I haven’t stopped making images, but I’m seriously wondering if I should continue publishing them in this blog. I would prefer to be working on some longer-term projects that lead to publication in books, etc. rather than this blog; but having this blog isn’t stopping me from doing that. My problem is coming up with a storyline, subjects to photograph, and then access to them.
In the last ten days, I have taken over 2000 pictures during 4 different Homewood at Plum Creek events. I will now be busy for a while editing those down to around 400 pictures, finishing off, and delivering those images. In addition, I have cameras to return and sell as I wait for my Fujifilm X-T2 to be delivered and then checked out. I also need to take some time to refine my strategy for my future personal photography, finish some reading, and restart. For these reasons, I expect to miss several days of blogging.
I took over 800 pictures of Dart Baseball at Homewood at Plum Creek last evening between the residents and the staff. For three times now I have photographed the games with different cameras. The first time I used a micro 4/3 camera, the second time I used the Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the 18-55mm lens, and last night I used the Pentax K-3 II with the 55-300mm lens since I had previously sold both the old micro 4/3 gear and the X-Pro2 camera. So far, this year I have used my Pentax DSLR for all my Homewood photography. That is ending.
As a result of examining the pictures and reviewing the issues that I had with shooting locations and ease of using the cameras in addition to image quality, I have decided to take another approach with my photography. I have ordered a Fujifilm X-T2 camera and I’m returning the Olympus Pen F, and selling my Pentax K-3 II and lenses. My attempt to move from Fuji to multiple less capable cameras did not work out.
I really like the Pen F for walking about with a 25mm lens and I really like the handling ergonomics of the K-3 II and the lighter weight and less expensive long zoom lenses. While I have been trying to go with lesser image quality and different cameras to broaden the types of pictures I can make and to reduce the weight that I’m carrying, in the end I have found that image quality is the most important factor, and that I can’t afford multiple overlapping expensive camera systems. For those reasons, in addition to other changes in what I mostly photograph, I am returning to Fuji for my primary system (I still have my Fuji lenses).
While trying out the Olympus Pen F I have renewed my interest in going out to make pictures with just one prime lens. I will continue to do that with the X-T2 with mostly the 35mm lens. It isn’t as small or as light as the Pen F with the 25mm lens, but it is a better system with better image quality and easier to grip.
These changes do not come without concerns. I have been noticing that I am more likely to have problems with holding a camera steady and that was one reason for trying to move to the Olympus and the Pentax cameras since they have in-camera image stabilization. I will not have that with the X-T2 so I will have to rely upon the lenses with image stabilization and better ergonomics and higher shutter rates if my abilities deteriorate. Another impact will mean giving up in using longer focal length zoom lenses. The Fuji 55-200 lens that I have is not as light as the Pentax lenses, and the other Fuji lens possibilities are both too expensive and heavy; therefore, I plan to back away from using focal lengths longer than 60mm.
Another potential impact is that I will not be carrying the X-T2 as often as I would have carried the Pen F when out walking and I will have to limit myself to using the wider focal length Ricoh GR II camera more often. I may decide to eventually sell my X-E2s and my GR II and my TG-4 waterproof camera and shrink down to just one camera. That, in addition to not using a long focal length zoom lens, could also reduce the number of pictures that I make for my blog and result in fewer posts. I am moving in the direction of concentrating on my private Homewood photography while simplifying my gear, unless, or until, I come up with another idea.
The Olympus Pen F camera and a Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 lens arrived and I have started checking them out. I am also reading David duChemin’s latest book, The Soul of the Camera which has lots of good words and B&W pictures. I highly recommend it.
I made the above image with my Pentax K-3 II DSLR and a zoom lens. The following image was also made with the Pentax K-3 II and another zoom lens at an effective focal length of 450mm.
My quandary is, do I want to continue using my relatively heavy and large DSLR camera and zoom lenses? I made these images from my Villa. The first was from the back porch, the second was from inside through the sunroom door. I enjoy using the camera and lenses this way since I don’t have to carry them far or hold them for very long.
I have ordered a smaller camera and lens, the Olympus Pen-F and a 25mm prime lens. I prefer to use smaller cameras with prime lenses when I’m out and about; but I keep going back to heavier and larger cameras and zoom lenses for photography such as above as well as for much of my Homewood at Plum Creek photography.
My quandary is whether to keep and use multiple cameras or to change my photography to fit the kinds of cameras I prefer to carry and hold. I plan to try the Olympus Pen F with a 25mm (effective 50mm) lens along with my GR II with its effective 28mm lens and my Fuji X-E2s with the 60mm (effective 90mm focal length) lens. If that combination of lenses works for me and if I find I like the Pen F, I might then sell the Pentax and Fuji gear and purchase additional lenses for the Pen F. If I find that I miss the images made with longer focal lengths (like above) I can acquire a longer focal length zoom for the Pen F which will be smaller and lighter than my Pentax lenses.
Those who have been following me for a long time know that this isn’t the first time I have retreated to lesser cameras and it might not stick this time; but, I am realizing that having the best and largest isn’t as practical. Maybe I am getting wiser as I get older. Ideally, I would prefer to simplify and reduce to one small camera and a few lenses.