it’s my bag, baby!


austin_powers_its_my_bag

For starters, my bag is a Tenba in Platinum. It’s the, um, third or fourth-ish bag I’ve had and I think it suits me (for now). My favorite thing about it is that it has a hidden zipper on the top of the bag for quick access so that you don’t have to unbuckle and un-Velcro the flap.  Genius!!

I got a new camera bag in May 2013.  Technically, it’s a backpack made for hiking, but after lots of research, I decided I didn’t need another camera bag – I needed a multi-functional backpack.  Emphasis on the backpack.  I have back and neck problems (a special shout-out to the kid in his giant truck who rear-ended – and subsequently totalled – me in my little red two-seater!), and my physical therapists basically told me they would kick me out (or was it “kick my ass”?!) if they caught me carrying a messenger-type bag ever again.  Rather than risk incurring their wrath, and also because it’s fun, I went shopping.  I got a Gregory Z30 (in grey) and I’ll tell you why. It has a frame which means it is not only curved to keep air flowing between me and the pack, but it allows the pack to sit off of my shoulders.  OFF. MY. SHOULDERS.  This is an injured person’s dream backpack!  Because it is intended for hiking, it’s lightweight AND the loops on it (meant for trekking poles) hold a tripod in place!  I got a Mountainsmith Kit Cube to go inside of it to hold my lenses, so I am good to go!

August 2014
August 2014

I’ve had several cameras over the years, but I am currently shooting with my second DSLR, a Nikon D7000.  I am in L.O.V.E. with this camera in ways that might possibly border on criminal. (PS they don’t sell it anymore because it was replaced by the D7100.)

Having ordered the D7000 body only, the first lens I bought for this camera was the Nikkor 35mm/1.8, and it is still my most-used lens.  It’s the lens I pop on when I will be out all day and don’t feel like carrying around a bag.  It’s my smallest and least expensive lens, but it’s my favorite and I’d be totally lost without it.

My second favorite lens is my Nikkor 85mm/1.8.  I am a sucker for a fixed lens.  With its beautiful colors and sharp images, it’s working its way towards being my #1.

Another lens I have and love is a Sigma 8-16mm.  I got it as a “fun” lens, and I really don’t use it often enough.  It is a solid, heavy lens and produces gorgeous colors and has definitely sold me on considering Sigma glass in the future.

My least favorite lens, the one I thought I just HAD TO HAVE before a recent trip, is the Nikkor 70-300mm.  I have nothing against the quality of the lens – it takes great pictures and the VR is a dream – but it is so big that it has stayed at home on my last couple of adventures.  I keep it around thinking I might need it some day, but recently rupturing a disc in my back has made me want to sell it instead. I sold it back to B&H when I was in NYC in March 2014.  I highly recommend them for ALL of your photo and video needs.  I’ve shopped there online for years and was finally able to visit the physical store.  It was my own personal nirvana. 🙂  Just go. You’ll thank me later.

I got my newest lens before my most recent trip.  I wanted an all-in-one lens to replace the monster I just mentioned above and after some researching, I ended up with the Nikkor 18-140mm.  It is not my dream lens, but it did a great job for what I needed it to do.  There wasn’t one shot that I wasn’t able to get.  The only complaint I have is that I am spoiled by my prime lenses (read: lower f/stop) so I had to hike up the ISO more than I would’ve liked.

I use UV filters on my lenses for the extra protection they provide a clumsy person like me who bangs her camera against things more often than she should.  The only other filter I have is a polarizing filter that I bought specifically before a trip where I knew I would be shooting around water and in bright sunlight.  (And I’m so glad I did!)

I keep a small Joby Gorillapod in my bag, but am wanting to add finally got a full-sized tripod. I found a Manfrotto MT294A3 tripod with the 804RC2 three-way pan & tilt head for an unbelievable price at Costco.  Woo-to-the-hoo!

If I were to get a flash, it would be the Nikon SB 700.  I loathe using flash, so I don’t plan on getting one anytime soon.  It’s like the stupid telephoto lens – if I got it, it would sit unused most of the time.  What a waste.  Welllll… I guess I have to eat those words because I did, in fact, get that flash.  I have been doing more event photography lately, so it was necessary.  I repeat: necessary.  There is NO WAY I could’ve gotten the shots I needed without it.

UPDATE (August 2015): ^^OK SO FORGET ALL THAT^^

I got a new camera earlier this year.  A Nikon D610.  I finally took the full frame plunge!  The only lens I got to keep from my old set-up was the Nikon 85mm.  I added the Sigma 35mm 1.4 Art lens.  It’s heavy like Sigma lenses tend to be in that sturdy, old-school way. It was basically love at first shot. If you’ve never enjoyed the deliciousness that is Sigma, you should check them out.  I get my stuff at B&H and here is the link to more info on the lens if you are interested.

While I still use my hiking backpack on trips, I recently got an everyday bag that I LOVELOVELOVE.  It’s by f-stop and it’s the Millar Brooklyn SlingIt holds my camera body and 2 lenses and has plenty of other pockets for everything else (wallet, cell, sunglasses, tablet, etc.)  I was hesitant to switch from a backpack to a sling because of my neck issues (the struggle is real, yo) but it fits just right and is super comfortable.  I carried it as my personal item on an airplane and I had easy access to all of the items I needed to fly with. I got it ahead of mass release in a special color that they don’t sell anymore. but I want you see it so here’s a picture of me in CA a few weeks ago that I friend of mine took while I was unaware:

IMG_3954

4 Comments

  1. Enjoyed reading about your gear. The D7000 was also my favourite for a long time. I eventually got a D600 in my grubby hands, which I love because it’s full frame… But it’s not far above the D7k. I shoot with a 50mm f1.8 and also love my 85mm f1.8. I own the 70-300 too, which I hardly ever use. My favourite lens, though, is the 105mm macro, which I use for just about everything (although it is a bit heavy). I’ve learnt to use the SB910 flash, and when used well is very helpful. And then the tripod – crucial for lowlight shots. I drag it along with me wherever I can … I have a monopod too, but that’s gathering dust under my cupboard.

    Like

What do you think? I'd love to hear from you!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s