First of all I should say that I consider a piece of equipment as being a tool, not more and not less. Obviously, better tools have a potential of yielding better products (pictures in this case), but this potential has to be exploited by the photographer. The only way to achieve that is to be out there as often as possible, having a creative idea to begin with and staying sensitive to what happens.
I have been a long-time Nikon user, starting with an EM body and subsequently owning bodies as nice as the FM2, FE2 and F100 and lenses ranging from 18 to 600 mm. I was happy with that material but when the question of switching to digital came up, I decided to switch to Canon, which I believed having the edge in terms of camera and lens technology. I am very happy with my 1D Mark 2 bodies and the lenses from 17 to 500 mm, especially the IS technology really works well, with or without tripod.
I have to admit, though, that I am jealous of the (apparently) superb 200 – 400 VR lens of Nikon and really disappointed of Canon having declared not to manufacture any super-tele zoom lens.

When it comes to tripods, they are invaluable tools for image composition. However, sticking slavishly to rules is never a good idea, so you will often see me handholding the camera whenever I think that the situation demands that.
I use a light Gitzo carbon fibre tripod with an Arca Swiss ballhead when a lot of hiking is involved and a Heiler video head and tripod when working with the 500 mm lens.

As memory cards I am happy with the reliability and speed of SanDisk Ultra II and Extreme cards, both CF and SD. I used them without problems at temperatures as low as –4 °F (-20°C).

Camera bodies: Canon 1D Mark II
Lenses: Canon 500 mm L IS f 4.0
  Canon 70 – 200 mm L IS f 2.8
  Canon 180 mm Macro f 4.5
  Canon 500 mm L IS f 4.0
  Canon 17 – 40 mm L f 4.0
Flashes: Canon 580 EX
  Canon 430 EX
Tripods: Heiler Video tripod with Heiler Video 1 fluid head
  Gitzo carbon fibre tripods, 1325 and 1227 with ballheads (Arca Swiss B1 and Burzynski)

and much more of course…

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