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Absolute minimum kit

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dixeyk, May 30, 2012.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I am big into eliminating clutter and just going with the essentials. As such my camera hobby has always been somewhat of a puzzler because I invariably end up collecting lots of lenses and bodies (as people that know me here can attest to). I started thinking recently what would be the absolute minimum I could be happy with as a kit. Not that I want to go bare essentials but I am curious as to what I could live with if I had to.

    Helios 44M

    Body wise the Panasonic G and GH series just fit my hands so well and I love how well they handle and how comfortable they are.I would go with my GH2. The G2 came in a VERY close second but in the end the GH2 wins out because of the bigger view in the EVF, multi-aspect sensor and better video. Lens wise I think I could make a go of it with the P20 and P14-45 native lenses and my Helios 44M for adapted lenses. That gives me a handy zoom range with decent WA, a nice fast normal, and an adapted lenses that give me a look unlike anything I can't get on any of my native lenses.

    So...what would YOUR absolute minimum be? It has to be from the gear you already own, meaning no "OMD and 35mm Summicron" unless you actually own them already...and yes that would be as pretty cool combo.
  2. duke

    duke Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    For me it's the 14&20 lenses with any body (right now the OM-D). I've used plenty of other gear but for whatever reason I keep coming back to these two lenses. I've tried the 12&25 but they just don't work the same for me. The 7-14 is fantastic, but the size of the 14 makes it much easier to take everywhere. I have the Oly45 and the Rokinon fisheye right now, but they are both specialty lenses for me.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. pxpaulx

    pxpaulx Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 19, 2010
    Well an absolute bare minimum would be the e-pm1 (e-m5 when it comes though) along with the rokinon 7.5mm fish and panny 20mm. That would only be if I didn't have a bag.

    If I've got my caselogic sling This One (which I just used to travel to Toronto and it was spectacular!), then I'd take what I took to Toronto, no question:

    E-pm1/p1 (replaced with e-m5 whenever it decides to come)
    7.5mm, 14mm, 20mm, pentax 43mm f1.9 ltd, 45-200mm, FL-36R
    ...along with e-reader and 1 or 2 tablets and any other essentials!

    That bag and m4/3 were made for each other, makes my huge dakine camera backpack cry in the corner.
  4. Luke

    Luke Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 30, 2010
    Milwaukee, WI
    When I first got the gf1 with the 20mm it was all I ever used and my photos were better for it. I definitely get better when I stick with one focal length.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I love the "less is better" approach...to everything in life...furniture, clothing, etc. I'm now rethinking the whole concept of "covering every focal length". In many situations, I can cover a focal length just by moving my body...not always possible, but generally speaking.

    My kit is currently:

    -body (right now pen mini)
    -PL25 (because it's my "normal")

    Going to a good home in the near future:
    -oly 45 (although I love it, it doesn't get used)
    -14mm (virtually never used)
    -kit lens (of no interest)

    ...and I guess while we're at it, a strap (I have a Domke that I'm fond of). I don't own a bag yet.

    Future add-ons
    -something for the super-long ranges I can't reach on foot (ie - 200 or 300mm)
    -maybe a wide-to-normal, like the upcoming pana 12-35
    -a little flash for parties
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I am the same. I do much better with fewer choices. I use my zoom for family snaps (going to the zoo, sons birthday etc.). Of course now that I sthink about it some more I could amend my minimalist set to the P20 and the Helios 44M.
  7. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    My absolute minimum kit? A PEN Mini with a 50mm f/1.5 rangefinder lens. ;) 

    I'm perfectly happy with that kit... but the problem is, I can't be perfectly happy with just one kit. I need a different kit for different purposes. ;) 
  8. troll

    troll Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 25, 2012
    One standard zoom, one fast normal prime.. maybe a telephoto zoom, if you need those focal lengths on a regular basis. Having a cheap and small backup body, like your E-P1, is a good thing as well. G2 gotta go, I guess, it's just a (simpler) version of GH2, a Pen better fits as a backup camera (smaller, IBIS for 20).
  9. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I hear you. My O45 and P14 are probably going to the sale table as well. They're both excellent lenses but like you the P14 gets little use and since I picked up the P14-45 it gets none at all. The O45 is another matter...I like it and realize it is an outstanding lens but it's not a focal length I use that much and I am finding I prefer any of my three adapted lenses more (Super Takumar 50/1.4, Helios 44M, and Hexanon 50/1.4) when I want a short telephoto. I think the longer close focus distance has been the biggest issue for me with that lens.
  10. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    You're a working photographer though...that's to be expected. I work in IT.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. addieleman

    addieleman Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 5, 2010
    The Netherlands
    I don't do minimal. If I pick up my bag, it at least contains a GH2 and four Panny lenses 7-14, 14-45, 20, 45-175. Alternatively I take the Panny 7-14 and 20 and Minolta MD 28/2, 50/1.4 and 75-150/4 and add a tripod as well. The smallish Gitzo CF tripod has been one of my most useful purchases.
  12. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    My love of the PENs is coming to a close. I pick up my E-P1 and while I like the way it looks and feels I am finding that I have a hard time actually using it anymore. Right now it's an awesome looking paperweight on my desk. been through almost all the variations of the PEN models and have come to the conclusion that they're great cameras...just not for me.
  13. Fred49

    Fred49 Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2010

    Used to be EP2 + 20mm

    now its more like em5 + 25 +45.
  14. acercanto

    acercanto Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 15, 2011
    SW VA, USA
    My current kit is my barebones kit. It goes with me everywhere.
    GF1 + 20mm/1.7 + 45-200
    I have a few manual lenses, but hardly ever use them, now that I have the Pany 20.

    • Like Like x 1
  15. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    To each their own. I don't think I'd have much fun hauling that around (although it is smaller than the equivalent DSLR setup).
  16. Markb

    Markb Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 9, 2011
    Kent, UK
    G3 or EP1, 20, kit zoom. I think that covers virtually everything. VF-1 for the 20 if I choose the EP1.
  17. D@ne

    D@ne Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 23, 2012
    I adore the quality of the images that the 45 produces, but the focal length has proven difficult for me...not long enough when I want to be sneaky (photographing animals, etc.), and too long when photographing everyday things (people, my dog, etc.) When the length is right though, the photos are outstanding...frankly I wish it was a 25 or 30. :( 

    The 14, as I said, it a total waste of money in my case...sure, it's cheap, but that money could have gone toward the telezoom in my future.
  18. 6x6

    6x6 Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 12, 2011
    Limited funds: body, kit zoom, fast prime
    A bit more: body, three primes.
    Lots of money: latest body, three primes, the upcoming fast Pana zoom.
  19. Adubo

    Adubo SithLord Subscribing Member

    Nov 4, 2010
    On a daily non photographic walk/going about malls, I bring the epl2 + 14. But when going out for shoots, i(currently) I bring the epl2 and a sigma 30 plus extra SD cards and extra battery. For a whole day shooting, to me the weight is still minimal, I just add an e-p1 to pair with the sigma and a couple more SDs and batteries, that's it.

    Hopefully I get to a samyang 7.5 soon, and that's going inside the bag
  20. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    A camera and a lens...
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