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Coming full circle

When I was still shooting Canon, at the end before the switch to Fuji. I had three bodies and five lenses. A pair of 1Dmk2's and a 1Dmk3. With a Canon 24mm 1.4, Canon 24mm tilt shift, then the substitute holy trinity of Sigma 35mm 1.4, Sigma 85mm 1.4, and Canon 135 f2. The trinity lenses were for weddings and events. The 24L was for everyday stuff and landscapes. The 24mm tilt shift I used for urban exploring, cemeteries, and some landscape stuff.

When I first switched to Fuji I couldn't duplicate this kit, speaking in focal lengths. The 56mm hadn't been released yet. The 16mm and 90mm were still a long way off at the time(2014). So I adapted using the 18mm f2, 23mm 1.4, and 35mm 1.4. Trying the 18-55/55-200 pair on occasion. Then jumping on the 56mm when it was released. I also shot with some vintage lenses, including doing a wedding for a local indie filmmaker on all vintage glass. When the 16mm and 90mm were eventually released I added those. And all was right in the world. For a while.

During all of this time I was part of a very good media crew, shooting weddings, and had several regular events that I shot. On top of that, I was doing a lot of behind the scenes work. Coming to the end of 2017, nearly all of that came to an end. This is also the time we first discovered we were going to have 10-12 trees removed. So given the expense of that, we made no plans to travel in 2018. I didn't realize it at the time, but it left me in a confused photographic funk. While I still did reviews to see what, if any, changes I needed to make in kit. Also, the behind the scenes work I thought I was going to pick up, fell through. Which, in hindsight made the funk worse. If I remember right, I wound up selling a bunch of stuff and going to just the fujicrons and one body. Trying the minimalist route. I also had to sell my 16 at the time to help fund a jeep repair.

I think what first started snapping me out was digging out my lights and trying to get better at portraiture. And I got a few events lined up. Also I started shooting musicians again. Once I had focus, things started to move forward. As that was happening we came to the end of five years of negotiations at my day job. So along with new direction, I got a raise. Which meant traveling again, and gear money.

Que my inner gear whore!!

I immediately started hunting deals on everything. My portrait work hit a point where I was ready to upgrade lighting and modifiers. Along with that, I knew what gear I needed and why I needed it. So, I will now have a very similar kit to where I left off with Canon. There is the 23/56/90 combo for events, musicians, and behind the scenes work I stumble into. I have the 16mm for personal stuff, cemeteries, landscapes, exploring, etc. And the 35 along with the 23/56/90 for portrait work. My lighting has jumped up to a pair AD600's with an AD/Evolv 200 for lighting with several great modifiers. Two bodies with five lenses. I'm really happy and at peace with my work and my kit.

So, my question for everyone, if you're still with me. Has this ever happened to you? Does anyone else go through funks, or phases, where you just can't seem to get happy with your photos or your kit?
 

Dean Smith

Regular
Nov 3, 2016
33
Bobby,

I've been there, done that as most photographers have. I was pleased with my Olympus E3, but felt I wasn't getting what I wanted out of the gear. (BTW if anyone needs an Olympus lens, I think it is a 12-70(?) for the E3 and the 50~200, it is free to a good home.) Anyway, I wasn't happy with the gear or most of my photos.

I switched to the Fuji XPro 1 with the 35/1.4. The lighter weight and great lens made me become more involved with photography again and my pictures showed it. I wanted to get back to when I first got into photography--late 50s--and shoot with one camera and one lens--and enjoy the shooting and seeing again. For about three years I shot only with the one camera and lens, and today still use that combination much of the time.

I believe all creative people get into funks and phrases with their work. Part of the process.

Best of luck,

Dean
 
Jul 24, 2013
104
Memphis, TN
Short answer ‘yes’! I began with Canon, shot weddings and events for nearly 20 years. When I quit shooting for pay I sold my Canon bodies and a few high end lens but kept a 24, 50 1.4, and 85 1.8. I dabbled in Olympus M4/3 but wound up with the Fuji XPro 2 and X100f which I enjoy. But...I’ve sorely missed Canon and about a month ago picked up the RP and 35 1.8 IS macro. Loving it thus far, feels so familiar, like home. As far as photos, I have times when I don’t care for anything I shoot, but usually the pendulum swings in the other direction. I think the older I get the more I appreciate images not so much for their technical aspects but for the feeling they generate in regards to memory, time, place, sentimental value and sense of wonder. It’s a journey, one I’m happy and thankful to embrace.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
124
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Yep. I've rotated through various camera systems numerous times over the past 10 years. I sort of envy those who buy something and just use it faithfully for years. For a long time I let myself fall into a "grass is greener" mentality, but my most recent swap back to Fuji is my last. I'm very, very pleased with the production I'm getting from my X100S, X-T2, XF 18-55, and XF 55-200. As I am set to retire on September 30, my gear chasing is over for good. My big goal now is to continue the declutter project on our house, tossing or giving away stuff I don't need. Over the past year I've become deeply invested in building stringed musical instruments, and that's been taking up a lot of my time. I've gotten away from reading gear threads or web sites, and my photography has evolved more into something I enjoy as an adjunct to my other activities. In a way, I'm liking photography a lot better now.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
69
Boston Burbs
It think I've done the same too many times to count. The one REALLY good thing about m4/3 and to some extent Fuji is that it's much cheaper to reinvent the wheel (or the inventory) than it was when I was shooting events with FF Nikon Gear.

I've spent $2,000 - $2,500 on different bodies and $1,500 - $2,200 on a few lenses. My banker is much happier now.
 

mike3996

Regular
Apr 2, 2018
68
I started with Canon 5D Mark II but I really got enthusiastic about photography when I treated myself to a Fujifilm. Love pretty much everything about it, the system, the designs and the community. Then I escalated to Leica.

Leica of course is fine, very fine but I can't help but think how it will be glorious some day to go back to Fujifilm once my insanity wanes. I've been dreaming about going back to Fuji for a long time but there are realities and practicalities that prevent me making that decision, executing that "downgrade". But I trust there'll be a moment in time it'll happen.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
I'm in such a funk right now, I want to get rid of every camera I have, and start over. I haven't done any "serious" photography (that is, where I choose a camera and go out with the express intent of taking/making photographs) for months. Even the GRII couldnt boost my enthusiasm. Dunno what to do, cant be bothered with any of it.
 
I'm in such a funk right now, I want to get rid of every camera I have, and start over. I haven't done any "serious" photography (that is, where I choose a camera and go out with the express intent of taking/making photographs) for months. Even the GRII couldnt boost my enthusiasm. Dunno what to do, cant be bothered with any of it.
It's a hard spot to work through. Hopefully you will find a good way to work through it.
 

davidzvi

Top Veteran
Apr 18, 2014
69
Boston Burbs
I'm in such a funk right now, I want to get rid of every camera I have, and start over. I haven't done any "serious" photography (that is, where I choose a camera and go out with the express intent of taking/making photographs) for months. Even the GRII couldnt boost my enthusiasm. Dunno what to do, cant be bothered with any of it.
It's a hard spot to work through. Hopefully you will find a good way to work through it.
It's one of the reason I haven't minded closing down my business so much. Shooting had become work and not something I otherwise made time for.
 
Nov 11, 2011
214
Milwaukee, WI USA
Sue, I've been in a funk like that for over a year now. I sold off all my cameras and just kept a simple all-in-one solution (to keep the lens buying addiction at bay). I still have a competent camera should I need one, but I just didn't see the point to keep all the cool cameras sitting around because they were good machines.

And they just sit there....depreciating. My suggestion would be to keep whichever one is the most versatile, that you enjoy shooting with and that is good enough to keep you from looking at other cameras.

Then, don't read reviews and stay away from gear threads....especially about new cameras.

I still hang out here because I like the people and I still enjoy viewing photos. I'm just not creating any...except the occasional doggie shot.
 

kyteflyer

~@¿@~
Jan 31, 2011
164
Newcastle, Australia
Thanks, Luke, thats about where I am at, myself. I just have to take photos of all those cameras and then stick them in the facebook market (I've managed to sell an iPhone5S there which I didnt expect to garner *any* interest). I'm torn between knowing I just dont need all this gear, and thinking "oh but I *might* want it one day". My Pentaxes are already not worth a penny to a pinch of snot. Sighhh. The lenses though.. thats a different matter :)

Its also about my health. My heart and lungs have been in crap shape for ages, but theres been a significant deterioration in the last year. Saw the cardio guy yesterday and he wants me in a trial for a new gadget they stick in your heart, or one of the arteries or something, its for pulmonary hypertension. I decided to go for it, anything to get me back on my feet again. Cant even walk to the mailbox without my bloodpressure going sky high, and having to have a restette when I get there. And its only 20 steps. Sadly the trial is double blind so no guarantees that I will get the gadget... bugger. But, I get it for free at the end of the trial either way, whereas it would cost thousands after the trial is over. The idea is that it will help reduce the pressure inside the heart and allow proper oxygenation of blood, so the end result would be that I could do more. Including get out of the house and maybe walk someplace. And take photos.
 
Last edited:
Jul 24, 2013
104
Memphis, TN
Its also about my health. My heart and lungs have been in crap shape for ages, but theres been a significant deterioration in the last year. Saw the cardio guy yesterday and he wants me in a trial for a new gadget they stick in your heart, or one of the arteries or something, its for pulmonary hypertension. I decided to go for it, anything to get me back on my feet again.
I’ll be thinking about you in my meditation and prayers.
 

tonyturley

Hall of Famer
Nov 24, 2014
124
Scott Depot, WV, USA
My sincerest hope for a full recovery, Sue. I know someone over here who dealt with pulmonary hypertension. It took many attempts to find the right remedy, but he has been back to nearly full function for several years. He has to carry around a small leather satchel with his medication pump, but once it was all sorted out, he returned to full time employment.
 

Covey22

Hall of Famer
Feb 3, 2012
124
I just find I need more time to shoot. Maybe different subjects, maybe someplace new. Can't really afford from a Time & Expense point to travel far or for too long, so I peruse maps and even look in the paper at the occasional tourist brochures. Every once in a while I find a place, pin it on the map and aim for a day where I can get out of the office, not answer the e-mails while on the road. This keeps me out of trouble Acquisition Syndrome wise.
 

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