© martyn pearce
Olympus Trip 35


The first camera that I bought was an Olympus Trip 35mm film camera, a small camera with a fixed 40mm lens, which I bought in Gibraltar in 1969. I was 'off to see the world' at the time but didn't get much further on that occasion. I now regret not even having a camera when I first set off with some friends to travel around Europe and North Africa the year before. It was a great little camera for traveling because it had a simple automatic exposure control and it didn't need a battery. It cost me about £20, which was almost my weekly wage as a truck while I was in Gibraltar. This camera then went everywhere with me for about 15 years until I bought my first SLR.


Canon 35mm film SLRs

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Canon AE1  -  Canon A1 with motor-drive  -  Canon F1n with power-winder

© martyn pearce
Canon F1n kit. Billingham 335 bag.



My first SLR camera was a Canon AE1 with a 50mm f1.8 lens. Cameras were generally sold with a 'standard' 50mm lens in those days. I added more prime lenses. Later I changed to a Canon A1 and then to a Canon F1n. Then Canon introduced auto-focus cameras and abandoned their FD lens mount, meaning that none of my manual lenses would fit a new Canon camera. So I sold everything and changed to Nikon.

Nikon 35mm film SLRs

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Nikon FM2n manual SLR and Nikon F80 auto-focus SLR.

When Nikon introduced auto-focus they kept the same lens mount, so I bought an autofocus Nikon F80, some Nikkor autofocus lenses and a used Nikon FM2n as a back up body. It was a manual exposure and manual focus camera but it didn't need a battery to keep working and it could use both manual and auto-focus Nikkor lenses. I loved using this camera and mostly used it with a manual focus Nikkor 50mm f1.4 (which could also be used on the F80).


© martyn pearce
Nikon D3.

Digital SLRs

When digital SLRs became affordable I changed the Nikon F80 body for a Nikon D70 body and continued to use my Nikkor AF lenses. At various times I had a Nikon D300, a D700, a D750 and my final DSLR, a D3.



Compact cameras

When not carrying an SLR or a DSLR, I always took a pocketable fixed-lens camera of some sort with me. I first had an Olympus XA2 and then an Olympus Mju II. When digital compacts became available I changed to a Nikon Coolpix 775 and then to a Nikon P300.

© martyn pearce   © martyn pearce   © martyn pearce   © martyn pearce

Compact fixed lens cameras - Olympus Xa2 - Olympus Mju II - Nikon Coolpix 775 - Nikon P300

The Nikon 775 was small and chunky with a small rear screen and a tiny viewfinder but it was slow and had a very small sensor. The Nikon P300 was small and neat and had a larger sensor but I found it hard to see the rear screen image in bright light, so I changed it for a Fujifilm X20 which also had an optical viewfinder. The X20 was a really good little camera but later I changed to a Fujifilm X100T which was even better as it had the larger APS-C sensor plus a large bright optical and electronic viewfinder instantly switchable from one to the other by flicking a little lever on the front.

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Compact fixed lens cameras Fujifilm X20 and Fujifilm X100T.


Mirrorless camera system

I was so impressed by the quality and ability of the Fuji fixed lens cameras that I decided to try a Fuji mirrorless interchangeable lens camera. So I first bought a used X-pro2 and a short zoom lens. Wow! I was so impressed by what I could do with that camera that I could not do with a DSLR that I decided to stop lugging my heavy Nikon kit around and change to a lighter, more compact Fuji system, (also less expensive). I sold my Nikon gear and bought some more Fujinon lenses and a Fujifilm X-E3 as a second body.

I now use a Fuji X-T3 as my main camera. I love that camera because it has external controls to set focus mode, shutter speed, ISO, exposure compensation, drive mode and exposure mode, without the need to power it up, so I can always be prepared.

My Fuji X-E3 is not as versatile as the X-T3 but it is small and light and with a slim lens like the 18mm F2 or 27mm f2.8 it will fit easily into a pocket. It is an ideal street camera.

All of my Fuji prime lenses have aperture rings so I can quickly set the aperture I require in advance of shooting. As I prefer to use aperture-priority, this is important to me.


© martyn pearce
X-T3 kit for most eventualities

Out and about with Fuji

If I want to fully cover a wide range of focal lengths I might choose my X-T3 with a 10-24mm f4, a 16-80mm f4 and a 70-300mm f4-5.6, giving me a full 15mm to 450mm equivalent range.

These all fit snugly into my Billingham Hadley Pro. Weight: 3kg including the bag. If I pop a Fuji 1.4x converter into a side pocket I can increase the range from 450mm to 610mm.


© martyn pearce
Fuji X-E3 with 27mm plus 18mm and 60mm


If I am traveling light with my manbag, I take my X-T3 with a 16-80mm f4, or if I might want to be a bit more discrete and be even lighter, I take my X-E3 with a small prime lens or two. My manbag is an original Billingham Hadley, now soft and floppy and without the padded insert so that I have room for other travel essentials such as a fleece, sun glasses, cap, maps, umbrella, hip flask, etc. I keep the extra lenses in wooly socks.

My current traveling-light favourites are an X-E3 with 27mm f2.8, 18mm f2 and 60mm f2.4 which in total are over 200 grams lighter that the X-E3 and 16-80.


If I am not carrying a bag I will have the X-E3 with 27mm f2.8 in my pocket. I might pop an 18mm f2 into another pocket.



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