Hey Everyone! Everybody loves gear talk, and I thought I would do a what's in my bag blog to tell you what I'm toting around this year. I don't plan on making any changes to my gear this year. My kit is pretty solid. I'm trying to tame my gear down so I can concentrate on the photo and not the gear this year, although it might not seem like it in this blog because of all of the gear. My gear is pretty much the same as last year except for a few items, so let's get started. The bag that I'm using this year for my backpack camera bag is new. It's a Shimodo Action X 30 liter. I am super excited about this bag. I was using for a backpack a regular backpack with an insert in it, and it worked but wasn't designed for photographers. This bag is designed for photographers and action photographers, those who are climbing mountains, biking, hiking, and even skiing. Although I'm just a landscape/travel photographer, this bag fits me like a glove and is just the right size for all of my needs. I got it through a Kickstarter program, and I could be a spokesman for the company and this bag. For my just walking around and in town city stuff, I'm still using my Mountainsmith Daylight Lumbar pack with a Peak Design strap for the shoulder strap. I have an insert for it, and it's fantastic for carrying around what I need for street photography.
Camera Bodies. I'm still using the Sony A6500 for my main body and a Sony A6300 for my backup camera. I still love these cameras. I know updated versions of these cameras have come out, but for what I shoot I couldn't justify upgrading to a newer camera when mine works great. Maybe in the future they will come out with something that I must have, but right now they haven't. For my everyday camera that I take with me when I go to work for the OH LOOK AT THAT photo, I carry a Cannon G7xMII point and shoot. It's a great little camera, and I also use it for video and time lapse. I have an older Lumix point and shoot that was converted to infra red that I can now carry because of the new bag for those shots that gives a different look. Something that everyone else isn't doing. It's not a great camera by today's standards but still gives good photos. The only other camera bodies that I have are film and a GoPro Session 4 that I use for video when I'm hiking.
Lenses. The lenses that I carry in my backpack for typical landscape or travel photography are a Sony 10-18 f4 lens for wide angle. I almost got rid of this lens and then fell in love with it again It was my favorite for some of the shots of my fall trip this year. My work horse lens is the Sony/Zeiss 16-70 f4 lens. It is on my camera 90 percent of the time and covers a full frame range of 24-105. This is a super sharp lens, and I love the focal range. The next lens that's in my backpack is the Cannon 70-200 L f4 lens. This is a great lens, kind of old and slow (like me), but this is my least used focal length and it works great for me. I use the Metabones adapter for it and any other Canon EF lenses that I may acquire. Would love to get like a Canon 50L f1.4 but haven't come across one yet, but I'm still on the lookout. My prime lens is a Rokinon 12mm f2.0 and is what I use for astro photography. It is a super sharp manual focus lens. My next lens is a Rokinon 23mm f2.8 which gives me that 35mm full frame range and is good for street. Not real fast but sharp. My next one is a Sony 35mm f1.8, and this is my favorite prime lens. It gives you that classic 50mm full frame range, and it it great. Fast and sharp! I also have a Sony 50mm f1.8 and it's okay. I use it for portraits. It's not a very fast focus, but it is sharp when in focus. The prime lenses go in and out of my camera bags when needed and usually only one at a time.
Tripods. My main tripod is the ProMaster XC-M 525C carbon fiber tripod. It's a small tripod and can support 17lbs, which with my small camera kit works just great. I got it last year from my favorite camera shop, ASAP Photography in Greenville, NC. I did buy a short extension tube for it so it will get lower down to the ground. I have Peak Design camera buttons on it so I can use a camera strap to haul it if I'm going light with just camera and tripod. I can throw the strap across my shoulders and go. I just got a platapod tripod plate mainly to use when I'm in an urban environment. It's small and sturdy, but I haven't used it much. I'll let you know if I like it or not. And then a Jobe tripod for smaller cameras and GoPros.
Filters. This year will be the first year that I go completely to small screw on filters. The filters that I'm using are the Breakthrough Photography filters. I have the circular polarizor and neutral density 3stop, 6stop, and 10stop filters. They are all at 72mm, and I use step-up rings to fit different lenses. I have a Lee filter system, but it's just overkill for the small cameras and lenses that I use now and is too bulky to carry. I do have separate circular polarizers that I use in my "Purse," the Mountainsmith cary bag, that fit different sized lenses that I carry. I usually don't need neutral density filters when I'm using that bag to shoot in the city.
Accessories. I carry an assortment of things with me when I go to shoot. Remote shutter releases - I have two one cabled from Sony and another Radio from SMDV, a Korean company. I had one on my Nikon when I shot which was fantastic, so I got one for my Sony. A small hand-held blower to clean lenses and blow out stuff. Lens clothes - You can't have enough. I have them in every compartment and pouch. I stick them everywhere so I always have one handy. A lens pen with a soft brush to clean lenses. Desiccant Pouches - Whenever I buy something that has these little pouches inside, I take them and throw them in my bag. You can get rechargeable ones that I've been thinking about getting, and you can put them in your microwave to dry them out. I also make little personal packs that have sunscreen, insect repellent, glass cleaner (for my glasses), tooth picks, antacid, hand warmers. I get all the contents in little one-use pouches and they all fit into a little ziplock that I keep in my bag. I always carry an emergency poncho that you can get from Walmart for just a few bucks. I got caught in the rain one time and had a trash bag that I used, but from then on I have that emergency poncho. I also have a rain cover for my camera that I made, but you can get these cheap also. I have a little battery and tool pouch that I made from one of my dad's blood testing machines that I use to hold spare batteries, small tools, and small quick-release plates used on the Peak Design quick clip that I have on my camera bag. A ProMaster SD card case that is hard, water proof, small, and only has place for a couple of cards. This was a promotional that one of my photo buddies gave me years ago, and it goes with me everywhere. I have a Think Tank wallet that I always keep in a separate bag when I travel.
Well, that's pretty much what's in my bag or bags. If I'm traveling overnight, I usually take a 13-inch MacBook Air that I got just for travel. It's lightweight and lets me back up my cards cull and look at my photos and process a couple. I have Lightroom CC on it with photos synced from my main Lightroom catalog at home. I also have Luminar 3 on it if I have to do something a little special. I usually don't edit on my laptop, only on my iMac at home. If you have any questions about any of the gear listed, please contact me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. Keep shooting!