What's In Your Kit Bag, Alberto Ghizzi Panizza?

Macro photography specialist Alberto Ghizzi Panizza shows us what's in his kit bag.

|  Nikon D810 in Interchangeable Lenses
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Peeling paint

Image © Alberto Ghizzi Panizza

Recently Nikon user Alberto Ghizzi Panizza embarked on a photo project to capture the beauty of rust

We wanted to find out more about the kit behind the images so Alberto has spilled the beans on what kit he uses and why:

Camera body

Nikon D810

I always bring two cameras with me on shoots like this to help choose the right depth-of-field. The D810 is without a doubt my favourite camera body. Whether capturing delicate textures, like the subject of rust in this shoot, or high-speed movements of flying insects, the versatile 36.3-megapixel camera is ready for anything. Other excellent features include an FX-format sensor, ultra-wide ISO range, a burst rate of up to 7 fps and an EXPEED 4 image processor. These ensure unparalleled sharpness. sumptuous tonality, and reduced noise across all sensitivities.

Nikon D500 

As the smaller sibling to the D5, the Nikon D500 offers phenomenal power and precision, alongside a greater depth-of-field. Its smaller body means it is easy to transport, plus, it is incredibly fast to react, focus, and shoot – perfect qualities for capturing macro images You can also shoot at up to 10 fps, with the high-performance buffer allowing up to 200 NEF (RAW) images to be captured during one high-speed burst – an invaluable feature for the work I do.

snow blanket

Image © Alberto Ghizzi Panizza


AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G

This is my preferred lens for taking pictures of very small subjects, especially at a 1:1 reproduction ratio. As well as being light and compact, it offers a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which is very useful for taking handheld pictures without a tripod. The aperture lets you single out subjects for images with a pleasantly blurred background and contributes towards sharp shots in low-light. Its quiet autofocus ensures you can shoot up-close without disturbing your subject. This is the best compact lens in my opinion.

AF-S DX Micro NIKKOR 85mm f/3.5G ED VR 

This compact and lightweight DX format lens is all about the detail. Its high-quality optics and Vibration Reduction (VR) system, helps deliver steady images to both the sensor and viewfinder, enabling more flexible hand-held shooting. The 1:1 reproduction ratio enables life-size close-ups of extremely fine textures and details – perfect for capturing the hidden details of natural elements.

AF-S VR Micro-Nikkor 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED

As the first lens to bring the benefits of vibration reduction (VR) to the domain of Macro photography, the 105mm is a real game-changer. It offers high-resolution and high-optical performance for both digital and 35-mm film format SLR cameras. Plus, its long focal-distance permits you to stay further away from the subject without disturbing it. It is certainly the most flexible and heavy-duty of all the macro lenses. If I had to bring just one lens with me on a macro shoot, it would be this one.

AF-S Micro NIKKOR 60mm f/2.8G ED

This is Nikon’s most compact micro lens for FX cameras. Alongside a great depth-of-field, it can reach a close-up of approximately 22 cm (1:1 reproduction ratio). Its close-range correction (CRC) system provides high performance at both near and far focusing distances, and it’s particularly good when partnered with the D810.

rusting car

Image © Alberto Ghizzi Panizza 

Other equipment

AF-S NIKKOR 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR (additional lens)

This is an ideal ‘walkabout’ lens as it offers a convenient way to obtain great flexibility with minimum kit. The high-power FX zoom lens has a versatile wide-angle to telephoto zoom range and Nikon’s second-generation Vibration Reduction system delivers sharp results, even for hand-held telephoto shots.

AF-S NIKKOR 20mm f/1.8G ED (additional lens)

This versatile lens offers high-performance optics and a compact, lightweight design. It is a fast FX-format prime lens with ultra-wide 20 mm focal length and bright f/1.8 maximum aperture. This large aperture delivers shallow depth of field, plus smooth bokeh and clear low-light shots. Although not a macro lens, its close minimum focal distance can produce absorbing macro images, so it is another useful lens to keep in your kitbag,

Commander Kit R1C1 

The kit comprises of two SB-R200 Remote units attached to the lens and a SU-800 Commander unit attached to the cameras i-TTL metering system. It’s extremely smart in that all exposure and triggering communication is carried out using infra-red wireless communication. Plus, the kit includes adaptors for frontal lighting, filters, and adaptor rings for the most popular NIKKOR lens filter screw threads. Additional SB-R200 units or SB-800 and SB-600 units can also be controlled by the SU-800 to offer the ultimate Creative Lighting System flexibility either indoors or in the field.

Led Panels

These help me balance the light when the flash is not being used.

AF-S Teleconverter TC-20E III 

This compact teleconverter doubles the effective focal length of certain NIKKOR lenses without increasing the closest focusing distance. This allows me to capture powerful macro images with outstanding resolution and contrast.

MC-30A Remote Cord

Allows remote firing of the camera with trigger lock function by keeping the shutter release button depressed — useful for macro photography as it is the best way to avoid any vibration effecting the shot.

Macro Rail

This is very useful when changing the focus point on a subject without changing the magnification ratio. If we move the focusing ring on the lens we also change the reproduction ratio.

Tripods x 2

They are very useful in macro photography because they act as another arm to stabilise the subject - one can be used for the camera and the other when using clamps.


This is useful for creating water droplets on the subject, which look particularly spectacular up-close.


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Photographs taken using the Nikon D810

Eye of the stormFrom the car parkRobin at Ness GardensUntitledMale Sparrow hawk Accipiter nisus.Sunrise 2Heritage with CrabSunriseComma butterflyFields of GoldEarly morning webMonikaMonikaLady in RedFairy Glen

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