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What Gear Does a Sports Photographer Bring to the Olympics?

Team USA photographer gives us a peek into his bag before the Tokyo Games
Photo of Olympic gear 1

We always have trouble packing for a big trip but it’s nothing compared to what Team USA sports photographer Jeff Cable went through for the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo. Cable gave us a peek at what photo gear he’s packing into his bags for the upcoming Olympic Games in Japan and it’s impressive if not a bit anxiety-inducing to see.

“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,” Cable wrote in a blog post. “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.”

Here’s a list of what photo gear Cable settled on, which, as you can see in the photo below, he managed to squeeze into two Think Tank Photo bags:


Canon EOS R5 mirrorless body

Canon EOS R3 mirrorless body (not released yet)


Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR body


Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x

Canon RF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon RF 100-500mm f/4.5-7.1L IS USM


Canon RF 15-35mm f/2.8L IS USM

Canon RF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM

Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM

Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM



Apple 16″ MacBook Pro

ProGrade Digital CFexpress Type B & USH-II Dual Slot USB 3.2 Gen 2 Card Reader

Crucial 2TB X8 External USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C Solid-State Drive

Wacom Intuos Pro Creative Pen Tablet (Medium)


Gitzo GM4552L Series 4 Carbon Fiber Monopod

Gitzo GIGT1545T Traveler Series 1 Carbon Fiber Tripod

Tiffen 67mm UV Haze 86 Digital HT Filter

ProGrade Digital 128GB UHS-11 SDXC Memory Card (2-Pack)


BlackRapid Sport Breathe Camera Strap

Acratech Swift Clamp

Think Tank Photo Airport Security V3.0 Carry-On Bag

Think Tank Photo StreetWalker Rolling Backpack V2.0

Photo of Olympic gear photo bag


To learn more about the reasons why Cable selected this set of gear for the Olympics, check out this post on his blog. Speaking of Cable’s blog, he’ll be updating it frequently during his trip to the Olympic Games 2020 Tokyo (Friday July 23, 2021-August 8, 2021), so we’d highly recommend following it.

Along with photos he shoots during the Games, Cable will be providing an insider’s look at what is sure to be one of the most logistically challenging Olympics of all time because of the pandemic. Cable recently shared some inside scoop on being one of only a handful of photographers in the world to be able to shoot with the Canon EOS R3 prior to its official launch.

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