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Let's talk gear: Growing Pains

Updated: Feb 7, 2021

It felt good picking up the Fujifilm X-T2 each time as my primary camera. When you love the gear you have, the more encouraged and enthusiastic you are to use it. I fell in love with this setup; it was compact and delivered the results I was looking for with ease. It now reached the point where I was looking to accessorize my gear and really make it my own.

A camera strap from Sailor Strap and a JJC soft shutter release button were the first steps. All in complimentary colour ways to boot. The purchases were not just vanity though, they improved functionality and feel of the gear. The way I could carry the camera "sling" style and still get impulse shots out and about was possible with the "Skinny Jimmy Deluxe" strap from Sailor Strap. The JJC soft shutter release improved feedback for me when triggering the shutter while also making it just that little bit easier to reach with the index finger. These were both positive additions.

Now it was travel time again; a return to the Philippines spending time with friends and family - and of course taking the opportunity for some photographic adventures. During this trip, I visited Ayala, Makati with my family for some shopping and the obligatory sightseeing. With that of course, comes a dash of photography. It is a lovely area for some street photography, especially during dusk when the sun begins to set and the golden hues reveal themselves. This presented yet another chance to put the setup of the Fujifilm X-T2 and 35mm f2 to the test - and I was not disappointed.

I was most definitely pleased with the results and keen to move on to the next opportunity. Another of my passions is, of course, street photography. Nightlife and street food were on the menu. One of the popular areas to experience both is in an area known as Maginhawa. My cousins and I were browsing around for a place to go when a certain establishment caught our eyes - Streat Food Park. This place was a target rich environment in both food options and photographic opportunities. The food and drinks were glorious as we tried a selection from different stalls and took in the experience. The photos will hopefully speak for themselves.

It is always an enjoyable experience to travel and partake in this passion of mine; to also challenge myself and my gear in this photographic endeavour. However, time passed by and I started feeling like I wanted to expand my gear further. As I was primarily shooting with the Fujinon 35mm f2 prime, I felt this was the logical starting point to expand my capabilities in terms of focal range. Prior to purchasing my Fujifilm kit, I was debating which lens to get between the Fujinon 23mm f2 and the Fujinon 35mm f2. We both know how this turned out in the end. So, I approached it again, thinking if I should go for the 23mm f2 this time around. Ultimately, I felt there was not enough difference in it to justify purchasing that lens. To put it another way, I wanted something significantly different. Either something with more reach in focal length or a wider focal length.

During my research, I saw a lot of buzz around the Fujinon 16mm f1.4 prime lens with many review outlets proclaiming it to be Fujifilm's best lens. After checking out more reviews and viewing photographic samples, I could see why. The desire I had for this lens grew more and more with each piece of research conducted. The only drawback was this high price of entry. It was a considerable amount of money to put down, especially as I still was not sure how invested I wanted to get in this hobby - where do I draw the line.

While all of this was going on, I was still in possession of my Nikon gear and Sigma lens. It felt like the next logical step was to sell off this gear to finance the Fujifilm gear and build up everything I needed. Once I had reached this conclusion and moved on from the Nikon setup, I could finally go all in on Fuji. I took the next leap of faith and ordered the Fujinon 16mm f1.4.

The honking lens arrived, and it was a beauty. The hype was real, the colour rendition and overall output of the lens was outstanding. It was quite an adjustment getting used to this focal length after using the 35mm for so long. My eyes were opened to new possibilities. Below is a sample of some street photography in Camden, London with one of my long-time friends from high school.

My satisfaction for this setup and combination was very high. The Fujifilm X-T2 with the Fujinon 16mm f1.4 and Fujinon 35mm f2 was my path forward. There was enough flexibility to shoot a range of styles. Once again, I felt liberated with the decisions I had made. This level of gear was a fantasy not too long ago. But I finally had the means and commitment to go for it now and I wanted to capitalise.

I had been bitten by the gear bug, however, and this love affair did not last as long as I thought it would. Be sure to check back and see the next chapter of this story.


Disclaimer: I did not receive any of the products for paid/unpaid promotion. I purchased all products mentioned for myself. I am not affiliated to any company mentioned nor do I post affiliate links.

Having said that, if any of the accessories interest you, they can be purchased from the following places:

Sailor Strap "Skinny Jimmy Deluxe": | Link |

JJC SRB Series Soft Release Button: | Amazon Link |

Links valid as of 03/05/2020

Please let me know if the links no longer work and you would like to find these products.

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