ode to my gear

An Ode to My Gear Part II

This post includes affiliate links to Amazon and KEH. I receive a commission on purchases made through these links. This is an ode to my gear part II. I wrote a gear post here a long while ago and as might be predictable if you know me at all, my set up has evolved since then.

I used to shoot with Sony cameras. But when the Sony A7 came out, I knew I didn’t want that camera. So I started researching what would give me the best image quality balanced with user experience, along with cost factored in. So, I landed on Fuji in 2014.

I shot my first three weddings with primes only: Fuji 16mm f1.4, Fuji 35mm f2, Fuji 56mm f1.2, and a Fuji 90mm f2. I still had the X-Pro2 but in May (I think) I added an X-T2 with the battery grip to my kit list.

Then, I decided I had to be practical. So, I traded the 16mm, 35mm (much as I loved that lens), and 56mm for a 16-55mm f2.8. I had previous experience with the 16-55mm; I had one when I had the X-T1 before I sold it all, thinking we’d need the money for a downpayment on a house (we sold later and it was a non-issue, but I don’t regret the sale).

The 90mm was beautiful, but I found myself wishing for more reach, particularly at weddings. So, I sold the 90mm f2 and bought a 50-140mm f2.8 from KEH.

I Nearly Got Out of Photography

I got restless with photography in 2018. I thought I was going to close the business– in fact, I did just that. In anticipation of such, in early September of 2018 I traded the X-Pro2 plus a 27mm f2.8 lens for an X100F I found on Craigslist. I felt like it was a fair trade because the 27mm lens wasn’t my favorite and wasn’t worth much, and I had certainly gotten my money’s worth out of the X-Pro2 since purchasing it in 2016.

So anyway, the two zooms, the 16-55mm and the 50-140mm, lasted me at least six months. When I decided to re-open the photography business in March of 2019, it quickly became apparent that I needed two interchangeable lens cameras for weddings. So, I bought a used Fuji X-T20 from KEH.

I bought a Yashica-Mat 124G from Goodwill in 2017, I think. The first run of film through it showed a decent amount of haze, so the camera went into storage for a good long while. This year, I got up the guts finally to do a DIY cleaning on it, which required a specialized spanner wrench. So worth it! I am still working on filling up the first “after” film, but I anticipate this being the camera that launches me into hybrid photography.

At Christmas of 2018, I added the Minolta MD 50mm f1.2 lens– a beautiful manual focus lens. I found this one at Goodwill. Then, this Spring, I could stand it no longer and re-purchased a used 35mm f2 lens from KEH.

My lighting setup is simple at the moment– I have a Neewer TT-850 and a Fuji EF-X500 speedlight I also have two of the Fuji EF-X8 flashes that came with the X-Tx series, but they are used infrequently as triggers now. I also have 2-3 sets of Neewer remote triggers but I mostly only use them one at the time. If I use the two speedlights at the same time, I use the TT-850 as a trigger to bounce off the EF-X500.

My List: Ode to My Gear

So now, my current gear setup is as follows:
Fuji X-T2 + booster grip
Fuji X-T20
Fuji 16-55mm f2.8
Fuji 50-140mm f2.8
Fuji 35mm f2
Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f1.2
Yashica-Mat 124G
Fuji EF-X500
Fuji EF-X8
Neewer TT-850

I have four camera bags, three Portage Supply Co. bags and an Amazon Basics small backpack. I have the original Portage Kenora backpack and the original Portage Mariner messenger bag. Both of these go with me wherever I go for shoots now. the Yashica lives in a Portage leather and felt wool box bag, perfectly fitting inside. The box bag is now discontinued, but it is awesome.

The Amazon Basics bag is for storage pieces at home at the moment.

So, this was my ode to my gear. I hope to add a second Fuji X-T2 or Fuji X-H1 in December of this year.

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