I get asked about my minimal gear setup a lot, especially on the talks I do about music photography – so I figured it was time for a gear picture and a blog post about all the lovely gear I use.
What’s in my gear bag?
My current favourite Fujifilm camera as of March 2019 is the Fujifilm X-T3. It is extremely fast and powerful, with incredible image quality, even at very high iso which is crucial at the very dark events I often cover. All of this and the large electronic viewfinder and flipscreen makes it perfect for my concert photography. I almost always shoot with two cameras, in which case I use my Fujifilm X-T3 and Fujifilm X-T2. Both of them fitted with Simplr Camera Straps model F1. I love that this strap is so light and simple, and it transforms from short shoulder strap to across the body sling strap in seconds.
I love using the fast Fujinon prime lenses and my two go-to lenses are the Fujinon XF16mm F1.4 and the good old Fujinon XF35mm F1.4 (I still use my original copy from 2012 and it is so worn now it flares like mad and has all these awesome defects!). I will often shoot entire concerts with just my two cameras and these two lenses. I love how light and compact the Fujifilm cameras are, it makes me feel very free and creative. The gear never gets in my way.
When I need a longer reach I use the Fujinon XF50mm F2 and the Fujinon XF90mm F2. When I need something wider I will either use the new Fujinon XF8-16mmF2.8 lens or the Samyang 8mm F2.8 Fisheye lens.
I sometimes have a chance to setup a quick portrait backstage or in the venue and to light it and this is something I have begun to explore more. I am not one for studio equipment, I simply hand hold the very small and portable Amaran AL-M9 Mini Pocket LED Video Light. This is my “Knut-lys” and I learned about this technique and this light from my friend, portrait master photographer Knut Koivisto.
Other things in my bag:
- Extra batteries to make sure I can make it through a whole day at a festival without re-charging.
- Earplugs! I will often spend hours standing right next to speakers or next to a band and you have to protect your hearing. I am finally getting custom fitted earplugs made, but the cone shaped musicians earplugs pictured here work well too and are inexpensive. Get your hearing tested regularly too and get earplugs.
- Headphones. I photograph music because I absolutely love music and there is often a lot of waiting around at gigs and festivals, so I always bring at least one pair of headphones. Actually, I have probably spent a lot more time waiting around than actually shooting. Pictured here are my very worn Urbanears Zinken.
- Business cards. I give them out left and right in the hope someone will remember me.
- A few Fujifilm instax prints of some of my pictures, just for fun and inspiration.
- Boba Fett. He is in charge of security and contract negotiations. Mess with the Fett at your own risk!
If I can though, I will dump my bag backstage or somewhere else and just carry the setup below. This I can carry without a camera bag, I just carry one camera on each shoulder (I have two. Cameras. And shoulders) and fill my pockets with batteries and the 50mm F2. All I need! Now I am even more free to move around and make pictures!
Make some pictures!
All of this lovely gear is only worth something if I get out there and make some pictures! I very often quote my German friend and filmmaker George, on set he will always say “what we don’t have we don’t need”. Get out there and make some pictures. Crank it up to 11. Dream Out Loud!
A massive thank you to Fujifilm Nordic and Fujifilm Japan for the massive support since 2013.
Thanks for this Flemming! Is it because of weight and size – or “sameness” of controls – that you prefer to use you your X-T2 instead of an X-H1 as your second body? And this is probably a dumb question, but do you use lens caps at all to protect your glass?
Hi Brett! I love the X-H1 – as a 3rd camera for specialty things such as capturing laser beams and using long lenses in super low light. But for shooting continuously with 2 x cameras, I do prefer to have 2 X-T cameras, simply to have the controls as identical as possible. I hope I might one day have 2 x X-T3, that would be the ultimate.
Lens caps – hehe. Well, I have metal hoods on the 16 and 35 lenses, so for those I never use lens caps. I do store the other lenses with lens caps and they do start a concert with lens caps on them 🙂 But during a show, all the lens caps will end up in my bag, in pockets, on the floor etc in the frenzy. If I am lucky, I will find all the lens caps the next days and put them back on the 50 and 90mm etc 😀
Thank you so much for this – I have just moved to a XT3 and this is a great starting point for my next steps when i start to build up my prime collection!
Thank you, I am glad it was useful! Primes are awesome!
Thanks a lot for your very interesting Blog wit fantastic pictures! And thanks for the hint with the pocket mimi light!! Do you still use it, and, could you reveal one or two portrait tricks with it?
I do use it occasionally but I am not great at using it. I learned about the trick with a tiny video light from my friend and fellow Fujifilm ambassador Knut Koivisto – he is a master of this technique. Check out this video for example: https://youtu.be/dayQ40_z9Io
And thank you for your comments, glad you like my blog!