Nick Exposed

A Creative Community Hosted By Photog/Designer Nick Mayo

Whats in my bag?

On top of the constant adding and subtracting of gear, my choice of what to carry with me on a daily basis has evolved over the last month specifically. With my new found interest in adding film shots into my “workflow”, and a recent change of bag, I thought now would be as good of time as any to update the “Whats in my bag” section.

Im trying to go out as simple as possible these days. I don’t want to be sifting through my gear while missing “The” shot, so I set aside the divider backpack style bag and went with a more convenient over the shoulder open carrier bag. I dont have any dividers on the inside, however I travel simple enough where that doesn’t cause any issues. Im still shooting digital about 90% of the time, however experiment with my 35mm’s as much as possible.

Starting at the top and working forward:

  • Vintage Leather”ish” bag I picked up from a vintage camera collector in town for 3 bucks (Awesome right!!! Fits everything beautifully)
  • Canon EOS Rebel T1i w/Zeikos battery grip (awesome battery grip for the price!)- Also I have on an old Tamrac detachable strap with suede leather shoulder pad (AWESOME!! will not slide off my shoulder no matter what)
  • Canon EF 55-250 4-5.6 (All lenses have a promaster UV filter)
  • Canon EF 18-55 3.5-5.6
  • Canon EF 50mm 1.8 – typically left on the camera when in bag. Probably my most used lens right now (Found out the problems I was originally having was from dirty contact points for the electronics, works great now)
  • 58mm Circular Polarizing Filter – I only carry one with me now days being I don’t shoot much landscape.
  • Canon Battery Charger – Mostly left at home if Im just going out for the day. With the extra battery in the grip I dont really have to worry about battery life.
  • Cable Release
  • 4GB Proline Class 6 backup card, with a 8gb SanDisk Class 10 inside the camera
  • Lens Cleaning Cloth
  • Canon AE-1 35mm SLR, with a Canon FD 50mm 1.8 (Currently replacing seals, so Ive been carrying my Minolta SRT 202 with a 55mm 1.7, You can see a pic of this camera on the Lightbox Tutorial page)
  • Rolls of Fujicolor Superia 400 and 800 (All the local market carries these days)
  • Led flashlight – when shooting in the evening the sun goes down quick, you never know when your going to be looking around for something you set down
  • iPhone 4s and iPhone headphones (Took the pic with the iPhone so unfortunately it couldn’t be in the family picture 😦 – But I carry this with me at all times for the random shots, as well as a nifty (quite accurate) light meter app
  • Cleaning kit (Im climbing over all sorts of stuff or tromping into muddy fields, this comes in handy quit often)
  • Probably my most treasured item in the bag, My leather notebook for recording the inspiration that flows between these two ears off and on throughout the day.

There you have it, once everything is packed away its actually pretty simple to navigate through. When Im out shooting the bag resides on my left side and my Canon T1i to my right leaving room to breathe inside the bag with easy access to the lenses and whichever 35mm SLR I have with me for the day. The notebook fits in the back like it was seriously made for it. The only addition I have planned is sewing in a few patches to hold the extra memory cards. Other than that the bag and setup work extremely extremely well. I do still have and use my Vista Explorer (Which is currently covered in mud from an adventurous shoot the other day), but am on the prowl for a REAL tripod, and cant wait to get rid of this cheap thing.

As far as my lenses go, you may notice I do not have my Tamron 70-300 listed, and that is because I recently sold it, and would not suggest it to anyone really. I may be looking to replace my two kit lenses (18-55 & 55-250) with a more versatile wide range lens with better glass, but for now they do the job just fine and I have no complaints. Like I said the 50mm is probably the most used right now, and I don’t see that changing in the near future as long as Im shooting the streets the majority of the time.

If you have any question about my gear or the gear I used to use please feel free to either leave a comment below or shoot me a message via email or on theΒ FacebookΒ page.

45 thoughts on “Whats in my bag?

  1. My bag holds similar stuff (except I only have three lenses) and can never find the bag I want/need that also holds my Sony camcorder and gear and stuff I would normally have in a small purse (women’s clothes don’t always come with pockets). I just got a mini camera Olympus PEN and it is tiny by comparison, the results are great, except so far I have not been able to figure out how to get it into manual focus mode…a huge frustration for me. But it takes 1080i HD at the touch of a button and eliminates the need for a big camera and camcorder. It certainly does not replace it. But so much lighter for the daily about town stuff, family gatherings, and an upcoming trip.

    • Hey Shez! Yea Im looking for an additional bag right now to suite my needs when walking downtown. I really just want to get a canvas messenger bag and modify it with dividers to make sure everything isn’t crashing around in it. I like to change lenses on the fly so an easy to access bag by my side is a must! As far as the Olympus Pen do you have the manual focus lens for it haha, may be a silly question but it doesn’t hurt to ask. I know they have a good deal of lenses for it and Im not sure if all are manual focus enabled. I do like those cameras though, the fact that they have an adapter to work with any lens is unreal!

      • sunny, bright & shining on said:

        I usually do not do this….My Etsy account is where my other creative side comes to life. I sew camera bags, lines and wrappers. That’s right, use any bag and I create a custom made removable liner for your specific needs and camera gear. Try a wrapper for a lens less frequently used. It will add padding and protection to the lense and everything else in the bag.
        Brenda/abostonbean photographer by day…..hippybabe/bag maker, seamstress by night. Lol

        • Hahaha Thanks for sharing Brenda. Any chance you could do a canvas (tan, grey or black) messenger bag style camera bag? Kind of like the thinktank bag over here. It needs to be manly though πŸ™‚ If so I would definitely be interested!

  2. I have bag envy! I wish my camera bag was as bountiful! I had a peruse through your work and love it! Thanks for viewing my blog and for the follow..I’m always open to learn new things and your photography is inspiring. Will be seeing more of you I hope as I am now following your blog as well.

  3. This truly shows it’s not what’s in the bag, but how you use it. Isn’t the Lowepro bag just awesome ! I love mine.

  4. Hi Nick, thanks for following my blog today. I’m glad to see you have some sense when it come to your choice of camera gear.
    I too shot with a canon. I have a 1d mk2n and a 5dmk2, I have to say since I got my 5dmk2 its never out of my hand.
    Thanks again for the follow, I will do the same for you and will look forward to reading your blog.


    • Hey Lawrence! I appreciate that! I would love to step up to full frame soon, but also enjoy making the most of what I have right now. I hope to inspire others who can only afford starter equipment πŸ™‚

  5. Wow! I’m envious!
    What’s in my bag? A Canon A3200IS and a Gorilla Pod! πŸ™‚

  6. Robyn G on said:

    HI Nick, thanks so much for your interest in my work.
    I very much enjoy your photos and your work πŸ˜€

  7. sunny, bright & shining on said:

    Nick, I make the inside only. You go and find a regular messenger bag, or any bag. Send me themensioms and details of what you want. Ie three dividers, pocket ah each end, (INSIDE). On the outside of th insert I can put more pockets ,a hook for your keys, etc, it’s up to you to find the right bag. Maybe it’s already in your closet?

  8. sunny, bright & shining on said:

    iPad have their very own dictionary. ;(

    What wrote should have said demensions. Or a link to it a website. When youre ready please email me abostonbean _at_ Comcast dot net πŸ˜‰ We can talk details etc? Thanks Brenda

  9. Ewe… Canon!? J/K, I shoot with Nikon but would buy a Canon in a heart beat if I had the chance. BTW, Thanks for following my blog that is awesome! I am following yours as-well πŸ˜€

  10. wittypixaday on said:

    nice. πŸ™‚

  11. Hi!
    I’m in the market for a tripod, and one that I was considering is a vista explorer, so I’m curious to see what you think of yours!
    I have a Nikon D5000 that probably weighs about the same as your Canon.
    Have you had any notable problems with it?

    • Hey Abra! One of my biggest regrets when initially buying my equipment is in not spending the money for a better tripod. I was in the thinking that any old tripod would work just fine, but am now unsatisfied with mine. Although I did get it for a measly 10 bucks off craigslist. But I am not pleased with it at all. The tilting head is very weak allowing the camera to continue to shake for at least 30 seconds anytime I touch it. When its tilted to shoot in portrait its even worse. I would highly recommend investing some money into a much better tripod, even if that means holding off on getting one while your saving up. It is on the list for upcoming investments as well. Hope this helps πŸ™‚

      • Ah! Yes, this helps LOADS. Thank you! I was afraid it would be as you are saying it is. I will happily spend more on something nicer.
        I’m also considering a Sunpak, with a pistol grip head. I’ll look more into that range. Thanks for letting me know!

  12. Nick,

    Thanks for sharing what’s in your bag, super helpful and insightful. If you get a chance I’d love to hear your thoughts on your lens.

    Let me know if you ever find the perfect tripod, I too struggle with mine.

    Love what you are doing here on your blog. Your photography is fantastic and very inspirational!


    • Hey thanks Cathe! I may do a blog post about my thoughts on my lenses. But in a nutshell my two favorite lenses in my bag right now are the 50mm and 55-250mm. I really don’t like my 70-300 and may be giving it away to someone who can get more use out of it. Im looking to upgrade to some better glass soon, which will still be a longer zoom, probably a canon or sigma. Thanks so much for your kind words πŸ™‚

      • Very cool! I have a 50mm that I too love…until I ponied up and bought a 24-70 which I also love. Both lens have wonderful optics that make images glow. They are a real joy to use. I’ve been dreaming about an 85mm but for now, that is just a dream.

        It would be great if you did a post on lenses. I’d really appreciate your insight.

        On another note I’d love more thoughts on tripods. I use mine often but I find so many limitations with it, or maybe the limitations are with the operator!

        Thanks Nick!

        • Yea I have yet to get a good tripod, but I need to. Mine is getting weaker and weaker at the camera mount. Thats what I get for buying a cheap one! Im considering doing a post on my lenses. Be on the look out πŸ™‚

  13. Awesome kit, I’m deeply jealous of course!

  14. Hey Nick,

    Great page and posts, per usual. With Canon, is there any distinction between lens compatibility for their full frame and APS-C sensor cameras? Said another way, is your 50mm really a 75mm on the T1, or was it made for a crop sensor. I always have to do the math with Nikon’s line…

  15. sunny, bright & shining on said:

    Nick, I love the vintage bag. I have a similar bag that I am going to dig out. Now that you mention it the open top makes better sense than most bags… Film you have stirred up the photographer within. I was just toying with my Minolta Maxxum thinking it is a better fit in my hands. Comfort behind the camera…..

  16. bradysbungalo7 on said:

    Whoa!! You shoot with a rebel t1?!! That’s awesome I have a a rebel t3. I always thought I was disadvantaged because I had a “lower level camera” but you take some GREAT pics! Do you do alloy of photo editing on the computer? What program do you use? And do I understand that you take daily photo walks? Do you just walk around your town and shoot random stuff? =)

    • Hey Brady! Its as the say the photographer and not the gear that makes or breaks a picture. I love my t1i, and it works perfectly fine for capturing stunning images. I do spend a good amount of time in the ol’ digital darkroom adding my own flare to the pics. I use Lightroom 3, Photoshop CS5 and Photomatix Pro for my HDR work. A majority of my editing is done in Lightroom. And yes I try my hardest to get out each day and do a photo walk, typically around town. I try to take day trips on the weekend to cities across the state as much as possible, but Im always forcing myself to approach each day in a new creative sense. Glad you enjoyed my pics, feel free to reach out with questions or comments at any time. And if you havent done so head over to the Nick Exposed Facebook page to keep up on all the news and be the first to hear about contests and projects πŸ™‚

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