A change in approach to my photography

01/04/2015 - 13:59

Like many of us I started out my photography with a single DSLR body and a few lenses and found that as I developed as a photographer I extended my kit by adding new lenses for specific purposes and eventually a second camera body to give me access to the benefits of full frame.


My interests ranged from detailed macro work through landscape, flower photography, water and motor sport until I was essentially shooting anything and everything with the exception of street and weddings.


By now my bag was stuffed with a large weight of expensive canon L lenses, a surfeit of batteries, battery grips etc until one fateful holiday when I took a fair proportion of my kit with me in an over-loaded back-pack. The result was that whilst I got some satisfying shots I spent the following month or so crippled with joint problems and realised that I was no longer physically capable of carting about so much gear.


Worse yet, I was finding that I could no longer spend a day shooting my beloved Birds in Flight, even just using one of my longer lenses on the  canon 7D without suffering physical problems - it was clearly time for a change


I evaluated the new EM-5 when it first came out and decided that this was a possible suitable compromise between weight, cost and image quality, so slowly started to build up a system based upon it, selling my canon gear to fund the costs


All seemed to be going well but old habits die hard and I realised that I was beginning to suffer the same joint problems again and when I looked at all the kit I had amassed I found I had simply replicated the same mistakes I had with the heavier canon kit - two bodies, a mass of different lenses, each with a specific purpose but in total ending being too much to cart around.


This had to stop!


I sat down and worked out that I really needed three things:


- a long focal distance system with rapid and accurate focus but still light enough to hand-hold all day for my birding, natural history, motor and water sport use, for which I now use the Nikon 1 V2 + 70-300cx (this has also proved remarkably competent at shooting my bees in flight and other bugs, bees and butterfly type subjects)


- A dedcated macro system for the aforementioned bugs, bees and butterflies + flowers and other detailed close up photography. the new Olympus EM-5mk2 + 60mm macro lens is the tool for this


- a "walk-about" system for holiday and excursion use whcih will also work for studio and video use. This was more difficult to choose but I ended up with the Panasonic fz1000 which has proved very effecive acorss a range of subjects and is meeting my needs for images capable of being printed for sale, up to and including A3+ fine art prints + box-framed canvases to 30"x20"


Doing this I now have three different tools for three different jobs, much lighter cameras and to my surpise, some money left over from all the trade-ins of my various bits of Olympus and remaining Canon equipment


So far its proved the right decision - only time will tell if I have broken the bad habits of the past :)







Tord S Eriksson
27/09/2015 - 18:35
Roughly the same route the wife and I have taken, for similar reasons:

She now mainly uses her V2 with the 70-300CX, and her E-M5 (or the 10) with the 60 macro.

I have a D600 (seldom used), with a few primes, and a Tamron 70-300CX, and a V1 & a V2.

The V2 is used with my own 70-300CX, the V1 with my 7.9/2.0, or the Micro-Nikkor 40 (which actually works great on the D600 as well!

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