Camera Bag Basics 9: All You Need To Safeguard Your Camera Equipment
Hello, photogs! The sixth and final article in our “For Photographers” blog series, Camera Bag Essentials, is available to you today! The goal of this series has been to guide aspiring photographers in considering what equipment they will need to perform their duties effectively and what equipment they won’t need just yet. Thank you so much for traveling with us on this adventure if you have been reading along or watching with us since the first post or video!
In today’s blog, we’ll talk about four types of gear that we use to safeguard our camera equipment during picture sessions, wedding days, and other occasions.
A CARRY-ON CAMERA
A top-notch camera bag is a need. If you’ve been reading this blog, you’ve probably realized that a professional wedding photographer’s camera bag eventually includes at least one camera body and a backup, three to five lenses (and probably more), as well as numerous flashes and other accessories that support their equipment and their work. It is crucial to have a durable bag that can effectively safeguard your equipment and will ultimately be a wise investment. Moreover, make sure the bag you buy is large enough to hold all of your things and perhaps has some area for expansion!
The sort of bag you choose is the key factor to think about when purchasing a camera bag, aside from size. Over the years, we’ve seen a TON of different camera bags, but the majority fall into one of these 5 categories:
1. A starter/basic camera bag. This type of bag may be purchased for under $50 from a company like Amazon Basics or for free when you purchase your camera. They typically have room for one camera body and lens, as well as possibly one or two more lenses. They accomplish the job quickly, simply, and affordably. They typically come in a sling bag or backpack version.
2. Camera bags for photographers or adventurers. These bags are typically designed for photojournalists who will spend the entire day on their feet and never leave their bag behind, or for photographers who will literally walk up mountains for their sessions. These backpacks typically place a high priority on being lightweight and making it easy to reach your primary camera body while wearing the bag. Photojournalist bags are frequently so discrete that you might mistake them for a standard bookbag, in contrast to adventure camera bags, which typically resemble hiking bags (in order to discourage theft). Even waterproof photojournalist bags exist!
3. Camera bags for frequent flyers. These bags are meant to store a lot of gear, are extremely well-padded, and are frequently manufactured to certain measurements in order to fit in the overhead compartment of an aircraft, which is why we refer to them as “frequent flyer” bags. These may have features like a TSA lock that is already built in or even wheels so they can roll like a conventional carry-on luggage. These bags clearly place more emphasis on functionality than aesthetics (they’re not very cute, and frequently need being placed flat on their backs in order to open). They come in Personal Item Size to fit beneath the seat or Carry-On Size (or Carry-On Size with Wheels) for the overhead compartment from our favorite company, Think Tank!
4. Eye-catching camera bags. Fashion is subjective, but these bags are built especially to resemble purses or messenger bags rather than camera bags. They emphasis aesthetics over other functionality, but they might be a wonderful solution if you don’t need to carry around a lot of gear or for a very long time! You wouldn’t want to carry a TON of gear all day on one shoulder, regardless of whether you choose a leather purse, a leather messenger bag, or a canvas messenger bag!
5. Bags for hard-shell cameras. A Hard-Shell Camera Bag is definitely your best bet if you frequently fly but have too much camera gear to fit in a single carry-on bag. Although bags from companies like Pelican are overkill for most portrait and wedding photographers. Whilst your bag would still be at risk of being lost by the airline, at least it would be well-padded underneath the aircraft! They may also make sense if you routinely load and unload studio and lighting equipment for travel, in which case a long hard-shell bag may suit your needs.
UV LENS FILTERS
UV filters are the next piece of gear we use to safeguard our camera equipment. These tiny filters, which screw onto the front of your lenses, should, in theory, not significantly alter the appearance of the image, but they will shield your lens from scuffs, foreign objects, and, in some circumstances, from breaking after being dropped.
Now, UV filters can be debatable because, in theory, any time you add glass that isn’t a part of the lens, the image quality will suffer. But, a good UV filter will essentially make no modifications, and many photographers concur that they’re worthwhile to have on your lenses.
It’s also quite convenient because you can clean the filter rather than the lens’ front element if your lens is splashed with champagne or gets wet from rain during a session. Also, there is a chance of permanently harming or scratching a lens every time you clean one. Hence, if the filter gets damaged, you may simply replace it with a new one.
As a general guideline, you should spend 10% or less of the lens’s price on the filter, according to previous advice. An example would be a $35 filter on a $350 lens or a $150 filter on a $1,500 lens. Although it need not be precise, adding a $200 UV filter to a $200 lens is excessive, and adding a $30 UV filter to a $2,000 lens may start to degrade the quality.
Unlike an iPhone, your lenses are not mobile. The front glass is not a cheap or easy fix if it breaks. Your lenses will be shielded from scuffs and residues if you spend roughly 10% of the price of your lens on a UV filter of comparable grade. Because of Breakthrough Photography’s 25-year warranty, we purchase our filters from them. They also offer 3 quality levels, so you can protect both entry-level and professional lenses with them. Details can be found below in the “Shopping List” section.
The second item we employ to shield our camera equipment from the elements is rain gear. Although though no one wants to get married in the rain, you Absolutely need to be prepared. Even if you reside in a desert region like Arizona, there are still those days when it may pour nonstop, so you should always be ready!
We employ storm jacket camera covers, which protect your camera and lens while allowing you to use all of its features, including adjusting the magnification or focus, without obscuring the front of the lens or the LCD screen. Using these coverings, we have photographed in actual downpours, and our cameras have performed well.
We always carry three storm jacket covers in our camera bag because Sarah typically photographs with one camera body whereas Hunter typically shoots with two. For longer lenses, we have enormous storm jackets, whereas for prime lenses, we have smaller storm jackets.
We also always store our raincoats in our trunk, along with a number of clear umbrellas, in addition to the storm jacket covers. We occasionally give the umbrellas to our customers, occasionally we utilize them in addition to our storm jacket covers, and occasionally we do both. How heavily it rains definitely makes a difference!
ONE LAST CAVEAT
The final disclaimer is that, although this blog is all about physical tools we use to safeguard our photography equipment, insuring your gear is actually one of the greatest ways to preserve it in the long run. Nevertheless, a whole other blog series here covers gear insurance in greater detail, along with the other type of insurance you’re definitely forgetting about.