‘What’s in your bag?’ – with Rob


Well thank you to Rob for being the first person to bravely let us look inside his bag!

Now this is in no way an opportunity to knock the choices you’ve made or pick fault with your kit. The purpose of these reviews is to ask what you want to achieve, use your existing equipment and hopefully demonstrate how to go about achieving your goals.

Also, while I have each camera I will record some quick videos showing how to change settings and explain what the displays mean. This should then build up a resource of instructions under the ‘How to’ area.


So first, lets meet Rob.


Thanks Rob, it’s great to get personal and be helping out real people. I am sure that you will resonate with at least some of Rob’s desires and frustrations and hopefully as I help him, I’ll be helping you too.


What was in Rob’s bag!?!


Ok, so Rob’s got some great kit there. I’ve made a note of most of what he has as you may be interested in some of these items yourself.

Hama bag – Rob’s one isn’t available any more but here’s what looks to be an upgraded version.

Canon 50D – This is no longer a current camera although you can pick them up second hand and get yourself a great deal. Now while I have no intention of doing in depth camera reviews I did come across this great website if you’re interested where they give you a fantastic overview of the 50D.

2x Converter – Rob’s was a Jessops converter and so I’ve linked to an equivalent model that looks to have some good reviews on Amazon. Do bear in mind though that with a 2x teleconverter  you loose two stops of aperture light. That means if in this case your lowest aperture number is F5.6, put this on and it becomes F8. That means you’ll have to push up your ISO to get satisfactory results and in many cases it will soften the images. These converters are definitely a cheaper way to achieve a bigger zoom but the result won’t be comparable with an equivalent zoom lens.

Sigma 28-300mm lens – Currently unavailable at time of writing from Amazon.co.uk but it is available on Amazon.com if you’re in the states.

Sigma 10-20mm lens – I know a few people have commented on the fact that they miss the wide angle lenses now the digital SLRs crop their old lenses (see crop factor). This 10-20mm certainly gives you that wide angle if you need it for either close up work or landscapes.

Canon 18-55mm lens – This is typically the kit lens that comes with your camera unless you choose ‘body only’ or upgrade to a better lens. I have to admit I’ve always knocked this lens based on my experience 9 years ago with the 18-55 lens that came with my 300D. After having a play with this lens on this camera I was really impressed with the results I got! See below…

So there’s the kit we looked at, do get in touch if you want to know more about any of these items or please add your own comments if you can give testimony to using them.


What could I do with this kit?

Ok, so the main purpose of borrowing Rob’s kit for a week was to see if I could achieve results that he would be happy with. First I took some photos in the garden with his different lenses. Now please don’t judge me on these photos and say ‘well he’s not much of a photographer is he!’ The purpose of this was to very quickly spot a few possibilities within a couple of meters from my office door and simply show how easy it is to get some nice results. Also, this is not a lens review as such, rather a look at what I could do with Rob’s kit in the area of interest to him.


Sigma 10-20mm

Now this isn’t really the situation to be using a wide angel lens and I know Rob uses this more for landscape shots. I have just included a few images to show how even this lens can at least get sharp images that you could crop into if you wanted.

Sigma 28-300mm

I’ve given more time to this lens as if I was using Rob’s kit, this would be my everyday lens and indeed that’s what it’s designed for. It’s good having the 10-20mm but I hope that only really comes out when this one can’t get wide enough. Also the range on this, going from 28mm to 300mm really supersedes the 18-55mm. To be honest, if this was my bag I wouldn’t even use the 18-55 as it’s redundant with these other two.

As this is Rob’s main lens I took it and the Canon 50D out with me to my son’s birthday party at Battlefield Live in Peterborough. It was a fantastic morning out and I think us adults enjoyed it as much as the kids. It’s basically Painball without the pain. Anyway, I know that Rob always comments on my photos in these situations so I thought I’d take a few and let him see what he could easily achieve too with the tools he has in his bag.

Canon 18-55mm

this would be my preferred lens for photographing flowers

OK, time to be honest, I didn’t expect to like this lens. With my old Canon 300D I had the kit lens and hated it. It was light, felt cheap and I wanted to upgrade as quickly as I could. So I was expecting the same thing to be true of this newer version but I have to say I was really impressed! As you can see from the images I was able to get some decent macro shots and certainly for the purposes of this quick test Rob would be able to shoot some nice flower images with this lens and they’d be good enough to mount on his wall at home. Although this lens is somewhat redundant with the other two lenses in Rob’s bag, from my experience this would be my preferred lens for photographing flowers in the garden. As an all rounder, I tend to shoot on a longer zoom as 55mm (or 88mm with the crop factor) is wider than I like to shoot. The lens to partner with this is the 55-200mm and if this one’s anything to go by that will likely be a good little lens too for the money.

How to set it up

OK so there are a few quick images that I’ve taken and while I had Rob’s camera I shot some ‘How to‘ videos which you can find in the Canon section. These dont explain the ‘why’ or the theory, but rather how to set up your camera for different modes. The Know your Camera area will give you information about ‘why’ you need to worry about white balance etc.


Thank you Rob!

Time to wrap up and say thanks to Rob for letting him go through his kit. Hopefully I’ve given him something to think about you’ve learnt from it too.



  • Darren Goodall

    Hi Adrian,
    I thought I’d revisit some of your earlier posts.
    I have a much better understanding of what you’ve written and when I have a moment I will be watching your you tube tutorials again.
    I find each time I go backwards, I can actually move forward.
    Does this make sense to you.
    I also found it quite good that Rob has the same kit as me, the 50 D, 10-22 lens, the kit lenses. I could totally relate to everything you’ve written.
    The flowers , well what can I say? The shots look great.
    I appreciate what you’ve done, anyone who is learning would do well to review all your posts and get them selves a copy of How To Focus.

    Your a great teacher, your honest comments and encouragement during the “SLR Coaching Challenge” is really pushing me and others to, should say? To Excel !
    Thanks Coach

    • That’s lovely to hear mate, I’m always glad to be helping you. Thanks for the feedback.