Saturday 16 January 2021

2020 in Review

Fujifilm X-T2, Micro-Nikkor 55mm f3.5 AI

2020 was certainly an interesting year, shooting was largely concentrated in a 3 month period over the summer while the Pandemic restrictions were the lightest, plus a bunch of local shooting from my walks.

In terms of kit, I started the year shooting a Sony A7II, added a D800, swapped the D800 for a D750, added an X-T1 as a lightweight carry body, gave the A7II to my partner, added an X-E2 as an impulse buy/bag camera, shot a whole lot with the D750, added an X-T2 when I got offered a deal. I then sold the D750 and X-E2, got an A6300, returned the A6300 and got lenses, leaving me with the D300 that I've owned for a few years now, the X-T2 and the X-T1. Oh, and I bought a Nikon F2a for film use.

That's 3 systems and 7 bodies. Of which I kept 2 digital and the one film purchase. Lots of churn.

On the lens side, I bought more and sold less. 2020 saw me acquire several Nikon mount lenses, specifically the Nikkor 20/2.8 AF, Nikkor 24-50 AF, Nikkor 70-300 AF-D, Laowa 15mm f4, and Yongnuo 50mm f1.8N, plus a Super-Takumar 135/3.5 and a random cheap 135/2.8 in M42 mount, and finally in Fuji mount, the XC 16-50 OIS II, XC 35/2, XF 55-200, Neewer 25/1.8 and 7Artisans 12mm f2.8 and in Sony mount, the 16-50 PZ was acquired. Finally in Canon EF mount I got a 75-300 USM III and the 50/1.8 STM (plus a cheap EF->E adapter so those two lenses can be used on Sony).

I sold much less, selling off the 3 cheap Nikkor AF lenses (both zooms and the Yongnuo 50mm) when I dumped the D750 and returned the 16-50 PZ with the A6300.

That leaves me with a very functional kit for the Fuji's, plus a lot of fun in Nikon mount, with 15, 20, 24, 28, 35, 50, 55, 105, 200 and 300mm options (and only the 300 sucks, although the 200 needs a good CLA before it can be used on an SLR), plus a 50-135/3.5 AI-S zoom that I would dump if it was worth anything. And finally a few toys in other mounts, specifically 35/3.5 and 135/3.5 Super-Takumars, another random cheap 135/2.8 in M42 mount and my LTM Nikkor-SC 5cm f1.4. The two Canons went to my partner with the adapter, to be used with the A7II they were purchased for.

In terms of images shot, the X-T2 shot the most last year, with 4116 images. The X-T1 took 2286 images, the X-E2 took 647, 685 on the A6300, 895 on the A7II, 2797 on the D750 and finally 627 on the D800.

That's a total of 12053 images shot in 2020. I'd call that a healthy completion of my 2020 goal of 10,000 images.
I did not quite achieve my goal of 12 photography-specific daytrips, but I came close, with 8-10 depending on how I count. That's pretty good considering the lockdown. I did check a few spots off my to-do list, like Warsaw Caverns.
For posting, I didn't meet my Flickr goals, but beat my Instagram goals.

In terms of technique, I'd intended on expanding my use of long exposures, tripods & other supports and filters. I certainly was successful on the first two, the Platypod in particular has been key in my work there. Filters come over to 2021 as an area to focus on, as well as expanded long exposure work that a proper filter setup would allow for. In 2020 all my long-exposure work was low-light, I'd like to expand that to daylight work.

For my gear goals, I either failed miserably (filters, bodies) or succeeded fully (tripod/supports, lenses).

All in all, 2020 was a good year for me photographically. I grew a lot in my technique, got to go to interesting places and got some great images.


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