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geezer talk!
Old 11-07-2017   #1
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geezer talk!

in another thread 2 of us older shooters talked briefly about 'minor mobility issues' and it got me thinking.
my own mobility issues have altered my shooting habits/style...changed what i carry and even what i buy, now choosing gear base on size and weight rather that pinpoint accuracy.
so technique and gear and style...what else? any other 'mobility' shooters out there? what do you do, what sort of changes have you made or are thinking about making?

should be enough of us geezers to make for a decent conversation.
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Old 11-07-2017   #2
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I don't walk a mile from my car carrying my Pentax 6x7, two lenses, and a tripod anymore. And this one is hard for me, I like medium format but I am gravitating to 35mm more just for the ease of shooting.
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Old 11-07-2017   #3
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The reason I went for my first Fuji digital was precisely that my Nikon D700 is a heavy monster and I wanted something lighter in view of my bad ankles. I had one replaced (surgery to replace the other will take place in August 2018), but even after selling the X100 I got an X1-Pro for the same reason: lighter than the Nikon.

I also stopped traveling with my 35mm Summilux chrome: it made my Leicas unexpectedly heavy. Now I carry my Zeiss lenses with, black or chrome.

So, there's my mobility issue.
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Old 11-07-2017   #4
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Well, I'm geezerish I guess, at 68 years. But I've always appreciated lightweight equipment. I purchased the OM system as soon as I could afford it, early 1974, before that I hauled a couple of Pen F bodies and about 3 lenses around. So, compact and light have always appealed to me. Now with a paunch and sore back it means even more. Still have that original OM by the way, a pre 'md' body. Been repaired twice and still works, except for a dead meter.

Meter....meter! We ain't got no meter. We don't need no stinking meter!
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Old 11-07-2017   #5
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After a trip to the sweltering humidity of Asia last year, I was beginning to question the
wisdom of bringing my Bronica Etrsi with an extra lens in a shoulder bag . BUT , the better
pictures were a delight to view , even on a simple light table ! Next time I'm bringing a Mamiya 7 , çuz as long as I can , why wouldn't I ? Remember it only hurts for a while , but big slides are damn near forever . Peter
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Old 11-07-2017   #6
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Hard to beat a Rolleicord when it comes to image quality:weight ratio.
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Old 11-07-2017   #7
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I turn 66 this month and I have back problems. Even so, I'll walk a modest distance with a TLR (even a Mamiya C330f) mounted on a tripod, with the legs extended for waist-level viewing, carried over my shoulder.

What I won't carry is a camera bag hanging from my shoulder. That really seems to throw me off, as does a camera hanging from my neck. Instead, I'll carry a few accessories in jacket pockets or I'll wear a photographer's vest with pockets for gear.

In years past, for travel and when I lived in other countries, I carried a compact fixed-lens RF camera (Olympus 35RC, Vivitar 35ES, or a Canonet GIII 17 QL), which was perfect for those circumstances.

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Old 11-07-2017   #8
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When I go for a walk nowadays the biggest camera I like to carry is a Barnack, usually with just the one lens; otherwise it'll be a Rollei 35S or an XA. Occasionally a folder.

It used to be a 5D and a bunch of lenses in a big shoulder bag, but no more.
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Old 11-08-2017   #9
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Old 11-08-2017   #10
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For me, I used to carry a bag with two Canon F1 bodies and about 6 lenses. Now days (I'm 62) it's like the song: One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer! I carry one camera, one lens, one me! And, actually, I enjoy my photography much better this way.
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Old 11-08-2017   #11
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77 next month, and even my Fuji X-t2 is heavy with a big zoom attached, but the main problem, as my father warned me, are my knees. Dam hard to get low, or even to switch angles!
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Old 11-08-2017   #12
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The lighter the better! Sometimes the iphone is the best carry camera. We were in New Orleans recently, and for three days I didn't carry a camera--just the phone. It was very freeing--I actually saw stuff I hadn't seen on previous visits--and didn't feel the need to take a photo--at age 74, things are changing..... :-)
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Old 11-08-2017   #13
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Oh, the good old days. As a younger man, I could hike around national parks using a 4x5 with 4 lenses, a dozen loaded film holders, plus a Leica with a couple of lenses, accessories and a big heavy tripod and seldom feel the strain.

That was then.

Today, I'm a fat old man with spinal stenosis, multiple arthritic joints and various other health issues that have been limiting more and more activities each year. Equipment changes have been gradual but most recently have been necessitated by my physical condition as much as my photographic needs. Currently, I'm mainly using Fuji mirrorless gear with an occasional delve into Olympus M4/3 and a Ricoh GRII. All small, lightweight equipment. I have some APS-C format Canon gear that I really should sell since it has been sitting idle now for over a year. It's doubtful I'll ever use the heavier stuff again.

For the last year, I've been pretty restricted to shooting close to home. Hopefully, this will begin to change with an upcoming surgery that should allow some mobility improvements. Medical science is sorta amazing these days. Oddly enough, the restricted activities over the last few months have led to some of my best photos. At least I think they are. While travel can inspire, the familiar can also lead to good work if you are able to see the potential.
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Old 11-08-2017   #14
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^^ I just 'hit 70', as Carlin said, and I still want to make the short hike to Artist Point in Yosemite with the 4X5, 4 lenses, a dozen loaded film holders, etc. Was gonna try it when I was there this October but the park was smokey and the clouds were nowhere to be found. Maybe next time.
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Old 11-08-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Ursus View Post
77 next month, and even my Fuji X-t2 is heavy with a big zoom attached, but the main problem, as my father warned me, are my knees. Dam hard to get low, or even to switch angles!
77 next month? Me, too. My shoulders are still OK, and I can walk with a fully loaded Domke F6, Think Tank Retrospective 5 or 6 for 20 or 30 minutes before I need a rest. A small camera backpack works even better for me, but I still need that rest. I do tend to bring along a bit less these days, leaving behind the bigger and heavier lenses. And I can do a lot with nothing more than my Fuji X100.
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Old 11-08-2017   #16
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have we run out of geezers?
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Old 11-08-2017   #17
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I'm not a geezer yet (I'm almost 38), but I have ALS and I'm confined to a power wheelchair. I have been continually adjusting my gear and shooting habits for the past 10 years as I have become weaker and weaker.
Being in the powerchair means that basically 100% of my photography is done from the street or sidewalk... the plus side being that I have a $25000 powerchair to carry my gear, so weight isn't a problem. Right now my go everywhere kit includes a FED 2 w/Jupiter-8, a Zorki 4 w/Jupiter-12, a Widelux F7, and a Rolleiflex 3.5F.
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Old 11-08-2017   #18
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Joe,

At almost 60 I'm getting there.

Last year adopted a rescue dog and basically gave him 13 months before I had to put him down. I would do it all over again, but in the meantime I lost a lot of strength, stamina and my youthfulness for the sake of Beagle-Face.

So I bought a baby Linhof that weighs about 7 1/4 pounds rigged to shoot. There is pretty good reason why here in NYC you don't see Linhof's in the wild, but I figure it is like a free gym membership shooting a Linhof. One thing for sure is that walking around with a Linhof is like being a tourist attraction.

I mentioned to Christian that people on the street might have a first impression that anyone carrying a Linhof around NYC might be a little crazy, and Christian's response was, "Their first impression might be right."

The baby Linhof is almost as heavy as a gallon of milk, and the way I carry it is cradled like a baby in two hands. I walked from East Harlem into the Bronx via Randel's Island. Like carrying a baby I had to walk slow but the weight I felt tighten up my abs.

Still trying to stay young and fit. Been hitting my gym lately to lose 5 pounds of flab and replace it with 5 pounds of muscle. I'm still around my fighting weight at 152 pounds at 5'10."

Cal
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Old 11-08-2017   #19
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I've gone to not using a bag at all, mostly I'll just carry the camera. The heaviest camera I carry is my M9 and it's being left home more and more. I've gone to the fuji XE3 and the 18mm lens and that's been my constant companion since it arrived. How much helium will it take to give neutral boyancy to a Mamiya RZ67? Anybody know?
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Old 11-08-2017   #20
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I just turned 79 last month. My walk around kits range from Leica M with 2 lens, or Widelux F7, or Contax G w/2 lens or Mamiya UP. I will say that my walks aren't very far . If I am with Colton, I have been known to hang my bag on his chair!
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Old 11-08-2017   #21
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Geezer in the making here. I had serious back problems in my mid 30s and then again in my late 30s. Aside from changing work habits, like no more lugging a laptop around on business trips, I no longer bother with DSLR and big lenses on personal travel. Rangefinders work because the one or two extra lenses take minimal space and weight. One the occasional trip I just take one camera, like I took only the Rollei 35S on my last trip to Canadian, and only the M6 on the last trip to Paris. Two, three or hopefully 4+ decades from now, I hope these minimalist travels now inspire me to do the same then.

Cheers,
Rob
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Old 11-08-2017   #22
Michael Markey
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I've never liked carrying a lot of gear. If it doesn't fit into a small Billingham it doesn't go The only exception is when I'm doing sports (horses) then I have to tote a heavy zoom

I've started going out with my local photographic society and have been amazed at the amount of gear that they each carry. Full size DSLRs with two or three lenses, filters and heavy tripods. Some of these guys are much older than I am

I'm fairly fit , can still get down low although not very fast at getting up again but my gear is mainly M lenses and a Sony A series camera ... one body and three lenses is enough to carry these days
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Old 11-08-2017   #23
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When I went to buy a digital camera at my local camera store a few years ago, I asked to look at the Canon and Nikon options, and was shocked to see what had happened since the film days. The choices had morphed into behemoths. I chose Fuji because it was the same size and similar haptics to my Olympus film cameras. It wasn't a mobility issue, it was a handling issue. Not having to carry around the larger bodies and lenses is a secondary benefit.
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Old 11-08-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ptpdprinter View Post
When I went to buy a digital camera at my local camera store a few years ago, I asked to look at the Canon and Nikon options, and was shocked to see what had happened since the film days. The choices had morphed into behemoths. I chose Fuji because it was the same size and similar haptics to my Olympus film cameras. It wasn't a mobility issue, it was a handling issue. Not having to carry around the larger bodies and lenses was a secondary benefit.
I don`t know why they have to be that large either.
For the sports stuff a DSLR is the obvious choice ..... everything else is a compromise yet I still can`t bring myself to use one because of , as you say ,the handling.

I did have a 5D2 ... ok it was far too slow for what I wanted it to do but it was the size which was the real deal breaker .
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Old 11-08-2017   #25
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I am in my fifties now and l still can get down for those low to the ground landscape shots etc, it just takes me a lot longer to get back up and ,y knee joints are lounder than the shutters on my Barnacks
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Old 11-08-2017   #26
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Will be 70 in January and made poor choices when younger. Vietnam did me no favors and construction work finished me off. Most days lower back and hips keeps walking down to a block. Can still ride my bike, so my camera of choice is Olympus E-PL5 and one LTM lens, usually the Canon 50mm 1.8. Just today been sorting cameras and lenses, trying to choose one camera and two lenses for traveling.

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Old 11-08-2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
have we run out of geezers?
Well, if someone in his 20s that has run to an early bit of "quarter life crisis" is a geezer...
I should do a bit of a change with a move next year plus lots of queues of decadence around, and I guess that triggered the onset of a general nostalgic mood.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calzone View Post
Joe,
One thing for sure is that walking around with a Linhof is like being a tourist attraction.

Still trying to stay young and fit. Been hitting my gym lately to loose 5 pounds of flab and replace it with 5 pounds of muscle. I'm still around my fighting weight at 152 pounds at 5'10."

Cal
Out of the blue (not really, I wanted one a few years ago) I've been looking for Vintage golden satin 49ers Jackets. A few years ago I discovered that I had a green one; but the Gold/red one of the SF team really appeals, plus it seems an attention grabber in Europe. Add in a nice Medium Format, or match it with an SX70 and there goes some Persona taken from a 90s american movie.
Oh, and the flashy Converse sneakers.

I still think how come I had not discovered that jacket in my wardrobe back in High School.
Oh, and tell myself to hit the gym back then. I actually had quite some peer pressure but resisted just because. Now I have no peers for that in town so I don't feel going to the gym at all.

As someone that likes being inconspicuous, this behavior is a bit on the crazy side.
I saw a quote that went somehow like "Prepare for an afterlife by being good and going to hell anyways" which seems to have hit a nerve. Specially the bit of going to hell/die.

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnwolf View Post
My best recent discovery in this regard is the small backpacks with side access. I comfortably carry weight that would be bad news with a shoulder bag. And have access like a sling bag.

If and when things really get dire, there's the GR.

John
I'm one of those that prefers to go rather light and I really got used to carrying everything in backpack. It's great as well to carry even light Medium format biking without hassles.
But the action of turning and taking the camera out is a bit of a chore, and when walking, feels a bit like using a piece of artillery, as it can be easier to let the backpack rest on the floor.
The side loading seems very interesting and I'll take a look.
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Old 11-08-2017   #28
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I'm not a geezer but I did get smaller cameras. I had a Nikon D3 and I went and purchased a XPro-1
and after a year of not using it I sold it, just didn't want to drag a big camera around anymore
and what's with these guys and their big cameras and zoom lenses hanging from their waists
reminds me of the old west!
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Old 11-08-2017   #29
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At 72, I'm careful about what I drag with me these days.
For walking around town and then to lunch, I carry the X-E1 or X-A1 on a strap (no bag) with a native prime lens ; battery in my pocket.
For a walkaround to make pictures, I'll carry the X-Pro1 and maybe two lenses (one adapted prime, maybe one native zoom), with a small Domke (camera in the bag on a wrist strap).
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Old 11-09-2017   #30
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With 69 next month I'm in the club!
My ideal is one camera one lens! Not too heavy and simple. When traveling I oft have a second camera, oft a Polaroid. But one stays in the hotel safe and I go out with only one. Which one? It depends on the surroundings, on what I plan to shoot, on my personal mood...
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Old 11-09-2017   #31
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I'm only 42 and I feel old. I don't have much strength in the right side of my body and carrying the heavy equipment i use has been hard since I had a stroke a few years ago.

Not much I can do about it, though. I can't imagine life without carrying a camera everywhere, and I can't afford something small/light, so I hobble about with my Canon 5DmkII and its lenses. It works, photos are great. At least I can still work.
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Old 11-09-2017   #32
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After an intemperate and active youth, at 54 I'm finding my knees and ankles are getting to be a limiting factor. Last winter, on a business trip to Italy, my boss and I found ourselves glad to settle in to a bar every couple of hours for a beer or glass of wine to let our sore knees recover, and that was with me carrying only my XA and my iPhone. We'll see what it's like when I'm 70... or 90....

Scott
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Old 11-09-2017   #33
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Quote:
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How much helium will it take to give neutral boyancy to a Mamiya RZ67? Anybody know?
Assuming a 350 g balloon and a weight of 2400 g for the Mamiya RZ67 plus 110mm f/2.8 lens, you would need ~ 98.90 cubic foot of He to reach an estimated burst altitude of 20930 meters with an average ascend rate of 0.163 m/s.
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Old 11-09-2017   #34
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Assuming a 350 g balloon and a weight of 2400 g for the Mamiya RZ67 plus 110mm f/2.8 lens, you would need ~ 98.90 cubic foot of He to reach an estimated burst altitude of 20930 meters with an average ascend rate of 0.163 m/s.
Thank you, I'll get right to work on it.
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Old 11-09-2017   #35
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Love that name, 'Darth Feeble'!

I’m a certified Geezer Photographer, but against common sense I'm using slightly heavier gear.

At 81 I’ve had to reduce my mobility from jogger/gym rat/yoga practitioner to cyclist, then to hiker, and now to walker – usually with trekking poles and sometimes literally with a walker. I can manage an hour or two on my feet, walking and/or taking photographs. I have a reduced energy level and pretty short shelf life because of several run-ins with cancer, so I’m now doing less shooting and more printing. Nevertheless I shot and printed this portfolio book between ages 78 and 80 – http://www.thompsonkirk.com/shadowscapes.html – and am working on two others.

Except for some experience with view cameras in the 1980s, I’ve never carried much equipment. I’d mostly used film/digital Leicas (since 1972), but recently moved upwards in weight to A7rII + 3 lenses, and then to Fuji GFX, strictly for image quality. I can carry the GFX with a light lens over one shoulder, a light carbon tripod over the other, and another lens and a RRS gimbal for panos in an Orvis vest. I’m lucky to have an extensive regional park and a couple of botanical gardens nearby, where I can stick to the flatter trails. I find I’m limited more by time, distance, and terrain than by gear weight.

I’ve also devolved in style and subject matter, from color street photography to BW landscapes – initially in a ‘digital f64’ style, and then more like Pictorialism.

My longterm plan is to keep shooting and printing landscapes until I'm consigned to the nursing home.

Kirk
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Old 11-09-2017   #36
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I'm 66, healthy but overweight, I don't walk far any more. I have always valued a small kit, and enjoy riding a bicycle with one camera. Usually, everything goes in a pocket ( Leica Standard ) or on a strap (the M2), and a light meter. If I need any more, I have an old Army Musette bag that will hold enough.
Forgetting stuff, people's names usually, has really caught me off guard.
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Old 11-09-2017   #37
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I find that I have trouble lugging my Nikon DSLR (D700 / battery grip/2 x batteries) plus 3-4 pro grade lenses around, especially when on holiday trips where lots of walking is the order of the day. It literally gives me a pain in the neck. Last overseas trip was to Bali and before that, Hong Kong and as much as I would have liked to have taken my Nikon kit I just could not face it especially during hot weather. Neither can I take much in the way of backup gear due to its weight. (BTW the officiousness of airlines in policing their carry on baggage limits is a factor now too - they never used to be very serious about it all but now they have figured out that they can charge you for the privilege of having checked in baggage, they police it like crazy.)

I am pretty fit, play sport actively two-three times per week and am not overweight (in fact thanks to a bout of pancreatitis a few years ago which could have killed me and so forced me to watch my diet very very closely, I am downright skinny compared with 90% of others of my age). And I do not smoke and no longer drink alcohol. (All of which means that I will inevitably drop dead soon - but at least I will be a fit and good looking corpse). The photo I show here is me about 20 years ago but I fancy I still look much the same except the hair is more grey and there are a few more wrinkles when you look closely - so I suppose that says something about me. I know I am a geezer but I try not to look like one which means keeping fit and healthy.

So being older has meant that I am more careful about what I carry. And I have found a new respect for my dad (now gone)who, when we travelled together, would spend an inordinate amount of time in the hotel room or sitting around the pool. I have a newfound desire to go down that path somewhat too.

So I take M43 kit which for me is OK but somewhat second best.
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Old 11-09-2017   #38
ornate_wrasse
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I'm now 69 and will be 70 in February. I must admit that I'm still somewhat active (having gone to the gym to workout a lot for the past 20+ years) although arthritis in my left knee now makes it uncomfortable to walk sometimes. I recently went on two photography workshops (Olympic National Park and Banff National Park) which involved some strenuous climbing at times to "get the shot". And I will be going to Kauai in February. My doctor has offered to give me a cortisone shot in my left knee before my next trip as I had a very painful moment while going down some steps at Banff. Yes, it hurt like H E Double L !!

In spite of these minor limitations, for serious work, I still prefer to carry my D700 along with three lenses in a Lowepro Mini Trekker backpack that works for me. About a year ago, I purchased a Fuji XPro1 and now ~ sometimes~ use it along with a 16-55 2.8 lens that seems to cover most of the bases without carrying around a DSLR and three lenses. It is lighter but I still prefer the D700 for serious landscape shooting. Also, since I just got my M9 back from Leica (YAY!) I will probably be using it, too.

Maybe because I just don't like to think of myself as an old geezer is why I'm still carrying and using my DSLR + 3 lenses!
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Leica M9, Leica M6, Leica M3 - 21mm 3.4 Super Angulon, 28mm 2.8 Elmarit, 35mm Summicron, Nikkor SC 50mm 1.4, Carl Zeiss Jena 50mm 1.5, CV 75mm 2.5, Nikkor 8.5cm 2.0

Mamiya 6 - 50mm f4, 75mm f3.5, 150mm f4.5

Fuji X-Pro1 - 16-55mm f/2.8, 27mm f/2.8
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Old 11-09-2017   #39
Doug
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Into the later 70's, I am well into "geezerhood" but fortunately have no serious mobility concerns yet. I did break my left ankle twice many decades ago, so there are occasional hints of future trouble with that joint. But I walk a couple miles a day, always with a Leica or Pentax, sometimes with a medium format SLR over a shoulder.

And now we see there are many seniors here on RFF!
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Old 11-09-2017   #40
Michael Markey
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thompsonks View Post
Nevertheless I shot and printed this portfolio book between ages 78 and 80 – http://www.thompsonkirk.com/shadowscapes.html – and am working on two others.
Kirk

Lovely work Kirk .....
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