My Travel Photography Kit
This question comes up often enough that I’m going to go ahead and address it now. I travel with the lightest smallest kit I can get away with.
My main camera body is the Nikon Df, it is the smallest lightest full frame DSLR body in production, it’s weather sealed and produces beautiful images featuring Nikon’s flagship D4/s sensor. The Df uses a traditional threaded mechanical cable release and this simplifies things a great deal in case you have to pick one up in Uzbekistan. On that same note I also carry a Gitzo travel tripod topped by a Kirk BH3 ball head, Really Right Stuff L- bracket and allen wrenches.
As far as lenses go, I typically travel with only three or four lenses. Although I stopped using it for a while, my main travel lens is once again the fantastic Nikkor 16-35mm f/4 VR ED and I pair it with the 70-200mm f/4 VR , 24mm f/1.4 ED and 50mm f/1.4. I stick with Nikkor lenses not only because they’re really good but also because I find autofocus a valuable tool and the weather sealing cannot be underestimated in adverse conditions on the road where I try to keep lens changes to a minimum. Other lenses in my kit include the gorgeous Zeiss ZF.2 primes. In fact my around town kit usually consists of the ZF.2 28mm f/2, ZF.2 50mm f/1.4 and ZF.2 85mm f/1.4, sometimes I’ll take these lenses on extended excursions but honestly I prefer the Nikkors in uncertain environments. Yes, I know all about hyperfocal distance and zone focusing.
I do use high quality B+W XS-Pro UV filters on all my lenses and this is because of where I travel. It’s very easy to wipe sand, dirt, moisture and grit from these filter, they are tough and durable. I always have two B+W circular polarizers with adapter rings to fit all my lenses. Add to this the ubiquitous spare batteries, microfiber cleaning cloths, blower, lens pens, memory cards, 13 inch Macbook Pro, iPad, iPhone and Lacie external drives. My strap is a Black Rapid with a silenced fastener. That’s it. For the past several years I’ve been carting this stuff around in a Think Tank Streetwalker Hard Drive or an Ona Astoria. The tripod legs travel in my 25 inch Eagle Creek Switchback with the rest of my things and my Leatherman.