Or better camera bags inspections since I got more camera gear that one camera bag can hold. Time to re-evaluate if I need all of it.
Cameras and lenses are very nice things and because they cost much less than a house, a boat or a car we tend to accumulate them. Soon we have far more cameras and lenses than we need. Stuff that just sits in the closet most of the time. In recent years I started to sell things that I don’t use regularly. It’s liberating! That’s how I brought my camera/lens list down to what you can see below.
- Fuji X-Pro2
- Fuji X-H1
- Fuji X100F
- Sony RX100IV
- Fuji XF 14 F 2.8 R
- Fuji XF 23 F 1.4 R
- Fuji XF 23 F 2 R WR
- Fuji XF 35 F 1.4 R
- Fuji XF 50 F 2 R WR
- Fuji XF 90 F 2 R LM WR
- Fuji XF 10-24 F 4 R OIS
- Fuji XF 16-55 F 2.8 R LM WR
- Fuji XF 55-200 F 3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
For most people this is still a crazy long list and I wouldn’t disagree. But I just love photography and I don’t feel ashamed.
At least I’m down to one camera system. I used to have three camera systems at the same time. One full frame DSLR plus a set of f2.8 zooms, my Fuji gear and a super tiny m43 camera from Panasonic plus some lenses. After I got my X-Pro2 I sold the other cameras and focused on Fuji X instead.
Of course I sold my older Fuji camera bodies and also some lenses that I didn’t use that often: 16/1.4, 18/2, 18-55, 27/2.8, 56/1.2 and 100-400. I truly believe that you should get rid of things that you don’t use on a regular base either to make room for something new or simply to have less stuff.
Of course today with nowhere to go practically all my cameras gear just sits there, waiting for the next trip, just like me. Time to look at my camera gear and ask myself if I still need all that.
My main camera is the X-Pro2 so that is out of question. The Fuji X-H1 is a different thing. I only used it on my last vacation so far but loved it. It’s a little too heavy for my taste but it is such a nice camera. I bought it because I wanted a second camera body and since its price was lower that the price of the X-T30 I didn’t have to think twice. It’s a perfect match with the XF 16-55/2.8 WR on vacations if you are not allergic to camera weight. Below image illustrates my point. Today there are similar sized full frame options.
The X100F is a fantastic “social” camera. Nothing beats the portraits of friends taken with this thing. No compact camera can give me that. I always took it with me when I meet with friends and also on trainings or events with customers. Usually those events nowadays are covered with smartphone cameras that’s what make those images taken with the X100 stand out so much. No social or other gatherings today but that time will hopefully come back soon. So of course I’m going to keep it.
Last camera is the Sony RX100IV. Like with the X100 I also had the RX100 when it came out. But unlike the X100 I never really liked the RX100 so why did I get the RX100IV? I still don’t love to shoot with the camera but it is much better now than the original one. What I love is its compact size, flexibility and image quality. It’s the camera that I take on bike rides and hikes so that I don’t have to rely on my iPhone.
Result: All cameras will stay. Wow, that worked well! 😉
Within the last 8 years my job brought me to Asia a lot. On average I went there 3 to 4 times a year. Many trips to amazing places like South East Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, India, Korea and Japan. No way that I would go there just with my iPhone. So I always brought a Fuji camera (Pro1, X-T1, Pro2) with 2 to 3 lenses.
The lenses changed but I finally settled with this trio: XF 14/2.8R, XF 23/2 WR and XF 35/1.4R. This set of lenses worked best for me because it covers a real wide angle, a 23mm that is more a standard lens for me and the 35/1.4 which I use more as a portrait or light tele lens. So those lenses are the most important ones for me.
On our big vacations, which normally means we go to the other side of the world, the XF 16-55/2.8 WR has become my workhorse. So this lens has become a true favourite. The first time I took this on a trip through the South West of the USA I took 70% of all images with it. In short: it’s a keeper. On vacation I usually prefer zooms because I don’t care that much about the weight of my camera gear. It’s not that you walk for hours in a typical vacation in the USA. In some places in the West they would most likely arrest you if you walk around.
So let’s stay with the zooms. The XF 55-200 OIS has to go. I will either replace it with the XF 50-140/2.8 WR or with the new XF 70-300 OIS. That’s not decided yet but among my current lenses the XF 55-200 OIS is the weakest optically. That’s not against the 55-200 which is a fine lens it just shows you how excellent the other lenses are. The XF 10-24 OIS in example is a truly fine lens but I’m somehow intrigued by the XF 8-16 WR. Let’s see if I’m crazy enough to make that switch.
So far no reduction but two potential changes. But there are three lenses that I haven’t mentioned yet. The XF 23/1.4 R is a lens that I hardly use at all nowadays because the XF 23/2 WR is just so much smaller and lighter so I prefer it for my trips to Asia. So why I still have the XF 23/1.4 WR? It’s because this lens has this kind of magic, fairy dust, call it whatever you like plus it can give me that full frame like subject separation that I sometimes miss. Sorry but I will never sell this one.
What’s left is the XF 50/2 WR which is a fine lens but I will most likely sell it because I much prefer the XF 35/1.4 R for portraits. I only bought the XF 50/2 WR because I dropped my XF 35/1.4 R just before a trip to Korea. At that point it was not sure if it could be repaired so I got the XF 50/2 WR to try it out on my trip. Luckily my XF 35/1.4 could be fixed for a low cost and I found out that the XF 50/2 WR is a lens that doesn’t really work for me.
Last but not least the XF 90/2 WR. Maybe Fuji’s finest lens if we talk about pure optical performance. Sharp wide open it is a perfect substitute for the excellent Canon 135/2L lens that I loved. A perfect portrait lens and also perfect for those full body portraits on the beach because it gives you the look you normally only get with a 70-200/2.8 on a full frame camera. To sell it would be though but I don’t take that many portraits anymore and in case I would get the XF 50-140/2.8 WR to replace my XF 55-200 OIS I think at the end I would sell it.
Not a big change but I already “cleaned house” some time back. Two zoom lenses potentially swapped for higher end alternatives and two prime lenses on the sell list.
That’s the beauty of our hobby. We try out new things or new setups. Some work, some don’t. You keep what works and sell what doesn’t. Of course some of those lenses aren’t exactly cheap but they don’t cost an arm and a leg either. When you sell them you loose little money and if you purchase them second hand there is likely no loss at all.
The real conclusion of this article is: From time to time we have to take a hard look on the stuff we have accumulated. If it just sits around and we haven’t used it for a long time it has to go. Either sell it or to give it to a friends but get rid of it. You make someone happy and you got less things laying around collecting dust.