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What is in Ben Reeve's Camera Bag?

What is in Ben Reeve’s Camera Bag?

I think all photographers share a similar passion of being a gear junky and curious what others are using as part of their kit. I am definitely in this category, and I love to find what others use and why they use it. I thought in this post I would share everything in my main kit bag, and why I selected these as my primary tools. Check out the video at the end to see how I load my bag!
My bag of choice, with out a doubt, is from Think Tank. They make the best bags ever. I have two rollers- the Airport Takeoff, which is pictured above. I also have the Logistics Manager. I don't recommend this bag for everyone, as it's Think Tanks largest bag, but it is great for carrying my studio strobes, a couple of stands, and umbrellas all inside the bag.
On the outside of my kit bag I can attach a tripod and carry additional items if needed. I keep a Pixil extra battery pack for my speed light in the outside large flap when I don't have my laptop with me. These are helpful for quicker refresh rates and longer shooting. I also carry two Rogue Flash Benders for quick light modification if I need it.
On the inside flap I carry some basics:
  • spare camera body
  • extra caps in case I lose one
  • sync cables
  • gels

I also forgot to mention that I carry a leather man and a lighter with gaffers tape. You never know when you need to repair something!
Now for the main compartment. I carry a Sekonic L-478DR. It's really a great help in knowing where to start or troubling light situations. I carry three speed lights: one Lumopro LP-180, and two Nikon SB-900s. I typically only use one to two lights but the spare is good to have if one over heats or breaks.
I use Pocketwizard Plus III radio triggers to trigger my speed lights and my studio strobes. I know there are less expensive options, and I have tried several of them. I prefer the Pocketwizards for their reliability and with my Sekonic I can trigger the lights remotely to check my lighting ratios.
For my main lens I use the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR II. I use this lens about 90% of the time. If I had to give up items in my bag this would be the last to go! Of course there are other choices, and I know several people who use the Tamron version of this lens are ecstatic with it's performance. My next lens is the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. Typically needed for the wide angle side of the focal length, and I use this more for events than any portraiture. I am thrilled with the performance of the newest lens in my kit the Nikon 85mm f/1.8G - great for portraits. My last lens, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4G, is primarily for lowlight and walking around.
Finally my camera... I use the Nikon D800. There are a ton of reasons why and here are several:
  • Full frame
  • 36mp
  • button layout
  • ergonomics
  • high ISO capability
  • two memory card slots for extra peace of mind

Some will say the frame rate is too slow, and at 4 per second it is pretty slow, but I shoot portraits and don't need the speed. I have also shot several weddings and never needed the speed. With 36mp I have options for cropping and I print 20x30 inch prints from jpgs without a worry in the world. Perfectly crisp Images!