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Friday, 07 March 2014


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Ooh, can I play? My current CoL is a Sony R1, I think I have temporarily finally settled for fixed lens cameras. This reduces the other option of LoL or Lens-of-Lust.


I think of the camera as a tool. There are tools that look good, have wonderful specs, but in the end there is only one thing that counts: how does it handle, what are the results.
And I think that changing camera's should only be done if it is absolutely needed. It takes time to get to learn to know a camera, maybe it also takes time to get to really like a camera.
I use an M9, and I know there is an M, and it is a better camera in some ways. But I stick with the M9, it does what it has to do very well.

Unfortunately fo those of us who watch cameras come and go, we have a dilemma. Back in the day we lusted for new films. Now we are presented, it seems, with new cameras every week or so. I was enamored with the Nikon D800e, then the Sony A7r, now the Fuji Xt1.
Wurra, wurra, wurra. I'm just sitting back waiting for next week to see what that brings.
My two pesos.

It's Fuji for me. The XT1 (as much for the lenses as for the camera itself) and the X100s. But I don't need another camera; neither one does anything new for me (as you say, it's not about photography). Kind of like wanting a different car when I already have a perfectly good one. So I won't do anything about it, but these are the cameras I find intriguing right now.

My CoL right now is a medium format film camera. Last Monday I saw a documentary about a portuguese professional photographer who uses a Fuji 645 rangefinder camera and colour positive film. His pictures are absolutely mind-blowing.
And this week I've been developing an unusual interest for the photographs of Vivian Maier, who apparently did most of her (known) shooting with a TLR camera.
These examples made me curious about medium format film photography. I'd give my left kidney to retrieve my grandfather's TLR camera (I believe it was an Yashica), but short of finding it I might just buy a second-hand one. (I happened to befriend a man who owns a camera store and lab, so hopefully it'll be easy to make a good deal, as well as getting rolls and developing them.)
Yes, this will be a rather odd comment if it gets published. I predict everyone will be lusting after Sony A7's and Leicas, but I think I've been bitten by the bug: I'm quite taken by the possibilities of medium format film. I know it will imply a steep learning curve, and I'll look like I'm 100 years old to the people who'll see me with a TLR camera, but who cares?

I eagerly await your evaluation of the Olympus E-M1. I bought one and a bunch of lenses four months ago. It satisfies all my needs and more but the pictorial quality seems slightly lacking in some way that I can not describe.

I find myself grabbing my Sony RX-1 again and again. The pictorial quality is better than any camera I have ever owned and that includes a Nikon D4, a Nikon D800e, and several Leicas.

For every CoL there is a CoLonoscopy.

Such is life.

Try the Olympus 12-40mm f/2.8 pro series lens on the M1.

It is a svelte and talented lens of lust. Together they make a lovely pro quality package that is easy to carry around and fun to use.

I had a recent CoL attack that made me decide to sell the Canon 5D MkII and lenses to finance a new camera. It actually has been the best decision I've made: I was at a point where I rarely used the big and heavy Canon gear. I've bought a Fuji X-Pro1 with two lenses (zoom+prime) wich perfeclty serve my photographic needs and I'm having a lot of fun with it.

I've also got a tilt-shift adapter to bring a new life to my Olympus OM wide lenses on the Fuji body (with great results by the way) and I even had some spare money to get a Sigma DP2 Merrill (another recent CoL attack).

If you do fall in temptation, I suggest trying a Fuji X-T1 with the Fujinon 18-55mm OIS, a trully excellent zoom that I'm sure will make you forget about the Canon L lens (and it's much more light and affordable).

You know. A good friend of mine just sent me a gift...a Leica IIIf (black dial from 1951) in nearly perfect shape with a 5cm Summitar. When we complain about complicated menus, etc. It's nothing compared to fidgeting with the Leica. BUT (and that's a huge BUT) it IS a vintage Leica and reigned supreme for decades.
Hint to camera makers. PLEASE slow down and just keep giving us "stuff" to go with our other "stuff." Thank you George Carlin.
My two pesos.

The more pictures I see that were taken with that lens, the more I like it

I can't be the only one who'd love to see samples with said camera/lens combo.

As for my own CoL... it's low. I've been happy with my OMD for a while, and while the A7 is attractive, I've learned that focus speed and accuracy are vital to make photography fun for me.

In terms of camera bodies, I have what I need and want. There's only one more lens that I want, though I don't need it. Once I get that lens, then I guess I can start wishing for unnecessary but oh so alluring darkroom stuff, as I'm about to pursue wet prints for the first time. This is only fair, though, since the decision to make traditional prints sabotaged my materialistic yearnings for a better film scanner and inkjet printer.

I don't have a CoL anymore. Last week I traded my Canon 7D and lots of lenses and bought the Fuji X-T1 (with 18-55 and 55-200mm lenses - to go with the 18, 35 and 60mm primes I already own with the X-PRo1). And, (forgive the upcoming text-speak) OMG!!!! It is amazing. The only issue I have is waiting for Lightroom to catch up and recognise its raw files so I can return to my usual workflow.

I've got to photograph a drama production tomorrow and I have to decide whether to shoot on the X-T1 or the X-Pro1. Never owned such amazing cameras before. So, I think it might be a while before the next CoL comes along.

I believe that my brain yearns to scratch two distinct itches.

One is the yearning to create art, and I was quite happy for a few years before full-time photography pursuing a career in writing fiction.

Or almost happy, because the other part of my brain craves -- I don't quite know the word for it, but it involves the geekier side of things, the statistics and numbers, the computer and the photo gear and Photoshop. Writing fell short in that second category.

But after I had fully switched to my photography career, I felt much more balance. In addition to the purely creative process of making a photograph I was also enjoying comparing camera specs, learning Photoshop tricks, setting up my inkjet printer, working out my backup plan.

When I think about objects of lust, I have to remember the wisdom of Spock (youtube video v=-wtYGZt7aI4). Olympus has left me feeling kind of burned in the camera lust department. I waited and waited, and then when the E-P3 came out, I bought it as my first digital-only interchangeable lens camera. Then, when the E-M5 came out, I felt chagrined at having jumped the gun, and bought one and a number of those delightful tiny primes. Now I see the quick follow-on of the E-M1, and I plan to wait a year and buy it used if they haven't updated again in the meantime. A lust camera for me right now would be an Alpa or an Arca Swiss R-line camera, since either one would open up such a beautiful collection of opportunities for lens-lust.

My problem (or my saving grace, depending on your point of view) is that my CoL and my LoL are almost never compatible with eachother.

Here is another interesting fact: I have about a dozen Nikon film cameras and two Nikon dSLRs. I probably have about 20 lenses for those cameras.

I recently bit the bullet and decided to jump systems to Micro Four Thirds. I bought a Panasonic GX7 and three lenses. I've concluded that is exactly one lens too many, and I don't lust for any other lenses. Moreover, the lenses I have and love weren't expensive. Go figure...

Manuel hit a sweet note for me.
I just sold a Leica M3 that I never truly bonded with. This after going back to my Rolleiflex 3.5E and a Nikon FE. Rediscovering film. I've put digital away for now.
There is something about the thought process and deliberate pace of a Rollei that appeals more than being able to fire off 100 digital shots in 30 seconds in order to get one keeper. And the images from MF film look so much smoother to me [no, I don't count pixels and care little about 'resolution']. Its all in the subtle tonal gradients.
If I was to get back into digital it would likely be with a Fuji x100s. Maybe.

>So how am I not going to like this camera? >How am I going to knock it off its pedestal >in order to make room for the next CoL? It >doesn't seem plausible. It doesn't seem like >it's going to be easy.

Try this: put it into exposure bracket mode (for 3 shots one stop apart), take the pictures, then get it back into your normal mode.

Sony R1, Andy? I'll gladly dust mine off and send it your way for a song!

Oh, RX1. Right. Slinks back and tries to figure out how to turn that lens into something to be used on other systems.... hmm.

Manuel, go for it. Medium format film is alive and well, and the gear is a great deal, pennies on the dollar. My 2 favorites are the rz67 and mamiya 7, both CoL for me from a while back and now easily acquired and enjoyed.

Any working Leica M with a nice 50mm or 35mm real, live, honest to goodness, none-genuine-without-this-signature Leica lens. Used. Camera and lens. For 50 YEARS! already. Sheesh!

With best regards,


I too have a CoL. But even if I won the lottery, I could'nt buy it - It doesn't exist. There are features on one that I want, but other features are on a different camera. So I get the best I can afford, and then once in a while go back to my Pentax67 which will still do some things better than either of my digitals. So for me 120 film isn't dead. But oh, if I could only get it all in one package......I hate reality checks.

My problem with the CoL is that sometimes I find myself spending so much time researching them that I find I have to buy the darn thing just to get any work done.

Earlier this week I was reading a review of the Sony a7 in Forbes (why Forbes, they aren't camera guys?) and realized that I could just go upstairs and take some pictures with the one that I had owned for about 24 hours.

Sheepishly I got back to work. And I didn't finish the article until that evening.

And now the thing is a big time-sink in waiting, though I do shoot with it a little each day to learn it.

But it has breathed life back into my collection of Leica lenses, and that's a good thing. And one main objective in my camera buying in the digital age is to buy cameras that fit the lenses I already have. Buying lenses makes buying cameras look cheap, quick and easy.

My CoL is on its way to me: a Fuji X100 black LE, brand new, that I found online from Austria. The camera is now almost 4 years old? It seems that I was able to patiently wait for the right price:)

Mine was the Panasonic GX7. Twas the perfect mirrorless camera, I had thought. I read the reviews by Carl Weese here that confirmed it.

I had it on order at Amazon by New Years Day. I woke up one morning, just a few days into 2014 and decided to reread Carl's review. I was sure that there was going to be something about that camera that I did not like, but so far I had seen nothing. It was the best camera every made in the whole universe.

Then I saw it. In the comment section, someone mentioned that it did not have blinkies (to show over-exposed areas) in the EFV, but instead used a cute little animation known as a histogram. I dropped dead right there. When I recovered, I went to Amazon and cancelled the order.

Blinkies in a EVF, you see, have allowed me to get an accuracy of exposure that I have never gotten before. Yea, I could take a photo then play around with the camera checking what I got after the exposure, but why do that when I could see beforehand? Why would Panasonic go all retro on that one feature?

I later played around with the GX7 in a few camera stores, but the lust was gone. I mean, I figured that I could tolerate the viewfinder being cluttered up with a histogram so that I would have something else to look at instead of composition, but the lust was gone...

I suppose it would be the same as finding what you thought was the perfect girlfriend and then, on that special night, find that you had made incorrect assumptions about the "girl" friend part. You may still think she is a fine person. Perhaps you would even still love her. Others could certainly love her. But it would never be the same after you find she ain't got what you expected her to have, but is instead equipped with something that just isn't for you.

This post is well timed for me. I just got over a CoL, the Fuji X100S. I was convinced that I needed this camera, and was just about to swoop up the first black one that made it to my local shop. But, I held off and rented one instead. After two days I knew that, as fun as it was, it was not the camera for me. Too many missed focus shots, 35mm-eq is not my focal length, no tilt LCD for low angle composition and clunky handling after getting used to the fast and competent OM-Ds. Some really like the jpegs that come from them, but I found that all the film simulations were pretty heavy-handed for my tastes. The hybrid OVF and silent leaf shutter are great though.

I also have an E-M1, purchased after being very happy with the E-M5 for a year and a half. Chasing rainbows. I had bonded with the E-M5, and grown adept at working around its quirks. Still coming to terms with the E-M1. The learning curve seems to get longer and steeper every time. Really do wish it had an electronic shutter option, then it would do everything I want in a camera.

I'm curious Mike what lenses you are running on that E-M1 of yours. Can you share that little tidbit?

I don't know that there's a practical difference but my driver is not lust but curiosity. (Yes, I recognize that this same statement might have been made many times in a different context, perhaps prefixed by "Your honor".). In prehistoric times such curiosity would prompt the purchase of a new type of film or a different format camera. But today curiosity costs more. Much, much more.

The Sony A7R is truly a wonderful camera that I've used all winter. The 3,562 known reviews posted to the internet mostly miss the real strengths that lie in the camera's duality and adaptability. But contrary to what it's size and promotion suggest it ain't a snap-shooter. For me the A7R seems at its best as a small, lightweight, flexible stand-in for my medium format digital rig. At full resolution that remarkable 32 mp sensor demands care for the best performance. And the shutter is so loud that you may find passers-by hitting the deck when you press the button. I'm not sure it would be a good fit for your style, Mike.

But the Fujifilm X-T1...ah, that's another story entirely. The Fujis ARE snappers and the X-T1 has a very nice feel to it. That X-Trans II sensor is superb and the Fujinon lenses are light and wickedly crisp. (I shot Water Walker with an X-E2 which was handiest at the moment.)

By all accounts your new E-M1 is a terrific camera that deserves at least a season. Winter cabin fever promotes wanderin' eyes. It will be warm soon up there, Mike. Hold you wallet tight for perhaps a week or two.

I was in B&H the other day and finally had a chance to handle two cameras that hadn't been able to up to now: The Fuji XT1 and the Ricoh GR. I think I'm in trouble.

The Fuji was flat out the best fit for my hands that any camera has ever been. The grip size and shape were perfect and so were the arrangement and function of the traditional, external controls.

But I have a great Pentax DSLR collection that includes the K-5, K-30, all of the DA limited primes and a number of good zooms. None of these pieces have ever done me any wrong. Selling off this gear to start a Fuji kit just doesn't make sense. Maybe an XT1 and two lenses when it goes on closeout in a couple of years?

The Ricoh GR is another case. The camera feels like it was carved from a single piece of magnesium and the controls were clearly designed for quick, reliable, one-handed operation. It is as perfect for me ergonomically as a compact as the XT1 is as a DSLR-class camera. I will own the Ricoh GR before long.

But the point, for me, is that both the Fuji and Ricoh appear to have been designed by photographers for photographers. Both companies appear to encourage buyers of their cameras to regard them as investments rather than simple purchases of trendy consumer electronics. Witness the firmware updates designed to keep their cameras relevent. This is the kind of thing that turns me on these days. Good luck getting that out of Sony.

The Olympus E-M1 with its fast native prime lenses is by far my favorite camera of all time. I've shot 8 X 10, 4 X 5, 6 X 6, 35mm-- film and digital, MFD, and the Olympus EPL-1. I liked the EPL-1 quite a lot with the VF2 finder. However, it was not a replacement for FF. I find the E-M1 to be my "go to" camera, for personal work and much of my professional work. The RAW files out of the camera require less effort to develop than any other digital camera I've used. After spending 30 seconds with an EM-1 at an honest to goodness brick and mortar store, I pulled out the Visa card. The clerk suggested I may want to check out Fuji's offerings as well as the new Sonay AR cams. Just to mollify him, I did. The Olympus outclassed all of them, especially when taking into account the great lineup of fast primes.

For me it's going to be a second X-E1. I know this camera, i know what it can do, I have muscle memory, and it can be had for $500. And the sensor delivers exactly what the sensors on the newer Fujis deliver. But… the second one will have Fuji's stellar 21mm-equivalent lens on it. That's the important part…

Sign me up for the League of Steves. I too just received an X-T1 with the outstanding 23mm Fujinon. Words that would adequately describe this fine amalgam of metal, glass, silicon, and ergonomics currently fail me. Honeymoon aside, I have little doubt that this camera and I will be close companions for a good long time. Fare thee well, Canon.

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