Macfilos and the Leica Q set off for Hong Kong
Hong Kong has always been a magnet for photographers but it’s a long time since I paid a visit. So today I am off for a couple of weeks exploring the sights of the city and, I hope, taking the opportunity to get in some street photography. One highlight of the visit will be the Hong Kong Classic Camera Fair which takes place at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shep Kip Mei next weekend. If any readers are in the area and planning to visit I would be delighted to meet up.
Packing for any trip is always a challenge. My invariable aim is to travel light, but this isn’t easy. It’s an especially problem if taking a system camera such as the Leica M. Which lenses to take? I can never decide whether or not I can manage with one 35mm or one 50mm optic; I dither until the last minute and invariably end up taking more than I need. It's easy enough to pop one in for the road and then end up not using it. Because of this there is no doubt that a fixed-lens camera is a good discipline. Until this year, however, there was only one full-frame option, the Sony RX1. Then along came the Leica Q.
Buoyed by good experience I have decided to major on the Q for Hong Kong. It has been an almost constant companion during the summer, from its first outing at the naked bike ride, through a week in the Swiss Alps and many outings in England. It is light and very easy to use and the results are invariably appealing. I expect this camera to be in my hands most of the next couple of weeks, despite the wide 28mm lens which means getting up close to subjects.
Settled, then. Yet I couldn’t resist throwing the little D-Lux into the bag as well. It weighs little but is there as a backup and in case I feel the occasional need for a longer lens. But it isn’t really a pocket camera. For that I should have taken the Ricoh GR but decided against it because two fixed-lens 28mm cameras would be too much of a wide thing. The D-Lux, with its four-thirds sensor and fast lens produces great results. I think of it as bag of lenses with a camera attached.
Deciding on electronic support is also angst-ridden when packing for a break. Fortunately, I have the new, lithe 12in retina MacBook and this is proving to be the ideal travel companion. It weighs barely more than an iPad Air and keyboard case but it gives all the multi-tasking advantages of the OS X operating system. I find this essential as a writer but I have also made sure that the MacBook, with its mobile processor, is up to the job of handling Lightroom processing. I used it as my sole computer in Greece during the summer and I have to say that it surpassed my expectations. I like the rather odd clackety keyboard and I have absolutely no problem with the single port. The screen, as we all know, is superb and is a vast improvement on my old 11in MacBook Air.
It’s a challenge to make sure nothing is forgotten where setting off for a trip and I have long since resigned myself to working from checklists. There are many dedicated mini databases to handle packing lists but I prefer to work with Omni Group’s Omni Outliner which is extremely flexible and breezes through the task of maintaining and updating a travel packing list. It is also a first-rate planner and outliner for all sorts of tasks, from choosing a new car to collating the details for a trip such as my current jaunt to the Far East. Usefully, too, OO has companion apps for iPhone and iPad and synchronisation is quick and reliable through Omni's own cloud server.
For the next two weeks, therefore, Macfilos will have a distinct Far Eastern flavour and I am really looking forward to exploring the back streets or Hong Kong. Watch this space.