« Best Small Speakers | Main | Speaking of Andrew Jones.... (OT) »

Thursday, 14 September 2017


The quest and the desires never end Mike. They never end.

When I saw the headline, I thought maybe you had some inside scoop an the upcoming Nikon mirrorless system :)

As you alluded to with the Sony comment, I'm finding that at least a few of Sony's cameras are actually hitting that "perfect camera" status (for me), but they're also hitting pretty high prices. I upgraded from the A6000 to the A6500, but only after finding a used one. I own an RX100 (original) and like the looks of the latest models, but the IV actually seems fine; no need for the V. (I won't buy either, at least no time soon). And I've toyed with the idea of the RX10-III as a travel camera (paired with the RX100 for days I don't want the bigger camera) and only wished that it had faster AF. Here it is with faster AF ... and a $1700 price tag !

I could probably come up with a few wish list items, but nothing I could or should reasonably expect. Most cameras have addressed most obvious limitations, except for that of my budget (and they're going the wrong direction on that count).

Instead of straining to see what's coming in the way of cameras, I prefer to look back at the cameras that I had.

Questions for someone contemplating a new camera ...

Have you made any photographs with your current camera that would have been better with a new camera?

Are there any photographs that you couldn't make with your current camera that would be possible with a new one?

You just posted a picture of the most despised camera of all the ones I have ever owned! I traded in my Pentax MX and lenses for one of these, because I thought I would use the AF. Then I found that the "AF" was markedly inferior to my MF capabilities, and sometimes would refuse to acquire focus at all. The final parting came when I got back from a (business) trip to Tokyo where I added a day to tour round by myself, and when I got my films back from the lab discovered that all the pictures were underexposed by about 3-4 stops and thus useless!

The N8008 had an intermittent contact that had caused my problem. It was all I could manage not to take the damn thing to the garage and adjust it with a sledge hammer! Anyway, it and I parted company, but as I had a Nikon lens or two by then I bought an FM2n with which I had a long and happy relationship. Lesson learned.

If memory serves, you like rangefinders, and you like the 35mm field of view. Seems like the logical candidate is the X100F. It doesn't have IBYP (In-Body Yip Prevention) but I'm sure you can learn to compensate with calm thoughts just before you pull the trig....er, press the shutter.

I too have been awaiting the rumored Panasonic Lumix GX9 or whatever it'll be called along with a set of its lenses. The sooner, the better.

By the way, you seemed to have worked in Takoma Park, Maryland. Tacoma is in the State of Washington.

You recently mentioned that on your scale of pros and cons, the balance tips in favor of EVF over OVF. Be on the lookout for a Nikon F mount or Pentax K mount mirrorless camera within the next 12 months (no adapter necessary).

The Pentax vaporware will come with 5 axis IBIS if it materializes at all. You can pair it with a 31mm limited and a 100mm f2.8 macro tokina/"bokhina" rebrand. Add a couple of sigma Art lenses and you are done.

Or wait for the XT-2s...

Meanwhile, the lack of spot metering in the 8008 is why I had my little sojourn in Olympus land (two OM-4Ts, 1987-1994). I'd been Nikon since 1981, wasn't yet interested in AF, but wanted more precise exposure.

In 1994 I realized I did need AF (rented an N90 and AF lens for a weekend), and had only unloaded part of the Nikon gear, so sold the Olympus and jumped back to Nikon.

So, if Nikon had just put a simple obviously-necessary feature like spot metering in the original 8008, I would have been saved considerable trouble! :-) (Or would have found other ways to mess myself up, more likely.)

As Aldous Huxley wrote in "The Island"...

Here and now Mike...

here and now...

Remember when digital made you unable to tolerate the time it took to process film?

I wonder how much value things like the iPhone offer, given that they eliminate the wait for downloading images in order to share them?

Testify, dude.

I'm trying to decide whether to go from my iPhone 6S+, which I love as a camera, to the new X. Sometimes I want the longer focal length and bokeh, but is the difference big enough to justify this expensive phone? It is a 50mm-e lens (that's not a tele, Apple, please).
The 8 won't do it, because the longer lens has no IS, which is a crime. The amazing IS is one of the reasons I like the 6S+ so much; night shooting is a breeze.

I have the opposite feeling about the 8008s. In 1991, I was working in a camera store in Northern California that was a decidedly Nikon-leaning shop. My faithful steed, at the time, was a Minolta SRT-101, bought used for me by my mother and uncle in 1978.

In the early 1990s, Nikon USA had a program whereby if you worked in a camera store, you could earn points for selling Nikon stuff and then cash those points in for Nikon gear of your own. I was a good salesman, and I saved up enough points for, ta da!, an 8008s. (It was comparatively a lot of points.)

I still remember when that box came from Nikon USA, addressed not to the store but to me, my first brand new camera, a high-end Nikon to boot! A thrill from a more innocent time. That camera was a very satisfying object for me, much more for what it symbolized for a kid who grew up in a family of modest means than for any pictures I took with it (which were relatively few).

Well at least Apple has learned the error of their way and is skipping the iPhone 7s to go right to the iPhone 8.

Am hearing great things about the A9- a bit further away from the phone...... You do it to us!

Another highly entertaining ramble Mike. Much appreciated.

"The real secret of having great equipment, by the way —use it hard, long, and exclusively, enough that you really get to know it inside and out". Its not only the digital churn that makes this harder now. Cameras have become so labyrinthine.

Mere mortal that I am, I've only just found out that my XT10 has a proper silent mode rather than the 'sneeze mode' that's meant to let you know you've pressed the electronic shutter. This, and a couple of other belated discoveries, have swung my affections back towards Fuji.

The intoxicating lure of the 'happy stew' you mention -a child's eye view through the toyshop window, surely- could I suppose be resisted by investing in a new lens? But that would be cheating. Another alternative might be to get some counselling. There must be specialist practitioners out there with a deep knowledge of the Panasonic/Fuji product line and personal experience of G.A.S?

I don't need counselling of course. At the moment I'm feeling quite contented. Smug almost. But if my faculties are still intact by the time the "GX9" or "XT2s" have lost some of their golden glow, I'll certainly have a look at them.

Actually, that's not quite true. I can't wait to see 'em. :)

The last digital camera I bought (other than the iPhones....) was the Leica M9 in 2010. With the economy being what it is, I thought that would be the last Leica I will buy, and it along with my M7 should be good "forever".

Now in late 2017, my feeling is that they are good... for a few more years, especially the M7. The M11 follow-on to the M10, announced in 2 years (my prediction :-) ) will be perfect, and I will upgrade then... may be.

Minor historical note: Both the Internet and the term "vaporware" existed in the time frame you're discussing, but neither was known to the general public. The Internet and, the term"vaporware" were both well-known in the computer industry. Along with "vaporware" was the joking comment that company X was now shipping--brochures, that is. The brochures, of course, described X's vaporware.

Sorry to hear your Fuji XT1 no longer takes good pictures, maybe not the fault of the camera ;~) Fuji are NOT going to introduce IBIS, they have said so in interviews.

Well, darn! I thought I already had it, maybe even them.

Tomorrow, who knows; now, they're in the bag. The camera to come doesn't take pictures.

I'm about to head out on an exotic photographic adventure. I've spent a lot of time trying to think of a camera or cameras that would better serve me. Couldn't.

There is no perfect camera. There are cameras that do some things better than what I have, but do other things less well, or are in other ways less suitable. It's all about balance.

Your "real secret of having great equipment, by the way—use it hard, long, and exclusively, enough that you really get to know it inside and out" is a factor, too.

I'm fortunate to have both an X-T1 and an X-T2. They work fine. Guess if I've ever lost a photo through not having ibis?
I have lost more than a few through not paying attention. I can't find a button on these cameras for that.
Using the X-T2 I just made a 3 x 2 ft print of a stained glass window photographed in bright sunlight from a single shot at 1600 iso. No highlight or shadow clipping, and you can read the fine print if you can be bothered getting out a magnifying glass.
The camera is nice enough. But it's the lenses.
And why 1600 iso and not 200? See above about paying attention.

For Fujifilm we already know what the letters mean (from the X100)

s = second (mark 2)
t = third (mark 3)
f = fourth (mark 4)

As they've not released a mark five we don't know what the next letter will be.

With regard to the Nikon F4:
One day around 1989, the photographer with whom I shared studio space brought in his new Nikon F4. I hefted it and placed it on the UPS scales on my desk. Then I weighed my Pentax 6x7 with the 105mm normal lens. They weighed almost exactly the same. I thought, "It will be a very cold day in a very hot place before I will carry that kind of weight to make a 35mm negative!"

With regard to the Nikon 8008S:
Of all the film AF-SLRs I have personally used, the Nikon 8008s was the worst. My first serious camera was a Nikon F, bought in 1969. Used Nikon until '78 or '79, then switched to Olympus OM. I loved that system -- used it for PJ assignments in 27 countries on five continents, plus a ton of editorial and commercial work in the U.S.

I actually held on to my OMs two years longer than I should have, in hope they would come out with a professional-grade auto-focus system. Finally, my aging eyes could wait no longer.

I began with no bias toward either Nikon or Canon. However, as I said, the photographer with whom I shared studio space had Nikon equipment, so I reasoned that I could get a Nikon AF body, list my OM stuff on e-Bay, and, as it sold, use the money to buy Nikon lenses and another body. Meanwhile, I could borrow his lenses as needed. So I bought a Nikon 8008s and later, a 6006.

My work in those days was almost entirely with slide film and required extensive bracketing. After a year of increasing frustration with Nikon's focus-hold-the-button-recompose dance for each shot in the bracket, compounded by the fact that the Nikon's AF hunted for focus like a hound dog with a cold in its nose, I tried Canon.

My first EOS locked on focus like a pit bull and Canon's Custom Function 4 ended the focus-recompose-shoot, focus-recompose-shoot nonsense. I promptly got rid of the Nikons and remain firmly in the Canon camp for 24 years, until an aging back dictated a move to the Fuji X system.

Incidentally, I found the 6006, a less expensive camera than the 8008s, to be much more user-friendly. I sold it to a friend who used it for many years.

I'm sitting in a hotel room in College Park, just back from dinner in Rockville. Apple Maps sent us through Takoma Park to avoid a bit of traffic.

I used to own an 8008s. I was constantly cursing it and its modal knobs that provided no reminders (unless I thought to view the LCD) that I had turned the EV up or down the last time I'd used the camera causing to incorrectly expose at part of the next roll of film.

I'm happiest using the non latest or advanced equipment- that way, when I don't come up with the goods, I can always (try and) blame my antiquated tool set...

3 EM5 mk1'1 for 5 years. Still discovering their limits (have a Pen F also, but still like the OMD's). Nice change from the Canon merry-go-round I was on for years before.

Ah come on, I've been looking at the GX8 price dropping while rubbing the numbers off my visa card...
Did you have serious problems with its shutter?

Seems like the GX8 is the real value out there considering it has the newer sensor design.


Don't decide until you've taken a look at the upcoming Fuji X-E3. That's where my cookie-jar money will be going next.

As for Nikon you have a better chance of being hit by a bus as you walk out your front door of your house than Nikon doing anything that makes any sense. I gave up on Nikon 3 years ago and nothing has changed at Nikon since then.

I went with Fujifilm for their prime lenses and haven't ever regretted it.

I'm at a similar crossroads - there's a loose connection in my X-T1 that results in the EVF sometimes not working, so I'm back considering next steps. I figure waiting to see what Nikon does in mirrorless is worth waiting on, as does an X-T2 with IBIS - I'm not a spring chicken anymore that can handhold 180+ mm lenses with impunity.

But shopping is fun - committing, and locking yourself into a camera for a while...that's both freeing and stifling!

In my boring world, I'm still waiting for The Digital FM. Although Nikon's recent new lens introductions give me no reason to expect that camera to ever materialize. Luckily, I also have no real reason (or urge) to go out and buy a new camera, so I'm happily waiting for what's around the corner.

Nikon f801 (as I know it) versus Fuji X: Does the Nikon have the dubious honor of the first Nikon with a Mode button? You have to keep a button pressed (mode, exposure, iso) and turn the thumb wheel to switch between settings; The chosen mode is only shown in the LCD display, so you can only change or verify the setting while the camera is powered on, and you're not holding it to your eye. -- You can use a camera for years, but that Nikon design won't become more comfortable to use. You will keep on discovering you had the wrong mode selection after you took the picture. The Fuji X "retro" controls are so much more simple to understand and operate.

On vaporware: Will New Kodak Ektachrome materialize?

The XT-1 is still the perfect camera. Don't overthink it, just use it.

Just in, a Rumour from the Future. Sony will revive the Minolta CLE and Konica Hexar AF in digital form. The CLE-D will have an M mount and Fuji-style hybrid viewfinder; the Hexar-D will have a new 40mm Hexanon f.1.7 lens and the shutter top speed will rise from 1/250 to 1/4000. Both cameras will use CCD sensors and there will be monochrome-only and Foveon sensor versions available too. And I need to go and get my medication now.

I still have two working N8008s bodies. They both used to be Digital cameras, now one of them is for film- the DCS200 back went out. The other is a working DCS200ir.

The AF on the N8008s is faster than the N8008. I traded that camera for a Nikon S4. The latter has retained more value.

Shangri-La eh? May I refer you to a song of that name by the Kinks?

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007