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Thursday, 11 September 2008


Doesn't sony make a 35mm 1.4 and an 85mm 1.2? The a900 is FF with in body IS. I would think that satisfies your requirement, unless I'm missing something.

I have a Nikon FM2, Voigtlander Bessa R2M, and a Canon 7NE, used with some manual focus Zeiss lenses; what more can I want, except, perhaps, a Mamiya C330 & 7II, and then there's the re-release of the Diana, which has pinhole capability as well. But that's about it.

It would seem as though only the Sony A900 can satisfy these exact requirements - stabilized 35/2 and 85/2. The alternatives are Canon 5D or Nikon D700 with non-stabilized primes, or a Pentax body with a set of Limiteds which don't quite fit the focal length requirement and/or have much slower apertures. E.g. Pentax K20D + 21/3.2 + 50/1.4.

I want Photoshop for Linux for £200. No chance.

Mike, would a 37 mm-e 1:2.8 or 43 mm-e 1:2 plus a 80 mm-e 1:1.7 also do? If so then you already own your wish camera! Just get a Minolta AF 24 mm 1:2.8 or Minolta AF 28 mm 1:2 plus a Minolta AF 50 mm 1:1.7 off eBay ...

If you think 50 mm on APS-C was equivalent to 75 mm not 80 on 35-mm format then keep in mind that the form factor really is 1.531× not 1.5× and the 50 mm lens' true focal length is 51.6 mm not 50.0.

-- Olaf

Hi Mike,

To answer your question; yes, mostly.
I would ideally like my Canon 5d be the size of my old Pentax ME Super and would love for my small 24 and 35 mm Canon primes to be equipped with a focus ring that is at least somewhat enjoyable to use. Other than that I'm very happy, never missed IS to be honest.

And there is the DMD of course, I can’t get that…

Best, Nick

Can I get what I want?

Not sure. I went for a 5D with one lens, 35/1.4. That was a lot of money for me. I have considered a 135 or a 85 but so far resisted.

In film I have been an OM1 and OM2 user for many years and after struggling with a zoom I settled for a 35mm.

End of the day, I think I miss my old G5 a bit, easy and light. I would have wished for a fixed lens on it.

So I guess my answer, yes, I can get what I want. I can dream a lot but it is waste of time.

Do I feel an urge to upgrade my "old" 5D? No I feel that I have what I want, nothing more, nothing less.

"...unless I'm missing something."

ƒ/2. ƒ/1.4 lenses are usually more than twice as big and more than twice as heavy. But maybe the A900 is it. If I can afford it! (Always the other wild card!)

Mike J.

Get an Oly E-410 with the 14-42 mm as a temporary compromise and start a no-holds-barred letter writing campaign to Olympus and (or) Sigma until they knuckle under the pressure and build the primes you want.

You have my full support.

Good luck.

You could basically do it today. How about any current Pentax, plus the FA50/1.4 (75mm equivalent) and a Sigma EX 24/1.8 (36mm equivalent). Lots of people scoff at third party lenses, but I have had the 28/1.8 Sigma and it was very good in the ways important to me. Some of said the 24 is better. Of course, you could substitute a Sony body and 50/1.4 for Pentax too.

You can't get that yet, but if the rumors are right and Sony does revive the legendary old Minolta 35/2 in a 35/1.8 incarnation that gets you half way there. I own the 28/2 and considering how scarce that lens has gotten you're only getting it out of my hands when you pry it from my cold dead fingers.

I too would love to see an 85/2 but I don't think that's going to happen. OTOH the old Minolta 85G is down to about $720 + S/H at KEH which brings it dangerously close to being a good deal. And I suspect that lens isn't nearly as bulky and awkward as the Zeiss. I still can't bring myself to buy it however, just on principle. The last price that B&H was selling that lens for new was around $680.

Now as to price, well I have no help for you there. But considering how the price for the A700 has dropped, I have high hopes for the A900 too.

Well, I am extremely happy using my Nikon D300 with an old ai 28/2.0. But I am lacking that fast 85mm equivalent ...

I loved my Leica CL with a 28 and a 50. I would love to see a digital equivalent that could take 90 as well. With IS. Will it happen? Maybe that rendering of a small Panasonic with a 4/3 sensor is real. If so, it might be a step it getting what I want. But somehow I'm still skeptical.

Of course many people cannot get what they want! A good quality, reasonably-priced digital rangefinder is a nearly-universal crave!

Well, maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. But I do want it!

In a word, Nope.

As a longtime Olympus Om user nothing really comes close to what I was used to.

What I want -

A small, light professional quality camera body. Small light 18 or 21mm fixed focal length lens (12-14mm on APS-C sensor) a very small & light 40mm (try finding ANY 26.6mm APS-C lens!) I can get pretty much any zoom range/configuration I could want, but fixed focal length lenses are not available.

Camera bodies are big and well featured, or small and amateur featured/built. Lenses tend to be the same, big heavy pro glass, or more amateur oriented. Fixed focal length lenses are few and far between.

The 4/3 system promised much, but has not really delivered. Lens choices are still limited, especially in fixed focal lengths, and the better quality bodies are no smaller or lighter than the competition. The smaller lighter bodies are clearly designed & targeted as amateur bodies.

I suppose that is what the masses wants, I have always been out on the fringe. It is just that there used to be companies that chose (could afford to?) cater to folks like me, that seems to not be the case today. Most companies really offer minor interpretations on the same themes.


With the Nikon D700's (and D3's) ability to produce perfectly usable results at 6400 iso maybe it's reaching the stage where IS can be scored off your list? In that case, Nikon do fast 35 and 85 lenses that would fit the bill.

I love shooting handheld in low light and the D700 with a 50mm f1.4 is what I'm hankering after.

I’ve used a 35mm 1.4 on my 20D for 95% of the last four years. It’s a big lens, no doubt about it, but using it almost exclusively for those four years means I seldom think about it. Knowing a lens and camera that well saves a lot of time looking through the viewfinder, helps your positioning and therefore your framing. I have wanted rather then needed a full frame. My thinking has always been that as long as you use the whole frame, you’re shooting full frame. I now have a new camera and it is full frame and am getting used to my 35mm on it.

So I got what I wanted, I finally got to put the 35 on a full frame but must admit that I’m missing the familiarity I had with the 35 and 20D.


I think I line up with you side by side on this one. Sorta...

I have almost bought a new camera 4 times in the past two years. Every time I get stuck on a couple compromises and pull out. (K20D, D300 and D700 E-3) OK add the E-420 as well

In reality I am trying to have my cake and eat it too. In further reality I want two different systems. I do a small amount of paid work each year. I am drawn to Nikon for this due to a great flash system, a very wide collection of potential lenses both new and used as well as considerably better ISO performance than my Oly E300. For this I don't really care about size and in many cases to many people size means PROFESSIONAL so that is just fine.

What I want for what I do personally is (maybe) the Micro 4/3 idea if it is robust enough and of high enough quality. I love my Olympus lenses but IMO you have to get to at least the mid tier for acceptable sharpness and quality. 14-54 is a work horse and my 50mm (100 in 35mm) is an incredible lens for detail work. The 25mm pancake was a nice bone they tossed at us but for me it does not stack up and I won't buy one just cause it's willy small.

So I sit and wait and stay further out of debt (not a bad thing) hoping that this year is my year to finally get what I want.

Fingers crossed


I had much the same desire, but I wanted FF because my old tired eyes cannot see as well on the smaller cameras - basically my pentax spotmatic in digital. I had wanted IS, but decided to stop waiting and got the D700. With auto-ISO and no noise issues until at least 3200, I found that I did not need IS. Since you can use their old lenses, you can replicate your 35mm experience. (I am not worried about MP because I still have a 4x5 if I really care about a big print.)

Buy any Sony crop DSLR (A200, A3x0, A700) and a Sigma 24/1.8 (~36 mm in 35mm eqf) and a Minolta 50/1.8 or the Sony 50/1.4 (~75 mm in 35 mm eqf).

As an alternative to the Sigma 24/1.8 you could try to buy a used Minolta 24/2.8, if the Sigma is too large and heavy for your needs. But then, it's only f/2.8 instead of f/2. ;-)

Sounds like a nice dream system Mike. I'm more than happy to take my APS-C DSLR out with my 28/2 (42mm equiv) and 85/1.4 (longer than you want on APS-C).

So you're looking at Sony/Pentax systems (or Oly, but we know fast primes are rare there). For the A900, you can dredge up a used Minolta 35/2 which is a sharp lens wide open, and much more compact than the 35/1.4 if you don't mind paying nearly twice for a used lens what they used to cost new ! (There has been speculation of a new 35/1.8, but we all know what that's worth). Then you're just left with an 85/1.4 instead of an f/1.8 or f/2. A used Minolta can be found in the $700 or so range, and it's a nice lens with slow AF. The CZ is $1300; also a nice lens if not as inspiring as the only slightly more expensive, internal focussing 135/1.8 (there really ought to be a bigger price differential between those two) with faster (but not as good as other Sony lenses) AF.

For APS-C, the 28/2 is a great little lens, but not as wide as a 24mm ... Sigma makes the 24/1.8, but that's a beast of a lens.

I'm still looking to micro 4/3 and other systems for a carry-everywhere setup. Though I'm not expecting Oly to deliver on fast primes :( If I can get a (somewhat) compact camera that delivers 4/3 or bigger with image stabilization and a lens that's f/2.8 around 35-50mm equivalent, I'll be happy. (The E-410/420 aren't as compact as I'd like and don't offer IS).

Maybe it's just a matter of (MORE) waiting ... Sony could release a cheaper FF (it's inevitable) and prices on the A900 should drop and you can search out bargains on those lenses (or wait for f/1.8 alternatives) in the meantime. A pair of f/1.8 lenses (35 & 85) ought to cost around $500, making a a $3500 kit with that camera; instead you're looking at probably a minimum of $1200 for used Minolta lenses and more if you opt for the new Sony 85/1.4.


I've been wanting something very similar for a long time, and I have something close to what you describe.

I currently carry a Pentax DSLR (*ist DS) + Pentax 21/3.2 + Pentax 50/1.4. I have a 28/2.8 which I use when I need something a little tighter in the low end.

This gives me approximately an 35mm-e + 85mm-e setup in a very lightweight package. Obviously the 21 is not as fast as you would like, but it is lighter in the overall handling picture you do get something back.

A modern Pentax body would add in body IS (and better image quality).


What I want is an APS-C or (preferably) full frame camera with a flange to sensor distance that will allow me to use ALL my non EOS lenses: Leica/Canon M39, Contax/Pentax M42, Canon FD, even MF/LF lenses like Ektars, Symmars, B&L Tessars, Super Angulons, etc. I want to use them all!

No RF or SLR abilities required, Just the equivalent of "Live View" and an electronic focus confirmation. Samsung may yet produce one, I hope.

Mike the powers that be are too busy with the R&D on next 18-XX 3.5-5.6 plasitc zoom that we don't need. Can anyone even count how many lenses Nikon produces in that range? I shoot a fair amount of B&W film and my 35 F2 gets a lot of use. My ai 105 2.5 stands as a back up and serves my needs as a short teli/portrait lens.

Well you should be able to get something nice to go with that K20 Pentax and its in body IS. I use old Sigma primes with my *ist DL, a 24mm and a 50mm macro, which gives rouughly 35mm and 75mm in old money (please forgive my funny uk phraseology, well we let you spell strangely in B&W mag'). They aren't quite fast enough for your spec' at f2.8, but with the easily altered iso of the digital body I reckon they'd do you. Proper metal construction too!

Financial restrictions aside, I'm pretty happy with what I have. That being said, I love the idea of a full frame dslr in an otherwise fully manual body a la the FM3a. I think that would be a big hit.

I want a $1k full frame Nikon dSLR in the D70/80/90 form factor. I'm thinking that I'll be able to get it by 2011 or so but I'm worried that they'll bow to pixel-pressure and lose quality in other areas.


I guess the question is, how willing are you to compromise on exact focal length and exact aperture?

Pentax K20D with Zeiss ZK lenses: 25mm f/2.8 (38mm equiv) and 50mm f/1.4 (75mm equiv) [or substitute the announced-but-not-yet-released Pentax 55mm f/1.4 for 83mm equiv.]

What I want most is not equipment. What I want and need is the time to use the equipment I've got.

Even when I have time, equipment is secondary. All of the past and present masters of photography were able to take amazing images with equipment that's downright primitive by today's standards. As your "Forgotten Cameras" series shows, there are plenty of photographers who *still* get great images from vintage equipment.

So "man-up," Mike. Real photographers don't need no stinkin' IS.

Hi Mike,
looks like this is your lucky day, i think i know just what your looking for. in fact you already have it with the KM 7D as it has IS. Then you need a 24mm 2.8 lens as this will be a 36mm equiv, OK so you'll lose one stop as its not F2 but you'll live. Then take a 50mm f1.7 or whatever and that will be 75 equiv, once again close enough I'd say. Or you can get a cheap adapter and use some manual focus lenses, I ordered one but its not here yet, should be fun.

No iPod?

Mike, I bought a 1 Gig Sansa mp3 player - no moving parts - through a cheapstingybargains.com special for $12.00. ( Actually I bought 5 of them!)

It holds 7 hours of music and weighs about as much as a radish.

It has become my favorite piece of technology in my entire house. I have yet to find a chore that is not made much more enjoyable when listening to my favorite music - indoors or out - through a good set of headphones.

Make the move, man! :)

All the best,


I want a camera like Sigma DP1, but with a zoom (at least 4x) and that costs LESS than a dslr


I assume you mean 35mm & 85mm in 35mm *equivalent*, crop-factor adjusted. Others have already mentioned the full-frame digital route which most likely will bring you closest to this goal, but as you pointed out that's a pretty big wad of cash.

Assuming 1.5 crop you're thus looking at around a 24mm for the 35mm, and 56mm for the 85mm. The latter will be a challenge, as the closest you're likely to come will be the 75mm equivalent of a 50mm lens. Certainly you can get a 50mm in f/2 or better in Canon, Nikon, Pentax and Sony mounts, so if you're willing to compromise on the 10mm that's not much of an issue. (Although personally, I'd also compromise down to a f/2.8 to pick up macro capability, because otherwise, for a lot of what I shoot, I'd have to carry a third lens).

The 24mm is of course a bit more rare, although the Sigma 24mm f/1.8, which has a mixed reputation, is available in most mounts. I recently purchased one of these and personally am quite happy with it on my Sony A700; you can see some of my recent shots with it here:


(the 24mm shots are intermixed with some Sigma 50mm f/2.8 shots, check the exif; hover over the image and click on the photo info icon, that dialog can be moved off the image and will stay up as you browse the rest of the images)

Oh, Mike, silly man, don't you know that once you have IS you're not supposed to want f2 anymore?

Not yet, but hopefully soon. I want a Micro Four Thirds rangefinder with 35 f/2 and 85 f/2 equivalent AF lenses made by Leica. ;~)

Have bought and sold numerous Canon point and shoots, three Nikon D100's, two D200's, a D80, and a D50, as well as one or two other digital point and shoots over the last few years.

The final bottom line; the most basic DSLR, a Nikon D40!

Purchased a Nikkor 16-85 mm f3.5G ED VR zoom
lense, it stays on the camera as that's all
that is required, for me!

It's my point and shoot with interchangeable

My photography has changed; it is now something to be done when the mood strikes rather than striking when the mood is forced.

My Nikon F100 is in even greater use now that my digital itch has been cured.

Pentax SR-equipped body (e.g. K20D) with either Pentax FA* 24mm f/2 or Sigma EX 24mm f/1.8, plus Voigtlander Nokton 58mm f/1.4 SL II. The FA* 24 is not likely to be found new anymore.

Me? Maybe. I'm remembering your SMP essay "Mo'betta" or a similar one where you talked about f/2 lenses, and how I agreed that f/2 was enough for almost anything (assuming the lens is good at f/2). But reading photography forums, all people want is faster, no matter how big and heavy it gets. "Why take f/2 when I can have the 'convenience' of a zoom at f/2.8?" "Why settle for f/2 when you can have f/1.4? Why settle for 1.4 when you can have 1.2?" Do these folks take pictures only in night clubs at ISO 100?

I, too, would like an 85/2, as the Nikon 85/2 AI I have is perfect in form but terribly disappointing in performance, at least on digital. I would like a 28/2; the Zeiss might satisfy that but I'd prefer a state-of-the-art Nikkor.

Will you get what you want? I wouldn't be surprised to see a Zeiss 35/2 ZA. Sony already has the right body, but not exactly at the right price. I highly doubt an 85/2 ZA will appear, for the reasons I mentioned above.

I'm still waiting on a pocketable digital camera with the ability to limit depth of field and decent performance up to iso 800.

I'd also like to see a full frame Pentax body the size of the current K10/20D (or smaller). I'm not in much of a hurry for that though. I'm sure it'll show up before my wallet is ready anyway.

Although most of these would probably be technically feasible, they probably wouldn't be all that marketable: a silver B&W film friendly scanner (ie- w/"B&W ICE"), a B&W only digital camera (w/interchangeable lenses), and throw in a B&W only printer (even though I'm not even sure what advantages that would include)... Ya get what ya need.

"How about you—can you get what you want?"

I want people to stop writing their wish lists on the internet, so it seems I'm not getting what I want.

Just pulling your leg, Mike. I would like an AF 135mm ƒ/2.8-equiv. for my Pentax K10D (so a 90mm ƒ/2). It doesn't seem like that much to ask, but apparently it is. Are you reading this, Pentax?

Photographically, yes. Not only has the camera (and printing) industry delivered everything I want, they've delivered MORE than I knew I wanted. I have no external excuses for sub-par performance.

My suggestion to you, Mike, is to pick up a used 5D when the successor is announced. (Most will be "lightly" used and sell for <=30% of face.) Stick a Canon EF 35mm f/2 on it. (It's an excellent lens and quite inexpensive compared to the F/1.4L.) and take some snaps. You'll be reborn. (Of course we may not see much of you for a while around here but that's ok.)

Mick says you can "try try try"

You can run photoshop on linux , it just takes a little bit of work and may or may not be legal, depending on what you already have.

I carry photoshop around on a thumbdrive

think VM ware virtual appliance, or better yet try Sun's equivalent

Well, these distances and f-stops are covered by 2 ultra-bright Olympus zooms: 14-35mm f2 (equiv. 28-70mm) and 35-100mm f2 (equiv. 70-200mm).

I want people to not notice me. Or at least, to stop moving away from my in-focus area and arranging themselves into bad compositions.

Camera-wise, I suppose I'm doing OK. But I'd love to have something about the size of a Rollei 35, with a 3" lcd, a big sensor, and fast lenses that I can focus manually with a focusing ring. I realized that I actually like to frame on an lcd, what I hate is the AF and shutter lag of p&s cameras. Maybe the new micro 4/3 cameras will be all that.

Hello Mike,
You could get the excellent FA* 24mm f/2.0 (35mm-e) for your Pentax K20D. You may find one used for around 350 euros. It renders colors beautifully and has a great contrast. For the 85mm-e, I would suggest to wait for the announced DA*55mm f/1.4.

But be warned, if you start to use Pentax * (star) lenses, you may become addict very quickly.


For me, for serious use, the new Nikon D90 with the kit lens and my new 85mm F:1.8 is pretty much it. Ideally it would have a tiltable screen and internal IS, but heck.

I also want a serious compact though, with fast autofocus and better zooming than those little switches. And smooth pics at 800 ISO.

I think they (the industry) are very close to giving me what I want, which is this : something the size of an Oly E-520 or E-420 with the flip and twist screen of the E-3, at least a 4/3 sensor, in body IS, and excellent Live View. I'm very close to getting a 520, assuming that something like I REALLY want will come along in the near future. Or that u4/3 will be the answer for me (since I'm not allergic to EVFs) and the lenses may still be useful.

I have been very happy using my Nikon 35mm f2.0 on my D700. But that doesn't give you in body IS.

With the camera's excellent low noise files up to ISO 3200 or so, You should be able to work around the lack of IS by adjusting your ISO and Shutter speed.

Of course ISO 25,600 is fun but not always practical for Color shots, more for the B&W look.

I think that the other posters have covered your few other options for in body IS and a 35mm f2.0 or equivalent.

Photoshop for Ubuntu, Lightroom for Ubuntu, the entire CS4 suite for Ubuntu and a digital Nikon Sp2: no mirror slap, light, fast, pocketable, damn near invisible in the right hands.


I would consider the Canon 5D. You can pick it used for less than $1500 (and people will be selling them in bunches in the coming weeks with the new 3D/7D), and Canon's 35/2 and 85/1.8 are both cheap and have excellent reputations. The only sticking point is no IS but high-ISO performance is at least a stop better than most APS-C DSLR's.

The other option is a bit more exotic. You seemed to enjoy using the K20D. Pair it with the FA* 24/2 and FA 50/1.4 and you have your 35mm and 85mm (close enough) equivalent, with AF AND IS.

The FA* 24/2 has a good reputation but is no longer produced and pretty rare on the used market. The other option here is the Sigma 24/1.8. Yes lens snobs will say, ew it's a Sigma, but it fits all the criteria and is also full-frame spec'd, which means many of the worst issues will probably be ironed out in APS-C crop. It goes new in K-mount at Adorama for $390.

will you be happy when you finally get what you now want?
probably no, not for long anyway.
so compromise with what you have use the means to meet your goals not vice versa.
i am quite a shopper myself but i dare say not much of a photographer. now I have a p@s digital for half a year and i have to admit i spent far more time at your blog (and internet in general) than outdoor shooting.
i fear that's not going to change when I get a dslr that will utilise my old pentax mounted film-era lenses.
to answer your original question i could get what i currently want: a K20D(or something like that). i simply dont have the money yet.
grigoris-graduate student at civil engineering greece

A Pentax K20D with a used 24mm lens and a soon-to-be-released 55mm lens seems like it would suit your needs pretty well. I would recommend finding a Sigma 24/2.8 AF for the wider side. The coating isn't quite as good as Pentax's SMC lenses, but it is sharper to my eye, with better controlled distortion.

As to what I want: I want a digital where I can use my Pentax 31, 43, and 77 without a crop factor. And I want a small interchangeable-lens camera with a set of high quality primes. I think we're nowhere near the first request. But a Panasonic/Leica micro-4/3 setup might end up being the answer to the second. We shall see.

For your Pentax why not try a Sigma 24mm f1.8 and a Voigtlander SL II 58mm f1.4 as a two lens kit.

Cheers, Robin

... but sometimes you get just what you neeeeeed. :-)

Now that Olympus and Panasonic are going to deal with micro 4/3, I started thinking I won't get what I want: an E-410 with weathersealing, better controls and a decent viewfinder.

(And now I'm sorry I didn't get an ordinary E-410 when the price fell down to the equivalent of a mid-level point&shoot. But that's a different story.)

Yes, I can get what I want. There's only that little niggle - money. I need "just" about $5000 for Olympus 14-35 and 35-100. It's not that my current setup is shabby or anything (https://www.clandestineart.com/photo/ren_1.html), but those two are simply something else.

"Oh, Mike, silly man, don't you know that once you have IS you're not supposed to want f2 anymore?"

Not supposed to, I know. And in point of fact I've been working (test cameras aside) with an f/2.8 zoom since '06. And it does seem fast enough, with IS.

Mike J.

>Possession, a war that doesn't end< according to John Trudell.

[[Mike the powers that be are too busy with the R&D on next 18-XX 3.5-5.6 plasitc zoom that we don't need. Can anyone even count how many lenses Nikon produces in that range?]]

Yes it's a real shame Nikon allows consumers to shove barrels of cash into their coffers so they can feed the R&D department and produce things like the D90 or D700.

"Oh, Mike, silly man, don't you know that once you have IS you're not supposed to want f2 anymore?"

Not supposed to, I know. And in point of fact I've been working (test cameras aside) with an f/2.8 zoom since '06. And it does seem fast enough, with IS.

Mike J.

Yeah, 2.8 with IS sounds pretty good. I found 4-5.6 with IS too limiting and sold a nice Nikon IS zoom lens so I could buy a very nice Tokina that was 2.8 throughout. This was a good tradeoff for what I do, but 2.8 plus IS would be ideal. Nikon's not making that happen for me, although I'm getting along fine.


Oh I know what I want:
Number 1. A 4:3 body the size of an Olympus RC
with a real optical RF with moving frame lines for a 17mm f2, 25mm f2 and 50mm f2 manual focus lenses. A 10mm f2.8 lens with aux. VF to round out the lens choice.
Number 2. A 24X32mm digital back, 12mp, to fit my Olympus OM-1. This back would come in 2 types, color and luminance only, for B&W.
About the time these become available I'll also flap my arms and fly to the moon.

Peter, in response to this:

"Well, I am extremely happy using my Nikon D300 with an old ai 28/2.0. But I am lacking that fast 85mm equivalent .."

For about $350, you can get the Voightlander 58 1.4, which is a fast 85 equivalent on your D300. I've been using one on my D300 and this lens is a joy to use.

I'm kind of wondering, Mike, why you've never picked up a prime or two for that 7D. Too unhappy with the size & weight of the body, perhaps?

I like the 7D myself, but then I'm a big guy and I like a camera that's rugged enough to take some knocks, given that I do a lot of nightclub and band shooting ...

"I'm kind of wondering, Mike, why you've never picked up a prime or two for that 7D."

Matthew Brown,
Oh, but I have. Unfortunately I'm very picky about lenses--"golden eye" syndrome, the visual equivalent of "golden ear syndrome" for audiophiles, both a blessing and a decided curse.

Mike J.

Gordon said "What I want most is not equipment. What I want and need is the time to use the equipment I've got."

That's my biggest photography want as well. Time to think about and make photographs.

As far as gear desires go, my ideal kit would be a full frame 35mm DSLR no larger than my OM-2n with the viewfinder/focusing screen of that camera and a few f/2 primes (ideally 24mm, 40mm, and 85mm). It doesn't exist, but the gear I have instead is close enough. The main limitation is time!

Who knows, maybe Pentax or Samsung will get busy and go full frame. Would the 31 and 77 Limiteds work for you? Its actually not to far fetched, although I would certainly be surprised. ch

A DSLR, no bigger than an Olympus OM1 or Pentax MX, or a digital rangefinder a little smaller and lighter than a Leica M, maybe like a Minolta CLE. A tiny 35/2 equivalent and a tiny 75/2.5 equivalent lens. Decent dynamic range. Stabilization would be nice in the DSLR, but not essential.

Somebody, please put the pieces together. It will sell like hotcakes.

now that a full frame mfdb exists in the phase one p65+, i hope the pentax 645 digital will be revived.

and i want a DMD. is that too much to ask for?

Hmm, not sure if this is the kind of thing you are looking for?


but I have used one, and they arent pretty, but nice enough to use on both the canon 400d, and 5d!

I've had a 35/2.0, 85/1.8 and 135/2.0 setup for 20 years (Canon FD, then EOS RT, then 5D).

I do have the 35/1.4 as well, but I've kept the 35/2.0 because it's so light.

I bought the 5D as soon as it came out because I couldn't get a 35/2.0 equivalent (I would have needed about 21/1.4). Even a few mm either way was no good (e.g 24/1.4 equivalent to 38mm).

Even if the 5D isn't perfect, it'll let me take the photos I want for the next ten years.

Canon 5D with a 35/2 and 85/1.8 or Nikon D700 with a 35/2 and 85/1.8 both match your criteria.
If you don't need AF you have a lot more options.

Pentax K20D with FA* 24/2 and Voigtlander 58/1.4 (Smaller than an 85/2) or a Nikon D300 with a 24/2 AI-S and Voigtlander 58/1.4 or any smaller Nikon body (Say D90) with a Sigma 24/1,8 and Voigtlander 58/1.4.

Given Panasonic's new G1 announcement and a 20mm f1.7 on the lens roadmap, I think what I want is just around the corner.

Distracting post this - got me thinking what I really find important.

1) Field of view

I want 35mm and 135mm outdoors, 35mm and 85mm indoors (full frame sizes). 28mm or 38mm is no good.

2) Primes.

Tried a Canon 17-40/4L zoom for a while - hated it. I want to know what's in the frame before I put the camera to my eye. I don't want to waste time framing after the camera is up. Took quite a while to re-learn what was in the frame after getting rid of the zoom.

Selective focus. Must be at least f2.0.

3) Viewfinder

The Canon manual focus screen for the 5D is pretty good, but I would prefer a screen like my old Canon F1n - even if I could only have one central AF point. I would be very happy with manual focus for 35mm and 85mm lenses, AF for my 135mm. Can't stand not seeing clearly.

4) Portability
No way would I ever consider something like a Canon 1D. EOS5D is about the maximum acceptable size.

Probably the best decision I made was to restrict myself to a small camera bag (a Billingham L2) for the last 15 years - if it doesn't fit inside, I don't buy it. This means a 5D, 35, 85 and 135mm lenses. Before that it was two film bodies and 35mm and 135mm f2.0 lenses.

Given the above, I don't really mind what the body is - although something like an digital version of a metal Canon F1n with simple controls would be ideal, I can live very happily with the EOS 5D until it's worn out - I usually keep a camera ten years of so. With the high ISO performance of the 5D I haven't really missed image stabilisation.

"Canon 5D with a 35/2 and 85/1.8 or Nikon D700 with a 35/2 and 85/1.8 both match your criteria."

Close (and certainly good enough!) but as I say, the desire for IS throws a wrench in the works. There's no way in the Canon or Nikon systems to get IS with the 35/2's, alas.

Mike J.

I'd like a digital back for my Nikon SP, but that is not likely to become a reality. Right now I'd like to set up a pair of Klipsch Herschys that my cousin is offering to me pushed by a sweet sounding Dyncao 70 that still needs to have a new board and tubes installed. And more importantly a room to enjoy this in.

Oh yeah and some time to go out and shoot the Nikon SP for its yearly couple of roll excursion.



1. Mick *always* gets what he wants. See Annie Liebowitz' piece in the October Vanity Fair.

2. The rest of us make do. Did you see this guy https://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/11/technology/personaltech/11basics.html in Thursday's New York Times?

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