In My Bag – by Michael Ip

Michael Ip
Michael Ip is a freelance photojournalist and photo editor based in New York City. He was a photo editor for the New York Daily News before he could no longer resist the urge to go back to shooting pictures. When not shooting pictures he’s probably watching cat videos or buying shoes.

Most of the work I do is just around New York City.  I often travel from assignment to assignment via public transportation, so I have to keep my load rather light.  In recent years, I’ve streamlined my gear as much as possible, going with the lightest equipment as possible, but I found going too light was a big trade-off in durability, so I’ve rethought my setup.

Michael Ip gear

Every night before I have a shoot, I go through a thorough PMCS.  For those who were never in the Army, that stands for preventative maintenance checks and services.  When I do that, I make sure all my batteries are charged.  I make sure my memory cards are formatted.  I make sure my lens are clean and I make sure I have a bare minimum amount of water and snacks in case I’m on a long assignment and can’t take a break.  My cat Ralph usually double checks for me.

I go with three prime lenses – the 24/1.4, 50/1.2 and the 135/2 – or what I call the Luke Sharrett setup.  I find for the most part zooms are too clunky and cumbersome.  If I really want a little more flexibility I’ll drop out the 135 and add a 70-200 f/2.8, which roughly comes out to be the same weight as the the 135/2.

Gear List:

Canon 1D X
Canon 1Ds mk III
Canon 24mm f/1.4L
Canon 50mm f/1.2L
Canon 135mm f/2.0L
Canon 580 EXII flash
Lexar USB 3.0 SD/CF card reader
Extra CF cards (not pictured)
SD to CF card adapter (just in case)
Canon OC-E3 off camera hot shoe cord
Verizon MiFi hotspot
Extra AA batteries
Lens cleaning cloth
– Many pens
Spare LP-E4 battery
– NYPD Press Card
Reporter notepad
– Samsung charger (can charge my android phone and MiFi)
– Bottle of water
– Two granola bars
– 13″ Macbook Air with charger

All this fits into my Lowepro CompuTrekker AW backpack.

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