What’s in my camera bag?

Isn’t that the most interesting page on this website ;)? Everybody wants to know what’s in the other photographers’ bag. Well here we go: I will reveal the mystery to you. Since I am traveling quite a bit and go on long hikes, I don’t want to carry much gear – thus I don’t have that much gear. Only what I would consider essential to my work style.

photo-4-e1364586169381Backpack

F-Stop Loka with a Medium Pro ICU
I was looking for a new backpack, since I have outgrown my old Lowepro AW Trekker. It was an ok backpack but the straps and a few others things were quite awkward about F-Stop Loka Frontit. It never really fitted my back and it was hard to carry around. That’s when I came across the F-Stop Loka. I love F-Stop Loka Backpackthe flexibility with the ICU’s and that’s its large enough for a multi-day trip and can carry lots of other stuff as well. The tripod is securely attached to the side and you won’t feel the weight at all with the waist straps. The easy access on the back makes it super safe to carry your gear around and have it neatly organized at the same time. I went with the Medium Pro ICU and Foilage Green color.

Tripod

Gitzo_GT2542RRS BH-40As a frequent hiker and travel photographer I need something small, lightweight but still sturdy enough to hold in strong winds. A must-have was also to spread the legs and get as low as possible to the ground. but I have finally settled on the Gitzo Mountaineer GT2542. The ballhead I am using with the tripod is a Really Right Stuff (RRS) BH-40 with a RRS screw-knob clamp BP2-Pro II

 

Camera

Nikon D800
zoom-rrsweb-1-BD800L-oncam-fnt-Nikon-D800-8BIT-1Currently one of Nikon’s top-of-the-line cameras, the D800 is the professionals choice for any kind of photography. With it’s 36 Megapixel full-frame sensor, insanely huge 78 MB raw files and unmatched dynamic range it is able to release the full-creativity and detail in any photograph. I just love working with the D800. The best camera I have owned to date.

 

Lenses

Nikon 16-35mm f/4
nikon-16-35My most used lens for landscape, cityscape and nature photography. The 16-35mm is a fantastic lens and sharp edge to edge. Some test reports says it has some flaws, such as huge distortion at the wide end, which is true but less important in my case. If you shoot a lot of architecture, you might like the incredible 14-24mm f/2.8 better. In terms of sharpness, contrast and build quality I can highly recommend the 16-35.

 

Nikon 70-200mm f/4
Nikon 70-200 f4A lens to fall in love with easily. Tack sharp wide open at f/4 from the short to the long-end. I find this lens as a great option for intimate landscape photos. Light enough to carry on longer hikes as well and perfect suited for landscape photography. I would no need for the f/2.8 version.

 

Sigma 50mm f/1.4
Sigma_50mm_14_EX_DG_HSMI wanted a sharp low-light lens for the occasional portrait and travels. I owned the 85mm f/1.8 Nikon lens, which was a fantastic lens. Great quality glass, sharp, superb bokeh – however, I never used it as much as I really wanted to. Then I went looking for a 50mm f/1.4 lens and there only the Nikon and Sigma came into consideration. I have to say, that I made bad experiences with Sigma in the past and said to myself, that I would never buy one again (same goes for Tamron and here I have never bought another Tammy…) but considering the Nikon and Sigma side-by-side and taking test shots – the Sigma won by far. Not only in terms of build quality but also bokeh (which is really nasty with the Nikon f/1.4) and sharpness. It is a lens, which I really enjoy for candid portraits and travel photography but it also the hardest to shoot with because of its f/1.4. Focus on the eye and the nose will be out of focus. You have to be very careful and it’s certainly not a snapshot lens.

 

Samyang 14mm f/2.8

Samyang 14mm f/2.8 Nikon Mount

Another wide-angle landscape lens. The f/2.8 is perfectly suited to capture the night sky. A whole new world of photographic opportunitites open up with this on. I also owned the Rokinon 14mm f/2.8, of which many say is basically the same lens just under a different brand. Well, I made bad experiences with the Rokinon with more or less fell apart before even really using it. Focus indicator was gone and the aperture ring became loose. The Samyang seem to have better quality controls. No problems so far. I might also just had a bad copy of the Rokinon. Who knows…

 

Filters

Having tried a few filters over the years, I have finally settled on LEE Filters. The built quality and “neutralization” is fantastic. No blue, red or magenta hues. Currently I only carry the two most important ones for my work, which are the GND 0.9 hard and ND 0.9. If all else fails, I still have a couple of Hitech Filters, but try to avoid using those. That being said, I rarely use any of my filters these days. ND Grads had their time but with new blending methods and luminosity mask techniques, I don’t see the need for ND Grads anymore. The only filters I use more regulary are my ND 0.9 and by B+W Kaesemann Slim MRC 10-Stop filter.

The filter holder is a Cokin Z-Pro. Attaches more securely than the LEE Filter holder and does not have an impact on the final photo. Very robust and highly recommended.

Lee Filters

Other Gimmicks

A handful of 16GB Sandisk SD Cards, Lenspen, Microfiber cloth, Moo Business Cards, Battery Charger, Cable Remote Release, etc