Gear update, what is working and what is not.

After a few reviews, I thought I would pass on some thoughts about field use over the last few months.

The Domke F803.

This is the most practical bag I have ever owned. All of my other bags now feel like a fashion indulgence. They lack the raw practicality and almost all cost more. So far it has been wet a couple of times, carried for hours full as comfortably as can be expected and used in some tricky situations where my gear needs changed almost constantly. It has never failed to offer up a configuration that works and has made me more comfortable trying things like in the field flash, because I can access the things needed without major disruption.

The only down sides are from user error. I learned early on to zip up the top flap pockets when my spare batteries and cards fell out opening it and to buckle the bag up, when it tipped over on the car seat spilling my whole kit on the floor. Another small issue is filling it with every possible accessory and not remembering where they are when filling another bag.

The other bag I am anticipating great things from is the Tokyo Porter satchel. I will let you know when I return from Japan.

The Pen F.

Wow. Love this camera. This may be the start of an easier, more satisfying and more pleasant photographic life for me. Simple as that. I especially appreciate the way it has embraced my work/landscape zoom lenses, allowing me to free up my primes for a down and dirty 2xEM5 street kit. The Pen is special and will not be a work horse, but rather a "specific duties" camera for portrait and landscape work, with the EM5's still doing the bulk of the mundane. The longer term plan is to always have an EM5 of some type as it's partner, especially if the future Mk3 has the 20mp sensor and some focus tracking. I want this camera to be around for a long time.

The 40-150 f2.8.

It has been a bumpy ride, but I don't want to think about life without this one now. The 75mm is still my primo lens, but this is sooo close, with added versatility and great AF speed. Having the two hood options has also helped. It has effectively upgraded my EM5's on it's own.

The Filson Field Camera Bag.

This bag is lovely to have, but it has developed a habit of sagging. When full, it sinks in the middle (even if the weight is loaded to the sides), making access to gear less than perfect and carrying is sometimes uncomfortable. This is one of the reasons I bought the F803. I use it happily for portrait or street jobs, but struggle to take it otherwise.


I need something heavier or a better head on my 190 Manfrotto. I tried Hi Res in the field and it did not work for me (on top of a mountain in gusty wind). Normal use was fine though so maybe I will drop Hi Res.