Bright idea

Hi everyone,

For years now I’ve steadily been pursuing my quest for my own Holy Grail, that is to get my gear down to the lightest and most compact setup that I can achieve. In addition to my small camera bag and small sized camera gear such as my PEN-F camera and a few lenses, my Lumix 12-32mm, 35-100mm zooms and two faster Lumix prime lenses, my 14mm f/2.5 and 20m f/1.7 there are other items that I like to carry that can’t all be accommodated in such as small bag such as one of my small dual-port USB power banks, a couple of USB charge cables, one of my small USB camera battery chargers, my USB data logger and a small USB rechargeable pen torch (surprising how often this comes in useful) ๐Ÿ™‚ and other somewhat bulkier items that I feel “obliged” to carry such as my mobile phone. Normally I stuff these into various jacket pockets but this isn’t ideal for a hot day, like yesterday, when I want to go out dressed for the weather wearing a T.Shirt and a pair of shorts and not encumbered by extra clothing worn solely for the purpose of accommodating these items. I don’t want to be a slave to my camera gear, I want it to serve me and not vice-versa!.

Some while back I bought one of those small MOLLE pouches, intentionally to house a small camera such as my TG5 and a couple of spare batteries. The camera bag has a grab handle on the back and I hit on the idea of putting these items into the pouch and attaching it through the grab handle on the back of the bag. It works very well, of course the pouch is still detachable and could be put onto a belt if one wished or even hang from a lanyard or suchlike as it has a loop on the top. The MOLLE pouch has two good-sized zip up compartments each with a separate smaller pouch pocket, a front compartment with a buckle clip into which I have put a 2-port USB power bank and also a pen sized pocket for my torch.

Thanks to the beauty of USB charging I can charge a camera battery and/or my torch, my phone or my datalogger in-situ, on the go, perfect!. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve also almost finished standardising on small rubber collapsible screw-in lens hoods for some of my lenses as they’re so compact can be left fitted and take up less room in the bag. The 14mm, 20mm and 35-100mm lenses all share a 46mm filter thread which is also useful for interchanging filters.

Kind regards


Get a grip! :)

Hi folks,

I’m very impressed with my JJC pistol grip. It really is extremely useful for handheld HDR shots with longer lenses (for me that is) like my M.Zuiko 14-150mm when at maximum telephoto. Cheap, cheerful and effective, makes 300mm equiv. focal length shots easier. ๐Ÿ™‚

Best regards


Horses for courses, five kit loadouts.

Hi everyone,

I like to organise my gear into different loadouts to suit my preferences, mood and different occasions.

First off there’s an ultra lightweight day out, “I don’t want to carry anything” kit comprising of my Olympus E-PL5 camera and two zoom lenses. A Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm and an Olympus M.Zuiko 40-150mm which together weigh next to nothing, you don’t know that you’ve got this one with you. The camera accepts my Olympus EV4 viewfinder so I can fit this and thus avoid using the LCD screen as I’m not fond of these screens especially in bright light.

PEN E-PL5 and Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm lens.

Next, a one camera, one lens weather-sealed setup comprising of my Olympus E-M5 mk 1 and Olympus M.Zuiko 14-150mm. A great all-weather travel combination.

E-M5 mk 1 and M.Zuiko 14-150mm lens.

For a fun day out with manual focus lenses my Olympus E-M5 mk II, TT Artisan 17mm and 35mm prime lenses and my Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm PRO zoom lens which, along with the camera body, gives me a weather-sealed option in case the weather takes a turn for the worse. This is my heaviest loadout because the 12-40mm is, by far, not my lightest lens but these lenses are all very sharp and a lot of fun to use.

TT Artisan 35mm lens.

For the times when I like to just go out with a camera and all prime lenses. My Olympus E-P5 camera with EV4 electronic viewfinder and Olympus M.Zuiko 17mm, 30mm macro (which is tack sharp and doubles as a very good all-round “street” lens) and 45mm lenses. I chose the 30mm over my M.Zuiko 25mm and Panasonic Lumix 20mm lenses for it’s macro capabilities as it focus down to an amazing 1cm!.

PEN EP-5 and M.Zuiko 17mm lens.

Lastly, probably my favourite day-to-day loadout, my Olympus PEN-F and three zoom lenses, Panasonic Lumix 12-32mm and 35-100mm and Olympus M.Zuiko 9-18mm lenses.

PEN-F and M.Zuiko 9-18mm lens.

All of these loadouts except, where noted, are lightweight and very portable, versatile and fit in a small camera bag. Maybe it’s given you food for thought.

Kind regards


“Ice Cold on the Seafront”

Hi everyone,

Worthing seafront. I know what you’re thinking. What amazing legs I have for a man of my age!. ๐Ÿ™‚ Another test of my new PEN E-P5 with my M.Zuiko 17mm f/1.8 lens.

Best wishes,