Wednesday, August 2, 2017

What’s in My Camera Bag II

In the previous blog ( I discussed the contents of my camera bag from 2009 (“Last Great Film Vacation”) to 2016. I also discussed the reasons why one stereo camera is not enough for me. I need a variety of stereo bases and close-focusing abilities. So my camera bag contained a standard stereo camera (Fuji W3 or Panasonic 3D1, which also allows for hyperstereos and close ups), a twin camera rig for mild hyperstereos, a single camera for single camera 3D, and a Panasonic camera with the 3D lens for macro pictures.

Things changed in 2016 when I discovered the twin Samsung NX1000 cameras (see:

Because of the normal spacing in the z-configuration (68mm) and good synchronization, this pair serves both as a normal stereo camera and also twin camera with a wider stereo base. It is also possible to use one camera for single camera stereo. This changed the contents and size of my camera bag, in a good way.

So, what am I carrying in my camera bag today?

The answer depends on the length, purpose and importance of the trip, vacation, outing, etc.  There are different levels:

  • Level 0: No stereo camera, just the phone for 2d pictures.

  • Level 1: Panasonic 3D1 camera. Even though this camera has a narrow lens spacing, it is easy to use, more compact than the Fuji and gives better pictures overall. If I only take one stereo camera with me, this is it.

  • Level 2: This is most often my “to go” camera bag. Here is a picture of it:

It consists of the following:

  • (Optional) Extra set of lenses. For general photography I use the 20mm (fixed focal length) lenses. I might carry other lenses, depending on what I plan to shoot. For example: 10mm (ultra wide), 16mm (wide), 45mm (shown here, for portraits or other pictures where a slightly longer focal length works better - if I carry a second pair of lenses, this is usually it). Any extra lenses are carried and stored as I describe in this blog:

  • Panasonic 3D1 camera (and platform to carry it better). Great for close-ups, one of my favorite type of pictures.

  • Small supplies: Pair of extra batteries, SD cards, cleaning tissue.

  • All that stuff fits inside the LowePro AW bag. I like this bag a lot because it fits the completely assembled NX1000 rig, without having to take the handle off. There is room in the main compartment for an extra pair of lenses. Small accessories (batteries, etc.) fit in a little pocket at the top. The 3D1 and flash fit in the front pocket. There are also two straps on each side that can hold one or two longer twin camera bars vertically, see:

  • Level 3: In addition to Level 2, I might carry equipment for specialized use such us remote/high perspective photography, wide base hyperstereo, macro 3d, bird/wildlife/zoo photography, underwater photography.

Macro pictures: I carry a Panasonic GX7 camera with the 3d lens. Possibly two lenses with 0.5mm and 1.0mm extensions. Possibly one or two more compact flashes, or the Chinese double flash. This requires its own separate camera bag. I am working on finding a similar system that works with the Samsung cameras so I do not have to carry the Panasonic. Then I will be able to take macro pictures with less equipment.

Extensive Flash: If I plan to do more flash photography, I might carry more flashes, slaves, or related equipment.

Hyperstereos: I can shoot hyperstereos (up to 8 inches) with the Samsung rig, or non-synchronized hyperstereos with one camera and shift. If I am planning to shoot synchronized hyperstereos with a longer base, I will take one or two camera bars (two bars can be connected to form a longer bar).

Remote shooting: I carry an extra remote cable. I might carry the remote cable anyway, in case I want to separate the cameras longer supported on a ledge or even hand-held by two different people. Here is combination that allows for this:

High Perspective: In addition to the remote cable, I carry a pole for high perspective shooting. Here is an example (our house, with no tree to climb on sight):

Telestereo: For this I need longer focal length lenses plus a twin bar and possibly a tripod. Here is a possible outfit, consisting of 50-200mm zoom lenses:

Underwater Stereo: I have used a water tight camera bag for the Panasonic 3D1 camera in the past, with good results. This is flat and easy to carry. There is no excuse not to have one with me all the times if I am close to water or if there is a danger of the camera getting wet. Here is an example:

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