Whenever we travel, one of the dilemmas I consistently face is what and how much camera gear to take with me. Usually I default to my three zoom lenses because they are convenient and cover just about any common focal length without a lot of lens changes. On most occasions I’ll toss my prime lenses into the mix with the best of intentions, but either because I’m lazy or I just want to have the most flexibility, the primes often don’t come out of the bag.
I love my Fuji prime lenses for several reasons. First and probably most important, they give me excellent results – sharp when I want sharp and good bokeh when I want bokeh. They are lightweight and small, so it isn’t hard to carry 2-3 along in a small bag or fanny pack.
But I’ve said for years that the more lenses I have with me the more likely I’ve got the “wrong” one on the camera. So I make a point to putting one lens on the camera and go out and “see” with that one lens. It’s especially useful with my prime lenses, because it really forces me to think about composition and framing, to “zoom with my feet” in order to establish what is in and out of the frame or to give me the relationship I want between near and far objects.
For our recent trip to the beach, I reversed my usual methodology and put the prime lenses into my “every day bag” and put the zoom lenses into my “just in case bag” (I use two bags because I like having a smaller, lighter bag to take on day trips and when walking around and don’t want to carry all my stuff at once). I never took the zoom lenses out, opting instead for using only my prime lenses. To be fair I didn’t shoot a lot (for me) with less than 400 photos over a 2 week period. Most of the time I went out with just one lens on the camera, although at sunrise I went out with all four of my prime lenses, and actually used all of them depending on what I was shooting.
We’re home now for a few weeks, resting up for our next adventure. I’m seriously considering leaving the zoom lenses at home this time, opting for a smaller, lighter kit and keeping things rather simple. We’ll see if I actually have the nerve to do it. I’m betting I will!