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Personal gear review

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Bobby Tingle, Sep 26, 2018.

  1. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    A while back on Fuji X Spot, I talked about me doing a gear review once a year. I did this to evaluate which gear I was using the most and least. As well as which gear I would need for what I would be shooting coming up. Also, which gear worked the best for me. Although I wouldn't always give that the attention I should have if it worked against my favorite gear.

    Recently having had the revelation that somewhere along the way in the past 2 1/2 years that my favorite lens/es had shifted from primes to the 16-55 2.8. I decided to do a huge review of my work going back to the beginning of 2015. For this review, I looked at portraits, events, landscapes, family, and travel. As much as I like cemetery and urban exploring, I have never been with the 16-55.

    Not surprisingly, the results showed that my best work has been with the 16-55/50-140 pair. Not just on the X-Pro2, but on the X-T1 as well. Where I was surprised some, was in the primes. My best work with primes was done with the 16mm 1.4, 56mm 1.2, and 90mm f2. Followed closely by the 35mm 1.4, then the 23mm 1.4. Now, I know what you're thinking. Those are some of the best primes out there. Having just owned and love the Fuji f2 trilogy. I thought that I had done my best prime work with the Fujicrons. But the comparisons showed otherwise. That is not to say that the Fujicrons are not very capable lenses.

    I also saw that my work with the X-T1 was very close to, sometimes equal to, my work with the X-Pro2. Which is another case of love over what is the better tool for working. But I am using the Fuji hand grip and Lensmate thumb grip to try to make the Pro2 a better working camera.

    This is why I do the reviews. Even when I don't listen to the reviews because it contradicts with my love for a certain lens/es. Like the Fujicrons. Or times when the 16mm 1.4 when it wasn't the best for what I was doing at the time. As much fun as it was to sell or trade and constantly work with different gear. My beginnings of old age is setting in. I want to settle on my gear and get off of the gear whore roller coaster.

    I recommend doing this once in a while. The results can be quite interesting. Especially if you compare your photos going back a few years.
     
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  2. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    Self-examination is what separates the good from the great. I see it in all lines of work, and obviously it goes over to hobbies, as well. I often get bogged down in the moment and trying to find a way ahead. But I think it might be more useful to look back a little more often and analyze what I have already done and think about how (and why) I would do it differently.

    Thanks for making me think.
     
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  3. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    I've gone through this process. Here's what I've sold in the last couple of weeks:

    Fuji Gear
    X-T1
    X-E3
    16mm F1.4
    27mm F 2.8
    35mm F1.4
    35mm F2
    Fuji M Mount Adapter

    M43
    E-P5
    Lumix 14mm F2.5
    Olympus 12mm F2
    Olympus 17mm F1.8
    Lumix 20mm F1.4
    Panasonic "Leica" 25mm F1.5
    Olympus 45mm F1.8
    Olympus 75mm F1.8
    Olympus VF-4 Viewfinder

    I thought with some of that gear there would be a grieving process - not really. You might have as I did, a wonderful wide angled lens with astonishing results wide open. But what are you going to do with it, take pictures of a flower petal wide open and post them on a forum? Nah, if you're not using it beyond that, sell it.

    Even if its old, camera gear has value, I just didn't realise it.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  4. My biggest problem is in accepting (needing to accept) that when I sell my gear, I am not going to get anywhere near the monetary value I might want to place on it. If I can get past that, I have a shedload that I need to send on to someone else.
     
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  5. dalto

    dalto Regular

    46
    Sep 25, 2018
    I have been doing the same thing. Selling everything I don't use anymore. Some of it as gear that I haven't used in a long time but was attached to because I have had it so long. It is all either going or gone now.

    They haven't even been shipping a week. You already sold it? :eek: 
     
  6. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    Haha good spot, no I meant X-E3. On the mobile phone atm so better change that when I get home to the computer tonight
     
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  7. Tim Williams

    Tim Williams Top Veteran

    869
    May 31, 2017
    Central Florida
    Timothy Williams
    I should keep my bag just like it started. 16 1.4, 18-55, 55-200, Done. I could probably leave off the 55-200. I almost never shoot that range, but it's nice to have in there.
     
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  8. This is inspiring. I started a review today.

    For those who have zoom lenses and/or use different sensor sizes, I recommend this "Data Explorer" plugin for Lightroom.

    Jeffrey's "Data Explorer" Lightroom Plugin

    The "Explore: Focal Length 35mm Equiv" setting is very helpful.

    What I confirmed in my review is that I'm predominantly a 28mm equivalent guy. My iPhone 7 gets plenty of use, but I really should take the Coolpix A out more often.

    Another thing I learned: I tend to fret about not having enough telephoto range, but my "best of" folders hold very few images of 80mm equivalent or greater. In the photos I like, 35-50mm is more common than 80mm plus. This means I can save money and weight by taking long zoom lenses off of my wish list.
     
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  9. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Steve
    My version of purging is essentially, “Gee I want one of those. What can I sell . . .?”
     
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  10. Archiver

    Archiver Top Veteran

    740
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    I've never purged my gear, although I've given older cameras to family. But almost all of the gear I've bought in the last ten years is still mine. Selling anything would mean not having gear I can still use, and I'd only get a paltry amount for giving it up. I still have my Fuji F30 from 2007 and Fuji X10 from 2012, and they are worth very little now.

    When I shoot with primes, my best work comes from 50mm, then wides like 24 or 25, and 28. I don't use longer focal lengths or zooms for personal work, although I use 85mm and 70-200mm all the time for paid work. I'm happiest with either a couple of primes like 28 and 50, or a short zoom like a 24-70, and even when shooting with the zoom, I find myself using 50mm a lot.
     
  11. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    You should do what I did this afternoon on Gumtree:

    "Canon Powershot S95 - probably your cheapest route to a CCD sensor camera (ISO 80!)"
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2018
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  12. Mike G

    Mike G All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    West London
    Mike Gorman
    Sue, I know the feeling,isn’t it always the same when that buy now button is pressed we give very little thought to the resale value. The eyes are bewitched by the sparkly new gadget in our hands, I’m afraid that there are bullets to be bitten when selling or PXing a bit of photo gear! I know to my cost that I bought a Fujinon 16-55mm 2.8, because I absolutely had to have and actually needed this lens, of course far from the truth. :hide:
    So Sue gird your loins and bite a few bullets, good luck young lady. :2thumbs:
     
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  13. Wooohooo! Nobody has called me young lady for 50 years, thanks Mike!

    And yes, I know I need to bite bullets. Then I look at my Pentaxes and wonder...
     
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  14. rayvonn

    rayvonn All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2015
    Nikkor 20mm F1.8G. An amazing thing, never seen a lens do sunstars like that. But I own it because it's a wonderful lens and use it for that reason not because I have an instinctive urge to use it. So that's going on sale too now.
     
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  15. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    I fight this battle with myself non stop. I’m having the debate with in my head right now over the pros and cons of the 50-140 vs the 90. When the reality is, my findings are similar to yours. The majority of my best work, say 80%, is done in the 16-56mm range. Which is another reason I have the 16-55. It would make more sense, if I do add another lens, to get a 56mm 1.2. For when I want fully blurred out backgrounds.

    The but, and you knew one was coming. Is that other 20% of my work in my best of. Shot 95% with the 50-140 is really good work. Photos I could not have taken without the 50-140. Photos I wouldn’t want to live without.

    Another piece of the equation in my internal debate. Is since I have those photos in the 20%, do I need the 50-140? Or can I move forward having the shots I’ve already taken and stay in the 16-55 range from here on.
     
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  16. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    the 56mm is so sharp and sensors are now so packed with pixels, that one could easily crop to 140....and unless one is a pixel peeper, no one would know the difference.

    + you would have super creamy backgrounds ;) 

    Or just buy the 90mm + the 50-140 and stop beating yourself up over it. :daz:
     
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  17. Mike G

    Mike G All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Oct 7, 2016
    West London
    Mike Gorman
    Me too although its Fujifilm stuff for me, nearly there, but still some umming & aghing to do. :coffee-79:
    If you are under 72 then you definitely a young lady, as my years clock up I’m running out of older ladies, glad it made you feel good. :2thumbs:
     
  18. Bobby Tingle

    Bobby Tingle Super Moderator Moderators Team

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Fighting with myself is all I can afford. Which is the real reason I don’t have either.
     
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  19. Covey22

    Covey22 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 3, 2012
    If I had to live with two lenses in XF land, it would probably be the 18/2 and the 56/1.2. 90 was beautiful but deadly slow at times even with the quad motors. I'm still tempted by the 16/1.4, but I've slotted it as my next excess tax refund objective, which probably means another five years of waiting. :D 
     
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  20. "What equipment will, or won't, improve my best work."
    This is an important question and one that a review will answer.

    Two other reasons to buy equipment are:

    Experimentation: "Will this equipment possibly push the boundaries of the type of work I do?" After discovering fisheye lenses two years ago, I find I haven't taken any fisheye photos this year. No regrets; I bought inexpensive lenses and learned a lot.

    Fun, Nostalgia: That camera you wanted but couldn't afford 10 years ago is probably affordable now. Curious about long zoom? Pick up a Fuji S1 superzoom for less money than renting a "good" zoom lens for a week. Sometimes just playing around can lead to insight and inspiration.
     
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