My shameless "What I want for Christmas List".

 We can argue the evils of desire.  We can argue against consumerism.  We can look down our noses at reckless and wanton acquisition.....but let's save all that for some blog in the future when we're feeling fat and sassy.  I, like many people around the world, am kissing one of the least financially productive decades I can remember "goodbye" and hoping with exuberance that we can look forward to a decade of recovery and progress.  And that progress will include refreshing the equipment pantry with fresh new stuff.  Maybe not all at once but......

At any rate, it's fun to think about stuff you'd like to have even if, at the last moment, you get cold feet and conform to long habit of diverting the various nickels and dimes you could have used for the latest high speed lenses into your son's college fund or the ever voracious retirement fund.  Here's my list of stuff I'd love to pick up in 2011 if.......

1.  A plain jane 16 Gig Wi-Fi iPad.  I know.  It's silly when I have all these aging laptops sitting around. But I'm secretly jealous when my advertising friends whip theirs out and start doing the "finger dance" to show people they're latest stuff......Wow.  Prices are starting to drop.  Can I wait for the new product intros? Suspense.

2.  Copies of my two or three favorite movies on DVD.  I've got tons of old classics on VHS but new players are vanishing.  I'd start with La Dolce Vita and Casablanca.  Then, of course, all the 1960's James Bond movies......I know these don't have much to do with the obvious photography stuff but they are rich sources for style.....(rationalization alert).

3.  More LED lights.  The solid state future has arrived.  Here are some I want and some I want more of:  The 183 is fabulous.  I have two and want two more.  They run bright and the dimmers work well.  They can be used with lots of different kinds of batteries.  Yummy.  And, at the high end of the scale I want one (or more) of these Lite Panels.

4.  On a more practical note, I'd like a lithium replacement battery for my Profoto 600B Acute portable flash system......but I'll gladly settle for an extra lead-acid at half the price.....There are times when a small, extremely powerful studio flash comes in very handy outside.

5.  I sold off all my compact cameras in the middle of the great recession and I'm really pining for one little camera with great specs that I can shove in a coat pocket and sport around for those cold winter days.  Problem is I can't decide between the Canon G12 and the Panasonic LX-5.  Both are cool.  I'm leaning toward the LX-5 because you can use it with the electronic viewfinders from the GH series cameras.  I like eye finders and the electronic ones don't bug me.  A little price drop and I'm there.

6.  I've had my Apple 23 inch Cinema Monitor since the dawn of time.  Well, at least since the inception of the G5 machines....I'd like to replace it with the new 27 inch monitor.  My friend Paul has two and they look awfully pretty.  Awfully pretty.  But I just want one......

7.  I knew I couldn't resist more lenses for long.  I have a friend named Bernard.  He showed me his Canon 135 f2 L lens and now I can't get it out of my head.  According to all the stuff you read on the web it's miraculously sharp wide open and has a bokeh like butter (whatever the heck that means...)  I'm sure they'll "improve" it if I don't buy one quick and it will not be the way I wanted it to be....

While we're on the subject of lenses.   I keep thinking of things to like about my Carl Zeiss 50mm 1.4 ZE lens.  So much so that I'm adding the 21mm Zeiss ZE lens to my long term addiction list.  I'm trying hard to like my Canon 20mm but it's not trying very hard in return.....

8.  Here's something I want but I don't know if any of us will get it.  I want a brand new historical novel from Steven Pressfield.  I loved his Gates of Fire,  have recommended and given away dozens of copies of The War of Art and loved all his other novels about ancient Greece and Alexander the great.  Of course,  if more novels magically appear it just gives me an excuse to give in to resistance and put off finishing my next book(s).  I'll accept that downside.

9.  There are a ton of little things I'll put on my list as stocking stuffers.  You can never have too much fast memory for your cameras so I would love it if Santa stuff a few 16 gig CF cards in my stocking.  And, you can never have too many external harddrives so I'd willing unpack a couple of these 2 terabyte disk spinners as well.

10.  The last category is "studio comfort".  There are two things I need in the studio to make everything wonderful.  I need a pair of these crocs so I can go from the cold pool deck to the cool studio and still keep my (size 10) feet warm.  I like crocs.  Don't care if they are out of fashion.  They are strictly pool and studio wear.  I'll put on shiny shoes for clients.  And I need something to play raucous music on when young models and ad people are here that also sounds good when I'm playing Joni Mitchell and the Beatles from my time......I like this system.  It's just right for my space.

I tend to be modestly frugal.  I'll probably just opt to get myself another pack of those great double A alkaline batteries from Costco.  They're always a big hit in my office!  Dreaming is fun.  I'd be interested to know what's on your list.

happy holidays.


Tyson Habein said...

1. a bunch of developer
2. a bunch of kodak portra
3. a grip of old m42 lenses to play with
4. a train ticket to go somewhere far away

Happy Holidays, Kirk.

Daniel Fealko said...

Definitely go with the crocs. I own stock in that (CROX) and it's a real winner. I even sold my Apple (AAPL) stock just to buy more Croc stock.

I've already ordered a new Benro Flexpod tripod and head for myself. Christmas is a great excuse to justify all the extra camera goodies.

I hope you have a blessed Christmas yourself, Kirk.

Kurt Shoens said...

I advise taking the Canon G12 off your list in favor of the LX-5. In addition to the viewfinder advantage of the LX-5, the G12 apparently has a regression vs. the earlier G-series cameras. The earlier ones will artificially brighten the LCD scene display if you have any flash accessory in the hot shoe. The G12 accords that feature only to Canon flashes (and ST-E2).

My wish list is short.

I'd like a Mamiya rz67 kit. I've been looking at used setups on KEH, B&H, and Adorama and there's lots to choose from. I've craved a MF setup for the last 15 years.

I'd like a Canon EOS 3. While digital >> 35mm film (and blah, blah, blah), I've had nothing but fun with an A2e that someone gave me. On the one hand, it's less than 2 pounds with the 50mm f/1.8 and works with all the lenses I already have for digital. On the other hand it's a plasticky POS. I'm waiting for the control wheel to strip out so I can justify spending less than $200 for the EOS 3. Apparently I'm into the whole denial thing given the 15 year delay getting the MF kit.

And something to scan film with.

Pseudo Boethius said...

Just one big ticket item on my list: the Olympus E-5.

simsalabim said...

Nice list, Kirk. Unfortunately Santa doesn't come to my country. We had St. Nicolaas (which I suspect is essentially the same guy) and his politically incorrect helpers visit us on December 5th. However, I'll give you my list just in case Santa chooses to drop by anyway.

1. A battery powered, but still portable big light. Somewhere along the lines of an Elinchrom Ranger Quadra or something.

2. An iPhone 4 (yes, I know, it'll fry my brain).

3. An iPad - actually, the same one you'd like.

4. A barn/shed/garage in my garden that I can use as a studio.

5. 2 tickets to a nice concert.

Have a very happy Christmas.

Oh, one more thing: Croqs?! Seriously. You're kidding, right?

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

simsalabim, I might kid about the Leica S2 but never, never about Crocs.

Anonymous said...

funny to think of you padding around your studio in a fleecy pair of Crocs listening to Joni Mitchell. But I guess it beats picturing you stomping around in a pair of Doc Martin boots listening to Courtney Love....


Wolfgang Lonien said...

Hmmm. There's a difference on what I want and what I need, and that's always so.

What I'd want is the Oly 50 Macro for myself, and the Panny 1.7 20mm for my wife's E-PL1, as well as the viewfinder and a couple more of those cheap but great Yongnuo flashes. Ok; one TTL-capable Metz maybe.

But what I need? Some shoes which are as comfortable as my Rieker's, but also good for snow. New summer and winter tires for the car. Some down jackets...

Just found the first real protection against cold ears (see my blog at http://wolfgang.lonien.de/2010/12/siberia-home/ ), and someone who saw that photo called me "Yuri Zhivago" ;-)

It's always like this, so I don't dare dreaming of nice f2 zooms for the Olympus like you have them...

Wishing that you'll get some of your list tho,

Marino Mannarini said...

...or what about a a pair of Frey boots and leather jeans? :))
High up on my Santa-list there is the Pentax 645d, then a flight ticket to NY...too much?..never say never (as in the Bond movie).
Happy Xmas, kirk

Hugh said...

Look at the Canon S95 - I really love my S90!

Don't try out the Canon 135/2.0 unless you're ready to buy it! It was the reason I bought Canon EOS about 20 years ago - I've worn one out, immediately bought another new. You can go from hand held shots indoors to a fair imitation of a 300/2.8 blowing out the background on the beach, and it's a nice small street shooting lens. Image quality compares well to anything else I've ever seen.

Koert said...

Well having finally been given/saved up enough to go and buy a D300s this comming week (yes I know I'll buy it on thursday and Nikon will suprisingly announce the D400 the day after....... but I can't afford that anyway) I have little else to wish for at the moment. Well ....perhaps maybe a nice fast wide angle prime to go with it........

Anonymous said...

simsalabim - Real men don't care about what the shoes look like, it's comfort all the way baby!

Hehe Get the Crocs Kirk, those you need but the rest you can do without. Let head rule heart, both your feet and your wallet will thank you.

Gino Eelen said...

Aah, Wishlists... Always have a few of those on hand :-)

For photography:
- A Wacom tablet for editing (not really easy with mouse or trackpad)
- A new monitor (I accidentally smashed my 24" Eizo earlier this year, so I make do with a 15" laptop screen)
- A Canon 5D3 which is (unofficially) expected next year. But only if the image quality can equal what I'm getting from my 5D1 currently - and I'm not talking about megapixel detail or high iso performance (which I'd obviously want along with the video), but about the look of the files. I've seen some 5D2 results and for me the 5D1 wins.
- A cleaner 50mm lens - I'm getting more and more annoyed at the massive barrel distortion on my Canon f1.4
- An A2 (17") printer

But what I actually really really wish for is simply more time. More time for photography, and for reading, and for picking up studying the piano again. Oh yes, I probably need a piano for that as well :-D

Dave said...

I like your list. Actually after a couple of months with the iPad I'm not so sure that I wouldn't prefer a svelte Windows tablet. The iPad is "cool" but the nickel and dime approach to buying apps for basic things can get annoying. It is fun to use Shuttersnitch on it, that much I have to admit.

My wish list
1.) A E-P3 that has the wonderful video capabilities of the GH1, no more than 12 megapixels and solid 5 frame per second jpg shooting for my stop motion movies. A built in ND filter like the camcorders use would also be nice.

2.) A 45 or 50mm f/1.8 portrait lens for micro four thirds cameras.

3.) A 12 megapixel full 35mm frame Nikon at a lower price point for enthusiast shooters on par with the Sony A850 with solid video capabilities (nothing fancy just 1080 24, 30 and 60 fps modes) and 3 fps continuous jpg shooting

4.) A budget priced ring flash for cool portraiture. Not sure I'd really use it but I've always wanted to play around with one.

5.) A second eEyefi pro card. I love shooting around the house, or walking in from outside and having the images automatically transferred to my computer and into Lightroom. Nice time saver.

6.) A Kirk Tuck photography workshop in Omaha! Love the books but it would be cool to have 3-4 days to pull details of your approach to people and product shooting out of your head.

7.) A second Nikon SB80 Nikon flash for my portable shooting back

8.) More/better AA batteries! Using portable strobes and rechargeable batteries drives me crazy some times. I've been caught several times with dead batteries as they drain while sitting.

9.) Two weeks on the Oregon coast and/or Mount Rainier in Washington.

10.) Enough will power to finish my photography business plan and move ahead.

Anonymous said...

I love everything on David's list. Especially #6. Come on Kirk, do some workshops.

Debbi_in_California said...

All I want this year is wheels on my century stands
Love your list. I hope you get the 135 as I'd love to read your review of it!
Love your thoughtful blog posts everyday. Always interesting

David D. said...

As to your dvd list...you should also consider adding the "Third Man". Last time I checked the top 100 movie list had "Citizen Kane" as No. 1.
In my list I rate "Casablanca" and the "Third Man" as a tie for No. 1. "La Dolce Vita" is No. 2.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

"wheels on my century stands...." Why didn't I think of that? I also need to add York Peppermint Patties to my list....

Anonymous said...

What do I want? Since I am 80 years old you might think regressing to some younger age would top the list. Not so...I would prefer to live another 20 years to continue to mature my vision and increase the ability to create a worthwhile, and occasionally an outstanding, image as a result. Such that people might be prompted to say `Ya' know, he's not a bad photographer for an old goat'.
Gear is no longer so important, (although I have a poorly concealed lust for a D7000 and a topflight wide angle zoom to go with it).
Other than that, world peace and the desire of all us folks to just get along.

Anonymous said...

led's yes
but go the 135/f2 first
it's magical at f2
sharp as
wonderful bokeh
better than my Olympus zuiko 100 and 135mm and they were fabulous.
David Akesson

Anonymous said...

My list:

Everything is relative, $10,000 will cover my list. $10k is a lot of money to me, but to some wealthy (or even merely rich) character looking to make a charitable donation, it's a drop in the bucket.

1) 4 weeks for a cross country drive along the back roads of America. The quintessential photo trek of a lifetime.

2) A gently used 1998 low mileage, 4-door Jeep Cherokee, in excellent condition, for said cross country trek.

3) A Nikon D7000 and Sigma 20mm f1.8

4) A brandy new 15" MacBook Pro


since we're playing,

An Omega Seamaster professional chronometer (with the blue face)

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Cool List. And I want an Omega Seamaster as well. But with the black face.

Unknown said...

Well, I hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and Santa treated you well. But if you're like the rest of us, and have to buy your own computers & cameras, I imagine you might still be in the market for a few things...

First of all, Olympus is going to be introducing their own version of the Lumix LX5 in a couple of weeks, and it should be able to use the same EVF as the E-PL1. Well worth waiting for and checking out, if you don't have a good compact camera already.

Secondly, the tech wires are abuzz with rumors about the iPad II which we should be seeing in the Spring. If even half the rumors are true it's going to be quite a major upgrade over what's currently on the market...well worth waiting for if you don't already have one.

And no, I didn't get an E-5 for Christmas...but that's fine, there is still Valentine's Day to come, and Easter, and my birthday...