What’s in our camera bag? – Interns

Keeping it small lightweight and capable.

This gear bag is what Yuri Arcurs considers to be the best and minimal amount of gear you need to produce 95% of all image types. Some things we have cut back on, like the mount of lenses we use, and some things we prioritize such as large amounts of storage.

Once being accepted into the Yuri Arcurs Internship programme each student is handed this camera bag. Let us break down the mystery and show you what is inside our bag. We do not use any zoom lenses for the simple reason that none out there are good enough to match a 36mp sensor. The Sigma 50-100mm came close, but it is only made for crop factor lenses so no use to us.

Nikon D810

  • Full frame goodness with excellent ISO performance

  • Lightweight, easy to use, takes 200000 frames before shutter needs replacing. About 2 years of shooting.

  • We prefer the Nikon D810 over the new Canon 5Ds because the buffer get’s full too fast on the Canon.

  • Resolutions above 30mp are way more than 99% of customers need, so as long as you are over that mark you can satisfy demand perfectly. No need for the 50mp Canon.

  • Autofocus on the Nikon d810 and Canon 5Ds is horrible. At least when you compare it to a Hasselblad. We train our students to manually overwrite focus to get optimal results.


Lexar 512 GB compact flash memory card

  • With its high speed we can shoot fast and transfer fast. It’s also big enough to hold 2-3 days of shoot which is great when traveling.

  • If the card is faulty you can rescue it with various software pretty much always. We have done so successfully 100% of the times, which means that we prefer one card over several because the risk of losing one of the cards is bigger than the chance you can’t recover a faulty card.


Sigma 85mm f1/1.4 dg HSM


  • Bokeh. Bokeh. Bokeh. Creamy luscious bokeh

  • Ultra sharp lens, but make sure to get the new version.

Sigma 50mm f1/4 dg HSM

  • Affectionately known as the fiddy (50).

  •    Great open plan lens.

  • We generally only use the 50mm, when we can’t shoot with the 35mm or the 85mm because of the location constraints. Otherwise we would prefer those.   

Sigma 35mm f1/4 dg HSM

  • Lets in lots of natural light and keeps files sharp

  • Sometimes experiences a little bit of vignetting at f1.4 when photographing particularly contrasty subjects

  • Should be used at F1.6 or above.

  • Give you excellent photo journalistic type looks.

Hoodloupe / hoodman

  • We use this to make sure our files are razor sharp on the set

  • Particularly helpful on bright days so you able to see your images

Manfrotto 685b Neotec pro photo Monopod

  • It also self-defence tool, if found in a risky situation

  • It helps us stabilise, so we can shoot f1.6 – f2 and getting ultra sharp images

Yuri Arcurs Steadypod


  • Tilt Head with Push-Bar Quick Release     

  • Separate Tilt-Lock and Tension Knobs

  • Roller-Bearing 90° Rotation Bracket

5 – in -1 collapsible reflector 

  • This allows us to fill in light to a specific area,in low light situations

  • Our diffuser allows us to scrim light to soften sharp shadows

  • We never use the gold side of the reflector as if adds strange tints to the skin

This is link to the video where we break it down


(7) Comments...What do you think?

  1. Gotcha Captcha

    so are you saying you don’t use lights? :-O

    I LOVE shooting like that!!!!! but this gets too much noise!!!!! :-U

  2. Yuri Arcurs

    We do use lights, but more or less only when it is too dark or we shoot video. Lights require a lot of setup and control. 50% of the time more lights do not make a better shot.

  3. Nemida

    The title says “What’s in our camera bag?”
    The lights go in lights bag haha

  4. Damn what a nice setup! Do you guys prefer Sigma above Nikon? Is this because of price or sharpness? 🙂

  5. Yuri Arcurs

    My main concern is always sharpness, it is absolutely essential to our images.

  6. Great article!
    Very informative.

  7. Phillip Hobbs

    Thanks for the post, Its interesting, especially with the lenses.

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