Monday, July 07, 2014

What's In My Bag

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Well, here we go as I embark on my second thousand blog updates. My last update was number 1,000 if you weren't aware of that. My blogging persistence persists it seems.

If web pages dedicated to these sorts of photographic revelations are any indication, there seems to be a general interest of late in what's in the camera bags of other photographers.  I was going to take a photo of my bag and its contents but that sounded like way too much work for a Monday morning. So, in the spirit of nosy curious interested photographers, I thought I'd simply share, in words, what's in my bag, not that what's in my bag is anything special. I have a pretty good sized bag, by the way. It's a Tamrac. It's fairly beat-up as it's seen plenty of action. Tamrac doesn't make the model of bag I have any longer, but it's quite similar to this one.

I'm certainly not saying my bag and its contents contains the ultimate in gear for glamour photography --  probably far from it in some photographers' minds -- but it gets me by in a "keep it simple" and didn't-break-the-bank sort of way.  Oh, and I'm still able to snap some decent photos with this gear, even if some might think of it as being not as "good" as some of it ought to be. You know, for a model-snapping "pro."

Currently, I have three cameras in my bag: A Canon 5D classic, a Canon 5D Mk II, and a Fuji X-100. Do I have a preferred camera for most of my work? Of course. Doesn't everyone? My favorite camera remains my 5D classic. It's been a work horse for me. A photographic plow mule that keeps on delivering what I need it to deliver, click after click, shooting gig after shooting gig. My 5D1 has been in my bag for about 7 years now and its gotten a ton of use. Outside of my bag, I also have a Leica point-and-shoot, a D-Lux3, but it's kept, often enough, in the glove box of my vehicle. Not that I seem to ever use them these days, I also have a number of film cameras -- from rangefinders to SLRs to plastic "toy" cameras --  but they're not in my bag either. They're lying around my abode mostly collecting dust but all operational.

Glass: The lenses in my bag have changed often enough. I owned a Canon 10D and 20D before buying my 5D and, before that, I had a number of film cameras, all Canon and all used at one time or another for pretty girl shooting. By the way,  along with my film cameras I had a variety of Canon FD glass, my pre-digital film cameras all being Canon FD.  Interestingly or not, before I went digital somewhere around 2003, I never owned a zoom lens. All my glass was prime. My very first zoom lens, if I recall correctly, was a Canon EF 28-135.  Having said all that, here's what's currently in my bag, glass-wise: A Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime, a Canon 70-200mm f/4 L zoom, a Canon 50mm f/1.8 "nifty-fifty" prime, a Tamron 28-75 f/2.8 zoom, a somewhat vintage Vivitar 24mm f/2.8 prime (manufactured by Tokina). It has an M42 screw mount and, as you probably know, it's manual-focus-only.  I also have a few novelty lenses including a LensBaby “Muse,” a plastic Holga, and a plastic Diana+, none of which I use for glamour photography even though that stuff is always with me. (It takes up very little room in my bag.) All my novelty lenses are prime lenses and none of them allows for much in the way of adjustments. They're all fixed focal length/fixed aperture glass... I mean plastic.

:  A Canon 580EX, two Canon 430EXs, and a Yongnuo YN-568EX II. I don't shoot with speedlites all that often, I mostly use studio strobes plus I sometimes shoot with reflectors and scrims in natural light. When I do shoot with small flash instruments, however, what I listed is what I use.

Triggers: Four Pocket Wizards: A Flex TT5 and three Plus X II transceivers. I also have a couple of optical triggers.

Like many photographers, I carry a variety of accessories with me. They include a number of filters, e.g., polarizers, ND (Neutral Density), and a few specialty filters like Tiffen's Pro Mist. (I have the Pro Mist 1, 2, and 3 plus adapters so I can screw them on varous lenses.) Additionally, I have a square filter system I can call on if I need to. When I do, it's mostly in order to use a graduated ND filter. I also have (and almost always use) a hand-held light meter. My meter is a Konica Minolta Vf flash meter. It's a basic and simple meter and it gets the job done.

So there you have it, the contents of Jimmy's camera bag in its current iteration. Probably like many of you, I'm always looking or thinking about changing some of the contents of my bag, mostly when it comes to glass. For instance, I'd like to trade-up my 70-200 f/4 L zoom for a 70-200 f/4 IS L zoom. I'd also like to have a Canon 135mm f/2 L prime in my bag, as well as another Canon EF 17-40mm L zoom. I had one for a year or two but sold it. I think I'd like to replace it.

I can't recall the name of the model at the top. It's a mostly SOOC (Straight Out of the Camera) image -- resized, a few skin blemishes removed, and a very slight luma adjustment -- snapped with my Fuji X100 and three monolights: a 5' Photek Softlighter for my main, pretty much on axis with my ass plopped on an apple box in front and below it, plus a couple of smaller shoot-through umbrellas, either side of the model, slightly from behind her.  I also used a house fan to blow the model's hair a bit.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

stacy silverstone :)