Art Model, @Kayci.Lee, ©2016 Terrell Neasley

“It’s okay to be absurd, ridiculous, and downright irrational at times; silliness is sweet syrup that helps us swallow the bitter pills of life.”

I’m in a mood, I guess. I could use a little bit of silliness. Maybe you can, too. I’ve been here in Vietnam for 20 months. Lockdowns have just been curtailed and things are beginning to get back to normal again… at least here in Hanoi in the north of Vietnam. To the south, Ho Chi Minh City is getting better, but they were the worst hit with Covid-19. 

Let me just say that Vietnam has managed this pandemic in exemplary fashion. The Delta variant came along at the end of May and changed everything. For more than a year, Vietnam held covid in check. Delta was another story. We went from about 3,300 total cases at the beginning of July to 850,000 today. In hardly 3 months deaths went from 35 to 21,000. Y’all can say what you want, but I’m watching the measures they take to curtail this virus and their response to this pandemic been extraordinary, compared to most places in the world. It took 3 months but they even got control of Delta. Vaccines finally began rolling out and numbers have plummeted. Good government and good citizens working together and the rest of the world should take notes. 

Art Model, Leslie ©2013 Terrell Neasley

Now, back to my topic…

As things lessen up here, it’s hard not to think about going home. As I said, it’s already been 20 months. However, this is something I already anticipated. I expected to be gone two years on this leg of my trip. What I didn’t expect was being in the same place. Had I stuck to my original plans, I’d be in Australia now, getting ready to make my way to the Islands of the South Pacific. namely Fiji, Tonga, French Polynesia, and The Cook Islands. Quite possibly, my pining for new gear is a result of previous mental programming. I had anticipated upgrading my gear at the two year mark after returning to the US again! 

Now, that’s not likely to happen, just yet, but my subconscious obviously doesn’t know that. And the camera I want is not even out yet. I’m pretty sure, I’m sticking with Sony gear. I currently rock the Sony a7RII. The Sony a7RV should be out sooner or later and I’m already certain I want it. It had BETTER have a fully articulating rear LCD screen! I don’t know if the thing will be 100MP or not. It could be 61MP, like the a7RIV. 

Art Model, Panda © 2011 Terrell Neasley

As I have mentioned before, I have to upgrade both my cameras if I do this. I refuse to carry two different battery types and all the newer systems have Sony’s larger batteries (NP-FZ100) in them. My current second camera is the a6500. I love having a crop system to complement my main full-frame body. I’ve done that for years, every since I was with Canon with my Canon 5DMkII and the 7D. Therefore, I’ll have to option to upgrade my crop to the latest one… whatever that will be by the time I get back. Likely a6700.

OR, I could go full-frame for the second camera which in this case, it would be the a7SIII, (which already has a fully-articulating rear LCD screen). Choices, choices. Both those cameras will be about $3500 each. Dang! I’m inclined to have the crop system due to the fact that it gives my lenses some added range. They get magnified by a factor of 1.5 times. That’s a great complement, to me. In doing so, I’ll have to get a slew of extra batteries, but the each camera uses the same one. In addition to that, I’ll need all new, fresh memory cards. Either way, Sony a7SIII or a6700… which also isn’t even out yet.

Art Model, Justine ©2015  Terrell Neasley

What else, beyond that? Oh yeah… one more thing. I gotta have that Tamron 35-150mm f/2-2.8 Di III VXD. I’ve been shooting prime lense during this whole trip. Now I think I MUST have some range in my arsenal. Currently, I shoot with a 35mm and a 55. That’s it. I left my 90mm Macro stateside. I sold my Sigma 24 1.4 and picked up the Tamron 35 2.8 macro. I lost speed, but regained macro capability. But this new Tamron is right up my alley in terms of range. It’s not huge, but it’s also giving me 150mm at f/2.8. On a crop sensor, that 150 turns into a 225mm, (still at 2.8)!

Whenever I do return to the US, I won’t be there long. I’m still on this mission! I may return to Vietnam again or continue on where ever they’ll let me come visit. Cambodia, Thailand… it all depends on several factors. But if I get my way… dang. I’m gonna come right back here. I’m not done with Vietnam!

Art Model, Chloe Ann ©2017 Terrell Neasley

Art Model, @Kayci.Lee, ©2018 Terrell Neasley