It’s not the first time I get asked about my camera bag, lenses and other gear I use. And I totally get that. Choosing the right photography gear can get overwhelming. As the years go by, my gear has changed, so have my preferences. Here’s my update on what’s currently in my camera bag.

When I started my education as a journalist, the professor handed each of us students a Nikon D3000D. There was no choosing & no comparing. Unfortunately, I can’t say they really educated us in photography. The classes consisted mostly of digging into art history and the knowledge of press agencies rather than on the creative photography process. It’s years later, that I rediscovered my genuine passion for photography and started shooting in manual mode.

When should you start investing in camera gear?

Choosing your own photography journey

Before we dig any deeper, please keep in mind that your gear does not define your creativity nor your potential. Don’t let it discourage or define you. I took my best photos, even documented a whole safari trip on my oldest cam, which was not even a full frame. And although I often got strange looks from the pros out there about my worn out gear, I did not let it ruin my fun. It takes practice and genuine passion to build confidence and skills, but you got to start somewhere, anywhere. Without further ado, I let you peek inside my camera bag.

PS: None of the listed items were gifted! I purchased (and loved) everything myself 😉

What Camera body to pick?

Experimenting with different brands

What can I say? I’m a Canon girl. I have two camera bodies – one main, one back up: Canon EOS 5D Mark IV + Canon 60D. Now, I don’t mind experimenting with other brands as there are many incredible cameras out there. What I like to do and recommend to you is renting out gear from different brands and test-shoot with them. You will soon enough feel what works best. Just to be clear, I chose for Canon for the ease of workflow and durability when using it. I’m a creature of habit and I love the soft colors that a Canon provides.

The lenses that made it into my Camera Bag

My top five most used lenses

  • 50mm f/1.8 STM: I use my prime lens all the time. They do come in handy when shooting details, portraits or products, but also landscapes. They are inexpensive, light to carry along. Trust me, they are called nifty fifties for a damn good reason.
  • EF 16- 35mm f/2.8L II USM: Every traveler needs a wide angle, and this one is amazing. I got it secondhand off a retired photographer who never used it. The perfect for landscapes, astrophotography and sun flares.
  • EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM: My favorite lens of all time, definitely not for its weight (it’s SO heavy) but for its impeccable quality.
  • Back Up Lens: Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L 
  • Optional: Canon EF 2.0x Extender III

Now keep in mind that most camera bodies when purchased brand new, come with a starter’s pack or some sort of deal. With my old body I got the EF 24-70mm f/2.8L, which was a fantastic lens to start off with. It’s basically all I had in the beginning. I got the other lenses (except for the 50mm) all secondhand.

A Tripod that could save you camera

Why a steady tripod matters

There are many less expensive options to get the job done. I recommend the Peak Design Travel Tripod in Carbon. If you travel a lot, just like me, you’ll need something steady to keep that camera alive and those pictures razor sharp. Peak does that AND so much more. It rises to 60″ (150 cm) and can hold up 20 lbs (9 kg), which is insane! I’m telling you, after surviving the winds of Iceland, this bad boy became my BFF and we’re not parting soon!

Batteries, Flash & other extras

  • Canon Camera Grip
  • 6 AA batteries
  • 2 x CANON LP-E6NH batteries
  • Canon Speedlight 600EX II-RT
  • Canon EF 2.0x Extender II
  • Canon Self release remote
  • SD Cards: SanDisk Extreme Pro & Transcend

The Film Camera

I don’t use them as often as I should, but I have a couple vintage film cameras and lenses around. Some of them are for decoration.

  • Canon AE-1 Pro (50mm + 28-210mm lens)
  • Minolta X-300
  • Canon AE-1
  • Jem Jr 120
  • Frauka Solida Record

Understanding how to shoot in manual and knowing how to choose ISO, shutter speed, aperture will get you further ahead than any purchase. My advice? Invest in knowledge first before upgrading to more complicated equipment. The more you learn, the more your gear will follow!

with love,
Anna

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