Just like a golfer, what’s in a photographer’s camera bag matters. You ideally need a wide range of clubs, or in this case lenses, in order to be the most complete photographer. However, just like golf, achieving that wide variety of lenses is expensive.
For most casual photographers, a 24-70 and a 70-200 is really all that you need. This gives you a wider angle, while also providing you the ability to zoom and really compress your subject. I have both of those, in addition to a couple more.
My Camera Bag
Canon Mark 5D III
I love this camera body. Full stop. It’s trusty, hardy, and produces incredible images. It’s one of Canon’s premier cameras and there’s a reason so many professional photographers rely on it for their work. The only slight, slight downside is it’s not a mirrorless and it’s not lightweight for backpacking. If you’re interested in buying this lens, it’s going to be expensive but it’s also an investment. If you have the monetary ability, I highly recommend this camera body.
My Camera Bag Lenses
Wide Angle (Or Milky Way lens): Canon 16-35
This is one of my newest lenses and I’m in love with it. I took it for its first stroll in the Canadian Rockies and it’s performed spectacularly. I got it used, like most of my gear, but you wouldn’t know it if you looked at it. One of my favorite parts is the unbelievably impressive sun flare it generates when you go to f/19 or f/22. You can buy or view it here.
Normal Lens: Canon 24-70 f/2.8
This was my first lens which I got with the Canon body. It’s so freaking amazing and allows you to do some Astro due to the 24mm lens, but also lets you zoom a bit. I had this as my only lens for over a year before getting my wide angle and created some truly amazing images. If you’re looking for only one lens, this is it. Sadly, this lens is not cheap one bit. New, it’s about a $2,500 lens. Buy it here.
Longer Lens: Canon 70-200 f/2.8
This is the lens I’ve fallen in love with. I got it before going to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park in 2019 to shoot wildlife and oh boy did it turn out well. Now, I carry it almost everywhere as the compression ability is so clutch for mountains, animals, or layers. If you’re not into Astro, this should be the second lens you snag. But, just like the above, it’s expensive. However, you can find steals on it used. Buy it here.
Long Long Lens: Tamron 150-600 G2 f/4.5-5.6
This is my newest addition to the camera bag and it’s really growing on me – even if it’s heavy as hell. At close to five pounds, it’s definitely not a backpacking add-on. But for wildlife and the ability to compress layers in the PNW, it’s an absolute must-have. While this has a higher f/stop but if you have a tripod, you won’t even notice it. Bringing this to Wyoming and then Washington proved to be one of the best decisions I’ve made. I created some amazing images and was able to get nice and close to some animals. Buy it here.
DJI Mavic Pro 2
Being able to add an aerial perspective to your repertoire is an amazing thing. I think it zeroes in on our most basic human instinct to want to fly, being able to get photos from the sky can’t be beaten. While you can’t use it in the national parks and in designated wilderness zones, I still have found some amazing places to let it be free. Buy it here.
Sirui Ultralight Carbon Fiber Travel Tripod
I added this to my bag to help decrease my backpacking weight and packing size. My other Sirui is much bulkier and is a huge hassle to use while traveling. However, I do use it with my big lens as it’s much more stable and helps keeps tremors down. This one is quite sturdy for the Mark III and any of the smaller three lenses. I definitely recommend it.
Wandrd Pro Camera Cube – Pro Plus:
I got the cube because I already have a camera bag that works, but wanted a slightly more compact entity for traveling without the full backpack. Plus, this can fit in one of my Gregory backpacks and makes the adventure process a bit easier.
- ND 2, 4, 8, 10 Filter to help enable long exposures
- Tiffen Circular Polarizer to decrease glare and boost colors
- Wipes and spray to clean my lenses
- Blower to remove dust
- Intervalometer for extra long exposures and creating time-lapses.
- Three 32MB memory cards. Two in the camera, one as backup
- Sunwayphoto L-bracket
- I surely have more little tidbits but this is all that comes to mind/is relevant
If you are looking to get into photography, I’m happy to be of any help to you on your journey. Don’t hesitate to reach out and shoot me any questions.
Until next time adventurers, take care and be safe.
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To view my entire photography collection and purchase photos, click here.