PACKING THE CORRECT PHOTOGRAPHY GEAR.
To the average person while traveling, or just walking around town. A simple “point and shoot” camera is all that a person would need to take with them while adventuring outside.
In the case of the enthusiast or seasoned photographer they might take more than just a camera with them during their travels. In my case I usually travel with a knapsack that contains enough gear for planned and unplanned events.
This post will attempt to answer the age-old question of. “What exactly should I take with me?” For many folks, just taking your camera is enough. If you’re like me… You take more than enough.
Of course the basics are an extra battery and a memory card. A map or guide to show you around if you are a visitor from out-of-town. But for this blog post I am just going to attempt to explain the basics of the camera gear I bring when I travel.
Usually my knapsack contains one camera body, (Canon EOS 600D) and a grand total of seven lenses. Yea… That’s a lot of lenses to carry. Not to mention the other gear as well. Such as spare batteries, lens filters, micro-fiber cleaning cloths air blower and so on.
But there are times when I really don’t need to bring all my gear with me. So the question once again is “What exactly should I take with me?” I explained previously that at times I travel with about seven lenses. That can be excessive but each lens has its use.
My current lenses are.
Actually… I have three of them. Each one does have its talents and use. My 50mm lenses are.
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II – This is my “nifty fifty” lens. It’s a basic 50mm lens. Has no depth of field gauge. But you can still take great photos with it. And some impressive depth of field shots as well when one does take their time to compose a shot. The fact that this lens has an aperture of 1.8 does make it a very useful lens for low light photography as well.
Canon FD 50mm F/1.8 – This lens Canon no longer manufactures. But I did find an after market adapter that will make it work with my Canon EOS 600D. Lenses are expensive at times. So instead of selling it or trashing it, I found an adapter that will allow me to continue using it. The only trade-off is the fact that I cannot use auto focus. This is one lens that you have to take your time with to compose the shot. But in all honesty it still takes good photos. And it’s another lens that I can use in low lighting.
Canon EF 50mm F/2.5 Compact Macro – This lens I use for up close photography, for subjects such as flowers or insects. It also had a depth of field gauge and responds quickly while in auto focus mode. And at times can be used instead of the Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II and Canon FD 50mm F/1.8. The exception to this lens is the fact that its aperture is 2.5, so this is not a superior lens for low light photography.
That’s all the 50mm lenses I use, the others are the following.
Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS II – This lens is a good all-purpose lens. It allows for different close and wide photos of the subject you are taking pictures of. No need to swap out a lens for another.
Canon FD 35-70mm F/3.5-4.5 – Once again this lens is from the Canon FD series of lenses. No longer manufactured. But it does go beyond the range of my 18-55mm lens and takes me into the 70mm range of photography. No auto focus on this lens, so once again I have to use this lens when I want to take my time to compose a shot.
Granted the FD lenses that I have mentioned are perfect examples of lenses that are still currently available. Even though the Canon FD 35-70mm lens is no longer in production. There are other 35-70mm lenses that are. I’m giving you an idea of the range of the lens and its capabilities, just so that you can have an idea.
Now my final two lenses are what I use for when I do my astrophotography sessions, they are.
Canon EF-S 55-250mm F/4-5.6 IS II and Sigma 70-300mm F/4-5.6 – Both lenses are perfect for astrophotography. Astrophotography is a specialized type of photography that entails recording images of astronomical objects and large areas of the night sky.
Astrophotography is a popular hobby among photographers and amateur astronomers. Images of the night sky can be obtained with the most basic film and digital cameras. For simple star trails, no equipment may be necessary other than common tripods. There is a wide range of commercial equipment geared toward basic and advanced astrophotography. Amateur astronomers and amateur telescope makers also use homemade equipment and modified devices. Astrophotography is my personal favorite.
Now that I have explained each of my lenses and there use, I will now tell you which ones are the best to take on any given day, when one does not what to bring all there lenses. They are the following.
Canon EF 50mm F/1.8 II
Canon EF 50mm F/2.5 Compact Macro (As a backup to the previous lens.)
Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS II
A second option is the following.
Canon EF 50mm F/2.5 Compact Macro
Canon EF-S 18-55mm F/3.5-5.6 IS II
Any 35-70mm F/3.5-4.5 lens that you wish to use.
These two above combinations will allow me to leave the four remaining lenses home. Saving weight, and not having to carry unnecessary equipment. Granted… For my love of astrophotography the combination of lenses I take is different. The above example is based on a simple day trip.
Then of course there are the usual items one should have with them. Like spare batteries, lens filters, micro-fiber cleaning cloths, air blower, lens hood and so on. But that depends on what you wish to bring. Personally… I will say that not carrying four lenses more than what is actually needed is a big difference.
The best thing to do before any outing is to just take the time to plan your day trip and explore what options work best for you.