Hey Everyone! Hope you are doing well. For the last couple of weeks I have been fine tuning my camera gear for an upcoming trip. This trip is going to be in an Urban environment with lots of neat street scenes to take photographs. With this kit I want to be nimble and lightweight and inconspicuous at the same time. And my biggest goal is not to spend any extra money on Photography Gear. Now that's a tall order! To be in an Urban environment without screaming I'm a photographer and have thousands of dollars of equipment with me is the goal. But also have enough gear with me to do the job whatever circumstance comes up. We will be taking Public Transportation and Ubers wherever we go so I don't want to stand out any more than I already will looking around with eyes wide open to new places.
So let's start with my bag. I have a great photowalk camera bag that I call my purse that I use that is an over the shoulder bag but it is too small to use all day with carrying coats and water with me. So a backpack is the choice but I don't want to use a photography backpack that looks too Photography "Look at Me". So I'll be using use an everyday day pack from Mountain Smith. Its a 25 liter pack made for day hikes. So inconspicuous. I'll put a divider cube that is made for carrying camera stuff inside of the bag at the bottom and leaves plenty of space for a puffy jacket and any things I may buy on the way. It has water bottle pockets on the side to carry a bottle of water. I have used this system twice in Washington DC for trips and it works great. (Well a little update I did purchase another everyday bag that I will be doing the same as I did with the Mountain Smith bag. I saw this bag in a store and loved all of the origination inside. Its built for a college student and doesn't scream photo gear. It's an Osprey "Flare" and is 27 liter bag so just a couple of liters bigger than the Mountain Smith. Osprey is a great backpacking gear company with solid built products that are warrantied for life. This one looks like an everyday backpack.)
Camera body is next. I'll be using my full frame Sony A7III. Its an older model but works great and I love the ergonomics of it. Its a 24 megapixel sensor camera and works great in low light. Its small and I'll be using a Really Right Stuff "L" bracket on it. I'll only be using the base plate on it unless I might need the side piece and then I will put it on. I'll take an extra battery with me. This camera has the larger Z batteries by Sony and one battery can last all day not like the other Sony's I have used that ate batteries. I'll be using a Peak Design wrist strap rather than a neck strap.
Lenses. For this trip I'll only be using Prime lenses. Sort of. I'll get back to that in a moment. I love Prime lenses for lots of reasons. They are lightweight , sharp, and wide aperture. I'll be taking three lenses with me. Now I only wanted to take two lenses. But as I thought of it I needed and extra wide angel lens to capture city scapes and maybe tight spots in museums. The first lens is the Sony 85mm f1.8 lens. This is a fantastic lens and will be my longest lens. It creates great separation when shot at wide aperture and compresses well for longer shots. My next lens and the one that will be on the camera 90% or more of the time is the Sony 35mm f1.8. This lens is great for walking around and shooting what you see. Again Great Separation at wide apertures and can get close for closeup shots. The last lens will be a surprise to you. It is a Sony 10-18mm f4 APSC (Crop Sensor) lens. I know what your thinking if you use that lens you will have a heavy vignette around the frame. And normally I would agree with you. But when you zoom from 15-17 there is no vignette. So I can use this dialed into 16mm and I have the full 24 megapixel without cropping. So I can use this lens on both of my cameras the full frame and the crop sensor. So I will have effectively 3 Primes with me a 16mm a 35mm and a 85mm. But if I need that little bit extra when using these lenses I can go into Super 35 or Crop Sensor mode on my camera and make the same lenses a 24mm (16mm) a 50mm (35mm) and a 127mm (85mm) . Of course when shooting in Super 35 or Crop Sensor mode the megapixel will be knocked town to 10 megapixels.
Filters and Accessories. The only filters that I will cary are Polarizer and Variable ND filter with step up rings. I will not have a tripod but will be using the Platypod Ultra which I have a whole other blog for next week. I will have all of the lens cleaning accessories that I always have with me on a shoot like a blower, lens brush, microfiber clothes cleaning wipes. An emergency Poncho and cover for my camera incase of rain. And that's about it nothing out of the ordinary.
That is pretty much my Urban Street Photography Kit. I have been testing and tweaking it but it seems about right. It is lightweight , nimble and inconspicuous. So until next week Get Outside and Shoot.