What's In My Camera Bag?
While the craft of making photographs is far more important than the gear you use, what you use will determine how easily you are able to do different types of photography. I have been doing photography for a little over a year, so my kit is still quite basic but everything on here has helped me learn and progress. With the gear I own I have been able to try lots of different types of photography, ranging from landscapes, cityscapes, astrophotography and portraits.
This is all the gear that I currently own:
I’ve already written how I came to the decision to buy the Nikon D3400 as my first camera, and if you want to read that, you can here. I have had the camera over a year now and it has been fantastic for me as a beginner. There are a few things I wish it had like an intervalometer (even the port for one would be nice) and a tilt screen, but I’ve managed to get by just fine.
Since writing this, Nikon have released the D3500 which I would highly suggest you take a look at over the D3400. It features an updated design and includes a few new features such as improved battery life and an improved Bluetooth connection. This means you can now use your phone as a shutter release which wasn’t an option on the older D3400
Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 EX DC HSM
I bought the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 lens as a direct replacement for the kit lens that came with my D3400 and it hasn’t disappointed. In addition to giving me sharper photos, the lens also has a constant f2.8 aperture which gives it better low light performance. This not only lets you take better photographs indoors, but also opens up other types of photography such as astrophotography if that is something you want to try out.
The only downside to this lens is that it is a bit bigger and heavier than the kit lens the D3400 comes with, so you will have to get comfortable with the weight.
Nikon 18-55mm f3.5-f5.6 AF-P DX VR
Not too much to say about the Nikon 18-55mm other than it is the kit lens that came with my D3400. It has a variable aperture that ranges from f3.5 at 18mm to f5.6 at 50mm and features image stabilisation. I’ve had a good experience with the lens and have taken some photos that I am very pleased with. It does however struggle in low light, particularly at 50mm due to that higher aperture.
As a starter lens I think it is great option and very capable lens, but I ended up purchasing the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 to replace it.
Nikon 35mm f1.8 AF-S DX
The Nikon 35mm f1.8 is a very recent purchase of mine and something I set out to buy at the beginning of the year. I was looking for a general walk around lens that will challenge me to find different compositions and this seemed to fit the bill. Being a prime lens it is fast (f1.8 – so great for indoors and low light), small, and light. With this attached my camera is considerably lighter than with the Sigma, but I do lose the ability to adjust the focal length.
So far this has been a great buy, and I am very happy with the quality of this lens.
Manfrotto Element Big Traveller Tripod w/Ball Head
I bought the Manfrotto Element tripod to replace a much cheaper budget tripod (search TAIROAD tripod on Amazon if you want to see it) I was having some issues with. The different between this and a budget tripod is massive. It is more stable, folds down smaller and has a ball head with two spirit level dots. One of its legs is also removable allowing you to create a monopod if you have a need for one. I highly recommend looking into this if you are looking for your first tripod.
Gobe Filter Kit 77mm
I’d been considering buying Gobe filters for a while before I made this purchase, but my helicopter trip in New York pushed me to purchase these due to the slim profile CPL filter that comes in this set.
I can’t recommend Gobe Filters enough. They are made from Japanese Optical Glass (bar the colour filters which are plastic) and features a UV filter, CPL filter, FLD filter, an incredible 10 stop ND1000 filter (great for super long exposures in the day time), and 4 graduated coloured filters.
For every purchase you make they also plant 5 trees.
Lowepro Tahoe 150
The Lowepro Tahoe backpack was a last-minute purchase before I went to New York. I wanted a camera bag that had additional compartments in addition to being able to hold all my camera gear and this has all of that. There is enough space for me to hold my tablet along with some other accessories in the front, while inside the main compartment there is space for my camera with lens, another 2-3 lens and my filters. It is also incredibly comfortable to wear and feels like an actual backpack. It also has straps on both sides if you want to attach a tripod to the bag.
There is nothing more annoying than going out for a shoot to find your photos are full of dust spots when you get home. I bought the LensPen set to stop just that. You get a cleaning pen for your lenses, filters, and sensor so you can keep your camera free of dust and in great working order.
Pig Iron L Bracket
The Pig Iron L-Bracket is a universal L bracket for DSLR and Mirrorless cameras that I bought in order to easily mount the camera vertically on the tripod without having to adjust it. It is extremely solid, and if your tripod has an arca-swiss compatible head you can fit this right on without having to change anything.
Amazon Basics Wireless Remote
Since the D3400 does not feature a port for a wired shutter remote, I opted to purchase this inexpensive Amazon Basics wireless remote instead. It works via infrared and is handy to use when you have the camera on a tripod. Just remember to set the shooting mode to remote or you’ll wonder for a while why it isn’t working!
SanDisk Extreme PRO 64GB SDXC
The Sandisk Extreme Pro 64GB card is a class 10 card with a read speed of 170MB/s and an extremely fast write speed of 90MB/s.
I originally had a Sandisk Ultra Class 10 64GB card which is a relatively inexpensive card and for a while it served a purpose. This card however severely limiting my ability to shoot continuously due to its slow write speed. I found this out the hard way flying over New York in a helicopter when my camera would slow down to a crawl as it battled to empty the buffer. Changing over to the Extreme Pro card has completely fixed this issue
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