My wife, Carolyn, and I started birding in the late 70's. When we went in '92 on our first international trip to Costa Rica, I thought it would be fun to photograph the birds, little realizing the dimensions of that challenge. And little did I know how addictive nature photography could be. My photos have been published in Natural History, Bay Nature and Fremontia.
Current Gear: My camera gear and lenses are mostly Nikon. I have stayed with Nikon because it has good glass and it's rugged. I've had a few mid-market brand lenses such as Tokina and Tamron. They had seemingly good glass but their construction was not sturdy enough for my tastes. Got to admit, I am something of a klutz -- I've dropped my cameras on every continent and more than once in swamps and marshes, so I require tough equipment.
My camera bodies are Nikon D500 and D750. The 500 is mostly for shooting birds and wildlife while the 750 is great for landscapes and low-light situations.
I have shot a great deal with the Nikon 200-400 f/4G ED VR lens and however recently I am using the Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 more as it is a good deal less heavy and can be handheld easiier. They are both great for birds and almost all of the bird shots on this website were done with these lens. In the older African and Australian shots from the 1990's, I used the 500 f/4. For travel, I throw in the Nikon 18-200 f/3.5-5.6G DX for use on the D500.
For macros, I have my old 105 f/2.8 macro ED. Not auto-focus but for macro, it's not needed. Nice old glass. I also have a 28-105 f/3.5-4.5D AF and a 70-180 f/4.5-5.6 ED AF. I use the latter lens quite a bit around home. It's kind of heavy but seems to have great optics and is terrific for macros. It had a limited production but I understand it's now selling for more than its original .
A couple of years ago, I bought a Sony NEX7 with the 50mm lens (APS-C sensor). It takes great photos but I find its controls are complicated. I guess I'm just used to Nikon's set-up. The Sony is really light weight and compact -- a very nice hiking/backpacking camera.