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05-08-2012, 10:18 PM   #1
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Not quite the end of LBA...

As some of you know, I have a zillion lenses, 95% of which are manual focus. I'm happy with most, not so happy with some, and some changes are coming up. So I'll solicit some ideas about my future course.

I just returned from a longish sojourn on the USA-Mexico border. I took a big pile of lenses with me, about 50. Try as I might, I didn't use them all. And I'm planning an even longer journey to Central America, driving as far as Nicaragua or Costa Rica if possible, from mid-Octover 2012 to after Easter 2013. This is NOT a trip where I'll carry a large load of gear. Packing one or two dozen kilos into a house for the season is one thing; schlepping all valuables into a new posada or hostel every night (and back to the car every day) is quite something else.

So I'll be down to the K20D (and maybe the AF360) and a (for me) minimal kit: my usuals (DA10-17, Tamron 10-24, DA18-250, FA50/1.4, Raynox DCR-250); my ultra-light minikit (35-50-100mm MFs weighing about 450g / 1lb total); and I'm tempted by the DA21Ltd -- but maybe a DA21XS will appear soon? Maybe a few fast MF primes: the fairly big Vivitar-Kiron 24/2 if I can fix its iris blades, or the small Vivitar-Komine 28/2 CFWA otherwise; the Nikkor 85/2; and that's about it. Plus a tripod, the Sony DSC-V1 and its IR kit, and the Olympus XA as a film backup.

That's just the camera gear. Also along for the ride will be the usual ancient Vaio mini-notebook, and maybe a new tablet, and a 2TB mini-drive to store pictures, and the venerable tiny Icom IC-R2 commo receiver, and power supplies, electric fan (ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY!), extension outlets, etc. And that LowePro sling bag to replace my Ameribag, which is getting worn. And a mandolin -- or my Martin Backpacker guitar, to tide me over till I reach the luthiers' village of Paracho Michoacan.

Which leaves me with a couple quandaries. I have about all the other lenses I need or can afford (no Limited collection on my budget!), but I'm bidding on some cheap wider glass anyway. LBA NEVER DIES! I *definitely* need a new laptop workstation so I can process RAWs; this may force the tiny Vaio to be left behind. There's a truism about technology items: Anything left behind goes obsolete immediately. Why buy a new computer, use it for a few months, then abandon it for 1/2 year? Unused technology just ages too fast -- it's Stranded In Realtime!
________________________________________

Other fantasies run up against the limits I mentioned: Enough lenses; too much gear for peripatetic travel; not-unlimited funds (I still gotta sell stuff before I can buy stuff, and I only have 5 months for that). Those fantasies:

* a super-duper workstation for detailed image editing
* a K-01, for K5 performance in a small package; or
* a NEX, which will fuel LBA for C-mount and LTM lenses; or
* actually using my huge Lil'Bigma and Rubinar 1000/10
* robbing enough minimarts so I can buy all the Limiteds

Now, just because I'm paring-down for travel doesn't mean I'll liquidate my lens library. You won't see a flood of RioRico Rejects in the Marketplace soon; just a few. I'll come back to the survivors, assuming I live that long. I'm just another poor schlub looking for minimax solutions to life's enduring mysteries, or whatever. As long as such solutions involve yet more lenses, I'm happy!

Your comments are appreciated.

05-08-2012, 10:39 PM   #2
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DUDE!!!... I think you have enough. personally I would sell of all your lower quality lenses and trade them in for just 2 or 3 high quality zooms and 2 or 3 killer primes. Trade in all your Baloney for Filet Mignon if you know what I'm saying. You can probably upgrade your laptop with a larger hard drive and max out the ram for cheap, this will increase performance, or maybe find a good deal on a good used laptop. There are many good new laptops out there for under $500.00 these days...Good Luck on your travels.
05-08-2012, 11:24 PM   #3
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I think you should sell maybe what 70% of you MF glass and treat yourself to buy a couple of Limited's
05-08-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Hi RioRico,

If you ever follow the advice of these 2 guys, can you spare me 1 of your 80-85mm manual lens? am more than willing to keep them for you

05-09-2012, 12:14 AM   #5
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I agree with Simon you should sell the bulk of your lenses, especially those you have not used for 6 months or longer.
Lenses and cameras are tools. Photo taking is the real aim for a photo trip.

For me, more than 5 lenses on a trip is a pain (weight). I tend to be at the other extreme and just take 2 prime lenses on overseas trip.

Enjoy your collection!
05-09-2012, 12:28 AM   #6
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I don't have a zillion lenses. only 1 Ltd, few AF, 3-digits manual focus, but they are in 6 different mounts (or more?)

My suggestion for you RioRico, is to get the Sony Nex5n with EVF fast, so you can start to use some of the others - C-mount, leica M, konica AR, canon FD, olympus pen F, and pentax 110 lenses
I used to turn down offers from shorter register distance lenses, but not anymore, now collecting best of each mount, and I can keep collecting in whole my life time...
05-09-2012, 12:42 AM   #7
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Well, for me, the robbery Limited option seems most tempting.

But if we are to keep things strictly on the legal side of the fence, I agree with most everyone above that you should get at least a couple of quality lenses by selling off your least-liked/least-used lenses. You being the RioRico, I suspect there would be a ton of those (maybe even a literal ton?)
05-09-2012, 05:48 AM - 1 Like   #8
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I think there are some specific lessons to learn from Rio's experience, and perhaps my own, although what rio took south for the winter is about the same total as my entire kit, so clearly he is in a different league, but.....

I have my lens collection broken down into really 4 groups. and out of this 3 kits.

I have an M42 kit, as others may have seen posted, is now a little more extended having added an M42 Zenitar 16mm Fisheye. this kit tops out at 200mm and I have I 16 lenses in this kit in the range. i really only have a couple of duplicates, in terms of focal length, but only one lens I would not use in the bunch, that being a 135 Rikenon F2.8 that is a stop slow at every aperture, and has an undesirable color case.

I have a K mount Kit with 24 K and KA primes, from 8mm through 1000mm (counting my mirror lens) and except for 28mm and 50mm where I have several lenses in each focal length, there are NO repeats.

I then have an AF zoom kit with 3 base lenses, a Sigma 10-20, a Tamron 28-75/2.8 and a Sigma 70-200/2.8 plus 1.4x and 2 X Sigma TCs.

the remainder, all zooms, including for autofocus, the DA 18-55, FAJ 18-35, FA 28-80 (power Zoom), FA 28-105 (Power Zoom), and in manual focus, the Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 (version 1) and a Tamron Adaptall II 200-500/5.6.

My useage is as follows
- When I shoot for myself, I would take lenses out of either my M42 kit or my K kit, as I enjoy using MF lenses and if not rushed, or fitting my hobby into some one elses schedule, I go that route.
- If I am travelling on vacation, I take my 3 AF zooms, supplemented with K mount primes, usually short and fast,
- When Birding specifically, I will take the Tamron 200-500 (still working the quirks out of this lens) my 70-200/2.8 with a TC and my K300/4 with the 1.7x AF TC. Maybe the tamron or a shorter lens with macro capability for things to pass the time with between birds as well
- if I am city bound, I take nothing more than 85mm regardless of zooms or primes, or perhaps I will let either the K135/2.5 or the 1.7x AF TC fall into my bag to add to an 85 for a little more reach.

The point is, except for some of the Kit zooms, and a few poor quality lenses that I keep because they are worth exactly ......Nothing..... I don't use every lens daily, and things go in cycles although I think I can honestly say I use virtually every lens every year.

About the only lenses that seemingly just sit are the Rikenon 135/2.8 and a Vivitar MC 400/5.6 and this sits only because I have so many really good options that go to 400mm or more, and focus much closer than the 22 feet this lens focuses to. Dont get me wrong, it is a reasonable lens but I just have 3 better options.

So a large collection does not mean waste, lenses give different looks, and fit not because they are perhaps better, but because they are convenient to use. If for example I am out shooting with M42 lenses, I take the 200/3,5 takumar, but if I am shooting K mounts, (I dont have a K200 yet) I take my series 1 70-210 zoom, and if i am doing AF i take the sigma 70-200/2.8. All lenses are very good, and capable at 200mm, although I think the sigma has them all beat, but the other lenses still perform very well especially at medium focusing distances for outdoor action and portrait. so I take what fits with the rest of what I shoot. It is a convenience thing for me, nothing more. Could I get down to less than 10 lenses, maybe, but not perhaps as conveniently to use, as there might be a mix of AF, MF and M42 lenses.

05-09-2012, 06:07 AM   #9
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Fun timing, as I just tried to list my dreams on my 'blog this weekend. When you have enough, LBA can be managed to adjust and accommodate - at least until the 'perfect' lens smashes the kit and forces others to fall like dominoes (I have lived and regretted this more than once myself).

I've just picked up a copy of an old friend, the Vivitar/Kobori 28-105 f/3.5-4.5, which I think I will live peaceably with the 70-150 Rikenon XR in my m-focus kit. We'll see. It does crowd my new 35-70mm, f/3.4-4.5 180-gram Rikenon P though - I think you'd like a copy of that Rio, small featherweight and decent IQ. There I go, stirring the LBA pot.. if I cannot buy I can torment others to do it! :evil:
05-09-2012, 06:10 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SuperK5 Quote
DUDE!!!... I think you have enough. personally I would sell of all your lower quality lenses and trade them in for just 2 or 3 high quality zooms and 2 or 3 killer primes. Trade in all your Baloney for Filet Mignon if you know what I'm saying. You can probably upgrade your laptop with a larger hard drive and max out the ram for cheap, this will increase performance, or maybe find a good deal on a good used laptop. There are many good new laptops out there for under $500.00 these days...Good Luck on your travels.

XLNT advice!

OP you got too much glass. Upgrade and downsize unless your goal is to be a collector.
05-09-2012, 06:22 AM   #11
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RioRico,
I'm not sure how much real advice you are looking for, but if you are serious about pruning your collection to free up funds for other things, I have a couple of ideas on how to approach it.
Let me start by saying that I own around 10 lenses - but I've only had my camera since late January so I certainly do have a form of LBA. In that collection I ended up with three lenses in the 70-210 range (or thereabouts). I've tried comparing one against the other, I tried using them for fun now and then, and in the end I've decided I don't like two of them, and I could easily live without the third (which also has the best chance of being sold for real money). I also learned that given the way the SR system works on the Pentax, manual zooms are more tricky to use than manual primes because the SR can muck up an image if you have the wrong focal length input. So I'm trying to sell all three at the moment, and if I get a longish lens, it will be a 200mm MF, or an AF zoom.

So getting back to your gear here are two thoughts.
A) pick a focal length - you've said you have about 50 odd 50mm lenses. How many of them do you really use because you are drawn to them, and how many do you use just cause you own them? Sell all the ones in the latter category?
B) would you replace it? if any given lens were to break completely would you bother replacing it? if not, I'd flag it as a candidate worth selling

best of luck,
Marc
05-09-2012, 06:23 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by slackercruster Quote
XLNT advice!

OP you got too much glass. Upgrade and downsize unless your goal is to be a collector.
How can you collect all m42 lenses? or even all K-mount lenses.
RioRico has LBA as a lifestyle (!) and sure, I am respecting that.

I think RioRico still missing something for his super-light-weight-mini-mini-lens-kit - a kind of Mission Impossible.
Finding the one, holding in your hands, give the lens a hug - that's all about: fun, satisfied, feeling completed a quest...

05-09-2012, 06:27 AM   #13
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I too, have similar problems.

Every year I travel to Europe - mostly the UK - and take a month off to take pictures.
Much of my gear stays home.
I have found, without fail, that the one piece of equipment I want, is the one I left behind.
So, I take as much as I can, and lug/change my load-out each day I am out and about.

Then there is the Pentax collector in me that has amassed pretty much anything I crave that says "Pentax" on it.

Ultimately, I keep whatever Pentax items I don't use, and rarely clean house of unused gear. To my friends (that own Pentax), I am the "Pentax Fairy" in that if they buy a Pentax, I let them borrow whatever I have.

So my collection is always used.
05-09-2012, 07:26 AM   #14
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I sense a bit of hunger here. Hunger for my accumulation. "Hey Rico, you don't *need* all that stuff, let me take it off your hands for you, bro!" Sorry, my 80s are staying here: Jupiter-9 and Nikkor 85/2; Carl Zeiss Tessar 80/2.8; Agfa Apotar 85/4.5. Yes, I constantly consider what more to sell. No, I don't accumalate glass just to have it. My purposes are to use it, and to know it, hence the "lens library". Not a collection -- I can't collect the entire set of anything, except maybe Limiteds, given enough cash.

Much of my accumulation are definitely keepers. My Takumars stay (except the SuperTak 55/2) as do my Meyer-Pentacons and Ennas and Russians and Sears and Isco-Schneiders, and everything in PK-A mount. Both the faster and slower glass stay, as do (for now) the set of cheap FF-kit AF zooms -- for IQ testing, eh? And then there are all the enlarger-projector-copy-etc lenses that are hardly worth selling. Argh.

What I'm indecisive over are the middling lenses, especially those in PK-M mount. The no-name (Hanimex, Rokinon, Porst, Accura, etc) f/2.8s in 28-35-135mm. The Pentax M50/2s (body-cap lenses). All fairly common glass -- that likely won't sell for much, at least not now. I figure that by my projected return next spring, some of those WILL be worth selling. Oh yes please, gimme a spike in M50/2 prices!

So yes, I'll be selling lenses, but nowhere near 70%. And yes, I'll be upgrading lenses, but not by sacrificing my selected gems. Yes, I'm always looking to use what I have, hence my LOTD (lens-of-the-day) strategy. No, I can't haul everything with me across Central America. But after our return, we're plotting on a housecar to putt us around North America, with plenty of room aboard to stash lenses -- the bulk of non-experimental glass would easily fit under a dinette seat.

I'll find a balance, with enough for my purposes. Unless I get a NEX, in which case I WILL be inundated with C-mount and LTM goodies. The path to destruction...

QuoteOriginally posted by hoanpham Quote
I think RioRico still missing something for his super-light-weight-mini-mini-lens-kit - a kind of Mission Impossible.
Finding the one, holding in your hands, give the lens a hug - that's all about: fun, satisfied, feeling completed a quest...
Ah yes, my Endless Dream of fulfilling my Ultar-Light Mini-Kit with the XR Rikenon 28/3.5 Aspheric (60g). And to fill-out that minikit with a few other ultra-lights: Fisheye Takumar 18/8 (90g); DA21Ltd (110g) or DA21XS (lighter?); Loreo 35/5.6-64 (30g). I'd better bump my LENS WANTED post on that XR Rikenon. Someday, I may find it...

NOTE: I accumulate a few types of things: media, musical instruments, ethnic arts and crafts, etc. I have only COLLECTED just one category, a certain publication. Only 42 issues were published. I now have them all, and some very limited related paraphenalia. I HAVE THE COMPLETE SET! So now I can attend to other matters. Open-ended collecting is just too dangerous. We gotta know our limits, eh?

Last edited by RioRico; 05-09-2012 at 07:40 AM.
05-09-2012, 07:58 AM   #15
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I don't have any particular comment on your equipment selection (except that maybe a well-worn looking bag might be preferable to a new one, in terms of not looking too affluent). However,

QuoteOriginally posted by RioRico Quote
And a mandolin -- or my Martin Backpacker guitar, to tide me over till I reach the luthiers' village of Paracho Michoacan.
It so happens I've been to Paracho. My brother-in-law even bought a guitar there! Turns out there are many guitar shops there, but only a handful actually still make them there. (Not much point in going all the way to Paracho and not get an instrument made by the guy you're talking to.) That was a surprise; worth knowing in advance.

Anyway, here's my brother-in-law after having bought his new guitar from a maker in Paracho. Awesome! More photos inside that particular luthier's shop on my photo stream.

Safe travels!
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