Since the mid 1980's I have attended the Reno Air Races. A group of guys, that I have known since I was a kid, accompany me to the desert to watch vintage WWII aircraft and some not so vintage aircraft, race around pylons on a several mile course. The finish line is right in front of the grandstands and the sound, when the planes come around, is something you have to experience at least once in your lifetime. This year I am going to arrive one day early so that I can take advantage of some of the photo opportunities without missing the precious time I have with my friends.
Over the last couple of years i've had a bad case of "G.A.S." (Gear Acquisition Syndrome). Like many photographers I lust after the latest and greatest and feel less than adequate with the gear that I have. For this trip I had delusions that I would rent a Nikon D750 with a fast Nikon 70-200 2.8 lens. Then I really thought about it. Why would I take new gear to an event that I have less than 9 hours to shoot? There will be demonstrations that will be once in a lifetime events. Do I risk using unfamiliar gear for this or do I take my tried and true lenses and camera?
So I decided to stick with my own gear. It's not fancy or top of the line. It isn't full frame with a large megapixel count. My lenses don't cost thousands of dollars. But you know what? I have been making beautiful images with this equipment and I know that I have more to learn. There isn't anything that I can't do with the current lineup of lenses that I have, where this show is concerned. I'm not shooting in low light. I'm not blowing these images up to wall or billboard size. I'm not going for a ton of background blur at a distance and i'm not worried about the frames per second because my current camera can't handle it, because it can. What am I using you ask? Well here is the list and what it would cost to purchase them.
Nikon D7000 (Purchases Refurbished) Now $624 for D7100, D7000 not available.
Nikon 35mm 1.8g $197
AF-S Nikkor 55-200 f4-5.6g Used for $99.95 Not available new.
AF-S Nikkor 18-70 f3.5-4.5G Used for $149 Not available new.
Fuji X100T $1299.95 My latest splurge.
Go Pro "Hero" $129.99
So for under $2500 I have three lenses, two bodies and an action camera. If I were to spend the money to upgrade, I would be looking at over $4000 for two camera bodies and close to $4000 for a Nikon 24-70 f2.8 and a 70-200 f2.8 lenses. The above list has taken me several years to accumulate. This doesn't include the in sundry hardware and software that I use to edit or the additional equipment that I use for indoor portraits or my off camera flash equipment. This is just what i'm taking with me on this trip. Photography is expensive. Top notch lenses are expensive. I'm looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish with this gear list and the abilities that I have spent the last 20 years acquiring. Check back in a week and you will see the results. I will also be posting some new videos on my YouTube Channel .
If i'm lucky, I will have created a whole new adventure out of something i've been enjoying for many years.