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Thursday, 07 March 2019

Comments

As you ask, let me state that I like reading about gear from time to time. Wasn't there a GFX50R review promised? I don't think I missed it, did I?
Nevertheless, what I enjoy the most of TOP is when you write, even if in passing, about photographic 'look'.

Hi Mike, I pretty much like whatever you write about so... Gear or pool is ok for me. Have a nice day.

I don't mind posts about equipment. Especially new and interesting product announcements, or extreme bargain pricing alerts like this one from back in December 2014:

https://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2014/12/olympus-xz-2.html

Wow! I found that just this week because my Stylus 1 seems to be acting up after so many years of use and I was amazed that there are no 1/1.7 compacts being produced today. Wish I had taken advantage of that deal back in 2014 and stashed it in the closet.

Personally, I enjoy both posts dealing with new photography gear, and posts dealing with other kind of stuff. Your blog is one of the places I visit daily, and what gets me here is not the topic of the day: it's the quality of your writing. So you can write about whatever you want, as far as I am concerned, Mike: I will keep on coming. :)

Just post what you want and what interests you! Since I have been reading you for years that is what I am looking for, YOU! I even subscribed to your newsletter from years ago.
Steve

Like almost every member of the human race, I can't - and don't - like everything you write about. Or putting it more charitably, I am less interested in some things. But I'm at your blog nearly every day for a reason: you write beautifully, thoughtfully, and have a wide band-width of coverage. To be honest, I did notice slightly there have been few(er) gear posts lately - but that didn't bother me. It is only when you're not feeling well and/or taking time off, that I develop a double anxiety: first, worrying about you personally; second, missing a thoughtful post.

Do what you do (and the way you do it - including the off-topics) and I'm a happy camper!

Definitely more engaged with the content, and the commentary associated with it, over the last little while. Literature recommendations, that controversial MoMA guy (have that book, for the record - love how articulate he is), the three step Oracle of Omaha exercise for our image making styles...all great stuff.

And, the exchange in the commentary is as enjoyable as the content some times. Or, maybe the commentary is enjoyable because of the content. Either way, I'm enjoying things lately. I don't miss the gear talk at all.

Less gear is better. Let's talk photography, not cameras.

I’m in hospital, borrowing there WiFi, so this comment may go to cyberspace. I like your techno geekyness. So keep doing what your going!
Fred

While there are an apparently unlimited number of equipment testing and review websites, I do enjoy your more pragmatic, personal, and photographer oriented takes more than pure technical evaluations. To me it is analogous to hi-fi reviews: all of the technical analysis and measurable clinical accuracy doesn’t really tell me how a stereo actually sounds.

Are you planning to gear up?

Gear talk bores me; it's pervasive. I find the lack of it refreshing.

I like the GASless content. Keep it coming.

I figured the gear talk is seasonal, about the same time as the product announcements. I mainly come for the non-gear related articles, but certainly don't mind the gear discussions. Usually, it's not the big piece of gear that is interesting, but the tool, accessory or hack that is mentioned as an aside that I grasp onto.

...Do you like it better this way, or worse?...

Worse.

...did you catch yourself going elsewhere to read (or view videos) about gear?...

No need to catch myself. I've always gone to those other places. I spent less time here.

I prefer gear-less ramblings. Gear is everywhere, thoughtful content isn't.

I didn't notice! I don't really care about the gear-centric posts and skip them, but I don't care if they're around.

Clearly a case where less is more.

Thank you.

I check and read the blog every day. I like the mix of material, although generally prefer the photo related material. And I haven't forgotten about Patreon, just that the gummint shutdown threw me, and I'm still catching up. Thank god for one non-gummint client!

Gear posts have bored for me since the demise of the "single use device" (am I remembering the name correctly?) and the plans for the basement darkroom. It's all about gear online, because that's where the money is. I read and support TOP for quality of the writing and the deep experience of the writer. I welcome discussions on photography as an aid to experiencing the world.

Please, less gear, more photography. Following the commentary about Szarkowski and Looking at Photographs, I pulled out my copy and am reading it again. Thank you for harking back to this excellent writer. It's the kind of content that brings me back to T.O.P.

I haven't noticed. I viewing habits have not changed. I do not mind gear related articles because you put a unique spin on them.

I like the thoughtful posts that are about photography rather than gear. Keep not doing gear!

Never mentioning gear at all works for me! Gear (which, for me, is pretty much just camera bodies and lenses) only become interesting to me for short periods of time when I need a new camera or lens because the old one has stopped working, and then I research a bit about what exists on the market so that I can find a simple camera or decent and affordable lens that does what I need. But that research is not something I enjoy doing. Once I get my new camera/lens, I'm good for several years until the next time I unfortunately need a replacement ...

It's not hard to find plenty of gear reviews on the web, that's absolutely not why I visit and enjoy this site.

Personally, I don't mind if there's less gear talk. Although I'm as bad as the next male photographer when it comes to droning on about cameras and lenses, it's nice to have a change and discuss the end rather than the means.

I think Zeiss is sharper. Ooops!

Well, I don't mind, but something about the new Leica Q2 would be nice. I'm not going to buy it, but I'm enjoying desiring it.

Really? I didn't notice, so I guess I didn't miss the gear at all. These recent posts and discussions have been fascinating.

I have to admit, I'm just less interested in gear these days. I do in fact shoot far less than I used to, but I suspect that for many hobbyists, gear isn't as interesting as it was when the industry was chasing sufficiency, when eking decent quality out of gear was an enjoyable challenge, or for some even the point. Now? Snaps are done really well by phones, and most "prosumer" gear has been overkill for a while, so even just keeping up isn't as interesting as it used to be.

Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy gear talk, and I find those "round-up" style articles you'd been posting both interesting and useful. I have no doubt that gear, whether at the edge of the envelope or in the Sunday morning kit, will continue to be oft-discussed, and that's OK with me. Less oft is OK, too.

As you all have pleasantly reminded me this past week or two, photography and photographs are about more than gear.

As an addendum to my previous comment (re: I come to this site for the non-gear related content) I'd like to add a personal thanks.

Your item on evidence based diet has had a personal impact on our lives. My wife had a physical checkup before Christmas 2018 - she has had two cancers and other health issues over the last few years - and her blood work highlighted some issues with regards to being pre-diabetic and high in cholesterol. Her doctor indicated prescription medicine would be a sound road to follow. We asked the doctor to give us some time to see if a lifestyle adjustment could initiate change and then I came across your piece on diet.

We watched a video and i bought my wife that book. We adopted the recommended changes (she much more dedicated than I) and when she recently had her blood work done again, the numbers all improved significantly into the normal ranges. We were floored.

Huge gratitude for that lead on a free for all Wednesday. Don't miss the gear talk much.

Thanks man!

[Really happy to hear this. Best wishes to both of you. --Mike]

I hadn't noticed. Just write about whatever seems most valuable, interesting, or notable at any given time. If you do that, I think you'll interest readers, regardless of the subject.

Half and half please!

I, for one, like an occasional gear piece. I have long ago settled on Micro 4/3 and don’t believe that I will ever switch systems (I am 72). But I do love reading about gear from your point of view, which is unique.

While I often enjoy your gear postings, reviews, etc., gear is not what brings me to TOP.

I never quite know what I'll find at TOP, but it will be something worth reading and not easily found elsewhere - which is why I am a Patreon subscriber. So, I didn't notice there hadn't been any gear posts in a while. Further, I would be OK if camera body/lens posts were quite rare in the future. Others probably have different goals.

Yes, I did notice, and I would like more gear stuff please.

I’m looking forward to your thoughts about the Ricoh GR III and the Leica Q2.!

I never noticed. Gear isn't e erything. Just keep on doing it your way :D

I don't buy new gear too often, but I don't mind reading about new stuff - or even old stuff. If it gets to be too much for me, I can always skip a few.

So I'm fine with whatever you feel is best.

As a student, I always felt that whatever the teacher wants to do, I should buy into it rather than second-guessing it. Within limits, of course!

I'm a little happier every day, thank you. Some of that might be as a result of your efforts to avoid camera discussions and include more thought provoking stuff about stuff I like better than cameras (even though cameras are involved in said stuff).

Can we just wait until there's a really, really, cool new leap in image technology and simply use the stuff we already have for awhile?

Thanks for asking though.

Honestly, I haven't been that involved in the site over the past two weeks and prefer to have some posts about gear. I'm not saying it should be mostly about gear but there should be a balance. Frankly, digital photography is - almost by definition - at least partly about gear. And I almost always prefer to read rather than watch videos. Just my two cents worth since you asked.

I didn't even notice. I just enjoy coming here and being drawn into photographic reflections. The fact that the specific direction of the postings doesn't matter is, I think, a sign of the quality and authenticity of your blog and the discussions in the comments.

Personally, feel it's good on occasion (as when something fairly innovative or particularly useful comes about), but am more appreciative of insights offered and questions asked into the "art" itself.

I haven't missed the gear posts. Actually, I hadn't noticed they were away. Happy with things as they are currently. Let's talk about photography, not cameras.

I can't say I've missed (or even noticed, really) gear posts. But I am curious to know how you're getting along with the G9.

(follow on ... ) while I haven't missed gear posts, I DO miss when you go a while without Random Excellence or book posts.

I agree, gear talk leaves me cold.

Personally I would like an occasional gear post Mike because, as with your photography posts, when you do it you do it differently and have something insightful to say. I think the discussions on the art are far more important but let's face it most photographers like a little gear speak even if in secret.

I didn't even notice there were no gear posts, so I think you have your answer from me. Now, to counter that, if you write about obsolete gear from the film era, especially the less common medium and large format stuff, then I'm all in. Oh, and lens talk is ALWAYS welcome in my opinion.

Steve

I thought your balance was about right.

I appreciate your occasional gear posts. Your opinions on cameras and lenses are more useful to me than the ones offered by the various gear-oriented sites. (Although these days, all that gear-posts can do is fuel my unrealizable GAS, since my current budget for new gear is $0.)

I like reading about gear and I like your opinions on gear. I get the whole "it's only a tool" and "gear doesn't matter" philosophy, but whether it matters or not, it is fun to read about. Gear is just another fun aspect of photography after all.

I prefer to find something other than gear notes here, Mike.

I can find gear news and reviews at myriad other sites, and, besides, just this morning I purchased what may well be the last lens that my wife ever lets me buy--so I'm done pouring over gear reviews, shopping, and comparing.

I do enjoy hearing about what you and others like or not about the gear being used. I also like most other topics you write about...even pool videos. All things in moderation. But I do miss regularly reading how Tuck's GAS is changing. I guy can get gear whiplash reading his site. (I think I have.) That seemed to be true on TOP too sometimes. Glad the GX9 is apparently still making you happy. I would like to hear more about any developments in your GX9 love affair.

I wonder if there is any gear to get excited about now.
Maybe Kirk Tuck said it all?

Mike,

I read this blog because it is, within the broad limits of photography, eclectic. Also, always remember that it's your blog. Write whatever you want. Personally, I like the gear posts, although it's unlikely I'll acquire much of it. You bring a more experienced approach than many younger gearheads. The other posts, including book recommendations, links to other photographers, musings on photography generally and even the pool and hi-fi topics are all welcome and are probably more important than the gear stuff in bringing me back here nearly daily.

Chip

One of the great things about TOP is the mix. Gear posts are fun now and then (we're all photographers, after all.) But there are lots of places online to get gear talk. TOP is one of very few sites with interesting and insightful discussion of other aspects of the craft. (Art photographers please don't take the word "craft" wrong, I'm using it in a broader sense.)

Keep up the good work, Mike, I know it's not always easy!

Not being a gear guy I didn’t notice!

My two cents - I definitely prefer fewer gear-related articles. The recent threads comprised of your readers' responses to Szarkowski – both for and against – have been especially thought-provoking. Gear articles just can't do that. Keep it up! And thanks, Mike, for what you do here. Yours is a unique voice in the wilderness of the internet.

Honestly, I don’t miss the gear reviews. There are a gazzilon out there. However, I do like your personal take on gear; not a review but your experience. And I don’t mind you posting links on new product announcements; anything to help TOP financially. In fact consider adding a one sentence new product announcement at the end of each post. Sort of an experiment.

I like it more, although I had not noticed: I've got to the point where I realise that, for me, spending too much time obsessing over equipment is just detracting from thinking about making & looking at photographs.

I like the balance you've always struck between gear talk and all the rest (art, technique, philosophy) etc. My level of interest in all of it seems about the same as yours. I enjoy the eclectic approach you take...that's TOP to me.

My favourite thing about this website is not knowing what's going to be here from one day to the next. I've been with you from the start and I fully appreciate you sometimes get on a certain type of run. Sometimes I enjoy it, sometimes not so much, but I also know soon enough there will be something I do really dig. So I say, keep doing what you're doing, as you're feeling it.

Mike: Did you notice that TOP hasn't had any posts about gear since February 18th?

I hope you’re appropriately penitent.

I've been enjoying reading an commenting on Photography, but most of us come here because we find your point of view interesting.
The key word being Your.
So weather its photography, or cameras, or off topic subjects like Pool, your new location or even Tea and now coffee, I find most of it interesting.
Since you will never please everyone, you should write about what you enjoy.
Personally, I look forward to the comments nearly as much as the actual blog, especially when you post them quickly----it feels more like a conversation.

No too much about gear...too much about a certain brand of gear...IMO

[I hear you. --Mike]

I do miss the camera talk. I like cameras as much as I like photography and books.

I'm still shooting a beloved E-M1 mk1, and that isn't likely to change anytime soon, but that doesn't stop me from appreciating what else is out there.

But really, I come here for the writing, and Mike. I'd buy a book if he wrote one.

Funny you should ask. I actually didn't notice... because I took a two week break from reading the site because I was sick of all the gear talk. No kidding.

I gotta say, I'm missing your gear musings. I'm OK with you bringing some back. I've just recently become a Fuji nerd and Xpro2 owner. One lens so far and that is fine, the 35 f2 takes me back to days of old and film. Have you seen the www.fujilove.com site? Great podcast too.
You may like it

Neil

I have! Evertytime I’ve opened TOP I’ve thought “this is when the G9 review arrives”. No complaints though, and I’m sure the eventual review will be both excellent and worth the wait

But there’s one thing I’m puzzled by. It’s almost like you’re saying photography is about aesthetics, or technique, or even the appreciation of art. That can’t be right. It’s about gear, DPReview tells me so.

throw in some gear talk mate, can't paint without a brush.

Without noticing it, I guess I have been more engaged with the non-gear TOP. I have nothing against the gear stuff and I think you have a unique angle in your gear posts, but the other stuff seems to be more engaging and unique. I contemplated the book question quite a bit but failed to be able to come up with one. But I do thank you for years ago getting me interested in photography books. I have bought most that you recommended over the years. Two of my favorites are book collections - the Bruce Davidson set and the Gordon Parks set. I revisit them often. And Harold Feinstein: A Retrospective is also a favorite.

I think you have a good balance of subject matter here on TOP. I like your gear reviews and hope that you'll continue doing them. I do want to hear more about how your G9 is working out.

I think some of your best blog entries have been 'open Mike.' You're an excellent writer, and a great guy, Mike. I like most of what I see here. I keep coming back. You're doing something right!

I'm very happy with less gear, more pictures and discussion/thoughts about photography.

One problem with gear posts is that any one of them will only be of interest to some portion. probably less than a majority, of readers. Posts about DSLRs, mirrorless Fujis, Canon's and Nikons, digital MF may get scanned, if I'm eager for photography stuff, but then they just go straight into the mental bit bucket here.

Another, from my viewpoint, is that cameras are currently complex enough that giving a review that's really complete is essentially impossible.

For example, none of the reviews I've seen, and I was looking, of the recent Panny G and GX bodies even mention that they have added focus stacking, let alone that they have added an option to it beyond what the originator, Oly, provides; an option that so far appears to make a big positive difference to me.

Other things that are of great importance to me are how Fn buttons function and how Custom Settings work.

When I read something more like an Appreciation than a Review, that focuses on how it looks, how it feels in the hand, and how it works for a little straightforward photography, it's some combination of boring and frustrating.

But if you want to know how Panny's three Custom Settings may be used, in effect, as four, I'm your man. (I think I can even explain why . . .)

I have appreciated the reduced focus on gear and more focus on other aspects and thought processes in photography. Of course that may be a function of having a very satisfying camera/lens combination for which I no longer pine for replacement gear.

Yes, I noticed and I miss the gear posts. To be frank, Mike, your tastes in images don't coincide with mine. I skim your pieces about random excellence (really?) and the books, but only metal and glass gets me excited.

Mike, I think a gear article once every couple weeks or so is fine.

More art, less gear!

I have absolutely no interest in camera comparisons or gear reviews. I'm maybe philosophically interested in equipment only in terms of what effect the form factor has on one's relationship with the act of capture. But pixel peeping--utterly irrelevant to anything. Every camera is pretty much amazing now. The limitations of any equipment is what drives a creative process anyway. I can get good photos with my phone even, despite and because it's a horrible way to interact and actually see what's happening (bright sun say, or composing at arms length). I learn something from having to work around all that. But I'd rather shoot with my deeply familiar Canon 5D iii, with a real time and real life view, through a viewfinder, not some weird electronic interpretation of it, and where I have total control of the composition. It's a camera getting long in the tooth, but so what?

I like it now, but if I was in the market for a new camera/system, I might like it less. Or maybe not, since TOP is pretty much always interesting regardless.

Thank you for that Mike! There are so many gear sites and vlogs out there and so few sites that write about other aspects of photography. My vote would be to keep it up.

Hadn't noticed. Seems like an easy time to avoid gear news, though, since CP+ is usually pretty ho-hum, and this is the post-holiday, pre-tax season of fiscal restraint for many. Try doing the same experiment the month before Photokina!

I enjoy everything you discuss, Michael; Gear, photographers, books, photography, Mazdas, pool tables, print sales, etc. As an admitted gear freak, I must confess that I thoroughly enjoy your gear talk. Your writing style is accessible. Your web site stands apart from the crowd of others. Please continue. You will hear no gear complaints from this quarter.

I don't mind occasional gear posts, but I would prefer that they be occasional. There are plenty of other sites to visit if I want to satisfy my inner gear geek. I come here for thoughtful discussions of the many other aspects of photography.

Mike, if by gear we are referring to cameras and lenses, I don't miss the chatter, but if we expand the definition a little, that's an entirely different story. Let me offer a brief parallel …
Once upon a time I was a very serious audiophile. I read all the obligatory publications (Absolute Sound, Stereophile, etc), joined audio groups, immersed myself in the culture. In retrospect, I’m embarrassed that I wasted so much time on the gear that I could have spent just enjoying and learning about the music. I was technically sophisticated enough to know better. I enjoyed a lot of the writing but eventually the persistent chirping of my BS detector sucked all the fun out of it. I could not endure another review of a cartridge or amplifier or (heavens forbid) cable that could supposedly transform my enjoyment of the music. I knew from experience that there really were/are technologies, methods and even gear that made significant differences but it wasn’t the gear being written about. No commercial incentives, I suppose. So what does all this have to do with your question?
I would love to read more about the things that impact how much I enjoy photography. I am not a professional. I am not trying to eek out that last smidgen of sharpness or a few additional FPS’s. I just want to enjoy the process of photography and bring back images that speak to me. The gear I care about helps me care for my cameras and lenses or helps me keep my camera at hand but out of the way (think straps and bags but expand that a little) or helps me get my images from the sensor to my HDD’s as quickly and reliably as possible. As in the audio world, there are both hardware and software components to gear. In both cases I spend more of my time these days on software solutions or on the interface between the two. Given the choice between investing my time/money in a new camera vs a new image management or image editing solution, I guess I’m seeing a bigger bang on the software side.
That said, I’m a huge fan of the site and of your work. I enjoy my time here and I learn stuff. What more could I ask for?

I defintely prefer your esoteric posts. Maybe just mention and refer gear moments to dpreview.......I'm just sayin'.

Hi Mike,

I like the reduction in gear talk, especially brand new (read expensive). I have a nice and varied collection of Pentax gear and have no plans on changing systems and starting over. I like the idea of building a system a piece at a time. I like the talk about styles and what other photographers look for in their work. I certainly do not mid some gear talk and I know some of your income comes from purchase from your sponsors.

Keep up the good work and stay well,

Jim Fellows

Not to sound trite -
Isn't about the image ?
Not the gear.
The technical "how" is of interest, but not what matters.
Thinking of Ansel and HCB

Gear talk = not interesting. (Plenty of better venues for that.)

Meaningful engagement with modern and contemporary photography (and photographers) = very interesting. (Not many venues for that.)

Still, it’s clear that TOP readers love gear. Witness the hundreds of comments on camera topics, old or new. It’s also clear that greater engagement with the actual topic of photography would almost certainly require a very different mode of operation (i.e. greater collaboration, more travel, etc.) which might not be something that fits you well.

So, Mike, TOP is your personal blog so you just have to write whatever you want, day-by-day, as you’ve been doing. Tea? Weather? Cars? Pool? Vacuum cleaners? A favorite photo you found online (a.k.a. Random Excellence)? Your readers seem to enjoy your unpredictably eclectic meanderings so why mess with success, eh?

Didn't notice. "Photography" has a broad span. You haven't strayed off the ranch to any great degree. Write about what you want.

Yes.

I enjoy the talk about gear on TOP. Mostly it is because the comments are by mature, real people who are not looking to sell me something. It is the closest you can get to objective comments without trolls, fanboys and sales people pretending to review products polluting the discussion.

Keep 'em coming.

Mike,

I am happy without all of the gear "talk" for two reasons...

Foremost, there are plenty of places to find info on gear, not that I frequent them much (see below). However, places to read and discuss photographs and photography (i.e. not cameras) are few and far between. The latter is why I keep coming back!

Secondly, I have been making photographs long enough (since 1969) that I know what I am about gear-wise. Other folks opinions about gear are just not important to me. On the very rare occasion that I buy some new gear, I can read the specs and easily make my own decisions.

The last time I made a major system change was fifteen years ago when I added a newfangled digital camera (a Nikon D70 on the day it was first available) to supplement my 4x5 camera. I still use the 4x5 some but I am now mostly digital using my third Nikon body in those fifteen years.

I guess that I am just more interested in making photographs than I am in the tools used to make said photos.

I follow this blog for all non photographic subject.
Because of these subjects I now own a Barritza Virtuoso coffee grinder and sicnce today a Waterrower.
I must admit not all things from America are crap :)
I dont miss the talk on gear.

Groetjes, Gerard

I hadn’t noticed.

But then a lot of your gear posts are, well, about as relevant to my photography as your Pool & Snooker posts. As a Canon guy with a penchant for shift lenses I tend to skip anything Fuji or M4/3 related.

The reason that I, and some of your readers, miss the gear talk is not because we want more of the same that we can find on other sites. It is because you report on cameras the way we want to hear about them. Both you and the scoundrel, Kirk Tuck, try the camera, work with it and then tell us what you like or do not like. No numbers, no pictures of brick walls to show edge sharpness, just subjective opinions that I trust.

Also, your neighbors need to know when you are renting a new piece of gear to test so they can set their sprinklers.

I have to say that I was grateful for the break from what seemed like a long stretch of gear posts. But, it wasn't really that the posts were about gear that was beginning to bother me, but that they seemed to be more about gear shopping that gear, per se.

I am probably as (or more) interested in the technical aspects of photography, including gear, as most readers. But discussions of gear shopping, which come down entirely to personal preferences and situations, don't have much appeal to me. The post about who would pay more than $3,000 for a camera seemed especially pointless to me.

In any case, the recent stretch of posts on the aesthetics of photography have been most welcome!

David

I have always been satisfied with the frequency of your gear versus non-gear posts. Your gear posts are thoughtful and reflective of an experienced photographer, and I enjoy them. Have been a follower of your blog from the beginning, and a subscriber of your newsletter before that. Please keep doing what you have always done.

Less gear is good for those of us who will never invest in an ever expanding array of camera bodies and lenses. That said, it was because of your commentary on your beloved editing monitor that I 1) bought the same, and 2) became a Patreon subscriber. So I guess I should say, gear in moderation.

I read pretty much everything you post, so it doesn't matter to me whether you write about gear or not, just so long as you're writing about something on a regular basis. 8^)

Ah I come very late again. I scan the gear posts very superficially since your taste in gear does not match what I need to take some of my favorite shots (nature in motion such as birds in flight require long lenses and fast motion tracking) but I still extract some good from those posts. Maybe some day your gear choices will be what I can use as well either because I have to move on for my tremors and camera weight or today's technical misses will then be hits.
Discussions of images (photos) are much more universal. I also love what I do not do.
Oh, I have big lenses because short focal lengths do not cut it, not for show. My 70-300 on a 0.6 crop factor left too many photos on the cutting room floor (is there still such a thing?) because the subject was too small, after my Costa RIca bird and nature trip.

I said above that I don't need gear talk, but it's OK with me. Let me be more specific: as others have also expressed, I don't mind gear talk on TOP because gear talk on TOP is not like gear talk elsewhere.

A lot of the reason for that is the personal perspective and passions that drive those discussions. That, and the fact that TOP's editor/publisher is a top-notch writer.

So, bottom line, even though this is what I meant in the first place, let me explicitly join the chorus of "whatever you're interested in writing about, Mike, I'm probably going to find worth reading."

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