I’ve Waited Too Long For A Gift Guide, So Here’s Some Stuff From 2017 I Liked…
Just like the insanely long title up there says, I’ve been really busy and waited way too long to compile a gift guide. There’s plenty of things in this guide, this guide, oh and over here too. There’s a bunch of stuff on there that’s Amazon Prime eligible, so all of you extremely late gift givers can still snag something. I figured I’d do something a little bit different this year – highlight some of my favorite stationery (and non-stationery) things. Let’s get into the list.
1. My First Born Son – Elliot
Honestly, no competition here. My wife and I welcomed our son into this world back in August and it’s been an extremely rewarding (and exhausting) experience. I feel like there’s no competition for this guy at the top of my list.
2. Lamy Aion
I just got this today, and I think after a few brief hours with it, it’s my pen of the year. I didn’t add to much to my collection this year. I’ve been waiting on this pen for a LONG time now, and it has exceeded my expectations. You can pick one up from Pen Chalet. Expect a full review in the coming weeks. The material, design, weight, feel and nib are all excellent, especially given the price point.
3. Omega Speedmaster ref. .005
2017 was a pretty intense year for watch purchases. In January, I added the Omega Speedmaster to my collection. I opted for the hesalite crystal version, and I wanted it to be brand new. The goal is to pass this down to my son. I think it’s cool that the watch was bought the same year he was born. I nearly had a breakdown when hitting the “purchase” button, as this is one of the only things I own that I consider true “luxury”. At first, I was afraid to wear it, but it’s quickly become my most-worn piece.
4. Tactile Turn Updated Movers and Shakers
I consider Will at Tactile Turn a good friend, and it’s always awesome to work with him on new photos. This year, he released an updated version of the Movers and Shakers with his own custom made titanium click mechanism. You can read my full review here.
5. Elinchrom D-Lite RX4/4 Lighting Kit
This year, I added some legit studio lighting to my photo setup, and man is it liberating. I used to use 2 Speedlites mounted in softboxes and I felt that all I did was charge AA batteries all day. This kit by Elinchrom is fantastic. The lights are powerful, reliable, and easy to use. I outlined my photo setup in this post here if you want to get more into it! I think that these make taking photos that much easier. Definitely a worthy purchase that’s drastically improved my workflow.
6. Sinn 856 Watch
Yeah, I told you guys that 2017 was the year of watch purchases. Even though the Speedmaster was my grail, a Sinn watch was a really close second. After browsing Watch Recon, I noticed that a good condition 856 popped up for a reasonable price. The 40mm case, awesome technology (scratch-resistant tegimented steel case, sapphire crystal, copper sulfate anti-moisture capsule, magnetic protection, etc.), and just plain awesome looks result in what I think is the perfect everyday watch. I’ll get around to posting a full review of this awesome piece one of these days…
7. Topo Field Bag
A standard diaper bag wasn’t going to work for me. The organization, appearance, and functionality of most diaper bags on the market just plain stink. I picked up the Topo Designs Field Bag in black ballistic nylon to sub in for a standard diaper bag. There’s a ton of organization – zippered pockets, a divider, mesh, two external bottle pockets, and a comfy padded shoulder strap with an optional waist strap for stabilization. The bag is padded, so it’s easy to throw a camera in there too. I’m definitely a fan of this bag!
8. Fuji XT-2 w/ 23mm f/2 WR lens
This year, I wanted a camera that could take really great video. Since I don’t do too much video work, my ideal camera would be just as good at taking photos. The Fuji XT-2 fit the bill perfectly. This SLR-style mirrorless from Fuji was sold out pretty much everywhere for several months after its release. After many months of waiting, I finally got to pick it up. The camera is great, the 4k video is great, and the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs are fantastic. The electronic viewfinder is crystal clear and super responsive. The manual dials on top of the camera make it really easy to change settings on the fly too. This camera has definitely seen some serious use over the past few months. Admittedly, my X100T has been left behind much of the time due to the performance and image quality upgrade that the XT-2 provides.
9. New Music
In no particular order, I’ve been jamming these 2017 releases. Youtube links so it’s easy to realize how different our tastes in music are!
- The Menzingers – “After the Party”
- Comeback Kid – “Outsider”
- The Black Dahlia Murder – “Nightbringers”
- JD McPherson – “Undivided Heart and Soul”
- Glassjaw – “Material Control”
- Iron Chic – “You Can’t Stay Here”
- Converge – “The Dusk in Us”
I think that’s about it. I was really digging to find a 10th thing, but why force it? Maybe that’s number 10. I’ve kinda taken it on the easier side with the blog this year, and it’s nice to post when I want to and not feel obliged or like I absolutely need to. It’s nice to create content when I want to out of enjoyment, not because I have to. So there is a number 10, and that’s doing things for fun. I’m grateful that I have an audience that appreciates what I do, and I think it’s important to let you all know that I appreciate each and every single visitor to this site.
Keep an eye out soon for the Top Posts of 2017 rundown in the coming weeks. I hope everyone enjoys their holidays!