When I started my street photography journey approximately one year ago, I extensively read and watched reviews and tips on gear and all sorts of equipment. During the search for those helpful resources, I often came across blog posts and short videos, where (street) photographers explain what gear they use. The short presentations of “What’s in your camera bag?” regularly published on the sites of Streethunters and Japan Camera Hunter are today examples of posts I frequently read. I do not (or at least no longer) think that reading those posts was somehow a symptom of GAS (gear acquisition syndrome), but is just a nice way to see what others are using and to come across interesting photographers to follow.
As for photo contests until recently, I consider myself still as a (maybe advanced) beginner in street photography, but, now, as my equipment, I feel extremely happy with, is set up, I thought it might be time to share what’s in my camera bag.
Initial set up when starting street photography – the Lumix GX80
If you followed this blog for a little bit longer, you probably know that I used a Panasonic Lumix GX80 (or GX85 in the US) coupled with my go-to lens, the Olympus M Zuiko f1.8 17 mm (35 mm equivalent). Although, I have also two additional lenses – the Panasonic Lumix G f1.7 25 mm (50 mm equivalent) and the Olympus M Zuiko f1.8 45 mm (90 mm equivalent) – for the micro four thirds (MFT) camera, it was the 17 mm lens, which felt the most natural and with which I got very familiar (especially for shooting from the hip). The 35 mm equivalent focal length pushes me to get quite close and it really helped me throughout the discovery of people-centered street photography.
As you see in the picture above, the GX80 is no longer my standard set up for the streets – although the picture itself was taken with the GX80. As I was coming from a DSLR before, the purchase of the GX80 was the result of an extensive decision-making process. There are many advantages: the GX80 is a very very capable camera at a very reasonable price; it has many features (such as 4k video and burst modes) that were most of the time absent in the same price segment; the access to the MFT world gives access to quite small cameras (good for taking pictures in the streets) with a good choice on interchangeable lenses. Scaling down from a DSLR to a mirrorless camera and the willingness to use prime lenses, having the possibility to change lenses on the camera was an important criterion in the choice I made. And I did never regret that choice: the camera is excellent in use and the 4K videos I made of my daughter are just stunning in their quality.
The new set up – the Fuji X100F
What changed? First, I basically never used the other lenses I purchased for the GX80 anymore, because the 35 mm equivalent was the only lens I really wanted to use. Second, my journey into film photography made me rediscover straightforward setups of the cameras with dials and buttons to set aperture and speed depending on the ISO of the film loaded in the camera. And when I came across the Fuji X100F, I saw both issues addressed: one fixed 35 mm equivalent lens and a design with dials to set aperture (on the lens), speed and ISO. Reviews and tests of the X100F were excellent and made me switch to this camera – and I simply fell in love with the X100F – the film simulations (ACROS in particular) are only one of the many reasons for that.
For the X100F I also purchased a lens hood and adapter ring from JJC, the Hoya 49 mm UV filter, an additional Sandisk Extreme Pro 32 GB memory card, the Patona 2in1 dual charger with two batteries, a screen protection glass by Expert Shield, and three simple soft release button form VKO.
To improve the grip on the camera in the streets, I recently acquired a wonderful wood grip from JB Camera Designs and am currently waiting for the Lensmate thumb rest. In addition to that, I use the Slide Lite strap as well as the Cuff wrist strap from Peak Design paired with their anchors.
Never leave the house without a film camera – the Rollei 35 S
Several of my earlier blog posts featured a description and first rolls of film results with the Rollei 35 S. This really is a wonderful small camera. Everything is manual. And due to the size of the camera, it usually gets chosen over the Yashica Electro 35 GS (an also great rangefinder film camera). The Rollei came with the attached wrist strap and a small leather case.
Depending on my mood and outside conditions, I either take a roll of Ilford HP5+ 400 or the PanF 50+ with me.
With a smaller setup and the aim of getting outside only to take pictures, I usually take the ONA Bowery bag in field tan. Visually a very nice bag, very robust and just about the right size for the minimum setup.
However, when I need to take more things – for instance, a tablet or laptop – I take Peak Design’s Everyday Sling 10L in ash with me. Excellent, waterproof bag with enough space to carry my small tripod, a bottle of water, the tablet or laptop, and more. Usually, I chose the sling when on a trip for personal or professional reasons.
Finally, I take the Lemome Sketchbook and a pen for thoughts etc. (not all the time though) as well as a lens pen and a micro fiber cloth to keep my gear free of dust.
That’s it! Here again in bullet points:
- ONA Bowery bag
- Fuji X100F
- Wood grip
- Shoulder and wrist straps
- One additional memory card
- Two additional batteries
- Rollei 35 S
- One additional roll of film
- Lens cleaning pen and
- Micro fiber cloth