Varanasi Masterclass - The Gear Page


Hello dear Varanasi Masterclass Participants,

It’s always difficult to advise other photographers what gear they should bring. However, I can tell you what I’m going to bring…

Camera and lenses

I’m bringing one camera, the Fujifilm GFX 50S (and a backup body) and two lenses: the 32-64 and the 110. These correspond to 25-50 and 85 mm in fullframe terms, respectively. I might bring the 23 mm (18 mm fullframe equivalent) but not sure yet.

Previous participants have also brought lenses like the 16-35 mm, 24-70 mm and 70-200 mm on this trip. Personally, Matt and I prefer a wide angle zoom and a telephoto prime but your mileage may vary.

ND filters

I find it handy to shoot with ND filters, because it allows you to shoot wide open (for nice background blur) at the sync speed of the camera rather than go into high-speed sync, which draws more power from the flashes and is less efficiënt. A 4 and 6 stop ND (or if you’re using 1.2 lenses) even an 8 stop ND can be interesting. Or, you could use a variable 1-5 stop ND and mix it with a 6 stop fixed ND.


I often use a tripod, especially on the flash shots, because it opens up options in postproduction: I sometimes like to shoot my images in ‘layers’ where I light the foreground and the background separately, and having a tripod helps.

Flash and modifiers

Matt and I will be bringing a couple of high-powered Godox flashes and SMDV lighting gear. So there’s no need to bring a 600 Ws flash along - unless you want to :-) However, if you have a hotshoe flash or a flash like a Godox AD200 and an umbrella or softbox of your choice, feel free to bring these along if your luggage allowance allows for it. While part of the group is working with our gear, it will enable you to try out stuff on your own.

Flash Triggers

We will bring a couple of flash triggers with us. However, if you happen have a Godox flash trigger of your own (the X-Pro or X1-T trigger for your particular camera type), we would suggest to bring it along. If you don’t have one yet, but are interested in flash photography, it would also be a good idea to get one and already bring it on the trip because chances are that you’ll want to buy into the Godox system anyway after the trip. In that case, I would recommend the Godox X-Pro trigger (or Flashpoint R2 Pro or R2 Pro Mark II as Adorama calls them) for your particular camera brand.

Camera Protection for Holi

As you may know, we will be in Varanasi during the Holi festival. This is a highly photogenic festival, but it can also get messy as a lot of powder and water gets thrown around. So you might want to consider bringing a protective cover. Matt and I will be using this one by Think Tank.