... blog post:


For my steam charter photography I like to apply a practical 1 x 4 precept to my equipment thereby adhering to the Keep It Simple Stupid principle...

Now those that know me well, understand my preference for fast prime lenses around the f1.4 or f1.2 mark and my love of rangefinder form MFT cameras like my much used Pen-F's. Thus my choice below may seem a little off kilter at first, but "bear with"...

Well steam charters are all about capturing steam locomotives and their train sets from line side (safely and under supervision) in full action, preferably working hard. For this a camera and lens combo designed specially for outdoor action work is a decided advantage, obviously.

So a sophisticated camera like my new Olympus OM-1 with its latest CAF + Tracking and AI Subject (Trains) modes and seemingly infinitely controllable sequential shooting rates is not to be ignored. Add in the flexibility of a super high quality Olympus 12-100mm f4 Pro zoom (24-200mm crop factor equivalent) means that everything can be done with a single optic without ever having to change lenses, miss a shot or endanger yourself by unthinkingly stepping into a safety exclusion zone, as you easily might, if using a prime lens or even a shorter range zoom.


The exception to all this is night work, especially around the yards and sheds when fast primes really come into their own, but that's a whole different experience.


The only other things then needed to complete the 1 x 4 outfit is a spare battery and a quality case to protect it all from the knock and bumps of climbing in and out of old rolling stock using ladders to get to and from track side.


Thus for capturing steam trains we have one camera, one lens, one spare battery and one bag. Give us a K.I.S.S.