My perfect travel kit

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CP+, an international comprehensive camera and photo imaging show presents the latest products and technologies, all in order to help further the development of the photo industry and photographic culture from Japan — the heartland of the photo imaging industry — to the world

CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2015 will be taking place in Yokohama, Japan next week and I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to go along to help out.

I’ll be there for a week and I’ll be shooting for work pretty much constantly, but will hopefully also get the opportunity to shoot for myself, something that will be made especially amazing since I’ll be in great company with an amazing bunch of professional photographers:

Damien Lovegrove – portrait photographer and lighting guru from the UK
Chris Weston – wildlife photographer from Switzerland / UK
Knut Koivisto – portrait photographer from Sweden
Tomasz Lazar – reportage photographer from Poland and winner of a World Press Photo award 2012.

So now I’m left to decide what gear to take…

 

Documenting the show

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The “show bag”. Everything I’ll need to shoot and share at the show.

I want to travel light during the day, and at the show I will be looking to capture images that will reflect what is going on. I’ll be writing some blog posts and I’ll want some images that will help convey the general atmosphere and feeling of the show. For this I can’t think of a better option than my trusty X100S. (Actually an X100T is a better option for the wireless transfer but my Eye-Fi card lets me work around this). If I can get hold of one before next week, I’ll also be packing the WCL-X100 as it’s tiny yet that slightly wider angle of view can make a big difference when I don’t have any more space behind me to step into. Finally, I’ll also be using my trusty Gordy’s camera strap to hold my camera secure and close to my hand at all times.

Shooting for me

My wife has challenged me to help her decorate the living room. This basically means she wants some nice landscape shots (that I took so there’s a personal attachment) to print and frame. I’m not entirely convinced how plausible this might be looking at my schedule, but assuming I’ll get at least some free time in either Tokyo or Yokohama, I’ll need to make sure I’m prepared.

 

Camera + lenses

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Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 and the X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8

 

For this I’m going to pack an X-T1 and XF14mmF2.8. I know the XF10-24mmF4 is also a great choice, firstly for the flexible focal lengths, and secondly for the pretty amazing OIS for handheld shooting in low light, however the smaller size and the focus scales on the outside of the lens, as well as the ability to shoot wider than f/4 if I really need it, mean the XF14mm is going to be my wide lens of choice.

I think I’ll also take an XF35mmF1.4, mostly as a backup. If I find in the evenings that I could really use the wider apertures, you can’t go far wrong with any of the “trio” (soon to be “quadro”) of fast primes. As much as I love the XF56mmF1.2 for portraits, I find it fairly inflexible for general use, and since I’ve already got the equivalent focal length to the XF23mmF1.4 in the X100S, process of elimination leads me to the super all-round XF35mm.

 

Remote Shutter

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The Fujifilm RR-90 will come along for the trip to avoid any camera shake for any long exposures. Which brings me onto…

 

ND Filters

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LEE Filter Seven5 Deluxe kit plus rings to attach to X100S and also the XF14mm lens

 

I will certainly afford a bit of space in my luggage to hold my LEE Filter Seven5 deluxe kit. It’s small and gives everything I need for my level of photography. It comes with the holder, a polarising filter, a 0.6 ND Soft Grad, 0.6 ND Hard Grad and a 0.9 ND Hard Grad, and finally the 10-stop Big Stopper. Whether I’m fighting off the glaring sun to balance the exposure across my images better, or just trying to slow everything down to capture a more peaceful scene, I should hopefully have whatever I need.

 

Tripod

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My 3LeggedThing “Brian” will be coming along. He’s small and light and still stable enough for what I’ll be shooting. I’ve also got the smaller AirHed 0 ballhead that not only compliments the size of the X100S and X-T1, but also carries our own “X” branding! (almost)

 

Bag

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The “show bag”. You can also see the little felt camera bag that keeps the X100S extra safe inside the soft bag

 

I’ll actually take two bags. I have a lovely little bag called “Daniel” made is a collaboration between my faithful emploters and Millican that will serve as my “show bag” for when I know I’m only working. It’ll hold my X100S, WCL, wallet, iPad and other sundries like spare memory cards, spare batteries and charger very comfortably. It doesn’t add much in the way of protection – I learnt this the hard way when I discovered a broken filter that had been in the bag for one afternoon – but for what I’m carrying perfectly suitable, not to mention very light and (if I may say so myself) rather stylish.

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The “full kit bag”. This’ll basically be what I’m carrying when I’m out specifically shooting.

I’ll also be taking a ThinkTank Retrospective® 7. Although it’s a lot bigger than the Millican bag, this is a seriously good bag that pretty much lives on my hip if I go anywhere I know I might want to shoot. It’ll more than comfortably hold everything I’m taking, including the contents of the Millican bag, so if I do get the change to go out specifically to shoot, I’ll have everything with me at all times.

 

Other bits

I’ll take the EF-X8 (the one that comes with the X-T1) and EF-X20 flashes “just in case”, although I tend to just try to shoot with natural light. Also 2x spare batteries for each camera, chargers and pin adaptors.

Full list:

Fujifilm X100S camera
WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens for X100 series
Fujifilm X-T1 camera body
XF14mmF2.8 R wide-angle prime lens
XF35mmF1.4 R standard fast prime lens
Fujifilm RR-90 Remote Release cable
LEE Filter Seven5 Deluxe kit
3LeggedThing “Brian” tripod
Fujifilm X Millican “Daniel” camera bag
ThinkTank Retrospective® 7 camera bag
Fujifilm EF-X20 TTL flash (plus spare AAAs)
Apple iPad for uploading images in real time to Instagram
2x spare NP-95s for the X100S, 2x spare NP-W126s for the X-T1

So what about you?

I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. In fact, if you post it soon enough I might even have a chance to change my mind if anything is recommended that I hadn’t thought about. What would you take if you were planning a similar trip?

Notes

The use of third party products here is as result of my own choice, not that of Fujifilm’s. This blog post is not an official endorsement of any of these products from Fujifilm. It is simply my own opinions on which camera gear I will take on a trip, and why.

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See you soon!