Sunday, March 28, 2010
What's in Your Camera Bag?
Not what's ON your camera bag, as in the photo above. Photographers often put more thought into acquiring a camera bag than they do buying a new appliance. Camera bags can be very utilitarian, such as the Domke F2 bag, or very specialized, such as some of the photo backpacks or camera sling-packs that are now popular. I prefer the Tamrac bags because I like the simple design and flexibility of adjusting the inner dividers. With digital, there are more small bags that are perfect for a P&S camera and a battery and a few memory cards, but can't carry much else. I like to have bags that will accept a variety of cameras:
There is a Holga, a Nikon Coolpix 995 and a Nikon N80 in this bag. Film - both 35mm and 120, memory cards, extra batteries, filters, etc. That was for a long weekend when I was traveling with a group and I could take only 1 camera bag.
Of course, for an extendend trip, I don't travel as light:
I think I have about a dozen bags with different cameras and camera systems ready to go. The Tamrac backpack has the Pentax 6x7 system. That camera and lenses are heavy enough that after a number of years, I realized that it was too damn heavy to sling over a shoulder (my bad one, especially). The backpack is perfect for it. The Domke F2 bag is perfect for the "blad and a few lenses, backs, etc.
I have a small Tamrac bag that looks more like a purse -- but it holds a Minolta light meter, gaffer's tape, filters, tools, and so on. Sort of like a photo toolbox. It goes in the car when I am on a longish trip, too. Back in 2003, Adrienne, Jorie, and I went on a long trip to NM. I forget exactly how many camera bags we had, but there were a few. This photo of just the Nikon gear I took, probably required several bags...
Looking back on that trip, I took way too much. I think it takes those kinds of experiences to make one a better photographer. I don't regret taking all that stuff, since most of it got used. But in the end, some of the most memorable photos were taken by a Holga and an Argus C-3. If I were doing that trip again, I would greatly simplify the gear and reduce the number of bags. Today, I would probably have three bags: One with a 35mm SLR (or DSLR) with a 28-105 lens, 50mm, and 80-200 (or thereabouts). A lensbaby, and maybe even one more wide-angle lens or a dedicated macro lens. One small bag with a rangefinder camera (Minolta 7s) and some film. Another bag would possibly have a TLR and a toy camera or two. Or something like that. I forgot about the 'blad...