Packing for Vacation: The sensible view
My article on packing for vacation has prompted my friend and reader, David Askham, to offer some sage advice. It doesn’t really matter what we pack. We should all choose to use kit which appeals to us at any given time. He continues:
“Nowadays I rotate the use of my cameras and lenses and enjoy rediscovering their characteristics. My 1960s 50mm Summicron yields quite different results to my much newer Summicron, even on a modern digital body. I thought I would sell it, but it continues to give me pleasure for its Mandler-style signature. Much depends on your expectations on holiday. What is the most you will demand from your candidates' performance?
“If you are planning an exhibition or production of wall-art, technical parameters take on a greater significance than if most images will languish on hard-drives or grace the screens of loyal viewers worldwide at most. My photography combines a blend of personal pictures for family and posterity, together with a modest output destined for stock photo libraries. The latter determines the quality of my cameras.
“But purely for family needs, almost any modern or not-so-modern working camera would suffice. Does it matter whether an f/2 Summicron on one camera is superior or inferior to that on another full frame—or, even, to simple fixed-lens, small-sensor camera such as the Leica C? In my case the answer is 'no'. Scientists might take a rather different view. But it is an interesting question.
Of course, David is right. Almost any modern camera will do the job provided you understand the ultimate objective. Even the humble Leica C, as David told me on a previous occasion, is a camera that will certainly acquit itself well on a family holiday.
Sometimes, as my article demonstrates, we can agonise too much on what gear to take. Often, it is best to take just one camera and one lens, as another friend, George James, continually points out. I will never learn, although during the first week of my Greek vacation I have used the M and 50mm Summicron exclusively. I am pushed to think of a reason to take out the X Vario, despite its greater flexibly in focal lengths, when I am managing perfectly well with the M.