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Thread: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

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    Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    aka "Changing Lenses vs. Two Bodies"

    (Note: I am not a Leica user nor I have written this thread with Leica in mind but I am intentionally posting it in Leica forum because Leica users are closest to being in line with what I am trying to accomplish: getting as high IQ as possible while traveling as light as possible during lots of walkarounds)

    I love walkarounds. Naturally I don't / can't lug my full frame DSLR on all of them. Majority of them are "semi-casual" so I have my m43 Oly Pen with me majority of the time. I strongly prefer using primes with it.

    In the beginning it was just one prime at a time with me. That inevitably resulted in missing some nice opportunities because focal length for them would be one I left home.

    So I started carrying two primes with me, one on body, other in bag. That inevitably resulted in me starting to get frustrated changing lens back and forth forth and back. It slows me down, it is often inconvenient to do, etc.

    So here I am now contemplating of carrying two bodies with two different focal lengths on them, one in hand, other in bag and just switch them as needed. But that is now increasing total weight. While one body and two lenses is bit over a pound two bodies and two lenses is two pounds. Travelling light is now less light and one extra pound can be noticed on your back at the end of the day.

    Which puts me back into a loop, Catch 22, as one can't have everything, one has to compromise somewhere.

    What you would do? Where you would compromise? What would be your philosophy?

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    I do the 'walkaround thing' all the time. My tendency is to shoot with one lens for very long stretches of time so sometimes I only carry just one lens and body ... minimizes on weight and bulk. More often, however, I carry two lenses and swap them once in a while.

    My "bulky" SLR cameras haven't gotten much use for three quarters of a year. I am shooting most often these days with the Ricoh GXR-M :: fit either Skopar 21 or Nokton 40 mm lens on it and it's just right.

    Otherwise, I'm shooting with the Leica M4-2. Usually when I shoot with the M, I put a lens on it and shoot the entire roll of film with that lens. I tend to prefer the Skopar 35 or 50 on it, again for compactness and superb quality.

    The A&A ACAM 7100 and the Black Label Bag "Oskars One Day Bag Mark II" (from PhotoVillage in NY) are just about perfect for the walk around routine. Light weight, neither too large nor too small, unobtrusive and comfortable to wear.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    A two-body approach works really well. And it does not even have to be for lenses, but also format--I would carry a 6x6 and a 6x12. And that was my walk-around setup.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    I'm pretty much a one lens one body guy... and I treat walkarounds the same as "serious" photography.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    My walk-around philosophy is that the walk-around comes first, which requires very little camera gear. So, one body and one lens (or two lenses at most, but with very few lens changes). For work, the photography comes first and missed opportunities are to be avoided. Then the two-body approach works better. In either case, an un-frustrated photographer tends to produce better results.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Zlatko Batistich View Post
    ...In either case, an un-frustrated photographer tends to produce better results.
    +1!

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I do the 'walkaround thing' all the time. My tendency is to shoot with one lens for very long stretches of time so sometimes I only carry just one lens and body ... minimizes on weight and bulk. More often, however, I carry two lenses and swap them once in a while.
    Did you ever feel need to change focal length yet wishing you didn't have to swap the lens because wind is kicking dust up, or you are on the beach, or it is drizzling, or air is full of fog ...? What you did to work around that?

    Aside from that swappings would be fine with me when they are infrequent but often I end up walking in areas I am not familar with, or my path will not be organized in manner that would allow coming back. How you would would deal with that?

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by Zlatko Batistich View Post
    My walk-around philosophy is that the walk-around comes first, which requires very little camera gear. So, one body and one lens (or two lenses at most, but with very few lens changes).
    Very good point!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zlatko Batistich View Post
    In either case, an un-frustrated photographer tends to produce better results.
    Excellent point!

    Hvala!

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    Did you ever feel need to change focal length yet wishing you didn't have to swap the lens because wind is kicking dust up, or you are on the beach, or it is drizzling, or air is full of fog ...? What you did to work around that?
    Just do it, change your lens. Cleaning your camera and sensor is a part of photography, it always has been even with film. Its not good having a philosophy about 'walk-around' photography if the first thing on your mind is that you may need to clean your camera afterwards, you are doomed from the outset.

    Steve

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    Just do it, change your lens. Cleaning your camera and sensor is a part of photography, it always has been even with film. Its not good having a philosophy about 'walk-around' photography if the first thing on your mind is that you may need to clean your camera afterwards, you are doomed from the outset.
    I am not queasy about cleaning my camera or sensor nor am I keeping my gear locked up in glass cabinets, but scenarios I mentioned are the ones that not only have high chances of ending shooting very quickly for a day but also of ruining gear permanently and no cleaning can help with that.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    When I shot film professionally, I always shot with two bodies, with the two lenses I knew I'd use the most on the day (usu. 35 and 85) and rarely, if ever, changed lenses. Now, doing the walk-around thing, I take the X10, but thinking about the OP's question, I'd be talking a 35 or a 50mm (EFOV) only on the one body, and getting closer if needed. Alternatively, the Oly 45/1.8 on the body, and the 14/2.5 in the pocket (I use the same combo on a GH2) would work, but the choice really depends on how you see. Let us know what you decide! Cheers and best wishes for the festive season.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by ZoranC View Post
    I am not queasy about cleaning my camera or sensor nor am I keeping my gear locked up in glass cabinets, but scenarios I mentioned are the ones that not only have high chances of ending shooting very quickly for a day but also of ruining gear permanently and no cleaning can help with that.
    Well Ok but you seem to want to build a philosophy around situations that rarely happen. Turn your camera off when changing lenses so static doesn't attract moisture or dust, stand with your back to the wind, and do it quickly. I have a Leica M9, not only does it get used in the rain and when the wind blows, but I change lenses as well. My other camera's are either 4/3 or m4/3 and all are used the same way, and the wave filter takes care of most dust, and a wet clean every so often gets rid of sticky dust. Honestly, done with common sense changing lenses is not going to kill a camera.

    Steve

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    This comes up frequently in discussions about “which lens” and there are no right answers just preferences. I always use two identical bodies and start with a wide angle and a standard or short telephoto lens on my two M9 s . I shoot primarily street and the “Moment” will be long gone before I could change lenses .

    My primary motivation is that I want to be able to get the picture I am am going after. I try to use the widest lens I can and still keep the primary subject identifiable . My objective is to catch the moment and record enough context that you something about it. But I cant always get close enough without disrupting the situation ..so I might take 3-6 captures with the 50 and if I can move in for another 3-4 with the wide angle . Thats a working method that benefits from two bodies.

    The nice thing about two identical M s is that I can carry only one or two lenses in a vest,jacket or very small bag. Sometimes I can work with a 21 or a 90.

    At night I tend to go for two fast lenses and forget the lens changing ...been approached too many times when I am stopped changing a lens .

    You can absolutely make the case for one body one lens . It greatly simplifies your ability to visualize the image . Here I greatly prefer the 35 1.4 summilux as you can change the perspective by altering the camera to subject distance and the angle of view . But I have better rhythm in shooting with a 28 and 50 and think I can get more good captures shooting with two. It also lets me use a 21 or 90 where I might only want a few captures otherwise you would need to stick with a 35 or 50 FOV to have the right lens on the camera most of the time.

    The other aspect to consider is ..”do the bodies need to be the same “ ?

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    For walkabouts, I usually carry two bodies. Recently been shooting a lot of film so it has been a MP with a M6TTL. But often times have the M9 and a film camera. The combination of the two lens on the cameras often vary, and there is a 50/50 chance I will carry a third lens.

    As Godfrey pointed out the A&A ACAM 7100 is great bag for walkabouts. Two cameras with cleaning gear, extra film, SD Card, Batteries and extra lens can be easily accommodated and I find the bag comfortable to wear. The weight has not been an issue for me to date.

    On work days, I usually just carry one camera with a lens, today it is the M9 and 35 LUX in case an opportunity raises.

    Possibly the best recommendation is doing what makes you feel the most comfortable.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    I once haad to M8s at the same time, but I didnt bring the 2 at the same time often. Not so much about weight but more to have to make sure the body settings are the same. Lets say I take a custom white balance and set ISO where I want it.
    The other thing is storing one camera in the bag and taking the other one out does take time as well. A little more or less weight I wouldnt see as a problem though. As soon as you carry a bag it doesnt make a difference if it s little bigger or smaller or 50g more or less.

    So me I usually carry one body and between 2 and 4 prime lenses.
    I dont find lens switching that much of a problem.

    Another approach would be 1 zoom lens for daylight plus one fast prime for low light (I do this with the Nex+17-55+24/1.8).

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    When I shot film professionally, I always shot with two bodies, with the two lenses I knew I'd use the most on the day (usu. 35 and 85) and rarely, if ever, changed lenses.
    When I have pre-planned shoot this is not an issue, I know what I will be dealing with and arrange accordingly in advance. This musing is about walk-arounds that are random.

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    I'd be talking a 35 or a 50mm (EFOV) only on the one body, and getting closer if needed.
    I am fine with zooming by feet I use it whenever possible, but that is not possible every time.

    Quote Originally Posted by kit laughlin View Post
    Cheers and best wishes for the festive season.
    Thank you, likewise to you and yours

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by 250swb View Post
    Well Ok but you seem to want to build a philosophy around situations that rarely happen.
    No, those situations don't happen rarely I shoot in such situations (beach etc) quite often and thus I bring them up as they pertain to my need.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    I tinker with all sorts of camera/lens combinations. But my mainstay for walkaround snapshooting is a single camera and lens, typically a 35mm camera with a 35mm or 40mm prime, occasionally a DSLR with a comparable semiwide. When I travel for work it's the same. When I travel for myself, I'll usually take two bodies - film M-Leicas, or small film SLRs - with a 35 and a 50, occasionally a 28 and a 35 instead. I don't ever change lenses in the field.

    Although I'm pretty weight-sensitive, I don't find carrying a small shoulder bag with an extra M-Leica or Pentax MX/LX body with a small lens bothersome. But obviously, YMMV - you have to find your own comfort zone.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    You can absolutely make the case for one body one lens. It greatly simplifies your ability to visualize the image.
    I absolutely agree, and I do that very often. But I can also achieve that by having one body two lens or two bodies two lens in the bag and forcing myself to use just one unless opportunity comes that I would absolutely hate to pass.

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    The other aspect to consider is ..”do the bodies need to be the same “?
    I have already thought about that aspect and answer for me is "Yes". As Zlatko said and as I always felt (thank you Zlatko for reminding me) unfrustrated photographer tends to produce better result. I know that switching bodies that are not same tends to frustrate me a lot as my fingers and mind are subconciously looking for functions that are elsewhere pressing wrong things etc.

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    Re: Musings on Walk-around Philosophy # 1

    Quote Originally Posted by seakayaker View Post
    Possibly the best recommendation is doing what makes you feel the most comfortable.
    Yes, Zlatko's reminder of it was crucial. I have went and re-traced back in my mind my walkarounds and similar situations and came back with re-inforced belief that two bodies would be the best route for me.

    So I have went and ordered second one. Once it arrives fun of finding what lens combo suits me best most often starts (Olympus 45/1.8 for sure on one, Panasonic 20/1.7 or 25/1.4 on other one).

    I will let you guys know how it worked out for me. Thank you!

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