What’s in your bag, Mark?

Some readers have asked me: “what do you use to carry your photo equipment, Mark?” The answer is: it really depends on the job. Normally, that is for short jobs in or around Munich, I take my trusted Tamrac Expedition 5 backpack. It’s quite stuffed with my most important (think “butter & bread”) equipment:

  • Two DSLR bodies (1ds mark II, 1d mark II N)
  • Two lenses (EF 24-70, EF 70-200)
  • Two 580EX flashes (one in the outside compartment)
  • Two replacement batteries for the cameras
  • 16 replacement batteries for the flashes
  • An airpump for sensor cleaning
  • Optical cleaning cloth
  • Two Stofen Omni bounce soft boxes
  • Six memory cards (in the outside compartments)
  • Job briefing, airline tickets, business cards, other documents

Here’s a peek inside:

Tamrac Expedition 5 with equipment

In case you’re wondering about the weight of the backpack with all that stuff – it’s 22.5 lb (10.2 kg). It’s slightly overweight for the handbaggage of most airlines, but you can always remove the flashes and batteries.

I use a second bag – an early model of the Tamrac Pro 12 5612 with a single shoulder strap. That bag takes my other lenses, filters, and chargers (and the camera manuals, just in case ;-). I’ve got this bag since my film camera days when you needed to take plenty of films for a job, and Tamrac had these “pop-in” pockets for the films. Since I went digital, I removed these pockets and use the bag just for bigger jobs like weddings or outdoor portrait shootings. Of course, the tripod has a bag of its own that also takes up the slim monopod.

2 Responses to “What’s in your bag, Mark?”

  1. Peer says:

    So it looks as if you packed your B&B bag for redundancy. If any one part fails, there is something to replace it, to get at least some shots done.

  2. admin says:

    Yep, you are right. Redundancy is key, for two reasons.

    First, should one of the cameras, batteries, or flashes actually stop working, I do have a second camera (and, in fact, a third one, the 30D, for larger shootings) to still get some decent shots.

    Second, I found that I am too slow at changing lenses in the middle of the action. Often, I need the 24-70 to capture the overall situation or to get a full body shot, and then I need the 70-200 to get a close-up. I found that changing lenses is a stupid thing as the action (or celebrity) might have moved on when I’m done changing lenses. Not good.