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Tuesday, 06 December 2016


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Please stop with the K1 already, you're killing me. :)

Well, as a new Pentaxian and K1 owner I have to agree about the lenses. Even today I was scouring Ebay for a 28mm f2 manual and finally bid on one. I know some Sony user will swipe it at the last second. I'm pretty happy with my FA 50 2.8 macro and 31 1.8 limited, but like many I have my fingers crossed that Ricoh doesn't leave this "hobby business" before making several promised modern 2017 primes. The camera is indeed a pleasure. I took this shot hand held with the 50 macro the other day at 1/15. Made me happy.

My love for medium format and mirroless has me looking forward to the Fuji GFX. If I was not familiar with the quality of Fuji, I might go straight for the Hasselblad, but not this time around.

Forgot to ask if you are within reasonable (whatever that means to you) driving distance to a good camera store in upstate NY. No substitute for handling the cameras before purchase. I know there is always the long, dreaded drive to Manhatten. Always read your blog and enjoy it.

I'm not really waiting for a GX>8, but I wouldn't mind if it showed up before I've bought an E-M1 (Mark I) or a G80…

I guess I am not a photographer, as I don't approve of the Hasselblad XD1. However what Fuji did I fully approve and would love to sell a kidney to get that medium format system.

I sighed in relief when I read "TO BE CONTINUED" at the bottom of your missive. Cuz old Fuji has gotta be in there somehow! You like yours and I like mine. Two "likes" in this world should be enough to put the brand on top as "Best"!

I agree with your comment regarding the Sony A6000...6300...6500 progression that, "Other makers have not caught on to Sony's idea of offering different tiers of the same camera; they ought to."

But hasn't Fuji (and other makers too, actually) come close to that concept with parallel brother/sister models, like the XT-1 and XT-10? Those two camera have different features just like the 6500 has things the 6300 doesn't. Plus the buyer, in Fuji's case, has two body weight & sizes to choose from too.

The Olympus Pen-F tries too hard to be a Leica III. The front mounted dial is a great demonstration of form-follows-fashion. Plus it looks like the dial would get in the way of a comfortable hold.

Where did the term rangerfinder-style come from. It's used to describe cameras with no finder, end finder and center finder. Wouldn't NEX style or brick style be more descriptive?? BTW this isn't aimed at you, Mike. I'm sure that rangerfinder-style was coined by some too-cute-by-half writer at a print magazine. Sorta like tranny replacing gearbox or trans in car books. The english language would be in much better shape if Petersen Publications and General Media Inc enthusiast magazines had hired better writers.

A list of the best cameras. Not controversial at all :)

I estimate a thousand comments on this one....


"Camera: The Olympus Pen-F

Why? What do you mean "why?" Are you kidding?

What photographer—no, what person—could fail to love this little gem? A handy, pocketable picture-taker with gobs of jewel-like object quality and style out the wazoo, it's a camera everyone likes to look at. [snip further praise of looks]"

If you want eye candy, sure. For photographic abilities, the E-M5 II and E-M1 II are clearly superior.

"Can't beat the Pen F with a stick."

Don't need a stick, just focus Stacking/Bracketing and High-Res Mode. Cameras that add the ability to do things that couldn't be done before, and - at least for me - seriously widen what I can capture, trump pretty every time.

Focus Bracketing has solved problems I've fought my whole photographic life. I use High-Res less often, for my photographic proclivities, But there's nothing like it for color accuracy but a Foveon sensor, and nothing like it for moiré free high res short of MF.

Sooo, buy a broken Pen-F to put out as art, and use their real cameras for photography. Me? If I had that need, I'd get a broken real rangefinder for show. (Are there show Leica fakes?)

Camera: The Panasonic GX[x, where x > 8]...

Why? ...First, note that such a camera doesn't exist yet. That's okay, because the GX8 itself (above) is a splendid sleeper of a camera with the mirrorless world's nicest viewfinder, sez moi."

I believe you, but I've always been unusually VF agnostic. The GX7 was more than fine for me.

"Tainted by the "shutter shock" controversy with certain lenses, a rap the GX8 doesn't really deserve."

Agreed. Use the EFC, and all is well.

I used a GX7 in tandem with an E-M5 for a year and a half, 14,000 shots. Lovely camera that I'd still be using, if not for the Focus Bracketing and High-Res Modes of the E-M5 IIs.

The GX8 got fat, and couldn't compete photographically with the above features of the E-M5 II. I'd like to have the IS sync with the PLeica 100-400, although the lens IS or body IS are mighty fine.

"Camera: The Hasselblad X1D-50c

Why? For now, this is the only camera that every photographer in the world approves of and covets."

Wow, I'm really minority.

Until I normalize, and/or that camera becomes real-ware, may I carry my Lytro Illium and pass? (Weird, I told 'ya.)

That Hassy/lens combo really looks like an Illium that lost its visual cool by going square.

"Fuji joined the XD1 in the category" Typo?

Your X1D pic, and link, is of course to the special edition package, not the 'standard' body. But I guess neither are 'real' at this point.

I hope Hasselblad didn't miss an opportunity to put a high quality EVF on an otherwise state-of-the-art camera; its reported specs are well behind the Leica SL EVF. I hope the Fuji GFX offers better specs with its removable EVF (with rotating option).

The shutter sound of the X1D is also disappointingly loud and clanky on the prototypes I've seen (and on the recent LuLa video interview with Kevin Raber and the Hasselblad Product Manager).

The GFX system offers some distinguishing features, including an articulating screen, more traditional dial and button interface, and an aggressive lens road map, including a wide-mid zoom (25-51 equivalent 35 mm) as an early offer, which Hasselblad (or the Leica SL) does not. We'll see what comes.

Hi Moose. you wrote

"Don't need a stick, just focus Stacking/Bracketing and High-Res Mode."

The Pen F has focus bracketing and high res mode, just not stacking which can be done in Photoshop from the focus bracketing shots...


Well Sony may offer some options in the same body size but they have never offered what I want - I don't understand the segregation of sensor size and body style.

I really WANT to see an a7000 with a 24mp full frame sensor in an a6000 style body. That with the compact 35/2.8 would be a fabulous walk-around combo.

I think such lists are incomplete without taking into account the lenses. The "best camera"? To me, the best camera today is the one that can use the Zeiss Batis and Loxia lenses:)

The Pentax K1 is alluring, but in the country I live, they don't even have a service centre, so... plus, using older lenses with it does not extract the best from the sensor. And the new lenses for it are f2.8 zooms which are rebadged Tamrons, huge and heavy.

I'd love to have all of your choices but short of acquiring a master's degree in shoplifting from Fagin College it is never going to happen. Besides, my Oly EM5.2 is plenty to be going on with. The real gorgeousness is in the lenses, though, at least for me. So perhaps we'll also have your current loves among those?

Avenue Montaigne,Paris PEN-F Zuiko 17mm.
What else ?

@Lynn: Poignantly B&H still lists this..


... and notes "no longer available". It's almost like those "absent friends" toasts.

(Just as well I already have one)

If there's one thing we can draw from the advent of the GFX, it is that Fujifilm is getting SERIOUS about this whole mirrorless thang. I think we, Canon, Nikon, Phase One, and Hasselblad all know what that means.

Reminds me of when the jet aircraft industry's collective response when Honda Motor Company announced in 1997 it was going to start making jet aircraft engines. Effectively, "Oh, sh*t..."

This guy is giving some of us hope to use some of the Zeiss/Contax/Leica lenses on our K1 or sadly in my case K5 s .....


The SIGMA sd Quattro series. Why? Because of the "Godfather-Godson and the Holy Ghost", three layered FOVEON sensor and since yesterday with RAW DNG file output. No more excuse!

Your GX85 mention sparks my interest. The micro 4/3 system seems to have some great lens options. I tend to go for the very fast manual focus versions...MF not because my 58yo eyes are great but because that's the only way the lenses I prefer are offered. So, question is...what small M43 body has a viewfinder that comes closest to ground-glass focusing? I don't care to use a back-of-the-camera screen...and 'focus peaking' can [I assume] take you only so far. Any good viewfinder options out there I should know about folks?

Ken's comment prompts me to remember that the Canon 5Dn setup was the most competent camera system I ever used by some stretch - and I've used many. It just became too large and cumbersome for me.

I've been using Fuji XT1 as a system camera for a while now, and while the lens line up and image quality are excellent the viewfinder is a real turn-off

As a Pany GX8 owner I was told that the newest firmware had a sufficient work around for shutter shock. Anyway never had any in the first place. And oh yes the GX8 is starting to get more use than my Leica's.

@ Chris: "...what small M43 body has a viewfinder that comes closest to ground-glass focusing? ".


My sincere answer offered constructively is to simply embrace auto-focus as you wade into digital photography, particularly M43. To cling to manual-only focusing with these cameras is foolhardy and short-changes the most important part of photography: the final image. These companies are spending hundreds of millions on advancing AF technologies to the great benefit of photography.

Consider this example, with my Lumix GX85 I can look through the viewfinder while moving and resizing the AF area with my thumb on the touch-sensitive lcd. In real-time. (The Sony A6500 offers similar facility but is much slower and just barely usable in its current incarnation.)

I could write an essay on the values of embracing the engineering concepts of contemporary digital photography, but you get my gist. As someone with a small fortune sunk into wonderful Leica M lenses and cameras I can honestly say the best M43 lenses outperform any comparable M lens on an M43 camera.

My advice: Go with the flow. Learn to select and use AF tech. Your 58 year-old eyes need a break. You get no extra points for manual focus.

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