What’s in the Bag?

THE PHOTOGRAPHY EQUIPMENT I USE

Once in a while, fellow photographers ask me what kind of gear I use for shooting wildlife. Everyone is curious no? Maybe I can give you some ideas about what to buy next time for this fantastic hobby!​

Lowepro Backpack Flipside 300 AW II Camo Pixel
Lowepro Backpack Flipside 300 AW II Camo Pixel
SO WHAT'S IN
MY BAG?

HOVER OVER THE +SIGNS FOR MORE INFORMATION

MY GEAR NOW AND IN THE FUTURE

At first sight, you may think: that’s a lot of gear to carry! But everything that is in my bag has a meaningful purpose. Everything has been chosen with my idea of “ASAP” in mind (as small as possible), nothing is unnecessary. (The Sirui monopod isn’t carried inside the bag).

Fujifilm X-T3
Fujifilm X-T3 with Battery Grip

MY MAIN CAMERA SYSTEM

At the time of writing this article, I use the Fujifilm X-T3 mirrorless camera system together with the Fujinon 100-400mm lens as my main equipment. This lens is amazing, if I have to be honest this is the sharpest lens that I have ever owned! Previously I had a much more expensive lens, the Nikkor 200-400mm F4 VR II but it was way too heavy.

Now I can walk all day long without worrying about the weight, this duo is perfectly compact without sacrificing picture quality.

Another thing about Fujifilm is their superb color rendering, for me the best in the industry!

Fujifilm is not an evident choice for wildlife photography, most photographers use Canon or Nikon for wildlife & nature photography. In my opinion, the only negative issue about Fujifilm at the moment (2019) is that they don’t make telezoom lenses bigger than 400mm. Like I wrote before for wildlife photography and especially birds, the more focal length, the better. A Fujinon 150-600mm f5.6 would be enough for me! (Fujifilm, Are you listening?).

Sirui Monopod
Sirui P-424SR Carbon Fiber Monopod

TRIPOD OR MONOPOD?

Like most wildlife photographers I used a tripod with a gimbal head for my shots. But that ended when I discovered the monopod.

My goal was to find something faster to set up and lighter than a tripod, so I decided to go for a monopod!

I tried different brands at a local store and the Sirui P-424SR was for me the winner. The sturdiness and user-friendly of this monopod are excellent.

Another unconventional choice was the head, you may think a ball head should be the logical choice but instead, I went for a Sirui tilt head. Sometimes a ball head is too clumsy on a monopod, with mine I can pan with the monopod and tilt with head. Simple, right?

AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Lens
AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/5.6E PF ED VR Lens

THE FUTURE

Am I a Fujifilm fan? Nope, I have never been a fan of anything. As long as Fujifilm delivers excellent camera systems like the X-series, I will continue to buy them.

But if Nikon comes up with a superb mirrorless SLR (I’m not interested in de Nikon (Z5/Z6/Z7) I will consider changing again, only because of the excellent quality of their lenses. For example, I’m very interested in the new Nikon 500mm PF prime lens, small and a nice focal length for wildlife photography (it’s on my wish list). Until then Fujifilm is my gear!

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ABOUT DIRK BECKERS

I am a hobby wildlife, nature, travel, bird and landscape photographer living in Antwerp (Belgium). Professionally I have worked with different broadcast TV stations as a camera operator, video editor and vision mixer. At present, I am primarily doing graphic marketing, online graphic content creation, prototyping and UX design for websites and applications. Click here for more…

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE

Maybe you already noticed that I don’t use watermarks on my photos, because they are distracting and after all, they are easy to remove with Adobe Photoshop. For non-commercial uses, my photos are free to share but if you are interested in using one of my photos for commercial purposes in a legal way, please contact me. If you use my photos for commercial purposes without my consent, please be aware that I do reverse image search on a regular basis!
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