Does this ever happen to you?
So there I was yesterday morning planning a nice trek through the woods behind my house, thinking that it sure would be nice to limit how much I carry. Usually I take what seems like a 100 pound pack of camera equipment and ?stuff?. I thought it would be nice this time to take one camera, one lens, a small belt pack with a snack and water bottle. I?d have room in the belt pack for a few filters, maybe some close-up filters, maybe those Chroma-Zone color cards I?ve been meaning to try out, a cable release; you know, the necessities of photo life. I would have to deal with the limitations of a single lens, but that would be well worth it to be able to move freely and lightly. Of course, the lens is slightly soft wide open (or so people say; I never really noticed it), and it does have more distortion than I would like, so maybe I?ll replace it with two lenses: a 24-85 and a 60 macro. That?ll give me better quality and, besides, isn?t that what interchangeable lenses are for? I can move my stuff into a waist pack instead of the belt pack to have room for the extra lens. In fact, now I?ll have room for several more filters and my right-angle finder, which I?ll need since I have the macro lens with me. And, there?s enough room for my 35 f/2 for low light situations, which always arise in the woods.
I remember last time I was out, I thought about carrying a flash for fill-in, and the waist pack has two water bottle holders built-in that would be great to carry the flash and the 60 macro right at hand, without having to dig through the inside of the pack. I can always attach a separate water bottle carrier. Now I have room for a note pad and pen to take notes on my use of the Chroma-Zone cards, too! And now that the 60 macro is outside the pack, I can carry my 85 f/1.8 for seriously low light photos. And since I?ve now got a 35 and 85, I don?t need the 24-85, I?ll just take my 24 f/2.8. All those lenses still take 52 / 62mm filters, so I won?t need much more space for different size filters. I do need my tripod, though, since I have the macro lens and right angle finder, and what good are low light lenses without a tripod? So I wear the waist pack around my waist, the camera over one shoulder and carry the tripod. That leaves one shoulder free for ... my 80-400! I?ve been meaning to carry it to see if I can get a shot of what I think is a mountain lion that my wife heard one night about a year ago. Everyone tells me there aren?t any mountain lions in this part of the country, but you never know. I?d hate to be looking around with my binoculars, see a mountain lion and not be able to take a picture. Binoculars! I need to fit them in somewhere.
So now I have five (count ?em: FIVE!) lenses plus a tripod for this simple trek through the woods, and I?m thinking that all this stuff would be much more comfortable in a backpack, and besides, then I?d have room for a snack and water bottle, since somehow a spare camera body has ended up in the strap-on water bottle carrier.
Next time, I am DEFINITELY going to limit myself to the 24-85 and 50 macro. Well, OK, and the 35 f/2 for low light, but THAT?S ALL!
Oh, and, no, I didn?t see a mountain lion, but why would I; there aren?t any in this part of the country.