As many of you will know the one thing that I try and avoid at all costs with my choice of equipment is weight and bulk. This isn’t a huge problem until one has to carry it around on foot all day sometimes in extreme heat and that’s why I’m such a huge fan of Micro Four Thirds system cameras.
I had a few thoughts about my gear selection for general use and when travelling in hot countries. Last year I just took my OM-D E-M5 + grip and my M.Zuiko 12-40 mm f2.8 with me to Malta and the kit performed excellently and the weight was fairly comfortable to carry around all day in the heat but I did miss the extra reach of a longer lens on a few occasions so this year I took my OM-D E-M1 + grip (fabulous camera but significantly heavier) and the trusty 12-40 mm plus my M.Zuiko 14-150 mm f4-5.6 II with me to Rome but I found the combined weight was uncomfortably heavy to lug around all day, every day.
So I’ve re-thought out my kit and decided that for future travelling I’ll take my E-M5 and 12-40 mm plus my M.Zuiko 40-150 mm lens which is significantly lighter. I don’t really take that many photos at longer focal lengths so the 40-150 mm is probably a better and lighter choice and it is no slower than the 14-150 mm.
Whilst I was re-thinking my gear I thought that I really should use my M.Zuiko prime lenses a lot more than I have been doing of late as they are very fast, light and sharp. The 12-40 mm is a great travel lens as it remove the necessity of changing lenses sometimes in difficult situations but it does make one a bit lazy and it’s not as fast and lightweight as my primes. With this in mind I’ve decided that my standard every day kit should pretty much consist of my EM-1 and M.Zuiko 12 mm, 17 mm, 25 mm and 45 mm lenses plus the 14-150 zoom for the occasions when I need something with a bit more reach and or the advantages of a zoom lens and as a backup to my prime lenses as it covers their combined range.
I also took a small lightweight travel tripod and my ND and polarising filters with me to Malta and Rome and didn’t use them once. My style of photography doesn’t really require the use of a tripod and I find it to be a cumbersome hinderance and one more thing to lug around and get in the way. I so rarely use filters nowadays that 99% of the time they just reside in my camera bag but, as they’re light and don’t take up much room or add any appreciable weight, they can stay there for the rare occasion when I might use them.