I just returned from a three-day photography conference in Chicago, Illinois, called "Out of Chicago." (http://conference.outofchicago.com - Next year's is already planned!) I left on Friday and returned yesterdayy, Monday. My clothes packing was spot on. I did take some things I didn't wear/need, but I was glad I had them. I mention this only because my photo gear packing was a bit different. Whenever I go on a trip of any length, I take most of my camera gear. I take my main camera (Olympus E-M1), Nissin i40 flash, and assorted lenses in my Vanquest VSlinger bag and my Olympus E-PL6 with the Panasonic 20mm as well as my Olympus 60mm lens in a smaller bag. Sometimes my old, trusty Eagle Creek bag or another one. This time I chose my LL Bean birder bag for its small yet roomy profile. In the VSlinger I also carry the other things one usually has to be sure and bring along such as batteries and charger, SD cards, cables and miscellaneous other things. In the smaller bag, I have my WD MyPassport Wi-Fi drive, my iPad Mini 3, and my little Kindle e-reader. Last night I weighed both of these bags and the Vanquest weighed in at 20 pounds and the LL Bean bag at 7 pounds. When I took off the strapped-on MeFoto DayTrip tripod, my umbrella, and full water bottle, the Vanquest’s weight dropped to 15.5 pounds. When I was in Chicago, I used a Lowepro Passport Sling daily, which I had packed in my checked bag. It is a bit roomier than the LL Bean bag and I could carry what I felt I would need that day while at the conference. For example, my E-M1+12-40mm fit in the camera insert compartment nicely and I could carry my iPad beside it. In the front I could put the E-PL6, my MyPassport drive, and a bag with cables. A water bottle fits in the back pocket of the bag. I see that Lowepro has come out with a new model, the Passport Sling III, that has, I assume, a bit more room, but adds a sleeve for mobile tablet, etc.
This was a 3-day trip all about photography so I, naturally, thought I needed to be prepared for anything. Well, in reality, I spent most of Saturday and Sunday in conference sessions (i.e., no image making!) and I had only signed up for one photowalk. I took more pictures on that walk and my walks to and from my hotel than at any other time. Bottom line: I only used my E-M1 with the 12-40mm on the photowalk and then again with a borrowed 40-150mm, f/2.8 lens (generously given to me to use for the morning by Jennifer Colucci, an Olympus rep) Sunday morning. Most of my shooting was done with my small Olympus E-PL6 and an equally small 20mm lens!
I am thinking that I would have been fine with just the Lowepro Sling, given that I didn’t touch any of my other lenses. I ended up never using my new DayTrip tripod nor my little Nissin i40 flash! Oh, well, I guess the good news is I was ready “just in case,” right? It’s the way I would pack, however, on any longer trip where I knew I would have varied opportunities to shoot and would, most likely, have occasion to use my 75-300mm, as well as my other lenses, such as the 60mm. However, next time I go on a shorter trip and have the “just in case” inclination, I am going to nip it in the bud and pack up my Passport Sling!
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