Cay-Uwe Kulzer
Photo Equipment
Nature   Photos

Home  Biography  Image of the Month  Reports  Photo Gallery  e-mail

It took several years of experience, until I found the photographic equipment that meets all my needs. The picture on the right hand site gives you an idea about my decision.

2. Flash with Guide Number 42
3. CANON EF 4/17-40L USM
4. CANON EF 2.8/70-200L USM
5. CANON EF 2.8/300L USM
6. CANON EF 1.4x Extender
7. CANON EF 2.0x Extender
8. Wood Tripod Berlebach Reporter
9. Rimowa Ultralight Bag

In the next chapters, I would like to give you the information, that has lead me to this decision.





Lenses are the eyes of your camera, and the crucial first element to take good photographs.

Years ago, I read a book about nature photography which stated that a successful nature photographer needs only a 35mm lens, a 80-200mm zoom, and a 400mm telephoto. For the most part, I agreed with that statement, and for several years photographed with a 35-70mm zoom, a 70-200mm zoom and a 400mm telephoto. This equipment allowed me to photograph nearly everything I wanted, and very seldom did I miss a picture due to focal length. Today, however, I would also suggest having the capabilities of 600mm, to more easily photograph the very shy European animals. Because of this, I selected the f2.8/300mm telephoto with the 1.4x and 2x extenders. This gives me the capability to use the lens as a f4/420mm or f5.6/600mm. Even though I consider an aperture of f4 as ideal, f5.6 is a good compromise for the increased focal length. Professional photographers will probably want to choose a f4/500mm or f4/600mm with the converters to achieve even greater focal lengths. On the other hand, these lenses are bigger and heavier, and I prefer that all of my equipment fit into a hand-size luggage bag, so I can carry it with me on a plane. The f2.8/70-200mm also works very well with the 1.4x tele-extender, giving me the capability of a f4/98-280mm zoom, and with the 2x tele-extender giving me a focal length of f5.6/140-400mm. Combining it with the 3.5-4.5/24-85, I can cover a focal length from 24 - 280mm with an ideal aperture of f4, and up to 400mm at f5.6. With these two lenses, you will be able to photograph much of what you see in nature, especially if you work in USA, Africa and Australia. As a plus, they are also light, so you can take them on extended hikes.

You should also select lenses with a fixed front lens, so that they do not turn while focusing. This will simplify the use of polarizing filters. This is the case with my 24-85mm and the 70-200mm zooms.

For macro photography I use a 25mm extension tube with the f2.8/70-200mm zoom. This enables me to get a macro ratio of about 1:3, which is enough to photograph most butterflies, dragonflies, flowers, lizards and other types of smaller wildlife.