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Wednesday, 12 July 2017


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Didn't the Stones also sing about Satisfaction? And what about that other old ditty -- I can't remember the artist: "You're Not Gonna Live Forever"? Maybe it's time to invest in the Sony. You can leave it to Xander when you shuffle off to Buffalo.

Your conundrum illustrates the problem with Sony's APS-C system, even still. $3000 for those lenses is just nuts. The 24/1.8 may have a Zeiss name on it, but it's a pretty modestly spec'd lens for APS-C (a Fuji 23/2 is much less expensive). The 55/1.8 is also expensive because it's Zeiss and because it's FF (a Sigma 60/2.8 is a heck of a lot cheaper).

Meanwhile, over the the FF realm, the A7II is only $1550 ($150 more than the A6500); the compact (and also Zeiss-branded) 35/2.8 is $800; the 85/1.8 is $600 so you're at $2950, leaving you with $1500 to buy a Batis WA prime for the same money as that APS-C kit.

I actually own an A6500 (acquired recently, but bought used, because I think the new prices aren't justified). I had previously purchased the 28/2 FE (for a 40mm equivalent normal) but the camera came with the Sigma 30/1.4 so I need to pick between them. I also have the Sigma 60/2.8 (though if I ever gave up my DSLR, I'd replace it with the Sony 85/1.8 because I prefer the longer lens). For WA, I picked up a used 10-18/4. So it's not a cheap kit, but it's a competent kit that suits my needs while avoiding the lenses I consider overpriced.

The Sigma 30/1.4 seems promising, but I haven't had a chance to really try it out - I'll be taking on a vacation soon and plan to use it in favor of other lenses as much as possible. AF in low light isn't terribly impressive (not bad, but I was trying to photograph black kittens !) but otherwise, I like the build, the feel, the focal length and the f/1.4 max aperture. (The FE 28/2 actually feels more solidly build - heavier at least - but somehow less satisfying, which is unexpected, as I don't care for the build of the 60/2.8 nearly as much, which it's slick surfaces).

Tripod - a cheaper alternative? I realize it's not convenient when doing candids, but Fuji's high ISO is quite good for those moments. The 18-55mm does have an aperture ring,just not one that has f stops printed on it due to the variable aperture nature of the lens. The aperture is visible in the viewfinder or LCD. It's a great lens, just needs some time spent learning its limitations.

Now come on Mike
A Pen F with a Panasonic 12-35 and Olympus 45 = 2500$

And to directly answer your question, I'm jonsing for the GFX with lenses, but it will never happen. My resolve is to spend more time with what I do have, the X-Pro2, XT-2 and some excellent Fuji glass.

We are all sorely tempted by the camera sirens and the grass looks much greener elsewhere thanks to slick marketing. Glowing camera reviews are comparable to the sexy centerfolds of past decades. I'm recently retired and any thoughts of upgrading my old digital gear are put on hold. However the files from my current cameras still hold value. Working old RAW files on PS CC is a joy. And I fell in love again with my old Nikon V1, the Rodney Dangerfield of cameras. It's very useful in bright sun with its internal viewfinder. It's far from perfect but the files meet my modest needs for snapshots. And my 2011 Nikon DSLR still marches on with music CD cover arts to its credit.

"with his epochal review of the 2002, one of the most famous and influential car reviews..."
So, I was working in Croydon (in England) in '68 or '69 and a guy, who shall remain nameless, arrives at work in his brand-new 2002.
It's luvverly - remember the bright orange color?
He sits there a moment and with a big grin admires his grip on the wheel for a few moments. He turns and gets his briefcase from the passenger seat, and opens the door..........right into a cyclist.
It is the car driver's fault of course, so he kicks the door shut in temper and puts another dent in his door.
Took me at least ten minutes to stop laughing. Is that awful of me?

Mike, repeat after me and all will be fine: 'I don't need IS, it's just an excuse. I don't need IS, it's just an excuse. I don't need IS, it's just an excuse.'.

Are you asking for advice? Regarding cameras, I don't know why you're not evaluating Pentax's DSLRs, especially the magnificent K-1. Mine is like a new, improved version of my late Sony a850/900, with big optical VF, powerful IBIS, and great legacy lens compatibility. Pentax's sluggish AF tracking won't be a problem for your contemplative work, and the IQ is indisputable.

I suspect that you've found the Pentax brand too rare, obscure and hard-to-find, so writing about it won't generate much interest. Fair enough, write about other cameras. But I'm sure you would enjoy working with a modern Pentax, rain or shine.

I'm liquidating my small stock of Fuji gear, mainly because I dislike EVFs and find them hard to work with in string Western sunlight. And as much as I like retro styling, retro shutter speed controls make no sense anymore. The lenses were excellent, but they're heavy and, in the case of teles and zooms, no more compact and carryable than some full-frame SLR gear.

Mike, I would also point out that when you had really good FF cameras you rarely posted pictures, when you got the fuji, you posted lots of pictures , and more still from the iPhone
So the compactness and image quality of those cameras seemed to resonate with you.
I prefer FF cameras, but also realize it is a preference. You should really think about that before you plunge into FF again.
That's especially true given your stated feeling that APSc or m 4/3 could work equally well for you.

Have you ever seriously used a monopod ? Many weigh nearly nothing and with a small ball head make excellent 'leaning sticks' as well.

I spend a lot of my time longing for a B/W digital camera. And I sort-of could afford one (I have lenses already, for the ZM). But only sort-of, and then I realise that, well, what sort of people do you usually see with that particular brand of camera? And of course it's middle-aged men with too much money and a sports car trying to pick up slightly disturbingly younger women. And I'm a middle-aged man, and I just do not want to be that person: the ZM is bad enough in that respect (people mistake it for that other brand and I have to explain that, no, it's a camera ordinary people can afford).

And I remind myself that, apart from the whole bling issue (and, really, it's about 1% as cool as the battered black Pentax MX I already own, which actually is the indestructible bit of engineering that the other camera pretends to be), all digital camera menu systems make me physically nauseous with their misdesign and this will be no different, and for the cost of the thing I could spend hundreds of hours in the darkroom doing something I actually enjoy.

But still it eats at me.

Funny, my 18-55 does have an aperture ring. No wonder you don't like yours!

I have looked at almost everything you've done since you were on the Leica Blog (20+ years). I don't understand this sudden obsession with IS. The majority of photographs I take are in extremely underlit places, not exactly what you're known for. All I can figure is that after keeping us on the hook for weeks with your exotic coffee making/roasting schemes you're now wondering why you're not as steady as you used to be. Save a ton of cash, ease up on caffeine.

Okay, here's some unneeded, bound to be unheeded advice....

Since you have a nice system, and since there are actual rumors that eventually IBIS is coming to that system, the main obstacle in the way of sharp low light, low shutter speed shots right now is that you want to do them hand held. Perhaps instead of spending thousands on a new system, instead you bought a really nice, super light travel tripod and ball head (good for walking) you could convince yourself that you actually like using it, maybe even prefer it. In fact, you could set yourself a one camera, one lens, one tripod goal for a year, and then see what's on the market.

Jonesing after gear is a pretty unproductive pursuit IMHO. Better to get busy with photography so that you appreciate the gear you've got. Every summer, I work as a freelancer for a local weekly newspaper and spend a lot of time covering events like concerts, bluegrass festivals, antique car shows, butter making demonstrations and volleyball tournaments. There is nothing like covering events in all types of weather and lighting to make you grateful for cameras, lenses and accessories that just plain work. In my case, it's a Canon 5ds with the usual pro lenses (and no IBIS). I'd probably buy a 5d IV if I had the money, but the 5ds works just fine. I'm so busy shooting and post-processing to meet my Tuesday deadline that I don't get a chance to lust after gear. This is what photography is all about -- shooting and improving your craft, not buying equipment. Whenever you find yourself questioning your gear or reading camera reviews, just get out there and shoot something.

Mike; I don't know the pixel density of a M 4/3 sensor. But, the M 4/3 sensor is about 13 x 17mm and FF is 24 x 36mm .. "about" 4 times bigger. So, if you take the pixel density of M 4/3 and multiply it by 4 you should be close.

864/221 = 3.9095

And take any 4 pixel Bayer sensor and device by 4 for a site count. With X-Trans, I'm not sure. I think there are 6 pixels per site.

Anyway, corrections are welcome ..


IBIS is wonderful. It is very well executed on my Olympus. I get why you want it. I know that you did not take to the E-M1. Have you tried the Mark II? (Yeah, it is expensive - maybe used or refurbished?)

Or, how about this? Buy a used Sony from KEH. Then buy a few adapters and a Pentax 50mm f/1.4 Super Multi-Coated Takumar, a 35mm f/2, and an 85mm f/1.8. Shoot on aperture priority. Should work well for landscapes. (If I was rich and could afford a second digital camera, I would do this just for fun!) You have cameras for other stuff. Sony lenses can come later, if at all.

Don't worry so much about the lenses. I had a nice 240mm Fujinon for my 4x5. It was single-coated and had a defect on the rear glass of the front set of elements. I took photos that proved to me that those characteristics of the lens did not matter for my photography. Nevertheless, the single coating and defect drove me crazy. I sold it, disclosing the defect, and purchased a nice multicoated example of the same lens. I felt better, but truthfully, the photos look the same.

I learned my lesson (mostly). Now I use a single coated 210mm Fujinon of Tessar design instead of a much more expensive multicoated 200mm Nikkor M of simlar design that many covet due to its small size and other characteristics. My inexpensive Fujinon is "good enough." I have other low priced single coated lenses in my kit now. Things are just fine.

You are more of a lens connoisseur than I am, but would you really see the difference in your photographs if you purchased that super expensive glass instead of lenses that are good enough?

Car advice received 40 years ago: NEVER buy any magazine's "car of the year. "

Mount your iPhone on some kind of tripod, trip shutter hands-off. Ultimate IS.

The Huawei P9 is on my list for a monochrome camera. (ONLY! I would be suspicious of what else might be buried in the device.)

If there ever was a place to say "first world problems!" it is now :)
Seriously, it might be time to come back to Pentax... the K-1 is wonderful, has great SR (IS), and Pentax Limited lenses are quite affordable compared to other OEMs... and are a delight to use. And should you need Zeiss, there's ZK lenses on the used market. For the newer lenses like the Milvus and Otus, there's a guy in Pentaxforums that converts any FE Zeiss lens, and some Voigtlanders, to PK, using Leitax.

You may want to check out The Bottle Rockets "Thousand Dollar Car" (it is on youtube) for a suitable money/car song.

yeah, Audio Engine A5 and their DAC. Just cannot justify it. Cannot financially swing it; the dog needs food and meds, the car needs brakes, I need new glasses (currently leaning forward to type this) and my teeth have not been cleaned in 8 years . . . but man would I like to have that audio setup. Currently use an old Cambridge Soundworks setup. It works.

Cheap fast reliable, pick two.

While I continued to be baffled by the desire for IBIS/VR or the need to cover all of the classic focal lengths or the wisdom of tiny sensors on tiny bodies with tiny buttons... I think that having devoted your life to photography, you should get whatever darn camera you want and ride it hard until the next desirable camera comes onto the market.

Rest easy. If you did professional work you'd feel compelled to have a second identical body and some lenses that overlap just in case the first body goes down. That's the way I've rolled for 35 years and I feel naked without knowing there is a second set up waiting back at the car or in the pack.

Frankly I'd rather have a good full-frame body (a used Nikon D700 or Canon 5D variant is only ~$700) matched to a good normal prime lens than a bag of toys for tots ;-p

I agree with you on auto reviews. They only review new cars which may be specially prepared for them by the dealer. How about a magazine that only reviewed cars after they had gone 40,000 miles or maybe 80,000. I would buy that magazine.

Of the over 25 cars I have owned all but 3 have been used but with well researched and proven reliability. None were purchased from dealers, only private sellers after both the car and seller have been researched, and have driven a number of them over 100,000 miles. My current favorite is a 9 year old BMW convertible which should be good for another 100,000.

How about forgetting IS or IBIS and just get a good tripod. Over 95% of my photos are taken on a tripod, its just becomes a habit.

Looking at the 2002 again made me think back (hence my second post). I always liked and wanted that car. When I finished school and became a little bit established in my job, I decided to sell my Civic and buy a brand new new BMW 318i instead of an older 2002. The 318i was a bummer. Expensive repair bills finally caused me to sell it and buy a Honda. Like the Civic before it, there were no repair bills. Maintenance was less expensive. That BMW changed my viewpoint on the role of a car in my life. I got what I wanted and found out I did not want it.

Sorry that the 18-55 didn't work out for you (or the GX8, for that matter). Given that your Fuji 18-55 was purchased used, IIRC, it's quite possible it was returned because it was bad unit. Lenses can and do become decentered, misaligned, etc, etc. Had this happen to my first Canon 70-200/2.8L non-IS after many years of use.

I encountered this recently when I rented a Fuji 10-24 for a trip to Yosemite in March. Turns out the unit I rented was notably soft at the corners at all focal lengths. I rented another one for the recent NASCAR event from Lens Rentals, and it was tack sharp across the frame.

So, I think when one buys or rents a used lens, there's a real risk of obtaining a bad unit. Also, as there are virtually no defect-free manufacturing processes, there is always a statistical likelihood of receiving a new lens that is "defective".

On another note, they're doing amazing things in "in-body image stabilization" with tripods and ballheads these days! ;-)

How about keeping the Fuji gear.... I think you will regret selling it.

Buy a OMD EM5 2 to twin with your m43 lenses ... and really you wont need the dual IBIS.

So much cheaper. Also although the Sony makes sense ... its like buying a Honda Accord after having an Alfa Romeo Spyder. It might be more practical .... but its not really going to touch the heart strings.

Maybe another generous reader will solve your budget constraints...


What I'd like is a digital camera that renders files like B&W film. That ain't happening anytime soon. So... I got my old film Nikons for B&W, a GR for everyday, and a recently purchased XT-1 ($800 new) and a coupla lenses. That should see me through this mortal coil...

I think that you are worrying too much about gear and not enough about photographs...

(Not that I seemingly manage to do any different!)

Just checked back in and noticed the 20mp.. so, as per my previous note: 4x20=80 MP for FF

Sorry I missed that the first time. I got caught up in stuff here. My cat is crazy.

"Anything you've been jonesing for, but can't have?"

One of the things the last two years has taught me is to make things happen *right now* because we never know how much time is left on the clock. My life philosophy now is to do what it takes to make things happen, be it experiences, relationships or even possessions.

I recently bought an Olympus EM10 Mk II, and I'm very happy with it. Wonderful IBIS and the price has come down to $450 for body only. It seems like a lot of camera for the money, a bit of a sleeper I think.

I just bought the SONY a7II with 50mm f1.8 FE. Now I am less happy with my other cameras; Minolta Maxxum 7D, SONY a55, SONY a65, SONY a77, SONY a850. Now I really want the a7rII and a lot of very expensive lenses and adapters. Let's not even mention the a9.

You might consider the XF 55-200. I don't have one but I might eventually. No IBIS, of course, but I'm pretty sure it has IS, and I've heard good things about it.

Ha! I have a Pen F and a clutch of primes. Love it and use it, but miss the Fuji look I remember from my XE1 (imagination and memory can play tricks and I know that). I won't swap out because of the expense and an awareness of the pointlessness of the exercise! No, we can never be happy, but maybe we are not meant to be. I had the 18-55 and liked it (for a zoom hrumph) and one of the reasons I resist changing back is I hate trying to recapture the same confidence I have had previously. I hate changing gear. My happiest/unhappiest time was working in a camera shop. Leaving locked me in to an extent. Olympus became my choice because they simple got the most right first (not slr, IBIS, lens choice, EM5) and have stuck with them since-after trying all else.

Your famous for writing a blog post that says you only need one camera and one 35mm lens. I thought you'd follow your own advice and buy something like that.

I'm a 25 year Nikon shooter - FM2/F3 to current D5/D500. I have also invested in a pretty complete Olympus OMD set-up for its size and silence. I've never shot with a Leica or a rangefinder for that matter. When I have seen the Leica prices over the years for what one gets on paper, it seems utterly ridiculous.

Leica has opened a store in Boston and I have visited it a couple times now. There is something very intriguing and desirable about the superior design and build quality of these cameras. The SL is beautiful. So simple. I haven't shot with it but loved holding it. The new TL.......like Steve Jobs designed it from the afterlife! So simple.

I feel a burning need for some reductionism - less is more. I'm quite sure that Leica would not be the answer for my professional use, but if I had the funds and my needs were simply for the pleasure of shooting, I think I'd be headed to the Leica Store.......

John Gillooly

here is a simple (but not easy) answer.

Put all of your camera equipment in the middle of one room in your house. Check it out thoroughly. Take your time and enjoy the experience. Take good photographs of all of your equipment. Then box it all up in moving sized boxes. Seal the boxes.

Do not open the boxes for two months. In those two months, use only your iPhone for photography.

At the end of two months, allow yourself one small sensor (under 1”) camera. Nikon P900, Pentax Q-S1, whatever. Get the camera out of a box or buy it.

Use the small sensor camera (and iPhone) for another three months.

That should do it. Pick one larger sensor camera and associated lenses, if it uses them. Get it (them) out of a box or buy.

At one year from the time you packed the boxes, review the photos of your equipment. Sell everything you haven't used in the past year.

Regarding cameras, I'm pretty much set with my E-M10 and its 3 basic kit lenses: 28mm-e, 50mm-e, and 90mm-e (real focal lengths are of course 14, 25, and 45mm).

Regarding cars, I'm quite astonished about the build quality of our Corolla. It has some 150.000+ kilometers now, and I hope to have it for much longer.

But what I always wanted and never had until 3 days ago was a fretless bass. Now I've got it - life is too short to keep those wishes for too long. I've written about it here: http://wolfgang.lonien.de/2017/07/that-james-jamerson-sound/

I went into the store for something even cheaper, but came out of it with that fretless one. Now I have to get used to the tension of those Fender (actually Squier, that's why they bought that company) strings...

As long as we're dreaming, I'll take a GFX and a set of lenses, thank you very much. Back in the real world, I bought an X-Pro2, X100F and X-T2. I sold the X-T2 because it was overkill for my purposes, and replaced it with a used X-T1 at a fraction of the cost. I'm using the 18-55 with OIS on the X-T1 and it does exactly what I want it to do. Happy camper.
As a side note, I took one last dip in the M4/3 pool in the form of a PenF, found that the IBIS wasn't the magic bullet I was hoping for, and sold the camera a week later. And thus ends my adventure with the M4/3 sensor. Still can't beat the look of the Fuji files.

I rented a Fuji x100f from lensrentals back in April when it was all the buzz and no one had them in stock. The problem is, I have a beautiful x100t and all the necessities for it, but I am jonesing for the x100f's joystick and battery. The battery is the same for my XP2 and XE2. Darn me for renting before contemplating buying.

I say to you Mike as I say to myself: "this too shall pass".

"Ti-i-i-ime, is on my side, yes it is!", because you can wait (as you already have), and some cool stuff will soon be available used.

But the camera you should get new is the Pentax K-1. And just think of all those wonderful Pentax lenses floating around for excellent prices, and several of the newer ones are great and good prices.

Mike, who says that you have to buy lenses new and pay full retail prices? All of the lenses that you might want for an A6500 can be purchased for far less on the used market. Sure, there's a risk that you might get a clunker, but that holds true for new lenses as well. Your own experience attests to that fact. Check out KEH, eBay and Fred Miranda before giving up.

1. The GLC, aka Mazda 323, was aptly named. My girlfriend (whom I married), my mother-in-law, and my PhD thesis advisor each owned one at different times.

2. You could probably find a decent NA Miata for that $4000 instead of cameras that you don't really want.

The conclusion from (1) and (2) is left to the student as an exercise.

For a long time, before I got my GAS under control, my solution to your conundrum was to buy camera equipment used, which made it a lot more affordable.

If you buy it further along the depreciation curve instead of right at the very top, the ultimate cost of ownership can be reduced to the point where even very expensive camera gear can be owned for a few years for not very much money and often less than the cost of buying entry / mid-level camera gear new and having it depreciate in value to nothing or thereabouts.

So while I may have a lot of money tied up in camera gear at any one time, when I sell the gear -- my friends are no doubt laughing as they read that! -- I will recover a large percentage of that, such that the final cost of having owned it is mostly the interest income that I gave up to do so. And because nobody expects their hobby to be free, let alone profitable, I'm okay with this (within reason.)

And so you know, this trick also works with cars, which is the only way I've been able to drive a Porsche for the last five years. Well, that and doing all the maintenance and repairs myself, of course. (Mind you, it did sting a bit when I blew up the engine at the track in 2013 and had to replace it, but you won't be foolish enough to do that ... or will you?)

It seems a lot of posters do not understand the need and advantages of IS. In the older generation of photographers - I have been photographing since the age of 11 and that was in 1953, and later became a pro photographer. I now seem to use my cameras as snapshot machines because I cannot find a camera with the right feel, give the right results and a camera with a failsafe antidote to eliminate the problem of moving the camera at the time of pressing the shutter button. Yep, golfers yips, which I never had as a low handicap golfer. To me IS would eliminate that but getting all the boxes ticked these days for comfort, the right feel, good results and getting rid of the ''yips'' via IS is proving a problem. The camera and the results I want ie files, is a Fuji, the IS I want is an Olympus but they are too small for my hands and the Fuji IS is problematic ie expensive, not particularly good and not on the lenses I want to use . I have around 10 - 15 cameras but not one of them is the 'right' one and for a few years now I all seem to take are test shots.

So posters, please be aware the need for IS as described by the manufacturers, reviewers etc can also be a medical antidote as you get older.

You're not alone. My jonesing has become less frequent with age but once the 3rd gen Tacoma 's were released I had to go take a look. The crazy sticker price (40K at the time) and funky new V6 (port/direct injection switching, Atkinson cycle shenanigans) sent me packing though. I fixed up my 1st gen instead and then bought a new lens. How's that for a spurious path to a new lens purchase? Maybe that's your answer...go look at a new BMW, decide not to buy it, and then get whatever gear you want. :-)

1965 Mustang - 1970-1980
Plymouth Duster - aka "Green Tu*d" 1980-1985
Aspen Station Wagon - aka "Brown Tu*d" 1982-1983
Nissan Pulsar NX - (first new car) 1985-1994
Eagle Talon ATI - (midlife crisis) 1994-2008
Subaru Impresa Hatchback - 2008-present

Subaru DL station wagon (wife car) 1984-2001
Jaguar X-type (wife car) 2001-present

1970's Fujica ST-801, ST-901, AZ-1 plus four lenses (still have them)
1980's Pentax SF-1 (stolen 2008) replacement for stolen Fujica's that I got back after 5 years.
*ist Ds 2005 (given to son)
K-10D - 2007
K-20D - 2008 (K-10D was stolen and I got it back)
K-3 II - 2017
I have all of the K- models plus lenses, since they are all APS-C it would cost a fortune to switch to a 35mm sensor cameras since only three of my lenses would cover the frame. I shoot for non-profits and end up cropping anyway, so the so called full-frame format means I would have to crop even more.

As you can see I tend to keep things for the long term. The drive to constantly upgrade to the latest and greatest is just noise. Switching brands is a waste of time, work with what you have and learn to exploit the capabilities of the system. Buy good glass as it will outlast your bodies. I have a 300mm lens that I bought in the late 70's (not really good glass but it works for what I use it for). A Vivitar TX mount, bought a Pentax adapter for it and I will be using it on Saturday for a shoot. And I will still crop the images.

Moderate short telephoto for Fuji, eh? This weekend I'm renting a 56 f/1.2 for the second time. Wedding. No professional photographer. I'm quite enamoured with that lens. I may wind up renting that lens as many times as would be prudent to just have purchased it outright after renting it the first time. Lensrentals, after all, credits you the price of the lens if you decide to buy it instead of return it. Maybe I'll keep it this time around.

"You can't always get what you want" "But if you try sometime, you get what you need.." Ok, you all know that.
My best memory of the BMW 2002 comes from the time I was with my parents driving along the Autobahn near Frankfurt (my Dad was USAF stationed in Germany, I was in high school). We were in a traffic jam/slowdown. Next to us was a 2002 with a very nice looking blonde German woman who was topless. Best Greenhouse Effect I have experienced.
Used 2002's are more expensive than the 2009 328ix I bought for my wife. Ok, she says she bought it, but nostalgia prevailed.

The BMW 2002 has powerful cult appeal, but I had an E30, a 1988 325is, for 10 years and it was a far better car in pretty much every respect. Maybe not as distinctive looking as the 2002, but quick and fantastically tossable, with modern systems and great build quality. It was also very close to unbreakable, something that can't be said for current BMWs.

This attitude towards a large upfront purchase and then amortising it over a longer period is something I've been debating for a long time. For stills photography I think that the sensors have for a long time been good enough and now the innovation is in the packaging and automation.

Who would have known at the time that either Sony or Fuji were onto clear winners? I tried them out at the time and I was unconvinced, but the market has spoken. There's one thing I wouldn't buy now, and that is a DSLR because I'm guessing soon their days will be numbered (due to the lack of packaging and automation innovations due to the restrictions imposed with the mirror).

Cheers, Pak

I owned a 1602, which seemed to have been built from pieces found across a junk-yard, the chassis basically from a 2002, the motor from a 1600 sedan. The electrical system was dodgy.

It was an adventure every time I bought parts, which was often: it was absolutely knackered when I bought it 10 years after (most of it) was built. I rebuilt the motor by hand in my father's shed, doing crude things like hand reaming the connecting rob bushings. You shouldn't do that. But I put it back together and it ran beautifully until the rust started to catch up with it and I needed the money while I studied.

Years later, I bought an E30 323, also 10 years old. It was a truck. My left leg got sore using the clutch. Shifts were slow because of the huge rotational inertia of the motor. The electricals all failed.

Now I have a a 118D. I wish I had stuck to my instincts and bought a petrol version, but that was almost unheard of in 2008 in France. It's the only car I've ever bought new, with the "pack sport design": 17" wheels, slightly lower suspension, nice steering wheel. Mechanically, it works brilliantly, although it spends most of the time in the garage while I bicycle to work. The electricals are all failing: some things don't change.

I certainly enjoy working with a variety of cameras as much as the next shutterbug (as my generous inventory would suggest). But I've "discovered" that the quality of of an image rarely has any proportional relationship to the camera or lens used to create it. Any more that a pen's relationship to writing, a wristwatch's relationship to the quality of time spent, et.al.

Crank thy ISO and go forth with thy X-T1!

1/500 sec for hand held shots (sharpness is not everything) and use a tripod is sharpness is important for you.


From the high seats here on the other side of the screen it’s easy to see what’s going on.
You’re a writer.
Who thinks he’s a photographer.
Now, I won’t allow any of that intellectual slight of hand you’ve spun before with people who collect cameras being both collectors and because they use them on occasion to take pictures, photographers. Elegantly summarized in your article “Leicaphilia.”
Stop that.
You’re a writer. You like cameras.

There is no destination and no end because for you, there is no “work” to be done with a camera.
You like many of us have bought cutting edge product (a900?) only to have it again surface years later, undershot and depreciated because-you were too busy, like the rest of us, working; at something else.

I’m a Dad. I work the usual hours. I collect cameras and photograph on the weekend. I have no “work” that I’m doing with the cameras. They are a fun distraction that I am entertained by. I take pictures of my kids. It’s important but families did as much with far, far less accomplished cameras than anything available today or for the last….well as long as anyone can remember.

We’re a lot alike.

But we differ distinctly in that your vocation shadows your avocation in a unique way. Surely there is an accountant out there who might speak to how purchases that pertain to your real work (truly) might also serve the life outside work. Like a leased vehicle that shares time between both business and pleasure. Flip every 18 months or whatever would be professionally prudent.

There should be a support group for us.
“Otherwise gainfully employed people who fantasize about being a professional photographer if only to justify their interest in cameras but are self-admittedly not actually good enough photographers to cut it so are relieved to simply fettle and talk knowledgeably about the hardware ad infinitum.”

Greeting from the rest of the members of the group, “Hiiiiii Mike….”

You also wrote about reverse snobbery:


You should demonstrate your superiority over people with Leicas by using a super-cheap camera.

As a career newspaper photographer (40 years counting) I provided my own equipment in the film days which I had to fund myself from my pay cheque. In the mid 1970's when I started out I was slinging a couple of Nikon F and F2's, over my shoulder, at the time Nikon's best of the best cameras, a few year later I ended up shooting with Nikon's FM2's, a more budge priced camera body (always had the bets lenses though) of course I would have preferred the Nikon F3 or F4, but its what I could afford at the time. Just before the paper I work for went digital, I splurged and bought a brand new Nikon F5, around 1999 or 2000, it was very pricey at more than $3000 for the camera body alone. No regrets, I still think its the best film camera Nikon has ever made, I once saw one a while ago for around $300.

For my personal work, in which I still shoot 4 x 5 black and white film with a view camera, I have stuck with the same camera for years, first a Tachihara, now a Ebony. I have also used the same 120mm semi wide angle lens for over 25 years before it seized up on me, now I'm on my second one. I was always happy with that set up and didn't feel that I needed anything else.

When it came to cars, and I have had quite a few over the year, I often bought something that would go along with my photography, I would have to say that one of my all time favourite vehicles was my 1987 Toyota 4Runner, it only had a 4-cylinder engine, so was not very peppy going up hills, but the 4 x 4 capabilities was awesome.

IMHO, Mike, your mistake was in selling the Zeiss 24/1.8 when you got rid of the Nex6. I hope you got a good price for it.

Camera bodies come and go, but a good lens is something to hold onto (I may be paraphrasing your own words).

I'm late to this discussion having been out shooting for 9-10 days, but unless you're convinced of the need for autofocus and new lenses, both the 6500 and the a7m2 do wonderfully with adapted older lenses. It would seem, from what I know of your shooting style, that you could easily make something work with the Zeiss C/Y 25 f/2.8 and the Zeiss C/Y 50 f/1.7; both are remarkable and relatively cheap for what they offer optically.

I can't suggest an alternative for the superwide Tuit on the 6500, so (monetarily, at least) you might be better off going for the a7m2 for the body.

What am I jonesing for, myself? A four wheel drive truck or small SUV with decent clearance. I can't really justify owning one, but having switched from a sequence of four Subaru's over a twenty-year period (bought used with high mileage, and run even higher) to a minivan (that's delightful to camp in), I miss the idea of accessing the dirt roads -- that I no longer live close to! I didn't say it was rational...

Seems almost scandalous these days to prefer DSLR's to mirrorless but I recently sold my X100T after coming to terms with the fact that my D750 is a much better camera. Paired with cheap primes, I'm much happier using it than I was dealing with the Fuji falling asleep and rendering inferior images to my trusty Nikon. And please, it is not too heavy! I just hiked some serious miles in the Smoky Mountain National Forest and never felt I was weighed down.

The XT2 'S' is almost here and it has ibis.
I'm in a similar position still using an X pro 1 after my M9 kit was brutally stolen. Lens wise I am hard pressed to differentiate the IQ between the Leica glass and the Fuji and much to my wife's delight the cost is significantly less. Then when the desire or need for Zeiss arises they are available too! For me the Fuji system is as good as it gets aperture ring and exposure compensation in the right place. My only 'Bah' with the X pro 1 is that being a six year old camera it is slow. But the XT2 or S will resolve that.

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