Choosing Gear

In GEAR by David64 Comments

It seems every photographer has a gear list on their blog. Some do it to show how pro they are. Some to show off. Some, like me, because they ran out of ideas to blog about. But no one seems to talk much about why they choose their gear and that seems to be the more important question. There are so many great cameras out there, by all brands. The question “Is it good enough?” is almost irrelevant now. Below is a list of the gear I’m currently using, but that’s less important than understanding why I have chosen what I have.

I want cameras that are light, take a good beating, and produce great images. I like the weather-sealing of the Fuji XT bodies and their flip out screen. The in-camera live histograms are almost essential to me now and allow are to work much faster. I can use the Fujis, most of the time, faster than any camera I’ve ever used. I use them on full-blown assignment work in terrible conditions and they perform wonderfully. And I can put a bag with 3 bodies and 5 lenses into my Think Tank Airport Essentials (this is my Go-There bag) and almost always remain under the strictest carry-on limits.

My criteria for cameras, and the questions you might want to ask yourself, are these:

  • Do I like the look of the images?
  • Are the image files large enough for me? Too small? Too large?
  • Do I like how it handles and feels?
  • Can I carry it? All day?
  • Can it keep up with the work I do? This might mean speed of focus, it might mean insane high-ISO performance. I don’t need those, but I do need it to be rugged.
  • Does it give me access to the lenses I need?
  • Can I afford two of them? I usually work with 2 bodies, which makes it easy not to change lenses and gives me a back-up should a body fail, though that has yet to happen to me.

The questions I ask myself when choosing a lens are these:

  • Is this a focal length I need, and for what?
  • Given the intended use, does it need to be fast (f/2.8 rather than f/5.6)?
  • Given the intended use does it need to be light?
  • Does it need to be weather-sealed?
  • Is it a good lens? You will define this for yourself, I just want to know if it generally gets solid reviews. Edge-to-edge sharpness isn’t something I fuss about.
  • Can I afford it?

Notice how the questions are all about how the gear relates to you and your needs, and none of them are about brand? This is a personal decision. No pro can help you with this. Know your needs. (If you don’t know your needs then it’s likely that any camera will work for you. Use something, anything, until you do know your needs.) Go to the store and hold the camera. Play with it. And in the end know that no matter what camera you buy it will have limitations and if you’re smart you’ll do what creative people always do: you’ll leverage those constraints, stop bitching about your gear, and go make something amazing.

If we spent more time analyzing our photographs as we did analyzing gear we’d make much better photographs no matter what that gear is.

Remember, please, that we are working with gear now that is so far beyond what past masters of this craft ever imagined and most of us have yet to touch the depth and humanity of that work. The real tools of our craft are not the camera and lens: they are mood and composition and the visual language of the photograph. Spend more time learning those and no matter what camera you use, you’ll make compelling photographs. (Read this post: The Photographer’s Tools)

This is the gear I use on a daily basis when I’m actually photographing, bearing in mind that things change a little as new technology emerges. Where I could I linked to the product on Amazon.

Travelling Gear


Fuji X-T1 bodies
Fuji X-T2 bodies
Fuji X-Pro2 body

The X-T2 is my current camera of choice, with X-T1 or X-Pro2 bodies as backups. When my second and third X-T2 bodies arrive (back-order issues right now) that’s what I’ll use full time and I’ll pass my older gear on. The X-T1 bodies are great but the changes in the X-T2 are worth the upgrade to me: the dual card slots, larger 24mp sensor which is my personal sweet spot for sensor size), and improved ergonomics make a difference to me. I’ve been asked, Why not Sony? I just don’t like the feel of the Sony. I prefer the aperture dial on the Fuji lenses, the ergonomics are much more old-school and analogue-feeling to me. As for full-frame, that’s no longer an issue for me. It just doesn’t matter for the kind of work I now do.

Fujinon 10-24mm – Found on my camera most of the time.
Leica 21mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar-M
Fujinon 18-55mm – This is the least sexy lens I own but it’s light and sharp and I adore it. It’s a great all-around travel lens.
Fujinon 56mm – Beautiful portrait lens. There are two versions of this lens, I prefer the cheaper one.
Fujinon 55-200mm – I don’t always use it but it almost always comes with me now. A lot of reach in a small package.
Fujinon 100-400mm (safari and wildlife trips only)
Fujinon 1.4x, and 2x convertors (safari and wildlife trips only)

I almost always use two bags. One is my Go-There Bag, used to get my gear there but not usually great to work out of. I use the Think Tank Airport Essentials. The other is my While-There Bag: Usually a leather satchel or my Filson 24-Hour Tin Briefcase. Light, no padding, looks like a normal bag and is way more comfortable than a camera bag. If it’s the leather satchel, I just pack it flat in my suitcase, it’s pretty light. If it’s my Filson bag I use that as my other carry on, and move things around once I get to where I’m going.

Other Stuff

I carry 2 Think Tank SD Pixel Pocket Rockets filled with 64 and 128GB SD cards, a mix of Lexar and SanDisk. These are the ones I use now – right now 2 of them for $65 – that’s a lot of memory! I don’t worry too much about cards failing. It has yet to happen and I’m comfortable with 64 or 128GB. The labels on the cards face out when they’re formatted and ready to use, they face in when they’re used and need to be downloaded.

I also carry 2-3 Think Thank DSLR Battery Holders – they’re a little big for the Fuji batteries, but they work and I like to stay organized. The battery contacts face down when they’re charged and ready, and face up when they’re spent.

I don’t travel with a tripod much these days, but when I do it’s with the Gitzo Ocean Traveler – this tripod is discontinued now, probably because it was so silly-expensive, but this size, weight is a good compromise for me, especially with the smaller mirrorless cameras.

Underwater Gear

Nikon D800 bodies – If I were doing it now it would be D810 bodies – they have much larger buffers!

Sigma 15mm Fisheye
Nikon 16-35mm
Nikon 105mm Macro

Nauticam Housing
Nauticam Dome Port (acrylic)
Zen Dome Port (glass)

2x Sea & Sea YS-250Pro Strobes (These are now discontinued but they’re powerful and fast!)

My underwater gear goes in a ThinkTank Photo Logistics Manager. It’s huge.

Underwater photography has been a massive learning curve for me but such an intense joy and challenge. When I first started I wanted to make my Fuji system work but for a bunch of reasons it just didn’t. The housings weren’t up to the task and the lens selection wasn’t what I wanted at the time. It was a compromise. And really, no matter what gear I chose, to do it right was going to require a ton of it, so going light wasn’t really an option no matter what I did. If you want to go underwater with your cameras my suggestion is to find a dive photographer (huge thanks to Jason Bradley for doing this for me) who is willing to show you the whole kit from start to finish – how to take care of O rings, how to seal housings, teach you what you need to know about strobe choice and placement – books are good but hands-on is better. Barring that, go to a shop that specializes in dive photography and learn as much as you can. Look at Reef Photo as a starting place.


For the Love of the Photograph,

PS – Want more like this? I send these articles out every two weeks to photographers around the world who want to improve their craft and explore their creativity and I’d love to include you. Tell me where to send it and I’ll send you a copy of my best-selling eBook Make Better Photographs, as well bi-weekly articles, first-glimpse monographs of my new work, and very occasional news of resources to help you keep moving forward in this craft we love.

“Each and every one of your emails inspire and motivate me to want to jump right out of my chair away from my computer and shoot for the love of it . Thank you David.” – Millie Brown


  1. Hi David, do you use any filters, i.e polarizing or UV as standard or do you generally not bother?

    1. Author

      Hi Jason – I generally don’t bother. Certainly I no longer us UV filters for lens protection, but still use a circular polarizer once in a while when the scene calls for it.

  2. Great post David. I like your attention to finding the camera that works for what you want to do, rather than the usual brand allegiance. I have been using Canon since moving to digital about 10 years ago, but mostly because my mentor used Canon and I wanted to be able to work closely and share lenses with her. But, I travel extensively for work, mostly in the developing world, and am struggling to pack a 5d plus lenses, so really enjoyed your description of the Fuji system and those advantages it provides.

  3. Gear is really tough topic. Since about one year I am struggling with my next camera buying decision 😉 I am into photography and into filmmaking and there is no camera combining all the features I love and which is compact at the same time. I guess at the end of the day you always have to prioritize what you really need and what is only nice to have.

  4. Hi David,

    Great article! I noticed in your list of lenses you’ve included the Leica 21mm Super Elmar M which is kind of the “odd duck” amongst all your Fuji Lenses. I also use Fuji X cameras and in addition to my Fuji lenses I use a Voightlander Color Skopar 21 mm M lens for it’s excellent zone focusing capabilities and I ocasionally use an old Leica Elmar 50mm f/3.5 collapsible lens (the original interchangeable lens from the 1930s) because it seems to have “magical” properties when it come to B&W tonal renderings, it gives me an image quality unlike anything I get from my Fuji Lenses. I was wondering about your reason(s) for using the Leica 21mm Super Elmar.

    1. Author

      Hey Lance – Honestly it’s simpler than it should be: I shot with a Leica M(240) for a couple years and that 21mm was my favourite and for a while I just couldn’t bear to part with it. So I kept it and used it with my Fuji but I think I’ve got myself to the point of parting with it and moving on. Beautiful lens. If the Fuji were full-frame and allowed that 21mm to remain uncropped I’d never let it go!

      1. Hey David, Why don’t you keep it? I took a look at it on Amazon and it would be equally as good a lens for zone focusing as the Color Skopar lens I use. The Fuji lenses aren’t really very well designed for that particular technique, and if you really like it you may find you’ll miss it if you let it go . . . just a thought 🙂

  5. Haha. My photography was starting to become stale so I did two things. I bought this book called The Soul of the Camera by this David bloke and started reading it and thinking about what it said. I also made the decision to sell my Canon bought a Fujifilm X-T2 and a 10-24mm lens as, well I just loved the look, feel and the reviews. Have decided to purchase mainly prime lenses for the rest of the focal lengths so was online checking out opinions and came across this post.

    Just thought that I would take the opportunity to say thank you David for sharing your wisdom and knowledge through your books and websites. Hope you continue to get great pleasure out of your photography and continue to share the love. Just know that you are also encouraging and inspiring people down here in Australia as well.

  6. Hey David – great post – I just went back to reference it after getting an X-T2 today as they just came into BH again! long wait!

    BUT – I didnt get the lens yet as I’m going back and forth (still using my Nikon D810 – love the 14-24 and the 28-300 for landscape, travel and architecture and also night-astro photo when out in the wilderness.) I wanted to try the XT2 seeing so many landscape guys using it now – and for true backcountry remote hiking (the D810 rig is heavy!) Im planning a trip to Greece later this year and know I will need wide for the architecture – but worried about missing out on the zoom side sometimes.

    Would you recommend I start off with the 10-24 fuji if I tend to shoot a lot of Architecture, Mountains, Landscape? (less so portraits right now)
    I really enjoy your city-travel work but Im still getting used to “street” photography with my X100T… learned a lot from Valerie Jardin! Im not sure 18-55 is wide or zoom enough for me (i tend to go wide for epic or zoomed 100+ for details).

    i know you teach us not to focus too much on gear questions but thought Id ask a simple one!!

    thanks much – Tom in SOCal

    1. Author

      Hi Tom – Sorry for the delay in replying, I just got off the boat. The reason I’m nervous with gear recommendations is this: even though we might shoot the same subject matter, how we shoot it, how we like to interpret that subject might be different. I adore my 10-24mm. If you tend to like the lines and angle of view that an ultra-wide lens gives you then this is the one. If you’re asking if it’s wide and sharp and if I use it more than most of my other lenses combined, the answer is yes, but only you know if you like shooting this wide. It’s a compromise for most people, of you’ll just have to get 2 lenses if you also need something longer. Enjoy the X-T2, it’s a lovely piece of kit.

  7. I also have a Flison Bag, how do you make sure that the camera is secure and safe, when inside the bag? Given that the bag has no padding, thanks.

    1. Author

      Hi Stephen – Honestly, you might not like the answer. My camera gets put inside a Buff – a fabric sleeve designed to be worn around the neck – and then tossed into my bag. My lenses too. And when I’m out working, they just kind of float around in there. The real question is “safe and secure from what?” What are you doing that makes you worry about the safety of your gear while you’re walking around? I usually have 2 bodies, each with one lens. One is on my shoulder, the other in the bag. But if it rains, I toss both in the bag. There’s not much in there to damage anything so padding just seems unnecessary, same with dividers. Hope this helps in some way, sorry it’s not more interesting. 🙂

    2. A Tenba BYOB 9 and 10 both fit inside they bag. I have the same Filson bag (which I also love for the lost part). The 9 leaves a lot more room. But even with the ten inside I can still fit a soda can’s width more on the side of the BYOB 10. The bag becomes rigidly shaped with these inserts inside though. It won’t drape softly on your body.

  8. I’ve used Nikon since 1969 but recently sold my D800 and all my Nikkor lenses to move to Fuji. I love the way the xt-2 feels and how much fun it is to use. It is also half the weight of the D800 for travel and everyday shooting. Just got back from a Death Valley workshop with a Guy Tal and was surprised to see that he also switched from Nikon to Fuji.

    1. Author

      Hi Herve – I honestly don’t know about the adaptors. I have one for the Leica M lenses. A quick search on Google for your particular lenses would probably be much more helpful than I can be. Sorry. 🙁

  9. Sheldon – I always get a little nervous answering questions like this because I’m just not the guy to do so. I have only moderate expectations of a lens, and honestly I’ve yet to find a lens that didn’t meet those expectations. Some people really geek out on sharpness, I never had. Once in a while I get a lens that really impresses me with how sharp it is – my Fujinon 40-150/2.8 does that, as does a Leica 21mm I love – but my images are never carried by their sharpness. You say you are a snob for sharpness, and that’s fine, it’s just not my way so I doubt I’m the guy to answer this. On top of that, and more pragmatically, I haven’t used the 18-135 from Fuji so I can’t speak to the sharpness. I think the product reviews on B&H might serve you well for this, though. As for the teleconvertors, to be honest the jury is out on these still. I had pretty inconsistent results with the 2x on my 100-400 last month in Kenya and didn’t get a chance to try the 1.4x the way I had hoped. I wasn’t thrilled with the 2x, to be perfectly honest, though that kind of reach isn’t something I’ve ever needed, so it’s no great loss to me. Still, I’d have loved something a little sharper and that’s saying something coming from me.

  10. Background: David, Seth Resnick recommended your books. I just bought, “The Visual Toolbox (which is AWESOME) and “Within the Frame” (which I am about to start reading). Anyone reading this- I am a very good (not-yet-professional photographer). I shoot mostly full-frame Nikon (D750). And what I have learned reading the Visual Toolbox will definitely raise my photography two levels!

    I just bought the Fuji XE2s. I finally decided to go mirrorless to decrease the weight I carry when traveling. I planned to buy one lens, the Fuji 18-135, to minimize the total weight. I am a snob for sharpness. How good is this lens? OR, do you think if I want to go somewhat wide to pleasant telephoto reach (I am not talking safari here) that I will need to buy two lenses, and if so, which two would you recommend? With Nikon I almost always buy professional 2.8 lenses (or faster); and I will tell you I was not satisfied with Nikon’s 18-200 that many people said was a good “walk-around” lens.

    1) Would I be satisfied with the sharpens and quality of the Fuji 18-135?
    2) Do you think I will need to buy at least to lenses to satisfy the range of 18-135 and, if so, which two lenses would you suggest?
    3) Having read your “gear” article, how good are the Fuji 1.4x and 2x convertors in terms of quality? On Nikon I have been satisfied using the 1.4X and the 1.7x on the 70-200 2.8 VR II lens.

    Of course you cannot predict what will satisfy me, or any one individual. But as someone who values sharpness and speed in a lens, I am sure you understand what I hope to achieve with my lens (or two lens) purchase. Keeping in mind that the whole reason I initially thought to simply buy the 18-135 Fuji lens is that I thought I might get away with one lens for travel and no needs to keep changing lenses.

    Thank you!

  11. Hi David, thank you for the article. It reminded me quite a bit of your intro in The Visual Toolbox book. Dont mean to go against the grain of that, but since this is a gear related article, how are you using your 21mm super elmar? Do you still carry an M body or are you using an adaptor to us it on the Fuji bodies? If so, how do you like the results? Thank you!

    1. Author

      Hi Josh – Sorry for the long delay in replying – I never saw this. Yes, right now the 21mm is on a adaptor for use on the Fuji. The results are wonderful – just like you’d expect from such beautiful glass. I no longer have an M-body, though not a day goes by I don’t think about how much I love those cameras. These days the Fuji just works better for me.

  12. Dear David, I am a great admirer (not unique, I would say!).

    In your See the World book you note that your travel gear is based on pro DSLR’s and heavy lenses. Now it seems, you moved onto mirrorless…? Which?


    1. Author

      Hi Julian – In See The World I discuss several set-ups. Yes, currently I use mirrorless gear – it’s lighter and I don’t miss anything about the heavier DSLR gear, though I still use my Nikons for underwater work. If you read STW again I think you’ll see my focus is on going light with the least amount of gear you need in order to get the job done.

  13. Nice post David! Thank you for sharing what gear you are using! And yes I’d like also to stress out how happy I am that you’ve come up to different questions that mostly readers, like me would want to ask too. Well, in your case all your criteria s are on point! Though there’s also many out there who were brand conscious but for me, I guess what really matters is how the gear has almost everything you need! All we have to do is be creative and diligent enough to take photos seriously! Thank you also for adding up an idea regarding your underwater photography!

  14. Hi Alex – I almost never use speed lights. Or any strobes. When I do I use a Nikon SB900 (I think) with radio triggers.

    1. Good to know. I will keep my Canon 600 and follow your advise. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

  15. Hi David,

    I am currently in the decision process of switching to the the XT-2 and I was wondering which speedlight do you use with yours ?

    Thank you,

  16. David,

    How is the X-T2 for long exposure photography? My D800e was perfect, my OMD-EM1 a disaster.

    1. Author

      I’m not the best person to answer this. I’ve done 30-second exposures quite happily but never at night.

  17. Author

    Hi Tom – I’ve used the 3rd party off-brand batteries and been very disappointed. Now I only use the Fuji batteries, which is a shame given the price difference but I just can’t rely on the cheaper ones.

  18. Hi David,
    Sorry a pure gear query here, just bought myself an XT2 so i can travel inconspicuously… do you use fuji proprietary batteries or cheap ebay third party batteries – or will you just keep you spares from the xt1? Im going to be travelling so i reckon i need another 2-3 as the battery life on the xt2 is its achilles heel…

    thanks for your time, i appreciate your intelligent content these days with so much clickbait on the web…


  19. Thanks, David. Clearly your gear sees its fair amount of use. My lens collection is not that far removed from yours, so I think I’ll just focus for the time being on matching them up with the new Fuji and hold off on any new acquisitions until I feel there’s a genuinely pressing need. Thanks for being so gracious with your experience to all of us.

  20. Thanks, Richard. All I can say is yes. At this point the lenses I have all seem to take a licking and show no signs of slowing down. The current WR lenses are the 16/1.4, 23/2, 35/2, 90/2, 16-55/2.8, 18-135/3.5-5.6, 50-140/2.8, and the 100-400/4.5-5.6 – so lots to choose from and so far every Fuji lens has been excellent. But I use the 10-24 all the time with no WR and I’ve had no issues. Maybe it’s a matter of time but I’ll take my chances.

  21. David:

    I love your work, and your words, and always look forward to these posts. I am curious, though, by your stated appreciation for the weather sealing of the Fuji XT bodies while only possessing a single weather-sealed lens, the 100-400. I have worked with the XE2 for some time and love it. But I like it wet and just acquired the XT2 because of its weather resistance and, of course, the hundred or so other reasons that make it so incredibly delightful. So, do you find those non-WR lenses sufficient enough to survive the dusty, windy, and wet environments in which you often find yourself? Or do you have any specific recommendations for great all-round Fuji WR lenses?

  22. Hey David,

    Interesting post as usual. Do the AK’s fit in your Think Tank airport essentials bag? 🙂

    Safe travels!


  23. Another great post David. I wanted to point out one other topic that seems to be an omission on every gear post: How does the equipment suit / please my subject (particularly for portrait photographers – animal or human subjects). Photography is a joint venture between subject and photographer, with a camera in between. Yet every gear post is “I”, “me”; focused on what works for the photographer. I think we as photographers could be more considerate in evaluating how our equipment impacts the connection we have with a given subject. Lynn Johnson, a regular National Geographic photographer, speaks about switching to her iPhone because her usual choice, a Hasselblad, felt too intrusive on a specific project.
    Just food for thought. Thanks for keeping it real, as always.

  24. Nice post David. As always, thanks for keeping it real.
    I’m seriously struggling at the moment, because as I started to transition to all Fuji and found that I LOVE the way I can shoot with it, I have hit a major workflow road block. If you had asked me in June, ‘You ever going back to Canon?’ – My answer would have been a resounding ‘H#ll No!’. But it’s not that simple it seems.
    For location, lifestyle & travel work, the Fuji obviously SLAYS!
    But as for studio and location commercial work, it could…if it could tether using Capture One.
    Alas, the XPro2 that I upgraded to from the X-T1 while abroad for three months, does not allow for it. 🙁
    So currently maintaining a full set of lenses for both Fuji and Canon has become a bit nonsensical, financially speaking (6-7 per camera system). They’re paid for, but one set sits collecting dust half the year as the other is used for commercial work and vice versa. It’s a real struggle, because other than 4K video and tethering that my Canon gear allows for, there is no reason to stay. Add to that the way I shoot with the Fuji is almost a totally different art than how I shoot with Canon, netting relatively subtle, but a different “shot feel” from each system.
    Words of wisdom?

    1. Author

      I wish I had something helpful for you, Rick. I don’t shoot tethered so I wasn’t aware of that restriction. Capture One 9.3 supports the X-T2, but does that not include tethering?

      1. Short answer, I don’t know. As I am shooting the XPro2 and it currently does not tether…at all…even with Lightroom…that is my current road block. It’s files are supported for sure with Capture one, but not necessarily via the camera capture window as it won’t attach when connected via usb.

        It’s a tough one for sure. Especially as I sit here with them both in my hands re-watching VIB #7.

        One line struck a chord and I’ll be repeating tomorrow it with my business manager (wife) as rationale for having both systems (with backups)… “Not everyone has the ability to own two systems of cameras…but if you’re a working professional and you’re sweating over this…”

        Since I have both, they are not causing a financial burden, should we just keep them both and not revert. I really enjoy working with them both for different reasons.

        Would you own a bulldozer instead of a Jeep just because ⅔ of your work is moving dirt? What about the other ⅓ of your business that is spent playing in it with the Jeep? Sure you can play in the mud with a bulldozer, but it’s not as enjoyable and that ⅓ of the business is done almost entirely because it’s enjoyable with that gear.

        I guess I just talked and walked my way around to the answer I want, I am just disappointed that Fuji doesn’t tether, because that solves the shooting match.

        In any case, thanks David for being candid and involved with your readership. Thanks for creating a space where we can talk and learn from each other.

        All the best my friend!

  25. It’s been nearly a year since my camera broke and I’ve had to use my old Canon T1i until I could afford to replace it. I was secretly glad I couldn’t afford to buy anything as I debated between another DSLR (D80 this time, as the 95% viewfinder in the Rebels was getting on my last nerve!) vs going really small with a superzoom like the Canon Gx3 (my only chance to ever have a zoom range to 600mm!), as I simply could not afford to make a mistake! Fortunately, Canon stepped in at the last minute and announced the new mirrorless M5 body, which by all accounts, is a D80 in a smaller package with added AF features. It’s not available till late November, but I’m very excited at the possibility of having a real camera again!! Though perhaps I should take a look at those Fujis, first…. 😉

  26. Its interesting to read your views on equipment. Everyone has their likes and dislikes, I have been a Nikon man since I first picked up a camera 40 years ago. I currently have a D4s and a D810 and am to upgrade my D4s to a D5 tomorrow. Recently I have been travelling a great deal and have found my 14-24, 24-70 and 70-200 lenses too heavy, they are great workhorses but just to bulky and heavy so I have reverted back to fixed locus primes and halved my load. In addition the lenses are faster and often sharper, and cheaper ! I now have a 24 1.8, a 50 1.4, an 85 1.4 , a 180 2.8 and a 300 f4 pf plus a 1,4 converter. The 24 and 50 are small enough for my pocket and the 85 and 180 stay on my cameras. Yes its a pain at times having to change lenses but its often easy to just move your feet ! Anyway it works for me

    1. Author

      It’s all about what works, right? I think as we grow and change we move from one tool to another and sometimes back again. So long as that change is driven by our needs and not just a fad or a trend, I think we’re going to be fine. 🙂

  27. Seems like lately the biggest question for me is – is that new lens worth not taking a trip…. so far I have opted for the trip and make do with the lenses currently in my bag…. not going to lie though, I wind up staring at the Fuji 10-24 on line all the time. It will wind up in my bag some day… but for now, I will take that flight to Olympic National Park and enjoy being out there in the woods!

  28. I think it’s funny that there’s almost as many “What’s in my bag?” blog posts as there are bags. Speaking of bags, I see you have a Filson bag as one of your two. I absolutely loved my Filson Harvey messenger bag – Inconspicuous, light enough to carry every day and it had character. The “strap carrier” for the handle popped out so I sent it to get repaired. Sadly, Filson couldn’t repair it and didn’t have a replacement as the bag isn’t made anymore. They refunded me my money but I would have been fine with the tiny hole in the bag. I have a Think Tank messenger bag now and it’s nice but I still wish I had that Filson. 🙁

    1. Author

      Aw, that stinks, Craig! I think I’d cry if my Filson bag were taken from me. So many great stories. The ThinkTank bags are nice too, but somehow they just always look way too new and clean…

      1. You should see my ThinkTank Airport Essentials. It’s scratched, torn, sandy and dirty. Anything but clean and new!

    2. I picked up a Harvey Messenger not long ago at the Filson Outlet In Burlington, WA.
      125 bucks. Might be worth a ring to see if they still have them…

      Great bag. A little small for Canon gear with a lap top in it but the Fuji fits great sans battery grip.

  29. Thank you for your thoughts. I ready to switch my complete DSLR equipment but I am not sure if Fuji XT-2 and Pro2 under strong cold condition -40 degree Celsius? My current Canon DSLRs do this with great robustness. Canon service is also good.

    1. Author

      I haven’t used my Fuji gear to those temperatures, so I couldn’t say. That would of course be a good reason to stay with Canon if Fuji can’t perform at -40C, but I’ve been in Hokkaido with my Fujis in some pretty cold conditions (-20C, perhaps) with no issues.

      1. Some comments on Fuji and cold weather – I’ve shot, and still shoot the original X100, X-Pro1, X-Pro2, and X-T1. I’ve used all of these, along with Canon full frame and cropped bodies, all winter in Alberta, Canada. I’ve shot the X-T1 in some very cold weather -20C to -30C. What I’ve found is that the focus motors on the lenses start to really complain at those temperatures BUT they’ve always worked. I’ve had similar issues with Canon lenses at those temperatures……

  30. Hi David, thanks for your post.
    I need to ask you how you overcome your necessity for a full frame sensor. Do you wrote a book about that or have some magic pillls? There are really no necessity fot them if you want to print your work latter or offer to a stock agency? There is no difference in quality?
    Thanks again and please excuse my poor english.

    1. Author

      Right now the main benefit of the full-frame sensor to me would be the depth of field. Larger sensors allow for a much shallower depth of field. But I’m shooting most of my work a tighter apertures now, and even when I’m wide open it’s to let the light in, not to achieve a dreamy background. If serious bokeh is your need you might want a full frame sensor. If late night photography or low light photography is your thing, you might want a larger sensor. But for me the 24mp sensor on the Fuji is wonderful, prints large, and has never generated complaints or rejections from my stock agency.

      1. I’m a lover of bokehified backgrounds and shallow depth of field but I find that even on cropped sensors it’s fairly easy to achieve that look. Sure it doesn’t look exactly the same, but it’s close enough that shedding that extra ton that a DSLR’s weight feels like at the end of the day is becoming more and more of an interesting proposition for me.

  31. Well written. However don’t you think that the brand matters in terms of service? For example, how difficult it is to get in contact with someone if you run into some problem with your gear, or how long it usually take for your gear to be repaired if needed? I agree this should only be a secondary thought and all you say should stand first. But it cannot be totally ignored in my opinion.

    1. Author

      Sure. Maybe. But the thing is, I’ve heard horror stories about service from just about every brand, whether or not they offer a so-called Professional Service. And I’ve heard great things, too. If you felt one brand offered you better service than another, and you have a history of needing that service, then go with your gut on that (assuming all other things are equal). Personally, it’s not once been a consideration. I’ve never needed that service, from Canon, Nikon, Leica, or Fuji. If and when I do I trust they’ll treat me right. But it has not happened yet.

    2. I used Nikon for 40 years. Everything was repairable replaceable and not expensive. I switched to Fuji a year ago (due to less weight and film-like image quality) and found their servicing and repairs to be more comprehensive and cheaper than Nikon. Takes just two days!! I live in U.K. Situation in other countries may be different.

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