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Friday, 19 January 2018


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I wouldn't even sweat for a minute. Micro 4/3 has been a revelation for me. I have been 90% in for 5 years or more. I don't make many prints larger than 13x19 and most are on 81/2x11 paper. At this size the sensor is more than adequate. The three lenses would be up to you. I love the Olympus 12-100 Pro. As to the body....one of the two you highlighted, OM-D E-M1II or the G9. The Panasonic has the advantage of having menus a human being can interpret.

Uhhh....that would be 8 1/2 x 11 not 81/2x11, a paper size that is very hard to get.

Full frame for me please. Make it a digital version of the Nikon Fm3a with 24 megapixel sensor.

Any camera at all? I think I would like to try one of the Linhof 612 panoramic (really super wide-angle) cameras or the equivalent Horseman or Cambo models. Better yet, to go really wide: the Linhof 617 or the equivalent Fuji 617 cameras. Oops, then I need a new and better photo flat-bed scanner with light head.

Oh, for me that would be so easy...
Olympus Pen F with the 12/2,45/1.8 & 75/1.8 lenses. Since I use that format I already have the 9/8 semi-fisheye body cap, 17/2.8, 25/1.7 & the basic kit lens zooms. With those additions I really can't imagine a photo situation that I could get myself into that I couldn't cover. I don't do high speed sports or long range telephoto of birds and those are the only real weaknesses of m4/3. Plus I could still use things like my FSU LTM Jupiter 8 (sonnar) 50/2 as a portrait lens too.

Actually that's what I'm more likely to do in the near future - a mono light & a reflector, make my boy sit in his chair while playing with Rembrandt lighting :D

But hey, if you do hear of any such contest let me know first, ok???? :)

Honestly my mark 1 Olympus OMD-EM10 is good enough. I bought it because it was small and the kit lens is a tiny pancake. That has proven to be a good decision because I take it all over with me and I don't leave it in the bag. So I'll probably stick with what I've got, thanks.

At first I started thinking Leica, as there's no way I could actually buy one. But then I realised the Mamiya 7 with the 43mm, 80mm and 150mm lenses would be the way to go. Also one I could never actually buy, but offering something I can't get from my current film cameras!

I too want a GX9. That makes two us. Now maybe Panasonic will manufacture it.

The camera itch is not any one's exclusive symptom. It is a generalized "malady" of almost any one who is interested in photography. And that goes hand in hand with gear chat. Some times it almost looks as if love of the gear and the urge to click photos go together. Many have told me that after getting a new camera there is a short lived burst of vigorous picture shooting. Slowly but surely the love for that camera wanes and the rate of picture taking also comes down, until the next camera comes around. Strangely with the appearance of a new camera in the horizon all sorts of flaws start appearing in the old camera. And that is the justification for the purchase of a new one. But that new one too will face the same fate of flaws surfacing in due course of time with the appearance of a new camera in the market. Here in India there is an old saying (in Hindi) "Ek din ka rajah" which can be translated roughly as "King for a day". Almost any camera worth its salt goes through that phase! Ranjit Grover India

About the "What's good enough, c. 2018?" - that's an easy one to answer. It's my OM-D E-M10 (1st gen).

About the "you can have any camera you want, plus three lenses for it" - well that's much harder to answer...

I think my ideal camera doesn't exist yet. But I'm sure that the Sony A7R3 with the typical trifecta - 28, 50, and 90mm like in Leica days - would come darn close to it already.

I have been using my EOS M3 almost exclusively for about a year and a half and I am mostly happy with it. Its major drawback, as far as I am concerned, is its lack of a fully articulated LCD. Shooting down low in portrait format requires me to get down on the ground to see either the screen or the EVF which also only tilts. Arthritic knees don't like that.

When I bought the M3 I also considered the Panasonic GX8 because it had the fully articulated LCD. The final choice came down to the M3 because it could use lenses I already owned. If my budget were larger I probably would have gone with the GX8.

Like you and the GX8, I keep hoping that Canon will do an EOS M update that includes an articulated LCD. I'd settle for a Bluetooth or Wifi connection to my phone that would give me all the controls that are currently on the screen. I can trip the camera from my phone on the current iteration but I want to be able to frame the image and work the other controls without getting down on the ground.

A compact pancake 40mm lens with fast autofocus and a cool lenshade on a compact Nikon D850.

Hasselbald X1D. There's a type of photo I like that I think medium format would be especially suited to. I'd like to find out. The X1D is (just) light enough, and because someone else is paying I wouldn't worry about the places I would be taking it and what I would be subjecting it to.

Hmmm, so I can't use my K1 or GRII, or at least not share those images... I might go ahead and grab the EM1 II and two Pro 1.2 primes (17, 42.5) and the 300 f4 Pro. I have an old 50-200 2.8-3.5 that is pretty wonderful (4/3 lens) plus the 12-40 and a couple of the small primes. I think I'd be happy. Olympus is supposed to come out with a feature-filled firmware update pretty soon too. I'd actually rather them give it to me on condition of completing a project of some kind. I do respond to deadlines. I still think I'd secretly use my other cameras sometimes.

I'd lean towards the G9 because of the better viewfinder, but it doesn't focus well with the two 4/3 lenses I still use.

Sounds like perhaps a review copy of the G9 might be in order for you...

It would be what I have, my Olympus OMD E-M5ii with the 14-150 and 9-18 zooms plus one of the primes for low light. And my iPhone of course. Like you I often think about and sometimes try something else, most recently an RX-10, but always end up standing pat because the Oly is all I need and is better than I am. The phone keeps inching up on the Oly though in terms of its share of my shooting.

This one is super easy for me.

Leica M10, 35/1.4 Summilux, 50mm Summilux, and a 90mm Tele-Elmarit.

Which is kind of the expensive version of my M9-P, Zeiss C-Biogon, Voitlander Nokton Classic 34/1.4, and Zeiss 50/1.5 C Sonnar.

Not a single doubt in my mind. I don't need a camera system that does everything, I just need one that does my thing and that I'm in tune with.

That’s a tough one. I shoot Canon when I do bird photography, but I’d hate to carry that to my annual Europe or Asia trip. So, I guess MFT it is.


Have you had an opportunity to photograph lately, with all the writing and blogging?

I find my gear acquisition syndrome increases markedly when I have not had a chance to make photos for a while.

Quite happy with my X-T1 w/14mm, 18mm and (just in case for portraits) 27mm... that's ~21,28, 40. Yeah, the X-T2 would be nice, but... I got enough detail, IQ, etc as is; and you can pick up a used X-T1 in EXC Cond for $500, a new one for $600- that's incredible bang for the buck!

Why not get yourself a nice new strap?


Okay, a bit contrarian here, but sensor size isn’t the top level criteria for me. Overall camera size, feel in the hand and lens availability are.

My physicality largest camera, a Sony RX-10, has a 1” sensor. Smaller (and more frequently used) is my a6000 with the amazing trio of Sigma ‘Art’ lenses - 19, 30 & 60mm.

Given your frugal nature and how important IBIS is to you, there are really only three brands to choose from: Olympus M43, Panasonic M43, or Sony APS-C; specifically, the Sony A6500. You're already inclined towards the Panasonic Lumix GX8, so buy a new one this time, along with a compatible IS lens. Test to confirm that everything works as it should. If not, chalk it up to experience, return it, and try something else with no regrets.

I'd be tempted to say an ALPA/Phase One A-series IQ3 100MP system, but the "next two years" bit has me hedging. Instead, I'll play it safe and go with a Nikon D850 with the latest f/2.8 zoom trilogy. I currently shoot a D810 and a D750, so I would likely feel right at home for the next couple of years—or more.

Boy, those GAS pangs just wont' go away.

Here's the bottom line: all the gear today is so good, it doesn't matter anymore.

Getting a Panny GX9 isn't going to make you a better photographer.

Getting up and getting out with a plan, a strategy of what you want to accomplish for the day, will make you a better photographer.

My advice is this: whatever camera makes you want to pick it up and get out and produce good "work" is the camera you should be using.

Timely post!

I desperately want a Fuji GFX 50S (or the promised rangefinder model) or a Nikon 850-though I’m a Canon shooter since digital when a Nikon Rep who actually screamed at me over a camera store counter that Nikon was never going to make a full frame digital camera. “It’s all about the lenses now-you don’t need full-frame” he yelled! But I also learn continually that good things come to those who wait for a second iteration (sorry about the GX8-it did feel good in the hand to me). The Xpan was a good example of this.

Lloyd Chambers whose work and tests I value highly, suggests that there is really no competition between the Nikon 850 and the Fuji GFX 50S if image quality is the goal. But lugability is another thing and I use telephotos for wildlife pretty often which takes me back to a return to Nikon-where I started in 1970 in Taiwan-the one great thing I got from Uncle Sam’s misadventure of the time.

I’ve had two Micro 4/3rds and wanted to like them (shot a wedding for a friend when all else failed and all were happy). But it was clear that we didn’t bond. Six months ago bought a Fuji Xpro-2 and three lenses. I love it, it feels great and I take it everywhere-but I just use it very little. I’d love to know why but what I have figured out is that at my age I’m not a hipster any more nor do I enjoy extra processing steps.

So, I have earlier this morning decided to break up with the smaller Fuji, cash it in while it has some value and go with the Nikon that I know I will love while continue continuing my lifelong lust for of a Medium Format-esque camera. Strangely, I’m going to keep my Canon gear and use it in concert with the Nikon. My friends who have largely abandoned their large gear with have additional ammo to support their feelings that I’m “losing it”!

Not too much to think about here. I would have the Leica M10 with the 21 SEM 3.5, 35 1.4, and 90 2.0. With that I could photograph just about anything I'm likely to want a picture of. (And sometimes the ultimate speed of manual focus (no focus point to select, no waiting for the lens to achieve focus) gets a picture that would otherwise be lost forever.)

Mike, even for a person like myself who shoots hundreds of head shots
a year and can tell you that working with the Lumix GX8 and GH5 is
pure delight(is that French), I am always on the lookout for the
camera that knows how fickle and yearning the user can be and will
have a shape-shifter pixel morphing brain that gives you just the
business how you want it when you think you need it. So based on your
premise I would be inclined to use what I have: the bodies mentioned
with these three lenses: 12-35 f2.8, 35-100 f2.8, and the 42.5 f1.2........
serious kit. Now if that imagined job comes within your itch problem
please let me know. I'm pretty sure Sony is working on this.

If I were being offered any camera, for two years exclusive use, I might well choose a GX9 too. My bet is that we'll hear nothing from Panasonic for several years, then, out of the blue, a GX14 will appear. Too late for me, I fear.

So I'll have a Fuji XT2, thanks. I reckon I can manage without IBIS for a couple more years :), though one of the lenses I'd pick would have OIS. Can't decide at the moment, but two more Fuji lenses would be a treat.

Oh, and on pictures that MUST be in colour?!! I have thousands. This is almost as impossible as picking a single b+w photo, and could only have been dreamed up by someone who thinks in monochrome!

"What's good enough, c. 2018?"

An Olympus E-M1 II with an Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO!

[As far as I can tell, a great lens that almost no one uses. --Mike]

Win the contest: Nikon D850 with 28mm f/1.4E, 58mm f/1.4G and 105mm f/1.4E.

Good enough c. 2018: Nikon D750 with 24mm 1.8G, 35mm 1.8G and 85mm 1.8G.

I would pass on that offer because I am satisfied with my current kit: FF Canon with a big expensive lenses and a Gx85 with its fast, small primes and slow, tiny zooms.

After shooting micro 4/3 for two months (following 10 years of shooting FF exclusively), I have a few observations. First, 4/3 files are good enough for my needs, I don't worry that I'm going to miss a shot when I leave the big Canon system at home. However, 4/3 files aren't as pretty as the files from my five year old 5Dmk3. Also, the Gx85's tiny body makes it harder to shoot with in dynamic situations than the bigger DSLR.

I'm carrying the Panasonic with me everywhere but I still pack the Canon when I know we're traveling to a photo rich environment. Also, I noticed that when I have both cameras in my backpack I always grab the FF DSLR.

Leica M240 with CV 21/f1.8, CV 35/f1.7, and CV 75/f1.8. Easy-peasy.

These days I think it would be a Fuji XT-2 with the 16, 35, and 90.

Only three lenses is downright cruel! As my only camera for 2 years, as much as I would love to pick the Leica S, i just can't see lugging that critter everywhere...but a quick trip to camerasize.com says it's really not any bigger than a D850...huh.

I'd end up, pretty sure, with an X-T1, 16 1.4, 23 1.4, and 50-140 2.8, but man, I'd miss a lot of lenses.

"Need" ?
"Good enough" ?

How about "able to take advantage of the capabilities" ?
Or, "able to make good use of" ?

I rented a GFX and found it very easy to use, very easy to make good use of. But heavy.

I use the Olympus 12-100, and it's as good as everyone says it is.

I'd opt for the G9 though. Lens wise I'd take the purist route and just get primes, I'd get the PL 15 f1.7, PL 25 f1.4, and the Oly 75 f1.8.

That's 3 fast, light weight, small lenses that all offer something specific, are excellent quality, and not terribly expensive in the grand scheme of things.

I only use zooms to make photos for other people, and only when absolutely necessary.


PS: Thanks for the featured comment earlier!

I just upgraded my Phase One IQ180 kit to a Nikon D850. Upgrade you say? Yes, it has many advanced features over the IQ180 including Live View, Focus Peaking in Live View, higher dynamic range, and low light capability (High ISO).

The resolution is less to be sure but still plenty for big prints. In fact it has more resolution than every other medium format back I have used except the IQ180. This includes the Leaf Aptus 75S and IQ140.

This camera is a bargain in every sense of the word. I've only had it two days but here are a few images made with it and the Zeiss ZF.2 28mm lens.

A digital GX680. Not the hack of a digital back that's available, but a full 6x8 sized one. With just 180 3.2, and I'm good for the foreseeable future, thankyou very much.

Oops forgot the link


I would choose the Fujifilm X-T2, with a top quality 28mm (EQ) prime, a fast 35 or 40mm prime, and a zoom that covers 24 to 90 or so.

It's a risk, because I've never even touched a Fujifilm X-T2, but I love the look of it and the reviews and descriptions hit all the items on my checklist for what I want and don't want. But never having touched one, I might not like it in real life (but I'm sure I could manage for a couple of years).

This only resonates with me because I felt the same way about the Olympus OM-D E-M1, but I never really warmed up to it after getting one. Nice image quality, but using it feels finicky. By comparison, my Fuji X-100 feels like a well worn blanket (idiom check: it feels very natural and comfortable).

Regarding the format, I like M4/3 but APS-C is pretty much the same from my non-pixel-peeping POV. If you told me that the Fuji was M4/3 and not, as I believe, APS-C, I'd be like "Whatever. Tomayto-Tomahto."

Assuming a reasonable level of performance (i.e.: high resolution 11x14 print) at this stage of my life it is down to strictly weight for me. Even Micro 4/3 is too big. If the Nikon 1 series wasn't so messed up in so many ways, that would be it. That leaves the Pentax Q7, with ultra-wide, mid-range and short telephoto lenses- which happens to be what I have! (IBIS too.)

" ... and you have to use that camera for the next two years and nothing else."

I guess I wouldn't enter. I am a lucky man with three cameras and a small bag of lenses.

o Full Frame DSLR for "serious" work
o APS-C mirrorless. My "walking around" camera
o Camera-phone: The always-with-me camera

I can't think of any current offering that could replace all three. However, I would be sorely tempted if Phase One called and said I could keep the camera-phone.

Hey Mike...when your book becomes a best seller, you will be able to afford any camera your heart desires! Happy writing...

PS please buy two...

I think your B. I am using an OMD M1, and I just sold my Nikon D750. The M1 with a M.Zuiko 12-100, which Kirk Tuck will strongly vouch for, I think would be tops. I don't have this lens, I have the 14-40 f/2.8. Which is great.
Certainly good enough for me I am finding. Probably more than good enough.

Tuesday, I revealed my obsession with the little details that differentiate cameras that make getting the photo easier, or even possible, by pointing out the G9's lack of focus bracketing as a reason I'd give it a Silver, vs. the E-M1 II/s Gold.

My camera for this challenge would be the as yet non-existent E-M5 III.

1. Retain the Mysets of all previous Olys.
2. The operational speed features of the E-M1 II.
3. The feature mentioned for the future way back when HR Mode for the E-M5 II debuted, an HR ability with 1/60 sec. total for all 8 exposures (with fast enough exposure per piece.)
4. Form factor of the E-M5 II, but with a couple more Fn buttons.

Perhaps #1 needs explanation. While obscure to many/most Oly users, MySets are a group of four custom settings. Their special quality is that they may be assigned to Fn buttons. I can press one button and be in Focus Bracket Mode with my preferred options. Press again and I'm back where I was.

Like the G9, with its top LCD, Oly has succumbed to the desire to attract DSLR users by making cameras look and act like them. So . . . The E-M1 II has three Custom Settings on the Mode Dial. OK, so they cut the number from four to three, and put then on a dial, what's wrong with that?

What's wrong is that they can no longer be assigned to Fn Buttons! And . . as it should, the Mode dial locks. So, to go to a custom setting, I would need to push the lock button, spin the dial - to the correct one of many detents, take the shot(s), then spin it back and reset the lock.

Talk about backward "progress" in usability!

Lenses are easier, I guess. Panny 7-14/4, PLeica 100-400 and either PLeica 12-60/2.8-4 or Oly Pro 12-100/4. But I need two of the bodies, or no deal. \;~)>

I guess I'm kind of boring as the camera I want is also the one I have.

Just over two years ago I bought myself a Pentax 645Z and two lenses -- the 55mm/2.8 and the 90mm/2.8 Macro -- and have shot with that kit almost exclusively ever since. And I find it not only good enough, it's superb!

So all I want is for Pentax to continue being a going concern in order to support it.

Olympus or Panasonic m43 and I'll second the 12-100/4. An amazing lens that has almost the same performance at the short end, the middle and the long end, and is probably best wide open. The size is the one penalty. My most used lens over the last year. If you want fixed focal lengths, the 15, 25 and 42.5 f/1.7 lenses are a great combo. Pick the body that feels best; there are a lot to choose from.

With film I used to shoot every medium format size as well as 4x5 and 8x10, and while I still shoot FF digital for some things, m43 is definitely 'good enough' technically. No large print of mine from m43 has ever been called out as being 'not as good as...' by photo tech savvy friends when hung next to prints from higher res FF cameras. If the dof thing bothers me, I can always shoot some 4x5. Or use the 75/1.8 Olympus.

Consider a body you're comfortable with, and lenses you like the look of. They're all good enough. Get the one you enjoy.

Do camera companies purposely include half-baked features to make you upgrade, or is it rather that they have to put things out by a deadline and oh well if they couldn’t iron out the kinks?

Fuji X-E3s (with a touch screen that’s up to par), 35/2, 18/2 mkii, and 90/2.

Rob L,
Well my only camera for two years was the Leica S2 with just two lenses, a 120 and a 35. Then I got a 24. The camera is light enough to walk around with.

But I admit I did use my iPhone for “note-taking” photos

Now it would be a Leica S 008 which as usual has yet to be announced so it doesn’t exist yet, but will have more resolution of course because it can. Lenses would still be the 24 and 120 but trade out the 35 for a 30-90 zoom.
As Mike once said, if you just start out with what you truly want, it will save you money in the long haul.

I am not going ruin my weekend. I am not going to ruin my weekend. I am not going to ruin my weekend.

This is a cruel thing you're doing, Michael.

IBIS - great focusing - smaller body -
a few decent external controls - interchangable lenses - good image quality - Lower light capable-

As an EM-1 owner with those smaller lenses, I like micro 4/3rds, but want something simpler to work with - A Ricoh GR but with the items above.

We are almost there - If I had to pick then EM-1 II or a revamped Pen F (version II).

You're not the only one waiting for the Panasonic GX9. Despite having at least 7 cameras in my house, the GX8 is the only one which has seen significant use since it arrived about a week after release. If I wanted a GH5 or a G9 I would buy one, but I have finally found the form factor and size which fits me perfectly. It will be so sad if you're right on this occasion and we don't get an update with the improved autofocus etc.

I would prefer the GX9 to have a free-wheeling exposure compensation wheel like the GX7 and GH series, but I can live with the GX8 arrangement if necessary. Otherwise that's exactly the camera I want...

Well Mike, that's a difficult question since I'm also an old grizzled Photo-Dawg that went all in on the Olympus OM line only to see them leave me with a load of lenses that weren't worth squat with the original 4/3 line, and then to move to Minolta/Sony A-mount to have Sony do the same thing moving to their E and FE mounts.

I'm a zoom lens guy, so I don't know if the Fuji GFX 50S would work for me, but I'd give myself an ulcer debating whether or not a Pentax 645Z and three zoom lenses would be the ticket, only to settle on the Panasonic G9 with the 7-14mm, 35-100mm and the 100-400mm zoom trio.

I too would like to see a GX9, but already gave up hope since I believe that somehow Panasonic knows we both want it, and therefore they're obligated to not make it.

BTW, I think Kirk Tuck is a fan of the Olympus M.Zuiko 12-100mm f/4 IS PRO, and if you limited me to two lenses, I'd probably go with the M.Zuiko 12-100 and the Panasonic 100-400mm.

Please. You just won the lottery. Phase One IQ100. IT'S FREE. DUH

I can honestly say, there is no longer any bit of photographic equipment I lust after. Unless someone can put the K1 sensor in an Xpro2 body, I'm good.

I do rather fancy an electric bike though...

Gotta be m4/3 for me. Downsized from full frame Nikons as the upgrades were getting expensive.

I recently moved to my next two year camera. Its a Panasonic GH5 and I'll take the lenses I use most; an Olympus 12mm f2, Olympus 17mm f1.8 and a Sigma 60mm f2.8

I'm not counting the work stuff where I need zoom lenses.

Phase One FX with two backs (one color, one black and white). Maybe only two lenses, if I had to get three I would have to get someone to carry it around the airport(s) for me.

Hasselblad, Pentax and Fuji medium format would not be viable as Capture One does not support those brands at Medium Format.

Now if someone made a 4x5 sensor that I could fit on my Calumet monorail, ooh that would be sweet.

Oh this one's easy: full frame. While aps-c might be enough for me quality-wise, full frame is very satisfying and has a great degree of flexibility in terms of image quality and image qualities, no less because there is a huge number of lenses available. Medium format would be very nice but is not well suited for action and I will need some action shots now and then. Besides, full frame has a lot more flexibility when it comes to lens choice.

What camera? Well I'm satisfied with my Sony, so it would be a Sony.

I'm having a hard time choosing between the Leica S and the Hasselblad, oh there are so many Hasselblads now. I really miss leaf shutters...
On the other hand, you can use the H series Fuji Hasselblad lenses on the Fuji GFX 50S, since the H series Hasselblad is actually a Fuji camera, and get the leaf shutter with the better Fuji economics and flippy finder.
I think I'd go with the Fuji Hasselblad H6D-400C, seems good enough.

Another Pentax K-1. You want one, too, I think, but it doesn't generate many clicks writing about a camera "Not Available in Stores." That's the way I'd have to think about it, anyway.

After seeing the best landscape photographs in the universe at the Peter Dombrovskis exhibition at the Australian National Library yesterday (and then buying the excellent NLA publication), I'm going for a Hasselblad H6D 100c with wide, normal and long lenses. That is all.

Full frame and shooting infrared. Oh heck I have that -- Canon 80D with 24-70 and 70-300 telephoto. I cannot afford the new 100-400 telephoto unless they give me one.

Carbon Infinity 4x5 with a Nikkor 90mm f/8, 150mm sironar-s and a nikkor-t 360 f/8.

Mike, I can live with three lenses, however "you can have any camera..." and "good enough in 2018" are somewhat conflicting :) With access to "any camera", for me, it boils down to what is the most I want to physically carry, versus the image quality I have to trade-off. If it is truly "any camera" I'd chose the Leica S 007, 24mm S, 35mm S and 100mm S - I can carry that kit and I know the results are stunning. If it is about "good enough" then Fuji XT-2, 14mm XF, 23mm XF and 56mm XF. If it is about sentimentality, romantic notions and compactness then Leica M10, 16-18-21 Tri-Elmar, 28mm Summilux and 90mm Macro f4. The less a camera does on its own the happier I am :)

D850 14-24 24-80 80-200 boy am I not even a little bit original here. Just an old school stick in the mud.

Leica M Monochrom with Summicrons 28, 35 and 50 please.

Well after 40 years with Pentax from Spotmatic way on through ..... I have started selling so many lenses and camera bodies. So sad but cleansing.

I now have my m43 G80 with lenses BUT for those special colours its the other half of my new world I will keep
Fuji X100f

Unlike the X100 that I loved but drove me MAD ..this camera is an absolte joy. No more naked sensors. I can put this in a Think tank 5!! On a belt and slip the lenses in my pocket. The focusing is great now. Manual focusing is fine. It looks and feels gorgeous. Heaven in a tiny package!

I want a pill that cures me of G.A.S..

Chamonix 45H-1 with a Super Angulon 90/8, Aero Ektar 7-inch, a portrait lens (I'd spend some research time before picking this one), a refrigerator filled with Portra and Tri-X, and a new darkroom. :-)

And I'd break the rules by keeping my 'old' X-Pro1 with Iberit 35mm lens for digital forays.

Olympus E-M1 Mark II, Olympus 75mm f/1.8 (I have one - it has magic in it), Olympus 25mm f/1.8 (I have one and have more fun with it than I ever expected), and Olympus 12-100mm f/4 (to take photos of my kids doing sports and marching band).

If I could cheat and have another lens, I would grab the Oly 45mm f/1.8.

My choice would be the Sony A7rIII with the Zeiss Loxia 22mm, Sony 55mm f/1.8 and the Zeiss batis 85mm. I'm in heaven. I'm in heaven...

Olympus E-M1 MkII with M.Zuiko lenses: 17mm f/1.2, 25mm f/1.2, 45mm f/1.2. I’m already in the m4/3 system, but this combination is, so far, beyond my financial reach.

Pentax 645z. Good enough for me.

I still follow my 4X5 roots where I shot Ilford HP5 at ISO 300, on a heavy wood tripod, used a cable release, showed up at dawn, and prayed for no wind.

Low ISO gives a better dynamic range, low noise, and image quality. If you shoot a half frame and don't crop any modern APS-C camera and good lens works.

I still use my Sigma Merrill DP2 & 3 and shoot at ISO 100, use a delayed shutter release, use a heavy tripod, show up at dawn, and pray for no wind.

I always liked that Leica Minolta idea; small, light, capable. A contemporary version at about 25-40 megas. Full range of fast lenses.

You did ask

I would turn the offer down, reluctantly. Because I like to use a lot of different gear. Not only because I shoot in different genres, which I would have to give up if I could only use one camera and three lenses, but also because I shoot everyday, and refuse to give up my GR for something bigger, which I would end up doing if I took the offer.

After 15+ years with a 6x7 and six prime lenses I'd find the Fuji GFX mirrorless nearly a puff pastry by comparison. A wide, normal and tele would finish the kit. I still have a complement of ND and pola filters. I'll be home next Tuesday, all day.

I love my E-M5 mkii but I'd say I shall go for the EM-1 mkii. I also love the 12-100mm f4 - it is extremely versatile and I think there is some special sauce in it that really makes images pop! To that lens, I will add the 300mm f4 for birds, surfers etc and I think I will invent the next lens in the Olympus lineup - a 7mm f4 (that takes filters and preferably as close to pancake as possible). Done.

"you can have any camera you want, plus three lenses "

I note you did not give a time in history for your query.
Personally a Pentax Spotmatic Film camera c/w a 28, 50 and 135mm lenses
Oh, and an unlimited supply of Kodachrome II film and proper processing facilities for same.

My most enjoyable photography was with that setup. Later was all Nikon; it never really equalled the Pentax.
These days, given my lack of easy mobility, a Kodak Brownie Hawkeye with built-in flash...

So many choices. No type of camera and/or format does it all. I'd have to go with a medium format, because I like of look portraits with the shallow depth of field (but not kitchy, razor thin) while maintaining a fairly wide field of view. Think along the lines of Pentax 67 with the 105mm lens.

I take a Pentax 645z

[As far as I can tell, a great lens that almost no one uses. --Mike]

Well, that seems to have brought out the 12-100 users.

"I also love the 12-100mm f4 - it is extremely versatile and I think there is some special sauce in it that really makes images pop!"

". . . the 12-100/4. An amazing lens that has almost the same performance at the short end, the middle and the long end, and is probably best wide open. The size is the one penalty."

I may be the only one here who regularly uses both (actually, 3 shots with one and two with the other today.)

I shot the first part of our two weeks in Bhutan mostly with the PLeica 12-60 and 100-400, the second part with Oly 12-100 in place of the 12-60.

If there's any secret sauce in one that's not in the other, I can't see it. Having looked at hundreds of photos and fully processed close to 250, I've never noticed a difference in wide to mild tele shots, and couldn't say without peeking what day I switched.

The reason I still have and use both is a serious case of "fence" syndrome.

The Oly really is a bit big for main walk around lens on a µ4/3 camera. The weight and form factor of the Pleica are far more pleasing to me.

12-100 had the reach I like. 12-60 is faster at the short end.

The big difference, and where I think Oly dropped the ball is in close-ups. Both go to 0.3x, but the Oly does so @ 12 mm and the Pleica @ 60 mm.

A quote from an email I sent to the Oly List:

I went over to look at a flowering plant . . . I already knew that part of their special character that I like is the color of the flowers. It's one of those colors in nature that just don't photograph accurately. But I was right there, so I went to take a shot.

Eeek! I've got the 12-100, and can't get much magnification without throwing the shadow of the honkin' great front of the lens on the subject. Then there's a dahlia starting to bloom, and a cute bud, just starting to burst open, right there. Same problem, but I take a shot.

Run in the house, change lenses, return to the scene of the crime. I get both shots the way I want them.

Yes, I believe Oly, that I could, theoretically, get the same size image as with the PLeica. And maybe if I take off the lens hood, and maybe use a tripod to get close enough and hold the lens there, maybe some fill light, or a different time of day . . . but I just couldn't get the shots, standing there with camera in hand and subjects ready. The perspective of the Oly shots is also unappealing.

Practical upshot is that the Oly doesn't do a kind of shooting that's important to me without fussing at least with an auxiliary lens or tube. The PLeica just does it, no fuss, no bother, on to the next thing."

But . . . but, there's that reach with the Oly, which is why it came into play today. It it did close-ups properly, it would have been the winner.

Oly EM5, with a bigger viewfinder, updated sensor, and (oh what the heck) with a 4x5 aspect instead. I love the original EM5, I think that its sensor size and physical size are kinda perfect (I’m fine with the DoF it provides). Oh, and let me customize it as I can already, but somehow without the rear screen there. It’s a waste of electronics on all these digital cameras for me. Tear that thing off the body. I’d like to configure it with my damn computer just once, and then go to town.

I have far to many cameras. What I want is a drum scanner and a tech who knows how to get the best out of it. And a lifetimes supply of Azo paper. And my own darkroom.

I found the answers most interesting. The variety surely shows that there is no such thing as a single camera that does everything well and that there is no single camera that will be right for everyone.

For me it is the Fuji X-T2, 10-24, 18-55 and 55-200 XFs. All those lenses have ois so ibis doesn't bother me. I tried an Oly EM5 once and hated it. It's simply too small and unbelievably fiddly. Before the Fuji the camera I felt most at home with was a Minolta XD-7 (I think it was called the XD-11 in the States). That was a long time ago.

Easy. A medium format Phase One IQ3 100MP Achromatic back (black & white only) on an XF body with a trio of Schneider Kreuznach primes. And then there's the fab Phase One Capture One Pro software to fiddle with. A part of my reasoning is that I know that if I don't win it, I'm unlikely to afford it.

Wasn’t going to comment, but I’ll throw my vote in for the Olympus 12-100 f4 as well. A touch big, but awesome for my travel needs.

Oh, and for a body, you can’t go past the OMD E-M5 iii ....

I use the RX100, Coolpix P7700, Olympus E-PL5 and the Panasonic GX1 (and 7 M43 lenses)just about equally and don't really feel the need for more. However, ever since the GX85 was released, I confess to an itch -- that will never be relieved because Pana cameras have no support in India. Oh well, then gimme the Omd-EM 10 II with the Oly 25mm f1.2. If wishes were horses ...
Subroto Mukerji, Delhi, India

I have plenty of film cameras like a Fuji 680III, Carbon Infinity 5x4, Wooden Canham 7x5, Zone VI 10x8, Empire State 17x14, along with an arsenal of lenses. I still get GAS but for digital. I'm drawn to the Fuji GFX along with a Cambo Actus or the Sony A7rIII with the Cambo Actus. I'm currently leaning towards the Sony, with a few Pentax 645 lenses, for use with the Actus and the new Sony 24-105 f4 for when I'm travelling light.

My current camera and lenses do everything I need, thanks. However in the realm of stuff that will never happen... I’d love to see Canon drop a TS-E 35/2.8L to replace my clunky old Zeiss PC-Distagon.

D850 and its mirror counterpart (not necessary D850 mirrorless). Sometimes really do not want to carry the weight.

As much as I might love an MF or FF camera in theory, in practice, there's a reason I use m4/3. I'd get the Oly PEN-F. And, despite my covetousness towards the pro-grade zooms and the new line of wide-aperture primes, I'd probably only get the 12 mm f/2.0 new and stick with the 25 mm f/1.8, and 45 mm f/1.8 I already own. All three are compact enough that I'd actually bring them with me; the same probably cannot be said of the larger lenses. I know the 12 mm is prone to copy-to-copy variation, so I'd hope to get a good one and learn its idiosyncrasies. The other two lenses I know very well, and the 25 mm is pretty good while the 45 mm is just spectacular. (If you gave me the option of 5 lenses, I'd add the 75 mm f/1.8 and the 40-150 mm f/2.8, but I know that both of them would spend more time on my shelf then on my camera.)

Mike, long time no chat. What an interesting post you made. Let me play the part of old grumpy fellow here, will you?

You know, I've subscribed to 500px recently (not giving a link, so I don't appear to be shamelessly pluggin' here). And so I started going through all 12 years of my photos to find the best of the best and post them there.

And you know, I don't think that I need new gear. I really don't. In fact, my Oly EM-1 (mark 1) is only marginally second to Pentax K-5, while Ricoh GXR M-module is still my absolute favorite. Now, no need to tell you when each of these cameras was introduced, so...

As for lenses, recently I itched to buy Zeiss Sonnar 50/1.5 in M-mount for my Ricoh. But then I pulled out Pentax SMC A 50/1.2 and voila - itch totally and completely scratched. This lens is pure gem. I mean - Pentax, of course.

Now, there is one (or ten or hundred) step back that I'd like to take here. I'd like to generalize a bit.

In one sentence - we jump into the waters and buy new stuff even before we actually get most of the use of the stuff we already have. Why? Because we're supposed to. But the very old adage that the old camera or lens does not stop taking picture when the new one is brought to market still holds.

And I want to take even one (ten, hundred, thousand) step further back. Some say that humans are destroying the Earth. The progress is too fast, the population is too many. Whatever. I don't subscribe to all of that, but I do make my own personal resolution - buy new stuff when I really need it. As in:

1. If I were to go to Rome and needed wide lens - then I'd look for one.
2. If my camera broke down - I'd buy a new one.
3. If I completely wore this plastic mechanism of my tele lens - I'd look for replacement.
5. If m43 introduced properly backlit sensor that offered at least 2 Ev more of dynamic range - I'd be really tempted.

Do I need new EM-1 mark 2? Absolutely not. It won't get me anything than bragging rights.
Do I need new 12-100/4? No, thank you. My 12-40/2.8 is just fine.

And I think that I'll be doing a good deal of favor to my fellow humans and the planet by not producing waste by my old gear and adding more to this infinitely self-accelerating progress thingie.

When we have is more than enough. So, no itches on this side of the network cable...

it's a cliche of course, but for me it'd be a Leica M and a couple of primes, something around 29mm, 35mm and maybe a 60-70.

I love my fuji xpro2, however, so the upcoming fuji with IBIS would be a more economical alternative

Mine isn't so much a camera, but a back that doesn't exist. I'd like to use a film-holder-sized back wherein the sensor is an actual 3.75" by 4.75. Don't necessarily need film-level resolving power, big photosites would be plenty good enough. 16-bit per channel. Size of a Grafmatic, 1 lb or less, slim enough to fit in a Spring Back, wirelessly link to my smartphone, slot for a big flash card or two, video would be neat but I could live without. I'd grab couple of Rodenstocks, a 75mm Grandagon, and a 150mm APO Sironar S perhaps, or even another Nikon 90mm f/8 SW, and use it with any of several classic metal folders like the venerable Meridian or a Linhof MT.
Be a hoot to kick up the ISO to 3200 for large format night photography (that doesn't require an hour or more per exposure), should anyone ever bring a back like this into being for less than the price of my truck

Hasselblad X1D with 30mm and 90mm lenses. See, I only went for two lenses, not three cos that's 'all' I want. Although, never having considered it as a realistic possibility, I know very little about it - but I would be happy spending two years finding out!

Wow, great tune. I had not heard any "Scaring the Children" before.

Smaller is better, because I use my camera while hiking or travelling. But it has to have a viewfinder.
The Panasonic GM5 including the 20/1.7 Pancake has been with me now for 3 years, and I still love it.
What about a GM6 with IBIS? I'd buy it immediately, you don't have to give it to me for free!

Hi Mike,

Wow, almost a hundred comments already, we do love to dream about the next best thing!

Mine is simple: Digital Contax G, I already own the lenses. Narrow me to three anyway, will you? Okay, the 21 Biogon, 45 Planar and 90 Sonnar. Done and done.

Not even difficult. Even though I own too many cameras and I'm a Leica fanboy.

Hasselblad X1D, 35-75, 21, 135 (comes with a 1.7x conveter as standard).

Flawed? Yes. A joy to use? Definitely.


I just got what I'd like to have, a Sony A7RIII with the 16-35, 24-70, 70-200. That about covers it. I've tried to use multiple systems in the past and it just made me crazy. I once went into the field at a workshop with a Nikon D200, V Hasselblad and, 4x5. I made almost no photos and wasted a lot of time. I decided I like pixels, full frame works, would really like medium format but the Sony (along with the excellent Nikon D850) is such a versatile camera that it's hard to justify having anything else. I my dreams I'd have a Fuji GFX when it has the 100MP sensor, but that's not realistic. The Fuji with the 23, 32-64, and 120 macro would be quite a kit but a bit bulky and not as versatile as the Sony. With the right subject, the detail available with the Sony and pixel shift is downright scary. It's a great time to be a photographer.

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