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What’s in my Camera Bag

While we all know that I’m the worst at editing my photos in a timely fashion, I do get a lot of love on my photos (when I eventually post them), so I thought it would be fun to talk about what’s in my camera bag when I travel!  While I have a small mirrorless camera, today I’m talking about my Canon system.  For reference, I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark II.

journey of doing - whatP I N I T

Photography is definitely one of my passions, but it’s not cheap. I was really excited when I found the Canon refurbished lens site; I ordered one lens to try it out last year. It was sharp as a tack and absolutely perfect!  I have no qualms about recommend that you use this site, particularly when they have the additional 15% off sales!

What’s In My Camera Bag – Prime Lenses

Canon 50mm, f/1.2

This is my go-to lens.  It’s never what’s in my camera bag, it’s what’s on my camera almost all the time.  Before I upgraded to the f/1.2 version, I used the nifty fifty, upgraded to the slightly better version, and eventually bought the bullet and purchased the real thing.  This lens does a great job in any and all lighting conditions, but it is particularly powerful in low light situations.  I love the way that I can make the colors pop or fade into bright sunlight.  I’ve gotten so much mileage out of this lens that it’s the first thing I recommend to people who want to take their photography to the next level.

journey of doing - whatP I N I T

Canon 85mm, f/1.8 USM

When I did wedding photography, I absolutely loved the 85mm for candid shots during the reception.  It has beautiful bokeh when you shoot wide open, it’s sharp, and the price is fairly budget-friendly.  It’s a great addition to the 50mm (once you master it).  I’ve never shot with the (much) more expensive version, but I’ve heard it’s really heavy.  Personally, with the lens, I’ve never thought I needed to upgrade what’s in my camera bag.  This is an awesome lens for portraits and AND travel.  I just LOVE it.

Canon 200mm, f/2.8L II USM

Guys.  This lens is heavy.  Really heavy.  I’m thinking about buying the 135mm to see if it’s any lighter, but the 200mm is tough to travel with.  I haven’t used the 200mm too often – in fact, this is the first picture I’ve downloaded from it – but it is very, very sharp.  I have had a hard time using it with a tripod (because of the weight), but if you’ve got strong arm muscles, this would be a great option if you want to shoot long-range distances or detail shots.  This picture is a close up of the details of the astronomical clock in Prague.  I can’t wait to edit more pictures from this lens though – I think I’ve got some keepers to share!
journey of doing - whatP I N I T

Canon 35mm, f/1.4L

My mom just got me this lens for Christmas and I can’t wait to try it out!!  My friend Erin said it will change my life, and it did.  I love it as much (if not more than) my 50mm.  I need more time with it, but this picture from the Pizzale Michelangelo is a game changer!

journey of doing - whats in my camera bagP I N I T

Canon 24mm, f/1.4L II USM

Tom got me this lens for Christmas, even though my wide angle lens covers this focal lengths, I’m excited to have the additional aperture range similar to what I have on the 35mm and the 50mm.  This sun flare in Florence made me a believer in this lens!  It’s so fun to experiment with.

journey of doing - Arno Postcard PhotosP I N I T

What’s in My Camera Bag – Wide Angle Lens

journey of doing - whatP I N I T

Canon 16-35mm, f/2.8L

My wide angle lens is my second most used lens!  It’s fairly lightweight for L-glass and it’s extremely versatile.  I LOVE it for travel photography, but there can be a little bit of distortion when you shoot extremely wide.  It also doesn’t have the same aperture range as the prime lenses, but it does really well in low light.  This lens did an awesome job shooting fireworks when we were at the Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain for the 4th of July.  One of the reasons I really love this lens is because of the different ways you can frame shots.  Believe it or not, the picture below was shot using the my wide lens, not a zoom lens!

journey of doing - whatP I N I T

What’s in your camera bag when you travel?  Do you have a favorite lens??  Are there any gems that I’ve missed?

For More on What’s in My Camera Bag

(and tips & tricks):

how to get out of auto mode (and into manual) on your camera,

how to photograph fireworks, night photography tips,

what’s in my camera bag





  • Katie - Oh my gosh, lens envy! I have the Canon 6D and shoot the 50 mm, f/1.2 but now you’ve made me want MANY MANY more!

    Katie | Willow and WhiteReplyCancel

  • Kelli {A Deeper Joy} - You really do take amazing photos, Sara! I’d love to actually pour time into my camera. They’d never be that great, but I’d like to at least get a better lens than the one that I have.ReplyCancel

  • Van - Love this! I just got my first DSLR a couple of months ago and already know that I need a telezoom lens – Norwegian mountains and wildlife kinda require one. Haven’t decided what other lens I’m going to buy though so I’ll bookmark this 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Katie Elizabeth - I had no idea lenses were so expensive!!! Holy cowwww! I need to start saving my money 😉 How nice that there is a refurbished website though!ReplyCancel

  • Olya @ The Siberian American - I love this post! I have used a Nikon all my life, but Chris got me a Canon for Christmas, so I’ve been researching new lenses. I think I want the 85mm or the 135mm. Can’t decide yet!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah CC - So many lenses!! I’m jealous – believe it or not, I mostly just travel with my trusty lil iphone! I used to have an amazing DSLR (Nikon) that I loved, but I left it on a ferry boat in San Fran :'( and since then I haven’t gotten the courage/funds up to purchase another one. Someday the time will be right! I still love reading about other peoples’ photography, though… keep those lenses safe!ReplyCancel

  • Kate @ Green Fashionista - I know absolutely nothing about cameras, settings, lenses, and editing which is truly embarrassing as a blogger lol. You would be the best teacher ever! Your photos are always stunning <3
    Green FashionistaReplyCancel

  • Marcella ~ WhatAWonderfulWorld - Such a helpful post! 🙂 I really have no idea when it comes to lenses so this is so so helpful. And, what beautiful photos you take!!ReplyCancel

  • Pamela - Your pictures are so gorgeous! I am definitely going to have to check out some of your lenses.I’m still majorly learning how to use my camera haha!ReplyCancel

  • Mandy - I’m so jealous of your 5d mk ii. Although with all of the additions to the line of 5ds, this camera might drop low enough for me to purchase at some point in the future.

    I use the canon 60d and have mostly zoom lenses. My favorite is the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8 L. I can’t remember if I have the first version or the second with IS or not. Either way, we had saved up a bunch of points on our credit card and added a few amazon gift cards for me to make the purchase. When I got it, I was disappointed that it wasn’t wide enough. Can you imagine? So I purchased a cheap Sigma along with it. I think it was 8-16mm F/4-5.6. Anyway, I’ve loved both lenses. The canon is really stable and a work horse. I use it almost all of the time. I love the zoom and low light capabilities of it. And the wide angle, I’ve just about killed. I took it on the beach and got sand all up in it. *sigh* And then I got a filter stuck onto it. I’ve been really mean to it… But now that I’ve had such a wide range of options, I don’t think I could ever go back to just the nifty fifty.

    I love what you are doing with your prime lenses, though. I feel like prime are much better for obtaining sharper images.

    Can I ask what bag you use? I use a book bag we got from Costco for $30, but it ends up feeling extremely heavy, and the zipper just broke. 🙁 (It will still zip, but the zipper is split in half if you know what I mean?) I’d love to know what you use and if you recommend it. I imagine you’d want to use a very light weight bag that is easy to carry considering you have so many lenses and travel so frequently!ReplyCancel

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