Are you carrying too much?

Forums All About Photography Are you carrying too much?

This topic contains 9 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  ajroyle 2 years, 1 month ago.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)
  • Author
  • #12408



    We were all a bit shocked when Paul told us that he injured himself carrying all his gear on the Norfolk trip, but I have realised that you do cause yourself damage in even carrying a modest amount of equipment.


    I turned to Fuji equipment three years ago and a major factor was the weight of the DSLR gear I was carrying around – it was mainly just about the effort, I didn’t give much thought for the effects on my posture and skeleton. Delighted to be carrying less I turned to a shoulder bag rather than a rucksack and this was a mistake – however light the load is it is unbalanced.


    I have quite suddenly realised that my bag has caused a twist in my upper body – not painful but enough to lose me the starring role in the Tarzan remake! (There may be other reasons for that!)


    One trap is that because of the lighter weight of the camera and lenses, you carry more items and you don’t realise that you are throwing so much weight on to one shoulder or one side of your body.


    I have started to put my shoulder bag into a normal, thin rucksack. A rucksack pulls more equally on both shoulders and keeps your posture even.


    Now, where is that note of United Artists telephone number?





    Ian McNab

    I’m sorry to hear that your twist has lost you the starring role in the Tarzan remake, John. (Try carrying the bag on the other shoulder for a while to twist you in the other direction? 😉 )

    As you know, I was very struck by David Hurn’s remark that these days his Fuji X100T was all the camera he ever needed (“a wonderful little camera – it almost takes pictures in the dark!”). I guess he (and other Magnum photographers) have for years tended to use one camera and one lens – in the past, a Leica with a 35mm or, as in HCB’s case, a 50mm; more recently, an equivalent Fuji or Sony, or, in more than one case, an iPhone. (Yes, seriously, there’s at least one Magnum photographer who has used an iPhone exclusively for professional work for several years.)

    When I think back over the last year, I notice that I’ve routinely been using the Fuji X100s, even though I have other cameras and various lenses. (When I know I’m going to be photographing in crowds, I use an XPro1 with an 18mm (28mm ffe) lens.) The X100s has coped with most of the stuff I photograph – people, landscape, etc. It’s normally all I ever carry, in a very small shoulder bag with some spare batteries and a lens hood. It’s certainly what goes on holiday with me in my carry-on ruck sack, along with my book, specs and sweets.

    I admit I don’t shoot sports or nature, for which BIG telephoto lenses and cameras with fast autofocus / focus tracking / high continuous-shooting frame rates are, I’m told, essential. (How do you sports/nature guys manage all that gear???)

    But I think you’re right, John, to use a ruck sack: afterall, you do carry such a very large sandwich box! 😉



    Same here, I tend to mainly be carrying my 100s in a small bag. I would have said that 3/4 of my pictures are taken with it, but,  as I reported elsewhere, Lr tells me it is 50/50. I suppose if you go by the number of separate occasions when it is used the 100s wins hands down.

    Whilst long lenses, high frame rate and fast focus are priority for sports and nature and ultimate detail capture for landscape we “generalists” are less demanding of those aspects of performance. Not that the Fuji is far behind the the best equipment for those tasks.

    The 100s certainly qualifies as a very capable “carry around” camera, though many would prefer a zoom lens rather than the fixed 35mm  (equivalent) I like working with it. So why do I carry too many lenses when I take the XT1?

    If Fuji update the 100s/100T in a sensible way it could go straight to the top of my Christmas list, overtaking the Pro2 and XT2. (I know they have said that they will do “nothing more” with the 100, but that doesn’t preclude a 200s).

    In reality top of my list is sorting out better macro kit, and I am really looking foward to the new macro lens promised for early 2017.



    Ian McNab

    FujiRumours had an article about a month ago suggesting that it had heard that Fuji would release an updated X100T, to be called the X100F, next year (2017), with the larger, 24 megapixel sensor that’s in the X-Pro2 and X-T2.

    Perhaps I’ll wait before plumping for the X-Pro2 + 23mm F2!


    Martin McGing

    Quite a few of my images this season will be sports related and I typically only carry one camera and one lens.  Prior to the event I decide the type of shots I would like to get and that dictates my choice of lens.  I don’t worry if I cannot cover all the focal lengths because  photography is my hobby not my profession.  So relatively speaking I travel light, no camera bag just a protective cover for my camera and lens, just in case it rains.  If I use a telephoto lens then I will use a monopod to support the weight.  I find that a camera on a monopod balances quite well on my shoulder.


    Ian McNab

    That’s interesting, Martin. So am I right in thinking that when shooting sports, a photographer will tend to find a spot to work from, and not move around a great deal (so, won’t actually be carrying the equipment all that much)? I guess something similar will be true for a nature photographer working from a hide: once you’ve got the equipment there, you aren’t going to be lugging it round all the time. So the pattern would be: drive to location – shortish walk – set up and stay for the event – shortish walk back to car – drive home.

    This is quite different from the sort of thing John and I do, where the most important bit of kit is comfortable shoes, ‘cos you’ll be walking round (with your camera gear) for several hours (sometimes all day).

    I imagine that people doing landscape have to do some serious walking and gear-lugging.


    Martin McGing

    Yes, that’s how I work and if I need something different then my car is never too far away. If I’m on holiday with no particular shot in mind I use my camera phone.  The only time I carry a bag is at Whitby and that’s more of a security thing but It’s still one camera and one choice of lens.  Now when I venture into the world of nature……………



    Martin has a good philosophy there. I started this thread because I had no idea at all that I was doing myself an injury, no pain, no trouble, I just suddenly realised that, when I lay flat my back didn’t touch the ground evenly. Then other things I had noticed fell into place and I realised that by upper body had been twisted. I am doing something about it now.


    • This reply was modified 2 years, 1 month ago by  ajroyle.

    Pete Robinson

    Just a thought. As cameras are produced with higher and higher megapixels will we get to the stage where you won’t need a big heavy powerful lens. You should be able to use your standard lens and crop the image and still get a good quality/resolution image. Or is the mountain air effecting me?



    This has already happened. There is a Leica camera (the Q) which is full frame 28mm lens f1.7. If you want a longer lens (the 28mm is fixed) you dial it in in the viewfinder.

    There is nothing to stop you doing this yourself, of course. Take a shot at 23mm and crop to about 50. I suppose this is why the 50mm (equiv) converter available for the fixed lens 100s does not sell very well. Why make it at all? I suppose they expect, and this is the crux, by providing the 50mm image to start with you have (?) better quality than the enlarged 23mm. Focussing is easier too.

    It was happening years ago. Many cheap cameras had a “zoom” but when you looked into it it was a digital zoom, simple enlargement of the image, and it was never worth using – except that it would be accompanied by an enlarged view before taking, which would help in focussing. This is something you sometimes did with a zoom lens, zoom in to focus then out to take.

    But I am sure Peter is thinking beyond this to the idea of having such pixel density that you could do a “digital zoom” over a big range.

    You would always lose out because 1) no matter how good the quality zooming looses it, progressively, 2) focussing will become more and more difficult as the focal length increases.

    You also have an over-riding factor which guarantees it will never happen – manufacturers will sell fewer lenses!

    Meanwhile, over short focal length ranges, yes, you can already do it.

Viewing 10 posts - 1 through 10 (of 10 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.