こんばんは。This evening after dinner, we strolled down the promenade from our hotel to the Great Wild Goose Pagoda. The wide walkway is very nice in the daytime, with statues and other cool things to look at, but at night it transforms into a huge party, with music performances, shopping, dancing, beauty shows, etc. It is pretty amazing! The colors and energy are intense.
One thing that I noticed that I like doing is taking photos of people enjoying themselves. I guess it is kind of a street photography style? I don’t know, but taking photos of people taking photos and selfies is so meta. Please take a look at some of the images:
I don’t think I’ve mentioned this before, but I have a big trip coming up (to China!) and since I will be taking a suitcase for this trip, it got me thinking about my travel photography kit. 📷 Specifically, with the extra space, maybe I should bring along the Fujifilm X-T10 and its two lenses. And maybe I can bring the 50mm f/1.4 Minolta lens as well. It’s China after all! We’ll be seeing some amazing sights, so I might as well be prepared to get wide shots, plus some tight shots, so the 18-55mm zoom will be perfect. With this in mind, I figured I should get a couple extra batteries (I only have one for the X-T10), so I put a couple in my Amazon shopping cart.
But before pulling the trigger on the batteries, I thought of my recent trip to New York, last year’s vacation to Morocco and Spain, my work trip to Stockholm, and the reason why I decided to just take my Fujifilm X100T.
And that reason can be summed up in one word: Simplicity.
The Fujifilm X100 series of cameras have a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens which simplifies the act of shooting photos. I don’t have to think about what lens to put on and what would work best in each situation. And later, I won’t be able to second-guess my decision. With the X100T, I have to use the 35mm field of view for everything. If I can’t get close enough by moving my feet, then so be it. Forget about that shot and move on. If I must have a super-wide shot, then Lightroom can stitch a couple photos together. But taking the lens choice decision out of the equation makes shooting so much more stress-free, and therefore more fun!
Of course, having the single camera and fixed lens also makes for a smaller and lighter kit. (a nice bonus is that I don’t have to worry about getting dust on the sensor). My back and knees appreciate the lightweight setup, I’m sure! 😀
So, I’ve reaffirmed my choice of travel kit (and everyday kit, to be honest). And here it is:
Frankly, the power bank is mainly used for charging my phone, and I can’t remember the last time I used the microfiber cloth, instead opting for the Lens Pen. The USB cable does double-duty since it charges my phone.
This setup is so compact, I don’t even need a dedicated camera bag. And since I am usually wearing the camera across my body using the strap, I just have to put the burrito organizer in whatever bag I happen to have. For instance, in New York I used a small MoMA shopping bag all day. It was a great set up! Burrito, power bank, phone, and umbrella in the bag, camera across my body, and that’s it.
I believe that a simpler, minimalistic life can make you happy, and that a simple, minimalistic camera kit can make photography a lot more enjoyable. In fact, I experience it firsthand every time I walk out the door!
The 50mm lens is what I used a lot my Minolta X-700, and more recently with my Sony A77 via an adapter, so I thought it would be cool to put it on the Fujifilm. I am happy to report that the quality of the photos that the lens produces with the Fujifilm is much better than the ones produced with the Sony. The edges are sharper and there’s less chromatic aberration. I’m not sure why the Sony images weren’t as good, since the adapter simply acts as a spacer between the lens and sensor. I can only guess that the adapter I used with the Sony was a tiny bit too long or short.
At any rate, the 50mm lens produces some lovely bokeh at the wider end, and when stopped down to f/3.6 the sharpness increases quite a bit. Using a manual-focus lens on a mirrorless body is easy because of the focus peaking feature, which overlays color outlines over the parts of the image that are in focus. I love it!
Now I have another option that I can use with my single body/lens philosophy, which seems to be working out nicely. Just yesterday I used the X-T10 and 35mm lens combination at the Fourth of July party, and I am really happy with the images! And I don’t mind “zooming with my feet” with the prime lens. It’s actually kind of fun!