taken. It’s of my dog Archie and you can see the image here.

 

Tokina AT-X 100mm f/2.8 PRO D Macro Lens

I love this lens. Optically, it’s one of the best lenses that I’ve ever used and it takes tremendous macro images which is what I use it for. I highly recommend this lens if you’re into macro photography. Don’t believe me? Read a review on this lens here.  Tokina also makes it with a Canon mount.

 

Sigma 150-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO DG OS HSM Telephoto Zoom Lens

I recently acquired this lens and haven’t used it too much so the jury is still out on whether I like it or not. It’s very big and very heavy but so far in my limited use, it seems to take nice sharp images.

Click here to see a couple images I shot with it — you be the judge.

**** I’ve had the opportunity to use this Sigma 150-500mm lens in depth and have decided that it isn’t in fact, sharp enough. I’ve traded it in. You can read my about it here: http://www.anthonymorganti.com/2014/04/18/ditched-sigma-150-500mm-lens/

 

 

Nikon 40mm f/2.8G AF-S DX Micro Lens

What Nikon calls Micro, everyone else calls Macro. I purchased this lens before I obtained the Tokina Macro lens. I don’t use it very much any longer but not because it’s not sharp — it’s just as sharp as the Tokina lens and does a fantastic job BUT, it’s only 40mm so I need to get very close to my macro subject — with the 100mm Tokina lens I can be a bit further away. Also, this is a DX lens so I was forced to use it on my D7000 body or on my D800e in crop mode. The Tokina lens is an FX lens. With that said, this is a great little lens and it’s very inexpensive.

 

Nikon 50mm f/1.8G AF-S FX

I recommend that everyone own a 50mm prime lens no matter the manufacturer. Optically they’re superb and if you’re ever in a  photographic rut, screw one of these babies on your camera and go for a walk. Because it’s a 50mm prime, it will force you to really work the scene to CREATE an image. It’s a fantastic lens.

 

Sigma 70-300mm f/4-5.6 SLD DG Macro Lens

I purchased this lens for use on my D7000. Because the D7000 is a DX body, the effective focal length on this lens is 105mm-450mm. I bought it long ago before I owned the Sigma 150-500 and it worked out well. I’ve taken a lot of wildlife images with this lens on my D7000. It’s a cheap lens but optically it’s very good. It does suffer from some chromatic aberation but again, I’m able to remove that with Lightroom.

If you don’t have a ton of cash to spend but need that extra reach, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with this lens.

 

Lenses For My Fujifilm Camera

 

 

Fujinon XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

This lens came in my kit with the Fujifilm X-T1. It’s a great lens — Quiet and focuses very quickly and, like the camera, it’s weather sealed so when I’m out shooting in the streets I can relax if it begins to rain or snow a little.

 

 

Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R

This lens is fast and super sharp! I use this lens for concert photography and for my street photography. The 1.5x crop factor of the X-T1 means that I’m shooting at around 53mm which is perfect for a wide range of photography.

 

End of Part 1

That’s all of the camera bodies and lenses that I own. My next camera body will likely be a used D90 or something similar that I’ll get converted for infrared photography. I’m not sure what my next lens will be but I’m sure I’ll see something that will force me to part with some of the Benjamin’s in my wallet.

Click here for Part 2 where I be talk about everything else — Tripod, monopod, flashes, strobes etc.

27 comments to My Gear

  • benny v  says:

    Hi Anthony, I just wanted to tell you you need to put your email addy in an ez to see spot so people can email you. You seem to have every damn other icon under the sun. : ) Putting that aside, I think your vids on YouTube are absolutely great! There’s so much shit on the net, but your vids emphasize what is truly revolutionary about the Internet. I’m learning so much, and you don’t waste any superfluous time talkin smack. The flow of your vids is perfect. You just get right to the point and tell the viewer just what they need to know. Thank You Thank You! I will def donate. I would have spent $500 for your course without batting an eye. The fact you make it avail for free is incredibly generous.

    best,
    ben

  • Dave  says:

    Great u tube vids keep it up wish there was more stuff like yours

  • Jodie Williams  says:

    Love the Lightroom videos. I upgraded to 5 and although I had been using 3 for sometime, there are some tip and lesson I didn’t know. I like your idea on turning the highlight an shadows sliders all the way up/down on landscapes. Makes me want to reprocess some if my favourites to see how the scrub up again. Agree with what bunny v states above re email address, hard to find and I generally don’t use all the other social media but wanted to say thanks for sharing.

  • Manuel Castro  says:

    I have CS6 and have taken several courses on using it. I was not sold on LR5 until I saw your vids. Thank you very much. Keep them coming your training is great. You are very audible, the picture is clear and your explanations are fantastic.

  • Tom Moore  says:

    Tony, I must say you go far and beyond in the training videos. Your Lightroom 5 training 40 plus videos, for free! Amazing! I shot my first wedding this past weekend, and what I learned from you on lr5 made my photos wonderful. Thankyou Thank you! I shoot sony with a mixture of sony and minolta lenses, I’m amazed at the quality of some of the old minolta glass. Again thank you so much for all you have taught me.
    Tom

  • jackboyd  says:

    i have watch a lot of your videos and I really enjoy them and they have helped me greatly moreso than any one else and through you tube I have watched a lot. I enjoy yours because it is easy to under stand and I am sure their a lot of people like my self and from good old England I thank you I am not English Ireland is my home land you are a real gent bye Jack B

  • Phil Christie  says:

    I just was introduced to your videos tonight and the are bang on to what I need to learn.Great to see them for just to learn and free for those who need it. Fun and my desire is growing as fall beauty is upon us. PhilChristie

  • Jack becker  says:

    Great videos on lightroom

  • Rome Wilkerson-Photography  says:

    Very good work on the lightroom videos I have been a working photographer for year but i have always believed if you are going to make it in the biz you have to keep a open mind and be willing to learn something new.

  • Susan  says:

    Thankyou for the YouTube videos I have started watching them and I am learning so much about Lightroom. The time and effort you have put is is greatly appreciated.

  • Brian  says:

    I just started Lightroom 5 and I just wanted to thank you for all your efforts. You make easily digestible ‘nuggets’ that have been a HUGE benefit to using Lightroom for me. Again a big thank you!!!

  • Tomas Persson  says:

    Hi , im a new user to lightroom 5 and i think your vid on the tube is great and you make them very easy to learn.//Tomas

  • Bruce McKeown  says:

    Your videos are very helpful. Thank you. (A language issue: at the beginning, you list camera brands, concluding “..not to mention, Canon and Nikon” but then you mention them. ??)

  • Robert Collins  says:

    What type of tripods do you use or like?

  • Ed  says:

    Hi Anthony. Within the past year I switched to Macs and I have been using Aperture most of the time. Now that Apple has cancelled Aperture, I am switching to Lightroom which I was toying with before. I use Nikons and do mostly landscape work after having done wedding photography for years. Your videos are awesome and easy to understand. I am not a fan of spending hours at a computer processing photos but mainly tweaking them to my liking. I have used plugins including Photomatix Pro. Looking forward to watching more of your videos. I have LR 5.7 and am not sure if updating to 6 is really necessary.

  • Warren  says:

    I have heard that you are going to come out with a DVD for sale with all of your lightroom 6 lessons on it, is this true and when can I buy one, I just downloaded the RAW files you used,

    Help Us out here….

    • Anthony Morganti  says:

      Thank you for your kind support! Hopefully the DVD will be ready in 2-3 weeks.

      • Marco  says:

        Hi, any update on the DVD?

  • dennis maher  says:

    hi
    Anthony i don’t have a digital SLR yet but i just bought the panasonic FZ1000 what do you think?, i love you videos they are great but i think i have left it a bit late to learn about photography, iam 61years old again what do you think?

  • David  says:

    Hey Anthony,
    Have you made any further assessment of you Sigma 150-500? I thought the images you posted look great.

  • David  says:

    Just saw I didn’t read far enough to see you answered my question. Thanks.

  • Paul Thomson  says:

    Anthony,
    The only gear you haven’t mentioned is your computer gear. What sort of computing power do you process with? I think this is important as the computer IS the modern darkroom and it is an essential part of digital photography. Many computers struggle with adobe so it would be nice to see what a professional uses day to day.
    Thanks and please keep up the great work I’ve learnt so much from you.
    Paul

  • Zora  says:

    Love your work, it is very inspiring and your vids and photos are really encouraging me to explore my own style of photography. I recently bought LR6 and watched your tuts, so easy to follow and full of information, thank you. I have always loved photography mainly landscape and recently have started exploring macro. I have a D5000 which I love but never really used properly, slap my wrist I used it like a point and shoot. I have come a little late to the game (approaching 60) in realizing how passionate and creative I am with it, still heaps of room for improvement mind you.

  • Rajesh Dhawan  says:

    Great Lightroom 6 videos, Anthony. I am learning so much from them. I am from India, so I’ll say that you are one hell of a guru. 🙂

  • bcsrock  says:

    So, where do I start? I began my photography career using a Nikon 35mm. Than graduated to a Mamiya RB 67. Then Digital came out, so I did go with the flow and purchased a Nikon D70 and used it for many years. Then life happened and got out of Photography for the past 6 years. So, we built a studio on our property and got my D70 out. My family was coming for a visit and wanted so images. To make a very long story short, my Nikon died. I did get images but they were totally overexposed, but with my HDR program I saved them as best as I could. So, now I want to go back to my roots, after purchasing Lightroom 6. My question for you is, I can get a CD made from my film and then, import the images into Lightroom? What do you say about my dilemma? I don’t want to purchase another camera and loved film. I have found a great lab that not only processed film but also prints images, which I am not sure about yet, as I have used my lab for the past 26 years. But for processing the film I will use them and see how that goes. Your input will be most welcomed. Thank you so much.

  • PETER Bernardini  says:

    I have been viewing your tutorials for some time and I must say that you are my favorite. Your explanations are much more useful to me because you take the time to explain so much and step by step and offer beginner videos, thanks Anthony. Peter in Vestal NY.

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