Getting your gear ready for action
Husain’s setup varies from case to case. If he is looking to photograph larger animals in their natural environment, a wide-range zoom lens will do; whilst looking to photograph birds, he would go with a lens no less than 400mm, especially when the birds are small in size. “Lens with focal length ranging from 14 to 600mm will do just fine in wildlife photography, depending on the vision of the photographers and how they want the final image to look like.”
Husain works well with all his gear. Upon understanding where their strengths truly lie he uses them accordingly to get the desired results. He prefers to have two camera bodies in order to avoid switching lenses in dusty environments. His setups often include the Nikon D800 with the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR, the Nikon D500 with the AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II and AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED in the bag.
He thinks the D800 produces excellent crisp prints that he enjoys a lot, whilst the D500, with a very fast frame rate and excellent focus system, also has extra reach on the DX-format image sensor. He believes that crop sensors can be either negative or positive, depending on whether a photographer is in the half-empty or half-full state of mind.
When it comes to the lenses he uses, the AF-S NIKKOR 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR is selected for its excellent range and fast focus, and most importantly he loves its lightweight feel, which is important for outdoors photography. Meanwhile, with a constant f-stop of 4.0, the AF-S NIKKOR 200-400mm f/4G ED VR II can perform exceptionally in low light. As for the AF-S NIKKOR 14-24mm f/2.8G ED, Husain shares, “You never know when you are going to use it, but you love it when you do”.
It is not always necessary to use the same setup for two camera bodies, as it all depends on how the photographer understands his or her gear and how it works within its limits. Of course, plenty of SD, CF or other flash type memory cards are also essential.
Husain suggests that a zoom lens that varies from 18-300mm, 70-300mm, 70-200mm to 200-500mm is good to start with. “If you are someone who is new to wildlife photography or do not want to get too technical, these are the lenses you could start with. Of course you do not want to invest in the professional super telephoto lenses and then find out that this type of photography does not suit your desires. When you get more serious about it, you have the option of prime lenses of 300mm, 400mm, 500mm and 600mm; and they all have their pros and cons.”