I can’t believe an entire year has passed us by already! It’s been amazing for sure!
Since mid-July I’ve shot in the Florida Keys, New York City, Maine, Canada/New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, Martha’s Vineyard. I’ve taken almost 16,000 images since I started and I am still culling just over 11,000 that I have to yet go through. Once I complete the culling then I’ll edit the keepers, keyword, and start submitting to Getty Images and others that use my work.
In a few weeks I will compile the lists of lenses and how many images I made throughout the course of the year. I can without a doubt tell you my Zeiss Touit 12mm f2.8 is again, my least used lens. As a matter of fact, I’m considering selling it before the end of the year.
In my prior post here I gave a preliminary overview of the TT CW 30 after only a week of use as an office messenger bag, and a light-duty camera bag. I’ve now had the pleasure, and I mean pleasure of using it on two separate outings besides as a daily carry. The first was four day stock/travel image trip up north, and the second was to photograph an event. I’m going to present images here, with descriptions, as I unpack my bag after the event; in all honesty it’s a mess as I swapped lenses – between by 16mm, 23, 35, 60mm and the 55-200. I did not use the 18-55 nor the 12mm Zeiss even though they were in the bag as well. In other words ALL the lenses I own were in the bag. For this event I used the very well padded insert that came standard with the CW30, and I threw in the rain cover as we were under the threat of rain most of the day.
In the following images I try to show the contents of the bag and how much you can carry. I will say I could still have put MORE into the bag as I had one inside end pocket, and both outside mesh pockets available! This is an insane amount of stuff! During the event I had the bag slung across my should messenger style, I had the main cover open and flat against my hip thereby allowing me access to all my gear inside. What I truly enjoyed was being able to swap lenses on the fly and using the outside mesh pockets to hold a lens (very easily) and the lens caps and other miscellaneous stuff.
So here goes: And, if anyone has any questions, please let me know.
I hope you guys found this review helpful. If you take away ONE thing from reading this it’s that the TTCW30 is truly a beautifully crafted bag with room for just about all your gear if you are a mirrorless shooter. dSLR shooters will also be very happy with the capacity, and especially the depth of this bag. There are other pockets I didn’t even mention here – but I do believe I mentioned them in part one of the review.
Let me know what you all think. I did discover recently this bag has been discontinued so if you want one you better hurry. I got mine from B&H for 79.00 with free shipping which is an amazing deal! Much less expensive than Amazon (at the time i purchased mine a couple of weeks ago).
I have written about the Fuji 18-55 in the past. However, on New Years Day i was shooting up in Old Orchard Beach in Maine using this wonderful little lens. It’s lightweight, solidly built, and oh so darn sharp!
As proof how sharp this this little puppy is, check out this screenshot of my lightroom image of Old Orchard Beach at 200% — Yes. 200% !! This is the raw file, Sharpened with 100% details, 41 pts of sharpening. Then below it is the full screen! Now, look at that sharpness and clarity!! I can read the Shipyard Beer sign out on the pier and that isn’t even dead center; more like top center!
Would the 16-55 2.8 be sharper? Meh. Maybe. But this is pretty darn freakin’ sharp for me, and the weight/size savings alone are, to me, worth the tiny loss of sharpness. I’d rather be more light and mobile. Your mileage may vary.
A couple of images here. My grandson, Jonah. First is the original image (from raw). I shot the entire day with the 35mm F1.4, The X-T2, Acros + G filter. This is the JPEG from the raw file, processed in Classic Chrome.
Now below is the SCREENSHOT of the same image, at 200 PERCENT as viewed on a 46″ display! You can see me, and Jonah’s dad in his eyes!!! Dang…….
After eleven months my new photos queue in Lightroom is empty. I’ve filed away into their appropriate folders, edited whatever was needed, prepared those images going to stock sales, and submitted at least 70% of the ones I had selected to go out.
But the best part is: The Queue is EMPTY! Since September 2015 I’ve had images in that folder awaiting review, editing, keywording among other things. Now it’s all done.
However, tomorrow I leave for a few days of photography; this time it’s for myself more than work related stock and travel. I plan on experimenting with Panoramics, HDR, and long exposure among other things. We shall see what I return with. If I can post from the road, I will.
Tonight I’ll be selecting the gear I plan to take. Since this is a car trip, with the exception of when we go off into the woods for a hike, the gear should pretty much stay put in the back seat in my backpack so I think I’ll probably pack everything PLUS the kitchen sink. As always, I’ll have a couple of smaller messenger bags that are always with me for those times when i’m off on a walking adventure.
Little bit of humor here. Ok. Maybe not. I’ve said it before both here, and elsewhere these man bags such as the Billinghams, and the other fancy bags do have a place in the workplace, but not in the field. Quite frankly I never seen any of these hipsters who carry these fancy uncreased bags around cosmopolitan town even going out into the field in their tight-ass pants, and loafers. Oh. Sorry, ranting again. Give me a break guys. Buying a camera bag, a lousy camera bag for $300 dollars and up, to put it down in dirt and mud, and snow, or wet sand and saltwater? No. Not for me. And I doubt any of these fancy bag toters do either. Many just want to look cool as they slowly extricate their fancy cameras out of the well-oiled bags to take that selfie, or the foodie shot, then Oh so cool, slide the camera in for another week of storage. Give me a break.
Now, here in the photo is a true working bag. This bag cost me $29.95. It’s canvas. Cloth. Period. Inside is a 3 velcro pocket Jill-E insert for $10.00. See all that gear? That’s what I packed yesterday for a short day hike into a bamboo forest. It has SIX (6) pockets just on the OUTSIDE!
I’ve included some images here so you can see what can be accomplished with minimal gear. Oh, BTW, all of these images, and many more are already for sale on Shutterstock as of 5:00am Sunday morning. Yeah. I’m fast and the X-T1 files, couples with the amazing lenses don’t require a lot of post.
So, if you want to look like a coffee-shop dwelling Brooklyn broke hipster who shoots food, and selfies, go ahead and get yourself a Billingham, or “billingmuch” as I call them, if you want to make yourself useful get yourself a real bag. Try the think tank series. Either that, or get the hell out of my way as I make my images.
Thank you. Rant over. I’ve now taken cover and am ready for the rebuttals as to how great these expensive bags are other than for image enhancement, like botox…
23mm, Velvia F8.0
12mm 2.8 Zeiss touit @ F9.0
Zeiss 12mm F2.8 @ F5.6
35mm 1.4 @ F2.5
18-55 Zoom @ F8.0
16mm F1.4 @ F11
Gear in Cheap Amazon Canvas Bag. Taken with Nikon D800e
Even the Sirui Tripod and ball head fits inside the canvas bag. Sling the bag over my body and off I go
Everything goes IN the bag. Including the Small Sirui Travel Tripod. This was while I was cleaning gear to put it all away
I parked in my reserved spot, picked up my bag, slung it over my shoulder and headed to the office. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks! The X-T1 and several lenses are so light I hardly feel it!
In the mornings when I leave home I usually have over my shoulder a Fossil leather bag – In it I keep my Macbook Air, my yogurt for lunch, and some basic file folders. In itself the Fossil bag is rather lightweight. I’ve had it since 2007 and it is still an amazing piece of luggage that I proudly use in my daily life. Every now and then I’ll stick a Jill-E insert in the bag and carry my X-T1 with me.
Today, I packed a small $30.00 bag I found on Amazon. It’s called the Lowepro Exchange Messenger for dSLR kit and essentials. Here’s the link. I bought this wonderful bag in July of 2013 when a very good friend of mine and I took a three day tour around coastal Maine; he carried his two Leica’s and assorted lenses in this bag. After seeing how light it was, and the fact I was able to store it flat pretty much anywhere I decided to purchase one right there and then and so I did.
Today I’ll be away from home for a couple of days but had to go into the office first; Instead of my Fossil leather bag I instead packed my LowePro. In the bag I loaded up my X-T1, the 18-55 lens, the 16mm F1.4 lens, the 23mm 1.4 lens, the Fuji EF-42 Flash with four batteries, and an extra two Fuji batteries for the camera, and my lunch. The bag has very deep pockets, one has a zipper for additional security; normally, that would be where I store my SD wallet but since the X-T1 is packing a 32G card that allows for over 700 jpeg+raws I didn’t bother bringing any more along.
When I arrived at the office and picked up the bag out of my car with the always present Macbook Air I had to do a double-check to make sure I packed what I needed! It was that light. I remember the days pre-Fuji when I carried my Nikon D800 or D700, plus Nikon glass — or better (or worse) yet when I carried my Mamiya 645AFD medium format! Heck, going back a bit further my old RB67. Now that was a beast. I actually smiled as I walked down the Philadelphia streets to my office. It absolutely does makes a huge difference carrying a smaller mirrorless camera. I don’t care if it is a Fuji, Sony, Olympus — whatever floats your boat, just try one! I do not miss my dSLR’s or MF at all! Since I haven’t printed larger thant 24″x 20″ I haven’t needed more megapixels. If I did, I can always work some photoshop magic though I try very hard to stay out of PS. CORRECTED – SEE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS ADDED AFTER THIS WAS PUBLISHED!
With that being said I am awaiting the arrival of the X-T2. As I am a travel, and stock photographer the 24mp sensor keeps me ahead of the curve and my images relevant when a clients wants a bit extra oomph. Usually we can show them that 16.3mp is more than enough but at times, they are rather adamant about larger files. If it were not for that I wouldn’t be upgrading at all! With regards to the rumors here of a potential Fuji medium format camera my first questions are not resolution or megapixels but how big is it going to be? What is the weight of the system? How about lens weight? I am now totally spoiled by the compactness, and the image quality coming from my Fuji system and I would not go back, ever, to a Nikon or any other brand.
So, when I leave my office later this afternoon and head south for a couple of days I’ll still be grinning like a Cheshire cat!
I was going to end this post here then FedEx came in. I sent out an image to be printed a while back and I just received it! It’s a 30 x 20″ print of an image that was processed from a RAF file into a 95mb TIFF in Lightroom. I thought about processing it in Iridient which I own but decided i would process it in the same app that I use for 99% of all my editing work.
Here, I’ve laid it across our conference room table in order to flatten it somewhat. But I have to say it looks amazing! I can COUNT the grains of sand, and you can as well just from these two iPhone images! This is 30″ x 20″ and I think I can go up to 40″ plus so that will be the next round of tests. I performed this print test to see how far I can push 16.3 megapixels. I have to say, these results are truly amazing. I’ve taken my glasses off and pressed my nose and eyes very close and it’s well, trust me: amazing!