Is gear important. No not really, but you can’t do without. So what gear do I use when for my street photography. An overview, from camera, lenses to bag and assecoires.
For my street photography I use only my micro four third camera: Olympus OMD-EM10 (MK1). It is small, fast and delivers great quality. It delivers good value for money. Because of it small size it helps in staying unnoticed. There are a lot other cameras that can do the job. Though you can perfectly go with a DSLR camera I would advise to go for something small.
I shoot a lot single-handed (e.g. from the hip, or raising the camera and putting it down again). Good grip is important for that. Therefor I use the Olympus External Grip (ECG–1) on my Olympus OMD-EM10 camera. It delivers far better grip and the ability to handle it in a better way with just one hand.
Straps are a matter of taste. There are many straps out there. Colored, printed, leather, nylon etc. I use straps from Peak Design, because of the ease to switch between leash and cuff. I use the cuff a lot, more than the strap.
For my street photography I have chosen to be close. And by choice I only use prime lenses. Therefor I shoot most of the time with a wide prime. There are several options for a wide-angle of around 20mm focal length.
I use the Olympus 17mm f/1.8 lens. A great lens that is fast and delivers great quality. A low(er) cost alternative is the Sigma 19mm f/2.8 lens, I used it also for some time.
For shooting e.g. (candid) street portraits I use the Olympus 45mm f/1.8. Great lens, fast, sharp and delivers great quality. Worth every penny. Combined with the 17mm this is a great set for street photography.
For both of the lenses I use a lens hood. A lens hood protects against sun flare, but also protects the lens front from scratches and other possible damage. Note that these lens hoods are ridiculously expensive, just that you are aware.
Lens Cleaning I use a (microfiber) lens cleaning cloth. No fluids. That can become quite messy in your bag if things break.
This seems to be the most difficult accessory of all. So many choices and all have pros and cons. I use the ThinkTank Retrospective 5. A bag that is not an obvious and traditional camera bag. It supports you to remain unnoticed.
It supports my main requirements: be able to take my camera, lenses, batteries, memory cards and a small note taking book. It cannot fit an iPad (also not a mini), just saying. It includes a rain cover to maintain your stuff safe and dry when rain starts to fall down on you.
Worst that can happen is that you are out on the street and batteries are dying on you. You can not have enough spare batteries. One extra is the bare minimum. The advise is to have two to three extra batteries is, especially if you want to keep shooting for a whole day.
I have several (3–4) Memory cards with me, all fast 16GB cards. A 16GB card can hold around 860 raw pictures. I choose to use more smaller cards instead one single big card as a matter of safety. If a 16GB card breaks you lose 16GB worth of pictures if a 32GB (or 64GB) card breaks you loose a lot more.
Phone including extra backup battery. Standard I would say, it can support you in navigating around and finding nice spots. But it is also very useful if you want to use the Olympus OI.Share app. With this app you can a.o. track your route and have the GPS coördinates transferred into your pictures.
Notebook: small paper notebook and pen(cil) to make some notes as you go. Alternatively you could also capture your notes in your phone. However old-fashioned pen and paper somehow is more easy to me. Contact Card: I am using Moo-Cards with my contact details. They might come in handy when you want to share contact information.
Blogging, blogging, really. Hans is a senior professional in the areas of security, software development, project, program ad portfolio management. He likes photography. This blog just reflects my personal opinions. Nothing more.