As a photographer, it’s essential to sport a stylish, light and most importantly—durable—bag to stow and transport your precious cargo. Here’s what three professional photographers carry inside their trusty camera bags.
Bag(s) of choice: For photography, I store and transport my gear around in a Think Tank Airport AirStream™ Rolling Camera Bag. It’s big enough to hold everything I need, yet small enough to fit under any commercial airline seat (which comes in handy when the gate agent wants to check my precious gear!). I use the Airport International™ V2.0 Rolling Camera Bag from Think Tank for filmmaking—I often need a bigger bag for this.
What’s in her bag:
- 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II – It is a versatile lens with very high image quality. The image stabilization helps me make crisp photos, even in lower light. I use this almost exclusively when photographing horses. The image stabilization also makes it a great lens for filmmaking.
- 35mm 1.4L – This is my storytelling lens. It’s wide angle, without being too wide. I like to work close to my subjects and layer compositions with this lens.
- 85mm 1.2L – This is my go-to portrait lens. It keeps facial features proportional and offers a lovely depth of field.
- 24-105 f4L – I could make a whole film just with this lens (and I have!). It’s light, has a great zoom range, and the image stabilization lets me hand hold it without a lot of jerky camera movement.
When I first started photography, I chose Canon for my camera gear. I have slowly built up my stable of camera bodies, lenses and accessories, so changing brands never appealed to me. Now that I am entering the world of filmmaking, I am glad I stuck with Canon, as they are committed to growing the cinema side of their product line, and it’s great to be able to use the same gear for both photography and video.
My workhorses are my 5D mk III camera bodies. I have two, which allows me to have both a wide and telephoto lens immediately available to me at all times without stopping to change lenses.
Bag(s) of choice: Lowepro Pro Roller x300 AW – I can trust that my equipment will not get damaged during my travels. I also use a Lowepro Pro Messenger 200 AW as my walking-around bag. It’s very well made and provides plentiful space for pro-sized camera gear and accessories.
What’s in his bag:
- Nikkor 28-300mm
- Nikkor 200-400mm VR II
- Nikkor 14-24mm
- Nikkor 70-200mm f2.8
- Nikon SB900 flash
- Spare AA batteries
- PocketWizard Mini TT1s and MultiMAX,
- Spare NiCads
- Lexar Professional CompactFlash cards
- Nikon WT-4 transmitters
- Op/Tech USA camera strap
- Nikon D3s, Nikon D3s, Nikon D3. Bodies are equipped with Op/Tech USA Uni Loop Connectors.
This is my basic equipment I use as the Cleveland Cavaliers team photographer that I bring to NBA games.
During games I shoot with Speedotron strobes that are positioned up in the building catwalks. Strobes and remote cameras are fired with custom channeled PocketWizards. Once the game starts I have a floor position on the court, and my images are sent to the NBA photo desk as shot (no editing) and transmitted through Nikon WT-4 transmitters that are connected to Ethernet cables that are with me. Since I shoot with strobes I have to use single shot and wait about three seconds before I can take the next image. The strobes give me better image quality and enable me to shoot at 200 ISO at f5.6. While positioned on the floor I shoot with two Nikon D3s camera bodies equipped with Nikkor 28-300mm lens and a Nikkor 200-400mm VR II. I hand hold both lenses.
Other accessories are my Op/Tech USA camera straps. Since I am sitting during games I do not use camera straps because they are not necessary and just get in the way. The Op/Tech straps have quick and easy system connectors so the strap can be easily attached or reattached as needed. I like their Uni-Loop connectors on my camera so I can connect them together and they are out of the way when I am grabbing the cameras.
Although my images go directly to the NBA I still have to provide images to the team. That is why I love the reliability and speed of my Lexar Professional 1066x CompactFlash cards. Images are quickly downloaded and burned to DVD at the half and after games.
Bag(s) of choice: Think Tank Airport Security Rolling Bag – I love this bag because it allows me to pack so much gear into it (I’m even surprised by what I can sneak into it!). It is also very convenient for travel, as well as for rolling around location to location on a wedding day.
What’s in his bag:
Generic LED Video Light – I have used this in so many scenarios from ring shots to lighting a couple in a dramatic fashion. I love this little guy.
Nikon 85mm 1.8G – Yes, its not the top-tier lens, but I’ve tried both the 1.8 and 1.4 from Nikon… Bang for the buck, its beautiful bokeh and its sharpness led me to purchase the 1.8. I love it.
Nikon 70-200 2.8 VR – This is a staple for me during a wedding day. This lens multitasks as a portrait lens, and it allows me reach (to capture up close emotion) during a wedding day. Sharp and beautiful images. An all-around great lens.