Those who have been following my posts for a longer time know that I have arthritis and Raynaud’s Syndrome in my hands which interferes with my use of cameras. While I have been getting ready for better weather to go out walking more often and further, I decided to buy another pair of gloves that were lighter for cool days; but, the gloves needed to be suitable for using touch controls on my camera and phone. I started looking around and discovered what are normally referred to as runner’s gloves with the touch fingertips. The ones shown above are great in that I have no problems using them to operate my cameras, including using the touch features of my LCD if I so desire.
As a bonus, I found out that they work great on my laptop touchpad. In fact, not only do they work great they also relieve the problem I have with my finger tips going numb after using the computer for extended periods of time. It has also dawned on me that they also have another bonus feature.
When I am out intentionally photographing I like to dress in black or dark clothing so that I have less problems with reflections of myself in the images. I also like to blend in when photographing events when I am close or near the front of the residents. What I realized is that with my black cameras that if I wear the gloves it also makes the fact that I am holding a camera less noticeable.
I decided to go with just Fujifilm cameras and lenses and added the X100F camera to my X-T2 and X-E3 cameras. The X-T2 is my main go-to camera for photographing events at Homewood at Plum Creek and the X-E3 is my back-up to it as well as my second camera when I’m working with two cameras with different lenses.
I went back to the X100F for my “most likely to carry camera.” I would like to replace my pocket cameras, the Leica D-Lux 6 (sold) and the Olympus TG-5 with the X100F. I’m still hanging onto the TG-5 until I see if I can do without it.
I prefer using just my three Fuji cameras since they have the same sensors, use the same batteries, and have similar controls. While the X100F has far superior image quality to the TG-5, it doesn’t have the same pocket-ability or the focal range or the macro ability.
The X100 series cameras were always my “desert island” choice if I could only have one camera, but it is too limiting for some of my event photography and doesn’t have the weather resistance that I sometimes need, thus why I have the X-T2. Occasionally when I’m walking with only the TG-5 someone suggests I take a picture inside a building when the light isn’t good enough. Having the X100F will allow me to make such pictures.
Lately I have been getting reacquainted with the single 23mm (effective 35mm) lens’ focal length of the X100F. I used it to make the photos in the previous five posts. Saturday morning, I used the X100F to make the above photos of Venus and the moon. Only Venus is in the first image, but both the moon and Venus are in the other two. Do you see them? They represent the distant end of the camera’s fixed focal length limitations for field of view and resolution; but I find that with my current interests in photography that the effective 35mm focal length is a great compromise.
I also sometimes feel like I might be using the X100F more and more as I get older. It is a “getting old thing” as a result of arthritis, bad back, etc. For that and the fact that I love the X100F, I have been thinking more and more about altering my photography to fit the format of a fixed effective 35mm focal length camera/lens; but for now, it is more of a challenge and learning opportunity to see how much I can do with it.
I thought I would update those who have been following my problems with my hands. For those who haven’t, my right fingers get very cold, turn white, and then numb when I hold a heavy camera a long time and when I use my computer and the touch pad. My arthritis also causes my hands to get stiff and ache.
My latest attempt to remediate the issue has been to use the Apple mouse, but not exclusively. I switch back and forth between using the touchpad with either my left or right hand and with using the mouse. This seems to help more than anything else I have tried for using my computer, which I do a lot. Using the Fujifilm cameras and prime lenses helps considerably for when I take pictures.
Look at the camera and lens I used to get the images in my previous post (lower right in slideshow mode). I have decided to use micro 4/3 sensor cameras due to a combination of size, ergonomics, image quality, and cost. In order to keep the cost down and quality up, I purchased a used Olympus Pen E-P5 since it has the same sensor and uses the same battery as my Olympus OM-D E-M5 II. I plan to use a few prime lenses with the E-P5 and use the E-M5 II for my longer focal length work, primarily at 300 mm focal length. This will enable me to stop frequently changing lenses and grab and go quickly.
The E-P5 doesn’t have a EVF but I don’t need one for inside or low light work. The lack of the EVF hump also makes it easier to carry in a vest or jacket pocket. It is a little on the heavy side but is built like a tank and should withstand being thrown into various small bags, etc. I need the EVF on the E-M5 II for use with long focal length lenses since it makes it easier to hold the camera-lens steady to compose in bright sunlight. A big plus for both of the cameras is the 5-axis image stabilization system. It is quite good, but I still need to hold the camera steady with long focal lengths to focus on the area I want.
I decided to sell all of my Fujifilm gear and go with Olympus due to the size and cost of the lenses. I used my Fujifilm X-T1 and 35 mm lens for the last time to make the above picture. Using the Olympus smaller sensor cameras keeps the weight and cost of the long lenses lower. I decided that I couldn’t afford or carry the long focal length Fujifilm lenses. Using the E-P5 with prime lenses rather than the X-T1 enables me to have and use one system.
There are three earlier posts which discuss differences in image quality as well as some of the reasons for ending up with these cameras: Round 1, Round 2, and Changes. Click on each to read each of them if you haven’t already read them. When I earlier decided to go with the Fujifilm system, I planned to only use shorter focal length prime lenses and give up images of wildlife and distant compressed landscape details, but I found that limited my photography and therefore I went back to some longer focal length photography.
And now there is one. I now only have one camera. I found new homes for all but my Fujifilm X-T1 camera and three prime lenses, the 18 mm, 27 mm, and the 60 mm lenses. I hope to enjoy my path to a more simple existence. I have been shedding not only cameras and lenses, but also camera bags and other camera related stuff, and I hope to continue reducing other things from clothes to tools, etc. if I’m not using them.
I am now approaching photography a little differently and I’m enjoying the freedom from carrying a heavy camera bag and looking for a wide variety of subjects both near and far. I hope to spend more time photographing details, and life experiences up close with a wider prime lens. I will have to shorten my vision and not look for small images in the distance. It sort-of goes with the image of me walking slower with a cane and looking down rather than far. My 27 mm lens will be my standard walk-about lens for now. I’ll use the 18 mm lens for inside buildings when I need something wider and my 60 mm lens when I’m photographing details and/or need a little greater reach. The only change or addition that I’m still considering is getting the new 35 mm WR lens when it comes out and making it my standard walk-about lens.
I plan to continue my photography and make images of ordinary things around me with my single, lighter, smaller, higher quality camera. I hope to photograph the mundane, but with an ever-changing perception of how I see and think; but it will have to be up close since I no longer have a long focal length zoom lens. I like to go out with just one lens at a time … just one focal length at a time. I usually just select from one of my three prime lenses before I go out and then just photograph what works with that lens. I rarely change lenses out in the field but I do change them when photographing an event or project here at Homewood when I don’t have to walk far with a bag of lenses, etc.
I might have a new love … a Nikon 1 J5. I still have a lot of work to do before I decide to keep it, but so far it has surprised me in a good way. The J5 with the 10 – 30mm lens is small and easy to carry and shoot with one hand, except for zooming. I am finding more latitude in processing the 20 MP images of the one-inch sensor than I expected, and if this result continues, my plan is for it to replace all of my smaller cameras.
I charged the battery last evening and then took these pictures on a walk this morning. Most of these images were taken at the maximum zoom of 30mm (effective 81mm). Only the picture of the doll (taken inside at ISO 2500) and the wider view of the lilies were at the widest zoom of 10mm (effective 27mm).
This camera is not as good as my Canon 70D so my intention is to use the 70D for my more critical photography. I ordered the J5 with the intention to try it as a walk-about and drive-about camera with an effective 50mm prime lens. But, since I don’t believe in love at first sight, I will not know if I will keep it or how I might use it until I have tried it for a while.
On my morning walk I only took a 50mm lens for my camera, but I still managed to get these images. I managed to prepare these views by using a lot of cropping and resizing … but it worked. The fly was small and the ducks were really too far away, but I wanted to see what I could achieve.
I wasn’t using a longer zoom lens since I was trying to “go light” and take pictures with one hand. My back and legs were giving me trouble and I was walking with a cane in my left hand while I used a sling strap to carry the camera. I turned the camera on and set the aperture at f/2.8 with auto ISO when I left the house; therefore, all I had to do to take a picture was raise the camera up to my eye and push the shutter button. The Canon 70D with the 50mm lens is light enough that I can manage it with one hand. It really isn’t light in weight but is manageable with the good handgrip.
Using my biggest and best camera with prime lenses is a way to reduce the weight to a minimum. I use my 24mm pancake lens as well as the 50mm lens to be able to get quality images and reduce the weight; but, I have something else I plan to try. I have ordered a Nikon 1 J5 camera to see what I can do with it. The camera and lenses for it are very small and light in weight, but it only has a one-inch sensor. I want to see if the smaller size and lighter weight off-set the loss in image quality (IQ). I am assuming that it will have lower IQ, but the only way to evaluate the trade-off is try if for a period of time and see what I can do with its raw images.
I took this picture while I was seeing how well the Sigma 17 – 70 lens focused up close, and while looking at the result I was reminded that I should probably tell you some more about why I have pursued a lighter, more easy to hold camera system that still lets me practice photography. You have read enough about my back problems, but it isn’t the only problem. My hands are also a big problem, and at the moment they are giving me more grief than my back. I have arthritis in my back and hands.
Have you ever found yourself using both hands to lift a can of beer at the end of the day? I sometimes find myself doing that to keep from dropping it, especially if I have carried and used a camera much during the day. This is another reason why I am exploring lighter-weight cameras with better grips and changing what I photograph to fit an easier to use format.
There is a positive side to my life. Physical changes force me to try new things. I have gotten tired of photographing the same things in the same way, and I now have an excuse to look for, and try new things … new cameras and lenses and new subjects and techniques.
These are pictures of my latest acquisition. Those of you who have followed me for many years will be surprised to note that it is a Canon, and the least expensive and smallest DSLR that they make. I am now going to tell you why I got it. I will have to use it for a longer period to know if it was the right decision.
I have wanted to buy the Fujifilm X100T, but hesitated for many reasons. I had an X100, the first version that came out, and I loved it, but always worried about it having an effective 35 mm focal length and being tough to focus quickly and accurately. When I had the X100, the focal length usually worked well for me but, I did a lot of crop-zooming. I also found that it usually took two hands to hold and use the X100. In addition, I am now hesitant about spending so much money on another camera. So, I looked around for something else and started looking more carefully at the Canon EOS SL1 Rebel.
The SL1 uses interchangeable lenses, and I noted that Canon had two pancake lenses. I found that both the 40 mm and the 24 mm lenses were both small and light-weight, quite inexpensive, and highly rated in reviews. I also realized that the Canon SL1 with the 24 mm lens attached weighed about the same as the X100T, and was about the same size except for the depth; but at about half the cost! In addition I would have effective focal lengths of about 38 mm and 64 mm with the two Canon lenses.
The SL1 has another advantage for me in addition to the cost and weight. It has a nice handgrip and with the arthritis in my hands that is a significant advantage. I have posted the above pictures so that you can see the handgrip. Many of the on-line pictures don’t do a good job of showing the handgrip. If you are interested you need to try it. All hands aren’t the same, but I have found that it works very well for me.
This Canon Rebel isn’t as sexy as the X100T, doesn’t have the perceived quality, doesn’t have the dial controls, and doesn’t have the X-Trans sensor, but it is a lot cheaper, and I think more versatile for my uses. Time will tell.
The geese in the above picture know that they have to keep changing the leader in order to preserve the stamina of the entire flock.
People have polluted the atmosphere with carbon by wastefully burning carbon-based fuels. Even those who accepted climate change didn’t worry about a few degrees increase in temperature; but they didn’t realize that major shifts in extreme weather patterns comes along with small increases in the global average temperature. It may already be too late to keep things as they are, even if we change now. We should have changed much earlier to keep the weather patterns of old.
Many cultures and governments are currently learning that they have to change to keep things the way they were. We have collectively moved toward global commerce and now some wonder if that was the right way to go. Is it too late to make the changes necessary to preserve the cultures of old?
If I want to keep things photographically as they are, I will have to make some changes. If I hope to keep walking and carrying a camera I have to make changes. I have been assuming that the pain in my knees was due to arthritis, but I just learned that I have no sign of arthritis in my knees according to recent x-rays that I had. It is my back that is pinching the nerves to my legs and creating my balance problems and pain in the knees. Hopefully I won’t have to have more surgery. I had one lumbar fusion in 2010 because of this problem.