- Grace Williamson
What is in my Backpack
This week I thought I'd like to share with you the contents of my backpack! This is the kit I bring with me on a standard wedding day.
Olympus OMD EM10 Camera Body (x2!)
I use a mirrorless camera with a cropped sensor rather than full-frame DSLR. I find my Olympus small, lightweight, and easy to hold one-handed. The settings are easy and laid out well. It has a quick access menu, quick access buttons, and the full settings menu. The touchscreen is a handy addition for when I am not using a remote trigger but do not want to shake it with the shutter button. It has live view so I can set up a shot and see how it will look. (Downside to this - I have no idea how to guess settings!) At its best resolution setting, the photos can be printed at around A2 without blurring; great for a small sensor! I cannot think of anything negative about it. I've always been pleased with its performance.
Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 Lens
I bought this lens second hand but in great condition. The wide aperture is great for low light and bokeh, and the zoom range (equivalent to 24-80mm on a full frame) is very versatile. It is a little heavy - I think heavier than my camera body - but that's not a problem. It expands as I zoom in rather than staying the same length which made my friend laugh once. My only mild negative is that sometimes images do not look pin-sharp. This may just be me not focusing correctly, or my PC screen being huge, or me having the shutter speed too low. I just need to take my time more.
Panasonic 35-100mm f/2.8 Lens
This is the other one I bought second hand. The zoom range overlaps the Olympus lens so between them I have a lot of ground covered. It's a very versatile lens and can be used in lots of situations. I found it quite heavy again, but this one does not expand when I zoom in. Again, I found it not quite pin-sharp, but that is most likely my lack of experience and patience!
Olympus 45mm f/1.8 lens
This lens is great! I read somewhere that a 50mm lens is ideal for portraits as it matches the human eye, so I figured 45mm is close enough. Wrong! Mine is equal to 90mm so I have to stand back more. However, it produces high quality images, and with the wide aperture the bokeh is brilliant. It's also tiny! It's the length of my ring finger, and I can get my thumb and middle finger around it to touch. Its filter size is 37mm - so small!
Panasonic Lumix G 25mm f/1.7 lens
This is my portrait lens. It's small and light again, and made of plastic. It has the widest aperture of my lenses, and being 25mm I don't have to stand quite so far away from people. It is useful for using indoors and in low light situations. It gives me pin-sharp images with great bokeh.
I have 3 flash guns of various makes, all of which are cheap and cheerful. They are all manual with simple controls, and all have slave mode. They do not have any form of wireless communication, but as starter flashes they have been good to me. I'd like to upgrade them all, but the speedlites I would like are rather expensive!
Voking Speedlite VK360
This one I am very fortunate to have been given by another photographer. He doesn't use Panasonic/Olympus but he had this to write a review on. This is my TTL Flash, so I don't have to mess too much with the settings. It makes a great bounce flash, it is small but powerful, and it's lightweight. I'm still not great with flash, but this has been a great help to me. This is what I keep on camera with me.
Hahnel Captur Transmitter and Receiver
These are what make my off camera flash work! They were a little fiddly to set up, but once I sorted them they have been great. They are lightweight, small, and can be used as a remote trigger for the camera if connected with a wire. I'd like to upgrade along with my flashes to ones that can adjust the flash output wirelessly through the triggers.
I have polarising filters to make blue skies pop, UV filters to remove blue light on sunny days, and neutral density filters for slow shutter speeds on bright days. I tend to avoid using filters as I find the image quality is compromised with them. (Probably because mine are cheap! Again, something to upgrade.) I use up to three tripods, depending on whether I'm using off camera flash, and I have lens cleaner and microfiber cloths. I keep spare camera batteries, flash batteries, SD cards, and those things that connects a hotshoe to a threaded thing on a tripod. So technical!