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I’m winding down my vacation with a few days camping at Acadia National Park, and with the little time I have to be online, I figured I would answer a question I often receive—what’s in my camera bag.

While most of you know camera gear is really not a focus of mine, it is still critically important to success as a landscape photographer. I use what gets the job done for me, and in general I prefer top quality lenses, and as much resoltution as I can afford given I make and sell large prints. But I also enjoy smaller setups that are lighter and easier to carry, especaily in long hikes.

So for this particular 11 day trip, here;s what I packed in my GuraGear Uinta backpack:

2014-08-31 09.57.21

Primary Landscape Kit

  • Canon 1DS Mk III Body
  • Zeiss 21mm Distagon Lens
  • Canon 70–200mm L f/2.8 IS Lens

Secondary Kit

  • Olympus OM-D E-M1
  • Olympus 12mm f/2.8 Lens
  • Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 Lens
  • Olympus 45mm f/1.8 Lens
  • Olympus 75mm f/1.8 Lens


  • Manfrotto 190CF3 carbon fiber tripod
  • Kirk BH3 Ballhead
  • B+W Ciscular Polarizer
  • B+W 6 stop ND filter
  • B+W 10 stop ND Filter
  • Adapter rings for filters

While this is not the most versatile setup, I chose to bring more prime lenses on this trip to challenge myself creatively and keep my decisions simpler, which is always a good thing. Not having an option means I focus on what I can work with, and that makes me look more instead of simply relying on familiar habits.

Thanks for reading and any questions whatsoever, please let me know!

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This Post Has 10 Comments

    1. Thanks Ramon, yes I do love the Zeiss and is it fairly often, especially in this trip. I tend to move a lot more (which is a good thing) and conceder my compositions more carefully – which is always a good thing!


  1. You might consider the Olympus 12-40/2.8 instead of the 12, 20 and 45. The zoom as about as sharp as the primes and gives you the flexibility of a zoom, although obviously lacks the creative challenge of shooting with primes. It’s about the same weight as the total of the three primes.

    Nothing wider than 21mm full frame?

    1. Thanks for the feedback! Yes the 12-40 zoom is a nice lens, but I do prefer the creative challenges of prime lenses. They force me to consider my compositions more carefully, and for me that is crucial. Plus I can also go out with just the 12mm, which makes the kit very lightweight and easy to carry with other cameras.

      As for the Canon full-frame, I do have wider lenses, but on this trip I was perfectly fine to have just the 21mm wide angle. It’s an amazing lens, and again I’m interested in making successful photographs regardless of the focal length, so not really that important to me. I make fewer images for sure, but I am that much more aware of “seeing” first. I do appreciate your questions, I just think that vision is much more interesting and significant to making great images than the complexity of a camera system. But of course, these are just my opinions 🙂

      1. Thanks for the reply Robert. Since this is a post about gear I wonder if you might comment on the 4/3rds system for landscape photography. Specifically the limitations compared to a larger sensor for your work. I see a number of images on your site lately posted with the EM1, and they look fantastic. If I might be so bold, please comment on your situation specifically as I am aware of the general limitations of mFT, APS-C, and FF cameras. I shoot with APS-C and FF quite a bit, but want to consider mFT as a smaller kit. Thanks so much Robert, fantastic work.

  2. Just curious. Do you ever go backpacking? If so, what kind of backpack do you use to carry both camping gear and photo gear? I’m looking into going Ultra-light on backpacking gear as I do want to carry a lot of camera gear and it sure adds up!

  3. Did you bring some cloths as well for the 11 days? 😉
    On a serious note: Do you go on this trip alone? I always feel bringing that much gear is a waste of weight if other (non-photographers) accompany me…

    I really love your work and enjoyed your presentation very much. Thanks for keeping up the good information!

    1. Thanks for the kind feedback, Gunther, really appreciate it. I wasn’t backpacking, so weight was not an issue. This was a family trip, so I could carry what I needed depending on the situation. For long hikes alone, I might leave one body or the other behind, again depending on my goals and expectations.

      Knowing your gear inside out, it’s strengths and weaknesses, is the key.


  4. I am looking for a carbon fiber tripod. I am 6’5″ tall. I would like something not too heavy for those long hikes, yet sturdy and stable. Any suggestions?

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