I’m really enjoying my photography at the moment. Three things I’ve done recently have all contributed to my comfort, and ultimately my greater fun and enjoyment. First of all there’s my new Olympus 9 mm bodycap lens which is so much fun to use. As it is so small and light it can live in my camera bag or even fit into a shirt pocket! and therefore it will get used, otherwise what’s the point of taking it out with you!? 🙂 . I’m not a huge fan of the fisheye lens effect but this one with its 140 degree diagonal F.O.V is very easily de-fished if one wants and the effect is not so pronounced as it is with my other fisheye lens which is bigger, heavier and usually ends up getting left at home as I’m not prepared to lug it around all day on the off chance that I might use it. The Olympus lens by contrast makes you want to use it and actively look out for opportunities to do so. It also has a film-like quality that reminds me of my old 35 mm film lenses. This might be me, maybe it’s because of its overall softness compared with modern pro glass or maybe it’s the lens’ muted colour rendition or possibly a bit of both. More likely it is that the reviewers that I’ve seen don’t have any experience of the old film lenses or film cameras which I started out with in the 1970’s as a whole generation has now grown up with digital cameras, strewth, that make me feel old!. 🙂
This leads me on to the comfort bit, the way that I’m now carrying my gear. Two things have improved the comfort and ease of transporting my gear around on foot all day. If, like me, you habitually suffer from shoulder and neck issues then I thoroughly recommend that you have a look at the thinkTANK Turnstyle range of bags. I have the TurnStyle 10 v2 model in which I can carry an OM-D body with a lens fitted and, with careful packing, a total of up to five compact and lightweight Micro Four Thirds lenses, my Olympus 9-18 mm, Lumix 12-60 mm (or Olympus 12-40 mm), Lumix 14 mm (or my Olympus 17 mm), Olympus 9 mm bodycap lens and my Olympus 40-150 mm (or Lumix 35-100 mm) lens as well as a few accessories, spare batteries, memory cards etc. in the front zip-up compartment. I’ve waited years to find a bag that really works for me, I’ve come close before but this one is very well designed and ticks all the boxes. It also features a waist belt and a built in rain cover which is neatly stowed away in a pocket on the back.
The thing that I really like the most about this bag is the compact size and ease of use. One can carry it on the move with the strap diagonally across the body with the bag resting on one’s lower back, or to one’s side sort of messenger bag style or swivel it completely round horizontally in front of you to get to the contents, change lenses etc. without putting it down, a real boon when standing in a muddy field. In addition you can also just sling it over your shoulder quickly. The bag never left my person all day, travelling seated on the bus one simply swings it round in front of you with the weight resting on your lap. The shoulder strap is also very wide, nicely curved and well padded. You might note that I’ve added a HeroClip to the top loop so that one can hang it up when required. Most importantly, the acid test, I returned home feeling fresher and without my usual aches and pains and that, in itself, more than justifies its purchase.
I made three small additions to the bag to suit my personal taste. I added a HeroClip to the top loop so that I can easily hang the bag from just about anything . The addition of a small carabiner to the bottom loop through which I pass the two zip pulls for extra security when I’m travelling with the bag on my back which wouldn’t I know ultimately stop a determined thief but it would make stealthily opening the main compartment more obvious, time-consuming and difficult. Lastly one of those lens cap keeper strap mounting things.
I said there were three things and the last of these is my Pixentu photo-jacket. With it’s large front pockets I can transfer lenses to and from my bag to my jacket pockets and greatly help to distribute the weight even more evenly around my body and it has a LOT of pockets for additional batteries, filters, wallet, mobile phone etc. etc.. In addition for even more padded protection and to add an extra layer of weather-proofing I added two lightweight XL size neoprene lens pouches inside the front “lens” pockets. These jacket pocket are lined with a soft, red coloured material which the manufacturers show being used to clean the front of one’s lens. With respect to them, I’ll stick to my individually sealed moist Zeiss lens wipe sachets. 🙂
So, in conclusion, all these things have considerably increased my comfort level and therefore ultimately the fun of getting out there and taking photos. I have no affiliations with the manufacturers of this gear. I thought it might be of interest to others.