What's in my gear bag?
My FUJIFILM gear for Music Photography - 2023
Through my 10+ years with Fujifilm cameras and lenses I have had many different setups. I used to document a lot of dark electronic concerts where the F1.4 primes were a must. Since 2021 I primarily work for bands at larger scale concerts. With huge stages comes podiums and elaborate stage setups and I am often far from the musicians and a zoom is a must (or I would need to constantly swap between a bunch of primes and miss half the action).
I have also wanted to simplify and reduce my setup. I want it to be all about what I see, the composition, the emotion and I want to carry next to no gear at all and no shoulder bag during the show. I have actually documented some larger arena shows with 1 camera (X-T3) and 1 lens (16-55) and absolutely love the freedom and simplicity. I have then had an extra camera with a super wideangle or tele-zoom at the side of the stage, ready to grab for special situations, but for now I just really love the 1 camera 1 lens, focus solely on being fast, being in position, getting the composition and emotion as for me that really beats everything else.
FUJIFILM X-T5 cameras. The fantastic X-T5 has replaced the X-T3 as my favourite FUJIFILM camera for still photography. It is extremely nice to have 2 x cameras at concerts so I rarely have to swap lenses, and to have them be 2 identical cameras is extra awesome, the same muscle memory can be applied.
Simplr Camera Straps model F1 is my preferred camera strap for all my cameras. They are light, strong and no-nonsense and it is super handy at gigs to be able to shorten and lengthen the straps so easy.
The zooms are a must for the larger arena sized concerts and the XF16-55mm is now always in my bag. The primes are awesome at smaller shows, or concerts/venues I know will be really dark.
Fujinon XF16-55mm F2.8. A legendary Fujinon lens and my most used lens nowadays. I reviewed a prototype of this lens way back in 2014 for the release. This lens is just a must.
Fujinon XF10-24mm F4. A recent addition to my bag, this new stabilized and weather sealed version of the 10-24mm is outstanding! Read my review here of this super compact super wideangle. For most larger concerts, there is enough light where shooting wideangle at F4 is not a problem.
Fujinon XF16mm F1.4. I absolutely love this lens, read more here. I have worn mine out though, my copy is really starting to show it's age and autofocus is wildly unstable so I don't use this lens much anymore.
Fujinon XF33mm F1.4. This wonderful new 33mm F1.4 has replaced my old completely worn-down and broken (no autofocus) XF35mm F1.4. This new 33mm has incredibly fast autofocus and it is weather sealed, two outstanding upgrades for my work.
Fujinon XF50-140mm F2.8 zoom. This telephoto zoom-lens is outstanding. If I am locked in one spot or on a huge stage where the performers are a fair distance from me, this is a super handy lens. I will sometimes also just bring it to make close-ups for a series of songs, and then store it away again backstage for the rest of the concert.
Fujinon 23mm F2. I really like this small prime, and use it a lot in small venues. Also, my copy is a pre-release sample meaning it's not a finished production copy, so for some reason it flares like mad which I totally love!
Samyang 8mm fisheye. I bring this to the big arena shows for one thing, that big view from the back of the stage as band is taking a bow and thanking the crowd after the show. I don't like it much anymore for actual concert photos but I go through phases with the fisheye look so maybe one day I will start using it more again.