I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few weeks now and, as luck would have it, it’s been exactly twelve months since I wrote Ultimate Travel Photography Gear. Not much has changed since then but I’ve travelled extensively with my equipment and made some additions. I think now is the time to share an updated post on what is in my camera bag.
I’ve had a lot of compliments on my photography over the past year so I thought I’d share more details about my gear.
What Is In My Camera Bag (Or Not)
This has been my pride and joy for almost two years now. What’s surprised me though is that it has no intention of showing its age.
I was initially drawn to the camera by its retro styling and great specs for a relatively cheap price. The auto-focus remains very fast and the custom film simulation settings are absolutely amazing.
If you haven’t read my post about switching from RAW to JPEG then I’ll quickly just summarise by saying that, in 99% of situations, I shoot JPEG. I have developed custom film simulations which cover all situations from general day to day life to portraits. I’ll have to write a post explaining which simulations and settings I use.
This prime lens, combined with the X-T2, has been my combination of choice for around 90% of my travel photographs. Not only is it weather resistant (it’s survived the dry, dusty outback of Australia as well as monsoon season in Thailand) but it’s also so light that I carry this round on my shoulder all day. With no bag and with no lens cap, I’m ready for anything and everything. Sometimes I wish I had the f/1.4 version, for it’s low light capabilities and more impressive subject-separation but it’s much heavier. It’s also about double the price.
I’ve used it so much that I can visualise my shot before I’ve even taken it. I prefer a prime lens to a zoom because it makes you work harder to get ‘the’ shot. It’s also far less intimidating for people when shooting portraits – this lens is tiny. At around £400, it’s an absolute bargain!
What Is Actually In My Camera Bag
So you’ve probably guessed from above, I barely use a camera bag. This isn’t a bulky DSLR setup and that’s what I love about mirrorless and Fujifilm in particular. The above setup is so portable that it comes with me practically everywhere.
However, there are occasions when I bring my bag with me and this is what will be in there.
3. Fujifilm 10-24mm f/4 and 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8
My only other two lenses; one wide angle and one telephone. The wide-angle allows me to capture all manner of landscapes and urban scenes. I mainly use it at the ultra wide end. The only downside (which I did predict in my earlier post) is that it’s not so good for astro-photography. I did capture some great shots of the milkyway but I really did need a lens with a higher aperture (say f/2.8).
I thought that the telephoto lens would only really get used for wildlife but, every time I put it on my camera, I remembered what a cracking lens it is. Instead, I actually found myself using it for shooting landscapes in portrait orientation. The compression can bring even the farthest mountains into reach.
Whilst I may not have used these as much as I thought I would, they were invaluable and I’ll take both on every trip I go on.
A tripod is absolutely necessary. I found that this tripod was so light I could strap it onto the bottom of my bag and carry it round all day. Although it’s relatively cheap, the build quality is fantastic and I’ll be using this for many years to come. My only gripe is that I wish I had a quick release plate.
This was my first purchase in Australia and one that actually I couldn’t do without. If I plan on staying out late, I can use my no-bag setup and carry this round in my pocket. It’s great for some food shots and most night shots. The tripod won’t let the camera get into portrait mode but it’s something I can deal with. I also tend to put the tripod on something to give it some height.
No I don’t have a Mary Poppin’s bag, this fits in too! This purchase whilst I was in Australia was almost compulsory. I couldn’t not road trip around so many amazing places and not capture them from above. Yes it was expensive, and the photos aren’t fantastic quality, but I absolutely love my drone. Just look at how it captured Australia! Now that I’m back in England, I’m not quite sure when I’ll be using it next. In terms of travelling, foreign countries are getting stricter in respect of their drone laws but hopefully it’ll still get some use.
These filters are fantastic for the Mavic Pro. All of the filters are Neutral Density filters which means that they block a certain amount of light from entering the camera. Whilst not so crucial for photography, they have to be used when filming video. I won’t go into too much detail here but the rule is that, for smooth footage, your shutter speed has to be set at double the frame rate. For example, if shooting at 24 frames per second, your shutter speed should be 1/50th of a second (there is no 1/48th). However, this would usually result in an overly bright scene which is were the Neutral Density filters come in. Three of the filters also have polarising effects to cut through reflections and enhance colour.
8. The Extras
These are the things that you don’t think are necessary but really come in handy on the road. Firstly, a LensPen will clean dust and grime off the front element of your lenses. Secondly, necessary in the mirrorless world, is another battery. I only had two and I found that this was plenty for travel photography. One would certainly last a few days, maybe longer, when shooting infrequently. However, when exploring a new city, I would definitely need that second battery each day.
A post on what’s in my camera bag wouldn’t be complete without you knowing what the bag is, would it? Well, I’ve spent the last year putting the Brevite rucksack through it’s paces and I’m still impressed by it. All of my gear above fits in and there’s still room for a laptop, two hard-drives, a water bottle and more! The biggest draw to me was the rucksack’s I’m-not-a-camera bag look but it really is more than that. In my opinion, it’s the best backpack for travelling. It’s exactly what it’s designed to do and it looks good at the same time!
Whilst my camera lenses almost cover every focal length from 10mm to 200mm (crop sensor format) there’s one length that’s missing. I have nothing covering the gap between 23mm and 55mm. This is where my old favourite focal length would sit; the 35mm. This is equivalent to 50mm on a full frame camera and it’s no surprise that the lens is called a nifty-fifty. I discovered that I really miss the 35mm and I’m getting close to investing in a Fujifilm version.
The next lens I will buy however is the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2. This is a portrait photographer’s dream lens and I feel it will have a place in my travel set up. I love fast prime lenses and I’m keen to get some more portraits on my travels.
If you have any questions at all about my camera gear or would like help choosing your next camera, let me know in the comments below!
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