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

My Go-To Equipment in 2021

Posted in 35mm, Fuji, Jason Gray, learning, photography, prime lens, prime lenses, What's in My Camera Bag? by Jason Gray on December 6, 2021

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 5.24.29 PM

Three 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:

  Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 5.24.29 PM

(left) 2020; (right) 2021

Last year, I added a “new” camera body to the mix, and though I did use it for some event work and some experimental photography around the house, it is fairly obvious that I didn’t use it a whole lot this year. To be fair, the purpose of the X-T1 that I added (an older, used body) is as a backup to my main cameras and, due to its weather sealing, as an inclement weather cam. It has done each of those things well for me, but those circumstances didn’t come up a whole lot this year (and I elected to “risk” using both of my main cams when the family visited White Sands National Monument).

That I split my 2021 best of images exactly between the X-E3 and X-T20 is interesting. I tend to use the cameras differently, with the rangefinder-style X-E3 being my preferred camera for handheld shooting and the slr-styled X-T20 being my choice for tripod work (it has a tilt screen for easier composition and the central viewfinder means that I can install an L-bracket without impeding operation). This is exactly why I purchased these two, different body styles (Fuji cams of a generation have all shared sensor tech up until now, so you could choose based on styling), and I’m happy to see my intentions pan out, especially as I’ve become more at home with the system.

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(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, and it has become even more clear in this year’s data. I enjoy being close to the action, and I like to utilize the storytelling properties of the wider lengths. Missing from this year’s stats are the Fuji 35mm and my various exotic lenses. I just didn’t do too much experimental shooting with the exotics this year, as I was so focused on my new body of work. The 35mm is generally my hiking lens of choice, and I didn’t do as much of that as normal either. Next year, I hope to focus a bit more on adding some portraiture to my new series, and believe that the 35mm will have more of a role to play as that happens.

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