So one thing I’ve learned over the past years of traveling is that I often don’t use (or need) as much as I think I do. When I first began traveling I would always bring 3 lenses with my t3i: my wide 10-18mm my medium 18-55mm & my long 55-250mm. This allowed me to cover a vast area and there were no duplicates among the choices. But after a while with my upgrades to prime lenses and eventually upgrade in camera body, I found that I didn’t really need to bring a bunch of variety.
Unless I was specifically out with the mission to shoot (like a lot of my NY trip was) I typically was fine with just one lens. That one was usually the 40mm or 50mm, because of their normal field of view. Though I enjoyed their small size & convenience, I did find it limiting at times when I couldn’t adjust myself to allow for more or less of the scene.
So finally, after about 8 months of using primes only, I finally acquired a zoom lens to use on my 5dmarkIV! I was looking at older models to save a little bit, but after reading reviews and seeing samples, I went with the infamous 24-105mm. I am very glad I waited to get this lens because it’s so versatile and the quality is excellent. This is the perfect lens for shooting various videos, events, & yes, travel.
When thinking about where I’m heading, I take these matters into consideration: location, duration, & transportation.
Where am I going? What will I be doing there? Is this somewhere I’ve been before? The planned sites & activities will further help me determine what to bring.
How long will I be away? If I’m only going to be gone overnight, it might not be wise to pack all of the gear since I won’t have time to use it. If I’m gone for a week though and have days set aside for exploring, then I know I will want variety.
How will I get there? Will I be relying on public transit or someone else’s vehicle? If I’m going somewhere nearby by way of car, that gives me a bit more freedom in what I’ll be able to bring. If I’m going somewhere farther away by way of other transport like plane or train, I will be limited.
Once I figure out all of the above details, I have a better idea of what to bring and can begin packing. For this particular trip, I’ll need to pack lighter because there will be multiple train trips & limited bag space.
Alright, now that all the logistics have been planned out, on to the bag overview!
5d mark IV camera body
1 spare battery & charger
Spare media cards
Not pictured; these are in my suitcase as “just in case items.”
Mini reflector dish
1 small travel tripod
This is my lightest gear packing to date. I was really tempted to pack a light of some sort (my LED or a flash) but I decided against it. I think switching to my 50mm in lower light settings/at night will help a great deal. I do intend to use that little tripod to help allow me to use slower shutter speeds if needed as well.
You may notice that this is a new bag. Yes I know, I have a bunch as it is, but I wanted a timeless looking bag that was perfect for daily purse use as well as light travel. I’m not a fan of the giant SAMSONITE logo on the thrifted black one I found, and all of my purses are too small, so I decided to donate those and replace them with this beautiful Ona Palma bag. I love its vintage Coach feel and know this investment will be something I use for years and years.
*Edit Fall 2018* It looks like Ona no longer offers this and is switching to selling unisex or ‘traditionally’ masculine messenger bags. Too bad. I guess this was an instance where my FOMO paid off as I’m really glad I bought this back then!
So there we have it. An overview of what I’m bringing with me on my upcoming vacation. Try considering the pointers above when you plan your next trip!
May the light be with you.