Whats (not on) the shelf - Fuji 16-55mm f/2.8 arrived.

I'm in the process of 'rationalising' my cameras and lenses. Too much gear sitting unused is being dealt with and a lot has already gone or is going. I'm keeping two 'systems' based on my Leica T and Nikon Df and I've decided to keep one each from Sony FE (A7r) Fuji X (X-T1) and m4/3 (OM-D E-M10) And these will be serviced by my Nikon lenses via adapters.

For the most part I'll be selling all the 'native' lenses I have for my Sony and Fuji cameras and my intention is to buy, work with and review one new lens at a time for those systems. The camera for that system will also be 'ugraded' should something new become available. For example if a ??Sony A7r II with 50MP or an ??X-Pro 2 with 24MP arrive then I'll swap out what I have for one of those. On the lens front I'd like to see what the Sony FE 24-240mm and the 28mm + adapter is like and as you will notice above my Fuji 'lens to review' at the current time is the Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens which arrived a short time ago.

For m4/3 it's slightly different. I've decided I really don't want to sell my 75mm  f/1.8 since it's one of the best lenses I've ever owned and I'm keeping that and the Panasonic 15mm f/1.7. I've preordered an Olympus OM-D E-M5 II as I'm fascinated by the prospect of what this moving sensor multiple image 40MP feature can do and when that arrives the E-M10 will be sold.

So there will still be a lot of movement on my camera shelf, but far less gear sitting there being used sparingly or when I think I really should justify owning it and I take it out for that reason only. I'll still be trying out new gear and reviewing it and despite my protestant ethic and working class guilt I really do love new gear arriving and opening those boxes of delights. The non self-indulgent part of me thinks I should settle on one small system I can use for everything but that part of me is never going to win, so I've decided I might as well embrace that and 'go with the flow.' I also did think that if really went down to my Leica T system and a couple of phones, then a lot fewer people would read this blog and I'm not going to pretend that I wouldn't miss that, miss the links from other sites and even miss annoying people by what I write and have to delete their negative comments. (Everybody should have a hobby!)

This way however, I don't have money tied up in dust gathering gear and who knows, I might even be able to go out and buy a new black T-shirt. It also makes for a much more manageable camera and lens collection. Some stuff I really liked has already gone - Fuji X100s, Panasonic FZ1000 and Sony A7s on the camera front and the Sony 16-35mm also has a new owner. All this is great gear, but despite my admiration of what each of these offered me, if it's not getting used, then it's pretty pointless keeping it. Some stuff sticks around, my Sony A7r for example is 1 year two months old and counting, which is a long time for me to keep something. The X-T1 will be around until something newer comers along and the Leica T and Df, as already mentioned are personal favourites, so they will be around for a while.

But all in all, this is really just a confirmation of what is happening already. My gear always has been fluid and flexible. I'm not alone in getting excited, stimulated and engaged by new gear and therefore new possibilities. And I love using new stuff and seeing what it can do. So this is really just formalising this. To be honest, I could pretty much use anything I've owned and still make a living, so there really isn't any need for me to consider one system or combination as being more suited for my needs than any other. I can shoot what I want, where I want, when I want with whatever I want as a stock photographer, so it's not as though I'm a sports or portrait or news photographer and need to have gear that lets me do that successfully. 

Take Fuji for example. I write lots of articles on how I think the cameras could be better, but then regular readers will know that I still use Fuji gear a lot. The simple reason for this apparent dichotomy is that I like using their stuff. Yes I think there are flaws in their system, but I only have to pick up a Fuji camera and lens and I want to take pictures. The newly arrived 16-55mm f/2.8 is a case in point. It's a 'chunky' lens, but boy does it look good. It's got a real 'pro' design and feel and all those 'road to Damascus' DSLR 'converts' will love it. A real solid lens and I'm looking forward to trying it out later today. 

Luckily (or maybe not luckily at all), all of this has coincided with a surge (a bit of exaggeration there, but things are going well) in sales. This on the back of a lot of editing and uploading I've been doing. So in a way, there's some justification for what I'm doing. And while I can cover this by different processing techniques, one of the things that is important for stock photographers is to be able to put together a varied portfolio. Different subject matter, different 'looks' etc. Unlike some other ways of making a living in photography, it's almost an advantage for a stock photographer not to have a style or a recognisable identity and we are pretty much the chameleons of the photographic world. Hopefully, we can turn our hand to pretty much anything and turn out decent product, or at least product that other people might what to buy. 

So, all this might just be justification for doing what I want and what I'm going to do anyway, but whatever the reasons and whatever justifications I create for myself, this is how I'm going to proceed. And in tandem with my avowed more 'positive' approach, hopefully you'll continue to find something here that you want to read. Is so watch this space.