Just Say “NO” To the Fancy Bag

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…

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No Complaints here…The Fuji 55-200

If anyone has any complaints about zooms, especially the 55-200 please take a close look at this image. The bokeh, IMHO is perfect, the color, and oh my the sharpness.  This lens is 1/3rd the price of the 50-140 2.8.  If I had to chose again, I’d still go with the 55-200.  It’s lighter, has a bit more USABLE range, it’s tack freakin’ sharp, and the bokeh is delicious.  Other than the weather sealing there is no equal. With that being said I have used the 55-200 in rain and snow with zero ill-effects.  As I mentioned in a prior post somewhere pre-digital days we went out shooting with the equipment we had. I for one was never, ever worried about my older Minolta cameras. I lived in Alaska for five years and never, ever did ANY of my lenses or cameras failed me.  I still have a Minolta X-E7 that I purchased on February 15th, 1978 ( remember the date because it was my birthday).  And it still works!  I won’t even begin to tell you the abuse that camera has taken!  Including a slight dunking which destroyed the zoom lens– a Soligor 70-300 (who remembers Soligor?);  a can of Coke spilling on it — oh what a gooey mess that was!  Add to that the rain, sleet, snow, ice and extreme cold from working in Alaska.  So to me that whole weather-sealing is just nonsense. Sorry Fuji.

Fuji X-T1, 55-200 @ 172.4mm, F5.6, 1/170th, ISO 400, Velvia, handheld
Fuji X-T1, 55-200 @ 172.4mm, F5.6, 1/170th, ISO 400, Velvia, handheld

You can see more of my work at TwoMoro’s Images or at my flickr feed

Incoming Tide at Dusk

One of my last images on my photo trip up to Maine.  This was on the banks of the Penobscot River.  And you have to admit — that Fuji Green is freakin’ amazing!

Hence why when I shot film — even as recently as five years ago with my medium format gear I opted for Fuji Velvia!!  Eye-popping color for sure especially the greens!

The Fuji film emulations as I mentioned in my previous post are one of the many reasons I love the Fuji cameras!  Heck, even going back to one of my first Fuji dSLR’s a Fujifilm S1Pro.  That was a beast of a camera. Used Nikon lenses on it.  The skin tones were to die for, and the greens and yellows:  unfathomable color depth.  I remember it was 3.1MP and I basically shot in jpeg only.  The BASE ISO was 320!  The low light performance up to around ISO 800 was pretty darn good!  Fuji has had it going on for quite some time now!  Their Ju-Ju sauce just works.

Incominig Tide. Penobscot Bay at dusk. Fuji X-T1, 18-55 lens @ 55mm, 14 seconds, F14, ISO 200, 3 stop ND, and Polarizer, Tripod, Remote (click for larger image)
Incominig Tide. Penobscot Bay at dusk.
Fuji X-T1, 18-55 lens @ 55mm, 14 seconds, F14, ISO 200, 3 stop ND, and Polarizer, Tripod, Remote
(click for larger image)

You can see more images at Drama King Images or at my Flickr page

The Nikon Gear is now Gone

Well, the Nikon D800 is on it’s way to it’s new home.  That was my last Nikon body.  I am keeping both Nikon flash units because I’m certain they will work with some flash triggers and the Fuji.  My 18-35G series, less than two year old lens  has been acquired by one of my kids for use on my old D700 body, and the less than six month old 50mm 1.8G she will probably get as well unless I sell it.

This pretty much empties the Nikon closet for me.  Now it’s all Fuji or nothing.  In a way I knew this day would come ever since I got my first Fuji – the X-E1 back in early 2013 together with the 18-55 lens and the 35mm 1.4.

The X-T1 came along in 2014 and I just fell in love with the handling, the files, and most of all putting the fun back into picture-taking even though I shoot for stock most of the times.  One of the best two features I’ve found?  1.  the viewfinder: It’s incredible; you can see what your image will look like before snapping the shutter! and then make necessary adjustments. I wasn’t much of a chimper before and even less of one now.  2.  The film modes. Even though I always shoot in jpeg+raw (except for odd miscellaneous family stuff) I find that setting the film mode in camera, then upon upload into LR I run the correct profile I’ve created on the raw files, truly generates some sweet looking raw files as well as jpegs.

In less than three weeks I’ll be heading out for a major stock shooting business trip.  I expect to come with with many, many images.  Well, consider this:  based on the number and size of SD cards I have in m PocketRocket, I can shoot 8,280 images, jpeg+raw, before I have to reload.  Sweet huh?

A few years ago I was out in the Southwest and came back with 11,250 images over eight days.  If you double up because of the jpeg+raw I came back with 22,500 total images.

Enough jabbering for tonight.  I’m hoping to at least start separating some gear and packing it to see how it’s all gonna fit.  Should be much easier now that the D800 and lenses won’t be going with me.  But we’ll see as I anticipate using the gear a few more times before I leave.

In closing I leave you for now with an image of one of my favorite subjects:  Lobster Floats

Found abandoned old Lobster floats. I give them a good home. Fuji X-T1, 55-200 Lens, Tripod, raw processed as Velvia Exposure not available (click for a larger image)
Found abandoned old Lobster floats. I give them a good home.
Fuji X-T1, 55-200 Lens, Tripod, raw processed as Velvia Exposure not available (click for a larger image) This is a FULL 9MB File.  Click on it at your own risk 🙂

You can see more images at my site:  Drama King Images or at Flickr