I love photography! I truly believe it’s as much an art as it is about cameras, lenses and accessories, and I firmly believe that you don’t need the latest and most expensive equipment to take beautiful pictures. Your artistic vision is the most important tool in your kit!
But since many of you have asked, I’m happy to share my current photography equipment, including my favorite lenses for travel and portraits. This is the equipment that Ken and I have used for all the photos on this website through 2022. We did recently purchase a new mirrorless camera, and I’ll talk about that more once I’ve taken more pictures with it.
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Camera and Lenses
Primary camera – Most of the pictures on this website through 2022 are taken with a Nikon D750. It delivers fantastic image quality even in low light and is one of the most economical full frame cameras on the market today. The newer model D850 has an upgraded processor, and improved auto-focusing and tracking. As of late 2022, we have added a Sony Alpha 7 IV, a full-frame mirrorless camera with 4k video capabilities and are loving it also.
Primary lens – My go-to lens is the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G Lens. I prefer a prime lens (non-zoom) for most of my pictures for the sharpness and the least distortion. It has excellent reliable performance and I love that it’s so small and lightweight.
My favorite lens – My 50mm lens is my most used lens, but my favorite and most beloved lens is my Nikon 105mm Macro Lens. It’s so incredibly sharp with the most beautiful bokeh (I’m all about the bokeh!) – every shot is perfection! It’s excellent for close-ups of flowers AND for portraits, assuming you have enough room to step back to accommodate the focal length. If it weren’t so heavy, I’d use this lens all the time.
The feature photo above was taken with this lens at a stunning peach orchard! It was taken from a low angle by Ken, with an f5.6 aperture.
Compact travel camera – My favorite compact travel camera is the Fuji X100V, which can easily fit in any tote bag. It has amazing image quality with a 23mm prime (fixed) lens and 24.3 megapixels. It has an APS-C sensor, which is larger than most other compact cameras, so it’s able to capture more details. I also love the classic camera look and the classic knob-style controls. You can see some of the pictures I took with this camera on my Purple Ice Plants of Monterey Peninsula post.
If you enjoy taking pictures of flowers as much as I do, you may be interested in my article on the best lenses for flower photography.
Main tripod – My main tripod is the Manfrotto Aluminum Tripod with Horizontal Column and ballhead – It’s strong, stable and reliable (but somewhat heavy). I also love the horizontal arm for flat-lays. We brought this with us to Mont Saint-Michel and were glad we did because it was windy there! It has a hook between the legs to hang extra weight to further stabilize the tripod.
Lightweight travel tripod – We recently purchased this lightweight carbon fiber tripod with an integrated ballhead for travel and love it so far! It folds down very small and even fits inside my big Kanken backpack.
I use these two lights when I’m shooting indoors and there’s not enough light. Both of them are great!
StudioFX 800 Watt Softbox – This light has four bulbs and is very bright and effective at reducing shadows for indoor photography. Plus you can switch two of the bulbs off if you want.
18″ Ring Light – I have a similar ring light that is dimmable, has temperature control and can hold a phone or SLR in the center.
Peak Design Hand Strap – I prefer a hand strap over a neck strap for small to medium sized lenses. This one is perfect.
Camera Rain Cover – Important to have if your camera is not totally waterproof and you are traveling to a rainy destination such as Costa Rica! This one is very similar to mine, with an opening for the eyepiece so that your view is not impeded by plastic.
Remote Control Shutter Release – Essential for selfies and situations where you want to avoid camera shake, including flat-lays.
I like to travel light, and I’m able to because my
pack-mule husband Ken carries all the extra lens and accessories. (Thank you, Ken! 😘) I prefer using a camera insert inside my Kanken backpack instead of a typical camera backpack, which is usually heavier and bigger than I need.
Kattee Waterproof Camera Insert Bag – This padded insert turns any backpack into a camera backpack! The large-sized version holds my DSLR and two lenses, which is all that I typically carry. I love the zipper and top handle and how sturdy it is.
Software & Presets
Photo editing – I think that a combination of a full-frame camera and Adobe Lightroom are essential for an artist-photographer who wants game-changing creative control over their images. A full-frame camera captures an incredible amount of detail and Lightroom lets you bring out and edit those details to become the works of art that you envisioned. Lightroom is available with Photoshop as part of the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan.
If you want to try the Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan, you can get a free trial with the purchase of a Seagate external hard drive! We were also able to extend our subscription by over a year with the purchase of similar Seagate hard drives!
Lightroom Presets – For photo editing in Lightroom (both desktop and mobile), I’ve used Refined Presets for several years and love them! I do make modifications for each set of photos to achieve the look I want, but they’re a great base!
I hope this has been helpful! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. 🧡
My camera & video gear
Photo tip: You can get a free trial or extend your current subscription of an Adobe Creative Cloud Photography Plan with the purchase of a Seagate external hard drive!
Most of the photos on this blog through 2022 were taken with a Nikon D750 (latest model D780 shown above).
My favorite lens ever. This Nikon 105mm lens is amazing for portrait & flower photography. An 85mm lens would be great also.
Thank you for stopping by my blog! I hope you found this post useful, and I hope you have a wonderful day!
Hi, I’m Pansy!
Hello, thanks for stopping by! I’m Pansy, California-based travel blogger, photographer and lover of ALL the pretty flowers! You may notice that most of my travels, photography & DIY center around flowers and nature! 🌸🌼🌿
I recently started a YouTube channel where I feature walks through beautiful gardens, parks & flower fields! Make sure to follow me there if you love flowers & gardens! 😊