Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

My Go-To Equipment in 2020

Posted in 35mm, Fuji, Jason Gray, learning, photography, prime lens, prime lenses, What's in My Camera Bag? by Jason Gray on December 20, 2020

Screen Shot 2020-12-20 at 12.15.36 AM

Two years ago, I started sharing a version of the lens and camera stats that I collect every year to observe how I am using or not using my equipment. These public posts are based on the images from my Best Of posts, which tend to be a great microcosm for how I use equipment on the whole.

There is a lot you can gain from looking at your year to year stats in this way. For instance, if I compare last year’s data to this year’s, some obvious differences emerge:

2019 camera usage

First of all, 2019 was the first year that after my switch to Fuji that I used that brand exclusively. This year, I continued the trend, though added a new camera (X-T1), which I picked up secondhand, mid-year to add a weather-sealed option to my line-up (a concern that I had for shooting in the Great Sand Dunes). I got the camera, which is in excellent shape, for a great deal after selling off some equipment. The GoPro pops up here and there in these posts, as it did this year, mostly whenever I want to get an underwater or partially submerged shot.

One interesting observation about this year’s stats, is that I used my X-E3 far less than last year. The X-E3 is my main walking around camera, while the X-T20 is my main tripod mounted camera. This year, a combination of factors meant that I ended up using the X-T20 primarily. First, the quarantine shutdown life for a significant portion of the year, including postponing my most of my organization’s events from March through August. The X-E3 is normally used heavily during these events because I like the rangefinder orientation for street shooting. Second, I did more work than normal on a tripod, including a lot of the experimental stuff I shut during quarantine with vintage and exotic lenses and bellows. Lastly, for my family’s vacation, I only brought the X-T1 (for its weather sealing) and the X-T20 (because its SLR orientation matched the X-T1’s and I used it for some night tripod work). What is most interesting to me is not that I used the X-E3 less, but that I used it more closely to the amount of time that I spent using the X-T1 than I did to the X-T20. Who knows what next year will bring…

(Note: All lenses are f/2, except the variable aperture 55-200mm and the 16mm f/2.8)

From the lens data, you may observe that most of my shots were done at 23mm or wider. This is my focal range of preference for sure. I enjoy being close to the action, and I like to utilize the storytelling properties of the wider lengths. That said, I am a believer in “the right lens for the right shot”, so I am proud that all of my primary lenses wound up in the data, and not that far apart from each other in usage either. The Rokinon took a little dip this year because I didn’t do that much interior client work, which is where I use it extensively.

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