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Thursday, 07 January 2016


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I had a similar experience. I learned photography with my father's old Nikon FM, using it from high school through college (the 80s). After years of using bigger and bigger SLRs, pretty exclusively in the studio, I decided I needed a smaller camera -- something I could always carry with me. When I put a Fuji X-T10 in my hands, it was like being transported back to my first days doing photography. It just felt like how a camera should. I still have the old Nikon, and it's amazing to see how similar they look sitting side by side.

Today's Fuji mirrorless cameras are just about right in most regards. I still really like my XE-1 after nearly two years of use.

"The more things change, the more they are the same?"

It is funny how we judge cameras by what we are used to. For me, I was used to Canon's and the F-1 was a TANK. Anything else, by comparison, was a feather.
That F-1 though, with my favorite 85 f/1.8 was an awesome piece of equipment.
Of course, my new EOS 5DSr is light by comparison but these old muscles still flinch when I set out to shoot for the day!
Just mi dos pesos.

I grew up with a Leica IIIf and even today nothing can match the feeling of that magnificent body. That was the perfect size and for me always will be.

A compromise I'm willing to live with is the size/weight/volume issues for a crop factor camera. When you factor in volume, you are almost looking at half the volume vs. flappy mirror DSLRs. This also holds for the lenses. For instance, if you look at the Fuji 56mm lens compared with the Canon 85mm, it is less than half the weight and almost half the volume... Oh, and half the price: http://prometheus.med.utah.edu/~bwjones/2014/08/fuji-56mm-f1-2/

If it is size you're wanting...
I found the small cameras as noted by others are often too snall. I am the big guy with big hands. I am unable to text on a Smartphone, my fingers are so big and broad that I hit three keys instead of one. Similarly much preferred first my Nikon F, than an F2 with motor drive and then carried two Nikon F3 csmeras with motor drives. Massive, and also a Mamiya RB67.

Tried the small (to me) 4/3rds Fuji and Panasoonic. Hated them, way too small. Now use a Nikon D750 with a motor drive and usually an 80-200 lens. Find it for me just right. Also have a D3, with a shorter zoom lens. At my age (70) have no qualms hefting a big camera; it is solid, for me at least.

loved the link to the Contax image. The first sentence is, "The Contax 139 Quartz is a 35mm SLR that was introduced in 1979 and manufactured up until 1978 ..." (emphasis mine).

The world is truly missing out on good editing these days!

This picture is why I stopped using that D700 ...


even the somewhat larger E-M5 is so small that the body and most 3 lens combos still weigh less than the D700 and the slow-ish zoom pictured.

I think if you carry the new "big" 12-40/2.8 and 45-150/2.8 combo around you finally manage to out-weight the Nikon ... but you also have a 24-300mm equiv. range at 2.8 rather than the pictured 24-85 at F4ish.

Funny, I loved that old mechanical F-1 and the 85mm f/1.8 too! I had an FTb and the 85mm, while my dad shot the F-1 with the 100mm FD. He gave the F-1 to me when he went autofocus.

Between the F-1 and the autofocus Canon, he had a Pentax MX, and I really liked that too. When I finally found a digital camera I liked as much as one of my old film cameras (an Olympus E-M1), I set it down on the table with the MX and they were virtually the same size!

Definitely. I'm nowhere near as serious a photographer as many who post here, but even for me this is true. My first serious camera was an EOS 650, bought in 1988 when it was still in production. Since then I've owned some larger cameras (EOS 3, for example) and some smaller (Olympus OM-D E-M10), but I've always felt happiest with something the size of the 650. My 6D fits the bill perfectly; the E-M10, bought recently as a small-sized walk-around camera, is just too small. I just can't get comfortable with it.

Is this an attempt to expel the G.A.S-devil?

There are so many cameras that have the perfect size for the way you use them. During forty years I must have owned or used at least forty different models intensively. Had that Canon F-1 TANK (thanks Hugh Smith) for over two decades. But also used and loved ideal cameras like the Nikon FM2, Contax G1, Yashica T4 and Fujifilm F31fd intensively.

There is more to it than just size. The specific gravity of a camera, or the way it balances with its lenses. One of the reasons I chose an Olympus OM-D over a Fuji is that the OM-D gives me that solid F-1 TANK feeling. Small, but heavy for its size.

And I like to be invisible, or at least not threatening. People always react friendly on my Rolleiflex Twin. I have professional photographer friends who say the same about their Linhof and Horseman field cameras. So it’s not only the size of the camera, but also how they interact. Of course, if you have to make your living as a paparazzo or news photographer you might need one of those huge Kalashnikov’s. But for the average photography lover the war should be over by now.

I too, owned a IIIf with a collapsible 5cm Summicron. It was a beautiful thing!
Leica has yet to match it.
Mi dos pesos

I recently bought a used RX-1. I don't know what happened but suddenly all of my Nikon glas and the Nikon bodies seem to have lost all of their magic. I mean, they are my workhorses. I gain my income with them. I trust them and all but now, now everything is different.

The size, the lens (oh my, the lens.), the silent shutter. I'll have a reportage on an angler tomorrow. I will pack only the RX-1 and leave my D800/Sigma 35/1.4 at home. Sony is really growing on me...

Canon EOS 1 (without battery grip) 890g
Canon 5D3 (without battery grip 860g

... and everything is in the same place - hardly have to read the instruction book - as we saw when Don McCullin tried digital for the first time with his 135mm lens ;)

I imagine the EOS1 plus battery grip weighs the same as the EOS 1-DX.

Muscle memory is important.

All of my film cameras - Voightlander Vitessa, Practica and several Pentax 35mm cameras - have been relatively small. When I bought my first Pentax in the late '60's, it was a decision between that and a Nikon; got the Pentax because of the size (with a 135mm lens!). When I migrated into digital I stuck with Pentax cameras because of the lens mount and the ergonomics/size.

Last year I bought a Fuji X100T as a travel/carry camera; didn't get an XE because I didn't want to be tempted into another system. I like using the Fuji so much that I may get an XPro2 when it comes out, simply because I have some trouble with the constraints of the X100T's focal length; would go for the XPro2 vs. an XE because of the combo viewfinder (so much for resisting another system). Unless I have a specific need to use one of my DSLR's, I'd much rather carry a smaller camera that gives me perfectly adequate results. The files from the Fuji are very good and I easily print up to 10 X 15 without issues. The sensors are so good now that the size and handling aspects of the camera are more of a decision factor for me.

I also find it amusing that the Canikon folks still use "D" in their model designations as if they still need to distinguish between film and digital cameras. Another habit, I guess.

I was also reading your camera of the year article and wanted to comment about your desire for IBIS. In your X-T1 there is a function which acts like a "poor mans" IBIS: ISO auto control. With this function you can set a minimum and maximum ISO speed and the minimum shutter speed. Given the excellent noise performance and your comfort with a minimum shutter speed you can effectively create an IBIS like functionality (if you are looking for a way to minimize or eliminate out of focus images because of hand holding shake). You could even have different settings for different lens.

Traditionally we only had aperture and shutter speed for camera control. With the advent of digital we now also have ISO. I think many photographers don't realize this and mostly use a fixed ISO based upon their shooting conditions or habits.

...you made me reread your review of the Zeiss rangefinder...damn you...

I remember being in a state of limited finances when that camera came out. I am neither a rangefinder person, nor a 35mm person; but as a "Zeiss-O-phile", I wanted that camera so badly. In fact, I wanted two of them, and the non-rangefinder body as well (ok 3), and all the lenses from 25mm to 85mm in silver.

I'm still in limited finances, as I'm sure a lot of older professional photographers are today, and I still could never afford them, even if they still made them. BUT, I have to say, you were correct in your last review, that they should have made it digital. I still expect Cosina to announce a digital manual rangefinder based on the Voigtlander or Zeiss Ikon body, any day now...

A Canon E1 hand strap on a Canon APS-C body with battery grip is king for me (use the E2 strap if you don't have a battery grip). I can fearlessly one-hand hold an EOS 7D with an EF 70-300 DO IS USM lens all day, and never worry about dropping the camera, even if I open my gripping hand. It swings up easily to my face, and my left hand falls to cradle the lens naturally.

Highly recommended.

In the late 60's, early 70's,I too went through art school with two cameras, a Leica M3 DR Summicron and a Leica M4 35mm Summicron.
They were with me 24/7/365; till death us do part.

For a number of months I shot almost solely using a Nikon D800, then bought a very compact Coolpix A as a coat pocket camera. Fitting in a coat pocket is important for me, it means I'll easily carry it around wherever I go, something that won't happen with a DSLR. I quite like most of the ergonomics of the Coolpix A, the grip is very different from a large camera, but it works and my capability to hold the camera steady is not reduced in any way compared to a DSLR.

In terms of size I'm not particularly sensitive when holding the camera, although with some subjects a more compact camera makes working easier. I'm, however, sensitive to lugging along excess weight and large bags, those are not enablers -- they are holding me back from moving faster and longer.

Oh and what about other types of cameras? Hasselblads and Rolleiflexes are really great to hold when using WLFs, DSLR can't compete; they need to be held at eye level and a chest height picture becomes awkward.

I made the same observation when I pitted the X-T1 side to side with the Contax Aria (direct heir to your 139, I believe). But it's not only the size: it's the shape of the mirror box, of the grip, and it's the ergonomics. I love these dials so much more than buttons. (I'd like to see Fuji add the switch around the shutter, that serves as AE-L on the Contax.)

I'll readily admit that the K5 fitted my hand better, with its deeper grip. But weight is important to me (hiker) and the X-T1 is quite a bit lighter than both the Contax and the Pentax.

Part of the beauty of my EM5 is that's small, but heavy.
I never liked the plastic feel of some cameras. Iv'e used Canon Rebels for years, and they all feel like they're hollow.

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