Selecting Your Travel Run Kit Equipment

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08/03/2009 – Selecting Your Travel Run Kit Equipment

After writing about creating a ‘Run Kit’ for travel as a photographer a few days ago, in this post : 01/03/2009 – Traveling Quick & Light : Packing A ‘Run Kit, I have received many e-mails asking me how to select equipment for the creation of a ‘run kit.’

The quick and honest answer is that there is no right answer.  Every photographer is different, every photographer’s needs are different, and every photographer’s style is different.   What works for me many not work for other photographers.

While my ideal run kit includes a 16-35f2.8 and 70-200f2.8 someone else’s kit may include a 24-70f2.8 and 70-200f2.8 or 24-104f4 and 70-200f2.8.   If I shot Nikon, I’d probably travel with a 14-24f2.8 and 70-200f2.8.

What I can offer on the actual selection of equipment is this; you need to really take a hard look at what you shoot and how you shoot.  Situations and scenarios change and as photographers we need to be fluid in our thought process.  Sometimes I lay all my gear out and then make the tough choices of what gets left behind.   If you don’t think you’ll need a flash, don’t pack a flash; if you are not shooting sports, wild life or breaking news leave your lenses over 200mm at home; if you shoot primes consider leaving the 85f1.2 (85f1.4 for Nikon) on the shelf and pack your 85f1.8.

Take a hard look at your work, decide what lenses you use most commonly and see if they match up with what you plan to shoot while you’re out with your run kit, and pack only those lenses.

If you shoot with bodies that have extended body grips that you feel comfortable removing (I hate shooting bodies without the extended grips), then remove them and save additional space and weight!

A run kit is simply the essentials.  If you have a full-shoot coming up, skip the run kit and bring a full kit, but if you plan on using a run kit, pack it carefully, logically and it will serve you well out on the road.

Happy Flying!

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