Photo Equipment: What’s In The Bag?

Photo Equipment: What’s In The Bag?

Gear Reviews

Photo Equipment: What’s In The Bag?

It’s the most frequently-asked question and perhaps the least important. “What’s in the bag?”

I say it’s the least important since it’s usually the first (and easiest) avenue beginning photographers take to try and improve their photography work. They believe that better and more expensive gear will create a better photographer but more often than not, it only leads to disappointment. A better investment would be in time – time spent practicing their technique and honing their personal vision. Still, photo equipment is not unimportant either. if you’re not convinced, just try doing photography without it!

So with that said, let’s have a look into my photo bag (all links to Amazon):

Photo Equipment

Camera Bag: One of several MindShift Gear bags, depending on the trip or assignment. Moose Peterson MP-1 V2.0, FirstLight 40L, or Backlight Elite 45L

Currently, my favorite photo backpack is the MindShift Backlight Elite 45L Camera Backpack. Just Superb in every way!

In addition to the actual bag that I choose for a particular trip, the contents in the bag also depend on where I am going, what I will be shooting, how remote the area, and how much hiking there will be. Here is some of my basic photo equipment:

Canon EOS R5
Canon EOS R

Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
Canon RF 15-35mm F2.8 L IS USM

Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Lens with Internal 1.4x Extender
Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM (when weight is an issue or for bird-in-flight images)
Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM

Canon Extender EF 1.4X III
Canon Drop-in Filter Mount Adapter EF-EOS R
Canon 600EX-RT Speedlite Flash (2)
MagMod 2 Basic Flash Modifier Kit
Lee Filter Holder with polarizing filter
Breakthrough Photography’s ND Filters (no color cast)
Really Right Stuff TVC-24L Tripod
Really Right Stuff TQC-14 Tripod
Really Right Stuff BH40 ball head (2)
Really Right Stuff BH35 ball head

Wimberley WH-200 Gimbal Head II
Lexar digital media
Mac Book Pro 15.4″ Computer with Retina Display, Touch Bar, 2.9GHz Intel Core i7 Quad Core…
LaCie Rugged Thunderbolt USB-C 4TB Portable Hard Drive

* Post includes affiliate link*

Creative Vision Newsletter




Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer in the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. 


MindShift BackLight Elite 45L Backpack Review

MindShift BackLight Elite 45L Backpack Review

Announcements

MindShift BackLight Elite 45L Backpack Review

MindShift BackLight Elite 45L

The MindShift BackLight Elite 45L.

The MindShift BackLight Elite 45L

Get deeper into the backcountry with the MindShift BackLight Elite 45L from Think Tank Photo. 45 liters of internal volume provides ample room for a combination of photo/personal gear and dedicated laptop/tablet. External attachment points accommodate adventure equipment such as a static rope, set of axes, snowboard/skis, and of course, a tripod. Weather-resistant zippers and materials protect your gear when trekking in extreme environments. And like the other BackLight backpacks, rear-panel access adds security when traveling since your camera gear is protected behind your back. Built “Mountain Tuff” for protection against the elements, the BackLight Elite 45L features YKK® AquaGuard® zippers and waterproof/tearproof sailcloth, robust lumbar padding, and a quick-dry back panel for increased ventilation.

MindShift BackLight Elite 45L

The MindShift BackLight Elite 45L camera backpack being enjoyed in it’s natural habitat, Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. Photo © Richard Bernabe

Key Features

  • Storm-resistant construction with YKK® AquaGuard® zippers and
    waterproof/tearproof Sailcloth
  • Superior Fit: Robust lumbar padding, hip-hugging waist belt, quick-dry back
    panel, and foam ridges for increased ventilation
  • Back and top panel access to all of your camera gear, allowing you to work out
    of your bag without getting your harness dirty or wet
  • Meets most international and U.S. carry-on requirements
  • Hydration reservoir ready
  • Removable camera compartment with emergency shoulder straps to avoid gate check
  • Removable waist belt for ease when traveling

Specifications

  • Exterior Dimensions: 12.99 x 23.5 x 7.99″ / 33 x 59.7 x 20.3 cm
  • Exterior Material: Foam, Nylon, Polyurethane, Tarpaulin
  • Water Resistance: Rain Cover, Water-Resistant Material
  • Interior Material: Foam, Nylon, Polyester, Polyethylene
  • Maximum Volume: 11.89 gal / 45 L
  • Weight: 3.97 lb / 1.8 kg (Empty)
  • Camera Compartment Dimensions: 11.4 x 19.3 x 6.8″ / 29.0 x 49.0 x 17.3 cm
  • Laptop Compartment Screen Size: 17.0″
MindShift BackLight Elite 45L
MindShift BackLight Elite 45L
MindShift BackLight Elite 45L
MindShift BackLight Elite 45L

My Personal Observations

MindShift Gear gave me one of these backpacks prior to a recent trip to Argentina and Chile while leading my Epic Patagonia Photography Workshop and Tour, just to try it out and give it a good working over. My conclusion after two weeks of hard use was that it could possibly be the ultimate photo backpack, particularly for outdoor, nature, landscape, and wildlife photographers. I love the modular design (the internal camera compartments can be removed or switched out with larger or smaller versions), the snug, comfortable fit for long walks or hikes, and the rear entry design which is consistent with all backpacks in MindShift Backlight series.

The pack also fits in the overhead compartment of most commercial airlines, which is super important to a travel photographer like myself. This is quite the engineering and design feat considering this is a 45 liter pack! And if it happens to not fit and the crew is demanding that you check your camera gear as a regular piece of luggage, you can simply pull the camera compartment out of the pack and slide it under the seat in front of you before handing them the empty frame and shell. 

But overall, I was impressed with the attention Mindshift gave to all the small details: the waterproof zippers are but one example. I have owned and used literally dozens of photo backpacks over the past 15 years and I can honestly say that the MindShift BackLight Elite 45L backpack is the best I’ve ever worked with and will be my primary photo backpack for years to come.

Get Yours Here

The MindShift BackLight Elite 45L backpack goes on sale today (April 30, 2019) and can be ordered here:

MindShift BackLight Elite 45L (MindShift Gear)

MindShift BackLight Elite 45L (Amazon)

Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer in the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. For more great information on new images, gear reviews, book projects, and photography workshops and tours, Sign Up For Our Newsletter.


Essential Photography: Teleconverters for Wildlife

Essential Photography: Teleconverters for Wildlife

Gear Reviews

Essential Photography: Teleconverters for Wildlife

What are Teleconverters?

A teleconverter is a magnifying lens that fits between the camera body and the effective photography lens. Teleconverters multiply the focal length of the lens giving it essential reach for small wildlife and subjects that are at a considerable distance. For example, a 1.4X teleconverter (also referred to as a tele-extender) multiplies the focal length by 1.4 so a 300mm lens now becomes a 420mm lens. A 2.0X teleconverter would make that same 300mm lens a 600mm. The teleconverter adds a little extra zoom or reach to your lens, without having to crop pixels to get the same effect. Is this awesome or what?

Now The Bad

But there are two fairly significant downsides to using teleconverters. First, using one will come at the cost of overall lens sharpness. The more glass that sits between the imaging sensor and your subject, the less sharpness and resolution you’re going to experience. The 2.0X will be less sharp than the 1.4X (Nikon makes a 1.7X teleconverter, which is a nice compromise).  

A teleconverter can be an essential piece of photography equipment if you shoot small birds on a regular basis. This ringed plover required a 500mm lens plus a 2.0X teleconverter for an effective focal length of 1000mm.

Because the teleconverter extends the lens mount away from the image sensor, it also decreases the amount of light that enters the camera. A 1.4X teleconverter will reduce the maximum aperture of the lens by one full stop while the 2.0X will cost you two stops. So a 300mm f/2.8 lens will become a 420mm f/4 with the 1.4X and a 600mm f/5,6 with the 2.0X. That’s something to consider when you are working in low light environments. You must also consider that not all lenses work with teleconverters and some camera bodies will lose autofocus if your teleconverter pushes your maximum aperture to f/8 and beyond. Check your camera’s manual to be sure. Here are some helpful online guides:

Nikon AF-S Teleconverter Compatibility Chart
Canon Teleconverter Compatibility Guide (scroll down to near the bottom of the page)
Sigma Teleconverter Compatibility Page
Sony 1.4X Teleconverter Compatibility (scroll to bottom)
Sony 2X Teleconverter Compatibility (scroll to bottom)

Where to get yours?

(All links to Amazon)

Canon EF 1.4X Teleconverter
Canon EF 2.0X Teleconverter
Nikon AF-S FX TC-14E III (1.4x) Teleconverter
Nikon AF-S FX TC-17E II (1.7x) Teleconverter
Nikon Auto Focus-S FX TC-20E III (2.0x) Teleconverter
Sony FE 1.4x Teleconverter
Sony FE 2.0x Teleconverter

There is good and bad when it comes to using teleconverters but I believe they are still a vital piece of gear for the serious wildlife photographer. Experience and the specific situation will determine when and when not to use them.

Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer is the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. For more great information on new images, gear reviews, book projects, and photography workshops and tours, Sign Up For Our Newsletter.


Think Tank Releases New Photo Protection Concepts

Think Tank Releases New Photo Protection Concepts

Announcements

Think Tank Releases New Photo Protection Concepts

The Think Tank Photo Emergency Rain Cover for the ultimate in camera protection.

My friends at Think Tank Photo have released two new concepts in camera gear protection. The Emergency Rain Covers, that come in two sizes, are small, lightweight, fast-deploying protective covers you can have on hand when weather conditions change swiftly and you need to protect your bodies and lenses.

The Think Tank Lens Case Duos for lens protection when transporting and traveling.

The Lens Case Duos are protective lens sleeves that can be used both when transporting your lenses in transit and while shooting.  They are available in a range of sizes to fit most DSLR and Mirrorless lenses.

Don’t forget that when you use these special URLs you will receive free gear and free shipping on all orders over $50. You can order below:

Thank Tank Emergency Rain Cover

Lens Case Duos

Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer is the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. For more great information on new images, gear reviews, book projects, and photography workshops and tours, Sign Up For Our Newsletter.

Canon EOS R Mirrorless SAMPLE IMAGES

Canon EOS R Mirrorless SAMPLE IMAGES

Announcements

Canon EOS R Mirrorless SAMPLE IMAGES

On September 5 of this year, Canon announced its highly anticipated Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera to the world and over the past week, I spent some time shooting a production model while traveling to Havana, Cuba. This camera was made for travel and street photography so this was the perfect opportunity to give it a good working over.

The EOS R Mirrorless camera features a brand new RF mount so it’s not compatible with EOS lenses without the Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R that fits between the camera and lens. I used two of the new RF lenses as well as many of my older EOS lenses on this trip. More information and specifications on the Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera can be found here.

I found the camera to be very intuitive to use, especially if you are a Canon shooter already, it fit my hands comfortably, and the image quality was very similar to that found in the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV, which is my current go-to camera body for travel and landscape photography, as well as the occasional wildlife shoot. I thought the ISO performance on the new mirrorless camera to be just a tad better than the 5D Mark IV (see the last of the sample images below captured at 10,800 ISO) but it could be my imagination. It’s certainly a subjective observation at best. The two RF lenses – the Canon Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USM and RF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM were amazing performers – some of the sharpest Canon lenses I’ve ever used.

This copy of the Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera and the lenses were on loan to me for a very limited amount of time so I couldn’t do any technical, objective tests. My subjective observations are positive overall, but I don’t see myself going to an all mirrorless system anytime in the near future. I do believe Canon is heading in the right direction with this inaugural model, however, and I’m excited with the prospect of future R bodies and an expansion of the RF lens line.

Get your Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera here on Amazon.

“El Malecón” The Havana waterfront at sunrise, Havana, Cuba. Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera with Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L is USM Lens @ 80mm.

“No Left Turn Unstoned” Getting lost in the heart of Havana, Cuba. Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera and with Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L is USM Lens @ 42mm.

“La Virgen de la Merced” Church interior in Old Havana. Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera and Canon EF 11-24mm f/4L USM Lens @ 12mm with Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R.

“Life’s Rich Banquet” Old Havana, Cuba. Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera and Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens @ 28mm.

“El Contendiente” One of many students in Radames Castillo’s boxing academy, Havana, Cuba. I really pushed the limits of the Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera in this dark working environment. ISO 10,800!

“Ragged Quarters” A Black and White street scene from Havana. Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera and Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens @ 50mm.

“La Habana Vieja” Canon EOS R Mirrorless camera and with Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L is USM Lens @ 38mm. I’ve still not completely embraced the Electronic Viewfinder used in mirrorless cameras but I found this to be the best I’ve tried so far. It feels and looks less “virtual” when I peer through the viewfinder.

Canon EOS R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

The Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera

After months of speculation and rumors, Canon officially announced today the Canon EOS R, the much anticipated full frame mirrorless camera that will compete with Sony’s full frame mirrorless line and the new Nikon Z6 and Z7. Concurrently, Canon is also unvieling four native RF lenses and the Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R for using EOS lenses on the new RF mount. The Canon EOS R camera body will be available in October 2018 with an estimated retail price of $2,299. The new Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 lens will also be available in October 2018 while the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USMRF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, and RF 35mm f/1.8 MACRO IS STM will all be available in December 2018.

Canon EOS R Specifications

  • 30.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • A New 54mm diameter RF Lens Mount
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • UHD 4K30 Video; C-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Maximum of 5,655 Manually Selectable AF Points
  • 3.69m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.15″ 2.1m-Dot Swivel Touchscreen LCD
  • Expanded ISO 50-102400
  • 8 fps Shooting
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, SD UHS-II Card Slot
  • Multi-Function Bar, Dual Pixel RAW

My (Initial) Take on the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera

I will very likely have my hands on this new camera within a few weeks (through some back-channel contacts) so I’ll be able to offer some hands-on, first-person opinions very soon, as well as some sample images. But for now I’ll simply offer my take on the camera and the system in general.

I believe that technology will lead us all to mirrorless systems in the not-so-distant future considering the many technological advantages to the mirrorless system over DSLRs. I won’t go into all of these advantages here but the larger lens mount and reduced physical distance between the imaging sensor and the lens are literal game-changers when it comes to future lens possibilities. We are seeing some of those possibilities with today’s announcement from Canon. But despite these facts and no matter how my hands-on experience with the Canon EOS R will be in the coming weeks, I will continue to use Canon DSLRs (Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS 1DX Mark II) for my photography in the coming months, unless the landscape and the technology drastically change in a hurry.

The two most cited reasons I hear for moving from a DSLR to a mirrorless system is a reduction in weight and size as well as the electronic viewfinder (EVF). I find the weight and size differences to be negligible (the Canon 5D Mark IV is 1.962 lbs vs. the Canon EOS R at 1.455 so we’re basically talking about a half of a pound) and I don’t consider the EVF to be a big advantage at all. With the current technology, I prefer an optical viewfinder. When I use the Canon EOS R in the next couple of weeks, I could change my mind on the EVF, however.

The biggest problem I have with the Canon EOS R is the very limited lens choices (four lenses as of this writing) unless the rumored adapter is used with the current line of EOS EF lenses. This is not an optional solution for me. For example, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is one of the most important lenses I use for wildlife and I just can’t imagine using this lens on the Canon EOS R with an adapter at this point. There certainly is no reduction in weight or size so why make a change at this point? As a professional photographer who needs to consistently produce quality images year-round, I will use the best available tools for the job, period. Right now, the mirrorless option is not the best tool for me but that could change soon. Stayed tuned.

Order your Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L is USM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 is Macro STM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R here on Amazon

Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer is the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe. For more great information on new images, gear reviews, book projects, and photography workshops and tours, Sign Up For Our Newsletter.


Canon EOS R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

Canon EOS R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

Announcements

Canon EOS R Full Frame Mirrorless Camera

The Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera

After months of speculation and rumors, Canon officially announced today the Canon EOS R, the much anticipated full frame mirrorless camera that will compete with Sony’s full frame mirrorless line and the new Nikon Z6 and Z7. Concurrently, Canon is also unvieling four native RF lenses and the Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R for using EOS lenses on the new RF mount. The Canon EOS R camera body will be available in October 2018 with an estimated retail price of $2,299. The new Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 lens will also be available in October 2018 while the Canon RF 28-70mm f/2 L USMRF 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM, and RF 35mm f/1.8 MACRO IS STM will all be available in December 2018.

Canon EOS R Specifications

  • 30.3MP Full-Frame CMOS Sensor
  • A New 54mm diameter RF Lens Mount
  • DIGIC 8 Image Processor
  • UHD 4K30 Video; C-Log & 10-Bit HDMI Out
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF
  • Maximum of 5,655 Manually Selectable AF Points
  • 3.69m-Dot OLED Electronic Viewfinder
  • 3.15″ 2.1m-Dot Swivel Touchscreen LCD
  • Expanded ISO 50-102400
  • 8 fps Shooting
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, SD UHS-II Card Slot
  • Multi-Function Bar, Dual Pixel RAW

My Take on the Canon EOS R Mirrorless Camera

I will very likely have my hands on this new camera within a few weeks (through some back-channel contacts) so I’ll be able to offer some hands-on, first-person opinions very soon, as well as some sample images. But for now I’ll simply offer my take on the camera and the system in general.

I believe that technology will lead us all to mirrorless systems in the not-so-distant future considering the many technological advantages to the mirrorless system over DSLRs. I won’t go into all of these advantages here but the larger lens mount and reduced physical distance between the imaging sensor and the lens are literal game-changers when it comes to future lens possibilities. We are seeing some of those possibilities with today’s announcement from Canon. But despite these facts and no matter how my hands-on experience with the Canon EOS R will be in the coming weeks, I will continue to use Canon DSLRs (Canon EOS 5D Mark IV and Canon EOS 1DX Mark II) for my photography in the coming months, unless the landscape and the technology drastically change in a hurry.

The two most cited reasons I hear for moving from a DSLR to a mirrorless system is a reduction in weight and size as well as the electronic viewfinder (EVF). I find the weight and size differences to be negligible (the Canon 5D Mark IV is 1.962 lbs vs. the Canon EOS R at 1.455 so we’re basically talking about a half of a pound) and I don’t consider the EVF to be a big advantage at all. With the current technology, I prefer an optical viewfinder. When I use the Canon EOS R in the next couple of weeks, I could change my mind on the EVF, however.

The biggest problem I have with the Canon EOS R is the very limited lens choices (four lenses as of this writing) unless the rumored adapter is used with the current line of EOS EF lenses. This is not an optional solution for me. For example, the Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x is one of the most important lenses I use for wildlife and I just can’t imagine using this lens on the Canon EOS R with an adapter at this point. There certainly is no reduction in weight or size so why make a change at this point? As a professional photographer who needs to consistently produce quality images year-round, I will use the best available tools for the job, period. Right now, the mirrorless option is not the best tool for me but that could change soon. Stayed tuned.

Order your Canon EOS R Mirrorless Digital Camera here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L USM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 28-70mm f/2L USM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L is USM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon RF 35mm f/1.8 is Macro STM Lens here on Amazon
Order your Canon Control Ring Mount Adapter EF-EOS R here on Amazon

My Canon EOS R Mirrorless Cameral Sample Images here

Creative Vision Newsletter




Richard Bernabe is a professional photographer specializing in travel, wildlife, and nature as well as an author of books, magazine articles, and travel essays published world-wide. Richard is a global influencer in the fields of photography, travel, and wildlife conservation with more than one million followers on social media platforms. He leads several photography tours and workshops all over the world and is invited to speak to photography and conservation groups all across the globe.