« NEX-6 Review, Day 2: Exposure and Flare | Main | Open Mike: Editions »

Saturday, 23 March 2013


If I'm going on a car trip, it's not unusual for me to throw a case with a few Mamiya RB 6X7's in it, into the back of my car. Sounds like a lot, but it's going to do what I want, with what I'm thinking about.

As I get older as a photographer, I realize how many family and social engagements were negatively impacted by me taking pictures, altho for many years I carried a little Olympus 'point and shoot' around to take quick snaps on film, and actually might do it again, little impact there.

I realized how worthless it was to me, after years in the business, to aimless walk around with a camera all the time snapping and snapping, in the hopes of getting 'something' or revealing some great truth. It really hit home when I read a very interesting article some years ago about Avedon, that talked about him trying street photography and photography in an mental institute, all with a small camera, and how he realized, it just wasn't for him. Ditto! I'm now happy to get home from a two week driving trip, with one nice roll of film taken of a particular subject on my Mamiya with a 127 or 180 lens.

I began to realize that one needed to "live" experiences as an observer, and maybe a participant, but without constantly thinking about how good a picture it might make. Since I adopted this, I have a sharper remembrance for many situations I've witnessed, than the pictures of the many situations before that allow me to have.

So I guess the answer is, for the most part, every time I leave home, I never take a camera!

Thanks for the digression!

Bearing in mind the run-out-the-door scenario, it's probably the NEX 7 & the 10-18 or one of my CV's--the 15 or the 21.

But that doesn't mean that camera gets the most use. My A850 and the CZ 16-35 or Tamron 28-75 will have the higher counter numbers by a lot.

Then there's the run-out-the-door-to-go-fishing scenario, and that gets the Pentax Wg 1 or something (2?, 3?...I can't keep all these numbers straight...)

but if that Sony RX 1 had an integral viewfinder, I'd be poorer by about $3K, but that would be with me ALL the time. I've started to jonesing for that camera...

If I am heading out the door to go take photos, it's the Rolleiflex 2.8C Xenotar. If I am running errands, going to work, just knocking about, it's either the Rolleiflex 3.5E(1) Xenotar or the Leica M3 w/50mm 2.8 Elmar, depending on how frisky I am feeling (the Leica being for looser shooting). Did I miss it or am I the only person commenting here using a Rolleiflex on a regular basis?

I'll take the D800E when I'm headed out and want a camera along. If I'm going to spend the time taking a photograph, I want the best possible chance of making it a portfolio shot. When I take a camera, it stays accessible and the D800E size is fine. When I'm weight constrained because I'm flying on business and not checking any luggage, I'll take the D7000 with the 18-200. It's small enough that I can take it jogging in a fanny pack.

My out-the-door camera varies based on whim and perceived need. It's usually my most recent acquisition but not necessarily. Most of the time, it's a DSLR with a wide to normal(ish) or longer zoom. I know prime lenses have better optical performance but I like the versatility of zooms. I never liked being limited to one focal length or changing lenses. Even when I used Leicas, I almost always carried two of them--a 35mm Summicron on one and a 50mm Summicron on the other.

Roughly 50-50 between a Nikon D7000 w/16-85 (sometimes with an old SB800 flash) and a Canon G1x (enclosed in a puppy-dog cute brown leather case). The latter is slow as treacle to operate and i can't say i like shooting at arms length. But I haven't touched my GH1 kit in months. The G1x is just so portable; the lens and the images are just a step behind the dSLR . . . well, actually, the lens is better i think . . .

Interesting. Reading through the comments,it looks like Leica, Fuji X series, and Pentax are the predominant choices.

Just going out and about, the RX100. Going out specifically to photograph, the D800E with 24-70 f 2.8. The poor OM-D, betwixt and between, stays at home these days, though I have a deep affection for it.

It depends on where I'm going and whatever focal length is the current favourite.

Right now, the OMD + 14mm f2.5 is the first choice. Before that, it was the 5D + Nikkor 35mm F2.

Mike, I felt I had to add my two cents to the discussion. What a great question; it really got me thinking. I own two full-frame Nikon cameras including the D 800, as well as a small light GX1 with a pany 20. As I thought about which camera goes "out the door" with me the most, I think it is the small GX1. I guess size matters, but it is a terrific camera and I keep thinking about downsizing; however, when I look at the files that come out of the D800, I continue to be impressed. It truly is a great camera, and produces wonderful images. I generally like to shoot in black and white and the D800 does a remarkable job. It really makes photography fun. I have too many cameras but the real decision is with the lenses. I want to get back to three "go to" lenses that fit in a small bag and can go anywhere. I hope you will do some testing with your big D800 and some different lens choices. Thanks for the post.

Walking out the door, size is the issue, of course, for which we used to sacrifice sensor quality. No more, the RX-100 and, waiting for, the NEX-7x have sensors that sing. Lenses to match and mostly free of manufacturer's CPA afflictions. Can't wait for clients to freak out when they see my NEX-7x; I'll just show them the files!

I just bought a Fujifilm XE-1 this week because I just never wanted to carry my Nikons.

Oh my! The files coming out of this machine are amazing. Sharp and colorful.

I hate souping photos in the computer. Now, I can just move files rapidly using Photo Mechanic.

I am definitely infatuated. But will it turn into love?

It depends. If I am going out for some project-related shooting, it is the D800 and 3-4 ZF.2 lenses. If I am just doing a walk-about, it is the E-PL3 with either 12/2 or 25/1.4.

On the occasion that I want to shoot some film, I have a lot more choice, from FM2 to 6008i, 2000FC/M, RZ67 or even a 4x5 camera (sold my Linhof Technika and will replace it with a Chamonix 45N2 at some point), and a few other older cameras.

I recently sold a load of stuff, including most of a Contax 645 kit, but clearly I have some way to go before I reach the simplicity I crave...

Fuji X100s... keeps the lens buying to a minimun! :-)

My new OM-D with a Pentax M50/1.7. This combo has so much quality, you must try it if you still have this lens, great for portraits. Or Ctein can lend you one? Did he tried it?
For the first time I'm able to focus rapidly and accurately, a lot easier than with a DSLR.
Still not sure which to choose as my standard lens between the Oly 17/1.8 and Pana 20/1.7.

For absolutely always with me: iPhone 4S.

For when I can carry a bag: recently the Olympus E-PL5 with the 17/1.8. The sensor performance is close (though still noticeably worse in some ways) to my D700. Would still use the D700 for taking pictures of moving things.

Plan on getting the 12 and 45 for a travel outfit.

For when I don't mind the weight: D700+24-85 zoom lens.

Generally if I am going to be "taking pictures" I take the bag camera. Otherwise I use the phone.

I have three film cameras that I keep but generally do not use. An AF Hexar. An FM3a. And a Nikon 8008. Thought about selling them, but what's the point?

Easy. E-PL2 with Oly 15mm mounted and the Sigma 19mm and 30mm in the bag. If I'm planning to take picks I grab the other bag with my other E-PL2, Pana 14mm, sigma 30mm, Oly 45mm, and assorted other stuff.

I was so happy the day I got my Nikon D300. I have lenses! I have strobes! I have tripods and monopods and other toys!

And it sits at home unless there is a specific need.

I carry my Sony RX100. IQ is great, certainly much more than enough for the web which is where 99% of my photos go. Fits in my pocket and does what's needed.

Depends, for low light high iso I grab the Fuji X-E1 which is better than my Canon 5D MK2 for anything above iso 800. For tripod work or normal daylight shooting, I still go for the canon with the new 24-70 II.

These days my going-out-the-door camera is a Nikon V1 with 10-30mm kit lens. I like it's small size and quiet operation. The images I get with the V1 are similar to what I used to take several years ago with my 35mm camera loaded with Kodachrome 64 or Fujichrome 100. And the V1 is a good video camera as well.

It's the only digital camera I have, apart from an old 2 Megapixel thing in a drawer. It's a Pentax K20D. Usually it's with the 16-50 f/2.8. Sometimes I fit the Tamron Adaptall 2 24mm f/2.5.

The wide end of the zoom is just wide enough for me, but the long end is a bit on the short side. Especially with the zoom, the whole thing is well into the "look after it all the time" size bracket, but I'm yet to find a decent smaller camera I can both live with and afford. (Fits into a jacket pocket, nice wide lens, has a micro four thirds or APS-C sensor, and a viewfinder for applying the eye to.)

Fuji X-E1 with 35 Summilux ASPH, or M6 with RF-coupled Pentax-M 50/1.4. About 60/40.

I've nearly always had multiple cameras of different types, either physically in my possession or easily available. Miranda Sensorex plus Yashicamat 124G; Leica M3 plus Pentax Spotmatic (plus the Yashicamat, actually, all three at once). Olympus OM-4T (two of them) and Nikon L135AF P&S. Nikon N90 and Nikon FM2 and Fujica GS645. Or, at the moment, Nikon D700 and Olympus EPL-2.

For me there has always been the main serious camera, sometimes a specialized serious camera, and sometimes a walkaround snapshot camera. So, I take at least the walkaround, take the main if it's a photo trip, unless have specific reason to take something specialized (usually medium format). With the M3 and Pentax, the M3 was the main, with the Pentax brought out for specialized needs (wider than 35mm or longer than 90mm or closer than about a yard).

Going out the door? The Fuji X100. TBH, I don't really like it that much: it is way overcomplicated, horribly slow and the focus is unreliable. Also, I can't seem to capture images that excite me with it so I'm waiting on something else to come along; the RX1 could have been it but the price is too high.
If it's a paid job, the big Nikons come along with their heavy lenses.

Easy one: Leica M-E with either a 50 or a 35 summicron on it. I'm such a sucker for a rangefinder and it's only about 1000 or so exposures in, and even though at times it is the complete antithesis of the old film M (unpredictable and cranky electronics), it really is magic to be shooting with a rangefinder again...


Leica M8 + 28mm cron. Small, light, lovely. Wish it was M9 but... all in good time.

K-5 and a prime. At this moment in time its a K-5 with KatzEye focusing screen, *1.2 magnified viewfinder and a SMC K35 f/3.5 that I picked up last week. That combo will remain like that for 3 or 4 weeks I expect. Nice, small, light with a FOV that i'm trying to figure out. Sharp little setup though :-)
Now if you asked me to take the K-5 plus any lens in my bag (31, 35, 43, A50 f/1.2, 55, 77)... I would just go with the K-5 and 43 :-), it just delivers!

Olympus OM-D E-M5, usually with the 25mm f/1.4, though I am falling in love all over again with the 45mm f/1.8. It's the only camera SYSTEM I have that allows me to take the camera on my neck, and a high quality spare lens in a pocket if necessary. All the comforts of the big Canon SLR, most of the image quality, very little of the weight and bulk. It's almost never a pain in the neck...I'm looking at YOU Canon 7D and 6D.

The RX100 is an excellent runner up if you plan to shoot at ~28mm. Aperture slows rapidly as you zoom.

I have a Nikon D80 and screw drive af prime lenses, 20 to 85mm, but for more than a year the only camera I've used is a Nikon V1 with the 10-30 and 30-110 zooms. I like it so much that, when the price crashed, I bought a 2nd. It's a very fine, very innovative little camera reminiscent of the Olympus XA and the Minox GL, but apparently beyond the comprehension of the, convention-bound, status-obsessed forum flock.

I still shoot film and have a LOT of cameras. I could be flippant and say "I take the camera that has a partial roll" but I actually had no idea, so I decided to be empirical and look at my film files to see which camera actually got picked. So, over the last 3 years, my "out the door" camera has been, more often than not ... a thirty-eight-year-old Canon EF. I wouldn't have guessed that. A close second place is held by the Pentax ESII I bought from you. Something about those Takumars keeps me happy I guess. Seems to work out 45% Canon, 40% Pentax, 15% random Nikons/Minoltas/Olympii.

In the digital realm, however, I use a strict division of labour, along the lines of MarkB's decision tree. Crappy weather? The indestructible Nikon D1X. Sunny weather? Sony A350 with its gorgeous sensor and huge dynamic range. Low light/concerts? My wife's Sony A77 with its great high-ISO performance, highlight recovery and black-cat-in-a-coalmine autofocus. Snappy-snaps of friends/parties/nights out? Used to be a Panny GF2, but now mostly my Blackberry smartphone.

Scott Price said: "For me, it's my K-5 IIs with my FA* 24mm ƒ/2 attached (36mm equivalent)".

In your Pentax post (the one and only) you said that there was no 35mm equivalent that you could use.

A 1mm makes a difference for you? Man you're strict!

Used to carry around an XA but now it's an S95.
"say hello to my little friend"

RX100 everyday.Samsung Galaxy Note ll as back up. when specific tasks are anticipated I will have the full DSLR kit as necessary.

I have only two "serious" cameras.

When going out on errands, I bring the GRD IV for just in case.

When going out for a shoot I bring both cameras, both lenses for my GXR-M, and a tripod. I wish I had more lenses for the GXR.

The GRD IV on a gorrillapod. This combo suffices for shooting star trails.

I'm happy the GRD IV made it to No. 2 on Mike's list. I reckon that if Ricoh puts the RX100's sensor on the GRD V (assuming Sony lifts the embargo), then it ought to overtake the former because of the GRD's superior UI and build quality, IMO.

Panasonic Lumix G3 with an old Pentacon Prakticar 28mm f/2.8 manual focus lens. For the last year, I've shot almost daily with it.

Nowadays, i am enjoying my DP2 Merrill. I try to shoot everything with it.

Cannot just have one camera -- have to sell the 50+ I own. I even walk passed my book shelf and look at one dry box and found a fuji 680! Having said that I found when I go out take pictures, I just use one lens especially if it is a fix lens. Last time got 3 zoom lens plus 5n but just use my new 2nd hand Minolta AF 500mm f8 lens on my a77. Not changed once.

In fact for the whole week being a non-birdie, I just took pics of kites flying around my balcony. Enjoy very much. Never think that I can have a go of this kind of photography - auto focus and steady shot with an effective 750mm,! I know it is only f8 and mirror lens but I can count the feather in a few pic I took. Now I can lookat the sky, find a kite and point the camere and the kite is in the viewfinder. Not in the first few days and as the autofocus is not that good you see nothing - white and sound of focusing. One lens one camera helped very much. You just know.

One lens one camera one month!

I've been trying to carry my D700 + 50mm combo more often but it's tough since it's so heavy and obtrusive. Just this Saturday, I went to an indoor farmer's market but decided to leave the camera at home. Much to my chagrin, the market was held inside a converted greenhouse with perfectly diffuse lighting from the early morning sun. In short, everything and everyone looked great! Luckily, I was a five-minute drive from home so I high-tailed it to retrieve my camera. Perhaps the best camera isn't the one you have, but the one you can get to in ten minutes.

For me it is Ricoh GXR with A12-50 macro (33.5/2.5 actual) lensor. Suffices it to say it was my sole companion during my daughter's and mine trip to USA back in September 2012. Brought back 1700+ frames and lots of great memories. In my view this is probably the best non-DSLR camera+lens combo if for whatever reason the angle of view of 50mm is needed.

A number of cameras have been my "grab and run" choice over the years. Nikon S2.Konica Hexar RF. Olympus OM-2. Olympus E-3. Leica M9. But these days, it's my Olympus EM-5,with either a 12mm or 25m lens. THE perfect "grab & run cameras, in my opinion. Small, light, quiet, and lightning-fast focus--and it takes great photos, too.

I own two Olympus M4/3 (OM-D and E-PM1) plus lenses, the Olympus X-Z1 and the Canon G15. The latter is definitely my out-the-door grab.

It's almost always a small fixed lens rangefinder, or my Rolleiflex, depending on my mood and believe it or not, the weather.

Walking long distance and want a pocket camera .... I got rid of the LX5 as its lens was to proud .... and now have the XF1 .. small .. fits in a pocket. Fast at 25 .. which is fine for me. Slower at telephoto which I use less.

Want to concentrate more then
Pentax K5 ... .. WR Kit if raining

Otherwise DA Prime

Either DA21 /DA35 Macro usually

In my heart of hearts I desire an X100

I've spent almost all winter shooting portraits of naked Cottonwoods in a park about 1 mile from my house. For this project I use my Leica M9 and Noctilux ASPH with a 3-stop ND filter. Pure heaven.

I only have one camera, making it a simple choice: Canon 5D II. Put the 50mm f/1.4 on it and I'm ready to go. I've always been a one camera guy, be it a Canon FTb, an Olympus OM-1, a Leica M6, or a Mamiya 6 (your review of the Mamiya in Camera Arts, btw, was very well done), typically with a 35mm equivalent. I guess I've gotten a narrower POV over the years, eh? Well, for me, photography is a reductionist art, like poetry - get rid of all but the essential. I like the 5D II: on manual, with manual focus, and RAW. Simple, like film, and after doing this activity for 40+ years, I've come to discover I like simplicity.

my grab camera? EOS M with the 22mm 2.0

al lot of reviewers and spec checkers will think I've gone bonkers, but I'm loving the 35mm equivalent!

I normally carry my 5D II & III with to many lenses for work, now the amount of shots I took with the 22mm EOSM lens has me in GAS mode for a 35mm lens for the 5d's

And then there is the always in pocket S95, lusting for a Sony RX100 but decided I can't buy a compact until the S95 dies on me, since compact camera's normally don't last long...

On the featured comments, Scott Price said "For me, it's my K-5 IIs with my FA* 24mm ƒ/2 attached (36mm equivalent)".

On your Pentax post (the one and only) you said that there's no 35mm equivalent that you could use on Pentax mount. Does 1mm really makes that much of a difference to you? Man you are strict!

I started the One Camera/One Lens/One Film project back in February so it is really easy for me. (I know, I know...better late than never!) My Zeiss Ikon and MS Optical 50/1.1 follows me everywhere. However, I have allowed myself one weekend per month with a digital camera and that is either my M9 or my Pentax Q, depending on my mood that weekend.

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007