I have recently upgraded my main camera to a Nikon D3s. It is a little bulky to carry around, but it does do everything I want, and a whole lot more I need the manual for. I also have a Nikon D3 as my backup body for those ‘just in case’ moments.
My main lens is the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 VR. This lens does 99% of my work for me from wide landscapes to intimate portraits. This is a great quality lens.
Right up the other end of the scale I have a Sigma 150-500mm f/5.6-6.3 HSM OS. This lens has travelled across South Africa with me and is a wonderful lens for getting closer to some of the more shy/scary game
If I need a little more reach than the 120mm, but can’t handle the weight of the Sigma then I also have the Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 G VR. This is a great all-rounder and good quality for the price.
For my macro fix I have the Nikon AF-S 105mm f/2.8 Micro. This produces good quality pics and lets you get pretty close to what your photographing.
I also have the Nikon AF 50mm f/1.8 prime, but this only comes out to play on special occasions.
I have loads of other glass, including the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 and the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 pro series. These are truly phenomenal lenses. I’m saving up for the Nikon 600mm f/4, but it’s going to be a while
The Nikon Speedlight SB900 is a hugely versatile flash and I love it. I also have an SB800 that I use as a slave for off camera work.
I am a bit of a SanDisk snob it has to be said, and I use the Extreme IV UDMA compact flash. I am also liking the Lexar Professional UDMA compact flash more and more which is cheaper than the SanDisk and seems to be handling itself just as well so far. The really cool thing about the D3/s is the ability to use 2 cards at once and to have various ways of using them – although, the cards are proving themselves very reliable, and am more and more just shooting RAW on one card at a time.
The speedlights eat batteries like you wouldn’t believe. I use the Sanyo eneloop rechargeables as they can run hotter and last longer than anything I have used in the past and this means that the recycle time does not slow down enough to cause a problem until the flash itself overheats. The other really cool thing about these batteries is their charged shelf life – I carry about 6 packs around all the time and rarely get to the last pack… but when I do, even 9 months after charging they have not lost any noticeable charge. These are awesome batteries.
I am very trigger happy and so the Nikon GP-1 means I don’t have to remember where I took which photo. This is really cool when you want to go back to get more photos in the same part of Kruger park for example, or when the background looks just the same as the background in every other photo that day.
The best cable release in the world, if you can handle the delay and your camera is not sun-blinded, is the wireless Nikon ML-L3. It has no frills and it does what it says on the box from a couple of metres or so. The next best release is the Nikon MC-DC2 – if you’re doing any kind of high speed work get this.
Unfortunately, neither of these work on the Nikon D3/s, although the MC-DC2 will plug into the side of the GP-1. So, I also have a Nikon MC-36 – the mother of all cable releases. The cable feels armoured so is really unpleasant to work with, but it beats the hell out of trying to work though the menus for anything like long exposure or time lapse. I have recently moved over to an RF based remote trigger that basically does the same as the ML-L3 did.
The other thing I find really useful is the Kirk Enterprises bracket for my D3/s. It is bolted into the tripod mount but it adds a second mount point in portrait mode that is over the focal plane. This is really cool because now I can take high definition panorama images… it’s not quite the gigapan experience, but it’s close enough.
I also use a Manfrotto 190XPROB tripod with the Manfrotto 322RC2 head. I also have a Manfrotto SPH 303 VR head to make panorama photography a whole lot easier.