Enthusiasts are great accessorisers. Camera dweebs get this thing called GAS (gear acquisition syndrome). Saying, “sorry about your wallet” is a right of passage at head-fi. As both an audiophile and a photophile, I suffer from GAS and a lost wallet. But don’t take my word for it.
The following is my photophile geek street cred:
Fujifilm X-Pro 1
85/1,8 K (Ai converted)
85/2,8 PC Micro AiS D
100/2 Makro Planar
180/2,8 AiS ED
M 12/5,6 Ultra Wide-Heliar
M 28/2,8 Elmarit ASPH
LTM 35/2 Canon
M 35/2 Biogon
M 35/2,8 Biogon C
M 50/2 Summicron pre-ASPH
M 90/2,8 Tele-Elmarit M thin
LTM 10,5/2,5 Nikkor
The following is my portable audiophile street cred:
Digital audio players
iPod shuffle (1st gen., 512MB)
iPod nano 6G
Vorzüge Pure/II, DUO
ALO National, International, Rx I, III, IIIMKB+, Continental V2
ALO Pan Am
Cypher Labs AlgoRythm Solo
Cypher Labs Algo Rhythm Solo dB
Cypher Labs Theorem 720
earphones and headphones: everything from A to Z
Audio Technica ES7
And that’s not that bad, either. All you have to do is hit up one of Fujiya Avic’s headphone shows or head to e-Earphone to find the guys and gals that really are bad off. I saw a guy carrying around a mains headphone DAC/amp. A bespoke battery, many times larger than the DAC, kept the DAC running. Below that was another headphone amp (just to clean up the output a bit more) and some expensive hose-like cables. Serving music to everything was an iPod 5G. The output device was Focal’s Spirit One headphone.
It was also probably the better part of 4.000$. And I bet the dude listened to anime songs.
my audiophile bag
When I’m going to meet other enthusiasts for an audiophile ho-down, I have to look the part, so I drag along the above.
What's cool about this kit is that no uppity audiophile can rag me out. While I'm not totally pimped, I’m toting a Shure-branded DAP bag and Cypher Labs’ awesome Theorem 720 DAC- not to mention the still-rare FitEar Parterre earphones, and their backups, the Audio Technica CK10 (you always need a backup). And just to show my mates that I have taste, I throw in Vorzüge’s VorzAMPpure. Driving it all is an iPod touch 4G (backed up by a first-gen iPod shuffle 512). Boom. That’s respectable.
Personally, I think it is overkill.
Overkill or not, it fits perfectly in my ever-ready Six Million Dollar Home camera bag, (which evidently, is no longer for sale). The combo is beautiful, but heavy. It’s the portable audiophile equivalent of carrying a Nikon D4 and Nikon’s 2,8 zoom trinity- minus about 8 kilograms- you know, typical for an enthusiast.
But when I'm not showing-off in front of other audiophiles, I couch my favourite tunes on this rig:
Why? Because the best earphone is the earphone you have with you and whose sound signature you adore. And in my opinion, the best earphones are small, sturdy, and ready for anything. The CK10 is it. Ditto portable players. That means the iPod shuffle 512MB. But I’m a toffee-nosed believer in keeping things simple.
in my photophile bag
I have changed to mirror less interchangeable system cameras for travel and days out on the town. Thus, my D800 has been replaced by a Fujifilm X-Pro 1, or a Sony a7r. Losing the D800 cut out about 500 grams of weight. It also freed up about a camera worth of space, which sometimes, I fill with an extra lens or two.
Using Leica Thread Mount (LTM) M39 or M lenses means that size (and often weight) are kept to a minimum. I prefer lenses that weight less than 200g. When out to impress, I take one 28mm Elmarit, one 50mm Summicron, and one 90mm Tele-Elmarit M. The three together weigh less than 600g. Even with the requisite extra battery, and other extras, an X-Pro or a7r set weighs just slightly more than 1kg. The D800 alone weighs about that much.
But I'm a simple lad.
The best camera is the one you have with you. The best lens is the one you are most comfortable with and whose draw you adore. With the APS-C X-Pro 1, that lens is the Canon 35/2 LTM. It weighs less than 130g and is sharp and has lovely bokeh and colours. If only the X-Pro 1’s battery life was up to snuff, I would be happy with no extras.
what else is in the bag?
But I’m never happy with just the above. And in fact, one of the reasons why I pair down my listening/shooting systems is that I’m working on a novel. Yep, a juicy SF thing with death and unfairness and shiny plastic and gratuitous memories of sex. That requires a notebook and a pen. Increasingly, it requires an iPad.
Because simplicity drives the development of both my audiophile system and my camera system, the two become integrally mixed. Music fuels a photo-taking mood and vice versa. The whole kit and caboodle snuggles comfily along my writing swag in the Six Million Dollar Home. If a lens or earphone-sized hole develops, I turn to the thing that fuels photo-taking, music-listening, and sentence-making: