what to pack for....

As an extension of the Landscape bag reveal, I thought I would look at the longer expedition version of the same kit. This kit is a little more comprehensive as subject and logistical realities will be paramount and the assumption is this outfit can handle extended periods away from home.

The rugged EM1 would be in instead of the Pen F and 2 EM5’s added for versatility and depth (sh#t happens even to the best cameras). The assumption is weather will always be a factor, so the go-to lenses would be the 12-40 and 12-100 pro zooms. Both zooms can do each other’s jobs but their combined weight is less than a full frame 24-70 f2.8 zoom. The 75-300 and 25 prime would be used in any but the riskiest of circumstances (possibly the 75-300 would be replaced by a 40-150 pro and extender if funds/weight allow, possibly in exchange for the 12-100).

The usual filter, card, cleaning and battery stocks. The ability to clean a sensor and glass in the field would be wise.

A late edition is the 20,000 mh battery pack at the bottom. I have 8 batteries in total for my kit (10 if I borrow back my wife’s Pen mini), but only two for the EM1. This pack will give me about 8-12 charges.

One of the advantages of a modern, non full frame mirrorless kit is the ability to carry backup gear without breaking the process. The fast prime is a must for occasional low light portraits.

Knowing myself reasonably well, I know I would be drawn to short to medium telephoto compositions more often than not, so the 12-100 would be the first lens mounted, then the 12-40 as a lower light or less cumbersome option. I can also mount polarising and ND filters onto one permanently and not the other, making me much more responsive to changing situations.

The limit of a 12mm (24e) lens is reduced by two factors; I do not like overly wide perspective (that is for others to do well) and I can stitch a 2-3 frame panoramic as needed. If this changes, the little Laowa 7-5 would probably be added, but the reality is, only one image on this post was shot with a lens wider than a standard focal length (the ferns). The one directly below was taken using the full frame equivalent of a 200mm.

Assuming that what ever can go wrong will, a roll of cloth tape and a Gerber Suspension would be included as well as the usual trekking gear.

The tripod set up is semi modular and pretty basic. A medium weight head and legs with a light weight, backup head and legs with the ability to swap as needed. I am long over being precious about tripods. They need to be steady enough for a light M43 rig using electronic shutter and tall enough to reach my chest (41/2 feet). After that I really do not care.

The bag is a little trickier. The Pro tactic 350 Lowepro is the logical choice if I am working from a mobile/static base and for getting gear stowed safely, but if I am hiking in/out, the Inverse 100 (modified, see review) and a regular expedition back pack would be used. The extra kit would be in a padded bag at the top of my pack or in the smaller zip-on pack on the back. I could also carry a set of external bags and pouches and the removable waist belt from the Pro tactic for more options.

What would I use if not this? Again the Panasonic range would offer a logical alternative (G9, 12-60, 50-200 and 15 f1.7 Leica’s) as would Fuji (XT3, XH-1, 14, 18-55, 100-400, 90 macro), otherwise I would right now turn to SLR’s. Canon (7DII with 70-200 f4LII and 6DII with 24-70f4 IS, 1.4 extender and 50 f2.5 macro/portrait-love that old lens or 40mm pancake), Pentax (K-1 FF/CF cross-over kit as above), or Nikon (probably a D7500 for speed & D7200 for back up and added resolution, with a 16-85, 70-200 F4, extender and 50 f1.4 G). I would prefer mirrorless, but if I had to choose right now from Canon, Nikon and Pentax, SLR’s would be my choice.