14th July 2022

Before you leave home, decide on what you will photograph and only bring the lenses suited to that. I think it’s okay to have a large lens kit, but if your camera bag can be used for weight training, don’t let FOMO paralyse you.

Maybe it's age, but I've reduced my lens "kit" to just a few lenses but I want to add more lenses. I don't like swapping out lenses when I'm out and about. Part of the reason is that carrying too many lenses, especially zoom lenses and small aperture fixed focal length lenses, adds weight to the camera bag. I usually decide what I want to do before I leave the house. I got a smaller camera bag to force myself not to carry more than two lenses.

I recently used this YouTube video to advise another photographer who was a having challenge deciding on which of his many lenses to bring to an event. I have had that challenge in the past when gear-based FOMO takes over, and I suffered from the tyranny of choice.

I have a Minolta XD-11 35mm film camera and three Minolta lenses; the MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7, the MD Rokkor-X 45mmF2 and MD Rokkor-X 28mmF2.8 . The XD-11 body weighs 560g. The MD Rokkor-X 50mm F1.7, MD Rokkor-X 45mmF2 and MD Rokkor-X 28mmF2.8 lenses weigh 165g, 125g and 265g, respectively. The three-lens film kit weighs about just over 1 kilogram. The Rokkor-X 45mm and Rokkor-X 50mm are pretty close in focal length, so often, I will choose one to put in the camera bag along with the Rokkor-X 28mm. However, unless I know I will be making wide-angle photographs, I’ll usually choose to bring the Rokkor-X 45mm only.

This 35m film lens kit is all I need to capture the images I want with the Minolta XD-11. The 35mm film kit is my hobby within a hobby.

When it comes to my Fuji X-T3 lens kit, I am taking a different perspective.

Actually, all amateurs needed to do (with primes) was a.) figure out the main normal that was most comfortable for them; b.) figure out if they wanted to augment that with a wide angle, and, if so, which one; and c.) ditto with a short tele. The last step, d.), was to decide if a longer tele was wanted or not. ~ Mike Johnston at The Online Photographer

The X-T3 body weighs 539g, slightly lighter than the Minolta XD-11 body. I have two Fujinon lenses; the Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 R WR (41mm-e1) and XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR (24.5-84mm-e) lenses for the X-T3. The XF16-55mm is my choice for landscapes and cityscapes (short end), portraits (long end), and everything in between (groups, events). But it's a heavy lens. The XF-16-55mm weighs 655g; 116g heavier than the camera body. I don’t fancy carrying nearly 1.2 kilograms around while on holiday or when out for street photography.

The XF27mm is compact and weighs just 84g, I usually leave it attached to the X-T3 body, almost like a body cap. To me, it’s the perfect "photographer about town" camera and just 1mm shy of being a "perfect normal" lens for the X-T3’s APS-C sensor. Using the original definition of the photographic term, the Fujinon XF27mmF2.8 R WR is my prime lens.

I rarely use the middle of the range on the XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR. Most photographs taken with that lens are either at the wide end (landscapes) or the long end (portraits). I think I may be better off splitting the weight and range of that lens into two lighter lenses; the XF16mmF2.8 R WR (24mm-e) for landscapes and the XF56mmF1.2 R (85mm-e) lens for portraits. The XF16mmF2.8 R WR weighs just 155g, and the XF56mmF1.2 R weighs 405g. The only other lens I want is the XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR for bird/wildlife photography. That lens weighs 1605g, and with the X-T3 camera body, this minimalist wildlife kit would weigh over 2 kilograms. It’s heavy but changing it out in the field is not something I would need to do.

The 16mm, 27mm, and 56mm focal lengths would cover the field of views I use most, covering landscapes, portraits and everyday photography. For the rest, I can zoom with my feet or crop.

Choose your lens kit based on the kinds of photographs you like to make. Before you leave home, decide on what you will photograph and only bring the lenses suited to that. I think it’s okay to have a large lens kit, but if your camera bag can be used for weight training, don’t let gear-based FOMO paralyse you.

  1. The "-e" indicates the full-frame equivalent focal length. I am borrowing this trick from The Online Photographer website. 

The best doesn’t exist.

The best doesn’t exist. A psychologist explains why we can’t stop searching. by Rachel Sugar

You want the best — meaning the most capable, the cutting edge-est device, because who knows how you’re going to use it next week, or next month?

But the weird thing, to me, is that “the best” sounds really objective. There can be only one best.

And that’s nonsense. That’s complete nonsense.

Because Macs Suck!

My son was being ragged on by one of his friends who apparently hated Apple products and Apple itself. His friend builds his own Windows gaming computers from parts ordered online and has an Android OS smart phone. I think he was also messing around with Linux.

This friend was constantly making "Macs suck!" statement to my son and questioning his use of his iPhone, iPad and iMac. My son would come home asking me how to get this friend to “leave it alone”. I told my son that the best strategy was to simply agree with his friend that he was right. To use the “Macs sucks” argument but in a different way.

But this summer, I met the kid and we had a conversation which ended with him agreeing that his choices are the best for him but aren’t the best choices for everyone. While I don't remember the exact details of our conversation, here's the gist of the "because Macs suck" argument I used.

Macs suck because you can’t open them up and upgrade/fix things yourself. Instead you have to buy what you need and then you get one year of FREE in person tech support or phone support from someone who’s native language is English. If there is an issue they patiently work with you to fix it. For FREE. This sucks because you really wanted to spend your weekends fixing your computers.

Yes, Macs suck because you don’t have to buy and install each new OS release yourself while trying to figure out if your system is compatible. Instead 7 years from initial purchase you can still run the latest compatible OS and install it yourself for FREE in the time it takes to get an oil change at the Jiffy Lube1. This sucks because you don’t get to find and compile the source code for that driver or application that stopped working.

Macs suck because instead of searching on the Internet for apps which may or may not contain malware, you are forced to use the App Store to install digitally signed and approved apps which are free of malware. Macs suck because you can also search the Internet and install apps that may or may not contain malware. Macs suck because you have the choice of shopping i the safety at the Mall or at trying your luck at the flea market. This sucks because you don’t get to spend exercise your skills in removing malware.

Macs suck because they are designed to work with other Apple products in ways that increase the value beyond each product separately. This sucks because you really enjoy the hours trying to get your smartphone to sync up your photos to your computer.

Yes, Macs suck.

What other reason can you list for why Macs suck? Leave a note in the comments section.

  1. My brother-in-laws 2007 iMac is running OS X 10.11.2 "El Capitan".