Sunday, December 16, 2012

Robin Wong – A good article on his blog regarding color, low light, simplicity, etc … *updated*

Check out this article by Robin Wong. I saw a link to it on a new thread in the Micro Four Thirds forum at

Here’s an interesting quote that is worth commenting on I think …

[Update: I managed to miss Robin’s attribution for the quote below, which originated from Scott Bourne’s blog entry “Seven Things Photographers Do To Ruin Their Photographs.” Sorry Scott …]

Photography should not be an expensive hobby. The focus should not be about collecting gear. You know something is wrong when you carry so many cameras, lenses and accessories in one bag. I only had one camera body, with one lens with me this morning. Usually I would carry one more lens just in case, either the 50mm F1.8 (gorgeous lens too) or the much looked down 18-70mm kit lens. I think simplicity works better, and as you have slimmed down your gear, you concentrate on making images happen. You worry less about equipment choice, and pay more attention to what is happening around you. We should pay attention to what we are shooting, how we shoot it, than what we are shooting with !!

The premise is both true and false. I dumped 6 bodies – D7000 as my main cam and a bunch of long zoom compacts – and replaced them with four m4/3 bodies – GF3, G5, GH2 and GX1, the latter is winging its way to me from as I write this – so I certainly cannot say that I completely agree with the sentiment that multiple bodies is a bad thing.

In fact, it depends entirely on what you are doing. So here is how I use these or will use these:

  • Walk about – I can stick the GF3 with either the Sigma 19mm 2.8 or the Panasonic 14-42 X Vario PZ into my coat pocket easily.
  • Light travel (e.g. overseas) – G5 with 14-140 and perhaps a fast prime or two in a corner of my backpack.
  • Travel where weight is not as much a concern – G5 with 14-140, GF3 with a prime, perhaps the Samyang fisheye. Perhaps a couple of small primes in the backpack.
  • Studio work – all bodies with primes, and perhaps the 45-175
  • Video – all bodies with primes and the 45-175, possibly the 14-42 as well

And so on … I think you get my drift here.

I really like recording the band and so I am equipped to do a creditable job … especially since I am now running Driftwood’s Cluster V6 Drewnet patch on the GF3 and the GH2. The GX1 will get a Galaxian variation when it arrives. I also have a pair of TASCAM DR05 recorders to supplement what the cameras hear.

But I also like to just carry a cam now and again and that is generally a small one with a single fast prime lens or the more versatile 14-42 pancake zoom.

In the end, the quote above makes a lot of sense … but is narrowly focused. What it comes down to is to know what you plan to do with your equipment. I do agree though, that taking extra equipment can be a drag as it introduces choices into what should be a simple decision making process as you go through the shoot. He is dead right about that.

Great article … Robin’s blog is one to follow.