Tuesday, 19 January 2010
My 1st Camera, Iloca Quick B Fixed Lens Coupled Rangefinder
Camera gear can be a bit of a problem when you're trying to reduce pack weight. I started out with a fixed lens rangefinder and separate exposure meter and the first camera I bought was an SLR, an Olympus OM10 to be exact. That was back in around 1982 and apart from a brief period with a Nikon D70, my 1st DSLR, I've always used Olympus SLRs, usually carrying 2, one with a print film and one with slide film. I never really took to compact cameras whether 35mm or digital and therein lies the problem, D/SLRs and their associated paraphernalia weight vastly more than a compact. There are some really good compacts on the market, I'd probably go for a Panasonic LX-3 but I simply prefer the operation and eye-level viewfinder of a D/SLR.
1st of Many, My Olympus OM10
Olympus OM1N, Fully Manual with Mechanical Shutter. The Battery lasts for Years as it only Powers the Exposure Meter, the camera still works without a battery
I had been using an Olympus E-3 but combined with the 14-54 f/2.8-3.5 lens it came in at almost 1.5kg which was a bit too much. I'd always liked the look of the E-400/410/420 which are very much in the style of manual focus SLRs, a small body without bulge to hold a large capacity battery. Eventually I bought an E-420 + 14-42 f/3.5-5.6 lens from Argos. The camera + lens is almost half the weight of the E-3 + lens at just over 700g. Thats a welcome weight saving but I'm really waiting to see how micro 4/3rds pans out, there are currently 5 models but nothing so far ticks all the boxes for me although the Panasonic offerings appeal to me more than the Olympus ones.
In addition to the camera and lens I carry a small tripod, I read about it on Dave Hanlons blog and decided it would fit the bill as Dave uses an Olympus E-400 DSLR similar to my own. It isn't the strongest or tallest tripod on the market but can just about manage the E-400/420, best of all it only weighs about 280g.
Filter and Accessories
Memory card Wallet with IR Remote, Spare CF Card and VF Cover
The other items I carry are 2 x spare batteries, an ND4 neutral density grad filter, a Cokin A Series filter holder with one of the slots removed to make it pack easier, they normally have 3 slots to allow you to fit a combination of filters but I only carry one system filter anyway. A lens wet-wipe and lens cloth in addition to the aforementioned all fit into a neoprene pouch designed for a Minidisc player. I also carry a screw in Polarising filter and use a Sandisk CF memory card wallet to carry a spare CF card, IR remote and viewfinder cover, the wallet is attached to the camera pouch on a thin mobile phone lanyard and stays in the bottom of the camera pouch together with the Polarising filter. I always used CCS (Camera Care Systems) pouches in the past and although CCS are no longer in business I managed to find a new CCS Snowflake pouch on ebay.
E-420 c/w Hoodhat
I normally carry the camera with the lens hood attached ready to use and having lost my lens cap I use a 'Hoodhat' which is basically a neoprene cover that slips over the lens hood, I find them quicker to use than lens caps which can be tricky to remove with gloves on.
The Complete Set
The complete set-up weighs in at 1533g which is outrageous compared to my wife's Panasonic FX-150 that I sometimes borrow but old habits die hard and it's just one more compromise I'm prepared to make.
Olympus E-System DSLRs