What's In Your Bag?


What's In Your Bag?

Thoughts on a next article as well

That lede image above is a quick (and dirty) snapshot of my go-to bag for running out the door. I thought it might be fun to take a diversion and talk about gear a little bit. Here’s the full image again:

![Pat David Camera Bag Gear](upload://yYpZ80BamTw5rLZ70UqhX9naqUT.jpeg)
My gear + bag. Not shown, spare battery and memory cards.

I had decided years ago on going with Micro Four Thirds (MFT) as a camera system because I like to travel light, and wanted options to adapt old lenses. (On a side note, I’m still angry that there is not focus-peaking on the E-M5…)

My camera is the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (usually paired with the 12-50mm weatherproof lens when I’m out and about). This is a perfect combination for me, particularly when I’m chasing around a 4 year old in who-knows-where situations. A water and dust resistant lens/body is nice to have.

On the far left is a Promaster 5-in-1 reflector (41 inch). These are usually relatively inexpensive and absolutely indispensable pieces of gear that can be adapted to many different situations.

I was recently reminded of this yet again while on a walk through some gardens…

![Dot with/without reflector](upload://4mTv1rjJ9f6ywPWZeZYYoy0MCrr.jpeg)
Both images straight out of the camera, with/without reflector, same settings.

The base of the reflector (without its covering) is a great translucent scrim that is handy to use with flashes if you need to soften things up a bit (and not lug around a softbox).

![Dot Eyes Open by Pat David](upload://hmSpEj0KHjUVp06zn8NWGbWXu6T.jpeg)
Speedlight shooting into the reflector scrim, ~2 feet away from model, camera left.

Speaking of flashes, you’ll also find my pair of Yongnuo YN-560 manual speedlights. I’ve been slowly teaching myself lighting with speedlights, so rarely will I not have them with me. To use them off-camera I also have a pair of Cactus V5 transceivers (one to transmit, one to receive).

Everything (except the reflector) packs nice and neatly into my wife’s old camera bag (a precursor to the Domke bags) that I ran off with. (That is, the old camera bag of my wife, not the old bag, my wife).

The bag is canvas and I waxed it myself to give it some water resistance. This basically consisted of me melting some wax and brushing it all over the bag, then using a hairdryer to further melt it into the fibers. This was a great DIY project that was relatively inexpensive (about $8USD for more wax than you’ll need) and relatively quick to do (just a few hours total).

Share Your Gear

I’d love to see what others are using out there! Take a minute, snap a photo of your gear/bag, and share it with us. Bonus points if you arrange it by knolling.


I was recently poked by someone on the GIMP-Web mailing list to update one of the tutorials on www.gimp.org about sharpening. I thought about it, then decided it may be better just to write some new material from scratch.

I figured why stop there? I might as well make it a fun post here taking a look at what methods we have for sharpening, why you may (or may not) want to use them, and where in the processing pipeline it makes sense. (While still pushing the GIMP specific sharpening thoughts to a separate tutorial there).

If anyone has thoughts around this or just wants to share what they’re doing, please let us know in the comments below.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://pixls.us/blog/2015/05/what-s-in-your-bag/

Just in case anyone is wondering, the actual bag itself is a much older version of this Domke bag, the F-6 (which is not inexpensive apparently ~$120 usd). I’d say find a nice used canvas bag and wax it yourself for just as good a result for substantially less money…

My bag is an Ogio backpack, housing whatever Linux laptop I happen to be toting around on any given day, and a Pentax K-1000. Yes, the K-1000. I’ve tried digitals and so far have not experienced one that has swayed me from the K1000 in terms of user interaction. When I find one, I’ll convert.

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@Klaatu_von_Schlacker I was the same way for a while with an old, beat-up OM-10. Impressively, that camera survived being a high school loaner for years of abuse, and kept on ticking…

Now I’m off to troll ebay for an old OM-10. :smile:

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My bag… hmmm… it all depends, right? :smile:

Model shoots on location - Sony A6000, Sony NEX5, Sigma 19mm/30mm/60mm DN Art [optional - reflector, two cheap chinese strobes + light stands + RF triggers + shoot-thru umbrellas)

Cosplay/Costuming events on location - Sony A6000, Sigma 30mm EX DN E f/2.8, small shoot-thru umbrella + 1 cheap chinese strobe + RF triggers

Model shoots in a studio - Sony A6000 + 3 Elinchrom BX500Ri and RF trigger + vast array of rather large light modifiers + “portable” background system of stands and backdrop cloth - all hauled in a large duffle bag on le diable (hand-cart).

General travel or street photography - Sony A6000/NEX5 + Sigma DN Art

Wildlife/Motorsports photography - Sony A6000/NEX5 + Sigma DN Art + Tamron 150-600mm SP-somethingorother + Sony superfast A to E mount adapter

… and I haven’t even gotten to my somewhat large collection of old manual focus lenses that I’ve adapted to the mirrorless systems for use in special occasions… :smirk:

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When you’re shooting Cosplay/Costuming, do you setup in a location and cycle models through, or are you set up for run-and-gun type shooting? I’m getting ready to probably do a small con locally, and was going to default to either a handheld softbox, or a large softlighter stationary (I guess if I had an assistant I could get them to boom the light mod around for me while we walked around).

My bag, Flipside Sport 20L AW, and the extended bughunting kit.
Canon 7D , Canon 270EX , Cheap flash cord, spare batteries, cheap macro ring, flashlight, pocketknife, binoculairs, DIY flash diffuser, DIY flashbracket for MPE 65.
Lenses: MP-E 65 (for very small bugs), 70-300L (for very large bugs), 100mm (main lens), 15-85 (for non of the above :smile: )


Don’t you owe us a bug shooting tutorial? :wink: As long as it’s not spiders - I’d hate to have to burn this forum down when we just got it started… :smiley:

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My bag is very variable, actually I already own 3 bags… Bag and contents vary quite a bit. So there is an aging Canon 450D body, and a Sigma 17-70 3.5/5.6. When I play the tourist I add a Sigma 10-20 to this. When I’m in nature I replace the wide angle by a macro lens (Canon 100mm) and/or by a long zoom (Sigma 120-400). That one is also used in noisy events (motorcycle races and air shows). I also have a couple of close-up lenses that fit the 100mm (I also used them on a Canon 55-250), a polarizing filter, and an old 300TL flash (used on in manual mode, got if for 10€ in a street sale)).

One NSFA (Not Suitable For Arachnophobes) picture for @patdavid, even if it is not really a spider.

I will burn this forum to the ground if need be… :slight_smile: (NSFA, fixed the link).

Also, great shot - that razor-thin dof!

@andabata I would be very interested in seeing some of your work, I am considering upgrading my old Canon to a 7D and I have the MP-E 65 on my wishlist.

@weedfreak My work is scattered all over the internets. But the main sites where to find my stuff is at 500px , deviantart , flickr and ofcourse kees.nl.


When shooting conventions, I try to choose the approach before I go.

“Run and gun” works great if you can hold a flash off-camera and shoot at the same time (this is where an assistant comes in handy). I can cover a lot of ground this way. BUT… the biggest drawback is that I’m dependant on the flash over-powering the ambient light of the facility. This, to avoid distracting backgrounds.

Which leads to the other option that I really like. I have a huge flip-out reflector/backdrop. It’s white on one side and black on the other and stands perhaps 6feet tall. Folded, it’s size isn’t too bad. I can either 1) setup a flash on a light stand and put the backdrop anywhere I like or 2) Simply take the reflector/backdrop (leaving the flash at home) and find a wall in interesting light (including sunlight) to lean the backdrop against and “cycle” people through.

A long winded way of saying all three approaches can lead to a long/strong/consistant project of images. :smile:

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I have a Flipside 400AW and when it is full, it’s far too heavy so I switch lenses in- and out- depending on what I expect to shoot that day. Next to my true workhorse, the Pentax K-5 IIs, I also own the Ricoh GR, an awesome camera to take along when traveling light or even to act as a second body with wide-angle to carry with my DSLR.

Lenses include:
Sigma 8-16mm
Tamron 17-50mm
Pentax 18-55mm WR
Pentax 50mm/f1.8
Pentax 35mm/f2.4
Sigma 85mm/f1.4
Sigma 17-70mm
Pentax 50-135mm/f2.8
Pentax 55-300mm
Lensbaby Sweet 35
Arax tilt adapter for Pentax-K to Pentacon6 lenses with a few Pentacon6 lenses
Metz AF-1 flash

My current camera is the Panasonic GX7.
My favorite lenses are the Panasonic 14-140mm f3.5-5.6 (very compact and good image quality for a 10x zoom), Panasonic 20mm f1.7 and the new Panasonic 42.5mm f1.7.
I shoot macro with the Panasonic 14-140mm and the Raynox DCR150 or DCR250.

My flash is the small but powerful Nissin i40.
And I’m very happy with the Mefoto Roadtrip tripod.

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Ahh, another µ4/3 shooter! :smile:
I’m actually in the market for a prime in the 45-50mm range and considered the panny 42.5mm (but may go over to the oly 45mm). I also considered the olympus 75mm as well, though it’s a bit longer than I personally like…

Didn’t Ricoh just release the new version of this?

Another µ4/3 shooter? No sir, I’m firmly entrenched in the APS-C world with both of my cameras :wink:

Ricoh did release the GR II recently but I see no need as yet to upgrade. There is not much change between the “old” and the “new” GR and besides I am a firm believer in not purchasing cameras when they are just hitting the market. I waited with upgrading my K-5 until the K-3 came out and the K-5 IIs production was about to be stopped. I believe I grabbed one of the last ones on the shelves!

Sorry, I actually was referring to @leendertv when I said that (and realized I quoted you directly after, hence the confusion). :wink:

I looked for quite a while at the GR a while back - would you recommend considering that one over the GRII if someone wanted to pick one up to play?

I certainly would, it is one heck of a camera! I have difficulties differentiating between my K-5 IIs shots with the Tamron 17-50/f2.8 and those of the GR - if anything, the GR has slightly better corner sharpness.

The improvements of the GR II can be material to some people though so if the following list contains some must-haves, go for the newer version:
- Wi-Fi

  • NFC
    - Wireless flash functionality added with some Pentax flash units.
    - Minor improvements including an increased 1/2500 sec shutter speed at maximum aperture, some white balance tweaks, increased buffer depth to 10 frames for 4 fps Raw shooting, and continuous or spot AF modes in video shooting.

To me, they don’t appeal but there might be folks for whom the absence of any of the above options would be a deal-breaker of course.


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The Panasonic 42.5mm f1.7 has a very nice close focusing distance of 30cm.
(The m.Zuiko 45mm f1.8 has a close focussing distance of 50cm.)
So the panny is much better for close ups of flowers etc.

Did you see the leaked pictures and specs of the GX8 today?

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