Cambodia: what’s in the Camera Bag?

Our trip to Cambodia is coming up soon, so it’s time to think about what to take along.

On recent trips (Turkey, Namibia, India) I carried the large LowePro Micro Trekker 200 (1, 2), but I don’t really like backpacks. Yes, you can fit a lot of stuff in them (not just photographic, but also your Lonely Planet, a bottle of water, a flashlight, a pair of sunglasses) and the weight is divided equally over both shoulders. On the other hand, if you can take a lot of stuff, then you do, so they are heavy and it’s too cumbersome to change lenses. Furthermore, in place of the regular neck strap for the camera I use a SunSniper, which hangs over my right shoulder, goes across my chest and the camera rests on my left hip. So whenever I want to change lenses, I have to take my camera off my shoulder, then the Micro Trekker off my back. The latter part is pretty tricky by the way, if I don’t want to let go of the camera (which I don’t if I’m traveling alone). After I’ve changed lenses, I close my bag, put it on my back and hang the camera around my neck. Not only does this take a long time and requires three hands, but the rear of the bag (which is damp from the contact with my back) gets in contact with the ground, picks up dirt and makes my shirt dirty.

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The alternative to the Micro Trekker is clearly a shoulder bag or a sling-shot, and I have a 15-year old LowePro OmniSport, which I love dearly.  Back in my Canon days I could easily fit a 40D + 17-40/4 + 50/1.8 + 70-200/4 + flash in it, so I used to take everywhere. Nowadays I shoot Nikon and the 80-200/2.8 does not fit in the smaller bag. Since I’ve noticed that I don’t use that lens very often, I did some filtering in Lightroom. I concentrated on the keepers from my last three tours and checked how many shots were taken with which lens:

lens_frequency

Wow, if I was pressed to reduce weight, I could travel with the 17-55 alone! In Turkey I used the wide-angle a lot because of the tight interiors and in Namibia I needed longer lenses because I was shooting wildlife. In Cambodia I hope for many portrait opportunities, so I’ll leave the 80-200 at home and bring the 85/1.8 instead. And I can take my lovely Omni Sport again, with the following contents:

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  • Nikon D7000 + Sun Sniper strap + second battery
  • Tokina 11-16 + hood
  • Nikon 17-55 + hood
  • Nikon 85/1.8 + hood
  • SB-600 flash
  • LensPen

I’ll just have to wait and see how well the bag works, especially in combination with the Sun Sniper.

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