What's In Your Bag?

You people with your gear and bags. I have a camera and lens that I keep in a plastic produce bag. Low budget indeed!


Oh, I’ve been meaning to post to this thread for a while, thanks @lizardbreath for resurrecting it.

I have three ‘active’ kits right now. This is my digital kit:

Body is a Nikon D7000, purchased right at discontinuance for the lowest price I’ve seen for it. Lens are a AF-S DX NIKKOR 18-140mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR, which is only detached from the body for this portrait, and a AF-S DX Micro-NIKKOR 40mm f/2.8G, which I bought mainly for slide copying. Both lenses are refurbs.

The bag is a Travelon Anti-Theft Urban Messenger bag, not a camera bag per se, but my essential kit fits in it. Wife bought this and the camera strap for a recent vacation, both have steel cables embedded to thwart cut-n-run snatching.

The small mesh bag contains batteries and SD cards, and is what I grab for pick-up snapshooting. Next to it is a ColorChecker Passport, which I’m endeavoring to incorporate in my shooting workflow.

The tripod is my first really serious gear acquisition, Manfrotto MT055XPRO3 Aluminum 3 Section with a Manfrotto 327RC2 pistol grip ball head. I’m too-optimistic a hand-held shooter, and my tripod collection to date is decidedly flimsy (well, one exception, will discuss it in a bit), and these two pieces are decidedly Beefy. Not really travel equipment, but they ain’t moving when I need still… :smiley:

Here’s my old film kit:

Nikon F2 Photomic, procured in 1974, my second “real” camera, after a Minolta SRT-102 that served yeoman’s duty in high school, shooting for the yearbook and a bit for the paper. Lenses are, left-to-right, Nikkor 28mm f3.5, which ended up being my main lens, 50mm f1.4 NIKKOR-S Auto, which came with the camera, and 105mm f/2.5 Nikkor-P-C telephoto. Also pictured are the detachable flash shoe and a non-working Vivitar flash. The bag is a US military surplus small field pack, the precursor to the “fanny pack”. I actually keep this kit in a more modern Nikon bag, but that was only as of last year - for the previous 40 years, this kit resided in the green bag.

Edit: Oh, the filters. Particularly, the orange one on the left. That makes clouds pop from blue sky in monochrome. Friend of mine back in the '70s kept a red filter ‘glued’ to his Pentax for this purpose…

I plan to shoot some black-and-white with this kit, mainly to thwart the frustration we’ll encounter with this kit:

A “baby” Graphlex, 2"x3" film format. Above it are a 120 roll film back and an eyepiece for focusing on the ground glass. The bag is an LLBean nylon satchel that I just had lying around. The tripod is an old Star-D or some sort, originally procured along with a couple of view cameras.

The story behind this kit is this: Some years ago, I procured a couple of view cameras, a 4"x5" Speed Graphic and a 1903 Eastman No. 2 8"x10" (mahogany and leather, beautiful piece of furniture…) with the intent to exercise a dream from my youth of doing large format landscapes. That went nowhere, and I eventually sold both to a friend in Northern New Mexico who was resurrecting old equipment for similar uses. Later, in a railroad bulletin board he maintains I posted a few sentences about how my granddaugher Elizabeth was developing an interest in photography. All on his own, my friend boxed up this kit and mailed it to us, along with a developing tank and 5 rolls of film.

This camera is a challenge. Through-the-lens focusing is done by mounting a ground glass plate in place of the film pack and looking at the inverted image while racking the lens board back and forth. If that’s too onerous, the camera has a separate rangefinder, which I have yet to figure out. There are two shutters, one built into the lens, the other in the camera next to the film plane. I don’t want to frustrate the grandkid too much, so we’ll try a few exposures with the Graphlex, but we’ll also load and shoot with the Nikon…

These kit pictures were shot with our old Nikon D50 with 18-200mm zoom. We bought it to take pictures of kids, cheaper cameras would take their good time from button-press to shutter-open, so we got a lot of pictures of our floors. :smiley: This is the camera that drug me out of my photography hiatus, kicking and screaming into the world of digital. It sits under our living room couch now, available for short-notice family snapshooting, and kit photography…

More prose than picture, sorry for the long-winded treatise. But, there’s a story behind every bag…


pics don’t work :frowning:

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gah, thanks for letting me know. I’m not presently able to upload images, and these were originally cross-linked from an album on my website, ah, and now it occurs to me, can’t be reached without a password. I moved them to another, unprotected directory, and I think alls well…

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thanks! works now :smiley:

you’re welcome, and nice pics! …ironically, i don’t actually (…yet!) have a actual pic of my bag!! …but I swear, i will take one soon! :slight_smile:

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From top left, clockwise spiral:

  1. Monopod
  2. Tripod
  3. Remote trigger
  4. Pacsafe medium bag
  5. Polarized filter and K3 warm filter
  6. Fujifilm 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 with UV haze filter
  7. Fujifilm 60mm f/2.4 with UV haze filter
  8. Fujifilm 18-55mm f/2.8-4 with clear filter
  9. Storm jacket for protecting lenses (the body is already sealed)
  10. Charging kit
  11. USB stick with 16GB storage carrying projects for printer
  12. Fujifilm X-T2 with 23mm f/1.4 lens
  13. Pen (associated notepad/diary not shown)
  14. Cleaning kit: brush, blower, cleaning liquid and cloth
  15. Two spare batteries, only one really useful, and rarely
  16. Snap-on flash, rarely used

That’s the full kit. On any given day, I usually carry only a subset of those.

For example, night photography will require the tripod and remote trigger, while the monopod is better for action and demonstrations. And I haven’t really used the storm jacket yet, to be really honest. Also, I only carry the full set of lenses on special occasions. These days I carry the 23mm and the 55-200mm as that gives me good flexibility. Otherwise I might go with the 18-55mm instead of the 23mm if I know I’ll be in full light and without too many portraits shots. I rarely use the filters, but the polarized gives good results with bright skies. I only bring the charging kit on long travels.

Not shown is the tiny 27mm lens for traveling ultra-light, in which case I don’t even bring the bag at all. I’ve carried the camera and that lens in a pelican case for canoe trips with good results. Also not shown is the Canon Powershot G12 which took the picture, along with a whole slew of older cameras and cell phones I rarely use now that I got that fantastic X-T2.

I like the Pacsafe bag, but I have become doubtful of its “safety” properties after seeing how fast TSA agents are able to open it. I suspect a skilled pickpocket will have no trouble working around those clips that supposedly keep the bag closed… I also find the shoulder straps to be too long and the bag bouncy when running.

Every lens has a protective filter and a pouch so they don’t bang into each other in the bag - which has limited “lens slots”. I recently got glue-on cap holders so I can just remove a cap and leave it dangling instead of losing it in who knows which pocket.

I have a disease that many here probably share which is that I am constantly thinking about new gear instead of actually improving my photography skills. Next in line, lens-wise, is a 2x teleconverter to help me with animal photography and a macro tube for electronics. I’m also wondering how I could improve my astronomy shots, maybe with some telescope adapter? I would also like a sealed lens like the Fujifilm 35mm f/2.

I am also considering eventually getting a second Fujifilm body for better action coverage as swapping lenses is always a little slow. In the meantime, I am considering a lens flipper and shoulder/“breathe” strap. Finally, I should eventually figure out flash photography, which I’ve always avoided, but I don’t know where to start. I’m curious to see what I could do with a reflector, for example…

Phew! So much gear! Now back to taking pictures. :slight_smile:

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image ta-da! (not my pic, sadly) but hey, it’s a good image via where i got it, via amazon :):grinning:…also it is a:
BESTEK Waterproof Canvas DSLR Camera Shoulder Bag with Shockproof Insert - Khaki

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fixed that! now you can see the outside (the bag!) …am working my way in, lol

I mentioned it in the initial post, but it might be worth mentioning again - if you’re brave you can waterproof the bag by melting some wax and brushing it onto the canvas. It makes a rather neat final appearance and feeling while adding some protection (though if it’s too heavily applied, and a hot day, you may have some slightly waxy hands… :slight_smile: ).

I’d also like to see photos of gear inside the bag. I have too much gear and I already carry a pretty large backpack. I’m trying to figure out how to fit my Tamron 70-200 mm in my bag as well. I think I need to redo the whole inner bag layout, but I’m not sure I can improve on what I already have. It initially took me 6 hours to arrive at what I have already.

The solution might be a bigger backpack? :wink: :stuck_out_tongue:

My current back is a Lowepro ProTatic 450, does it get larger than that?

wow, that is one big backpack… :wink:

can’t find one :frowning: on amazon. Link pls?

sorry…but I’m not exactly sure what you’re asking…are you trying to buy one for yourself?

PS Currently unavailable.

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well thank you afre, I was just getting that, you beat me to it :wink:

frustratingly enough, the ‘people’ who sell this bag (it was only 28.97!) are Amazon.com services.inc …I think it was on sale or off-price, but there are a lot of nice bags in Amazon…just type in photography bags :slight_smile:

Before I moved out of the city (RIP ‘chicago’ branding) I used to carry a camera on me every day. Just in case. I started with a cheap canvas bag with a smaller Samsonite bag tucked into the bottom of it. This photo was from when I first put the kit together, but the ring flash quickly dropped out of the EDC.

Nikon D3000, two lenses - 50mm prime and an 18-55mm kit. Extra battery, charger, notebooks/pens, and a handly little USB drive that is also an audio recorder. Quality is so-so. Also carried anything else I needed for the day. Keys, snacks, ibuprofen. EDC stuff.

I quickly got frustrated with needing to dig to the bottom of the bag to pull out my camera, and the messenger style bag I have bothers my shoulder as a daily carry. So I got a new bag.

This is a Go Groove Camera Backpack, available on the large internet superstore for about $60.

I carry basically the same stuff, although now I also have a 55-200mm that gets tucked into it as well. The two sections are separated so smaller accessories can go into the top and all of the camera equipment is still accessible. The best part is it even has a side pocket that goes into the main body so you don’t have to advertise your wares while pulling the camera out. Plenty of space in there to tuck a speedlite and a trigger set if you need them too! The only downfall is it isn’t waterproof by itself, but it does come with a cover you can slip over the outside.