San Juan Wildlife & Nature Photography
Matt Ragen

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Our Camera Gear

As I've continued to get increasingly interested in photography again (after a long hiatus since my photography classes in high school and college), I have been gradually upgrading the camera gear that I use. I think one reason photography became fun again was that digital photography has made many capabilities accessible to me that I would otherwise need to dedicate a room to in our home for a darkroom.

Specifically, in 2001, I started with a Sony DSC-S50 digital camera with 2.1 megapixel resolution. I usually used the full 3X optical zoom capability of the camera plus a 2X add-on optical zoom lens which gave me a total of 6X optical zoom. In 2002, virtually all of my pictures were taken with a Fuji FinePix 4900 digital camera with 4 megapixel resolution. I augmented the standard 6X optical zoom with a 2X add-on camera lens which gave me a total of about 11X optical zoom capability.

In the middle of 2003, I upgraded equipment again as I began to really get back into more serious photography. Fortunately, digital SLRs started to tumble in prices and, for fairly good equipment started to get comparable to their 35mm equivalents. I am now using a Canon EOS 10D Digital SLR with 6.3 megapixel resolution. This gives me enough resolution and quality for the kind of photography that I'm currently working on.

The gear that I currently use includes the following assortment of lenses, filters, tripods, etc. I've included links to two different websites where these can be purchased; if you click through, you can see more information.

Cameras and Lenses

Buy From

    Canon EOS-10D 6.3MP Digital SLR Camera  
  Canon EF 17-40mm f/4L Lens  
  Canon 24mm-70mm f/2.8L Zoom Lens  
  Canon EF 28-105 F/3.5-4.5 ll USM Lens (for travel)  
  Canon EF 50 F/1.4 USM Lens (for low light)  
  Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L USM with Image Stabilizer  
Lens Filters  
  B+W Circular Polarizer (77mm)  
  B+W Circular Polarizer Slim Mount (77mm) (for wide angle lenses)  
  B+W #010 UV Haze (77mm)  
  B+W #101 2x Neutral Density (77mm)  
  B+W #102 4x Neutral Density (77mm)  
  B+W #103 8x Neutral Density (77mm)      
  B+W #106 64x Neutral Density (77mm)      
  B+W #501 Light Grey Graduated ND (77mm)  
  B+W #502 Dark Grey Graduated ND (77mm)      
  B+W #NL3 Close Up +3 Glass Filter (77mm)      
Other Equipment  
  Bogen 3021N Tripod  
  Bogen 3016 Three-Section Monopod  
  Canon Speedlite 550EX Flash  
  Adobe Photoshop CS  
  Extensis Portfolio v7.0  
  Extensis PhotoFrame 2.5  
  LizardTech Genuine Fractals 3.5      
  Pantone Colorvision Spyder2 Pro  
  nik Sharpener Pro! (Inkjet version)      
  nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 (Complete version)      
  Lexar Photo Mechanic
  Various plug-ins and actions from Fred Miranda Digital Darkroom      
Printers and Paper  
  HP Photosmart 245 Compact Photo Printer (for snapshots)  
  HP Premium Photo Paper, Glossy (4x6)  
  Canon i9900 Photo Printer (for high quality prints)  
  Ilford Galerie Classic Pearl Inkjet Photo Paper (8.5x11, 25 sheets)  
  Ilford Galerie Classic Gloss Inkjet Photo Paper (8.5x11, 25 sheets)  
  Ilford Galerie Classic Pearl Inkjet Photo Paper (11x17, 25 sheets)  
  Ilford Galerie Classic Gloss Inkjet Photo Paper (11x17, 25 sheets)  
  Ilford Galerie Classic Pearl Inkjet Photo Paper (13x19, 25 sheets)  
  Ilford Galerie Classic Gloss Inkjet Photo Paper (13x19, 25 sheets)  

What's next? In a perfect world, I could afford everything on the list below. I just bought the new Canon i9900 Photo Printer to upgrade my print quality; the eight different ink tanks and 2 picoliter droplets ought to improve the color saturation and the smoothness of the image. And, I have my eyes on Canon's 70-200mm f2.8L lens because it's said to be one of the best lenses that Canon has ever produced. Here's what's on my wish list:

Cameras and Lenses

Buy From

  Canon EOS 20D 8.2MP Digital SLR Camera  
    Canon EOS 1D Mark II 8.2MP Digital SLR Camera  
  Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM SLR Lens  
  Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM SLR Lens  
  Canon EF 600mm f/4L IS USM Image Stabilizer AutoFocus Telephoto Lens  
Lens Filters  
  B+W #092 Infrared Filter (89B) (77mm)  
  B+W #093 Infrared Filter (87C) (77mm)  
Other Equipment  
  Canon Speedlite 580EX Flash  
  Monaco Ezcolor Software & MonacoOptix XR Hardware Bundle  
  Gretag Macbeth Eye-One Display 2, Monitor Color Profiling Solution  
Printers and Paper  
  Hahnemuhle William Turner Matte, 190 g/m 100% Rag, Natural White Watercolour Inkjet Paper, 8.5x11, 10 Sheets  
  Hahnemuhle Matte Photo Rag 188 g/m 100% Rag, Smooth, Bright White Inkjet Paper, 8.5x11, 10 Sheets      

For other recommendations on digital cameras, we've published several of the year-end Editor's Choice lists from various photography and computer magazines. These are great resources to find that camera or other piece of gear that you just have to find.

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