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Wednesday, 29 March 2017


I'm currently renting the EM1 ll for a visit to Alaska, and I can feel the gas dissipate as the days go by. Everything is improved, but I actually don't need what it does better. Fun to try it out though.

Re X-T1, I am in the same (if not identical) boat. I have two X-T1 camera bodies that not only meet or exceed my needs, but will likely exceed my lifespan (another topic). I shoot with 5 Fujifilm XF lenses and a shelf full of adapted Hexanon lenses, and if there is a photographic task that my gear cannot somehow handle, I've yet to find it.

One caveat is that I've had to spend quite a bit of time trying to "master" this device so that shooting does not require extending head scratching. I've devoted time to the manual, a few books, and one particular Fujifilm-oriented web site, and that time has paid off.

When I saw the X-T1 price reduction I was sorely tempted, but that urge lasted only a few hours.

You wrote: "There's one downside, which is that it (ed.: the grip) makes the viewing screen a little more fiddley to flip up.

Put a short piece of electrician's tape on the bottom of the "frame" of the screen, just long enough to make it possible to grab it between your thumb and index finger. Makes flipping up the screen so much easier. And is unobtrusive.

I tried the XT-1 briefly when new, did not care for the EVF much and couldn't afford to keep- but can't argue that it is capable of some truly impressive results! The 14mm is absolutely superlative, and I suspect the rest of the lens line runs accordingly. Fujifilm products are well made and the XT-1 has few competitors aesthetically and ergonomically. Now that I have a few extra dollars, at this price- I may just pick one up again...

I can understand staying or buying into the XT-1. My favorite camera for the past six months has been the x100t, and with the release of the x100f, I thought I may *want* to upgrade. But I read the "f" is a little bit larger and heavier than the "t", so I am going to pass. But, I will rent one when they are available to see if I am missing anything I really *need*.

That's a great deal for that Zeiss lens, and pretty close to used prices. I have the ZF.2 version, and it's a very pleasing lens: it's not corrected to the nth degree like its Otus or 2/135 APO Sonnar brethren, but it just makes really good-looking images for reasons I can't put my finger on. I've used mine on both the D810 for stills and video, and on the F3 with Fuji Acros as my 1 vacation/travel camera lens. It works great on both!

Tangentially, and speaking of GAS, there's a great presentation given by Margit Erb, who was Saul Leiter's assistant and gallery rep, and now runs a foundation responsible for his legacy. Anyway, around 35 minutes in, she talks about his digital cameras, and there were two remarkable things:

1. Olympus gave him a generous grant and a camera (the E-1) when he had no money. I think this endears Olympus to me more than any other kind of marketing they could have done. I wonder why they haven't promoted this more widely.

2. He bought 25 digital cameras in the last 10 years of his life! Dude got GAS ... and massive skills.

Here's the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DsTh0dujQIE

The whole video is worth watching with lots of interesting insights into his working process as well as life.

I had hoped that your moaning (yes I am labeling it moaning) about getting old might end when you hit the ripe old age of 60. Take it from someone who would happily be 60 again it is no where near as bad as you are making it out to be, and it doesn't change much as you go along. I just had a birthday that puts me into the next age group for my half-marathon running and I'm thrilled by it.
Though if you really can't hold your camera steady you might want to talk to your doc about that.

I'm a Doc Chas and you might be right! Mike I have hust weakened and bought a second habd XT1 ...what a beauty she is. However I have a problem. I have 45 years worth of Pentax glass. I love it but have used it less ans less. Walking long distances I like to travel light and spent much of my time with an OM5 and small m43 lenses. Both Oly and Pentax have IBIS so I will seehow I go with the XT1 and a few primes.
I think if I go well without IBIS I will try to persude myself to sell the Pentax gear. Its a problem though as it feels like I am divorcing a reliable and lovely wife for a young sexy mistress. Seriously! I sit there with the 77ltd and 43ltd which are so beautiful but dont work as a FL on APSC. I thought I would be tempted by the K1 but realise its too heavy for this retiree.
Still rash decisions are for the young. I will flirt with the XT1 for a year before making the decision! However my hope is the combo of Fuji and Olympus can between them off top notch High ISO and Good IBIS between them. We shall see. Love the look of that lens but NO!

I've been trying to upgrade my X-T1(which I love) for months. The problem is: THERE AREN'T ANY!
So I bought a 10-24 zoom and continue to enjoy my old X-T1. And I'm 70 kid.

I'm also sticking with the X-T1 (for now). It really is a great all-around camera for travel, family, landscapes.

The large grip really does transform the feel of the camera. Highly recommended. It feels so good that I would struggle moving to the X-T2 or X-T20 which both lack a large grip option.

In my decrepitude, you're only a youngster, i've discovered that time ameliorates GAS for all things. Leave it long enough and it goes away with only the slight twinge remaining. But once I handle something, or drive something, I'm smitten.
Get thee behind me satan.

Well, Mike and Dennis, at respectively, 15 and 20 years senior to you two whippersnappers, I really get tired of you two going on about your ages and talking about all the things you can't do anymore. Suck it up. Getting older is not for the faint of heart.

I spent my 79th year driving nearly 11,000 miles and writing a book for Countryman Press; "Backroads and Byways of Georgia," which will be out June 7. It's already available for pre-order on Amazon.

[Yes, Sir! :-) --Mike]

Oh Mike
60 is no age! Here in Switzerland young ones are complaining old live too long and stay healthy. Politicians say, this is not fair, because too costly (for the young). So be healthy and stay healthy for the next 20-30 years or so, buy yourself Phase One or take that forgotten 4x5 out and run with it up that hill. My wife takes me with her every autumn to our Swiss Mountains, so I am her and my own sherpa. It is rather slowlier going these days(since we got past 55-60 or so), but then I am no Sella, who carried his 20x30cm glass negatives to Karakorum, Alps and where not. So forget the small stuff, it makes you only weaker! ;-) Ok, it is a bit exaggerated, but then again maybe not that much. Forget 60, start anew!

[I will remember your good advice Robert! --Mike]

Fuji sprinkle magic dust over their cameras and the GAS goes away. Like you, I looked longingly at the XT2 (and the XPro2 as well), and turned them both down as the earlier cameras are more than good enough for what I need at present.

I'm not sure how long the magic dust lasts - I foresee the GAS on the XT3 and XPro3 will be much, much stronger.

That Zeiss 35mm was one of the first lenses I bought for my first Canon full-frame camera. It was sharp and lovely. But unused. The Canon 35L produced equivalent, albeit slightly warmer (as typical) frames and it had (wait for it) auto-focus. So the Zeiss lived in a drawer for many years until I finally got rid of sold it a few years ago.

With the exception of Leica M life is too short for manual lenses any more.

Postscript: Last year I also sold that Canon 35mm L lens. It was big, heavy, and largely also unused. I took some of the proceeds and bought Canon's EF 35mm F2. Much lighter and a bit smaller, of course auto-focus, an equal (perhaps better) image to my eye and (wait for it again)...optical image-stabilization! Perfect!

[You raise a very important point, namely that usability features often equal or surpass ultimate judgements about image quality. I guess that's why one of my most-used 35mm-e lenses is the one in my iPhone. --Mike]

Manual focus on the Zeiss 2/35 is a key usability feature of this lens for me. Along with the buttery smooth feel when turning the metal focusing ring and the precision its long throw affords, make using it a most enjoyable experience. Then there is the resultant images, as you note. No wonder it's rarely off my Canon 6D. And likewise, 35mm affords a more natural perspective for me.

Two things: That Zeiss lens is in Canon EF mount only. Bah! Humbug! It would be sweet if offered in Nikon F mount. That wish set me down a rabbit hole – – it looks as if the Nikon F mount version of that lens is long gone from store shelves here in the US.

I am tempted by the Fuji, I really am. But every time I get to this stage of camera–envy, I go to DP review and look at the comparison in image quality between the XT-1 and the X-Pro1. I can't see any. There does look to be a gain in quality between my camera and the XT2. But I think I have to wait for the XT2 to come down in price before making that leap. What will it be at this point? Another two years, if there still is a camera market in two years? Sigh. I guess I will just have to wait. On a positive note, I did get out my Fuji X-Pro1 as a result of your article and I think it has been spending too much time in my bag and not enough time in my hands. The image quality from those files really is wonderful. Also, as you know I recently scanned some negatives from my Tri-X days and I am here to tell you that black and white conversions from the Fuji X Pro-1 files are really nice in comparison. Also, no dust spots or scratches. Maybe there is something to this whole digital thing after all.

I am trying not to buy a new camera until I can see a clear leap in image quality from the ones I am currently using: the Nikon D3 is getting a bit long in the tooth, but still performs really well; the Leica M9 has had its sensor replaced due to corrosion of the original, but the file quality still is amazing to me; the Olympus OM-D . . . ahhh, I really would like to upgrade to the current state of the art (it is my IBIS camera . . .and I have cracked the screen) but the price is just too stratospheric. I actually did break down an buy a used Nikon D100 yesterday. Yup, not a typo. I was getting very nostalgic about a long-sold Epson RD-1. That Epson gave me fits because of some backlash in the focusing system, but when it was "on" it was really fine. The D100 reportedly shares the same chip as the RD-1, so I thought for $100 I might take a trip down memory lane. ISO 800? Who needs anything as high as ISO 800? Bah, and more humbug (but not really).

Want reasonably priced IBIS in an amazing camera? I've just bought the Lumix G85 (here in Oz; G80 where you are, I think). Super purchase. This has to be the best middle market camera around regardless of sensor size.

I reckon it will take me the rest of my life to even try, let alone master everything this camera can do, and I am only 75. Listen to your elders, liklik (= junior, in New Guinea Tok Pisin). :)

Cheers, Geoff

I bought this Zeiss a few months ago for my Pentax K1 NIB from Japan on EBay at this sale price - they haven't made this lens in Pentax mount for a few years but they do pop up for sale. Exquisite lens and my favorite on my K1.

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