and where to buy it
It's not all about gear, but like every photographer I have spent a decent chunk of time researching the equipment I use. The list below is a catalogue of everything in my camera bag.
I have included links to all of my kit, some of the links will take you to Amazon. These Amazon links are “affiliate links” which means if you click on it and buy it, I make a small 3% – 8% commission which helps me keep the lights on!
Thank you for your support.
This is my third Canon camera in 12 years, so I think I can officially say that I'm a confirmed Canon girl. I personally find the 6D to be a perfect marriage of small (ish) form factor and powerful full frame sensor. When you have a lot of kit on your back as you board planes or hike through mountains, you need to fit as much tech into your camera without adding a lot of weight. The 6D has always been underrated in my opinion, but it's survived heavy usage since I got it in 2013.
I cannot stress enough that you should be using the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) batteries for your camera. I've unknowingly purchased 'fake' batteries before, which were marked as 'OEM' in their description but were actually fake. These non-OEM batteries don't tend to hold their charge. Worse, they can actually cause your camera to 'hang' and become non responsive. (This can be resolved by removing the battery and reinserting, but you don't want to do this too many times!)
The battery I've linked is directly from Canon. You pay a bit more for the OEM batteries, but it's worth the peace of mind!
I've recently (re)entered the world of medium format. Previously I had used a Mamiya 645 film camera, and I love the wide format with the shallow depth of field for portraits.
I bought this lens to give me greater versatility when I can't take all my prime lenses with me. It's a great lens, and I've shot some of my favourite wildlife photographs using it, including Stag's Roar.
I've had this lens for years and I'm never letting it go! It's a beautiful lens at a seriously affordable price. Unlike some lenses that open up as wide as this, the 85mm holds strong and sharp even when it's wide open.
I love this lens. My Protest series was taken on this lens. It's a fantastic lens that represents the field of view of the human eye on a full frame sensor, so it's great when you need your lens to match the frame of what your eye sees. It's sharp, even wide open at f/2. I use this lens for landscapes and city streets alike.
This is the only lens I have for my medium format Pentax 645Z. I chose this focal length for its versatility - when you only have one lens you need to make sure it fulfils as many needs as possible! It's incredibly sharp and I've been thrilled with the results so far!
I got this wonderful lightweight tripod last year to replace a much heavier model that was very impractical to travel with or carry for long distances. It's been a little workhorse and taken everything I've thrown at it, from beaches to the Alps. It packs down small and has been perfect for pretty much everything.
They also bundle the foundation kit with a variety of adaptor rings to fit your lens.
Screw-on filters do exactly as they say - they screw on to the front of your lens. I recommend buying a filter that can fit on your largest lens, or the largest lens you are likely to add to your kit. 77mm is a good size to go for. Then you simply add a step ring for each of your lenses. Screw-on filters are what I've used for years before dipping in to the Lee 'slot-in' world. Screw-on still has its place in my camera bag when I need to travel light.
I've had my variable ND for a decade and it's served me very well! This one gives you a 1.5 to 9 stop exposure reduction, which is a very valuable tool to have in your bag when it takes up so little space and weight.
If you take photographs of anything with sky or reflections, this is a vital filter to add to your bag.
I would go stir crazy if I didn't have some sense of order in my camera bag. Not only that, but this pouch provides my expensive filters with some protection without carting the bulky boxes around with me.
I've been through a few camera bags in my time. This is the latest choice, and I'm pretty happy with it. With camera bags you need to assess your own needs and wants, and then try to find a bag that checks off as many of these as possible.
I needed a bag that took my 6D with a lens attached and at least two further lenses, batteries, filters, SD cards, lens cleaning equipment, and then a generous compartment for personal items. A side attachment for my tripod, and a laptop compartment were also a must. The BagSmart ticks all of those boxes, as well as not looking like "a camera bag". When you're a woman travelling alone in city centres and through airports, a camera bag can unfortunately make you something of a target. I love that this bag has the access to your gear sat against your back, rather than advertising your bag's contents on the front. That might be a niche need, but it's a huge selling point for me!
The only thing this bag is missing is a waist belt, so I added one!! I simply took the bag to my local cobblers and had them use their heavy duty machines to stitch on a padded suitcase belt.
Lastly, your camera bag isn't complete unless you can keep your lenses clean. This little kit contains everything you need to keep the front and back elements of your lenses clean. The Lens Pen in particular is something I can't recommend enough. Clean lenses make clean images!