I was in bed reading a blog post by Dan James about what he learned from his Flickr statistics.
Probably the main surprise for me was that my most used camera in 2021 was my Realme 6 Pro Android phone.
Now of course Flickr only analyses the pictures I uploaded to my profile in 2021, it can’t see all images I shot with all cameras and didn’t upload.
What do you think was your [most used camera] in 2021?
It got me thinking about how to answer, and I suddenly remembered that I had written a blog post about that some time ago. I pulled up my website and quickly found the 2019 article. I jumped out of bed (it was already 11 PM) and ran to my Mac.
In 2019, I used a web service, The Analytics Dashboard For Lightroom, to analyse my Adobe Lightroom catalogue file. With this application, I uploaded my Adobe Catalogue file, and in seconds, I had a set of charts. Unlike Flickr, the Adobe Lightroom catalogue file has all the meta-data about my captured images.
The report shows that I made 4515 photographs in 2021, most of which were with four cameras - my Minolta XD-11 35mm film camera, my now dead Fujifilm X-T2, the replacement Fujifilm X-T3, and my iPhone 11 Pro. Last year my Fujifilm X-T2 took a tumble down a flight of concrete stairs. Too much was damaged, so I replaced it with a pre-owned Fujifilm X-T3. Other than my Nikon D40, the first DLSR I owned, all of my cameras have been purchased pre-owned. I consider the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-T3 the same camera. When I write Fujifilm X-T3 in the following sentences, it is shorthand for both.
I am not surprised that my most used camera in 2021 was my Fujifilm X-T3, accounting for over 80% of my Adobe Lightroom Catalogue images. I love the retro-styling of the camera, the image quality, even in low light, is incredible, and the camera is feature-rich. With the XF27mmF2.8 lens attached, the Fujifilm X-T3 fits easily into my Peak Design 6L sling. Every time I leave the house, I toss it into one of the Sling pockets along with my diabetes kit and head out the door. During the workday, I keep it on my desk, ready to capture photographs of Sir Alphonso Mango. At night, I may sit with the camera on the sofa or a nearby table, always within easy reach, just in case.
My iPhone 11 Pro was the second-most used camera, followed by my Minolta XD-11 35mm film camera. I’m surprised that my Minolta X-700 was not on the list. Either I have to make an effort to use the X-700 in 2022 or accept that I prefer using the XD-11 and selling the X-700. I have an emotional attachment to the X-700. It was the first film camera I bought when I decided to jump back into 35mm film photography. I bought it from a nearby resident who told me stories about what the camera did for her over the thirty years she owned it.
The ISO chart isn’t as helpful. Most of my images are exposed at ISO 200 and ISO 400, but I wonder how much of that is because I am exposing more film than previously. Unlike my Fujifilm X-T3, which can expose at any ISO in a range from 80-25,600, film photography is typically limited to a small set of fixed ISO; ISO 100, 200, 400, 800 and 3200. Off the top of my head, I can say that most of the film I used in 2021 was either ISO 200 or 400. For a while, Ritchie ran a Fujifilm Film Simulation Challenge, where participants used one of Fuji X Weekly’s film simulation recipes to capture 24 or 36 images as though shooting a roll of film. I completed most of these challenges at the native ISO for “digital film”.
I have just two lenses for my Fuji; the XF27mmF2.8 and XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR. The data confirms what I already knew; the XF27mmF2.8 (~41mm FF) is my most used lens. As I mentioned before, when attached to my Fuji X-T3, the lens is optically superb and ultra-compact. The 27mm focal length may seem odd. However, it is the "Perfect Normal" focal length, which is defined as the diagonal dimension of the image sensor. The image diagonal of Fujifilm's APS-C camera sensor is 27mm, equivalent to 41mm on 24 × 36mm "Full Frame” sensor. I’ve tried the overwhelmingly popular 35mm focal length in the past but always found it a tad too wide for everyday use. I also considered the well-revered 50mm, but that felt too close. A perfect normal lens provides the most realistic perspective in a camera lens, closely mimicking the actual field of view (FOV) perceived by the human eye. The XF27mmF2.8’s combination of quality, compactness and portability is perfect for street photography, travel, lifestyle, and even landscape photography and documenting the day-to-day experiences that make life special.
However, what surprised me was just how often I used my MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 lens. I use this lens with my XD-11, but I also adapted it to my Fuji. Given that I only used the XD-11 to capture 8% of the images, I think many photos were made with the MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7 lens adapted to the Fuji. The Fuji X-T3 has an APS-C sensor, so the 50mm (~76mm FF) makes for a great short portrait lens.
It’s hard to see the data from the graphs, but it shows that my most used apertures were f/2.8, f/4 and f/8 and my most used ISO were 200 and 400.