The Kitbag Of Travel Photographer Lukasz Palka

We take a look in the kitbag of travel photographer and Nikon user Lukasz Palka.

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The Kitbag Of Travel Photographer Lukasz Palka: YakitoriImage © Lukasz Palka

Lukasz Palka was recently challenged by Nikon to shoot some urban photos in Tokyo using a variety of lenses. He shared his 6 top travel photography tips with us last week, and this week, we're delving deeper into his kit bag to find out what he uses and why.

Camera bodies

The Kitbag Of Travel Photographer Lukasz Palka: D5 35 1


My go-to camera, the D5 is simply great in every situation you put it in – low light, high speed, in the chaos of the city, amidst the calm of natural landscapes... It has a sophisticated, 153-point autofocus system and standard ISO range of 100 to 102400. What’s more, D-Movie enables high-definition 4K/UHD movies to be recorded in-camera.



The D500 is a smaller sibling to the D5 and shares many of its technical qualities. What separates this camera is that it allows me to be a little bit more discrete, while the flip-out screen is useful for shooting low angles and getting a different perspective on well photographed locations. With this lens, I can pretty much travel anywhere in the city and reach the unusual positions that’ll help my photos stand out from others.



I was excited to have the D7500 in my kitbag for this project. Compact, fast and powerful - with a standard ISO range of 100-51200, a 51-point AF system that will track your subject, lock onto it and keep it in focus, and the ability to record movies in ultra-high-definition detail at up to 30 frames per second, the D7500 is a valuable companion for any photographer.




The Kitbag Of Travel Photographer Lukasz Palka: AFS DX 18 300 3

AF-S DX NIKKOR 18–300mm f/3.5–6.3G ED VR 

I call this a true ‘walkabout’ lens – it’s ultra-compact and ideal for those who want to travel light without sacrificing image quality or the ability to capture a variety of perspectives. I hardly ever carry a tripod, and the Vibration Reduction system ensures the lens delivers clear images, even when I’m shooting handheld at the telephoto end of the range.


AF-S NIKKOR 24-120mm f/4G ED VR

This is a compact and versatile lens, with a great zoom range for travel photographers. I couple this with the D5; its significant low light capabilities mean I can be on the rooftops of Tokyo in the middle of the night, with the camera in my hands, getting outstandingly sharp images. Its Nano Crystal coat, meanwhile, greatly reduces the effects of ghosting and flare – perfect for a city like Tokyo where there’s a real contrast between dark streets and bright lights.


AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR 

A high-powered FX zoom lens that can transition from wide-angle to telephoto zoom with ease. If you’re exploring a new city and have room for just one lens in your kitbag, this will have you covered. The lens’ versatility means it can isolate specific subjects against a chaotic background, at the telephoto end, and also allow you to get up close and personal with your subjects at the wider end.


AF-S NIKKOR 80–400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR

With this lens, you’ve got a very broad focal range that’s ideal for landscape shots. It also features Nikon’s Vibration Reduction system that allows you to shoot at shutter speeds up to four stops slower for steady images when shooting handheld. I typically use this on my D5, but you could also pair it with the D500 or D7500 to effectively turn it into a compact 600mm super telephoto lens. I like how the lens captures compressed compositions, where the background and the subject can almost look completely flat, which results in a dramatic effect.


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