What do you pack for a trip to Cuba? I’m here to answer that question, today on The Slanted Lens.
P.S. This is not a sponsored post but we do get a small affiliate kickback for purchases made through the links below. Thanks for supporting The Slanted Lens! (Scroll down for a list of equipment.) Plus, check out the street portraits I took while I was there.
How to Pack for a Trip to Cuba
I’m here at the casa, or the house, that we stayed in. Wonderful house, wonderful host here; just had a great time, a great place to stay. You hear the market going right outside of our window, which is really fun. It’s right down the street here, they clean it all up each evening and then in the morning it’s back again. But anyway, today I’m showing you how I decided to pack for our trip to Cuba. I brought a medium-sized bag by Vanguard. I love this bag for a couple reasons. The size is perfect, not too big or too small. I love the entry point on the side, this is a must for me when I travel. I absolutely have to have this.
First off, in the top pouch, I brought the most important thing that you need on a trip like this, and that is toilet paper. Because one never knows what situation one might find oneself in, toilet paper. Also important, I’ve got snacks and more snacks, and even some more snacks. I always carry a headlamp in here just in case I get in a dark situation at night and I want to be able to see.
Camera, Lens, Batteries, and Strap
Moving further into our bag, I brought Sony cameras on this trip, and Sony only. And of course, when you’re shooting with Sony, you need a ton of batteries and chargers, so I’ve got those in there as well. In the main pouch I have my a7R II, and a 24-70 Sony Lens. The reason I chose that lens was for one reason and one reason only, and that’s because Julene has a really hard time shooting BTS and keeping it in focus. So with that Sony lens, it’s turnkey, it just focuses for her, you put the face smile recognition on, and it just follows me around, so it makes it very easy to use.
But the lens I love to shoot with most on my mount is my Tamron 35mm lens. I love it because it sees enough of the world and yet I can still use it as a portrait type lens. I absolutely love this lens. I also brought Tamron’s 85mm, for when I wanted to get in a little tighter for portraits. And when you’re using a lens other than Sony you’ll need an adaptor- I use the Metabones.
I decided to also pack an a7S for us to do BTS on. For this packing video we did choose the BTS on the a7R II, however, because the 4K gives us the ability to punch in. I have a CSLR strap here, as well. I still love this strap, I’ve had it forever.
I have the 600 Canon speedlight, that’s the only artificial lighting I’m going to have on this trip. Then I have a small stand with a bracket so I can put the flash on there, so I can put the hot shoe on it and not have to have someone to hold it. And of course you need batteries for that flash as well. I have two PocketWizard Pluses because I want to be able to run the strobe off the camera. I’ve got to come up with a better solution for these, something smaller than this when I’m travelling. This is too big for what it needs to do. Let me know in the comments if you have an alternate to that PocketWizard. I do love them because they are so reliable. But it would just be nice to have something a little bit smaller.
I did not bring a laptop, I did not bring a way to download, I just brought this holder from Think Tank to store all my cards. Everything I’m shooting is in one place, this is the one flaw in my system here that makes me really nervous- I really should have brought a laptop and a place to download these.
So there’s what I’ve got in the camera bag that I’m carrying on my back. That’s about 16 pounds, maybe a little less, but it’s pretty heavy. I’ve got several additional items in my suitcase. I have the 265 Carbon Fiber VEO tripod. It’s lightweight, it collapses, it’s very small, and it’s just a great tripod. Now I know that Vanguard is reworking this tripod, they’ve got another version of that coming out. It’ll be interesting to see where that goes, but I’ve used this tripod a lot and I like it. Here’s an aluminum version.
I brought my Syrp Mini and am going to do some portraits while we’re here, some panoramic portraits. We’re posting a lesson on those a bit later, so look for that. With that I had to pack a bracket for my Syrp Mini, so I can do the vertical panoramic views.
I’ve got a sound kit for doing what we’re doing right now, which is really just a lav set from Sennheiser. I’m using the Sony sound system now, which attaches to the top of the camera. It gives me inputs that go right in the camera so the sound goes right on the clip. It gives me a mic option so I can run sound into the camera, and it also brings the lav into the camera so I can have two XLR inputs, which is nice. So that’s what I have in there, that’s my little sound kit. That all goes in my suitcase, and that’s what I carry.
I did pack a reflector, a small 32-inch reflector from Photoflex that’s hiding in my suitcase too. Doesn’t seem like too much to me, but, you know, when you’re hauling it around, day after day and place to place, Julene’s going, “That’s too much equipment.” Every time we go out, Julene goes, “Less equipment, less equipment.” And pretty soon I’m just going to have a camera with a lens.
So there’s all the equipment that we brought with us to Cuba, between Julene and I. It’s really set up so that Julene and I can work together, Julene doing BTS and me shooting. In our next segment, we’ll talk about how we shot our street photography, how we did our formal portraits, and take a look at how we did that here in Cuba. So keep those cameras rollin’, keep on clickin’.
Equipment used in today’s lesson:
Vanguard The ALTA RISE 48 Backpack
Sony NP-FW50 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery (1020mAh)
Sony BC-TRW W Series Battery Charger
Sony Alpha a7R II Mirrorless Digital Camera
Sony FE 24-70mm f/2.8 GM Lens
Custom SLR Glide One Strap with Silver C-Loop
Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens
Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD Lens
Metabones T Speed Booster Ultra 0.71x Adapter
Syrp Genie Mini
Think Tank Photo SD Pixel Pocket Rocket Memory Card Carrier
Lexar 64GB Professional 1000x UHS-II SDXC Memory Card
Vanguard VEO 265AB Aluminum Tripod with TBH-50 Ball Head
Syrp Pan Tilt Bracket for Genie and Genie Mini
Canon Speedlite 600EXII-RT
Kupo Mini Click Stand (7′)
Stroboframe Flash Mount Adapter
Sennheiser ew 122-p G3 Camera Mount Wireless Microphone System with ME 4 Lavalier Mic
Sony XLR-K2M XLR Adapter Kit with Microphone
Photoflex MultiDisc Circular Reflector, 5 Surfaces, 32″
Angel Soft Toilet Paper
Energizer 3 LED Headlamp