What camera and lens would you bring to a desert island?

Jun 8, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

What camera and lens would you bring to a desert island?

Jun 8, 2020

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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If you only had one camera and lens you could bring on a desert island, what would they be? Have you ever thought about it? Andrew & Denae have, and they have also asked four other photographers what they think. It’s interesting to see how different their answers are, and we’d also love to hear yours.

YouTube video

Andrew and Denae spoke to Mathieu Stern, Gordon Laing of Camera Labs, Hugh Brownstone of Three Blind Mena and an Elephant, and Bellamy Hunt aka Japan Camera Hunter. Hearing their answers, all I can say is: there’s absolutely no such thing as “the best camera” or “the best lens.”

Mathieu doesn’t mention a camera, but he’d bring a 35mm lens. It’s good both for for landscapes and for portraits, so it should get him covered. He’d choose a vintage Canon 35mm f/2.8 or Konica 35mm f/2.

As for Gordon, his sensible choice would be a fixed-lens Sony RX10. “But who wants to be sensible?” Gordon wonders. So, if he’d choose with emotions, it would be a fixed-lens Fujifilm X100V.

As for Hugh, he would bring his iPhone 11 Pro. His explanation sounds pretty reasonable: he most likely wouldn’t go to a desert island voluntarily, he’d just have a phone with him as he normally does. So, if he just fell off the sky, it’s likely that only an iPhone would be with him. If he needed to get rid of all his gear and throw it out of an airplane, Leica SL2 with a Summicron-SL 35mm f/2 lens would be the last kit he’d get rid of.

Bellamy would never give up on his Leica MP-6 with a Summicron 35mm lens. It has a sentimental value for him, he hopes to use it forever, and he would likely bring this kit to a desert island.

Denae and Andrew would both stick with Fujifilm cameras on a desert island. Denae would take an X-T3 with a 56mm f/1.2 lens, and Andrew would choose the XPro-3 with a 16mm f/1.4. And for a film camera, it would be a Nikon FE2.

I must admit I’ve never thought about this. I’m not much of a gearhead and I’ve only had two DSLRs in my life. Since I’ve never used a fancier camera (at least not for long enough), I guess that the Nikon D7000 I currently use would have to do. As for the lens, I would probably choose a 50mm lens before. But I’m falling in love more and more with the Sigma Art 18-35mm f/1.8, so I’d likely go for that one. It weighs a ton so it’s not a sensible choice, but as Gordon Laing would say – who wants to be sensible? :)

So, what would be your “desert island” kit?

[What is your “desert island” camera and lens? via FStoppers]

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Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic

Dunja Djudjic is a multi-talented artist based in Novi Sad, Serbia. With 15 years of experience as a photographer, she specializes in capturing the beauty of nature, travel, and fine art. In addition to her photography, Dunja also expresses her creativity through writing, embroidery, and jewelry making.

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13 responses to “What camera and lens would you bring to a desert island?”

  1. Stephen Masiello Avatar
    Stephen Masiello

    I’d go long, (around 200-300 range) to pull in far stuff. Then when I need wide, I’d take multi-shot panoramas. (You can still go wide with a long lens but you can’t go far with a short lens.)

  2. Sheldon Shaw Avatar
    Sheldon Shaw

    I’m not sure that I would need a camera on a desert island.

    1. Michael Estwik Avatar
      Michael Estwik

      Sheldon Shaw think about how many selfies you can take until you’re rescued and then share on Instagram… That is if you get rescued…

  3. Andrus Chesley Avatar
    Andrus Chesley

    G16

  4. Mike Elam Avatar
    Mike Elam

    The one on my cellphone. So that I could call to be rescued!?

    1. Mike Elam Avatar
      Mike Elam

      After a few days of peace and quiet anyway.

  5. Tyler Ingram Avatar
    Tyler Ingram

    Depends on how long was I on the island… and did I have a way to charge batteries and dump photos from the memory cards ?

  6. Stiven Sanchez Avatar
    Stiven Sanchez

    15 mm!!! ???

  7. Fernando Otero C Avatar
    Fernando Otero C

    Nikon 850 with an old prime manual focus 200 mm

  8. Sheldon Shaw Avatar
    Sheldon Shaw

    Hasselblad 500EL

    If they are good enough for the moon, they are good enough for an island. ?

  9. andrei ioan Avatar
    andrei ioan

    budget no matter: GFX100 with some standard prime, i believe 60mm or 63…
    reasonable budget: RX1R
    low(ish) budget: x100v

  10. Frank Nazario Avatar
    Frank Nazario

    Nikon D7200… Tamron -11-24 VC G2…

  11. John Beatty Avatar
    John Beatty

    Depends on circumstances for why I’m on the island. As touist (and a way off) I’d bring my canon and 70-200mm f2.8.
    If I’m stuck on a deserted island I’d use the same camera but have Sigma 150-600mm. Can use to see distance ships, camera has mirror for signaling, and the lens can use to make a fire.