* Minimalism (Part 2) – Photo gear

Sorry, it’s a bit late in coming.  This post is my follow-up on the computer minimalism post I wrote last year.  This time I’ll be updating you on what camera gear I’m currently using and some of the changes and decisions I’ve made over the last 6 months or so.

Over the last 18 months I’ve been moving away from model photography and trying my hand at landscapes and wildlife/nature photography.  I bought some Lee filters and decided to move away from Fujifilm back to Nikon, who I’ve used for many years previously.  Two main reasons really:

  1.  The choice, availability and cost of secondhand lenses on Nikon equipment was a distinct advantage over some of the Fuji lenses I needed to move into landscapes and nature photography
  2.  I was used to Nikon, it was an upgrade to full-frame, the user experience was great and to my mind would be easy and seamless to get back into.  Also the cameras all had a great form factor with deep grip for using 400mm or 500mm long lenses.

Having used mirrorless cameras for many years (since 2011 with the X100, then the GH3/4, then X-T1 and X-T2), I know the benefits of using this type of camera over a DSLR.  So I went in full on with a Nikon Z6 full-frame camera with FTZ adapter and a 50mm f1.8 Z lens.   Oh, just one thing …. I had a VERY brief time with a Sony A7iii before getting the Nikon.  I just couldn’t get on with it, that’s probably why I wanted to forget about it.  To me, it was soul-less.  I know cameras are just tools, but you have to enjoy using a tool to get the most of it.   And when you have to set up 5 personal menu pages to just get to the control options for photo/video that I use in a camera, with a menu system that was obviously designed with multiple rolls of a dice, then I knew it wasn’t the camera for me.  So hence the move to Nikon.

So I used the Nikon Z6 and started to love it more as it progressively got firmware improvements to enhance the autofocus capabilities.  But …. I started to get hooked on getting more lenses like the 14-30mm, the 85mm and the 200-500mm.  And whilst they were awesome lenses, the camera bag and size of everything was just getting bigger and heavier.   Then with the announcement of the 70-200mm f2.8 Z lens and it would be the same size as the old one rather than the hoped-for smaller size, I thought this was just not going to suit my needs.

I was also starting to find that I just wasn’t “into” landscapes and wildlife photography.  Sure, I enjoyed it and the getting out into the outdoors.  However, it just wasn’t my thing, my heart was still with photographing people.  But not models, I was starting to see an attraction and a “purpose” in shooting contemporary, documentary photography and this also tied in with my enjoyment of street photography.    So I needed to move on … or more accurately …. move back to a smaller, more focussed set of camera gear like the Fuji gear that would suit the photography I so wanted to do.

Hence the move to my current Fuji setup:

  • Fujifilm X-T3 with 35mm f1.4 and 56mm f1.2 lenses
  • Fujifilm X100V with WCL and TCL converters
  • Fujifilm SQ instax camera

So once again I’ve got gear that is light, minimalist and purposeful and will suit my new interests in documentary photography.  But importantly … as many of us know … a Fujifilm camera just makes you want to pick it up and take photos.

 

* Tempted to splash the cash on new camera gear ?

Well, plenty of excitement for Nikon, Canon and Fuji photographers this week with their new camera releases. All very tempting whether it’s the Nikon D750, the Canon 7D Mark II or the Fuji X-T1 in graphite silver.

Consider though, will your photos actually be any better once you’ve satisfied your GAS tendencies? Probably not.

So if you’ve the urge to splash some cash, then go somewhere on a trip either at home or abroad and take photos like you’ve never taken before. Or book a great model or perhaps go do some workshops.

All are very much more likely to improve your photography. And your pocket will thank you for it. ?

Note: GAS – Gear Acquisition Syndrome

* Hybrid …… what’s that?

HYBRID – COMBINE TWO OR MORE ELEMENTS TO PRODUCE A BETTER SOLUTION

We’re entering a new era in photography and video. For high quality results there have been SLRs but now there are Mirrorless cameras that produce great quality and in a much smaller and portable package. And whilst it’s nothing new, there appears to be a surge of enthusiasm for taking natural ambient light photos for professional work as well as the studio flash setups. So you can perhaps see that the potential to get the ultimate quality, often requires a mix or blend of using the best-suited tools and resources for the job in hand.

Here at our studio in Grantham in the UK, we mix the best tools for producing great photo and video results using the latest Nikon DSLRs, Fuji mirrorless camera and the professional’s choice of video camera in a compact form, the Panasonic Lumic GH3.

AND not only that, our studio mixes the conventional studio flash and background setup with some rooms that have fantastic natural light.

So we’ve got it all.

A world that continually changes though needs continual updates on how to get the best from everything. We pride ourselves on doing just that for ourselves and for our friends and peers by providing workshops to suit different styles of photography and digital workflow.

So please, do get in touch.