Kit Guide

Pack Your Bag – choosing the best landscape photography equipment

with Stu Meech

Photographer Stu Meech guides you through his favourite camera, lenses and accessories to include in his got-to landscape photography kit

'Fields of Gold', Nikon D300S, 17-50mm, 1/50sec at f/11, ISO 200

Camera: Nikon D750

After a good few years of shooting with a D300s, the time came for me to upgrade. At the time, I had a choice between the D610 and D800 and for financial reasons I picked the D610. I never quite got on with it as the usability wasn't as good as the D300s, so when the D750 came out I quickly moved to it.

I personally feel the Nikon D750 is one of the best all-round full-frame cameras on the market, with its excellent autofocus, dynamic range, live view exposure preview and shadow recovery. All wrapped up in a relatively small and lightweight package (for full-frame), it's still a great buy 3 years after its release.

Lenses: Nikon 16-35mm f/4 and 70-200mm f/4

These two lenses are my go-to for landscape photography, it covers my favourite focal lengths (which can be summed up as very wide and very long) and I personally don't mind the gap in the middle of the lenses. Both lenses have excellent image quality and, like the D750, relatively lightweight for full-frame lenses which means a more manageable camera bag in terms of size and weight.

I team the 70-200mm with a 1.4x teleconverter for extra reach in a very small package. I have a Nikon 24-120mm f/4 which I use from time to time if I want to go out with one lens only or have gone away on a city-break holiday.

Filters: LEE filters system

Like many other landscape photographers, I have a wide range of LEE filters (other filter systems are available) in my bag. If you are the type to want to get your photo right as much as possible in camera then they are indispensable for being able to balance the exposure between sky and land, and still have a use with the wide range of cameras available today with massive amounts of dynamic range.

I personally have a 0.6 hard (my favourite filter), 0.9 hard, 0.9 medium (I prefer the medium transition to the soft), 0.9 ND, Big Stopper and the landscape polariser, the latter being on my camera almost all the time.

'Broadway Tower', Nikon D300S, 16-35mm, 1/200 at f/11, ISO 200

Tripod: Manfrotto 055CXPRO3

A good all-round tripod which has the added bonus of being made from carbon fibre. That’s another weight-saving exercise I took a couple of years ago to lessen the strain from my kit as much as possible. It’s a good sturdy tripod that can go down very low, and also work comfortably at head height.

Bag: Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L

It’s not the biggest of bags but I find this works in my favour as it forces me to only take a smaller amount of kit out with me. However, there is ample room for a camera and two lenses, filters, spare batteries, remote, and so on. It also includes a handy set of straps on the side for securing your tripod.

Accessory: ML-L3 remote

A small generic ML-L3 remote. You could always buy the branded Nikon version or do as I did and buy a generic from eBay for just a couple of pounds. I keep it on a lanyard with a small cleaning cloth to keep around my neck.

'Rainbow Poppies', Nikon D750, 16-35mm, 1/60sec at f/10, ISO 100

Accessory: Brush and Cleaning Cloths

For cleaning stray bits of dust off the front element when out in the field. I also keep some Zeiss lens cleaning wipes in my bag for dealing with sea spray.

Other: Gas Stove & Saucepan

Quite simply for tea and breakfast when I get back to the car if I've headed some distance from home in the morning. Believe me, you'll be thankful for it.

Other: Nexus 5X

I keep this reliable smartphone about my person for referring to The Photographer’s Ephemeris or weather forecasts when out.

And the rest

• Notebook and pen

• Headtorch

• Spare SD cards

• Batteries

'Burnham-on-Sea Lighthouse', Nikon D750, 24-120mm, 210secs at f/5.6, ISO 400

Stu Meech

Stu Meech is an award-winning landscape photographer based in the south west of England. To see more of his work visit www.stumeech.co.uk.

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