What’s In My Bag: Atlanta Bound

Our Day-1930

It’s been a pretty quiet couple of weeks in my photography world, and I’m off to Atlanta with my family tomorrow, to spend a weekend exploring the Georgia Aquarium, Underground Atlanta, the Legoland Discovery Center and to generally explore another notable Southern city. I figured I’d take a quick minute to do a What’s in My Bag? post–I think one of my first with the Fuji gear.

As usual with the Fuji X-mount cameras, the kit is delightfully small, with everything pictured going into a tiny Tamrac Zuma Compact bag, which, in turn, fits into my venerable Samsonite backpack that I’ve been traveling with for years. An alternative set up that would work equally as well would be to use my Domke padded insert, either in my Chrome messenger bag, as I detailed in this post, or in the backpack. The advantage to the Tamrac bag is, of course, that I have the flexibility of carrying a smaller bag while walking around in the city.

There are nearly limitless possible combinations of kit, of course, and with the Fuji stuff it’s entirely possible and reasonable to bring everything, as it’s still significantly smaller and lighter than a comparable DSLR kit would be. As this trip is primarily about family fun time and photography takes a back seat, I wanted a more minimal, but competent kit. One obvious alternative would be to just take one of the camera bodies with the excellent XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS and call it a day. However, I prefer Fuji’s fast primes over the the zooms (this is purely personal preference, as the zooms are excellent), so this is what I ended up with.

In addition to the stuff in the Tamrac bag, I packed a remote shutter release, a filter pouch (with 3-stop and 10-stop ND filters and step up rings), a small rocket blower, two Wasabi battery chargers, and a ThinkTank SD Pixel Pocket Rocket full of SD cards in the larger backpack. As a single 8gb SD card will yield ~1,200 JPEGs, I don’t expect to be doing any card changing, so more than one spare doesn’t really need to go into the bag. In fact, as I’m writing this, I’m considering leaving the bulk of them at home. I keep a basic, smallish Manfrotto tripod in the trunk of my car–if I were flying, I might consider no tripod, a small travel tripod, or maybe a GorillaPod.

One of the nice things about the 18mm and 35mm lenses is that they share filter ring size, so I can use the same 52mm–>77mm step-up ring for both (I have 77mm filters leftover from my Canon DSLR days).

I think that pretty much covers it. I love that I have so much capability in such a small kit, and that I can feel pretty comfortable traveling without a laptop for the first time in forever. If I felt the need, I could always swap out the X-E2 for the X-E1 and backup photos to my phone, iPad, and/or the cloud as necessary. It’s nice to be able to leave the card readers, cables, and other accessories at home this time around. Also, as I mentioned above, I could be perfectly happy traveling with just the 18-55 or just the 18mm and 35mm lenses. In the end, though, I prefer the extra little bit of possible subject isolation, and the size/weight penalty of each Fuji lens is so slight that you don’t need a bare bones kit unless it’s a creative choice. I find a basic set of two to three prime lenses is about the right balance between creativity and flexibility (at least for me), so that’s what I’ve chosen. If I knew I’d be photographing wildlife or certain kinds of nature-y stuff, I would bring the 55-200 as well, but with it comes more significant size and weight penalties.

Judging by the popularity of my Fuji gear posts and by the existence of websites dedicated to showing what is in photographers’ bags, I’m guessing this will be useful/interesting to someone. I hope so. Just remember when traveling with family, there is delicate balance to having fun and documenting the experience.

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