What’s in My Camera Bag for 2021

I’ve been shooting film for almost a year now and slowly gathered more for my camera bag arsenal. My main thing is to keep my camera bag as simple as possible. Not wanting too much weight to carry off my shoulder, I only carry my essentials for what I am trying to photograph. It is easiest for me to throw some film into my film case, grab my camera bag, and go.

On the other hand, my husband is the complete opposite, who will spend about an hour packing his camera bag.  Maybe that is the other reason why I like to keep it simple!

Here is my current camera bag and gear for traveling in 2021:

Canon EOS-1N

I love this film camera and found it perfect for a beginner in film photography due to its features and easy use. Still, the main reason I purchased this camera is the ability to autofocus.

At first, I learned to shoot some film on the Leica M6 and Hasselblad 500cm, but I was having difficulty focusing. I have terrible vision and literally cannot see three inches in front of my face when my contacts are out. Plus, my hands are too shaky to hold a camera still while taking a photo. Due to this, I bought the Canon EOS-1N and have zero regrets as it produces fantastic images. And it is not too heavy to carry!

It is also an excellent transitional camera if you have used digital previously but want to move into film. The best thing is that the newer EF Mount glass is compatible with the Canon EOS-1N!

My Canon EOS-1N is affectionally named “Neko,” which is a tribute to my love for cats.  

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 STM

This is the standard lens that came with my camera body. Since acquiring my Canon Lens 17-35mm, I don’t use the 50mm as much, but it’s a great starter lens and has helped me learn how to control aperture and shutter speed.

It is definitely a lens that will stay in my camera bag as it’s my baby since it is the first lens I used while learning to shoot with my Canon EOS-1N. I mainly use it for images that don’t require a wide-angle and love to use it to achieve certain framing and composition for architecture. It is also handy for portraits, which I haven’t quite got into yet.

Canon EF 17-35mm f/2.8 L USM

The second lens that I acquired and my favorite so far. I mainly got it since it is a super wide-angle lens, and I love getting different viewpoints by zooming in and out to make the angle interesting. This lens stays on my camera about 90 percent of the time.

I use it a lot for landscape photography, one of the main scenes I shoot for Travel by Grain. It is a very wide lens for large structures but still has the ability to zoom in a little bit for things not as wide.

At the Atlanta Botanical Garden with my Canon EF 17-35mm f/2.8 L USM.

Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 USM

I acquired this lens when I started to shoot flower pictures at local gardens and wanted to get more detail. We debated renting this lens at first, but I am glad that we went ahead and bought it as it has risen in price and completes my lens setup for my Canon EOS-1N.

This lens acts as a macro lens and a telephoto lens, allowing me to see subjects far away and very close. The 100mm is lightweight and also less expensive. Many people have the 70-200mm lens, but this is too much glass to keep in my bag for travel.

The world of macro photography is so much fun. Sometimes I feel a bit rushed when I travel and take pictures, leading me not to notice the small details around me. I almost feel that macro photography slows me down, allowing me to appreciate the world that I might not see just casually walking by.

Johansen Gracie Butterscotch Camera Bag

I currently have two camera bags, but I use this bag the most. The Johansen Gracie Butterscotch camera bag is my bigger bag to fit my camera and all my lenses. I use the larger bag for longer trips where I know I might need all three lenses.

I adore this bag as it is functional as my camera bag and purse. It is made out of manufactured leather with a cotton interior. It is comfortable to use, and the strap doesn’t rub against my skin. Plus, it’s cute!

Shutter Release Cable

One of the smallest items in my camera bag is my shutter release cable. Super helpful to have a shutter release cable when using the tripod to take pictures. I don’t have steady hands, so I use the cable instead of taking the picture with the camera’s shutter button. It is easy to screw the cable onto the camera body, frame your shot, and take the image.

K&F Concept ND and Polarizer Filter

This is the newest addition to my camera bag for this year. We previously went to Helton Creek Falls in North Georgia last year to get waterfall shots. Unfortunately, those images were a complete bust as the sunlight was too bright, and the bright areas of the water blew out.

We decided to go back to Helton Creek Falls earlier this year, but this time with the K&F Concept ND (neutral density) and Polarizer Filter, and the results were a huge improvement from the prior visit.

When I enable the polarizer, I am reducing scattered light which ultimately leads to cutting out reflections and increasing the vibrancy of my colors. Again, something that I think can be really important when photographing landscapes.

I don’t use the ND often because I haven’t come across a situation where I need to have a super long exposure, but having the built-in ND will help me maintain long exposures when the scene is too bright. However, it’s a great option to have if I need it.


I don’t have a favorite film stock (yet), but I enjoy exploring the various films available! I love Portra 400, however, and will usually have a roll or two in my bag. Also, I usually have Ektar 100 as it is excellent for landscapes!

2CR5 Camera Battery

It is best to keep a spare battery in the camera bag, especially if you might not be near a store to purchase a new one. We were on the way to Smith-Gilbert Gardens in Kennesaw, Georgia, to shoot film one day, and I did not have my spare battery in my bag.

I just so happened to pull my camera out of my bag to take a picture of something at my local coffee shop before going to the gardens. I am very fortunate that I did this because my battery was dead! So I quickly stopped on our way down to the gardens at a local battery store to purchase some more.

These batteries can sometimes be hard to find, so I now try to keep a spare if this happens again!

ShootFilmCo. PhotoMemo Photographer’s Memo Book with Pen (pen not pictured)

I try to log my settings and film stock for each exposure I take. Plus, my memory can be terrible, so this memo book is great for recording details! It is helpful to refer back to what I did to see where I can improve or if I want to discuss my settings with another photographer.

Little Vintage Photography’s ‘Shoot Film Be Nice’ Pin by Rachel Brewster

Photography pins are fun to collect, and this is the first pin that I received, and I love it. Plus, it has the perfect message: “Shoot Film, Be Nice!”

Hand Sanitizer

You know…since 2021 is Chapter 2 of 2020.

Leave a Comment