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07-15-2018, 11:59 AM - 1 Like   #1

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What would you choose.... for your minimalist photo equipment list ?

This is my thinking and this us what I would choose...and why ?

I was thinking the other day about my 1951 35 mm, Leica 11f rangefinder with it's even older 50mm Leitz Elmar F 3.5 collapsible lens. I've had this great little combo since 1981 and used it a fair amount over the years. It still works well, no problems ever.

I have some accessories for it, including my old Vivitar 285 HV flash that works well for flash pix...I just plug in the cord camera to flash. The old Leica doesn't have a light meter, but I have three...all Sekonic, and two work well, one doesn't as mercury batteries are no longer available.

I have thought if I had bought a 28mm or 35 mm Leica lens and maybe the 90mm Leica lens...that would give me wide angle, normal 50 and moderate telephoto 90mm. I would need nothing other than this equipment (no super telephoto) for 95% of my photography.

Got me to thinking. I started 'good' photography in 1968, bought a Pentax S1a, 35 mm SLR, with a 55 mm Takumar lens (standard) F2 and a 10 dollar Sekonic light meter. I eventually got a small Honeywell flash and a 135mm F 3.5 Takumar lens. All this by 1972-73.

It's now 2018 and of course like many of you out there, I acquired a lot of camera equipment over the past number of decades.

But did I need to ? Nope, not really, even though I'm a camera/ photo enthusiast. I think I would also add a Takumar 35mm F 2.8 or F 3.5 into the mix and I could of got by quite nicely right up to the digital age....with my old basic Pentax S1a.

If I were going to do the minimalist thing now, I would use as camera body.... a Pentax K-1, my 4o mm F 2.8 Limited (kind of close to what Eisenstadt and Cartier-Bresson liked as their single lens...a 50mm 'normal' Leitz.) and perhaps my 28-105 or the Pentax 24-70 F 2.8. A Pentax 360 flash, battery grip to house my large hands and extra battery and that would be it.

I do take wildlife photos and use my Sigma 150-500 lens...but wildlife photography requiring a super telephoto.... constitutes maybe 5 % of my output. So I might or not keep the Bigma. If I'm thinking minimalist and being a purist with my question and thread...than the Sigma would go.

Or if I won the lottery, a new Leica rangefinder body, 28mm Leica wide angle, 50mm normal, 90mm moderate telephoto, Metz flash.

That is it, no other photography equipment. I think I could do the overwhelming majority of my photography with one body and 2-3 lenses and a simple flash. Either Pentax K-1 or Leica.

If you went minimalist in photography equipment...what would you choose and why.... for your minimal list ?

* Disclosure: I love using all my old equipment, both film and digital. Like Oliver Twist I always want more. In real life I couldn't bear to rid myself of any of my equipment as it is all valued and I enjoy using it. But for the sake of this thread, just ignore my disclosure.

07-15-2018, 04:27 PM   #2
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I have been mulling over the same thought, as I have been doing a lot of hiking and do NOT like carrying a lot of stuff. I like it when my pack is in the 15lb or under range. So, what I have been going with is Pentax SP1000, S-M-C Takumar 28mm f:3.5 (plus lens hood), Super Takumar 135mm f:2.5 (plus lens hood), a short macro ring, a few contrast filters and lightweight tripod. That setup is a little limiting, but I'm getting used to moving my body around instead of switching lenses or zooming. Kind of fun.
07-15-2018, 04:43 PM   #3
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Maybe I’m going through the inevitable jettisoning of ‘stuff’so many of my friends have recently experienced. Right now about 1/3 of all the gear I’ve accumulated is on a table. I keep finding things and either putting them on the table or adding them to my gear list here. As my gear list grows, so rises my discomfort with what I have accumulated.

I could never actually do this (it would involve selling the K-1 and all the lenses), but in reality I could do 90% of the images in my Catalog the last 12 months (whichever camera and lens I used) with the KP, DA21, DA40 and DA70.

Minimalist Kit (which is already in a Domke F3x):
KP without battery grip
HD DA21/3.2 Limited
HD DA40/2.8 Limited
HD DA70/2.4 Limited
AF360FGZ w/ diffuser
One extra battery

Last edited by monochrome; 07-18-2018 at 04:27 PM.
07-15-2018, 05:48 PM - 1 Like   #4
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K5IIs, DA21, DA35 Macro, DA*50-135, which is my normal go to kit.

Since we are dealing in hypotheticals, if I was forced to have my camera and one lens, it would be the DA21. A great do it all lens.

I have been trying to focus (pun intended) on NOT being a lens collector, but is difficult because of those dreaded K series primes😛

07-15-2018, 06:10 PM - 1 Like   #5
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At this point (subject to change without notice) it would be:

FA 31, 43, 77
And the DA* 200 on stand-by

But those K series lenses...
07-15-2018, 07:43 PM   #6
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CV Bessa R body with CV 35/2.5 Color Skopar lens

07-15-2018, 09:30 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by ChrisPlatt Quote
CV Bessa R body with CV 35/2.5 Color Skopar lens

Ah, I miss my Bessa. I had it and the 15 f/4 that I carried everywhere for nearly 2 years. It was minimal and a work of art.
07-15-2018, 09:37 PM   #8

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Hi All
My minamalist is my kit.
K 511

Da 15 HD , Da 21 smc , Da 40 smc, Fa 50 , Da 70 smc , F 135.


Last edited by dbs; 07-15-2018 at 10:24 PM.
07-15-2018, 10:09 PM - 1 Like   #9

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My current kit
smc PENTAX-DA* 16-50mm F2.8 ED AL [IF] SDM
smc PENTAX-DA* 50-135mm F2.8 ED [IF] SDM
I have my Yongnuo YN585EX P-TTL flash in the bag at the moment for the current photo gig I am working on.

For my vacation in two weeks I will add in Bower 8mm f3.5 Ultra-Wide and I will remove the Yongnuo flash.
07-15-2018, 10:26 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I have two minimalist kits.

K-1 with FA20, FA31, FA43, FA77 and K135/2.5 (I could make do with the FA31 and FA77 alone if push came to shove)


KP with DA15, DA21, HD35, DA70 and HD55-300PLM (again, the DA21 and DA70 on their own could suffice)

Both fit comfortably in my smallest camera bag (Tamrac hip belt/bum bag/fanny pack)
07-16-2018, 05:25 AM - 1 Like   #11
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My minimalist minimalist kit is the Ricoh GR.

But a kit that would cover 98 % of my everyday needs:
K-1 & 20-43-70 primes.

Travelling kit is different, though. Can't go on safari without a tele zoom
07-16-2018, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #12
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Minimal kit but 100% of all I own!(see below).

P.S......and another upside is I never have regrets about leaving a lens at home!

Last edited by timb64; 07-17-2018 at 03:22 AM.
07-18-2018, 03:32 PM   #13
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I've been doing the "stuff" reduction the last year or so, and still have too much "stuff". Work in progress, across all areas of life.

I'm almost down to minimalist on the camera gear compared to several years ago, but across two systems. I'd have a difficult time choosing between Pentax and Fuji, I like them both for differing reasons.

Fuji X100F would be kept, in addition to:

Pentax - K-1, something 20-24 (I don't have yet), FA77, DA*200.


Fuji - X-H1, 16-55, 50-140 (I don't have yet) + 1.4x and 2x TCs (I don't have yet).

If I am still shooting airshows, I'd need the DFA150-450 (I don't have) or the XF100-400 (I already have).
07-18-2018, 04:22 PM - 1 Like   #14
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I usually go out with 2 primes. I only have 4 primes; 15, 21, 50, 100, just pick 2 depending on where I go. or go with a single prime which 15 always stay home in this case. And no camera bag but only a side pouch + a tripod because I always go out during sunset to night hours.

I want to cover more area, giving my self more opportunity to shoot rather than carry more gears and get tired too soon.
07-18-2018, 07:02 PM - 1 Like   #15
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If I have my K-S2 or K-30, it can be the DA20-40Ltd and DA70.

With the K-1, it can be the FA31 and FA77.

There are some days I go all manual with a Sony A7 and K28 and M85.

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