It’s been a while since the last time I wrote about travel photography gear. Since then, my setup has changed a lot. In fact, I tried out a couple of configurations before settling for this one, which is the one I’ve used in the last few months.
Please, keep in mind that, although I’ve sold a couple of my photos, I’m just an amateur photographer. I do this out of love for the art form and the peace I find when going out taking pictures on my own. I take photos mainly when traveling on (unrelated) business, so I strive to keep my gear as lightweight and portable as possible without compromising image quality.
Here is a picture of my current setup (hover over it for details):
- Sony A7 mark II full frame camera. My favorite camera, huge improvement over the first version.
- Voigtlander 15mm f/4.5 E-mount (on camera). This lens has quickly became one of my favorites and it’s attached to the camera most of the time. Although not cheap, it’s crazy sharp, portable and built like a tank (review here).
- Sony/Zeiss 55mm f/1.8 lens. Arguably one of the best 50-mm lens ever manufactured. Zeiss crisp and flawless optics paired with Sony’s excellent build construction.
- Raspberry Pi (version 3) with Sandisk USB drive for backing up photos while traveling. More info on my backup setup here and here.
- Monoprice monopod. Very small when collapsed, occupies just a fraction of the space taken by regular travel tripods. It’s extremely lightweight, of great quality construction and fairly priced.
- Circular polarizer for reducing glare when shooting through windows and water and increasing saturation.
- Sony/Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens. Another small jewel by Sony and Zeiss. This little lens is so versatile it can be used for indoor photography (although it’s not that fast), street photography and architecture.
- Manfrotto portable tripod and Arca-Swiss compatible plate. The Arca-Swiss plate makes it easy to slide the tripod in an out of the camera without removing Peak Design’s tripod plate from the bottom. I toss this little set in my bag every time I go out.
- Neweer charger. This is by far my favorite charger for Sony A7 series batteries. It’s small, lightweight, shows battery charging level and can be used off a powered USB port or through a regular phone charger.
- High performance SD Cards.
- Mini travel tripod (current preferred setup), comprised of a 3LT airhed (no longer being sold, but this is the replacement) and a tabletop metal tripod. I find myself using this configuration more than my travel tripod of choice, the 3LT Punk Vyv. Although I posted before about my preferred table-top tripod configuration, this one has replaced it entirely. It’s sturdier and slimmer.
- Extra batteries for Sony A7 series cameras.
- Pelican rugged SD card case.
- Generic wireless remote control for Sony cameras.
- Olight S1 Baton 500 Lumen Flashlight. Terrific small and rugged flashlight. A godsend for night photography.
- Pouch with Peak Design Slide strap and Matador camera cover. Peak Design is becoming my favorite accessories brand. Their Slide strap is comfortable, sturdy and reliable. The matador cover is the easiest way I’ve found to keep the camera protected while walking around with it strapped to the side. It’s also dead simple and fast to put on and off.
What About the Bag?
I’ve been testing bags in the last months while traveling and commuting. I’ve tried backpacks, messengers and slings of different sizes, but I seem to always come back to the Manfrotto Active Backpack I. It’s one of those bags that seems smaller than it really is. It was my main bag during a recent business trip I did to Asia. I also tried the Lowepro Photo Sport 200 AW, but I’m not fond of it. It’s exactly the opposite to Manfrotto’s offering (but it looks much better).
I just received the Peak Design Everyday backpack, which I’ve been waiting to be shipped for months!. I’ll be testing it in the next months and will post a review shortly after that.