Every photographer will have a different answer to this question. Not unlike asking a fisher about their favourite bait, or a chef their most-used tool in the kitchen. Each piece of gear serves a different purpose.
One comment most photographers share is that the collection is never quite complete without ‘x’. But that’s a discussion for another time.
In my bag I always, always carry:
- Canon 5D Mark II
- Canon 5D Mark IV
- Canon 16-35mm f/2.8
- Canon 70-200mm f/2.8
- Canon 50mm f/1.8 (Don’t underestimate this nifty fifty prime lens)
- Canon Speedlite 600EX-II RT
More often than not I treat the 16-35mm as a 35mm prime because it’s challenging to use it at it’s widest without causing significant and noticeable distortion in perspective. At 35mm the lens is versatile for group photos.
My go-to is my 70-200mm. It’s a beautiful lens for portraits and bokeh background for framing the subject. Not always the most versatile for wedding environments when I may suddenly be asked to take a group photo but for portraits it’s unbeatable.
For days and occasions where I don’t want to carry around a lot of gear and I’m shooting for myself, I throw on the 50mm. A surprisingly versatile lens, it gives me the flexibility of a shallow depth of field while not adding too much zoom. One of the first lenses I ever purchased and still a favourite.
As for the two camera bodies – rather than constantly switching lenses I’ll just grab the other camera when switching between zoom and wide.
And that’s what is in my camera bag! Plus, you know, extra batteries and memory cards and lens cleaners.