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Some girls like to shop for shoes, some love clothes. I am mad about gadgets and photo gear.
If it wasn’t for the mistakes I made in the past which cost me a fortune I would be spending most of my income on cameras and lenses and collect vintage photo gear to fill my house with. But after working off a camera I don’t really love last summer I decided to always rent what I fancy before I commit to buying it. I am downsizing my camera bag yet I have shot with more fun cameras in the past few months then ever.
A friend introduced me to Lumoid and as soon as I googled their page I fell in love. The company is full of people you would love to grab a cup of coffee with. They are innovative and incredibly customer friendly. They have the neatest cameras all packaged in fun kits that beg to be tried and tested. I decided to give Fuji X100s a go because I have been eying it for a while not sure if it is the camera for me or not. I was really chuffed when it arrived because in the box I found everything one needs to start shooting including fully charged battery, memory card and even card reader! So it was ready for me to test it straight up.
I had fun taking photos with this little rangefinder style camera until my six year old decided he must try it and confiscated it for the next couple of days. Lumoids completely understood the significance of my photography mad kid having to test my gear and they let me keep it even longer! Everyone, including my dogs were sad when the time came and we said goodbye to Fuji but we got an email a day later offering us a great deal on the Fuji if we decide to buy it after all. Clearly this is meant to be.
There is a lot of stuff that I think is rad about Lumoid. For me I will always rent the next gadget I am dreaming of and then buy if I really like it. I also love the idea that I can have photo gear shipped to my destination, shoot while on vacation and ship it back to them before I return home. Pretty fantastic right?
For the record this is not a sponsored post! Lovely ladies at Lumoid send me the camera and were genuinely interested in my work. In fact they wrote a lovely post about me and featured some of the photos I took with the Fuji. You can read it HERE.
And then they gave me a little code for you to take $5 off your first rental too: NWM5off
Not to brag but I get a lot of fan mail. It’s great to wake up and read that you liked my blog post, my article in Ludique magazine or my latest photo on Instagram. I am also always thrilled when you ask for my opinion on something you are struggling with in you photography adventures. Luckily you all know me well enough not to ask me for recipes. Because unlike photography, I know nothing about cooking…
Many of you have sought advice on what camera and lenses to buy as you start your hobby or build a photography business. As much as I love talking about gear, technical stuff and why I use what I use to take pictures, that is the one question I struggle answering. Simply because much like buying a new pair of shoes, choosing your photo gear is a very personal thing. I can tell you why I chose what is in my camera bag and how I best utilize it, but I doubt that it will fit your needs quite the same. And to be perfectly honest, half of my camera bag contents were bad purchases. None were impulse ones, like I can be guilty of with shoes. But some lenses have over time proved to be useless with my style of shooting. Even my current camera and I are not the best match which after the initial infatuation with it I have come to realize.
But you know I would not leave you stranded in an ocean full of Nikons, Canons and Sonys to fend for yourself! I have found a perfect solution on how to find the best gear for yourself:
Test it first! Narrow down to a few cameras that are in your price range and will meet your photographic needs. Go to a store and look at them. Check how they fit in your hand. Look at how much lenses that you might be purchasing in the future cost. Then when you find the one that is just right, walk away. Return home, get online and borrow it from Borrow Lenses. Use it for a weekend and then decide. Much like shoes you cannot return the camera once you used it. But you can pay a fraction of it’s price to take it for a test run. Once you are happy, go back to the store and buy it. If not, repeat from step one. Easy peasy!
This weekend I practiced what I preach. I borrowed my dream camera from Borrow Lenses for 3 days with a lens that I would most likely buy for it. This beauty, which will set me back around $10.000 if I take the plunge:
I have been stalking them on Ebay for months, bidding like a woman possessed in hope to get one of my own. I finally decided to commit to a new one if it is in fact THE ONE. So I turned to Borrow Lenses to try it out. After I got my conformation that they shipped my order I counted the hours until it arrived. I was fully dressed and even wearing a little make up hours before UPS was scheduled to arrive because I felt Leica deserved my very best. When delivery man rang the doorbell I asked my husband to sign for it cause my hands were shaking with excitement. I took a weekend off and for the first time in years I went out shooting for myself. No sessions, just taking photos of my family for fun. The first few hours with Leica were rough. It is a rangefinder which I have never used and it takes some getting used to. So after day one I was patting myself on the back for borrowing it, since I felt this camera was not for me. But over the next few days I found my grove and composition with it became second nature. I got the hang of the manual focusing and by our last day together I realized this camera is indeed my dream come true.
I decided that the lens I felt was my best choice for it is indeed not. I think I will pair it with a different one when I own my own Leica M. I also realized that even though I was going to switch to this as my primary camera for work as well, it might not be a good match for wedding photography, so I will keep my DSLRs for now.
All and all I am so very, very glad I tried Leica before spending my savings on it. So next time you are in the market for a camera shoot me an email. I will narrow a few down for you. But before committing, borrow it for a while first. Now if only there was a BorrowManInAKilt.com …
If you would like to view some of the photos I took over the weekend with my borrowed Leica M9 CLICK HERE.
You must all be wondering how my vacation is going? Very well, thank you. I even managed to find some me time and snuggle up to read this month’s LUDIQUE MAGAZINE. It is a very special issue close to my heart because it celebrates women and mothers and their ventures into mobile photography.
In case you wanted to join me in a little vacation, CLICK HERE to flip through the magazine. As always it is free and accesible from any mobile device. See you next week!