A few people have asked me what kinds of equipment and gear I shoot photos with. The following is a list of everything I usually keep in my camera bag:
I actually use 2 different camera bags depending on the situation. They are:
The Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L
The first of these bags, the Lowepro Flipside Sport 20L, has unfortunately been discontinued. Because of this, they are very hard to get your hands on. Every now and then you can find a good one in used shape online for less than $100.
I bought this bag based on this recommendation from Tom at Disney Tourist Blog and I love it. I use this bag for everyday use, hiking or camping, and also traveling.
It fits all my gear comfortably and allows me to feel that its safely protected. I also use this if it is just Mary Beth and I in the Disney parks.+
If we have my nieces with us (which we often do) I will use the following bag instead:
TUBU Large Camera Backpack for Outdoor Hiking Shockproof Waterproof Fit Laptop DSLR Cameras and Gears (Blue)
I use this bag when traveling with my 7 and 11 year old nieces, as it allows me to keep a decent amount of camera equipment in the lower compartment, and still has a reasonable amount of space in the top compartment for things like autograph books, water, snacks and sunscreen.
I made the switch over to full frame earlier this year and have been very happy with the decision. I consider this to be the perfect camera body for Disney as it combines pro features and accessibility remarkably well. I previously shot with a Nikon D7100. I consider that an excellent option as well if you wish to stick to a crop sensor camera. Note: The D7100 is an older model in the D7000 series, but its significantly cheaper than the new D7500.
Tamron 15-30mm F2.8
This is the lens I use most often. I seriously love it! It is a cheaper alternative to the Nikon 14-24 and is comparable in terms of quality. You lose 1 mm on the wide end, which is not insignificant, but is not worth the $600 difference in price in my opinion.
Another cheaper option is the Tokina 16-28 f2.8, which is super sharp, but you lose one more mm width and there is no image stabilization.
Tamron 24-70mm F2.8
The 24-70, regardless of brand, is probably the most popular focal length lens for full frame shooters. I don’t use it that often as I find I usually want the wider angle of the 15-30. That being said, this lens delivers beautiful images which are tack sharp from the center all the way to the corners. Once again, the Tamron delivers in terms of quality when compared to the Nikon. And its over $1000 dollars cheaper than the VR version of the Nikon lens.
If you are on a budget, the older version of the Tamron 24-70 is even significantly cheaper than the current G2 model. Its VR isn’t quite as good and the autofocus a bit slower, but its still a wonderful lens and can be found for around $600 used.
Sigma 35mm f1.4 ART
This is my favorite prime lens I’ve ever shot with. Its tack sharp and produces the best looking bokeh of any lens I’ve seen. 35mm is a great focal length that is wide enough when shooting full frame for most situations, yet still forces you to be creative with a lot of shots. It’s also the single best lens for shooting dark rides.
There seems to be a common complaint online about the autofocus being off but mine was perfect out of the box. Many sellers include the Sigma docking station with the lens so that if there is an autofocus issue, you can hook it up and fine tune it yourself. Again, this was not necessary with mine.
Tamron 70-200mm f2.8
A great lens for when you need that extra zoom. This is a great lens for shooting parades, Fantasmic, or wildlife. Its my go to lens when riding Kilimanjaro Safaris or when viewing animals at Animal Kingdom Lodge.
Tokina 100mm f2.8 Macro
Mostly just used for Macro photography, this is a super sharp lens. The autofocus is loud and there is no image stabilization, but for what it is this is a great lens at a great price. I plan to shoot a parade or two with it soon and see how that turns out.
Nikon 50mm f1.8
I honestly don’t use this lens often at all. But its super small and light so I keep it in my bag in case I want a little extra focal length when photographing Disney dark rides. Other than that, I will almost always go for the sigma 35mm instead.