PHLEARN MagazineRoie Galitz’s High-Zooming Gear for Capturing Intense Wildlife Shots

Roie Galitz’s High-Zooming Gear for Capturing Intense Wildlife Shots

Nature and wildlife photographer Roie Galitz has spent the past decade traveling to some of the world’s most remote locations, from the Arctic to the Antarctic, capturing rarely-seen animals in their native habitats. As a Greenpeace ambassador and public speaker, Roie has been able to raise awareness about pressing environmental issues, including global climate change, through the power of dynamic photography.

To achieve what he describes as “pictures that were never taken before,” Roie carefully decides which items from his collection of gear will be the right pieces to bring with him before he embarks on a shoot. Take a look at some of the key pieces in Roie’s bag to see how his equipment helps him get the perfect shot.

Can you tell us how you go about deciding which gear is essential to your work?


In preparation for every one of my photography expeditions, I analyze the field requirements and shots I want to get. Based on that, I build a list of the most reliable gear that suits my needs.


Nikon D850

45.7MP FX-Format BSI CMOS Sensor, 3.2″ 2.36m-Dot Tilting Touchscreen LCD

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Nikon D850 – I’m using the camera with the additional battery grip to shoot at 9 fps. It’s an amazing camera, with amazing dynamic range and 45 megapixels of sharpness.


Nikon 600mm f/4E

Aperture Range: f/4 to f/22, Silent Wave Motor AF System, Vibration Reduction

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Nikon 800mm f/5.6E

Aperture Range: f/5.6 to f/32, Silent Wave Motor AF System, Vibration Reduction

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Nikon 180-400mm f/4E

Aperture Range: f/4 to f/32, Built-In 1.4x Teleconverter, Silent Wave Motor

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Nikon 14-24mm F/2.8

Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22, Silent Wave Motor AF System, Nano Crystal Coat

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Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24-70mm f/2.8G

Aperture Range: f/2.8 to f/22, Three Aspherical and Three ED Elements

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I often travel to Svalbard to photograph polar bears. Because I can’t get too close to them, I use the Nikon 600mm F/4E or the Nikon 800mm F/5.6, most of the time. The Nikon 600mm F/4E VR is super sharp for long distances.

The Nikon 180-400mm F/4E TC is great for wider shots and environmental portraits. It has an excellent zoom lens with a prime quality to it. The included TC is a wonderful bonus.

The Nikon 14-24mm F/2.8 is the perfect ultra-wide lens, and the Nikon 24-70mm F/2.8 is a great fit for landscape photographs.

I also use the:

  • Nikon 500mm F/4E VR – Super sharp and lighter than the 600mm, good for photographing brown and black bears, as well as shooting in Tanzania.
  • Nikon 500mm F/5.6E PF VR – This new lens is super lightweight and surprisingly sharp and fast. I love it.
  • Nikon 85mm F/1.4G – The perfect lens for portraits.

Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 500mm f/4E

Aperture Range: f/4 to f/22, Vibration reduction, Two Fluorite and Three ED Elements

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Nikon 500mm f/5.6E

Aperture Range: f/5.6 to f/32, Vibration Reduction, Silent Wave Motor AF System

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Nikon 85mm F/1.4G

Aperture Range: f/1.4 to f/16, Silent Wave Motor AF System

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The sun – it’s always with me.


Lowepro Vertex 300 AW – it’s large enough to fit two camera bodies, 500mm F/4, 180-400mm F/4, 14-24mm, 24-70mm, 85mm 1.4, 500mm F/5.6E PF, 15” Macbook Pro, and plenty of accessories.


I’ve been using Gitzo gear for years and was recently honored to become a Gitzo ambassador. I often use a sturdy three-section carbon-fiber tripod without a center column to shoot extra low, and a Manfrotto fluid video head.

  • Gitzo 3541LS Tripod – lightweight and super strong to carry my gear.
  • Gitzo Systematic Series 4, 5 sections – more compact, stronger, and able to rise pretty high.
  • Manfrotto 502HD Video Head – I use it to make my videos in pro-level motion.
  • Gitzo Gimbal Fluid Head – good for heavy lenses with video capabilities.
  • G-Technology R-Series 2TB – I’m using this SSD to back up all of my images as a second copy, just in case something happens to my laptop. It’s the fastest and most reliable hard drive out there.
  • DJI Phantom 4 Pro+ – This drone has a one-inch sensor, which allows for high-quality stills and excellent 4K 50fps videos.
  • DJI Mavic 2 Pro – This is a recent addition which I haven’t tested in the field, but it looks really promising.

Roie’s award-winning work has been featured on the BBC, TedX, in National Geographic, and more, letting audiences around the world enjoy his captivating stills of nature at its best. To see more of Roie’s photography, visit his website or follow him on Instagram.

Jessi Gowan

Jessi Gowan is an award-winning writer and photographer who specializes in rural landscapes and fine art abstracts, with a focus on form and composition. Her photography has been included in a variety of publications, as well as in exhibitions in Canada and the United States.


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