My gear for a photo trip

EDIT July 2010: This article is rather old and much equipment has been updated. I shall write a new blog post soon

I always travel light. There’s no point in travelling to the finest landscapes in the world only to be weighed down by so much gear I can’t be bothered to hike that extra kilometer or stay out that extra hour. I once managed to go to Australia checking in only 12 kilos of luggage (no laptop and a lot less photo gear though).

Leaving for Australia tomorrow I am presently packing my gear and I am getting fairly good at it, I know exactly what setup I need. This is what I’m bringing (well this and a t-shirt or two). Click to see large:

FBJ Photo Gear Australia 2008-800pix text

I have my trusty Canon EOS 5D as main camera of course and an old EOS 20D as backup camera (in case my 5D gets eaten by a Kimberley crocodile). I only take 3 lenses, Canon 17-40 f/4.0 L, 24-105mm f/4.0 L and 70-200mm f/4.0 L. All reasonably lightweight L lenses compared to the f/2.8 versions. My Gitzo carbon fibre tripod is only 1,2 kilos with ballhead.

I bring about 40 gigs of compact flash cards, and don’t erase CF cards until I have at least 3 copies. My trusty Asus V6V slim lightweight laptop still works great, I use an external WD drive for backup and I also burn copies of image files to blank DVDs – Murphy Law is universal! In the field where I can’t bring my laptop I backup to a Hyperdrive Colorspace. The Arctic Butterfly keeps my sensors clean and Ipod Touch and Sennheiser headphones keeps my ears grooving! My Moleskine notebooks keeps my brilliant (cough) observations – and everything fits in the build-as-tank and very comfortable Kata R103 laptop+camera backpack that fits as carry-on. Kata makes security gear for special forces and now also camera gear so of course I use their gear. It’ll serve as protection from the crocs I will be battling soon!

It is lightweight and I am happy travelling with this configuration; I know it works great day in and out for months. I will get the Canon 5D mkII when it’s out and a new laptop someday; but for now this is great a travel setup!

18 responses to “My gear for a photo trip

  1. Safe travels Flemming.
    How long you out for and what locations are you heading too?


  2. About as light as I travel.You really don,t need more than what you are taking,you have all the lens needed for a trip such as this.Have a great trip and don,t forget the mozzie spray.

  3. Hi Tom, thanks. I’m out for a little over a month in Australia, 3½ weeks in Kimberley and Kakadu and then 5 days in Sydney!

    Birte, you’re right, this + some Bushman mozzie repellant gets the job done!

  4. sounds great Flemming !
    happy travelling in the great southern land ! 🙂

  5. FlemmingBo – I’m a Canon DSLR man if I’m travelling by car but its a problem that the better lenses weigh more than the rest put together. My ‘always keep with me’ is a Canon IXUS ‘- metal case keeps it safe and wide angle lens means that I get shots in buildings. Enjoy your journey

  6. Thanks ! I wish Canon would do a small rangefinder style compact with the same sensor as the Canon consumer DSLRs. Perfect for backup and street photography. Now that would be a killer product!

  7. Have a blast of a trip Flem, I expect to see some killer kimberly images soon. Kinda looks like my travel pack besides the mouse and headphones.

  8. Thats a lot of gear, and heres a question i love to ask, why Canon and not Nikon? Personally im more the nikon fan, i know i know, typical, but i feel im getting better results.

  9. I always try and travel lite as well , looks like you have it down to a fine art now mate 🙂
    Have a great trip

  10. Nakedbones, I used Canon because I want a fullframe sensor for my landscape and Nikon only recently got into that game. The Canon 5D has ruled the world for quite a few years and I’ve owned it for about 2½ years and would never shoot with anything but fullframe.

    I hear fantastic things about the Nikon wideangle lenses though; but for now I have a sizeable investment in Canon gear so I’m on the upgrade path looking for the Canon 5D Mk II.

  11. Kirk, Thanks mate. Yes, I can do pack it blindfolded now. Just realized that last year I packed and unpacked my bags in Australia more than 32 times.

  12. Hey, you’ve got the same ballhead as me, and perhaps the same tripod, can’t tell.

    I travel with an 80gb epson backup drive and leave the laptop at home. That makes things a bit lighter.

    Have a good trip.

  13. Cheers James, tripod is a Gitzo 1540 mountaineer if i remember correctly.
    I love having a laptop with me, want to get a compact 13.3 widescreen Sony someday though.

  14. hey flem, im a 15 year old semi-pro photographer from missouri. i am also a canon person and always will be, i have a 30D and an XTi. please if possable look at my photos a give me feedback.

  15. Flemming good luck on your trip, I hope you come back with some great images of the west and Kakadu, I am yet to get up there as I don’t yet have a 4WD. I have just done my first overseas trip and looking back at what I took and what I needed, i took way too much gear and it stung me at the airport as I was 8 kilos over and with that info I will look at what I need next time and not take everything I have. Something I am sure you have done after each trip yourself.

  16. Thanks Casey! The trip was a few weeks back though and unfortunately I am already back in Copenhagen again 😦
    All the new photos on my blog are from the trip so keep reading mate 😀

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