What’s in my bag

My name is Fuad Kamal (@flexronin) , and while most of the time I’m a mobile developer and technical writer, I also shoot a number of tech conferences.

As I was packing for 360iDev I thought it might be fun to do a ‘What’s in my bag’ post.

what's in my bag
What’s in my bag…

Everything is stuffed into my Booq backpack. It was sent to me as a replacement for another Booq bag I liked but was falling apart. When I got this one it seemed a bit bulky and space inefficient so it sat in storage in my basement for years. Recently I pulled it out and started using it daily as well as my carry on flying back and forth between Boston and Maryland. But alas in a relatively short time it has also begun to fall apart. 🤷🏼‍♂️

My laptop gets wrapped in a Thule laptop sleeve . I got this for my wife many years ago for her first gen MacBook Air. She’s still using the Air but she never used this sleeve. After finding a small bit of lint stuck in one of my MacBook Pro usb-c ports, I started using this sleeve in addition to dropping it into the backpack’s laptop sleeve. It’s also great at keeping my Mac from getting scuffed up going through airport security.

Next is my Sony A7RII. It’s an amazing camera. I can’t wait until the mark IV is available. I’m still trying to figure out how to budget for it. 🤔

Zeiss Batis 18mm f2.8. After shooting mostly 50mm for over a decade I wanted to try a different focal width. Ultra wide is a bit challenging but I’m hoping to master it one day. Chris Marquart’s Wide Angle book and In Camera by Gordon Laing are on my bookshelf waiting to be finished for many months now. Hey, I’m a slow reader, and I’m juggling a lot of different projects.

Canon 50mm f1.2. This has been my mainstay glass for more than a decade. I get better results on the Sony body with it than I ever did with the Canon 5D. Lenses are forever, bodies are ephemeral. I’d like to get a G Master zoom lens next but I haven’t figured out what focal range, yet. I’ll have to rent a few and figure it out.

Metabones IV adapter for the Canon lens to Sony e mount. Amazing piece of hardware, gives me autofocus with a foreign lens. Although, I mostly shoot manually with this lens on the Sony body – I never shot mahal on the 5D. Focus peaking is a game changer for me. So happy to see Moment incorporate that feature on their iPhone app.

Moment 18mm lens for iPhone. I had a macro but I seemed to have lost it recently. Second Moment lens I’ve lost. 😿 I guess that’s the downside of tiny lenses.

Moment case for iPhone 📱 7plus. iPhone 7 Plus is my favorite iPhone camera to date, after the 4S. Water resistant, and a great camera. And that Jet Black color…

Lens filters, thread fit for the Canon glass (72mm).
Tiffen Pro Mist 1/2 for some cool lighting effects when there’s enough light to support it. Picked this trick up from Damien Lovegrove.

Polarizing filter for shooting through glass and cutting down reflections. Haven’t really tried it for landscape, yet.

Dongles for the Mac. Because that’s the age we’re living in.

🔋 Four batteries. I can typically shoot a full day and not have to swap batteries more than once.

Two battery chargers so I can charge up all the batteries faster.

Zeiss lens wipes. Pretty much industry standard.

Lume cubes for continuous lighting controlled from my iPhone. I got rid of my strobes and I’m still trying to sell my wireless triggers, as they were Canon specific and I rarely shoot with strobes, preferring natural and available light most of the time. I got two Lume cubes when they first came out. When the USB connection broke on one one they sent me a replacement for free.

Giotto Rocket 🚀 blaster. I never cleaned my 5D but I do it regularly for the Sony.

Tiny tripods I can use with the Lume cubes and/or iPhone bracket.

Wired headphones – backup in case the Bluetooth ones are ever out of charge. Never have been but you never know.

Adobe Tiny USB. Don’t ask how I never lost this. Had it since my Adobe consulting days.

Sony Mic.

Sennheiser wireless mic setup – best audio quality over any other mic I own, including a decent wired directional USB mic.

Lens cloth and cleaning cloth for the Mac. I’m one of those people who is bothered by even the slightest smudge on my screen or a dirty keyboard or trackpad.

Beats wireless headphones 🎧. They came free with something from Apple.

External hard drive. Just in case I shoot more than I should or the A9 file sizes are bigger than I planned for. (I’m having a rental body shipped to the conference).

Business cards. Networking is so important.

Elastic tie things. Because you never know…

Nikon cleaning pen for the big glass. Moment cleaning pen because the Nikon one won’t fit into the backside of the moment lens.

Hard Pelican case to keep my camera cards. USB-C card reader, to keep data transfer at max speed the card can handle.

2018 13” MacBook Pro. I love the portability and the weight to power ratio. I use to toke around the 17”. This feels so liberating in comparison and the 15” feels huge too.

First Race

Have been riding bikes since I was seven, in college after my $100 K-Mart steel bike was smashed by a car for the second time (another story, long story short I flipped off the bike and was fine, bike was destroyed) I dug deep and spent around $270 on my Bianchi Mainstreet. Have had that bike for almost a quarter century now, went from being my main means of getting around campus through sun, rain, sleet and snow to years later being relegated to towing bike trailers and a tandem attachment. The bike flew with me to Saudi Arabia where I was the only person in the entire region riding a bicycle while wearing a helmet, never mind I was also only one of about three Americans in all of Qasim. Continue reading “First Race”

An Open Letter to Oakley.com

Dear Oakley.com,

I spent many hours in the mall in Columbia, Maryland, this weekend, trying to buy a pair of prescription eyeglasses. I started with the Oakley store, where I picked out the frames I wanted. I had actually decided from your web site which frames I wanted, but the Oakley store didn’t carry those frames in the color I wanted – they said their selection was very limited because they didn’t sell the prescription frames very well. I soon found out why.

Continue reading “An Open Letter to Oakley.com”

Flickr vs Instagram

Flickr vs Instagram
Flickr vs Instagram

When I ask my cycling buddies to post group ride photos to our team Flickr pool, they complain that Flickr isn’t user friendly, it’s to hard, yada yada yada.  Yeah, Flickr could definitely use some UX love.  But then they start comparing Flickr to Instagram.  OK, maybe you have a Facebook account and like to waste inordinate amounts of time on social media.  Good for you.  But as a photo sharing resource? Continue reading “Flickr vs Instagram”

Lens tests with Sony A7RII & A6000 – part I

I met recently with my friend Zubair outside of Tout de Sweet cafe (best espresso and pastries in the area!) to compare a few lenses against my A7RII camera body and his new A6000 camera body.  This was a series of lens tests to roughly compare the following lenses:

Continue reading “Lens tests with Sony A7RII & A6000 – part I”

I’m getting a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera – what should my first lens be?

I convinced a friend of mine to jump on getting a Sony A6000 as this is, in the opinion of more than a few pro photographers, currently the single best value camera on the market.  His next question, naturally, was “what lens do I get for this camera?” Continue reading “I’m getting a Sony APS-C mirrorless camera – what should my first lens be?”