If You Had to Simplify Your Camera Kit… [DISCUSS]


If you had to really strip your camera gear back to the very basics what would you do?

Whats in my camera bag 52/365

This question comes after a chat with a friend yesterday who admitted that he now had 3 DSLRs and 14 lenses for them… in addition to several compact cameras and a four thirds camera body with 4 lenses.

I asked him what he’d do if he had to give it all up except for one camera body and one lens and he almost started to hyperventilate but it led to a fascinating conversation about the merits of different gear.

I know not everyone has that level of gear at their disposal but I know many of our readers have acculated quite a bit of gear…. so what would you do if you had to simplify or strip it back to the basics.

Lets say you can only have one camera body and one lens – which ones would you keep?

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Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Anton Tuppes

    Leica M6 + Noctilux 50 mm

  • V. John Reyes

    My Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 18-300 mm lens

  • dipanjan

    Nicon3100 +Nicon 35mm f-1.8

  • Dustin Baugh

    Lumix GX-1 and the 20mm (40mm eq) 1.7 Prime lens. The kit and power zoom lenses are more versatile but the prime lens stimulates my creative side more.

    And I wouldn’t go bigger with the camera because the GX-1 is light for hiking to the back-country or small enough to be clandestine on the streets of the city.

  • A390 & 50mm F/1.4 lense

Some Older Comments

  • Jack Herrmann March 22, 2013 08:58 am

    A390 & 50mm F/1.4 lense

  • Dustin Baugh October 22, 2012 09:59 am

    Lumix GX-1 and the 20mm (40mm eq) 1.7 Prime lens. The kit and power zoom lenses are more versatile but the prime lens stimulates my creative side more.

    And I wouldn't go bigger with the camera because the GX-1 is light for hiking to the back-country or small enough to be clandestine on the streets of the city.

  • dipanjan October 21, 2012 11:12 pm

    Nicon3100 +Nicon 35mm f-1.8

  • V. John Reyes October 20, 2012 09:33 pm

    My Nikon D7000 + Nikkor 18-300 mm lens

  • Anton Tuppes October 19, 2012 11:00 pm

    Leica M6 + Noctilux 50 mm

  • Marianna Zelichenko October 19, 2012 06:03 pm

    My Canon 5D mark II and the 85mm F1.8.
    It's light and works well for what I do most (portraits and street photography).

  • nomo October 19, 2012 02:09 pm

    My Pentax K-r and the 35mm F2.4 lens is all need really.

  • hayyanah October 19, 2012 10:37 am

    Canon EOS 550d + canon 18-135mm lens or 50 f/1.8

  • artsite October 19, 2012 10:11 am

    I have begun using a Pentax Q - a very small camera with great capabilities. i have even shot some video with it to good effect. It is so small it is useful in places a bigger camera might be a problem. The camera's own options provide an interesting challenge, but you can use it fully manual to great effect though the focus takes time to get used to. It does not replace my main cameras But it's my everyday camera now.

  • Adrian October 19, 2012 06:17 am

    My D7000 and Nikon 24mm f/2.8

  • Derek Schwartz October 19, 2012 02:25 am

    7D and Tamron 28-75 2.8, although the 50mm 1.4 prime would be awfully hard to give up.

  • Lawrence October 19, 2012 01:51 am

    If only one.... Leicaflex SL with 50mm Summicron-R.

  • Shri October 18, 2012 08:36 am

    NIKON D7000 and 35 mm f/1.8

    This is what I use for all my experiments!

  • EricS October 17, 2012 07:10 pm

    My Nikon FM3a and a 50/1.4 ai... ups sorry, wrong post :p What I really meant was a Nikon D5100 and an AFS 35/1.8G cheers :)

  • Russ October 17, 2012 05:00 am

    Camera: 5D mk3; Lens: Canon 24-105mm L. I give talks on Digital Outdoors (shooting in the wild) and I call that lens my "juggling bear" lens. If I have it on the camera I know I can get it, if the juggling bears walk out of the woods. I would say the 100-400mm L, but they could be too close and too dark. Love both of 'em.

  • Jonas October 16, 2012 10:27 pm

    D7000 and 35 f/1,8 G

    If I could choose the kit I want; D800E with 50 f/1.4 G

  • James dw October 16, 2012 09:01 pm

    I live in Africa so wildlife and landscapes are my life. Nikon D300s and 18-300mm covers the range with a 2x converter I van shoot birds as well. I would like to sneak the 50mm into my pocket as well.

  • bryan denver photographer October 16, 2012 02:12 pm

    5d mark II 24-105l speedlite 600

  • Jon Steen October 16, 2012 03:27 am

    5DMK3 and 35mm 1.4L

  • Scott October 15, 2012 11:59 pm

    d800 and the 60mm macro covers the normal , macro and you can crop the image as needed.

  • Budi October 15, 2012 07:36 pm

    canon 50D and sigma 17-70mm f2.8 is my everyday gear :-)

  • ccting October 15, 2012 07:12 pm

    What i have : D5100, 35mm f/1.8g, 18-55mm vr kit lens, 2 china made lightstands, 3 YN560. That's all i have... perhaps you can donate unused equipment to me... ;D

  • Cole October 15, 2012 01:46 pm

    Nikon D700 & the Noct-NIKKOR 58mm f/1.2 (I don't own either of these but that is what I would choose)

  • Iza Korwel October 15, 2012 07:42 am

    I do not have a problem with limiting my gear. I prefer shooting natural light, so studio equipment is always at home. Sometimes, if I plan do something fun, I will take a flash with me. Usually, I go out with one lens, 18-200 mm zoom. When I need to shoot indoors, my prime 35 mm (it is 50 mm equivalent for cropped sensor camera) goes with me so I can open it to f/1.4. All of this makes me think what I can do with the gear I have with me, and is neither helping nor hindering my creativity.

  • Ricardo Garcin October 15, 2012 03:34 am

    My trusty Nikon D80 and my 50mm 1.4D.
    Then again, i would probably leave my kid at home and have my tokina 11-16 2.8 take his place instead!

  • Bill October 14, 2012 02:58 am

    My Canon 7D and Tamron 20-300mm. Hope to replace this lens with an IS lens in the near future.

  • Kev October 13, 2012 06:24 pm

    Fuji X100 also... Classic!

  • Kev October 13, 2012 06:21 pm

    I own all the standard G Nikon lenses, but maybe the 28mm f2.8 AIS with my D700 would cover most bases... One more? 85mm f1.4 G

  • mike October 13, 2012 11:10 am

    I have a NEX-5N (and 2 DSLRs). I would keep the NEX-5N and 16-50 lens for versatility.

  • Jim Woolsey October 13, 2012 07:52 am

    I would keep my 5D mII with my 70-200 2.8L II.

  • Rob October 13, 2012 07:14 am

    I have a Canon 7d. Yes I know that they are expensive tro buy new, but I bought mine second hand on ebay. A fantastic camera, I wouldn't be without it. But you need to take it off the auto setting and use it to its full potential. But even a basic camera can take great photos. Before you upgrade your camera, consider upgrading your lenses first. Good quality lenses are a better investment than upgrading your camera in many cases.

  • Norman October 13, 2012 05:34 am

    Panasonic Lumix G3
    Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7

  • felix October 13, 2012 03:49 am

    My D7000 with 35mm 1.8. Worked fine last vacation.

  • shelley sargent October 13, 2012 03:48 am

    Canon Rebel xti + 50mm F/1.8 (aka nifty fifty)

  • Danny parrado October 13, 2012 02:56 am

    Nikon. F5 and 50mm lens

  • Collins October 13, 2012 02:38 am

    Nikon D800 + Zeiss 35/1,4 Distagon

    It's a heavy setup. But i really couldn't ask for much else.
    (the funny thing is i have this set up RIGHT NOW with me >__<
    ... sure going to miss my 24/1.4G though T__T)

  • Richard October 13, 2012 02:24 am

    Rebel T2i and the nifty fifty. It's all that I use anymore. Everything else is just sitting in a lowepro bag in my office. Need to put some stuff on ebay.......

  • Peter October 13, 2012 01:57 am

    Canon 7D and 24 -105mm. I had my 3rd and biggest cancer surgery in June and HAD to scale down. Haven't touched my 70-200L.

  • Jay October 13, 2012 01:56 am

    I would keep my old, faithful, Rebel and my awesome 50mm 1.8. I know all the strengths and quirks of this combo and can concentrate on becoming a better photographer (hey, why don't I just do this for a month? Thanks Darren!)

  • Lloyd October 13, 2012 01:53 am

    Leica M9, 35mm 1.4 Summilux FLE

  • Pascal Parent October 13, 2012 01:52 am

    Canon EOS 5D MkIII and the Canon EF 24-105mm f/4 IS L

  • Deb Scally October 13, 2012 12:37 am

    Canon 7D with my 70-300 b/c I cd do portraits, and I love compression even in landscapes ... plus if I was allowed to use my Kenkos i could do killer macros.

  • acierman October 13, 2012 12:27 am

    i would keep my rebel 2ti with my 50mm 1.4 canon lens as a tear rolls down my cheek

  • Frank Villafane October 12, 2012 11:57 pm

    D600 with the Nikon 28-300mm lens. It covers virtually everything...wide-angle, zoom, portrait, etc. About the only thing it doesn't really do is macro...but I'm not doing macro photography anyway.

  • patrick dinneen October 12, 2012 11:54 pm

    Pentax K-7 (only have one Dslr body) and Tamron 17-50 f2.8

  • kitt October 12, 2012 11:44 pm

    Couldn't part from my 60D and Tamron 17-55/2.8.

  • Jurek / Jerry October 12, 2012 10:17 pm

    Canon EOS 60D & Tamron 17-50 VC or the Tamron 28-300.

  • Hansel October 12, 2012 09:58 pm

    Canon 500D + 50mm f1.8

    You should sum up the results Darren and see which lens comes in first :D

  • Miran October 12, 2012 08:32 pm

    Canon 1000D + EF-S 17-55/2.8

  • Martin October 12, 2012 07:19 pm

    Canon 50D + Canon 35mm f/2 lens

  • Andrew Beasley October 12, 2012 05:55 pm

    I would keep my small Sony compact - not the best of the bunch but has the advantage of being in the car or with me all the time. You never know when a camera is handy.

    Now that looks an interesting sky out there this morning - excuse me folks...

  • Thomas October 12, 2012 05:35 pm

    I would keep my Nikon body and my Nikkor 85/1.4 and 20-35/2.8

  • Guido October 12, 2012 05:14 pm

    I only had a 60D and a Sigma 30/1.4 for two years and it was great. I recently added a Sigma 105/1.8 and a Tokina 11-16/2.8 to complete my trinity but my original combo did almost everything I needed (except macro/tele and ultra-wide, hence the two new additions). Coupled with a Nissin Di866 and a Benro CF Travel Angel, I have an outstanding kit :)

  • Judith Ann Mcdermott October 12, 2012 05:14 pm

    Good post! This is the kind of information that should be distributed on the online community. I would like to read more of this.

  • Jeff E Jensen October 12, 2012 03:39 pm

    Hmm, probably the 1D Mk IV and the 24-105 f/4.oL.

  • Tom October 12, 2012 03:34 pm

    Olympus OMD E-M5 and 17mm (35mm equivalent FOV) lens.

  • Devang Gargieya October 12, 2012 03:34 pm

    Canon 7d with canon 24-70 f/2.8...

  • Alex October 12, 2012 03:24 pm

    d800 + 28mm 1.8G

  • NateW October 12, 2012 03:12 pm

    Easy. 5D Mark III and 50mm f/1.2. Sure would be hard to give up my 85mm f/1.2L and 100mm f/2.8L IS Macro though. 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II would be 4th on the depth chart.

  • Darrell Westmoreland October 12, 2012 02:14 pm

    D700 with Nikon 24-120mm f4 VR zoom.

  • Jeff Bartlett October 12, 2012 02:10 pm

    I'd keep my Nikon d800 and a 16-35 f/4 lens.

    The camera body is an easy choice. Not only did I just purchase it, but its the best camera I've yet to put my hands on and it'll get e through any situation. The lens is a perfect choice because at 35mm, it does great environmental portraits, at 16 it does great wide angles, and somewhere in the middle I am sure there is a middle ground. The other two obvious lens choices would be the 14-24 or 24-70. I feel the former is too landscape-only oriented, while the latter isn't wide enough. The 16-35 splits the gap and stays in my kit.

  • hr October 12, 2012 01:41 pm

    Fuji X100

  • Jim October 12, 2012 01:23 pm

    My D7000 and 16-85VR Lens

  • Sheryl Salisbury October 12, 2012 01:11 pm

    Nikon D300s with a Nikkor 18-200mm zoom lens. Then I'd cry cause I didn't have my other lenses. lol

  • Brock October 12, 2012 01:05 pm

    5D II with 24mm TS-E. I think something like 80 percent of the photos I shoot on that, a 24-105 and 16-35 end up shot at 24mm anyway, and it's gloriously sharp when you get it right. Plus a tripod and careful shifting and stitching later provides MF-esque depth of field and resolution.

    That said, I bought an X Pro 1 with a 35mm recently and it's such a charming camera to shoot that if there's not a specific reason to pick up the 5D I find myself taking the Fuji more and more often... so I may in fact have to toss a coin

  • Rob October 12, 2012 01:02 pm

    Fuji x100

  • chris October 12, 2012 12:05 pm

    My D7000 and 35mm F1.8

  • MrGomezB October 12, 2012 11:56 am

    My Nikon D5100 and a 35mm 1.8G glass.

  • Gazamonk October 12, 2012 10:49 am

    Canon 60D and Canon 17-55 f2.8

  • Dave Quail October 12, 2012 10:21 am

    Canon EOS 5D MkII and Canon EF 24-105L.

  • Scottc October 12, 2012 10:03 am



  • Crocodilo October 12, 2012 09:53 am

    My D7000, 35mm f1.8G... and the SB700!

  • Allen October 12, 2012 09:51 am

    If I had strip everything to bare bones, it would be just my Leica M3 with 50 summicron or a Fuji X100

  • rafael g October 12, 2012 09:50 am

    * Tamron 28-75mm f2.8

  • Jameel October 12, 2012 09:50 am

    5D mk III and 35mm f/1.4 L

  • rafael g October 12, 2012 09:49 am

    My canon 1000D, Tamron 28-27mm f2.8 and a battery grip for stability.

  • Jonathan SCE October 12, 2012 09:42 am

    D7000 with 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 G II, it is sometimes all I carry, with a small Lowepro bag, if I want to travel light. I even made a multilevel list with what to pack if I do not want to carry my rather full Lowepro Stealth Reporter D400 AW.

    Here is the list:

    Small Bag Packing Levels

    Lowepro Rezo 170 AW

    • Level 1
    ? D7000
    § EN-EL15 Battery
    § 8 GB SD Card (2)
    § RRS Plate BD7000-L
    § Luma Labs Loop Strap
    § BS-1 Accessory Shoe Cover
    § BM-11 Monitor Cover
    ? AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
    § Lens Hood
    § 72mm Lens Cap

    • Level 2
    ? Lens Pen
    ? SD Card Case
    § 16 GB SD Card
    § 8 GB SD Card (2)
    § 4 GB SD Card
    ? Spare EN-EL15 Battery
    § Cover
    ? Microfiber Cloth - Yellow

    • Level 3
    ? Carabineer
    ? ML-L3 Remote
    § Case
    ? Spyder Cube

    • Level 4
    ? SB-600 Speed Light
    § Sto-Fen Omni-Bounce
    § AA Batteries (4)
    ? Flash Stand
    ? Tamrac Filter Case
    § 77mm Nikon Circular Polarizer II
    § 77mm Fader ND Fliter
    § 52mm to 77mm Adapter
    § 72mm to 77mm Adapter
    § 77mm Nikon Lens Cap
    § Flash Filters

    • Level 5
    ? Pocket Wizard FlexTT5 (2)
    § AA Batteries (4)
    ? PW Cable

  • Marco Martinez October 12, 2012 09:18 am

    D700 + 85mm f/1.4

  • Luke October 12, 2012 09:08 am

    I only have the one camera body, so I'd keep my 7D and 28mm f/1.8

  • Jordan Bunch October 12, 2012 08:47 am

    Although, as a sports and wedding photographer I'd be fired if that was all I had haha!

  • Jordan Bunch October 12, 2012 08:46 am

    Pentax K5 and Sigma 70-200 f/2.8

  • Colin Cronin October 12, 2012 08:39 am

    @Spyros I have the same Tamron lens (though the Promaster rebranded version). That's a great lens for the price. I'd miss the fixed wide aperture, but I prefer more flexible focal lengths.

  • Spyros Heniadis October 12, 2012 08:34 am

    I've only got one body, a 60D, so I'll keep that, and I'd have to keep my Tamron 17-50 2.8. I would really miss my nifty fifty, 60mm 2.8 macro and my newest lens, 8mm fisheye.

  • Colin Cronin October 12, 2012 08:19 am

    The challenge was strip your current camera kit to one lens and one camera body and people are listing multiple lenses or saying to get another camera / lens they don't already have. I guess it goes to show you how tough it is parting with or giving up equipment.

    From my own kit - Canon 550D (since it's the only one I have that supports ML), EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM.

  • Michael (R.) October 12, 2012 07:59 am

    Pentax MX and the M 50 1.4

  • Ben Royal October 12, 2012 07:57 am

    Nikon D600, Nikkor 28-300mm zoom, Nikkor 14-24mm zoom, Nikkor 50mm f1.2 lens

  • Simon October 12, 2012 07:33 am

    Pentax K-5 and Tamron 17-50 f2.8 - although if I had one I'd probably agree with Greg Mitchell on the Limited!

  • Tim Gray October 12, 2012 07:33 am

    Get rid of all of it and get a single 60mp Hasselblad medium format with a single Prime 50 and a single medium zoom. 1 tripod, 1 flash. with handle.

    That will replace everything else because I can now crop to get what I want. Heck you can crop down to 10mp and still print an amazing 11X17 that will make everyone go Oooh and Ahhh.

    Granted I need to sell my house and 2 cars to afford the down payment on the camera....

  • Eric October 12, 2012 07:16 am

    dSLR + nifty fifty covers the plurality of all the photos I take. I'd miss taking all the photos I need other stuff to capture though.

  • Ferran October 12, 2012 07:16 am

    Take into account that he said "only have one camera body and one lens " so you will have to leave your IPhone at home!!!!

  • Thinkeye October 12, 2012 07:11 am

    My D7000 and Tamron 18-270 PZD. It's my starter kit. But I would want to keep lens pen and the blower as well to keep it running.

  • Greg Mitchell October 12, 2012 07:08 am

    Pentax K-5 + Pentax FA31/1.8 Limited

  • Scott Wyden Kivowitz October 12, 2012 07:05 am

    I experienced this situation recently - making a decision to sell a D700 body and some lenses for the Leica M9. Even with 3 lenses for the M9, my kit is still smaller yet as functional as the D700 (for the most part).

  • Claus P October 12, 2012 06:54 am

    Nikon V1 and 10 - 30mm kit lens - based on what I use most as my everyday camera,

  • hamachijohn October 12, 2012 06:50 am

    5D mkII & 24-70mm f/2.8

  • John C October 12, 2012 06:44 am

    I'd keep my 5DII and probably... 24-105 f/4 for the versatility. I'd miss the wider apertures though...

  • Juan October 12, 2012 06:33 am

    I have a Rebel and four lenses (18-55, 75-300, 100 f/2, and 50 f/1.8). I'd stay with the 18-55 for versatility. However, if I had the 24-105 f/4, I would stick to this one.

  • Zaman October 12, 2012 06:27 am

    My D800 with my 14-24 2.8. The main combo i use is that along with a 50 and a 105, but i can live without the 105.
    But if it had to be one focal length, i'd say a 28mm f1.4 equivalent is something i can live with forever.

  • Marcos Loyola October 12, 2012 06:19 am

    5D Mark III and EF 24-70 f/2.8 L USM

  • v October 12, 2012 06:17 am

    omd em5 and the 12-50 kit lens. why? took it on vacation and it covered most of my needs.

  • Satesh R October 12, 2012 06:16 am

    7D and 24-70L

  • Monochrome Eye October 12, 2012 06:14 am

    Olympus OMD with my Pana 14-45 zoom. Light and flexable.

  • Reba Baskett October 12, 2012 06:14 am

    My Olympus EM-5 and the Olympus 45 1.8 Though I really love my 17mm 2.8 as well.

  • Teri October 12, 2012 06:12 am

    My D7000 and either my 24-70 f/2.8 or my 18-200mm

  • Yoan October 12, 2012 05:45 am

    My D90 plus either the 11-16mm f/2.8 or the 35mm f/1.8.

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