How do you organize your photo equipment (lenses, bodies, bags, flashes, batteries, chargers, etc.)?

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Last year, for various reasons (mostly because I was making more money), I went on a bit of a buying spree. I have several different sized bags, several bodies, several flashes/lights, and a large selection of lenses. The other day, I was looking for a particular lens and had to go through 3 different bags to find it. I know, I know, its a good problem to have. I am looking for suggestions on how to organize everything.

If you have a reasonably large collection of stuff, how do you keep things organized? If possible, please post (i) photos (we are after all a photography-related site) and (ii) links to purchase the gear used to organize (to support this site). Thanks
 

Stanga

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I have a set of drawers to store all sorts of bits and pieces. One of them is dedicated to my photographic gear. It's one of these.
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In one drawer I store zoom lenses. In the other I have primes. One holds converters. Then there is a drawer for camara batteries, chargers, SD cards. Another one holds flash guns and their batteries. The bottom drawer holds my various guide rails for macro etc work. Cleaning stuff and soft padded lens cases are in another drawer. Then there is one drawer for up/down conversion rings, close up/macro lenses and filters. And last but not least, one holds my interchangeable lens cameras.
 

Holoholo55

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I have a dry (humidity controlled) cabinet. This is needed for our subtropical climate. It’s about 80 liters and has two shelves for gear. So far, it’s enough, but I have to keep my GAS in check. :) I don’t keep stuff in my bags as it’s too easy to lose track of something.
 

ac12

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I have a set of drawers to store all sorts of bits and pieces. One of them is dedicated to my photographic gear. It's one of these.
View attachment 828012

In one drawer I store zoom lenses. In the other I have primes. One holds converters. Then there is a drawer for camara batteries, chargers, SD cards. Another one holds flash guns and their batteries. The bottom drawer holds my various guide rails for macro etc work. Cleaning stuff and soft padded lens cases are in another drawer. Then there is one drawer for up/down conversion rings, close up/macro lenses and filters. And last but not least, one holds my interchangeable lens cameras.
If you use plastic drawers, be careful of the weight. Photo gear gets heavy fast, when you are not watching it grow.
 

Stanga

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If you use plastic drawers, be careful of the weight. Photo gear gets heavy fast, when you are not watching it grow.
Very true. These drawers have however been designed to take heavy stuff. I first got to know of them at my old workplace, where we stored electrical and electronic parts in them. For heavy stuff it is best to remove the wheels. I run my own business now, and have four of them in the lab and two in the office.
 

Panolyman

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Very true. These drawers have however been designed to take heavy stuff. I first got to know of them at my old workplace, where we stored electrical and electronic parts in them. For heavy stuff it is best to remove the wheels. I run my own business now, and have four of them in the lab and two in the office.
Which drawer hold the index of what's in each drawer?
I think I'd have to put coloured stickers on each item to remind me which drawer to put them back in!
Great cabinet though. :thumbup:
 

retiredfromlife

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I have a dry (humidity controlled) cabinet. This is needed for our subtropical climate. It’s about 80 liters and has two shelves for gear. So far, it’s enough, but I have to keep my GAS in check. :) I don’t keep stuff in my bags as it’s too easy to lose track of something.
I was looking into one of these but the only brand i could find in Sydney that i could afford took over 24 hours after opening to get back to the safe zone so no good for daily use.

What brand do you have, as i should look into these again
 

Holoholo55

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I was looking into one of these but the only brand i could find in Sydney that i could afford took over 24 hours after opening to get back to the safe zone so no good for daily use.

What brand do you have, as i should look into these again
I bought this one from Amazon. Good thing Amazon had free Prime shipping. BH Photo sells the Ruggard brand and they had some on sale a while ago. I recommend them for humid places, like Hawaii, especially if one doesn't have AC, like me. Even if you have AC, these boxes can keep your gear at an even lower humidity. My box keeps it around 40%.
FORSPARK Camera Dehumidifying Dry Cabinet |8W 80L-Noiseless & Energy Saving - For Camera Lens & Electronic Equipment Storage
by FORSPARK
Learn more: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XWW67JW/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_U_Ncb3Eb25KCTC5
 
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I have a set of drawers to store all sorts of bits and pieces. One of them is dedicated to my photographic gear. It's one of these.
View attachment 828012

In one drawer I store zoom lenses. In the other I have primes. One holds converters. Then there is a drawer for camara batteries, chargers, SD cards. Another one holds flash guns and their batteries. The bottom drawer holds my various guide rails for macro etc work. Cleaning stuff and soft padded lens cases are in another drawer. Then there is one drawer for up/down conversion rings, close up/macro lenses and filters. And last but not least, one holds my interchangeable lens cameras.
Thanks to all that have replied. This looks interesting. Do you know who the manufacturer is, who sells it, or where you purchased it from? Are those stackable units or a single unit? I think if I put some foam in each drawer and don't overload each drawer, it should work.

I had my lenses in 2 bags for the longest time because I didn't have a lot of gear. It has kind of exploded over the last 1.5 years. I need to sell some stuff off.
 

Holoholo55

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Last edited:
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I found this video which has DIY storage suggestions for photo equipment:

I really like the pull out pantry shelf idea for storing lenses he shows near the end - I can put that in my closet. Any idea where such shelving is available?
 
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PeeBee

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Most of my kit lives in a Lowepro Nova Sport 35L bag. That has compartments for 2 bodies with lenses attached and all the other lenses that I use frequently, along with my flash, filters and accessories. When travelling by car, I can even squeeze in my TG-5, DJI Spark and a small set of binoculars.There's even a Sigma 56 f/1.4 sized space reserved for future use :wink:. Fully loaded though, it's a heavy beast, so I have a smaller 'breakout' bag that will take one body and a telephoto, and an even smaller bag that will take one body with a standard zoom or prime, though I could squeeze an extra prime into either if needed. I treat my GX80 as a slightly large premium compact. That resides in it's own compact style pouch with my 12-32 attached, though I'll sometimes swap that for my P20 for a discreet low light option. I currently have 2 'overflow' lenses that don't fit into the above. These are my P12-60 and P45-150. I don't use them often, but I consider them to be worth more than their low resale value, so I'm keeping them for use in higher risk situations.

My main bag lives in a cupboard. On the inside of my wardrobe doors, I have 2 door mounted shoe organisers (fixed to the doors with screws and washers, I don't like the over-door hooks). One is used for shoes, the other for general storage, and I use several of the pockets for photography gear such as my GX80, TG-5, lesser used lenses etc. I also have a row for headphones, a row for AV accessories, a row for chargers etc. They're very handy for storing smaller items. Many of the organisers are mesh but mine are transparent plastic so things don't poke through and get caught / snagged.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/ManGotree-...shoe+rack+clear+plastic&qid=1591622509&sr=8-5
 

Stanga

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Thanks to all that have replied. This looks interesting. Do you know who the manufacturer is, who sells it, or where you purchased it from? Are those stackable units or a single unit? I think if I put some foam in each drawer and don't overload each drawer, it should work.
I bought most of mine originally from a company called Misco. But I then found them on ebay as well. See https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/163925446889
They come as a set of various quantities of drawers. I have one that has 10 drawers, and a couple that are 8 drawers. They are the strongest. You could put foam in some of the drawers I suppose, which is a good idea for the lenses. I might do just that, maybe make cut outs for each lens? At the moment I keep the lenses in padded lens bags.
 

Mack

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I use a soft case for speedlights, filters, cables, flash triggers, manuals, cleaning stuff, wipes, etc.

Something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Neewer-prote.../dp/B017XCYUIK/ref=psdc_3345931_t1_B01DNCCRTS

For the E-M1 II and E-M1X cameras and lenses I prefer a lockable hard case such as the Harbor Freight Apache series or Pelican. I have four of them and they get banged around a lot on jobs and are easy to stack without crushing as with soft bags which are also dust magnets in the desert. The hard cases are easier to clean off as well (A hose!) since I work in desert dirt and blowing dust.

I have the photos here of a couple of the hard cases with labels telling me what's in them: https://www.mu-43.com/threads/organizing-my-hard-case.107357/

The Pen-F goes into a small ThinkTank flap-bag for travel.

The old Paul Buff studio flash units go into a long bag with the stand attached and cords. The newer Flashpoint (Godox) AD600 Pro TTL units from Adorama come with a padded shoulder bag.

Haven't figured out how to carry the 11" long-throw Phottix reflectors yet though as they are long. They came with a nylon bag, but being soft the honeycomb grid gets mashed up. Cannot stack them being a three-prong Bowens mount. I like them for getting catchlights in the bird's eyes at a distance and adding some feather contrast.
 

Michael Meissner

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This is one of those things where the answer is "it depends".

Generally at home, I have one drawer near my computer that I keep the current gear, and two shelves in my bedroom where I keep the older gear. On a third shelf, I have all of my battery chargers. For the charged batteries, I have a case with different compartments to keep each type of battery.

Now when I go on vacation, there tends to be two setups. One is the total gear that I take, and a second backpack, shoulder bag, etc. that holds the gear I'm taking out for the day.

Because I don't want to check gear, I keep the gear down to carry on size. In addition to camera gear, I need to include my BiPap machine for sleep apnea, and generally I include a 14" laptop and kindle for reading.

There is this myth that the luggage industry seems to promulgate to on the size of carry on for a roller bag (22” x 14” x 9” or 55cm x 35cm x 22cm), I have found in the course of my travels that a smaller bag (20" x 13" x 8") is less likely to be gate checked. If I'm going on the smaller commuter jets (puddle-jumpers), I try to fit the electronic gear into a single backpack that can fit under the seat (16" x 12" x 8"). Generally though I typically put the chargers into the checked luggage, but due to airline rules, all of the batteries need to be in carry on gear. If I am carrying a backpack and roller bag, I do try and pack the roller bag so it survives if I have to gate check it (on most airlines gate checking at the last minute means the bag doesn't have to go through the luggage conveyer belt of doom, and instead you need to pick it up in the jetway as you are de-planing (of course if your connections are tight, this is a problem).

If I'm doing a car trip, I generally use one roller bag for the camera gear and a backpack for the BiPap/Laptop. This is more because it is simpler to find things.

I do find, that over a long vacation time, the size of the gear actually taken out gets smaller and more light weight with each day.

At times, the shoulder bag will be packed in a specific order, so I know a particular camera/lens/flash is in a specific pocket, and I don't have to take my eyes off of the subject to change lenses/gear.

What I do is either pack the shoulder bag in the roller bag, or if I'm using a backpack, pack one that folds down to fit in the checked luggage.
 

bassman

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“What I do is either pack the shoulder bag in the roller bag, or if I'm using a backpack, pack one that folds down to fit in the checked luggage.”

I’ve been successful in packing the shoulder bag in the checked bag, filled all kinds of things I don’t need to hand carry: shoulder straps, extra chargers, etc. The camera, lenses, batteries, iPad, Meds and other stuff go in a backpack that I carry with me.
 
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