A common question I will attempt to answer
Where do I start? You see, it depends totally on what I am heading out to shoot, how long I will be, how far I have to hike and how certain I am about what I am shooting. When I first started in Photography, I would just head out with my camera and see what I could capture, it wasn’t until I found something that I knew with certainty what I would be shooting. These days, I head out with a specific plan in mind, I know where I am going, what I am likely to see and take the appropriate gear. Well most of the time anyway. If I don’t have a specific plan, it’s really easy, I just take my 28-300mm, that’s it!
Most of my Photography is Landscapes. I usually have a minimum of 4 lenses in my bag. They are the 14-24mm, a 16-35mm, a 24-70mm and a 70-200mm. In addition to these 4 lenses, I will also have a full set of ND Graduated filters, my tripod, a wireless remote and back up wired remote, a spare battery and memory cards.
I get asked a lot why I carry 2 wide angle lenses. The answer is because as great as the 14-24mm is, it has one big downfall, and that is it won’t take a threaded screw on filter. It has a big bulbous front element to help reduce distortion. My Lee filter kit is specially made to fit it, but Lee only make a few graduated filters for it. So if I want to use a CPL (Circular Polarising Filter) or a Big Stopper, I switch to the 16-35mm lens and use a 77mm screw in filter. The other plus to this is that I always have a wide angle lens back up, and 90% of my shots are with the wide angle lens.
I didn’t start with all this gorgeous glass in my bag, I have collected it over time. My bag 5 years ago didn’t need to be as big! Having said that, I have a couple of smaller bags for when I just want to travel light. The problem with all this gear is it is heavy. My large Lowepro Vertex AW200 when fully loaded is around 12kg, then I usually strap the tripod onto it too! It gets a little heavy if I have any distance to cover.
If you’re wondering what you should put in your bag next you can read an article HERE that I wrote to answer the question “What lens should I buy next?”. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer to this, and this is why manufacturers have so many lenses available. I know Nikon have over 150 Lenses available, no doubt all the manufacturers have a lot, they know, or at least hope you will want to buy them all!