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Monday, 03 July 2017


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Any if only they would make needs to include a for less than $X,XXX.

I don't think that the X100 (which I own) is the DMD: perhaps the more recent iterations of it (which I don't) are, but it's something else. What it is is an extremely pretty pastiche of film rangefinders where all the effort has gone into the prettiness (and, OK, the viewfinder), and almost none at all has gone into the things that actually matter like making it reasonably usable.

I have two cameras from this era: the X100 and a Ricoh GXR with the 50mm-equivalent lens and EVF (which I originally bought to host M-mount lenses although I have almost never used it for that). Even with the GXR's lesser viewfinder it just beats the X100 into the dust as a camera you might actually want to use, as opposed to admire on a shelf. Ricoh have really thought about how to make a camera usable, Fuji, as of the X100, have really thought about how to make a camera pretty.

The X100 is the camera you carry if you want to strike up conversation with attractive members of the appropriate sex, the GXR is the camera you carry if you want to make photographs. (Oh, and the X100 is not nearly as effective at the conversation-starting thing as the Chamonix 45. But it is lighter.)

I'll repeat the disclaimer: I haven't used any of the more recent X100 iterations: I probably never will because the X100 put me off. But if Ricoh would just make a G(X)R with a 50 / 45 (ideally) or 40 / 35 (if pushed) equivalent lens I would buy it tomorrow.

Yes I remember reading of your DMD concept when you published it. A great piece of inspiration for photographers who wanted simplicity in their digital camera.

No doubt the reason you never bought the close matches to the DMD idea was the fact that they never conformed to your 6 MP resolution requirement, being the right compromise of quality and file size.

Mike, I have been following your camera purchase decisions for a long time, and I think I know why it doesn't seem to be working out for you. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you seem to buy cameras according to features you think you need. We both know that great photographs have been made without any of the new features and gadgets. I am a firm believer in buying cameras with your heart. What speaks to you? What makes you happy to hold in your hands and use? If you find the answer to that questions, you will have a camera that really works for you.

"We're big on it. The implication is they don't make exactly what I want. If they would only provide me with exactly what I want then they would be blessed with my cash."

Actually, there are two or three makers who DO make what I want. Unfortunately, I don't have the cash to "bless" them with. :(

So ... I'm thinking of disposing of a small whack of gear (including an XPro1 and two lenses) and buying the X100F. Aside from the improved sensor and focusing, I would be forced to a one lens camera. I need that forced discipline, kinda like when I was super poor and only had an OM-1 with 50/1.8.

I'm still waiting on an electric plug-in awd Miata, and maybe a snooker table that converts to a ping pong table at the press of a button.

My version of this was "if only someone would make a digital version of my HiMatic 7sII" ...

That camera, a 70s era compact rangefinder, had a nice, sharp 40/1.8 in a reasonably compact body and a quiet leaf shutter.

I suppose an X100* would be pretty close and you could make a case for the Panasonic 20/1.8 on an m43 body (though f/1.8 on m43 isn't quite the same - I do recall a few photos taken with that HiMatic that benefit from nice OOF backgrounds).

I avoided opening my wallet on the grounds of technicalities for a while, but when Sony released the FE 28/2, I figured it was time to put up or shut up (since I already had the A6000). It still wasn't the same - that camera is loud and the combo isn't as compact. Since then, I upgraded to an A6500 (with a quieter shutter, even when not using e-shutter, plus IBIS) and that camera (bought used) came with the Sigma 30/1.4. That offers a slightly narrow FOV, but the faster aperture gets me back to where I used to be. Of course, this lens is even bigger, so I'm still kind of far from the HiMatic in that regard.

I sometimes feel like I should support Fuji by buying one of their cameras, because they've come closest to making what I told myself I want (that Sony RX1 is too pricey) ... but then I curse them for their stubborn dedication to X-Trans.

The Olympus Pen F has three black and white settings. One of them does an excellent job of simulating Tri-X.

Here's a thought. It might seem radical but let's kick it around the block and see how it looks.

First, you choose a camera/lens manufacturer. You could use criteria such as the following: a) they have a good range of reasonable up-to-date bodies; b) they have a set of lenses that are both good enough and which would meet your requirements; and c) they've been around for a while, and are winning sufficient market share to suggest that they'll be around for a while longer.

Second, having chosen the manufacturer, buy some of their gear and take photographs;

Third - and this is the radical bit - stick with them!

Right now, I am waiting for Sony, Zeiss, both, one of them, to make a great 35 f2 lens for the Sony A7 system. Call it Batis, ZA, G, GM, whatever, just make it.

"Did you notice the price at that [Leica Mono] link? For a manual-focus camera?"

But Mike, free shipping!

I bet if you won the lottery tomorrow, you would buy all of those cameras. And a collection of Miatas.

Hopefully, you would still maintain this blog. :)


"I think I'm going to stop saying that."

Good idea. Once upon a time when digital cameras were relatively new there were many reasons to want something better. Those days are gone. Long gone, in fact. If you're not making the images you want to make today you can't blame the lack of a good camera. Nor can you really blame costs, since we're now in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th generations of nearly every variation of digital camera imaginable. Second-hand models are readily available for fractions of original MSRPs and the cameras are usually in like-new condition, given the light duty of most amateur ownership.

It's time for (the collective) "you" to just shut up and shoot.

[But Ken, we *like* talking about cameras. It's fun. --Mike]

For a small fee, would you mind saying "If only they would make a clone of the Wanderlust Travelwide camera, I would buy it."

Well. I think many, if not most of us, know that about you. We still seem to like you warts and all.

Mike, you may have not bought any of those cameras, but I did, and I thank you for it!

As a matter of fact, my X100 (no extra letters) is sitting about 15 inches away from me as I write this, waiting for me to upload photos from it to the computer I'm writing this comment on.

Just to port of my elbow is my E-M5 mkII, which replaced the MkI.

So, maybe the deal is you make the proclamation, and I make it so?

"If only they would make [blank] I would buy it."

"Somewhere over the rainbow..." Mike, it just shows you are a "dreamer" but then you don't want them after they come true!

And if you can't be with the one you love
Love the one you're with

Good timing. http://www.fujirumors.com/ibis-coming-future-fujifilm-x-cameras-trusted-source/

As primarily a landscape photographer who started in the film era, I remember repeatedly wishing I could have medium format image quality with the portability and depth of field characteristics of 35mm, so I wouldn't have to muck about with camera movements on my large format camera to overcome the depth of field limitations of medium format (phew). Thank you Olympus. And, just for the record, I bought the cake and ate it, and went back for the next one. I mean, come on, how often do we get to do that?

I'd buy a digital twin lens reflex, if it cost less than I pay for a car. Keeping in mind that I have never ever spent more than $2000 to buy a car and that includes a Porsche, a Mercedes, and a Maserati Actually the Maserati and a Volkswagen were the only cars for more than $1000. You know, because travel should be an adventure.

A digital Mamyia c220, that's the ticket.

What a classy public confession, Mike. And indeed, we (of a certain age) have all been there. But, Sir, you neglected to mention the even more embarrassing camera product error made by us photogs: with regular frequency over the decades the makers introduce bodies with features that i believe no one of any photographic competence will ever use.

For example, consider Nikon's "Pro" F3 in 1980; what professional would ever use exposure automation? I could shoot Kodachrome 25 by eye gosh darn it. Plus, i need to be able to shoot with no battery too. And autofocus? Really? Okay for consumers i guess. This digital thing is just a flash in the pan also; film is fine. And who the heck ever needs more than six (or twelve or 24 or . . .) megapixels? Don't get me started on cell phones either . . .

So in my superannuated case, the makers regularly innovate ahead of my self-aware needs. I suppose that that is why they have their role and i have mine.

-- gary

This sort of discourse happens with computer things a lot too. "If only they would do XYZ, then that platform would truly be good enough for 'pro' use and I'll buy one".

See the endless angst over whether a "pro" Mac still exists.


The paradox of the enthusiast is that they allow their identity to be overly connected to particular aspects of the hardware that they own ... but mostly they'd be happier if they could just stop overthinking it and go use the tools they agonize over obtaining rather than agonizing. One concludes that a lot of them like to shop more than they like whatever it is they should be doing with what they are shopping for.

A good part of the joy is in the anticipation of things.
There is no cost to anticipating.
As soon as it becomes real we tend to get practical and raise issues that our anticipator selves never would.
But I also agree with Bernd (and you said the same thing a week or two ago) about the camera that you are comfortable with is the best camera for you.

I tend to keep cameras a long time for that very reason. I bought my 1Ds III in 2007, and only recently added a 5D mk IV, I kept both)
My pictures are definitely not better, but some things are easier.
I understand their strengths and weaknesses, and understand that for any given feature there is a camera that does it better.
Compared to my history of using cameras though , I am still amazed at the miraculous things almost ANY new camera can do.

When all cameras are good, familiarity is the ultimate feature.

That may not be true for others, but I don't worry about that,
I just take pictures.

Well...Fujirumors just rumored IBIS was coming to future Fuji bodies...

So now you will REALLY get what you are asking for :-))

Not maxed out your credit card yet Mike?
Fuji may be calling your bluff on IBIS as well:

Your confession is an affirmation of the Wabi-sabi doctrine of the turn-off which is inherent in perfection, if -- or, more precisely, as if -- there is such a thing.

.......Hey Mike....I think we are in a world of too much is not enough so
the folks making what we want and buy are happy to oblige, but
not too much or it would be enough.....what is a person going to do
when what's in front of them does not please.

As the saying went when I worked in industry, "You idiot! You did exactly what I told you to do! Why didn't you give me what I want NOW?"

I can understand your not having the original "beta" version of the x100, for as you wrote in 2010:

"The X100 Will Be Perfect

So—idle thought—what do you suppose the chances are that the Fuji X100 will get here and not have some big glaring distressing dismaying stupid flaw in it that ruins the whole thing?"

You went on to say the chance of it being perfect was about 60%. As we all know now it wasn't perfect. Far from it, although its "big glaring distressing dismaying stupid flaw" became lovingly referred to as "quirks." The terrible auto focus. The useless manual focus. The freezes, the slow start up, the slow everything. Then there was the "sticky Aperture blade (SAB) defect---sorry, quirk---that affected some of the early serial numbered cameras. http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/12/the-x100-will-be-perfect.html

Although the later versions are much improved, that early Fuji turned a lot of folks off the x100. So maybe it is actually best that you did not grab the early X100 as the lure and mystery might have been forever destroyed.

A correction to my earlier comment:

You actually wrote that you thought the chance of the x100 being "good enough" was about 60%.

In the lead up to the Leica M10 announcement many Leicaphiles were clamouring for a 'modern' M camera, with EVF and auto-focus that also shot great video, with WiFi connectivity and HDMI-out.

One of their senior product people deftly recognised "If you listen to people, it sounds like what they want to have is everything all in one camera. Well, they can. Just not from us. What they're describing is that's the camera that everybody else makes."

I've lost the link now, but it was a true lesson in differentiation.

I read John Shriver's comment about buying the K-1 and I laughed. I waited years, I bought the right lenses, I rented the K-1... and it was so heavy. I bought a KP instead.


You have foresight. I never doubted that. Sadly, there is no way that one can patent an idea and get paid when that idea comes to fruition years later.

In life people have made many good suggestions to their bosses. But powers that be are known to sit on the idea and then claim credit many years later when they come out with their innovative, earth shattering decisions.

So minions have to remain as minions. Story of our lives.

Given the first link, is this actually a Leitzmotif? arf, arf

"The catch is, we won't still be around for that, since they only check up on us every couple of million years, and we are an evolutionary dead end, a brief flash in the pan in terms of geologic time. We'll go by too quickly to be noticed."

Gee thanks Mike, I needed some cheering down

"It's time for (the collective) "you" to just shut up and shoot."

Gee thanks Ken ......... with which camera?

Your eternal search for the Holy Grail is one of the nicest elements of TOP. By the way: what happened to your latest cliffhanger, the Panasonic GX8?

[I returned the used one I bought because of some inconsistencies when used with my lens. Decided I'd better wait.

Re the holy grail, I've been using my X-T1 for about three years. That's a normal cycle for me...I used the Nikon N8008 for three years, the Canon EOS RT for three years, the Leica M6 for three years, the Olympus C3040Z for three years, the Panasonic GF1 for three years. Seems about right for cars or cameras, as long as I can afford it. --Mike]

"We'll go by too quickly to be noticed."

But at least we'll leave behind some good pictures.

What I'd like to know is: are we closer to satisfying everyone's wishes either nowadays, or as a function of being mostly digital rather than film, or are there still large areas in which folks live with the cameras' compromises?

(FWIW I'm still waiting on Pentax adding HDR to pixel-shift via firmware. At least I have actually asked them directly to do so and the idea is not difficult to comprehend, except for front-line support eejits.)

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