Kate’s been planning a mystery vacation for us. I have a bit of hard time planning vacations, but I do fine if someone just shoves me on the plane, so the idea was to just cut me out of the planning phase altogether. One morning last week she lit slip our destination before her morning coffee kicked in; I knew addicting her to caffeine would eventualy pay off. The destination, Paris, with a side trip to Brussels to see our friends Kelly & Joe.
My only planning for this trip has been deciding what camera gear to take. One camera, one lens and a bag full of film seemed to work well in Tokyo, so I though I’d do the same on this trip, but take it one step further and standardize on one film, Delta 400. This should keep photo-futzing to a minimum, which for me seems to result in more fun and better pictures. I’ve pretty much decided on taking the 35, but I might change my mind and go for the 50 at the last minute. If I have a moment of weakness it will be the 50 and the 28 🙂
Just about the time I had fully decided on this minimalist course, Antarcica In the Bag popped up on LuLa (props to Colin for the LuLa appellation). I’ve enjoyed Reichman’s other ‘In the Bag’ essays. Reading about someone shlepping a hundred pounds of gear through airports is a good cure for gear lust. Unlike previous essays in the series, this one contained some statistics for people to latch onto, mostly about how all those poor suckers with 1 series canons had to resort to using digi-rebels when the big iron failed in a light rain. I’m not sure why folks think that Canons are really “Pro” cameras any more when the market is surely mostly retired dentist and studio photographers. Why build them to pro standards when the only pros that use them are going to use them in a studio? That’s a rant for another day . . .
Lurking in that failure rate story was something more interesting though. Reichman only brought back 92 keepers. A few folks have noted that 92 divided by the 7000 some frames he took is a really small number. A slightly less small number is the 92 divided by the weight of his gear. Here’s the math:
- H2 body, 3 pounds
- 35mm Hassy lens, 2 pounds
- 50mm-110mm Hassy lens, 3.5 pounds
- 210mm Hassy lens, 3 pounds
- 1DsMKII, 2.5 pounds
- Canon 24-105, 1.5 pounds
- Canon 70-200, 3.5 pounds
- Canon 100-400, 3.00 pounds
- M8 and assorted lens, call it 5 pounds
- Tripod and Head, 8ish pounds
- Laptop, 5 pounds is pretty standard
- 4 compact hard drives, 5 pounds
- LowePro Dryzone 200 bag, 5 pounds?
- Thinktank monstrosity bag, 10 pounds, empty!
- Batteries, chargers, etc, 10 pounds?
- Eh, rounding error, 50 pounds so that I can say he carried 100 pounds of gear
OK, fine, he didn’t actually carry 100 pounds of camera gear. Even if we round it down to fifty pounds and round his keeper count up to 100 – I like nice round number and even math – we are still left with only two keepers per pound. Applying that to my 5 pound equipment load for Paris, I can plan on taking home 10 keepers? I’m ok with that. If we redid the math to make it keepers per dollar spent on equipment, I’d be lucky to get one otherwise good but half-fogged frame. Good thing we aren’t doing that math!