So... its been a long time between drinks. A lot has changed. I've moved studios a couple of times (and now currently studio-less), I've shot a crapload of weddings, and have moved onto a new evolution in my shooting, including my gear.
With that in mind, in order to kick things off, I thought I'd start with a "What's in my Bag" post. Now in reality, whats in my bag changes daily, as I load up for each individual job, and pack what I want to take for that. But for this post, lets make it relevant to my life right now, which is Weddings, Weddings, and, well, more Weddings... So lets talk about what I take with me to most weddings. As you'll notice, the mirrorless fanboys catch cry of "less is more" has given way to the practicality of "If you don't bring it, you're gonna need it"
So, there are several bags, and more gear than I would ever use on any one wedding, but I'll run through the specifics as we go.
So first, heres whats in my boot (trunk for the US citizens):
So, a summary of whats there:
- Think Tank Photo Airport Commuter backpack- Holds random bits including my big strobe (details below), I'll be posting a full review of this backpack (2 years in) in a month or two.
- Think Tank Photo Airport Navigator- Currently (theres a new addition on the way!) this is my essentials bag. Bodies, Lenses, batteries etc... basically I could leave everything else at home if I really needed to.
- Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30- Up until recently, this was my grab and go bag, but now its my flash bag, and holds all my speed lights and accessories. Non weddings, this is often the bag I carry my camera and bits in. It will hold a tonne of stuff.
- Wescott Ice-Light 2- Great for portraits and details etc.
- Wescott Omega Relfector- Classic 5 in 1 reflector with bonus hole in the middle (apparently that makes it a 10 in 1.. )
- DJI Phantom 4 Pro- Probably gets used once every 2-3 weddings, its there "just in case" I see an epic aerial shot.
- Kupo Click stands- I have 4 of these 2.4 metre stands, handy for setting up for receptions and whenever else I need to use a strobe/flash. I love these as they click together, which sees a surprising amount of hassle juggling armfuls of stands.
So thats the summary. Here is a more in depth break down of the kit.
Bag 1- Think Tank Navigator (the essentials)
So whats in the Navigator?
- Fujifilm X-T2 with VPB (battery grip)- Primary body, why Fujifilm... well thats the subject of another blog post).
- Fujifilm X-T2- Secondary body, this gets used for candids etc, and is ready to go if the primary body has an issue (yep, that will be covered in a later blog).
- Fujifilm X-T1- Not shown, in my hand. Backup incase all goes to hell.
- Fujinon XF50-140 2.8- When I need some reach.
- Fujinon XF10-24 4.0- When I need to go really wide.
- Fujinon XF16 1.4- Candids, for that photojournalistic stuff
- Fujinon XF35 1.4- Classic focal length, used a lot for candids as well as for full length portraits
- Fujinon XF56 1.2- Beautiful portrait lens.
- Fujinon XF90 2.0- Oh my... when you want bokeh like butter....and details you can cut yourself on... Not to mention AF like lightning.
- Samyang 24TS- The "arty" lens. Because friends don't let friends fake Tilt-Shift.
- Kawa Pro Gear Pro strap and SD card holder- Handmade, leather, Customised and a lot more stylish than some black webbing.
- Think Tank Photo DSLR battery Holder 4- Holds 4 spare batteries for my Fuji's... which is usually more than I need
- Hoya ProND 64 Filter- This is for the 56 and 90... 6 stop ND for helping tame the midday sun.
- Tiffen Variable ND- Again, for the 56 and 90
- Fotga Macro tubes- because I don't do much macro, so I went cheap..2 for less than the price of one Fuji tube.
Bag 2- Think Tank Photo Retrospective 30
The Flash Kit-
- 3x Cactus Image RF60X Flashes- Faster recycling, HSS compatible with Fuji. Built in receiver that works with the V6
- 1x Cactus Image RF60 Flash- why the odd one out? well I bought this one first, about a month before the X came out
- 2x Cactus Image V6ii Tx/Rx's- HSS transmitters and receivers (for if I need to use another flash brand) control multiple groups from the hotshoe.
- 1x OCF 5m Cable- Sometimes things fail. then its back to old fashioned cables for OCF
- 4x MagMod Grids- Mag Mod rock. No more velcro on my gels, no more fiddly folding grids and snoots... 'nuff said.
- 3x MagMod Gel Holders.. nuff said ok!
- 1x MagMod Sphere
- 1x Magmod Snoot
- 3x MagMod Colour Correction Gel sets
- 1x MagMod Creative Gel set
- Spare batteries
Bag 3- The other stuff
Okay, so this bag is only about half full, and sometimes (depending on the wedding) it ends up as the primary bag holding my must have gear. But most of the time, this is the stuff that I "might" need, but might not. This bag changes up a bit, but this is what I'm taking this week.
- Benro Travel Angel II Tripod- This beast was under $300 when I got it in 2013, has been soaked up to the head in salt water, its been used in the studio, everywhere. Not a "brand" name tripod, but bulletproof nonetheless. I don't often use tripods at weddings, but sometimes the shot requires it.
- Joby Gorrillapod- Handy little beast. cameras, speed lights, attaches to just about anything. Need to stick a speedlighht in a tree? Here's your answer.
- Jinbei HD600v- Sometimes a speed light just ain't enough... when you need more power (insert Tim Allen grunt), but can't justify selling the kids for a premium brand strobe, this beast from China will throw 600ws all day.
- CTO gel- No sunset? No Problem. make your own Golden Hour.
- FX Spray- different names in different places, here its sold as SFX hairspray... Basically fog in a can.
- Gaffers Tape. You know, for sticking stuff
- Leatherman Tool- for cutting, gripping, screwing stuff
- Lee 7 Filter kit- Holder, stepping rings, Little Stopper, Big Stopper and Grad ND. Because sometimes you need them.
- IR 72 Filter- Why? I dunno. Maybe I'll want to do something funky with it. It takes up no space so why not!
So, there you have it. That is what I take with me. In reality, 3 lenses and 1 body do 90% of the work, but I'd hate to be at a wedding thinking "If only I had brought my big strobe, or my Tilt Shift." What comes out of the car at the start of the day are just the Navigator and Retrospective, and as the day moves on, bits and pieces get swapped back and forth.
Oh... and if you were wondering, no, I get no affiliate perks from any of the manufacturers or suppliers. I have in most cases linked to the supplier I purchased from, which are generally ones that I can use my AIPP members discount at. Thats the only benefit I get.
Anyway, I hope that you have found this interesting, seeing what I lug around, and now I'm back into blogging, you can expect a bit more in the way of gear reviews and behind the scenes stuff from me!