My ramblings, my photos, photography, image editing, etc.

My camera backpack

Camera body

I started on my adventures in “proper” photography many years ago when I bought a Zenit 3m single lens reflex camera with a 50mm f3.5 lens. This was later replaced with a Yashica FX-D. I say “proper” photography because with these cameras you had to look after focusing and exposure, I also started doing my own developing and printing. I then spent several years with compact film cameras before moving to a compact digital camera when my required mega pixel count was available at my price point.

On Christmas Day 2009 I got a Canon 1000D with kit lens and so got back into what could be called proper photography. I guess this is where photography became a hobby again and not just a means to get a record of events.

Christmas Day 2010 brought along the Canon EF-S 55-250mm lens allowing me to get much more into wildlife photography. I was impressed with this lens when I borrowed a Canon EF 70-200 f4 L lens and found the results with the EF-S lens were as good as, if not better, than the EF L lens.

This kit fitted in a small camera bag along with a spare battery and a lens brush but when I got a Sigma 150-500mm lens I was struggling. For a while I carried the lens around in the case it came with but had nothing for when the lens was on the camera. A big “boxy” shoulder case was big enough for it but very uncomfortable to carry. I therefore spent a while looking at alternatives and finally bought a Lowepro Flipside 400 AW backpack. I have been very pleased with this but it was a while before I realised that one of the reasons for the waist strap was to allow you to take the straps off your shoulder and swing the bag round to the front, open it and swap lenses etc. without having to take the bag off and put it down somewhere. It also opens at the back next to the straps so if you do put it down on muddy ground the part that goes against your back is still clean.

The 1000D body was replaced with a Canon 7D with Compact Flash cards. This was later replaced with the Canon 7D MkII and the Sigma 150-500mm replaced with a Sigma 150-600mm Contemporary and 1.4x teleconverter thanks to a trip to the Photographic Show at the NEC. I only used the teleconverter a couple of times because when it was on the 7D MkII the viewfinder was quite dark and the auto-focus poor.

Along the way the 18-55mm kit lens was replaced with the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 lens which gives excellent results. An EF-S 24mm f2.8 pancake lens was added. With this lens the camera is comparatively compact. A Canon EF 50mm f1.8 was also added. Back in the days of full frame film cameras this would have been my usual lens but on the crop-sensor 7Ds I found it a bit too long for frequent in-door use.

I had also ventured into macro photography and had a set of Polaroid Auto Focus Macro Extension Tubes. I still have them but the need for them was reduced when I bought the Sigma 105mm f2.8 Macro lens. Quite soon the performance of the macro lens was improved by getting a Neewar Ring Flash. The lens came with 2 lens hoods. On a full frame camera only one would be used but on a crop-sensor camera like the 7D you could use both together. I then realised that the ring flash adaptors could be screwed onto the crop-sensor hood so the flash could be easily clipped on and off that instead of the adaptor being screwed to the front of the lens.

The other major additions to the kit have been a Zomei carbon fibre tripod that can also make a monopod and a Lensmaster gimbal head for it.

The 7D MkII has now been superceded by the Canon R7 mirrorless body so my latest outings have been wiith the 150-600mm on the R7 and the 105mm macro on the 7D.

Polaroid Auto Focus Macro Extension Tubes

LCD Display Wireless Remote
(mine is not on Amazon now but this looks like an update to it)

Hoya 58mm Circular Polarizing Filter

Nikon binoculars replaced with Opticron 8×40

Insect Repellent in self sealing food bag.
Tripod seat This is something I only occasionally take with me.
Collins Bird Guide

I have occasioanlly squeezed my ASUS netbook in there too with a length of network cable and a pair of USB to CAT5 adapters that allow me to connect my camera to the netbook via USB but with the wire between them being readily available network cable. I have yet to use this in anger but it does work.


2 responses to “My camera backpack”

  1. Venky Avatar

    Fantastic blog..,, please do write about your trips also.

  2. Alan Barber Avatar
    Alan Barber

    I’ve been through a number of camera bags over the years and am currently using a Lowepro 250 AW II Fastpack which I highly recommend. Back in my photojournalism and wedding photography days I used a messenger type bag just for the convenience of always having what I needed to hand plus the idea of carrying a backpack at events wasn’t really that great an idea. For weddings I would often use the Peak Design messenger bag with two cameras fitted with standard and long zoom lenses.

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