2255 – The Last Time

I’ve announced to my friends that Monday’s purchase of the 17/1.8 was the last time that I would buy a lens. Of course everybody laughed and the bets are out on how many weeks it will take.

If like me you follow Mike “The Online Photographer” Johnston, you may have read his recent post “The Geeky Tweaker Conundrum“, and like me you may now think of it.

Am I a Geeky Tweaker? At the moment I certainly feel a sense of completion. My new system is done. It may not be perfect on the long end, but I don’t want to shell out big money for the 35-100/2.8, there’d be too much overlap, and seemingly Olympus sees no need for the rumored 40-150/2.8, thus the cheap 40-150/4.0-5.6 will have to do for a while. I may buy a manual focus Nikon 180/2.8 AI-S as my long prime, but I certainly wouldn’t carry it around every day.

Flo’s comment today made me sum up the weight of my current equipment. At the moment I am at pretty exactly 2 kg for 1 camera, 8 lenses and a camera grip. Add to that two batteries, the bag (676 g), a battery loader and the macro light arm. I suppose this will add up to around 3 kg. Yes, that’s already much again, but compared to DSLR standards it is fantastically lightweight, especially considering that I cover focal lengths between 14 mm and 300 mm, and between 24 mm and 150 mm I have a set of six fast primes.

It’s what I try at the moment. I can always slim it down, just as I did with the DSLR. I still have all the intermediate bags, thus I can always select a subset for a given purpose. In that sense, 3 kg is the worst case. How about 1.3 kg for camera, grip, two batteries and four fast primes? Or 800 g for camera, grip, two batteries and a single fast prime? Basically the advantage gets bigger the more lenses you add, but there is an upper limit for what makes sense to carry, even if it’s composed of only light parts. Where exactly that limit is, I still do not know. It may be all that I have now, it may be less, it may depend on the purpose.

What I know for sure is, that 3 kg is the absolute maximum that I am willing to carry. It is eased by the fact that I always hold the camera with grip and one lens in my hand, or if I don’t use it at the moment, I still have it dangling from a wrist strap. That’s how I walk around. The effective weight on my shoulder is thus more like 2.2-2.4 kg. Still, that’s it. I won’t go back to DSLRs and their heavy lenses.

Going smaller does not make sense to me either. Currently there are only two mirrorless systems that are smaller and lighter. One is Nikon’s System 1, the other is the Pentax Q. Both have smaller sensors with worse (Nikon) or much worse (Pentax) image quality, both can’t compete on the lens front at all. Really, it seems like I have arrived at my sweet spot.

I could invest in fast Panasonic zooms. Why not? They are expensive, but my experience with the 7-14 has shown me that I like the build and the quality. But then, why? The zooms are of fine quality, still, the primes that I already have are better. I just have no need for zooms. I had that on the Nikon and I don’t miss it.

I could invest in fastest Voigtländer primes, but they are manual focus, and although they are faster, they are not better, and due to the OM-D’s excellent sensor stabilization I don’t need lenses to be that fast, at least not when it’s such a heavy compromise.

Funny, huh? This could really have been the last time. Sure, it’s unlikely, but it could. I never had that before 🙂

The Song of the Day is “The Last Time” by the Rolling Stones. I chose it although I weirdly enough don’t own it. This is against my self-imposed rule, but this time I make an exception. After all, I’ve known it by heart for maybe 35 years. Even though I don’t own it, it certainly feels as if 😀

Hear it on YouTube.

5 thoughts on “2255 – The Last Time”

  1. Andreas: I’m going to have to throw-in with your friends and take a guess as to how many weeks or months it will take for you to be expecting delivery of your next ‘baby’! 😀

    As for how much weight is too much to carry, all that I know is that that number seems to change with age, for sure. Past a certain point, as the age gets higher, the number gets lower. Believe that! Yet, even though I’ve crossed that threshold, I’m still clutching onto my DSLRs, heavy though they may be, especially if you get very good, fast lenses – the weight starts to pile on pretty quickly!

  2. >>>It is eased by the fact that I always hold the camera with grip and one lens in my hand, or if I don’t use it at the moment, I still have it dangling from a wrist strap.

    Interesting read. I just got an OM D and love the image quality I am getting with the 20mm 1.7 Lumix. I also have the 12-50 kit zoom but have not used it much yet as it adds quite a bit to the size of the camera. I am tempted by the Panasonic 12-35mm/F2.8 which is shorter but probably heaver. But maybe a mid prime would be a better choice.

    At any rate I see that you use a wrist strap… I have been contemplating that as the shoulder strap adds some bulk and is not really needed if you have a small shoulder bag. What strap do you use? The straps intended for point-and-shoots seem a bit small but the OP/TECH I used on my DSLR seems too big.

    I like the shot with this post. Nice work as usual.

    John

  3. I sympathize with you when it comes to the weight of camera equipment. I recently upgraded to a Canon EOS 5D Mark III, and I got a 24–105mm lens to replace the lighter-weight 17-40mm lens I’d been using on all my APS-C cameras. My camera bag is now just heavy enough that it’s started making my shoulders and back hurt. I can’t say I like the price of “progress” in this case.

    1. Well, I don’t say that a 35 mm frame does not have its uses. It does, and it is not possible to get the exactly same thing in m4/3, but then, so does medium format, and it is not possible to get the exactly same thing in 35 mm. Everything is a compromise. I’m already at the same weight as you with your zoom, but I already was in the position to own a DSLR (albeit APS-C) and I know I won’t stop at one zoom. Not at two and not at three. With m4/3 I am hedging against my own habits 🙂

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