Filters - Clear glass
All of my lenses are protected with a clear glass front filter. I know there is an endless discussion on the internet whether this will degrade your image quality, because of an additional piece of glass between the camera sensor and your subject, or not. I have to work hard for any piece of equipment I add to the bag. I rather spend a few bucks for a new filter than crying for several weeks because something damaged the optics of an expensive lens. As a wildlife and landscape photographer you don’t get your best shots by standing in a parking lot, thats all what I can say…😉
I prefer the filters from German brand B+W (Schneider Optics), ★ ★ ★ ★ ★, because just the way they are built, but I have also good experience with TIFFEN ★ ★ ★ ★.
Filters - Polarizer
Important for my landscape photography to take out glare or sometimes to blur water at a waterfall. I don’t use them much to improve the color of the sky, hey, we are digital now…
I use 77 mm, 72 mm, and 58 mm B+W F-PRO, depending on the lens ★ ★ ★ ★ ★.
Filters - Neutral Density
The 77 mm Schneider 3-stop ND.9 SE graduated filter may be sometimes a little bit too much, but this is easy to correct. Its optics and color reproduction is outstanding and it is always with me if I go out for some landscape shooting ★ ★ ★ ★ ★.
I have also a set of different COKIN ND and Graduated ND filters. They are made out of resin. Beside being not very scratch resistant, these filters also do not have the best color reproduction. On the positive side, the COKIN system is inexpensive and it is very versatile. Because of price, I can recommend it for beginners that like to learn about the use of ND filters without breaking the bank ★ ★.
During all the years, using first the Nikon D200, later the D300s, and now the D750 I have used original NIKON batteries, as well third party products, like Impact, Pearstone, or Watson. To be honest, I have not found any significant difference in performance between any of them. My tip for adding more batteries to your bag, buy the less expensive third-party brand and call it a day… ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I use rechargeable Ni-MH batteries from eneloop and Watson. Both brands served me very well in the past. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I may not follow always the advice of photography professionals about what accessories to buy or to use, because some are cost prohibitive for me. When it comes to storage of my images I do what the pros recommend, buy name brands with a good reputation. There is nothing worse than loosing a set of photos because the memory card has failed.
I use SanDisc or Lexar Memory cards. Both brands have served me without any glitch since 2007. ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
If you ask me about what is an essential piece of accessories in my gear bag, I would answer, this one is the #1! I do not like to shoot with my reading glasses on, but the loupe helps me to evaluate sharpness of a picture or make adjustments in the menu on the screen at the back of the camera. Highly recommended!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
GIOTTOS Rocket Blaster Dust-Removal Tool
Always in the bag. A built in one-way valve prevents dust from redistribution while cleaning a lens. A simple solution to keep dust away from the equipment.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Moose Peterson MP-3 V.2 Backpack (by MindShift Gear)
I can’t rave enough about this backpack. It is a high quality bag and is made for extreme weather conditions and critical environments. The backpack has lots of great details, like self-closing compartment flaps, and you can tell that many design ideas came from one of the best and experienced wildlife photographers, Moose Peterson.
It is available in three different sizes. The MP-3 is tall enough to hold the camera with the Sigma 150-600 lens attached and the lens hood mounted, ready to shoot.
After 18 months of using and testing the MP-3 V.2 I have written an article about my experience with this backpack:
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ONA messenger-style shoulder bag THE UNION STREET
This cool shoulder bag looks rotten and elegant at the same time. It doesn’t necessarily call “steal me” because it is made out of waxed canvas and doesn’t look at all like a photo bag full of expensive gear. The design and quality of this photo bag is outstanding. The gear is well protected against bumps, weather, and dirt and is lined on the inside with protective padding. It fits my life style and photography habits perfectly.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★