Kit Dilemmas

Before I start I want to clarify the photo featured is not of me.

I went to a 1940’s event in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire this weekend. What an excellent event it was. I loved the way everyone – men, women and children got into their roles. What was especially pleasing from my point of view is that all these people who dress up actually enjoy having their photograph taken. It’s like having 500 free models for the day.

My interest areas are street photography and portraiture so I was in my element. When I first arrived, not knowing exactly what to expect, and saw all these people dressed up in their 1940s outfits, I felt like a kid in a sweet shop. The sun was shining, it was warm, people were happy – including me, and I had a whole day ahead doing what I enjoy most.

For the first time, I was wearing a dual harness that held my Fujifilm X-T1 with 50-140mm f2/8 lens and a Canon 7D with 24-70mm f/2.8 lens attached. Now I’d thought long and hard about what equipment to take with me. I wanted to move light, but have enough to do the job. So 24mm up to 140mm (38mm – 224mm full frame equivalent) seemed appropriate. I wondered round for the day, happily using my two cameras at close and long range and it worked brilliantly.

Until it started to rain and everyone retreated to the big top where there was dancing, bands playing and singers singing, all under low light. I had the reach, but not enough of the low light capability. It didn’t seem right to use flash so I had to rely on the high ISO capability of the X-T1 and the f/2.8 of each lens. At that point I wished I’d brought my Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 and Canon 50mm f/1.8. Not sure how they would have worked in terms of reach and flexibility, but I did feel that I’d missed a trick and was kicking myself.

Also, I’d taken lots of batteries, but left my battery grips behind so was constantly changing batteries through the day (I got through 8).

What I learnt on the day is this. Plan for all eventualities and ideally carry everything you MIGHT need, in your car (see warning below). Keep your options open.

Notwithstanding the above, one time I did that, I had my rear windscreen smashed and the kit I didn’t carry with me on the shoot, stolen. So watch where you park. And if all else fails, make sure you have good insurance.

So the dilemma I find almost every time I go on trips like this is, what do I take? I seem to always have too much or too little. I kick myself if I’m missing something and worry if I am leaving stuff in the car that I find I don’t need.

The answer (Fuji take note), is a compact camera, with full frame sensor, pin sharp glass, 8mm – 600mm zoom, pocketable, minimum f/0.9 throughout the range, full manual control, OVF/EVF, metal body but lightweight, 10 FPS, high ISO capabilities, 15 stop dynamic range and room for a flash. Oh, and a retro look. Sorted.

You can see some of my photos on my website. But wear sun glasses because they are dazzling


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