As well as working throughout the week, I run a market stall which is now going well and has let me indulge in some “new” gear for my passion of photography, a luxury I haven’t been able to do much previously.
Now, when I say “new”, I mean it’s new for me, but most of my gear aside from the OM-1 is second-hand – acquired for usually less than half the price of brand new! I regularly keep an eye on eBay, Facebook and an Australian trading site called Gumtree for little used, good condition bargains to add to my kit.
Recently I picked up a 70-300mm (140-600mm full frame equivalent) telephoto zoom lens which I hadn’t even been considering – with another Olympus camera – a lovely little silver EM10 Mark II! They popped up as a bundle on Gummy from a local seller who was off overseas and offloading at a great price. After some research I made an offer and patiently waited. We reached an agreement, met in person, deal done, both left happy.
The 70-300 is fitted to the OM-1 in these photos, while the Pen-F sports my 14-150. Though not “PRO” lenses they offer great image quality so long as there is reasonable light and provides a huge zoom range.
The EM1ii is shown here with the 12-40 F2.8 PRO and the EM5ii sports the little Laowa 7.5mm f2.0 wide angle lens. My 60mm f2.8 macro is not shown, rounding out my current kit. They do make for a lovely collection!
Last night I listed the EM10ii for sale on Gummy, along with my EM1ii which now has 13200 shutter releases. I put them each at a reasonable price but am in no hurry to sell and as mentioned previously, might convert the EM10ii to full spectrum for infra-red photography.
Below are my two keepers – the OM-1 and Pen-F, a lovely pair.
I recently bought this used LowPro 10L backpack below off Gummy too, a little heavier than my old backpack but sturdier and smaller, it fits my kit nicely. Depending on the shoot, I can swap out the Laowa for a flash and torch.
I challenge anyone shooting Full Frame to fit two bodies and five lenses covering 15-600mm in a 10 litre backpack – and have it all weigh around 3.5kg!
My second-hand Manfrotto Be-Free tripod straps to the side and there’s enough room for some water and food on the other side. I can also strap a jacket to the back. With tripod the full bag is about 5kg.
I considered a lighter tripod but after hunting, even if I went carbon, there’s nothing much lighter or as versatile as the Be-free without spending big dollars! Even the BEST one I’ve found – the Peak Design Carbon Travel tripod would save me less than 300g – and cost me $650!!! Simply not worth it.
The EM10ii and 70-300 lens also came with the blue LowPro bag below – the OM1 and big zoom fit perfectly, and I picked up the bottom bag for $10 from the local tip shop which fits the Pen-F and 14-150. These are great for travelling light, on a quick walk with the dog or taking to work.
I’ve reached a point now where I’m really happy with my kit, I finally want for nothing. Sure there’s better lenses, but they are also heavier and expensive, these suit my shooting style and most needs. I may add maybe one or two big aperture small primes for low light if the price is right down the track, but I feel like I’m set now for quite some time. Hopefully more than enough time to sell some camera’s and save for a new OM Pen-F? (rumour rumour – you heard it here first! ).
I probably come across as an Olympus / OM-System fanboy, perhaps that is now true! I like the idea of and considered Sony Full Frame, but aside from size and weight, it doesn’t have some features that I use on the Oly. The only other brand that temps me currently is Fuji, if I had deep pockets of cash, I would complement my setup with Fuji medium format – but it’s massively big and heavy! I don’t want that or need it for most of my shooting. Micro four thirds simply fits the bill for me.
Thanks for reading along! If you have one, tell me what your next photography gear want or need is – or what’s the favourite item in your kit, maybe it’s something I haven’t thought of ;P
Now, back to taking photos …