Just talking out loud. Maybe sharing will help the thinking process.
This is a different trip to the previous ones. The emphasis is not as much on the photographic side, as just having a break in a place we both love to be. Kyoto has been done twice before by me photographically and I have found it to be a different experience to other parts of Japan. It has rained each time we have visited and the light tends towards the cool end. Kamakura has delivered beautiful light, Tokyo a mixed bag and Osaka some of the best, both times we went, but Kyoto has been generally dull to dark and cool.
As there is little pressure I am split between;
Doing my "ideal" kit of the Pen F (or Pen Mini in reserve) and my 4 primes (17/25/45/75), limiting my overall responsiveness (?), but possibly increasing my immersion with 1 lens and 1 camera, embracing manual focus and more use of the eye level finder. I will not feel as "ready for anything" as the two camera kit makes me (and won't mix models as that never works), but maybe it is time to work more methodically as the trip holds no urgency. I have a natural aversion to changing lenses, so I could either embrace the change or take even fewer lenses out with me (I feel the 25mm would become more important as the balance between too wide/too tight that the 45 and 17 offer). This kit is light, so it hardly matters and realistically it is the future for me as I upgrade*. On the last trip, I used the Pen F mostly with the little Pen as a back up, but found myself effectively using just one camera. Should I switch from mostly taker to partial maker?
The reality of this set up is, a conscious effort to mount the right lens before hand and work with the focal length that it offers. Another thing to think on here is to reduce the actual lenses carried, cleaning up the thought processes (17/45 or 25/75 only) Would this be automatic and really no different to my two lens process, just making the switch more deliberate? Maybe if I think on this for a while, I may find that the perceived convenience of two cameras "at the ready" is not much more useful than a quick (and organised) lens change and maybe, the distraction of the two can be counter productive and even cluttering, both mentally and physically?
Doing the two OMD kit as normal (17/45 or 75-300). This gives me my favourite street short/long lens combination, less lens changes and a familiar work flow. Maybe too familiar? Is it time to attempt to get back to a more measured and less methodical approach. I know a lot of my images are captured through preparedness allowing reflex reactions, but what about the more considered image? The beauty of street shooting is the difference in file quality between the two cameras is less important, only the work flow matters.
Really breaking the chain, take the Pen F and the 12-40 zoom with something longer and/or something faster (?). I have really been taken with the jpegs this combination produces and would try RAW/jpeg files side by side. By far the easiest set up. The lens worries me except in tandem with the Pen. I feel I am betraying my core values and some things about the lens are less efficient, such as the MF scale being a lot shorter than the 17mm's, the "portrait" bokeh not supporting street shooting as well, the bulk and having f2.8 as my fastest aperture, but otherwise the lens produced nice files. This may also negate the need to carry a camera bag, freeing me up to take a travel bag instead. My biggest issue here is the range of the lens is a long way outside of my ideal, meaning I will carry 100% of the quite chunky lens and likely only use 40% of the range regularly.
*I suppose the real question here is, am I ready to move on from the 16mp EM5 sensor to the better, but different 20mp sensor and if so, does this mean another camera?
My wife did put it into perspective for me by saying "why would you not take your best kit?". Hmmm, why not indeed.