2021 Olympic Gear - Here is what I am taking to Tokyo!

Now I am less than two days away from the trip to Tokyo and, as promised in the last blog post, this post is all about the gear I am taking with me to the Olympics. As always, my goal is to share with you all what it is like to be at the Olympic Games. In the past I focused mainly on the photography, but this time around I plan on giving you all the photographic view but also the behind the scenes view from these very different Olympics. 

As I stated before, this is the first Olympics where I need to take EVERYTHING with me, since Canon is not allowed to loan products to photographers (due to Covid protocol) unless it is a dire emergency. And yes, this has caused me a little extra stress this time around.

Not only do I need to take everything with me, but this is the first Olympics where I will be relying almost solely on Canon's mirrorless cameras, which meant a totally different lens selection than in the past.

A couple of days ago, I took this gear shot to show you what I am taking with me on this trip. My longest lens is the Canon 200-400mm lens with the built-in teleconverter, which lets me shoot up to 560mm. I absolutely love the versatility and quality of this lens, and I know that it is perfect for shooting water polo games (which I am contractually shooting for Team USA). When the athletes are in the close end of the pool, I can shoot at 200mm, and then when they are in the far end of the pool, I can quickly flip the switch and be at 560mm. This is great for getting tight shots of the goaltender. Love that!

I am also taking the new Canon RF 70-200mm 2.8 and Canon RF 100-500mm lenses which should come in handy for many of the other sports. I decided to bring the new Canon RF 15-35mm lens for my wide shots and the Canon RF 24-105mm lens for anything in between. What I forgot to include in the gear shot above is my Canon 8-15mm fish eye lens which is making the trip as well. 

I am bringing my Canon 1DX Mark III and the Canon 100-400mm lens as my "backup" camera setup. I am not sure how much I will use that, but since I am so familiar with that setup, I thought it best to have with me for comfort. I do have a couple of the Canon EF to RF adaptors so that I can mount the 200-400 and 100-400 on the mirrorless bodies.

All my retouching will be done on the MacBook Pro 16" laptop, which is super fast! The two pieces of software which I rely on for everything are Photo Mechanic (by CameraBits) and Adobe Photoshop. They are installed, updated and ready to go. You can see that I have 2 of the Pro Grade Digital card readers which are magnetically attached to the Macbook Pro. I prefer this to having the reader dangling from the laptop when I am downloading on a press bus or chair. I am bringing 4 of the 2TB Crucial x8 solid state drives for backing up my images. I will have one in each bag, one in my locker at the press center and one in my hotel room. Redundant backup is crucial (pun intended).

I have my Wacom Intuos tablet for retouching, since I rely on that so heavily at home. It is SO much better than trying to edit with a mouse of trackpad.

I am bringing two of the Gitzo monopods (one as a backup, since I rely on them heavily) and one Gitzo travel tripod. We are not allowed to use tripods in the Olympic venues, but I do like to get night shots around the Olympic park if I have time. Heck, with nobody being in the stadiums this time around, maybe I will be able to use a tripod. 

I have the Tiffen HT UV filters on all my lenses to protect them, and I am bringing some extras in case I have any accidents and demolish one. I did this at the last Olympics and was happy to only break the filter and not the front element of the lens.

I have lots and lots of Pro Grade Digital memory cards, since I plan on shooting a ton of photos. I am bringing their SD and CFExpress cards since I plan on shooting with the Canon R5, Canon R3 and Canon 1DX MKIII camera bodies. 

You can see 5 batteries in the photo, but I will probably be bringing more than that.

I also included my Bose noise cancelling headphones, since those make the long flight a little easier. 

Then...the big question was...would all this fit in my Thinktank camera bags? Because I really do not want to check any gear on the flight, and want it in the cabin with me.

Today was the day for me to pack up all the equipment and I am so happy to say that it all fits perfectly in the ThinkTank Airport Security 3 big roller and the Thinktank Streetwalker Rolling Backpack 2.0. Depending on what I am shooting on any particular day, will determine which bag I take with me. The larger one when I need more gear or the smaller one when I want to travel light. I do have the monopods, tripod, chargers, and other accessories in my suitcase, but that is totally fine with me. 

I have yet to finish packing my suitcase, but plan to pack light. Assuming it will be really hot there, I will bring 5 pair of shorts, 5 light weight shirts (with collars so that the lanyard from the credentials does not rub my neck raw), and a weeks worth of under clothing. I always bring a bag of detergent so that I can wash my clothes in the room each night. I also have a light rain jacket and a rain cover for the equipment since they have been having thunderstorms in Tokyo and I see more in the future. Oh...and suffice it to say that I have tons of face masks to get me through the 3 weeks.

Now the planning is just about complete and the trip is about to begin. I did receive all four of my Covid test results back and all are negative. Time to log into the Olympic intranet site to see what other forms needs to be completed.


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