I’m often asked about the equipment I use for my images and adventures. So here’s a list of my fave bits of gear that I use on a regular basis. I’ve purchased all of these personally and have included some details about why I enjoy or use each one.
If you’re considering purchasing any of these items, some of the links I’ve included are affiliate links which means you don’t pay anything extra but I receive a small commission. Thanks so much for your support 🙂
My Photography Gear
I’ve only recently upgraded to a full frame DSLR with my Pentax K1, after decades with other Pentax cameras.
I’ts not as popular or common as the Nikon’s, Canon’s or Sony’s around but Pentax has consistently delivered best in class low light performance, weather sealing and camera technology for decades with fewer model releases focused on quality.
The Pentax K1 is considered one of the best astro and landscape photography cameras on the market and out competes most comparable systems.
Pentax also maintains it’s traditional K-Mount lens system which allows me to utilise over 50 years of lenses from film and digital cameras.
Samyang/Rokinon 85mm ƒ1.4
This has to be my first pick as a general purpose hiking, nature and landscape lens for picking out details and shooting in low light.
It’s fast, manual focus, and reasonably sized so nearly always lives in my kit.
These are also available in most mounts for other cameras.
Samyang/Rokinon 16mm ƒ2.0
This one is a little out of place since upgrading to a full frame DSLR, being an APS-C lens.
But! It’s been a workhorse for most of my landscape and astrophotography shoots for many, many years and will continue to do so.
It’s entirely manual focus like the rest of my kit and performs amazingly for wide night sky shots.
Being for a smaller crop camera it has the added effect of being super wide, with the trade back being a smaller image resolution after cropping.
These are also available in most mounts for other cameras.
Pentax SMC 100mm ƒ4 Macro
This lens is one of the original film era lenses I absolutely love, and also one of the best K Mount macro lenses available.
I pair this manual lens with a set of tubes to give very shallow focus macro shots with almost no extra weight or space in my bag.
The beautiful thing about shooting with older gear is you get the best of the industry at super affordable prices.
Sirui W-2204 Tripod with K-20x Ball Head
I have only recently switched from a tank of a Manfrotto tripod to the carbon fibre Sirui which gets a LOT of use and abuse and has survived to date.
It’s very sturdy but also flexible in its configuration for portability and uneven ground, plus the centre column can be removed to make it a bit lighter.
This model has waterproof legs to save salt and sand from stiffening the leg extensions which killed my previous tripod after a decade of heavy use.
I love having twist locks for one handed operation and faster adjustment when setting up a shot.
The stronger and smaller K-20x ball head has also made pano images easier with degree markings and dual water levels, win win!
NiSi V5 Pro Filter Holder and Polarizer
This filter system both changed how I shoot and saves me a mountain of hassle and time every time I head out.
With universal square filter support you can invest in the filters of your choice while taking advantage of the front mounted polarizer, simple filter swapping and full control over your images.
The polarizer included with the NiSi system is also one of the best I’ve used and lives on my camera most of the time.
LEE Soft Grad Resin Filters
I’ve used the resin LEE graduated filters for decades and can not recommend them highly enough.
I’ve had glass filters break and crack before, and if you’ve invested in a shoot it can ruin days of work or a big expense.
I prefer the soft edge grads since they can be stacked and reversed to give similar results to hard edge and reverse grads without needing them all.
You won’t find a better 35mm camera anywhere in the world.
The Pentax MX is the lesser known cousin of the infamous Pentax K-1000 and is 100% mechanical, all manual and built like a tank.
Shooting landscapes for days in remote wilderness? Forget batteries, SD cards and auto focus. This thing will shoot forever, is lighter, smaller and more fun.
One of the biggest advantages shooting with Pentax is I get to combine the best of today with world class gear from the past 50 years.
Kodak Ektar 100 and Kodak Portra 400 35mm Film
For all of my colour film photography I shoot with two very popular film stocks.
Kodak Ektar 100 is a bit slower but has extreme dynamic range, is especially useful in mixed light and can still bring the shot home despite my mistakes.
Ektar seems to have been made for landscapes but has less pop and a more natural saturation of colours than other films.
My second choice is Kodak Portra 400, a very popular portrait film but one I’ve been experimenting with for landscapes and in particular at dusk and dawn.
Portra is a little faster and easier to shoot handheld, it also has a stronger saturation and range of colour which I sometimes miss with Ektar.
Both beautiful films, and I highly recommend you try them both and see what you love.
My Video Gear
GoPro Hero 4 with Deyard Aluminium Case
It’s not new, or fancy or pretty. But it’s compact, functional and gets the job done.
I use an older GoPro Hero 4 and have it mounted in a case I found online by Deyard.
This gives me a cold shoe mount on top for my external mic or a light source and also makes it easy to mount it on a tripod, on top of my DSLR or elsewhere.
Rode Video Micro
This small external microphone easily mounts to the cold shoe on my GoPro case and is tiny enough to stay out of frame when I’m recording.
It makes recording so much easier by picking up only what’s in front of the camera, saving me heaps of time editing bad audio when I get back
The SwitchPod is a super light, small and ingenious tripod for vlogging and video.
It’s sturdy and durable so will easily fit into my pack or strapped to the outside without needing to be adjusted every time I get it out.
My Hiking & Backpacking Gear
Deuter Futura 26 Backpack
I’ve jumped between camera bags, military packs, hiking packs and vintage rucksacks to land on the Deuter Futura 26L as my main pack.
It’s super comfortable, has a fairly light capacity but can easily accommodate 2-3 days in the wilderness with my full setup.
I enjoy the challenge of packing less and learning more, and have found this approach helps me focus on photography more when I’m out on a trip.
ResQ Link+ 406 PLB
I never go away for more than a few hours without my PLB. I’m out to have fun and experience the world, not die from misadventure.
This PLB is one of the smallest and lightest I’ve been able to find, and does not have an annual registration fee.
It is also buoyant so will float if I’m shooting seascapes or out on the water and get into trouble.
Enlightened Equipment Revelation Quilt
This EE Revelation Quilt is a super light, very compact and very warm alternative to traditional sleeping bags.
Probably my favourite piece of hiking gear, it’s made a huge difference to the weight and size of my backpack and is an every trip item for sure.
Thermarest Z-Lite SOL Sleeping Mat
The durability of a foam mat over an inflatable is something I value pretty highly.
I’ve punctured inflatables before and while their packed size is great, they don’t feel as warm as the Thermarest Z-Lite.
It’s a bit bulkier to pack but it’s a trade off I’m comfortable with, I just strap it to the outside of my bag.
DD 3x3m Tarp
Another nearly always item, the DD 3×3 Tarp is my primary shelter for both ground and hammock camping.
With multiple tie points and a square layout there’s several configurations I can use in the trees or on the ground to stay dry.
DD Camping Hammock
When I’m hammock camping, the very small and light DD Camping Hammock is my go to.
It does have a zippered section and tie points for an under quilt, and I’ve run my own permanent ridgeline so it’s an almost instant setup.
If I’m exploring in the forest or bush with plenty of trees, this is with me and pairs nicely with the DD Tarp.