For this post I thought I would share a “what’s in my camera bag” type of post. This is because the contents and indeed the bag itself have changed dramatically over the last few months. This is a theme that appears to be very current and involves a photographer moving away from the traditional Digital Single Lens Reflex (DSLR) to a Compact System Camera (CSC).
In my case the original system consists of a Canon 7D body, Canon 17-40mm F4L, Canon 24-105mm F4L, Canon 70-200mm F4L and a Sigma 10-20mm F4-F5.6. In addition I use Lee Filters 0.3, 0.6, 0.9 neutral density graduated filters, 0.9 neutral density, a big stopper and a circular polariser. Add to that a selection of Compact Flash memory cards, batteries, cleaning kit, cable release; put it all in a Think Tank Streetwalker back pack and you’ve got a kit that can cope with most situations. So why would I want to change it? Well, there is one main factor and that is simply weight! If you add the body and lenses together you get a mighty 3.17 kg. Add the accessories and the bag to carry it all and you have a kit that’s nearly 5 kg in total. Not much fun on a long day out.
After a severe bout of GAS (Gear Acquisition Syndrome) I recently purchased a Fujifilm X-Pro 1 with Fuji 18mm F2 and 35mm F1.4 lenses. I followed this with the Fuji 18-55mm F2.8-F4 and just this week added the Fuji 10-24mm F4. The Lee filters have remained with the appropriate adapter rings being added. The memory cards and batteries have been changed to versions suitable for this system. It all fits into a Billingham Hadley Small camera bag; although I’m keeping the Streetwalker as it swallows the Fuji kit leaving room for hat, gloves, head torch, first aid kit and other accessories that are required on longer walks. The body and lenses in this setup come in at only 1.48 kg and with the bag and accessories it’s just over 2 kg, less than half the Canon setup. Not fair! I hear you say. The Canon kit covers 10-200mm (16-320 35mm equivalent) whereas the Fuji kit covers only 10-55mm (15-82mm 35mm equivalent). True, but I will probably replace the 18-55mm with the Fuji 18-135 (36-202mm 35mm equivalent) which will be long enough for my needs; and even that will only add an extra 180 grams. Need the full 200mm? You could replace the 18-55mm with the Fuji 55-200mm for only an extra 290 grams. Also bear in mind that my Canon kit doesn’t include any fast primes like those in the Fuji kit and you will have to concede that the Fuji has it on both size and weight.
Of course you might add, it’s not all about size; what about the quality? Well, in the words of Jules Winnfield, allow me to retort… You don’t need to tell me how good the 7D is or indeed how good the Canon L series lenses are. I’ve enjoyed using them for this last few years but for me the Fuji system is more than a match for the Canon in both build quality, image quality and in my opinion the images produce less noise and have better colour. The Fuji lenses are also the equal, if not better, than anything I’ve ever used. I’m not going to start reviewing all the products I’ve mentioned, there are plenty of sites that will do that, but for me the Fuji system is the way forward. The Sigma 10-20 has already gone via eBay and the rest of the Canon gear will follow soon and I will probably re-invest the cash in an XT1 or maybe an X100s; or I might just wait for the X-Pro II… watch this space.
If you have any questions or comments please feel free to post below.