Camera Gear Conundrums

Camera Gear Conundrums

The Problem

So my wife booked me a trip to Iceland for my 50th birthday, which was last month. She done this in August. I didn’t know as she kept it as a surprise birthday present, which I loved and am really looking forward to. One sticky wicket though, I decided to sell my Fuji X-T3 and all the lenses I had with it around September. I got a very good price on all the kit as a bundle. I have a Nikon D800 which I planned to return to using again. The idea was that I’d invest in some lenses for it around spring time ready for hiking and camping season.

I have only one lens for it at the moment, the Nikon 24-85mm f/3.5-4.5G VR lens. It’s a decent consumer level lens but it is soft in the corners and also suffers from distortion too. If I’d have known I was going to be going to Iceland in January I would have kept hold of the X-T3 till after I’d been as I had some good lenses with it, and a good range of focal lengths to suit all photography scenarios. I didn’t though so now I’m heading out to Iceland with just the one wide zoom lens. Also the D800 is a lot heavier and bulkier than the X-T3 so I’m going to be lugging around a lot more weight and bulk. Although that shouldn’t be an issue really because I’m not hiking an real distance and will be in a coach driving from one location to the next.

So problem solved??

So in order not to be defeatist and not to worry about the potential limitations, I’ve decided to create myself a one lens challenge for the Iceland trip. My faithful old D800 and the 24-85 lens, I will be taking pics for my Facebook and Twitter profiles with my phone too, so there is that caveat. Any other camera work and it’ll be the D800 and the one lens.

The 24mm to 85mm focal range is a decent range to be working with. I can get wide (albeit not ultrawide) shots for landscapes and architectural photos, have 35mm for street and 50-85 for any more intimate shots I need.  I know the limitations of the lens so I’m sure I can work with it to manage some decent shots.

I did think about renting a lens or two, but I’m tight as a ducks arse and I’ve already spent a small fortune on appropriate winter gear for the trip, so that idea got put to bed quickly. I don’t mind buying second hand glass and have done so a lot of times. Again though, my budget has been stretched as I’ve only got a month to get everything else I need for the trip.

All about the photography, right?

Short answer, no! Going to Iceland isn’t all about the photography for me. I want to enjoy the experience while I’m there. Sometimes the camera can get in the way of that because you’re focusing on chasing the epic images but not taking the time to slow down and just enjoy the moment, or the fact that you are in another country with its own culture. So I’m really conscious of that and will be making sure I get into the moment every chance I get.

If I do come home with some epic shots, then that’s a bonus for me. If I don’t I may be gutted about that, but it isn’t going to take away the enjoyment of the trip for me. My wife and kids made a lot of effort to sort this trip for me and I am really thankful that they did. I love visiting other countries and getting immersed in new experiences and experiencing other cultures to my own, so I know I’ll be in my element!

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