I've been running a "shadow" gear bag (actually it's a box) since at least 2013.
When I made the switch to mirrorless cameras (Fuji/Olympus) I packed away a bunch of Canon equipment...just in case I made a mistake. So for years there has been a box in my storage unit marked "emergency", gathering dust. I cracked it open last week and sold off some prime condition stuff.
Canon EOS 1D (original) & EOS 1D MK IV
EOS 1D MKI W/ EF50mm
I loved this camera...it wasn't my first Canon but I downgraded to get it. Prior to buying this one (USED) I had a 20, 30, 40 and 50D but the pro features and build won me over. It's traveled to at least six (6) countries and never once failed. The battery life was poor, the LCD was barely usable and it was heavy like a car battery. It also sported a lightening fast auto-focus and seemingly endless customization. When I took it out of the box the 50mm 1.4 was still attached. I had to junk that...it was seized up and fungus had started growing inside the front element. I recall dunking it by accident in Lake Ontario.
There was also a brand new EOS 1D MK4 body in there which I never used. Won it is some photo contest years ago but by then I was already using a 5D MKII. That will make some sport/wildlife photographer very happy.
X-Pro1 W/ XF35mm F1.4
This is the camera that started it all...When I bought it there was only JPEG shooting. RAW file conversion wasn't available with Adobe Lightroom or Capture One. The auto-focus...forget about it, but it was dead sexy and those Fujifilm Film Simulations were amazing. I used it as my fun camera while I continued on with the Canon 5D MK2. Eventually it ended up in that box as I moved unto the X-E1 body. I replaced the XF35mm F1.4 awhile back with the newer F2 WR version.
Fujinon XF14mm F2.8 R
XF14mm F2.8 R
Excellent wide angle lens...stopped using it when I got the XF10-24mm F4 R OIS. I found that I typically shot it at F4-8 the majority of the time so it made sense to just use the wide-angle zoom.
Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS
Aside from the variable aperture this lens was a breeze to use. It has the one feature the pro model could use...image stabilisation. It's been really nice for handheld low-light shots and video but I definitely use the XF16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR. I would give the focus and sharpness edge to the pro model but that stabilisation and small size is hard to beat.
When this came out a few years ago I was puzzled...why bring out a top level compact in a space already occupied by the X100 series. Then I actually used one and loved it so much that I got another, in black. Fujifilm has since ended it's production..a shame IMHO but there are more than enough models to compensate. I'm keeping the black one though, it's an excellent "grab and go" camera.
Olympus E-M1 MK I
Olympus E-M1 System
I still haven't decided what to do with this kit yet...emotional attachment for gear isn't my thing but I definitely have it for this camera. In fact I never upgraded to the mark 2. I'm heavily invested in the platform and for a long time it was complimentary to the Fujifilm gear bag. In terms of image quality it was a match for early Fuji cameras despite the sensor size difference.
So the issue is this...why maintain two systems that pretty much do the same thing.
In fact the Fuji X-T1/X-Pro2/X-T2 have been my daily drivers for a long time now. I shoot the majority of my professional work with them to maintain consistency. I'm torn as to an upgrade to the X-H1 now that the X-T2 has gotten an boost from the recent FIRMWARE update. Add to that the expanded lens catalog, accessories and in-body stabilisation. The Olympus has become my backup, so to speak.
My long term project is getting to a critical stage and the client is asking me to relocate for 3 to 6 months. The digs would be pretty nice but small...with a capital S, basically a bedroom with a toilet. Technically there is a balcony but at 6ft and change/210 lbs I can barely get one leg out there to enjoy a glass of rum. There is just no way to bring two different camera systems. So until I decide...the Olympus is going into that "emergency" box in my storage locker.
I'll be the first to admit to being late for the Social Media party. The last time I took any real interest in it, MySpace was still popular...ask some 20'something about it now and you get a blank stare. I've been convinced by some hard data though thanks to a good friend who now manages my instagram account for me. I was totally wrong about the market for my images...by about 20+ years. It seems that the primary consumer for my work are the 24-34 aged people: 64% male and 36% female. Guess where most of those people live?
If you said Instagram, go to the head of the class.
Flickr....done. In fact I've deleted all but the most recent images from the platform and I'll be winding that down over the Summer. I've been a user for many years but they have definitely lost their way. I'm also not thrilled with the level of image thievery that takes place on there. They were recently acquired by SmugMug so I'm taking a wait and see approach to further contribution.
500px...Done. I was very supportive initially but that platform just died on the vine for me.
Facebook...Done. Never was a big user and with all the privacy concerns it takes more headspace than it's worth.
As with the Olympus system, I really haven't decided where to park images on a permanent basis yet so for the time being instagram will do. Also this website will be going thru some changes as I get ready for whatever platform is "next". I'm working with a designer to turn it into an online magazine/blog hybrid.
The last little bit is my long term review of my travel tripod...it's a generic brand made by ZHUANG SHIDAI QING (I think)
I'm just crossing the one year mark of constant use for everything landscape, product, food and video.
It's held up extremely well, more than I expected and nearly twice as good when compared to a few major brands I've used in recent years. I may have paid something around $100 Canadian for it and I know now that it's sold under various names and configurations. This item has travelled with me to three different countries. It fell over into sea water on a recent trip and was carefully washed and left on the veranda to dry overnight. I should have checked the forecast because it stormed until late afternoon the next day...and I was oblivious to the fact that it was left out there. Still working just fine with zero slippage, I didn't even have to tighten the hex screws in months.
It's a good match for mirrorless, small form factor cameras.
As you can see from the image above, it looks ridiculous with the XF100-400 mounted to the X-T2 camera...actually the camera looks silly mounted to that lens but it's super stable with no slip. It's even better with a more reasonable camera/lens configuration although in windy conditions you may need to hang your camera bag from the center column for insurance (there is a hook). I'll have a full review shortly when I return form my trip so stay tuned.