Once again, I used the "The Analytics Dashboard For Lightroom" web service to analyse my Adobe Lightroom catalogue from November 2022 through November 2023.
The Analytics Dashboard For Lightroom is a free web-based application that analyses the data in your Lightroom Classic Catalogue and displays statistics and graphs to help you visualise the result. Cheyne Wallace, a software engineer and photography enthusiast from San Francisco, created this helpful tool. Unlike Flickr, the Adobe Lightroom catalogue file has all the meta-data about my photographs.
To use Lightroom Dashboard, visit the website and drag a copy (not the original) of your Catalog onto the webpage. Lightroom Dashboard then takes a few minutes to analyse the data in the Catalog file before presenting its findings.
To ensure your privacy, your Catalog is not uploaded to the website's server during this process. The results are based on using Lightroom Dashboard with my Lightroom Classic Catalog. I configured the period to cover one year using the options provided at the top of the screen.
Between November 2022 and November 2023, I used seven cameras and nineteen lenses to take photos. The report generated by The Analytics Dashboard For Lightroom showed that I took 4557 pictures in 2023, similar to the number of images I captured in 2021.
My go-to camera was my FUJIFILM X-T3, followed by my iPhone 11 Pro. Meanwhile, I used my FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens the most, which is among the best lenses made by FUJIFILM. After switching camera systems from Nikon to FUJIFILM, I had a minimal budget to build my FUJIFILM kit, even after selling all of my Nikon gear. For several years, this was my sole FUJINON lens. Despite being my oldest lens, I still love it, and it was also my most used lens in 2021.
However, I've been using my FUJINON XF150-600mmF5.6-8 R LM OIS WR lens more often lately. It's my second most used lens, and it's also the most expensive one I have. I have made more bird photographs and less walk-around street photography in 2023 than in previous years.
My favourite ISO was ISO 160, the native ISO of the X-T3, and my favourite aperture was f/8. I usually use this aperture when using my FUJINON XF27mmF2.8 R WR or 35mm film-era lenses that I adapted to the X-T3. When I'm taking photos of my craft ales, I usually use my FUJINON XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens at 55mm focal length and f/2.8 or my Minolta MD Rokkor-X 50mm f/1.7 at f/2.8. Does that explain anything?
I used my 35mm film-era prime lenses more often than my iPhone back cameras, and my film-era 35mm cameras were used more often than my iPhone 11 Pro. It's unsurprising since I'm trying to use 35mm film more. But what surprised me was how often I used my Minolta XD-1 compared to my iPhone 11 Pro. I used my Minolta XD-1 almost as much as my iPhone 11 Pro!
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.
The "-e" indicates the full-frame equivalent focal length. I am borrowing this trick from The Online Photographer website. ↩
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.