Planning on getting stranded on a desert island? I say “planning” coz ya normally don’t “plan” to get stranded & therefore ain’t gonna be able to prepare for it, unless you got your “desert island kit” on you like 24/7/365 … and FYI “desert” don’t mean that island’ll be arid & dry (as in a Sahara-like desert), in this context “desert” is an archaic form of the adjective “deserted” (meaning devoid of people, uninhabited). Furthermore, the phrase “desert island” isn’t a recent invention derived from some ghetto slang, it’s been in the English language since around 1200 A.D.! With all that outta the way please read on to find out what’s IMO the best Desert Island Kit!
Coming back on the “planning” bit … If I’d have to move to a desert(ed) island & could only take ONE camera & ONE lens with me, it’d be my X-Pro2 with my beloved XF 18mm F/2 stuck on it (provided I’d have a solar powered battery charger to go with it - no ‘lectricity > no photography with that one!): Anyway the XF 18mm’s ideal for any & all kind of documentary photography: Wide enough to show y’all the environment but not too wide (just) to not distort people in the image. That’s of course in case somebody else unexpectedly turns up on your deserted island 😉!
So, if only one lens, why then take a camera where you can exchange the lens? Well, maybe I’d encounter a camera store on that desert island and then I’d get myself an XF 35mm F/2, to photograph those people which were gonna turn up unexpectedly! And while I’m in that store I´d get m’self a second X-Pro2 to prevent having to change lenses too often with all that dust blowing around on my island (see, I’m paranoid about changing lenses since changing over to digital 😰). So there you have it: My “desert island” kit would be two X-Pro2’s, one with an XF 18mm F/2 R and the other with an XF 35mm F/2 R WR - fits easily in a small shoulder bag (dimensions - around 6” x 5” x 4”, like the Hama Monterey 130)!
As you can see in the above image, the XF 18mm has an amazing depth. Especially when using it in portrait format, here the rather long 3:2 aspect ratio of the APS-C format stretches the image from near to far. Due to the greater depth of field of the smaller format everything’s in focus already at F/8!
Hope this post has given you some inspiration and will animate you to go out and take images with an unobtrusive high quality kit fitting in a small bag. A desert island kit, with which you won’t really miss anything!
If you have any questions, please put them in the comments section below or leave me a note on my “about” page. Look forward to the discussion!
Wish y’all good shooting & a very nice Sunday!
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