"Siblings" Cedar Park, 2018
Photo info: OLYMPUS E-PL9, 35mm, f/5.5, 1/125 sec, ISO6400
“Siblings” Cedar Park, 2018

こんばんは。How’s it going?

So recently I sent my Sony A77 DSLR + 16-50mm lens to my niece in California. She’s going to do some photography for her school next year and wanted to use a more serious camera. Since I rarely use my DSLR, I was happy to let her use it indefinitely.

So now the camera collection has been pared down some and it has simplified my photographic choices a tiny bit. Honestly, I only used the A77 for video and when I needed an ultra-wide angle shot that only the Sigma 10-20mm could handle. But I can now take care of the video with other cameras and how often did I really use the UWA lens?

Currently, my digital camera kit comes down to 3 bodies: the Fujifilm X100T, the Fujifilm X-T10, and the Sony NEX-6. Here’s how I use each:

Fujifilm X100T – The camera I use 90% of the time, and the one that is almost always with me (unless I have X-T10 that day). I love the 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) frame of view and the near-silent leaf-shutter.

Also, I find the limitation of the non-interchangeable, fixed-focal-length lens to be liberating. No need to think about what lens to use. Just compose with the 23mm and shoot. No second-guessing, no indecision, and no regrets! It’s a great feeling.

Plus, the camera is so sexy!

Fujifilm X-T10 – I’m starting to enjoy using this camera as a backup to the X100T. It’s got the same sensor, image quality, and the size is also similar to the X100T, so it’s familiar and easy. I mainly use the X-T10 for company events and presentations, where the excellent 18-55mm zoom’s versatility shines – I can get in close, without having to get right in front of the presenter.

I also have the excellent 35mm (48mm equivalent) f/2 lens which makes beautiful images – sharp in-focus, and nicely blurred out-of-focus. Plus, the focusing is lightning-fast, silent, and the lens is physically small.

Sony NEX-6 – This camera stays in the glove compartment of my car, where I use it for quick snapshots of clouds or other interesting things on the road. It powers on quickly with just one hand. The wide-angle (24mm equivalent) of the 16-50mm kit lens is perfect for shooting without composing – I just point in the general direction and shoot away. Here’s an example of a shot from the car, although this one was taken by Koa who was riding shotgun.

I have a way of thinking about how I use my cameras, which might seem strange, but I’ve found it is shared by many other photographers – I prefer a minimalistic setup since it cuts out a layer of decision-making which bothers me. Logically, it would seem that having the flexibility of zooming or changing lenses would contribute to a better photographic experience (you won’t “miss the shot”), but that’s not the case for me. When I have too many choices, I always second-guess myself and that feeling is unsettling.

On the other hand, when there is only one choice of focal length, I see the situation more quickly and that simplicity makes photography much more enjoyable and less stressful. I believe a lot of X100-series photographers experience this same feeling.

With that in mind, when I do take the X-T10 with me, I’ll put on the 35mm prime lens and that is my setup. I don’t take any other camera, nor lenses. I’ve made the choice already before I step out the door, and there’s no going back, so to speak. By setting limits, I can enjoy the simple photography experience even with an interchangeable lens camera.

I mentioned that I also have the 18-55mm zoom lens, which is fantastic and takes great images. But the problem with that (at least for me) is that not only is it too big, but I dislike having to make the decision of what focal length to choose. No, I don’t see the convenience of a zoom as a plus for my personal photography. It takes away much of the joy of snapping photos.

So I’ve decided the 18-55mm lens is only for work, where the images are strictly for documentary purposes. I’m taking those photos simply for the company’s success, not for any kind of artistic expression.

With all that being said, I’ll be taking the X-T10 with 35mm lens out tomorrow night when we visit a friends’ house for a barbecue. I hope to get some nice images!

またね~

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