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Thursday, 24 May 2018


In regards to Qu.1, I choose an SLR, because I'm not prepared to shell out for a Leica + lenses, and besides, I still have an original Olympus XA in THAT closet, the one that you warned George about (it's a big closet).

In relation to Qu.2, I have too many Fuji X cameras and all bar one are rangefinder form-factor, if you allow the X-E1, X-E2, X-E2s and E-X3 despite them not having an OVF. It was the rangefinder form factor that first attracted me to Fuji, plus the lenses of course. So that's what you'd expect me to choose.

BUT ... Fuji don't make it easy if you really must have only one and it needs to be versatile. Take the current trio for example. The X-T2, X-Pro2 and X-E3 all have the same sensor and underlying processor. Yes, they have physical differences, but they should be capable of the same things. Yet Fuji has introduced some subtle product differentiation via firmware. Only The X-T2 has it all. So if you want a versatile, do-it-all camera then that's it.

Moreover, the X-Tx series gets its firmware updates earlier. For years the X-E2 fell way behind the X-T1's firmware updates and only caught up some years later. Then there's the question of physical size. The X-Pro series is large, the X-E3 is small, and the X-T2 is probably the Goldilocks model.

All of which is frustrating to a rangefinder lover, and so conclusively demonstrates that you can't get just one.

1: I would get a SLR because of the wider range of lenses, more accurate framing, and ability for close focusing when desired. I have owned a few film SLRs and rangefinders so that is based on experience.
2: can't answer as I have no interest in APSC cameras or the Fuji lineup. You could probably put me down for one of their 645 digitals but I'm not sure what design they are.

I still have two Mamiya TLRs, three Mamiya 645 bodies (J, 1000 & Pro), and An RZ67 TL Pro II plus lenses for all. I also still have a Fuji GS 645 folding camera, a Wista with roll film backs (6x7 and 6x12) and a Canon EOS 7 so I suppose that is my answer. I am not in the market for a Fuji digital camera so I have no opinion on that part of your question.

For carry-around shooting I would prefer the TLRs or the folding Fuji. I'm not sure I will ever shoot B&W on 35mm again. If I was going to buy another MF camera it would be a Mamiya 6 with all three lenses.

Wonder about the grouping.

Small and medium film camera left is

(a) TLR (Two Yashica),
(b) SLR (Hassey and Pentax 67
but is in it same group as my Nikon),
(c) View Camera (Fuji 680 the Monster),
(d) Rangefinder (Holga! and
Bessa R3M and R4M)

SLR Hassey or rangefinder R3M/R4M ...

1. Rangefinder: I primarily shoot street photography with 28mm or 35mm primes.

2. Most likely the XT-2. While I prefer rangefinders and even rangefinder-styled digital cameras (I currently own a Leica Q), I never got used to the hybrid viewfinder solution on the X-Pro or X100 series cameras. The lack of a true focus patch made the whole experience seem a little half-baked to me. Also, I’m not sure why, but the finish and grip on the XT-2 seems nicer than the X-Pro 2.

One more thing: the articulating rear LCD on the XT-2 is awesome. I wish Sony would add that to the a7 series

For film camera SLR (Nikon F3). For Fuji I'd choose X-T2.

1) SLR- 1989 Hasselblad
2) X-T2 Though I am not qualified to vote, I have never touched either of the candidates, and all mirrorless I have known are DSLR style (Olympus)

A, on both counts.

Neither. My most-used film camera is a medium format pinhole camera (specifically, a Zero Image 612F) and if I were doing it again, I'd go pinhole again, though this time I'd probably go with a Harman 4x5 (but that wasn't one of your allowed choices either). The beauty of a pinhole camera is that there's basically no GAS to go with it -- there's no other lenses, etc. There's no big choices to make other than what film and how to develop it. It's the ultimate decluttering solution.

Medium format SLR. Seems to me it would be more versatile.

On the second I'd go with a complete reversal from my fist answer and go with the X100. Relatively pocketable. Fairly easy to carry as an alternative to a phone.

Film - I have a Nikon F3HP that I have held on to for 30+ years. If I were buying today it would be a Leica M3 or M6. Film photography is a slower and more contemplative process for me now.

Fuji - I have an X100S and and X-T1. I took to the former instantly/ I have worked at and come to peace with the latter. I’m not looking to upgrade but, if so, would likely get an X-T2.

I would go medium format for film as I think the image quality increase over 35mm is worth the extra size and weight of the camera. My dream camera has always been a Pentax 67.

I love my Fuji X-T2 for the excellent (to my eyes) images quality, large viewfinder that works with my glasses, and the physical controls. I will never be skilled enough to use all of its features.

I am left eye dominant and despite much effort have never been comfortable with a rangefinder with either eye.

1. Hard to answer since I can't really figure out why I'd want to shoot film (the likeliest reason would be to try shooting a view camera, which wasn't one of your choices). I'd say rangefinder, probably a compact RF to do some casual handheld not-really-street photography w/b&w film.

2. DSLR-style.

1. a) (A Mamiya 7 with an 80mm lens or anything relatively compact that shoots 6x7 and has an 80mm, or perhapsh 90mm lens.)

2. b) Because I value other factors over the form factor and the X-H1 is the only one with in-body image stabilization. It totally fails on affordability, though, which is another factor that I value highly.

I still have my Fujica 35mm film SLR's, does that count? I also have a Olympus XA 35mm rangefinder, my late mom's Nikon and Box brownie and my late father's Calumet 4x5 monorail. I have three Pentax DSLR's and since I am retired no real desire to get a new body/lens yet again.

If I had the money, it would be a Phase One FX. Maybe a new Sony kit for the silent shutter.

1. My old Nikon FE2.
2. Instax SquareSQ6

Rangefinder for small format, TLR for medium format.

I shot film with a Nikon SLR for two decades before trying out, and then switching, to a Leica M. The Leica M just became second nature for taking pictures of people, which is what I gravitated to, after the first decade with the Nikon.

I've shot medium format film with a rangefinder (a Plaubel-Makina), and a Rollei SLR as well as TLR.

The TLR wins, hands down, for every type of picture I take. Something about the "compositional moment", if I can coin a term. And the results show it. The Plaubel rangefinder was the clunkiest, by far.

I'd get the X-Pro 2, because of my film experience, but I'm tempted by the DSLR style models, because of the huge viewfinder (by modern standards).

I tend to use only two lenses, a 35 and a 50 almost all the time, with all others reserved for special purpose moments, such as music performances or theater.

PS: If smartphone cameras would swivel, so I could hold the smartphone to compose in the manner of a TLR, I'd like that very much.

Mike, these are two strange questions. I guess you're looking for consistency across the film-digital divide.

1. Film camera: I already have the two I want: Mamiya 7ii and (the overlooked) Horseman SW612. So, to answer your question: rangefinder and kinda-like a rangefinder.

Either is compact and will deliver a sharp negative for a sharp, dramatic 16x20-inch black and white darkroom or digital print. The SW612 beats the 7ii for landscape or groups of people (think weddings) for its elegant and easy-on-the-eye 2:1 frame shape, which nicely fits new 16:9 screens to boot.

2. As for which Fuji: Rangefinder, as I appreciate being able to view with the camera pushed against the side of my nose rather than mashing my nose into the rear of it. I use the X100, X-Pro 1 and XT-1 mostly for utilitarian tasks. They just don't inspire me, because they don't deliver either format shape I prefer nor the lens shift capability I need for architecture.


My thoughts about people "needing" SLRs over rangefinders:

I consider, in retrospect, that the popularisation of the SLR design in the mid-1960s was, ultimately, counterproductive to photography. Stuffing TTL metering into the SLR viewfinder made it even worse.

The SLR design required a bulky mirror box and mirror, and the flapping mirror action also introduced vibration at slower shutter speeds. TTL metering succeeded in making most photographers reliant on the viewfinder indications when they would have obtained better exposures with a small incident meter.

Most people would have been better off with smaller rangefinder cameras and smaller rangefinder lenses.

I wonder about the Pentax 67ii answer: last week I took a bunch of pictures with mine for the first time in a couple of years, and realised that it's heavier, and not just slightly heavier, substantially heavier, than my 5x4 camera: it's a lot easier to carry the 5x4 around, on the same tripod.

For a film camera, if you shoot mainly landscapes or things and people that don't move: an Hasselblad 500/cm with the 80/2.8. If instead you want to capture everything, I'd second the recommendation for a Pentax 6X7 or 67, as long as it has mirror lock up, with a 105/2.5. If you want a compromise able to shoot everything, relatively cheap, super light, and super portable either a Rolleicord III with a Xenar 75/3.5 or a Fujifilm GS645 (the one with a bellows, preferably) would thick all the boxes, and the Fuji it will actually fit in the pockets of a winter jacket.

As for Fuji "digital", last year I went to the store to buy the XT2 and I came back instead, after trying both, with an XPro2. It is a MUCH more enjoyable camera to shoot with IMHO, and it is way more versatile thanks to its optical / EVF gizmo. The one and only thing that I envy to XT2 owners? A tilt screen...but in the end it is not a big deal as I thought it would be.

1 Leica M3

2 Rangefinder-style.

1. Rangefinder (that's why I used Leicas in the film days)

2. Fuji X-Pro2

Best all-round film camera I have ever used is the Mamiya 7. Fuji RF's are great, but for one camera only I would need interchangeable lenses.
For digital, its the Leica M, any version, M8 to new M. Either of these cameras have very accurate and bright RF focusing and the best lenses in their class.

1. Film: SLR (Canon EOS 1V or Nikon F100, they fit my hands like a glove, best ergonomics ever).

2. Fuji: I would rather spend the money on Sony Alpha 7 system, but I suppose the X100 for travel is good.

First question: Both
Spent too much money, time and distractions flipping between Leica and Nikon trying to make one or the other fit everything I was trying to do in the 70's and 80's and it did not become clear to me for some time (last week) that each had its place. Leica M-4 and 35 mm Summicron or CL with the superb 40 mm Summicron for enviro and PJ, AND Nikon F3 HP--yes with motor drive(more for rewind speed than fast K-64 exposures)for sports, wildlife, and detail.
Second question: X100F
The classic form factor for RF, fixed lens as someone else mentioned to eliminate lens choice worries (or is it temptations ?!?)as well as being for me the quintessential OCOLOY
I must admit, the only way I might shoot film again would be to time transport to predigital and do Tri X with a tiny Leica and Summicron. Oh, and then I would have to scan something, somewhere. Oh well it is the exercise, isn't it?.....

What's film?

If you were going to get one Fuji...

You didn't mention xe2 xe3... That is my choice.

Xt10 xt20 are too small, they do not feel right. Whereas xt2 and x pro cost a lot more but add little more in terms of functionalities.

With film, I have recently started looking for a good large format camera. But you said small or medium. Small, I'd go with a Leica, a later Leica just because I have never owned one and would like to. And you said price was no object. OR maybe even better a Nikon S1, or S2. No need for an SLR as I still have my Olympus OM-1 from 1977. Medium...hmmm...there are too many to choose just one.

Fuji? I have already seriously considered this and decided it would be a XT-2. I like the faux rangefinder X-Pro, but it ain't got no tiltable LCD amongst* other modern features so I'll pass. Their cropped frame "medium" format? Nah.... That leaves the XT-2 as the choice for Fuji.

*Spell check tells me that "amongst" is no longer a word. Nor is "tiltable" a word. I can't even speak English nowadays, why do I need a camera?

I forgot. If you could get a 120 rangefinder camera still new with reliable performance and service and all that, I might be convinced to use one. I really liked the Mamiya 6 back in the day but it broke all the time, so I sold it.

RE: Fuji. As I read through the comments, it gave me a bit of second thought about my choice of the XT-2. It is a bit of an irritant to have the dSLR hump on a non-dSLR camera. A faux rangefinder with a tiltable LCD would be even better. Maybe the Fuji X-Pro-3.

Having bought the original "quirky" beta version of the x100, I never considered the x100f. I mean, I after 6 years I am still waiting for the x100 to boot up and focus. I figure by late 2025, I'll be able to take a photo with it if it does not go to sleep again.

But now that I understand that the X100F has even more of the Fuji "magic" in the form of 3D 2D photos due to synergy or something like that https://www.flickr.com/search/?text=fuji%20x100f OMG, how could I turn that baby down?

35mm film: my 40 year old OM-1, I already have the Fuji X-T20

Pentax 6X7II; Fuji GW690.

I went from a Mamyia C220 to a Bronica SQa with mirror lockup! I can't imagine doing landscape photography with the mirror slap of the Bronica or the Pentax.

I have Nikons, Rollie's and Hasselblads. Each is nice in it's own way but if I were forced to give up all but one, I'd keep one of the Rollies. Image quality is better than the Nikons (35mm vs MF) and it's easier to carry than the Hassies. What you give up of course the ability to change lenses which the Nikons and Hasselblads allow.

Though I started on a rangefinder (my father's Petri fixed lens), and I. too, am seduced by the allure of the Leica M series, my favorite film camera is the Nikon FE2, so that would be my choice.

I currently shoot with the Fuji X-Pro 1, so I would choose the X-Pro 2.

Film, I just don't know, but maybe something like a medium format rangefinder with a leaf shutter, and an experienced developer (not too old) who has a shop in town that acts as a thriving little "community" for film buffs, and repairs old cameras, and is generally helpful.

Fuji, I could toss a coin, really. I would adapt and enjoy.

I bought the X-Pro 2.

First, I enjoy using the OVF. I can operate the X-Pro 2 as I operated my Zeiss Ikon M RF. This makes me happy.

Second. the dual conversion-gain sensor technology really makes a difference. In bright light there is more analog dynamic range. At low ambient light levels (i.e. mandatory sensor under exposure) there is more sensitivity (and less dynamic range). The switch in sensor conversion gain happens between ISO 640 and 800. I use raw files. So, I shoot everything in bright light at ISO 200. In low ambient light I only use ISO 800. For both I push global luminance in post production. In extreme low light I use ISO 3200 and push in post as needed.

Third, with the newest FUJINON lens AF motor technology, manual, focus-by-wire operation is practical (fast and accurate). I would never claim the experience was a satisfying as using a high-quality, MF lens. However, for me the experience is more than acceptable. This is the best focusing X-Series camera I have owned.

The suite of f2 FUJINON primes are perfect for my projects.

For the same reasons, an X-100F would be a great purchase. I'd would have added the X-100F, but I have an X-100T.

My dream is to get a Hasselblad H5D. With a firmware update it can take film backs, making it the state of the art in medium format film. The H6D might get such a firmware update, too, but I don't think that's happened yet.

If I was going to get?.... I've already got!

For 35mm film I use a Kodak Retina IIIc with 50mm lens. Yes, it doesn't handle like a leica, but I think the images are quite close. And it's very small and folds up too.

For medium format I always wanted the Mamyia 7II, but, even used, it was quite expensive, especially if you also get lenses for it!

So, for me, it's the Fuji GW690 Rangefinders. I have both the GW and the GWS (wide angle version).

But for digital, I want fast focus and versatility, so it's DSLRs for me.

Of course, for the film, one needs a good scanner also.... so not a cheap hobby by any means!

This post started me thinking! When I started into digital I got a Canon 10D, and stayed with Canon nearly 100% until I got a Fuji X-Pro 1 roughly 5 years ago. Before that I had had Olympus OM cameras but much of that gear was stolen from a friend's car so I had no choice but to start over. Along the way I had a Leica M7 with some Voigtlander lenses which I enjoyed immensely but don't use hardly any more. I'll probably sell it eventually. I also still have a Mamiya RB67 which I hardly ever used at all. More recently I have only been using the Canon stuff for wildlife (long lenses) and interiors (very wide) for a friend who is in the property business. 90%+ has been with the Fuji, and I am coming to the conclusion I should get one or two more lenses for this camera - probably the 100-400 and something as wide as possible, perhaps the 10-4 (I only have the 18-55 so far). That should be all I really need!

1. For film:
- Mamiya 6, the best film camera I ever used.
2. For digital:
- Epson RD1s with a Leitz 28mm lens. All you need!

My ideal:
- Fuji X100F body with a Leica 40mm-eq. lens and a Sigma Foveon sensor. Anyone else for this?

Answer to question #1: I just purchased a Nikon fe, cla'd. This morning I made an 8x10 darkroom print (three copies--one for myself, one for a friend, and one for my son who turns 33 next week), and it turned out well (not always the case). Answer to question #2: If I were to buy a Fuji digital camera, I would choose the X-t2.

1. c) TLR
2. X100F

Love my Fuji X100F ... the way it handles .... and its form ..... but I will exchange my XT1 for the new X-T100 as I am less convinced by the X trans sensor advantages.
Small , versatile and affordable

1. SLR. If I could only have one film camera, it’d have to be something good for close portraiture. A Pentax 67, Mamiya RB67, or Hasselblad 500cm fits the bill.

2. Rangefinder-style. For kinds of photography where I’d be taking lots of photos in a more casual way (street, diaristic, travel, etc.), the rangefinder form factor is ideal. The X-E3 is priced and sized right, and lets you change lenses, though I wish it had a hybrid viewfinder.

For the record: A Plaubel Makina W67 and although I wish the X100 had a 28mm equivalent, I'm quite content with my X-T1!

A)Rolleiflex 3.5F or 2.8E3 for film. I am lucky enough to have both. After squinting down digital viewfinders for a few years, it is a real treat to go back to these wonderful cameras of my youth - and those huge viewfinders are a treat for these old eyes.

B) Fuji x100T. This little gem makes up a dream team for me.

The first out of the gate "X" Trans Fuji was the X-Pro 1 so I got it and it remains my only camera. Having used a Leica briefly about 15 yrs ago, I used the Pro 1 the same way - in rangefinder mode - in a stubborn attempt to like rangefinders. That really was due to eyesight issues and rather primitive EVF (from my perspective). Now I rarely use either since the rear LCD works well for me, working as I do slowly with a tripod! I'm just not attracted to rangefinders, sigh.

In my previous post, I was sort of answering question 1. I have attempted to use the Fuji X-Pro 1 mostly as an SLR, like all the Nikon's before it.

Regarding Q2, I wish to acquire a new camera for an upcoming project and, since I own 2 Fuji lenses, getting a DSLR Fuji makes sense. But just like you, I want IBIS. Fuji's X-H1 kills that deal by becoming too big and heavy. So I am looking hard at an A7 iii or A7R ii or iii.

Øyvind Hansen mentions the Nikon F6. I must admit, that camera has been tempting me ever since it came out. I certainly wouldn't mind having a couple of them, especially since, as Øyvind points out, they can still be bought new.

I sometimes ponder switching back to film, but then I think about the annoying inconvenience it would bring. A great camera like the F6, though, would make using film a real pleasure.

1) Film? Isn’t that the stuff you get on your teeth?

2) I’ve got both the X-Pro2 and the X100F. The logical choice is the X-Pro2. But I can’t keep my hands off the X100F. It just feels right, and it makes fantastic photos. Zoom? Real men and women zoom with their feet.

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