At the beginning of each year, I like to clean out all my camera bags, sell off some gear that might be gathering dust, and make room for the inevitable new stuff I won’t be able to resist.
In keeping with the spirit of Fuji’s small and light cameras, I wanted to make sure my Fuji gig kit for 2019 would be compact enough for a pleasant shooting experience but still able to handle any event or news job I might get assigned.
Here it is. I’ll break it down from left to right.
It starts with an Ona Prince Street messenger bag. At $280, the Ona is not cheap, but for me the bag’s exceptional functionality and durability are worth it. I originally purchased it when I needed to walk the perennially wet streets of Seattle with my gear. The Ona is made from waxed canvas, so water just rolls off, keeping gear nice and dry. Also, it looks bloody cool. And it doesn’t scream camera bag.
Next is Godox’s TT685F flash and XproF wireless trigger. I don’t use flash much on gigs any longer, but I like to have one around, and I definitely prefer it to be a wireless unit that can control the flash. If you have used Canon’s wireless system, you’ll be familiar with this option from Godox; the build quality is not in the same league as Canon’s, but the Godox’s weight is more manageable. When you need to spread some light around it gets the job done.
For lenses, I bring primes now: the 90mm f/2, the 35mm f/2, and the 18mm f/2. The 18mm is always attached to the camera because I like to start with wides and environmental portraits. The 35mm earns its spot in the bag because of the weather sealing; I’m in Atlanta now, and you never know when the sky shall open and start pouring down. I don’t love the 35mm as a focal length on a crop sensor, but it’s nice to have a step between the 18mm and the 90mm, an absolutely beautiful lens that helps produce lovely portraits. It’s the heaviest thing in my bag and gets the least amount of use among the trio, but I wouldn’t leave home without it.
And now the camera—an X-Pro2. There are compromises a photographer must make with any camera, but for me when it came out in 2016, the X-Pro2 was pretty much exactly what I wanted and needed: a weather-sealed, silent-shooting, rangefinder-style body with two card slots. I shoot RAW to one card and JPEGs with Fuji’s amazing film simulations to the other card. I’ve never had a freeze up, a crash, or lost a file. Any missed shot or moment (and there have been plenty) has been my fault alone. I have no complaints: after all, a perfectly functioning camera that also feels great and looks lovely in the hand is all one can ever truly ask for.
Last is a Black Rapid strap. If you haven’t tried one and still rock the old-fashioned neck-torture device, just throw that thing away and grab a Black Rapid. You’ll love it as much as I do.