location photography gear: camera bag

Last week I introduced our standard location photography gear setup. We’ll be looking at different bags week by week and today it’s the heart of the business, the camera bag.

You won’t find the latest, trendiest equipment necessarily. This is what we’ve amassed over years in the business and what has produced a good return on investment for our commercial studio. We generally make equipment purchases at year end based on profitability and the guidance of our accountant.

Let’s take a look inside:

In the main compartment:

Canon 5D
Canon 20D (backup – it has little resale value but still does a nice job)
*The cameras are marked “A” and “C” so we can distinguish them from other cameras.

Canon 17-40mm f4 L
Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 (a favorite)
Canon 70-200mm f4 L (non-IS since we’re usually on a tripod)
Canon 50mm f1.8
Canon 100mm f2.8 macro (nice for portraits and closeup details of product)
Canon 28-105mm f3.5-4.5 (for backup over the normal range, not a great lens but works well at f8-11)

Canon 430EX (we rarely use camera mounted strobes for our business – it’s been used more to trigger slaves than light images!)

2 x 4 ft. USB cords for camera / computer tethering
2 x 10 ft. USB 2.0 extension
1 x 16 ft. USB 2.0 repeater extension

Wireless Remotes:
3 x Quantum Radio Slave 4i Receivers
2 x Quantum Radio Slave 4i Transmitters

Light Meter:
Minolta Flash Meter IV

Waterproof Card Holder with CF cards
2 x Bogen Tripod Adapters

In the front and back compartments:

Camera Manuals for 5D, 20D (yes, we refer to them on occasion)

Sensor Swab cleaning kit with paddles for both 5D and 20D

Yet another tripod adapter

Black tape, pens, utility knife, Leatherman multi-purpose tool

Color correction gels for small strobe

Polarizer lenses

Model and property releases

The right pocket contains computer stuff:

Firewire 120GB Pocket Drive for immediate file backup at job site

Apple Computer AC Adapter

Firewire Sandisk CF Card Reader (in case internal PCMCIA computer card reader fails)

The left pocket contains:

Handful of AA and 9 volt batteries (there are more batteries in grip kit and strobe case)

2 x camera batteries * the 5D and 20D take the same battery. Fully charged batteries have the cover on them, spent batteries are stored with no cover. If we’re shooting at a location with AC power we instinctively keep a battery charger and camera battery plugged in during the shoot – “DPB” (double paranoia backup)

That’s it for the camera bag, let me know if you have any questions on what you see! And, as always, if you’re looking to round out your own camera bag it does help prophotolife if you choose to Shop Calumet Photographic – It’s Where the Pros Go.