PetaPixel

Astronaut Don Pettit Floating with His Huge Camera Collection on the ISS

Ever wonder what camera gear NASA astronaut Don Pettit uses to shoot his amazing photographs from the International Space Station? Here’s a portrait of Don floating around on with his massive collection of Nikon DSLRs and lenses. How much of the gear can you identify?

(via OnOrbit)


Thanks for sending in the tip, Zach!


Image credit: Photograph by NASA


 
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  • Suman0102

    What amazes me is how much it costs to get em up there! haha space export tax!

  • http://twitter.com/stoyanov stanimir stoyanov

    I love Don’s photographs and videos. Truly awesome stuff.

    Edit: Does anyone know what’s the make/model of the biggest lens?

  • guest

     The end is near! Otherwise why would anyone (photographer) carry the whole collection outside the atmosphere? And don’t tell me he really needs all 10? cameras…

  • Filip Wolak

    I would not be worried. All this gear weights nothing, after all…

  • Gigi

    10 cameras WHY?

  • Rhare1993

    Looks like it is either the 200 F2 or more likely an older version of the 300 F2.8 – a little hard to tell from that angle. 

    http://www.lensprotogo.com/product/nikon-200-f20-vr-ii/
    http://www.lensprotogo.com/product/nikon-300-f28-vr-ii/

  • will hall

     200/2 is my guess, though maybe looks slightly big for that. I suppose it’s not inconcievable that it would be a custom designed/built lens..

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jens-Hamada/100003300254445 Jens Hamada

    well given what it costs to bring 1 KG to the ISS i wonder why he needs so much cameras?

    but hey it´s tax money and not his money…….

  • S81

    I’m sure he has a better reason but the first one that comes to my head is that if one fails it’s a long way to the nearest Nikon repair center. So I don’t blame him for having as many bodies as possible.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    multiple time-lapse videos, multiple images of earth for stacking and/or making mosaics… just a thought.

  • https://twitter.com/#!/thelonelylights Adam Cross

    could need 10 for multiple time-lapse videos, multiple images of earth for stacking and/or making mosaics… just a thought.

  • Apple_corps

    See that!  Nikon in space!  Not Canon! :p

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jens-Hamada/100003300254445 Jens Hamada

    btw: he looks like a bald robert de niro.. not?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jens-Hamada/100003300254445 Jens Hamada

    well it´s nikon so.. yes he probably needs 10 cameras because of failure rates. :)
    i hope they don´t use nikons exploding batteries…. ;)

  • http://twitter.com/NickNieto Nick Nieto

    I wonder if being in space there might be reasons that you wouldn’t want to ever change lenses on a body.  that or he’s shooting so much that he needs to use multiples at the same time….crazy but cool.  

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002981439169 Abe Joe Jet

    i’m wondering what type of camera did chinese taikonaut bring to space. is it nikon too?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002981439169 Abe Joe Jet

    camera sensor will not last as long as on earth because of the space radiation.

  • http://twitter.com/zak Zak Henry

    He won’t have taken them all up by himself on his trip up – he was launched late last year, and there is D2Xs in that picture. It is simply the accumulation of all the DSLRs that have ended up in the space station, with no vehicle to return them to earth (though Dragon changes that now)

  • http://twitter.com/misund007 misund007

    I’m sure he has one favourite that he uses most of the time :)

  • Nick

    Now if only Lowepro, Kata or Tenba could make an anti-gravity camera bag, I’d be fully sorted.

  • Samsnookuks

    Where is his Holga? Or his iPhone?

  • Elmo Phiggins

    Everyone counts 10 cameras.  What about the one that took the picture?  :)

  • The Judge

     Nice! 10/10

  • guest

     at that quality of the picture? does not count.

  • Luke Hermann

    10 Cameras and not ONE lens cap!?

  • http://edwincho.wordpress.com/ Edwin Cho

    When going back to Earth, the gear has to either be thrown out or left on the ISS due to strict re-entry weight restrictions.

  • Zs

    400/2.8 AF-S is more likely. I seem to remember it being shown in an article.

  • 9inchnail

     The Chinese propably use Nokin or Conon. Maybe a Fiji.

  • http://twitter.com/dalzell_photo Zach Dalzell

     Cant be a 400…my 300 2.8 is bigger than that.

  • http://twitter.com/dalzell_photo Zach Dalzell

     Oh look guys, someone who actually thinks that there’s a difference between Nikon, Canon, Pentex, etc. Must not get off the couch and photograph much, huh?

  • http://twitter.com/dalzell_photo Zach Dalzell

     Who needs them? My 300 2.8 hasn’t had a lens cover over it in years. My 20-35 2.8 only has a filter for protection, same with my 50. Works perfectly, just clean them and take care of them.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-J-Arvizu/753077008 Michael J. Arvizu

    I think he knows more about what he really needs or does not need in space more than what YOU think he really needs or does not need, “Guest.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-J-Arvizu/753077008 Michael J. Arvizu

    Well, it does have mass. That is always an issue.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-J-Arvizu/753077008 Michael J. Arvizu

    And you know this specific “fact” because …

  • Hugogonzalez758

    Robert De Niro??

  • Dcpeazy

    well now that china is in space they will be bringing their canons along :P

  • http://twitter.com/rexbigg RCB

    Nikons are for yuppie fanboys, not photographers

  • Eziz

     yes and that makes you a better man because you use nikon. be proud!

  • Gavin Stokes

    How cool is that…in space…in shorts and a tshirt.

  • Gigi

    well it would make sense

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=636414604 Francis Abuyuan

    perhaps they do not change lenses in space…

  • quobetahX

     Minolta 500 f8 is smaller than that.:D

  • http://profiles.google.com/slimspidey Spider- Man

    so that is what low self esteem looks like…

  • http://profiles.google.com/slimspidey Spider- Man

    workin on the solar flare tan ;)

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    Like others have mentioned, I can see having a bunch of lenses but I don’t see why you need that many bodies. Would be nice to see a follow up with more info on what is used and when. I wonder if any are converted for IR or have other mods.

  • Weary_traveller

    Dude…… seriously??

  • CSpencer

    They use many different cameras for different purposes due to their inherent qualities. Some are better for low light and limited noisiness and are therefore better for dark subject imaging. Other earlier models are not as good for low light and are now mostly used for normal daylight imaging. Example, we modified the camera (D3s) in his left hand to Infrared/Astrophotography (see the red “Nikon”on the front?) which is connected in tandem via a dual tripod plate to the unmodified D3s camera above it. They use these cameras for comparison experiments of visible vs. IR due to their greatly improved low noise and high ISO qualities. Most of the other cameras are constantly used performing time-lapse work or other imaging. It’s amazing how many images are taken from the ISS. There is always more than one camera firing away up there.

  • CSpencer

    They use many different cameras for different purposes due to their inherent qualities. Some are better for low light and limited noisiness and are therefore better for dark subject imaging. Other earlier models are not as good for low light and are now mostly used for normal daylight imaging. Example, we modified the camera (D3s) in his left hand to Infrared/Astrophotography (see the red “Nikon”on the front?) which is connected in tandem via a dual tripod plate to the unmodified D3s camera above it. They use these cameras for comparison experiments of visible vs. IR due to their greatly improved low noise and high ISO qualities. Most of the other cameras are constantly used performing time-lapse work or other imaging. It’s amazing how many images are taken from the ISS. There is always more than one camera firing away up there.

  • http://photokaz.com/ Mike

    Awesome, thanks for the reply.  When you say “we modified…”, who is “we”?  Just curious.

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    Looks like CSpencer does camera modifications for NASA :)

    http://www.spencerscamera.com/