In April 2011, I supervised a team of enumerators for the Census. It was the pay from that work that I used to initially set up my camera kit. My choice of Nikon was based on the prices and service at the time of purchase. Canon would have been a similarly good choice.
The kit comprises:
1. Nikon L100 bridging camera, used for snapshots and casual pictures.
2. Nikon D5000 camera, with its folding viewing screen and light weight body.
4. Nikkor 55-200mm zoom lens with a polarising filter for work in bright sunlight.
5. Nikkor 55-300mm zoom lens with a UV filter for wildlife general shots. This lens gets a lot of use.
6. Nikkor 40mm prime lens with macro focus for close up work and portraits.
7. Optika 600mm f6.3 prime manual mirror lens for star gazing and long range photography. This lens is light and portable, but it requires a lot of work to produce good results.
8. 1.4x Nikon converter, for a bit of extra zoom on the set of lenses, this conversion does not cause much loss of quality on the lenses I have in the kit. It will take the mirror lens up to 1000mm effective focal length which is ideal for photographing the night sky.
9. Set of dioptre magnifying lenses to allow close up focus from 2x to 10x.
10. Remote shutter release for use on static tripod work.
11. Weston Master Light Meter.
12. Veho digital optical microscope.
13. Set of lens filters and a lens mounted holder - sunset, skylight and starburst.
14. Cleaning and maintenance kit.
15. Lightweight Tripod.
16. Cinematographic tripod.
17. Heavy balanced monopod.
18. Portable window diffuser screen.
19. Weatherproof camera bag for lots of kit.
20. Small camera bag for camera and one additional lens.
Much of my photography is either close up work, landscapes or wildlife. This kit suits my needs, though I would like a 700mm prime auto telephoto lens, but there is always a bigger one to be had, whatever your kit comprises. The use would not justify the cost in this case. It would be much more effective to buy a camera body with a higher resolution sensor and cut down the images on the computer - a £2800 lens verses a £330 camera body for the same results!