What’s in the Bag – Italy for a Month

by Dave Burns | Posted in What's in the Bag | Tags: , ,

This last May, I was lucky enough to spend my honeymoon in Italy. I couldn’t go on a trip of this scale without some serious photography (luckily my wife already knew this) so I put a lot of thought into what gear I wanted to bring. I’ve been enjoying my Fuji X-T1 lately and, although the last trip I did of this length was with my full-frame Canon gear, this time I wanted to bring a much lighter kit.

So what gear did I bring to Italy?

[ EDIT: After reading this, see my follow-up post where I discuss what worked and what did not. ]

The problem is, I’m a lazy photographer and changing lenses is sometimes a deterrent from shooting. In addition, my instincts from my African photo safaris mean I’m nervous unless I have backups. So even though I feel like I packed light, it’s all relative and some of my more hardcore street photographer friends will raise an eyebrow at my kit. I decided to bring two Fuji X-T1s (one mine, one rented from LensProToGo), each with a lens attached. I then brought a couple of other lenses to fill out my range. That plus a few spare batteries and accessories and my walk-around kit was only about 8 or 9 pounds:

My Fuji X-T1 kit for Italy
My Fuji X-T1 kit for Italy

Top left to bottom right, that’s:

How did I pack and carry it?

Like most photographers, I have a lot of bags because there’s always a better one for each scenario. All the ones I have though are fitted for full-frame SLRs and when I tried putting this mirrorless kit in them, my X-T1 just bounced around. I needed something more streamlined and fitted so I spent a lot of time searching for the right bag. This is where my unusual kit of two mirrorless bodies made things difficult.

Most people either bring a ton of full-frame gear or a very simple “street shooters” kit for mirrorless cameras, i.e. one body with one or two lenses. There are a lot of bags for either of these situations but I wanted a bag to carry two mirrorless bodies plus extra lenses which is unusual (some might argue it defeats the purpose of going light with mirrorless). So, I ordered about 5 bags from Amazon to experiment and then I returned 4*. I ended up with the Think Tank SubUrban Disguise 20. It hit the sweet spot for having enough capacity but not being too huge, plus it had the upside of being the lightest and the cheapest (and simplest) of any I tried.

Fujifilm X-T1 and Think Tank Sub Urban Disguise 20
A shot of the Fujifilm X-T1 and Think Tank SubUrban Disguise 20 to give a sense of scale for the bag

Of course, the bigger tripod and head didn’t go in the bag; that’s too much weight. I brought those out for specific locations at night or close to the car. Here’s a view into the top of the bag. The outer pockets have miscellaneous such as spare batteries, memory cards, etc.

How I packed my bag with two X-T1's and lenses
How I packed my bag with two X-T1’s and lenses

So, how well did it all work out and what would I do differently next time? That’s another blog post I’m writing now…

[ EDIT: See my follow-up post where I discuss what worked and what did not. ]

* What other bags did I try? They were:

About Dave Burns

Dave Burns is a wildlife, travel, and landscape photographer whose passions range from the beauty of the African savanna to the streets of Paris. He created Dave Burns Photo Tours to share his favorite places with other photographers, help them capture unique images, and learn more about photography and digital work flow. His next trip is an African photo safari to the Serengeti in February 2021. Dave’s images are in private collections and galleries. To contact him, use the contact page on this site.