What’s In My Bag?

“Hi, my name is Andy, and I am a recovering equipmentaholic”

An admitted “gearhead,” I thought it would be fun to list my photographic equipment, ala some of the pro websites out there, so all of you who are aspiring to be more like me 🙂 will know what I carry and shoot.  So, here goes:

Sony a7R II “Full Frame “(35mm equivalent) mirrorless

  • Zeiss 24-105mm f.4 “G” Zoom Lens
  • Sony 50mm f1.8 fixed lens
  • Tamron 24mm f2.8 fixed lens
  • Rokinon 14mm f2.8 fixed lens

Olympus OMD EM10 IV (M 4/3) mirrorless

  • M. Zuiko 14-150mm f4 – 5.6
  • M. Zuiko 9-18mm f4 – 5.6
  • M. Zuiko  14 – 42mm f3.5 – 5.6
  • Bower 7mm Fisheye

Sony RX100vi;

  • integrated Zeiss vario-sonar f2.8-4.8 24-200mm equivalent

Other Gear

  • Sirui Lightweight foldable carbon fiber tripod with “Arca-Swiss” type Benro Gear Head (M-3204X)
  • Sirui Ultralight, packable carbon fiber tripod with “Arca-Swiss” type Ball Head (T-025)
  • L-Brackets
  • Remote shutter release devices (it seems contra to me to use a tripod and then trip the shutter by hand in most cases)
  • 2 Flashes, and remote triggering device

I also carry some assorted “other” items – such as B&W CPL filters, bubble level, and an assortment of square ND filters (1, 2, 4, and 6 stop).

My equipment list has been “winnowed” down over the past couple years.  “Less is more” …….. and LIGHTER 🙂

Camera Bags ….

I have adapted, over time, my carry methods, depending on the type of “outing.”

For a “dedicated” photo-shoot, I usually don’t use bags or backpacks. In my personal experience, they are limiting and I have never found the “right one.” I have used both and find that they actually make shooting more difficult for me. When carrying gear in the field, I either use a vest (often referred to in my self-deprecating posts as my “dorky-vest”) :-), or a small bag (my friends and family refer to this bag as my “murse”). 🙂 My vest is not a name brand photo-vest. I look for zippered pockets and light weight. I have found that fewer large pockets work better than many smaller, “dedicated” photo vest pockets. I try to carry only what I am going to absolutely need in the field.

Over the past 10 years or so, we have begun to do a fair amount of “world-travel.” This is often family or friend oriented and photography has to be balanced with other activities. Much of it involves cruise ship and/or train travel in parts of the world. Carrying all that photo equipment in such cases just isn’t workable. for such “non-dedicated” photo travel and for off the ship and other outings I put the very small, Olympus setup in my carry-on bag, and use the “murse” for on the ground carrying. I also usually pack the even smaller Sony RX100iv, and occasionally, the packable tripod.

For specifically dedicated photo trips, or just in the car, where I want to carry the more capable Sony equipment, I have recently been giving to give the backpack setup another try. I am currently using the smallest LowePro “fastpack” daypack as it fits under the seat on most airlines. Whether this is my ultimately permanent solution, time will tell, but I have used it successfully now for 2 dedicated trips involving flying to my destination.

9 thoughts on “What’s In My Bag?

    1. Yes, with a few comments. It is aluminum alloy; not carbon fiber. It is very light, but I would guess the carbon fiber model would be slightly lighter and more rigid. If it were to become my primary tripod for the Nikon gear, I would pay the extra $ for carbon fiber. For my us, as a backup/travel tipod, and for my Sony system, the price and convenience is right. It would fit in an airline carryon bag.

      Also note that it is marginal for use on heavier equipment. I have used it with my D800/24-70 combo, but you have to pay attention to bracing and technique. In a windy situation it would be clearly suspect.

      There are similar tripods offered by a couple other manufacturers, BTW (maybe same factory, but different sellers), like Sirui.

    2. Just an update to this. Been doing some research and everything keeps pointing back to Sirui. I would like to get a CF medium version. Hoping to see them in person in a couple weeks if the camera store in your town carries the brand 😁

      1. Not sure this will “ping” you, but LOL, you probably know that I gave the MeFoto tripod to Meredith so if you haven’t, you can try is out for yourself 🙂

  1. Mr. Richards,
    I am enjoying your book “Photographing Vermont–” and plan to take it with me next week to Vermont – you are certainly well traveled and with a keen photographic compositional eye – thanks for writing the book. Looks like we use some of the same equipment – mine is the a7r and the d800e both with Zeiss and Leica lenses – I also suffer from the equipment mania which most likely outweighs my talent and judging from the photos in the Vt. book you must have frequently used some longer lenses. Hoping some day I might have the pleasure of meeting you – until then keep clicking!
    Best Regards,
    Ron Wilson

    1. Hi Ron. Thanks for reading (and purchasing 😁) the book. Publishing it was not “a living,” but a labor of love. Hopefully, the $ earned from sales will fuel an updated version in coming years. I am also co-writing one on the Michigan UP which is LONG overdue but getting closer.

      Thank you also, for reading here. If you read back on the blog, you will see that I recently sold the D800 and all my Nikon lenses. Leica has been too rich for my blood, LOL, but I still read that it is amazing glass, even in the digital realm. Reviewing my images over the years, it is very common for me to shoot landscape between 100 & 135mm.

      There are many, perhaps better images, on my website at http://www.lightcentricphotography.com. Do you have a website or a flickr or similar site where you display? Would live to see some of your images.

      Enjoy your trip to Vermont (it is difficult not to). My favorite time is during the weekdays, when it is possible to have some of the sites nearly all o yourself. If you have been there you know. If you haven’t, you will find it a truly unique and magical place.

      Hope our paths will cross one day. until then, best wishes and good shooting.

    2. LOL. I have never seen these comments until I changed my Bog Site yesterday. Thanks for weighing in (and, given your camera/lens selection, I DO mean WEIGHING in 🙂 ). My shift to the Sony gear was mostly driven by a desire to go smaller and lighter. It is always a compromise. Recently, I made the decision to travel in the future with my D7 and Sony’s 24-240 zoom lens (2015). It will be a significant compromise from Zeiss and Nikon lenses (especially the pro lenses). But one which will serve the purpose. Best regards, and I, too, hope to meet you someday in the field!

  2. I’ll be buying a good camera this year for travel photography. One thing I’ve considered is that Narrative body cam, just as a secondary device to have while I’m teaching. Don’t want to be in the middle of a lesson and jerk out a gigantic thing lol

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