Holiday Kit Follow-Up

by Tomi Nihtila

I am a bit late with this follow-up to my pre-trip kit post. Holidays are long gone and I am basically done with editing the photos as well. See here a (long) photo report of the trip. Some of the better photos I have posted and will still be posting in the photo blog.

Here is again the photo of the kit I took with me.

How Did I Use My Kit

Overall, I took 1009 photos during the 2-week trip. After going through the photos few times, marking the keepers and doing initial edits, I deleted quite a lot of photos and the remaining number is 474 photos. There was more to delete than usually as I was experimenting with HDR in which case deleting “one photo” actually meant deleting 3 photos. In fact, after these numbers the amount has increased slightly when generating HDRs and other edited versions.

Cameras And Lenses

All these 1009 photos were taken with my M5 mark II, I did not use the second/backup M5. I did take some photos with my OnePlus 3 phone as well. Below is a breakdown of what ended up in my Lightroom catalog:

  • 474 photos in total
  • 442 taken with M5 mark II, 32 taken with OnePlus 3 (I do have more in my phone but 32 ended up in my catalog); none taken with second/backup body M5
  • 373 of the photos taken with Olympus 12-100 Pro lens
    • 61 with Olympus 17/1.8
    • 10 with Olympus 25/1.8
    • I also had 45/1.8 and 75/1.8 with me but did not use them at all (in fact, I am thinking of selling my 75)
  • 28 photos with over 0.5s shutter speed – likely tripod shots

What do these numbers tell? At least the versatility of the 12-100 Pro zoom! When moving around, this lens is superb for almost any situation. Great focal length range and excellent image stabiliser together with the camera body. I ended up using the 17 and 25 primes in some low-light conditions such as indoors and at night.

Carrying Things Around

I was carrying most of the kit with me all the time as it is still quite light setup. I was using Lowepro Photo Sport 200 (the older model) backpack which turned out to be a good choice. This bag is very light and comfortable to carry, I was also using the hip belt on longer walks.

For some evenings when I wanted to go light and unobtrusive, I had a small messenger back to pack only the camera and 1-2 primes.


I was carrying the tripod in my backpack for most of the time although did not use it much. It was just there “just in case” as I never knew how the day will be. I did have some stability issues with the lightweight tripod at some very windy viewpoints of San Francisco and eventually needed to lower it close to ground. Also the screws in the legs were loosening and tightening by themselves when in use. As stated in my tripod post, it does have some quality issues. However, in these situations where you carry it in backpack “just in case”, it is crucial to have very small and lightweight tripod. Anyway, it could be higher quality as well.

Overall, this was not an extreme photography trip, more like taking photos while doing other things. I only got one memory card full and a bit of second one – totally under 20 GB of 16 MP raw photos. Moreover, one battery was usually enough for a day’s activities although I had three charged batteries with me all the time.

Post-Processing Photos

Although the cover photo shows me editing photos in a hotel lobby, I did not use my Surface a lot for editing while there. There was simply not really time or interest for that. I did transfer photos to the Surface on most evenings and did some initial rejections and a little bit of basic editing towards the end of the trip. I guess you really do not want to spend holiday time for that unless you really make money from it. Also if you travel alone you may have more time for things like that.

As I had been spending some time on selecting and rejecting photos and doing basic editing, I exported the Lightroom catalog from the Surface and then imported on my desktop computer where the editing is a lot faster (although it is an old PC…). Final editing took numerous evenings, especially when I have been learning some HDR things along the way.

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