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Wednesday, 20 December 2017


“It's a lovely morning here in the Finger Lakes. A vast pearly cloudbank overhead with a band of blue sky showing in the West made for an otherworldly light as the sun was coming up behind the ridge. A dusting of blown snow made patterns on the road.”

Well I don’t think you need any more camera gear. You seem quite able to depict rich landscape scenes with your fingers.

I feel your pain!

There is a lot of fun to pick from there - a 12mm f2 Rokion for astrophotography, the pancake as you mentioned, or for just a little more the 23 f/2.

Me? I'd either blow it all on Fuji Instax and let my Scouts have a photo blowout, or, if I just had to spend it(i'm waiting on the as-yet mythical X-H1 to bump up my X-T1), a nice Billingham bag would be great, even if I know i'll go back to my beat up gray Domke i've been carrying since 19...89? Um.

B&H have 23 lenses for mirrorless systems for between $230 and $250! For me it would be the Rokinon fisheye for whichever system you are currently using.

Or the fuji 50 f/2...

(I am currently scratching my Fuji itch with a two-week rental: X-T2, 23 f/2 and 50 f/2. Maybe not a great idea because the itch is threatening to turn into a full blown rash. )

Happy Holidays!

Printing paper, you don’t need more gear! If you are an Epson fan, they have a buy 2 get 1 free rebate deal on their Signature Worthy line of paper, so your $250 magically becomes $375 though I’m not sure how many boxes you can buy on the deal. That said, I’m a Canson man....

Buy the Fuji lens. A gift that keeps on giving (er- keeps on taking).

Another vote for the 27mm pancake, though based on a mere one week with an XT1 and various lenses. The XT1 + 27mm was by far the most fun and forgiving combo--really got out of the way. And, say, isn't 40mme our favorite focal length?

Smiles for Mike.

If I owned a Fuji, I'd definitely get that 27mm Pancake. I have the Olympus equivalent for my E-P3 - the 17/2.8 - and it's a delightfully compact and, really, fast enough lens so that on the rare occasion I need to go wider, it's a wonderfully fun way to do so. If the Fuji lens is as good (and I can't imagine that it isn't actually better - Fuji does lenses right ) it'll be a blast that you'd enjoy.

Why is prettiness a factor in evaluation of housekeeping performance?

[I wasn't evaluating. I was describing. --Mike]

get 9 5-packs tri-X for your exacta. now you have a clean fridge to store them untill you use them, just tell the housecleaner not to throw them away. https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/843204-USA/Kodak_1153659_Professional_Tri_X_120_Black.html
or any other film related chemistry for that matter. it is nice not to think about per exposure cost with the camera of your youth.

A vote for the 27mm pancake lens, which is a lovely little lens in the equivalent to your favorite 35 mm film camera focal length--40 mm.

Buy paper and ink (or film) and print more.

My strategy for these things is to hold into the gift certificate until I buy something I was going to get anyway. Then I use it and put the money into a special account. Once that account grows to a certain size then I can buy whatever I want for "free".

I got myself a used Fuji X-Pro 1 this way. I never would have bought it with "real" money, but I really like having it.

Hey, I’ll swap you my 27mm for your B&H gift card! Since getting the 23mm/f2 the 27mm has become an orphan in my camera bag.

For me, I've wanted a smaller "walk around" camera for a while. So I'd grab the Sony A6000 with 16-55mm the gift certificate makes it half price.

Two hundred fifty dollars? Well...after promising my 68 year old self. "NO MORE CAMERAS!" I just spent $85 on a Pen FV (film) body. So, I guess I might get a couple of nice 43mm contrast filters for my Pen Zuiko's . The B&W filters are pricy but I already have one and they are very nice. The balance might go toward a Domke photo vest.

I would definitely buy something that will last for a while like you said the iPad. To purchase supplies like inkjet paper or other accessories would be waste of a "Gift". Whenever I get a gift card it always goes towards a purchase that when I use it I get reminded about the giver or event for which it was received, just sayin. B&H also has a good used equipment section, maybe more bang for your gift card bucks?

Mike, get this: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1317755-REG/really_right_stuff_13718_tfa_01_ultra_pocket_pod.html
You'll find it very helpful.

Bryan Geyer

The beautiful thing about B&H is they sell so much more than photo equipment and computers.

A few years ago, when they were sold out everywhere else, I got my child a Nintendo 3ds from them. Bonus points because no one suspected a package from B&H to be anything other than "Dad's photo crap."

My dictionary indicates a dilemma is (among common definitions) "a situation in which a difficult choice has to be made between two or more alternatives, especially equally undesirable ones: the people often face the dilemma of feeding themselves or their cattle."

Or paying the rent for a house they can't afford to heat…

Lenses, iPads, cameras… ?

What we have are good circumstances and gravy.

Cameras come and go, but a good lens is forever. I'd forgo the iPad, any camera, or any other electronics with a shelf life. If you buy a "keeper" of a lens, you'll still be using it in 20 years.

I recently took a "no new cameras" pledge, and then promptly purchased a Pentax K-1 (through your affiliate link with B&H, of course, Mike). Sadly, my example front focuses with all my manual focus lenses beyond the camera's ability to adjust. So it is going back to B&H for exchange, in hopes that example 2 will arrive properly calibrated. Ah well. Hope you still get the "credit" for the sale Mike.

Put it towards paper and ink. That should be enough for an 8x10 a day for most of a year. You'll probably get more out of that than most things. And you'll keep your printer in good working order - those things need to be used (says the man who hadn't printed in two months until yesterday).

You already know why the Mennonites are so happy.

Buy paper and ink, make an edition of signed prints of your work and multiply and monetize the gift ;-)

With $250 to spend, I'd go for one Pentax Hotshoe Adaptor F, one Off Camera Shoe Adaptor F, and one F5PL Flash Extension Cord. This gives me a 9.5 feet TTL lead, for just $212...

With the remaining $38, I would buy enough memory cards so I could keep one in each camera bag I own, in the vain hope that I will never, ever, ever, turn up with everything I need to take photos except a memory card, like I did this afternoon.

Hold on to it for that B&H Deal 'o the Day that will come along in the not to distant future.

You know, that thing that you would like (or mayhap didn't know existed, let alone would call to you), can't justify, but now at a price that's amazing - and - feels free with the gift certificate.

I don't know about the legality of it or what hoops you will have to jump through accordingly, but raffling it among your readers might allow you to multiply the $250 many times over such that maybe you can buy that GFX 50S and a lens or two after all. 8^)

How about giving that gift certificate to your housekeeper as a Christmas bonus? You never know, she might be a budding master photographer.

My 27mm has been attached to my XE2 for 6 months, and yes it really does fit in a coat pocket.

I have come to love the focal length, not just the lens. Something of a revelation, that.

I'll have to dash out and get the 27 myself - it is listed at a lot of places locally at around A$279. Normally the Australian price is way higher than the US price.

Then of course, once I have this bargain lens, I'll have to dash out and buy a Fuji body to shoot with it.

[Made me laugh. —Mike]

I was thinking you'd spend the gift certificate on the household, as a thank you Christmas present.

Why don't you get her something nice. Fuji Instax for instance. The rest you can spend on yourself.

Yeah it's an expensive gift but on the other hand you got the certificate for free, so you're not spending anything. And she works for peanuts you say.

Buy a samyang fisheye lens. I think once you wrote that it's only good for demonstrating the fisheye effect. Maybe it's time to revise your opinion.
Marcell (fiberstrobe)

Mike I sure good you give this outstanding house keeper a good Christmas bonus, she deserves it.

The Sony a6500 Deal Keeps drawing me in. If I had $250 to spend, I would go for this camera kit with the cheaper little 16-50mm lens and reward card and sd card. The 16-50mm lens is the one I had with my old NEX6. As I look back on the old files from that combo, I fall in love again with the clarity and mood. Merry Christmas at the Finger Lakes.

faster memory cards and more batteries, no matter which camera you use.

A lens is forever only if you stay in its ecosystem. Not naming no names, but some of us don't have a great track record in that department. Hard drives are camera equipment, too. My choice would be some mixture of storage media, i.e., hard drive, extra cards, paper & ink. No, not sexy, but certainly utilitarian.

The 27mm is a great option. On my x-e2 probably 60% of the time, making it a light, pocketable (you are wearing a winter coat when you go out I presume) go everywhere camera. The change up to the 35mm makes it much more of a decision whether to take it or not.

Have a great Christmas.


"(why are all Mennonites so well-adjusted? Do they know something we don't?)"

Yes, Mike, she (and most Mennonites) know something -- someone -- you don't. They know in a personal way the Reason for the season.

In other news. . .the 27 lives on my X-Pro 1. It's the rig I pick up whenever I go out the door.

As long as you are paying your Mennonite maid a living wage, at least $15/hour, then you shouldn't feel guilty.

It does seem low-tech people are happier. That’s a problem, because I can’t even begin to imagine giving up high tech.

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