Leaving for China - Cameras and lenses

Cameras

Every body knows that the Fuji X-T2 is gonna be release in the next couples of weeks. Attending such a high profile event has the G20 Summit, I reached out to Fuji Canada and try to get an X-T2 shipped to me. Unfortunately, because we are so close to the launch, none of them were available. I have to say that I was very last minute in my request and Fuji was super cool with me.

Now that the X-T2 was out of the picture, selecting the cameras was very easy. I opted to bring 2x Fuji X-Pro2 and a Canon G7X II for daily videos. The X-Pro2 is by far my favorite camera and is the perfect documentary photography camera in my book.

I'm also bringing a bunch of chargers and batteries enough to cover me for 2 days of shootings. It always a good practice to have sufficient batteries when you are away. I always have a 2 days supply in case my charger dies on me. It gives me an extra day to find a replacement. It happened to me in Istanbul last year. 

Lenses

Selecting what lenses to bring was not that easy. I'm lucky enough to own most of what Fuji has to offer but at the same time it didn't help my cause at all. My initial plan was to bring only 2 lenses:

  • XF 16-55mm f/2.8 LM WR
  • XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS

These are two fabulous lenses an this kit would have been very capable. When traveling, the XF 10-24mm is one of my favorites. So I decided to pack my bag with my 2 bodies and carry it around for a few days see how it felt. After 2 days I realized that it would be two heavy for what I wanted. The XF 16-55mm is a big lens!! I could easily go with just the XF 16-55mm. It's weather sealed, very flexible in terms of focal range and let's face it, it is the traditional photojournalism lens.

MY FINAL SELECTION

So I decided to experiment traveling only with primes (well almost). If find that changing lenses all the time while traveling can get annoying really fast but since i'm bringing 2 bodies, this should not be an issue.

Here is the little kit I've put together:

  • Samyang 8mm f/2.8 II
  • XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
  • XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
  • XF 35mm f/2 R WR
  • XF 56mm f/1.2 R

I know this is more then 2 lenses but here is the logic behind this kit. First, I will never walk around with more than 2 lenses. During the day, my kit will probably include the XF 10-24mm and the XF 56mm. At night, I will walk around with the XF 16mm and the XF 35mm. Now the wild card in the mix is the Samyang 8mm fisheye lens. I will only carry that lens to capture cityscape and I intend to capture those mostly at night.

The combo XF 16mm and XF 35mm works very very well for me. I absolutely love it. When the XF 23mm f/2.0 is released later in September, I will get my hands on one for sure. I'm a big fan of the 35mm (on full frame) focal length for street photography and I usually shoot those pictures a f/8 or f/11 so I don't always need the f/1.4. The reduction in size and weight + the weather sealing are all I need to place an order! 

Other notable candidates

During my selection process (I know some of you might think that I'm crazy) I seriously considered the following lenses:

  • XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR
  • XF 23mm f/1.4 R
  • XF 27mm f/2.8

I just love the XF 90mm. It's a fantastic lens but, I think it's bit to long for traveling. At least for the kind of images I want to produce over there. Yes it is weather sealed and the XF 56mm is not but, I've shot the XF 56mm and in a little rain and everything was alright. I will just have to be more carefull.

As I mentioned above, I'm a big fan of the XF 23mm but since I'm bringing the XF 10-24mm I figured this would be redundant. After inspecting my stats in Adobe Lightroom, I also realized that I rarely shoot bellow f/4 with my XF 23mm so that's why it's not coming along on this trip.

Now, if you would ask my friends or colleagues, what I always have with me, they would most likely answer: his fuji camera with that little lens!! This would be the XF 27mm. It's not a perfect lens but for my day to day photography and capturing little moments here and there, it's perfect. I just wish it had an aperture ring like the XF 18mm f/2 but that's another debate. So far, the XF 27mm is staying home but it might change at the last minute... It's so small!

So there you have it, my kit so far:

  • 2x Fuji X-Pro2
  • Samyang 8mm f/2.8 II
  • XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
  • XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
  • XF 35mm f/2 R WR
  • XF 56mm f/1.2 R

The last question I asked my self was, how the hell do I carry all this to China and how do I walk around with my Fuji's. Any respectable photographer must have at anytime at least 3 or 4 camera bags in it's inventory. I use to complain about my wife's purse until she made an inventory of my camera bags... Let's just say, I don't complain any more hehe!

I decided to carry all my gear in a LowePro ProTactic 350 for airport traveling and long day of shooting where I would carry a bit more gear. For the day to day, my Billingham Hadley Pro was again the perfect bag for the job. I love this bag so much it's ridiculous!

As always, feel free to comments bellow and let me know what you think and perhaps, tell me what do you bring when you travel with your Fuji's!