Settling on my photographic kit

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For the past few weeks, I have been slowly working myself back to using the different camera bodies and lenses that I have. I say “slowly” meant in the same vein as “methodically”. I am trying to be real with myself; what is it that I really want my kit* to be like?

What do I like to photograph? What do I want to be able to photograph? What am I actually willing to carry when I travel, or even on photowalks or weekends exploring? What do I like to use, and how do I actually use it?

I know that I want to use Fujifilm mirrorless as my camera system. I feel like it fits my overall wants/needs in a kit. I do long for my old Nikon and Pentax systems but, realistically, I just didn’t want to carry them around anymore.

It turns out, I’m very close to the complete kit that I established as my goal. Below is the kit I’m working towards, with items in italic being the items I still want to get.

Bodies:

X-T1 – I love this camera and don’t use it as often as i would like to. I plan on changing that. Even though it’s a few iterations behind (the X-T3 was just released), I don’t have any urge to upgrade this one. I haven’t had a chance to put it through its paces. The layout and manual controls are exactly as I want (and invokes the film SLRs I used when first learning photography). This is the workhorse and projects camera.

X-E3 – This will replace the X100T that I currently have. The X100T is a neat camera. It’s quirky and limiting enough to keep challenging my photography. But, it’s not me. I want something more flexible, specifically, interchangeable lenses. I enjoyed the Sony A6000 I had (a few years ago) for travel, and I want something more like that. The X-E3 seems like a good fit here, and I imagine it becoming my everyday and travel camera.

Lenses

18mm f/2 – Landscapes. I know I should go wider for landscapes but, I like this one for landscapes. I can see trading this for a wider focal length if/when I get more serious with landscape photography. But, for now, I genuinely want this as part of my kit. I like it for what it is.

23mm f/2 – this is close to a 35mm lens (on a 35mm equivalent). I like this focal length as an everyday and travel lens. So, when the X100T (which has this focal length) goes, I will pick this up to reside on the X-E3 the majority of the time.

35mm f/1.4 – This is my second favorite focal length (close to 50mm on a 35mm equivalent), and going down to f/1.4 gives me the reach to do portraits on the rare occasion that I do them. I like this one for food shots over the other lenses, though I can see using those as well. The 18mm. 23mm, and this one are the reasons I want my everyday/travel camera to be interchangeable (with lenses), not fixed to one.

60mm macro f/2 – Currently my least used lens but, the few times I have used it, I love it. I want to do more macro photography, so envision this one being used more often.

50-140mm f/2.8 – This is the lowest priority item on my list right now. I want this one for events, sports, and wildlife. I miss photographing those, and would like to get back into it. Mainly wildlife photography. Eventually.

Overall, I’m already in a really good place. Even swapping out the X100T for the X-E3/23mm f/2 combination isn’t necessary nor urgent. I’m feeling good about this overall, and am realizing I’m in a place to really ignore the equipment and focus on the craft.

 


*I’m carrying this approach over to a few other aspects of my life. Kitchenware is another where I am trying to pare down to the essentials. What pots/pans/small appliances do I actually use, and how?

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