If you’ve been following my blog for a while then you’ll know that I have an obsession with compact and lightweight kit for travelling and I’ve been experimenting again and I think that I’ve probably arrived at my best load out yet. My new Olympus PEN-F, M.Zuiko 9-18 mm and 14-150 mm lenses and my Olympus Tough TG-5 as a second camera which is weatherproof and rugged and which can also serve as a backup. I’ve used the 14-150 mm quite a bit in the last few years and it’s very sharp and light. All of this in one of my very small Manfrotto shoulder bags which were bargains at £7 each 🙂 🙂 and which are small enough to just about squeeze into your average hotel room safe.
So coverage from, in full-frame terms, 18 mm ultra-wide angle through to 300 mm telephoto. The TG-5 also has an amazing macro mode which focuses down to 1 cm! as well as USB charging and a useful 24 mm- 100 mm zoom range. Throw in a couple of spare batteries for each camera and spare memory cards and I’m good to go. Another bonus is that this bag is easily small enough for air travel carry on luggage to fit under the seat in front and still allow leg room, I don’t like putting my camera gear in the overhead lockers unless I’m forced to do so.
Another of my obsessions is rain protection so I dug out an Olympus camera wrap thing that I got in with something that I bought as well as a couple of my small red nylon waterproof drawstring bags. Even though the 14-150 mm and especially my TG-5 are both weather-sealed, two lessons that I learned the hard way a long time ago on a boat in Greece is that, prevention is much better (and a heck of a lot less costly) than cure and you’ve got to have somewhere to keep things separate if and when they get wet and my PEN-F and 9-18 mm are not weather sealed so they add an extra layer of protection in transit which is never a bad thing. It’s a snug fit but it works. 🙂 Pull a rain cover over the bag and one has three layers of protection against the elements.
If this all sounds like paranoia and overkill, if you’ve ever been caught out in the open in heavy rain storm or drenched by waves out at sea in rough weather, you’ll appreciate that it isn’t !. I’m not really overly concerned about my TG-5 as it’s waterproof down to a depth of 15 meters which is a part of the reason why I bought it and what makes it a good choice of a lightweight all-weather backup camera but my other gear wouldn’t take too kindly to a soaking.