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Friday, 11 October 2013


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Yes, I will accept. I will choose M9 with a 35mm summicron. Yes, I do have the pair, will just need some 10 additional batteries because where I will choose to go would not have electricity all the time.

since we're in fantasy land here, does it have to be confined to the earth. For example, could a trip to the space station be involved?

I purchased 2 X-100 Fuji's last year specifically for travel. (I do wish I had waited for the X-100s but such is the computer era).
We used them extensively in Ireland and Paris. We never felt "under armed" and the images were not only awesome but several published articles resulted.
This year we plan on Portugal and the South of France, so guess what's going along? 2 X-100's.

Oh my god this is insanely easy, M Monochrom and whichever is the most compact 35 1.5 m mount lens. Done and done.

Lot's of choices now in my preferred setup; small manual-control body with 35mm lens.
My EM-5 / Lumix 20mm kit would work well.

1. Yes. And I'd be interested in doing a series exploring white-collar work. Not because it is more noble than blue-collar work, it's just that you rarely see photojournalists doing a series on investment bankers, lawyers and accountants AT WORK (and not the fake, posed, glossy pictures shot by stock agencies).

2. The new Olympus OM-D EM-1 with the new Olympus M. Zuiko Digital ED 12-40mm f/2.8 PRO Lens. Why? It provides a small, light, competent outfit with a lens that is fast enough for indoor work, goes wide enough for indoors, and zooms far enough for good portraits. The sensor would be the weak point for mostly indoor shots under artificial lighting, but I think the smaller camera would be less intimidating than a full-frame Nikon, which would be the alternative. Plus, the Olympus has body-integral anti-shake.

Do I accept? Heck yes! I pick up my Pentax ES, screw on my S-M-C Takumar 55/1.8*, and step out the door--secure in the knowledge that come the end of the year, my project will be nowhere near done and I'll be free to use whatever other equipment I need.

*Actually, I'll ask my beneficent benefactors to supply with with a replacement for this lens with a slightly less crunchy focusing ring. Drives me nuts.

a) In a heartbeat.

b) Nikon D800e with a Nikon 35/1.4g. (It's not clear whether "one lens" would allow a zoom. If so, then I would consider taking the 24-70/2.8 instead.)

c) Yes

I would happily accept that arrangement. I would want a Canon EOS 5D mkIII and a Sigma 105mm/2.8 macro lens. I own the lens now, but not the camera.

I assume I can bring my homemade ringflash and my tripod and maybe pick up a couple more nd grad filters? If not c'est la vie, as we Americans like to say.

If I know my "ideal" camera one might wonder why I don't already own it nor have a plan to own it. I'm a photography enthusiast but I have never made money in any way from photography; in fact I have an aversion to the idea. The camera is, frankly, too expensive. My EOS 50D suffices in all ways practical, and only this sort of speculative hypothetical really stirs my lust for the 5Diii and its superior noise handling.

Why that lens? I love macro first and most. After that, any prime would be sufficient for the broader arena of nature and sometimes-urban stuff I like to shoot. I like narrow DOF, rich colors, good contrast, and creaminess. The Sigma 105 macro makes it easy to achieve these.

I'd certainly take the job, what camera and lens I'd use is another matter. It has to be a Nikon, that's all I've ever used, full frame or crop, probably a full frame, probably a D610. Lens wise is between a 70-200mm 2.8 or 105mm 2.8. I'd probably go with the 105mm for the macro and lower weight.

I would accept the assignment without hesitation. As for the camera, easy: Leica M2 with 1950's 50mm Summicron (that Dual Range one). I already have the M2 but not the Summicron. Actually, if the foundation is paying for the camera, a Leica M2-R, just because...

As for location, that's a bit tougher. While I'm partial to Asia, there are so many places across the globe that I would love to visit. I enjoy urban environments, so the itinerary would likely involve a number of cities on various continents.

You can toss out the assistant (I say this as a naïve hobbyist, but I like to photograph on my own, and I would prefer to develop and print, or even scan if need be, my own photos)

Yes, I would accept such an arrangement (a great opportunity). I would choose a Leica M Monochrom w Leica 35mm f/1.4 Summilux-M ASPH Lens and no, I do not own that camera and lens.


Nikon D3x and Nikkor 50mm f/2 AI.

I have to have an L-bracket and proper tripod as well. Probably a multi-row pano stitching setup to go with it.

I have everything but the D3x, and could realistically be properly set with my good old D2x.

I'd use a 1953 Deardorf 8x10 with a Fujinon 240 A lens. I already own the kit. B/W sheet film would be used.

Having an assistant to carry it would be liberating. I'd insist upon doing the contact printing myself though.

(Even though not permitted, I might sneak a picture or two made with my Olympus XZ-1. Don't tell anybody.)

If "my photography" is construed as the pictures I take of family and friends for them to enjoy and distribute and for me to remember them by, and if "my boss" is construed as all my clients who are (yeah, right) going to wait a year for delivery, then yes, I would accept the arrangement. I already own the lens: the Olympus 45/1.8 for the Micro Four Thirds system. I'll be happy to use any M43 body (including the Panasonic G3 I also already own), as long as it has an EVF and a control interface that won't drive me crazy. When do I start?

Nikon D700 & 35mm F1.4 Ai Nikkor.
and yes I do!

Nikon D3S and 50/1.4, already in my bag, waiting to go.


I would accept such an arrangement. I would not travel much, use the foundation's help to prepare/organize exhibitions of my work (also existing work) and photograph with a Panasonic m4/3 camera (G6,GH3 or GX7) and a 14-140 mm lens. I own that lens already but with an older body.

Yes. There is so much material here in Guyana to form the basis of a long term project, I have so many ideas that I can't undertake. Anything from a study of Hinduism in country areas (the unique preparation of food, the relatively large events, the colourful places of worship etc) to urban life in poorer areas (I love Bruce Davidson's East 100th Street photos) which are densely populated with the most interesting people you have ever met. Life among the gold miners, Indigenous villages in the mountains, a few of which I've visited briefly. There are endless possibilities, none of which I can do because of the need to feed the children.

I'd use any small, rangefinder style digital with a viewfinder that will get me somewhere near 40mm focal length. Like a Panasonic GX7 and the 20mm 1.7.

As tempting as it would be to grab a Leica S or Monochrome, for a year traveling and shooting I can't think of a better choice(for me, of course) than a Fuji x100s. I 'see' better with a small format camera, or one that handles like one, and that little guy gets out of the way and lets you shoot. Granted, I'd been shoot the great urban 'rivers' of the world(imagine if a city's roadways were waterways, and the tributaries and oxbows off those), so portable, good in low light, and not too flashy are a big consideration.

I'd use what I have right now: a Fuji XE-1 with the 18-55 kit lens. It is a dynamite combination.

My heart says Leica MP & 50mm f1.4 Summilux, but my pictures say Canon 5D MkIII & EF50mm f1.2 USM. much higher % of keepers, much much more convenient. I'll happily carry the extra weight.

Well as it's just for a year size and weight could be tolerated. One lens IS a problem! - would have to be a zoom.
Might as well experience something I could never afford, how about:-
Leica S with 30-90mm f/3.5-5.6 Vario-Elmar-S

1. Yes
2. Nikon D800 (non-E) with Voigtländer Apo-Lanthar 90 mm 1:3.5 SL II
3. Yes
(I can take the +2.5 dpt close-up lens that's included with the Apo-Lanthar, right? Else the lens changes to the PC-E Micro-Nikkor 85 mm 1:2.8, the other answers stay the same.)

That's easy since I love B&W! A Leica M Monochrome with a 90mm Summarit lens (I still like some distance between me and the subject). And would have the prints done via digital enlarger onto silver gelatin paper. And my location would probably be Miami, FL where there is alot of joy of life (at least away from the high crime areas;-(
Sign me up!

No Comment (as promised). But Gawd it's tough.

Yes, definitely would accept such an arrangement, though my wife and one year old son would need to go with. Camera would be the new OM-D E-M1, which I have had nearly a week and am quite pleased with. I could do almost all my shooting sans tripod and in any weather. Lens would almost certainly be the upcoming Olympus mFT 12-40mm f/2.8, as long as it provides beautiful images. Otherwise I could get by quite nicely with the PL 25mm f/1.4, which I do own.

Just cameras though? Aren't you curious as to what the project would be?

Would you accept such an arrangement?
gosh yes

If so, which camera and lens would you choose?
Please be specific!
5x7 graflex , with whatever Ektar comes with it , and color negative film - you said lab fees right?

Finally, do you already own that camera and lens?
I have a 4x5 graflex , with whatever Ektar came with it, and a 5x7 stereo graflex.
Come to think of it, the stereo graflex wouldn't be a bad idea.

"You don't get to keep it at the end of the year."

The photos or the camera?

Sony A99 with its Zeiss 24-70 f/2.8. I could shoot all my stills and provide multi-media BTS (behind the scenes) footage for my sponsors public relations needs. The A99 has good built-in audio for the BTS footage.

I've never even seen an A99 in the flesh, my current hammers are a 5D3 and Sony NX70.

The obvious choice is the Leica you recommended in your 1-year training program sometime ago. But I have to say that I'm afraid of disappointment (especially inasmuch as I don't see well enough to focus with rangefinders).

I have a Sony Nex-7 that I mostly like, with 4 lenses I'm not thrilled with (Sigma's 19 and 30 mm f2.8s which are cheap and sharp but seem to have a hard time focusing, the kit 18-55mm and Sony's 55-210 which I seldom use).

Leaving out the soon to be announced new FF Sony e-mount cameras which I feverishly and foolishly anticipate will be the perfect cameras in every respect, for ever and ever, world without end, amen), I think I might plump for the Sony RX1 with it's fixed 35mm. Though I've never held one in my hands I gather it is comfortable, well proportioned, ergonomic and well made. It's small and light like my Nex-7 for capturing slices of life in the streets. Since you restrict us to a single lens, its fixed lens is no problem and my most recent work involves shooting in the street, semi-wide. Howzzat?

olympus om-d em-1 with any Olympus water-resistant lens and an eye-fi card. i shoot black and white jpegs plus RAW and the black and white jpegs get uploaded without editing. Assistant edits RAWs and posts 1 photo per day! Done! And we travel to Australia, China, India, Philippines, Vietnam, Cambodia, New Zealand and Turkey (not in that order!)

I've long wanted to engage in a project (part biography and part documentary) traveling to every place I've lived and documenting the place and how dramatically it has changed over the past 40 odd years. My father was in the US Air Force (as was I) the trip would take me across the United States and around the world. Many of the installations I lived or served at are now closed and the towns they once supported radically different. Documenting that change from the perspective of someone once a part of the community fascinates me. And, since I would have my travel comped, I would so in an RV complete with a wet darkroom on board. I would want to work in film and digital, digital for street work and portraiture and large format view camera for the architecture and landscape work. (I would need the view camer...Hey, you said dream!)

This was an easy question to answer, since I've wanted to do this for a few years now but have nowhere near the money. Donations to that address below!

I'm sure this may sound predictable, or maybe too conservative or mainstream, but I'd have to go with these: the Nikon D800 (with the optional grip, for balance/handling) and the current Nikon 24-70 f/2.8 lens.

Wholly eighty percent of everything I've ever shot that was a "keeper" image was shot at 24mm. And, the "-70" part would fit nicely into my "preferred" shooting style, which I would categorize as photojournalist/documentary (again, safe and played out, but that's my "home base," I promise). I'd have my favorite focal length, as well as some additional length for some decent portraits as I had need.

So that's it: D800 & a 24-70. I've got the camera, I long for the lens.

I'll bite. I'd choose a 500 series Hasselblad with the CFi 50mm lens. I already have one with a 50mm FLE. No idea if the CFI is any improvement but why not try it? I really like the 80mm lens but I think if restricted to just one lens the 50mm might be my choice - but then again...

I would require a huge amount of FP4, HP5, Portra and Ektar. The real attraction is the support. I have a large number (indecently large according to my wife) of digital cameras. For the past year I have photographed almost exclusively with my Sigmas - Dp2 and DP3 Ms. But I have always felt unfaithful to my Hasselblad which sits on my desk with an accusing eye. Digital is seductive but film is proper photography. No flames please!

I'd use my Pentax K-5IIs and the humble 16-50 DA* zoom if for no other reason than that I don't want to spend half my dream year trying to figure out a new camera system.

I would definitely accept. I would take a Canon 5D MII with the 40 2.8 pancake because it is what I own and use 90% of the time.

I would accept, and would want a Nikon D800 and AFs 24-70 2.8 G.
Yes, the big dragoon. I am not so enamored with all the new smaller cameras with all their limitations.

Opps! No, I do not currently own the D800 and the 24-70 lens which would be my choice.

Would I accept? Are you kidding?

I could use that assistant and lab fees to mine that mountain of unrealized images - negatives, slides and now digital files - that have barely made it past the moment of being recorded.

But of course I'd also take the opportunity to travel to remote or difficult or expensive places, that fit with my interests or planned projects.

Gear-wise, I'd probably not stray far from the set that I made a similar journey with, over 30 years ago, without the help of any foundation (see http://www.kenstraiton.com/?p=content/exhibitions/Quiet_Idols.htm That was a Leica M2 with a 35mm f2 Summicron lens. Today that could be a Leica Monochrom with a 35mm f2 aspheric lens, or the equivalent in another digital format. It would almost certainly not be a dslr.

Do I already own that camera and lens? Not really, though I am sloping that direction with the Leica M3 and 35mm Summicron that were not stolen from my fairly complete set; and a Fuji X-Pro 1 for which, maddeningly, Fuji has held out on a 35mm equivalent until just recently, so I haven't had a chance to try the new 23mm, but the body is flawed, hobbled by sluggish focusing and a few other idiosyncrasies.
So which foundation was that?

Yes I'd do it. I was REALLY letting my imagination run wild until I got to the part about one camera/one lens but:

I would do a photographic study of The Jersey Highlands in northern NJ, one of the The Northeast's gems (cue the Jersey jokes...). I grew up there and a day doesn't go by that I don't wish I was back there. Some day!

Starting next month I'm my own boss again so taking a year off from work would be easy.

NJ has done a good job (finally) of preserving much of the area since it is where half the state gets it's drinking water. Major chunks of it are already State Forests and watersheds. A travelling photo exhibition of the areas beauty would be a good reminder/reinforcment of why the Highlands Preservation Act was necessary.

I would use a Nikon D800 and the 80-400VR II. I have Nikon digital but neither of these.


Nice one Mike! I'd select the Olympus OM-D E-M1 and the 12-40 f/2.8. that would cover a broad range of subject matter and light. Don't own either one .....yet. Having shot a diverse range of subjects and location with my E-M5 and Panasonic 12-35 f/2.8, I'm confident this latest Olympus would fit the need quite well. I've shot New York and Chicago streets, portraits, landscapes and cityscapes my current rig and it makes for nice 16x20 prints.
if it had to be prime , I'd choose the Olympus 17mm 1.8 .

Hell, I'd do this with the used Fuji Instax 100 I bought for my 7 year old. What fun it is. But since I could have anything I wanted I would have to get "The best camera in the World" (according to some fellow who knows more about these things than I): the Leica S. Put a 70mm f2.5 on it and I'd be happy for a year (and then possibly in deep despair when they take it away). No, I do not, and never will, own a Leica S. It's probably for the best. Time to get some film for that Instax!

The proposition, for my circumstances, is which camera system is my "home". That is, in the absence of specific mission guidance, which system would I choose?

My answer: Canon.

Canon was my first real camera in 1974 (nearly 40 years ago?...gulp!) and has since become nearly a prosthetic extension of my eye. I feel I can make nearly any image appear with a Canon in my hands. If I had to choose a specific body and lens (per your instructions), again in the absence of guidance, it would unquestionably by my Canon EOS 5D Mark III and my new EF 24-70mm F2.8L Mark II lens. It's perhaps the most nearly perfect coupling I've ever used for general work.

I have four other (digital) camera systems, each with its charms and strengths. But Canon is my home.

Naturally I would accept.

The camera would be Leica M9 with 50mm Summilux. I own both already, so gg.

I would photograph old people, preferably people living in retirement homes.

Yes - I would love to spend a year photographing rural areas of the Chesapeake Bay.

Camera - Nikon D7100
Lens 18-200 VR

Why? its very capable, has good range and is light.

My first inclination would be to go small and portable, but then with one lens, I would want something flexible to accommodate the variety of conditions met in a year of shooting. A 24-70 then, with a robust body with the image quality to match the challenge. Probably a 5D3 since the new canon 24-70 II is so good.

A year of not working? Absolutely!

Camera wise, I'd probably go with one I own already - the Fuji X20. It's so small yet so versatile and gives great results. I love the fast zoom lens, the super-fast autofocus, the multitude of little tricks like the super-close-up mode and the way that the small X-Trans sensor is just noisy enough to look like film (to my eyes anyway).

film Leica M....I'd take my M6's or the 7, lots of Portra 160

Of course I'd accept.

I'll be honest--if someone's footing the bill, travel itself would be as much motivation as photography. I'd want to go everywhere, though a year isn't that long if one wants to get to know places and people.

Travel, in turn, would affect my camera choice. Much as I think a Leica S with a normal/wide would be an ultimate tool, I think I'd rather travel with something smaller, lighter, and perhaps less intimidating; a digital M, say, or Fuji X, Sony RX1 or OMD. The lens would be the corresponding high quality, fast wide-normal. (If I can take only one lens, it won't matter if it's glued on.)

I don't own any of those cameras.

Also, as long as someone else is paying, I'd reserve a chunk of time (3 months?) for processing and printing (in a format suitable to what I bring back) with the best equipment and materials available.

Huh. I know exactly how I would have answered thisa year ago: Nikon D800 with the 20mm 2.8. Now I'd be pretty tempted to go with a Panasonic m4/3 and the 7-14mm.

If the assistant is large and young enough, make it an 8x10 field camera and a 120mm lens that can cover it. I'm getting too lazy to hike with a sixty pound pack anymore.

I would request one of the NASA hasselblads that were left on the moon and spend the entire year travelling the world documenting 'life' and call the project something to do with having to go all the way to the moon to realise that what we have here is unique.

Looking like a lot of Leica love in these comments....

I would travel back to Germany with my Fuji GF670 to document my birth country 15 years after emigrating to the United States.

That would be for sure great! I'd love going to SE Asia and photograph the ambiance.
If all costs are paid I wouldn't hesitate to go medium format film.
A Bessa III/GF670 for its compactness or a Mamiya 7 w/80mm f4 seem a good compromise.
As of film: Tri-X and Portra 400 with some Provia and Ektar.

35mm... If all is well, my dad wants to do a trip around SE asia with me and that will have no paid cost... There is my OM-1 with 50mm 1.8.

I'd bring a side shooter such as a RX100 or Ricoh GR. If the main camera is paid for by the foundation, I'd bring my own second shooter and would be one of these.

Yes, I'll take the gig.

I need one PhaseOne camera with the 80mm lens. Of course, I'll need to borrow either the PhaseOne or Leaf 80mp back.

When can I pick it up?

I'd do it. I'd attempt to document life in Providence circa 2013. I'd be fine with an X100.

Or, since the foundation is paying, I'd take an M with a 35 f/2. :) Dare to dream.

Absolutely! I'd photograph American Workers. Specifically those who took a layoff in stride and went to work for themselves creating high end handmade goods.

I'd use the a whole plate camera to shoot ambrotypes or tintypes with any nice vintage Voigtlander Petzval I could get my hands on. I'd convert the back half of a Ford Transit Connect into a mobile darkroom.

I have a Traditional Ty Guillory whole plate but wouldn't mind something like the "modern Style" one. I don't own the Petzval yet... yet. Currently I'm using a rapid rectilinear.

Though, being self employed I'd be surprised if you could get the boss to let me off work. I started this project long ago and haven't made much progress recently: http://tintypes.tumblr.com/

Sure, I accept. I would want a Rolleiflex GX, and no, I don't own one at present.

Sigma DP2 Merrill, with its non-interchangeable f/2.8 30mm lens (45mm equivalent). Fantastic images (no Bayer filter), small size, easy to carry. I'd need a pocket full of spare batteries, and it's no good above ISO 400. But then all cameras are compromises.

No, I don't have one.

It's curious to me that the main question here is what gear to use for the project.

I would be inclined not to accept the grant, because not being more than something of a dilettante photographer I don't really have any long term or large scale projects in mind, nor do I really know how to pull them off.

I'd surely just take the cameras I currently use all the time though. No sense wasting time learning new tools. I'd be inclined, actually, to just take my iPhone. Just to make a contrarian point.

But if forced to declare a "real" camera, I'll take the Olympus OM-D and a 17mm lens.


I would ask for a companionable driver/guide/translator and a 4X4, and document the areas around eastern Turkey, Armenia, Georgia, Northern Iran and Kurdish Iraq.

I would take a Nikon D800 and 24-70 F2.8, because I can always get my guide to carry it.

I would take a sound recorder as well and probably do some video to capture the sounds, folk music etc.

But weight aside, this is a camera which can do anything including make exhibition sized prints, and it is well protected environmentally. I can also run it off AA batteries in an emergency (via the grip).

Even though my heart says I would prefer the Xpro1 and new 23 F1.4, or the 35 F1.4 Sigma for the Nikon, you said one lens. My style really isn't that narrowly defined and a year is a long time with a camera.

Yes, I own the camera and lens, which means I am familiar with its quirks and feel comfortable with it.

I might just stick with what I have -- E-M5 with the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4. Realistically, I'd be greedy and go for the E-M1.

I'd be tempted by the Sony RX1 or the Fuji X100s though.

Of course I'd accept.

My weapon of choice would be the M Monochrom with the 35 Summilux ASPH, both of which I own. As long as you don't press the shutter too often, and the M doesn't crash, it's the greatest camera on earth.

Sounds fun. I'd take on your one year Leica challenge for this one, and I'd use a 50mm. (No, I don't have the equipment.)

We have similar taste in photos, Mike, found life, but I'd use colour. The photos would either have lots of contrast or almost none. And it would be mostly faces. From my native Sweden, from Kyrgysztan, or from any other location I might fancy.

You WILL award the scholarship to the most worthy, right? Right??

Oh yes I would :)

I choose the Fuji X- Pro 1 and the 35mm f/1.4.

I don't have either if these (I primarily shoot Pentax and Bronica) but have been considering the X-Pro1 since it's release.

My Leica and a 50mm. For a year? Hell, yes.
I already own what I need, what you're giving away is the opportunity to pursue pictures, not play with gear. Awesome.

Yes, Yes I can start tomorrow

I would use my D800e which I have.
Lens I might keep using my 18-35 which I love even though it isn't expensive enough to be painful to purchase. I might try the 14-24 just to see if it is any better for all the extra money.

I would have the mother of all road trips and go to all the landscape places I have never been. I would go from Banff to Baton rouge and everywhere in between. Please make my car a 4x4 sprinter van that can get me anywhere and allow me to sleep in comfort.

It is fun to dream

Nikon F6,
and lots and lots of Provia 100.
Yes, film, that "backwards" technology.

That'd be awesome and a dream come through. I'd just take the Leica M6 and the 28/2.8 Elmarit asph. that I know like the back of my hand. Let the assistant take care of developing all that film (otherwise that would take like halve the year). I wouldn't necessarily go far, documenting the city zoos of Rotterdam, Amsterdam, etc.

I would take my wife and two boys (aged 1 & 3) and spend the year travelling from country to country, 10 stops and about a month in each place, and document their experience growing up and experiencing different cultures on a regular basis. No monument-hunting or tourist stops, but small cities and town, a real sense of cultural immersion (or as real as possible in that kind of time frame).

I would get my grubby fingers on an EM-1 (which I don’t own yet but I do own an E-5 so it’s a natural upgrade) and the PanaLeica 25 1.4 (which I again own in full 4/3rds but would repurchase in m4/3).

I'm in and ready to start tomorrow. Easy choice on gear: Leica Monochrom M and Summicron 35mm f/2. Project: Photo book and interviews detailing the craft brewing boom in the US. Smaller and 'local-er' the better.

Nikon D800 and the 70-200 f/2.8 VRII, though I'd look longingly at the 28-300 super zoom as I left it behind. Because it's both lighter and has a wide low end. But the low light capabilities leave something to be desired, and low light is where are the good pictures are.

DxO/PS can fix 95% of the lens flaws, and where I plan on going, you can't zoom with your feet unless you have a parachute.

Are they sure about the traveling expenses? It's going to be a bit high. We'll be spending the year climbing. Szechuan, Alaska, Antarctica, Kalymnos, Morocco, Greenland, Patagonia. Maybe a side trip to Iceland. And I'm sure we'll have layovers in NYC and Hong Kong.

I have the lens, but have been waiting to pull the trigger on the D800 until the price drops a bit. Til then the D700 will do.

Rollei 2.8f, got it already

I am in for sure, but it will take a long lead time to figure the itinerary!
Nex 7 and SEL18-200 (two lenses please!- SEL1018 and LA-EA2/SAL70300G)

Yes, I would definitely go.

The camera would be an issue though. It would be a good time to spend a year with a Leica and a lot of Tri-X and a fast 35mm lens. Of course since they were going to pick up the tab, a light full frame digital camera and a f/1.4 50mm lens. That would be all I need. Wide angle? Walk back some! Telephoto? Get closer!

Where to go would be even more difficult. There are lots of places I want to visit and not enough time to see them all, especially in one year.

Yes, I would feel compelled to accept, but I'd have to research camera options more. I'd be tempted to try medium format digital for the first time, wring out the last bit of Ansel Adams wannabe-ness from my system before going back to a smaller camera. Perhaps a Phase One with a tilt shift lens. And make sure my assistant is burly enough to haul everything.

Pentax K-5 with 16-50 2.8


Deardorff V8, made new. Rodenstock 300mm APO ƒ5.6.

I'd make as thorough a record of Brooklyn and it's people as can be made via this medium. There would be A LOT of Portra 400, Ektar, and Impossible Project film shot that year.

I own a strange knockoff of a Deardorff. It's got no labels, nor bottom plate. It's a V8, in design, but not a V8. Got it for $300 dollars used at B&H, with many a pinhole in the bellows. Gaff taped them up, and attached a Rodenstock 300mm Geronar ƒ9 to it. Currently shooting the Impossible Project film, trying to get a project going.

What a dream that'd be! I may have more of a sense of what I'd use in a month - I'm off to Spain in a week, and will be there for 24 days (few days in Amsterdam on the way). I'm leaving my D7000 and D600 at home, and bringing my V1. That has been my biking/hiking camera for a year, and while it doesn't have the deep, malleable been RAW files of its bigger siblings, its compactness is amazing, and it's worth the other tradeoffs, so far. I'll let you know if I end up regretting making the decision when I return.

Its lenses are sharp (for your question - I'd use the V1 and the 6.7-13mm lens), 10MP is refreshing to use, the VR is crazy good (which is important for a sensor that doesn't like 4-digit ISOs), and while the menu is a pain, I don't get mad at it as much as I used to.

Damn - now I'm thinking about the D600 with the 35mm (DX) lens on it - small, light, vignetting that doesn't bother me, good wide open. Flexible files.

No, I can make this work with the V1. My back/feet/shoulders will thank me. So will my hard drive. A year with only a wide angle? I'll be a better photographer for the effort.

The answer to Part One of this proposition is a foregone conclusion for me. It's got to be every photographer's dream scenario: an unencumbered year of shooting only what one loves. It's a no-brainer for most of us.

A year ago I'd have immediately selected the Nikon D800 and Zeiss ZF 50mm Makro Planar. My "home" in terms of seeing has always been 50mm, and IQ from this pairing is absolutely stunning.

Today, I'd have to think seriously about it. The Olympus E-M1 + Panasonic/Leica 25mm f1.4 is a very compelling kit. The images are beautiful and the package is more user-friendly ie: more compact and lightweight than a FF DSLR. It's also more stealthy, and less intimidating to potential subjects. This is a significant advantage for many types of photography in today's camera-aware world.

To Part Three, yes, I do own this gear (so I'm ready to get on the road tomorrow!)

If a twin-lens cameras qualify than I would go with my analog 22 mm (f 2.8-22) BioRetix, attached to Mental recorder, both model ‘64. As for an assistant, considering that I’m happily married, the only choice that my better half would allow is some philosopher, let’s say Alain de Botton or Slavoj Zizek. ’...an assistant to help with cataloguing, image processing, and other routine chores…´, what more could one wish for?
Oh Mike, why did you do this to us.

Canon 5D Mark III + 100mm f2.8L IS Macro, and I'd head off to the Great Dismal swamp for a whole year (well, most of one). I'd bring a flash (for all my intimate creepy crawly critters), a wireless trigger, a tripod, a pano head (for when I need to go wider), a cable release, a set of macro rails (for when I wanna stack a still life), an underwater housing, and all the outdoor gear I'd need. Vehicles...I guess a sturdy pair of waders, a drysuit, a kayak, and a truck.

Creepy crawlies, here I come!

I own all that photography gear except the 5D Mark III (still on Mark II, over here in Dementlieu), the panoramic head, and the underwater housing.

Of course I would , and have already a project in mind that I have been wanting to do for years. The camera, another easy choice. The Phase One IQ 180 with a standard or moderately wide angle lens as most of the images would be panoramic this would be the best choice. Come on guys, a free camera for a year and your choosing canon and nikons, even Leica's ??

Camera: 8x10 Phillips Compact II.
Lens: 300/5.6 Apo-Sironar-S.
Subject: Student life.

8x10 Deardorff, 300mm f/9 Nikkor lens, Ilford FP4+ film.

Works well. All images contact printed on Kodak AZO paper using Amidol developer. These guys should be able to find enough Azo to handle the negs I would come up with.

Something full frame with nearly no mirror slap and terrific high ISO capability. I know Nikon so I'd find out which of them would suit best. Now the project itself... much more interesting subject. I've just put in a proposal for funding and assistance. It involves photographing animals and I'm going to be so happy to talk about it if I get the go ahead.

I would like to go back to Provence for a year and get deeper into a place that I already love. I have spent three years getting used to the micro 4/3 cameras and love the size and results........but, for this offer I would ask for the new Pentax K-3 and take along my beloved 35mm f/2.8 macro. The K-3 seemingly fixes my complaints about the K-5 that I have, mainly autofocus. Weatherproof and a great new sensor and the perfect size for my hands.

I would accept. Then I would ask my girlfriend to marry me. She would say yes. We would take our cat with us to Paris for a year. Then we'd all come back to South Africa and exhibit the work. I would take my new camera, the Fuji X100. I adore it and have never felt this way about a camera before. It is quite wonderful. Limiting and freeing at the same time. The lens is remarkable. The files are exquisite. The prints from those files are special. I don't know what it is about this camera, but the results are truly special.

OK I'll play, since we are in dreamland I'd opt to continue my two stalled architectural photographic projects with an obscenely hires Hasselblad, HC24mm and if allowed one accessory, an HTS 1.5. Otherwise I'll stick with my Canon 1Dx & TS-E 24mm.

Can I change my answer? Reading all the responses, just like mine, I realize I missed the point. You said we couldn't keep the camera and the lens at the end of the year.
That means we ought to be choosing something that we have little chance of using otherwise - something special that we might not ordinarily shoot with - not just a camera we'd slightly over-extend the credit card on like my first choice, the Sony RX-1.
It can't be something one could pick up easily anytime, like a Holga. It's got to be a once-in-a-lifetime choice.
It needs to be a totally different format, like the expensive rangefinder I spurned or an 8x10 view camera or an antique Barnack device or a Leica S1. And I have to deliberately choose 1 lens. So, if I had a free year and could do anything other than just a simple upgrade to what I'm already doing in my spare time, what would it be?
I have no idea - I like puttering around in the streets, getting people shots and I really just wish I had the perfect camera to do it with and the time to pursue and dig in to a story rather than counting on happenstance. The real gift is the time, not the equipment. So I give up on my second chance and revert to the RX-1. Sigh :-(

Ahh, if I didn't have dependents....

I'd do it, and take something with a single focal length, 35mm-e to 50mm-e. Most likely a Panasonic GX7 or Sigma DP2M (since the benefactor could keep me in batteries and process the RAW files...). But I'd also seriously consider just taking a film camera like a Rolleiflex or Fuji GF670.

I'd travel the small & remote islands of the world, photographing the people, the landscapes, the sea.

I'd do it... Live in Paris for a year. Whatever the latest Leica digital rangefinder there is and a 28mm Summicron.

I'd do a project about the outports (towns not connected by roads) in Newfoundland. Portraits, landscapes, etc. Going to both living, dying and dead (ghost town) communities.

8x10 portra and 400 tmy. 300mm lens?

This said as I'm divesting myself of most of my LF gear. Only because I spent the summer living on a boat and hope to make a lifestyle of it. Going to keep my crude 5x7 and see if I can figure out a way to use it.

Given a year – and it had better happen right away – I'd like to document increasing income inequality in America. I don't know how to do it yet – I can't just make more pictures of the poor, in the Riis-Hine-FSA tradition. So for an assistant I'd better have a social scientist instead of a photographer.

Ready to go with M9 with 35 Summicron v4 already in bag. But I'm pretty clumsy, so maybe the foundation will send me an M240 backup in case I drop it.


Custom made Leica M10 with electronic viewfinder and video crap removed, tuned for maximum battery life. Custom made 32mm-e f/2 lens which matches custom rangefinder framelines precisely at 6 feet. The framelines would have plenty of viewable room outside them.

No, but have an M9 and 28mm -- close enough!

One? Just one? So painful.

I'd definitely go for the Nikon D800 and probably the 24mm f/1.4 lens, which I've really enjoyed lately for wide, environmental portraits. I find it useful in many more situations than an ultra-wide's reputation would suggest. A majority of the images in my "Booth" portfolio were taken with that lens.

My second choice would be Nikon's 85mm f/1.4G lens, which I use much more day to day than the 24.

I enjoy those lenses so much that I usually travel with just those two.

But wow, tough choice.

Yes, I would gladly accept. Would be the perfect chance for a year off for getting a new perspective and doing something I like along the way.

Camera wise, I would probably either take an X100s or an X-E1 with the 23/1.4. Although I'd have to debate with myself once the 56/1.2 is out.

I don't own one of those cameras yet, but almost. I own an X100, so it wouldn't be so much of an upgrade. But if I'd get the chance, I'd certainly choose to upgrade beforehand.

I no longer live on Long Island, but I grew up there and I've always liked the idea of a putting together a book of photographs documenting the people, the (sub)cultures and the landscapes from west to east, starting at the Brooklyn Bridge and moving to the East End (Montauk/Orient Point). Long Island gets a bad rap, and for many good reasons. It's choking to death on traffic and I don't see that getting any better in my lifetime. But there's also wonderful source material there, from urban to suburban to quite rural, from Diane Arbus to Joel Meyerowtiz and everything in between, so to speak.

Camera: OM-D E-M1 and the 12-40/2.8, just because they're both upgrades over the E-M5 and 12-50/3.5-6.3 that I have now.

I would jump at the chance. Latest digital M and a 35mm 'Lux. I have an M4-P with a 35mm 'Cron and an Olympus EPL2 with a Panny 20mm (and more other stuff than should be listed). I would make it a year in Paris (Toss in a workshop with Peter T.).

I would be quite happy with a panasonic G3 and either the 20 or 25 (latter preferred) . What I would like is a good 3 birth camper van, small european sized and a fuel card for a year long drive around. I guess it would be handy if it was 4wd incase I go any place with poor road infrastructure. My heart says a classic VW camper but the head says more modern.

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