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Friday, 15 June 2018


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I think many of us figured you'd end up with the GX8, Mike. You simply enjoyed the example you had earlier too much. Well, good luck and enjoy it! And let us know what you think of the Mark II version of that lens.

I've got the Mark I version of both the 12-35mm and the 35-100mm f/2.8 lenses and swapping them for Mark II's would be a considerable expense.

Others who have owned both tell me there is only about a half stop of additional stabilization with the new lenses. But I have to wonder about that. I'd love to read about your conclusions.

In the meantime, have a blast with your new purchase!

I like Bette Davis' quote better:
"Getting old is not for sissies."

Phew! I can’t believe you’ve done the sensible thing. I’d worked out that that you must be buying the GX8 but was thrown by your selling the “favourite m43 zoom”. I’ve only now realised you wrote on 30th May that buying the GX8 would mean buying the mark 2 version of the lens and, obviously, selling the old one, which you did.

Congratulations on the new camera. I'm sure you will enjoy it and, by all accounts, you will get excellent IQ as well.

Nothing wrong with having a leg in two camps. Over the years, I've done it often--Nikon/Leica, Canon/Leica, Canon/Olympus, Canon/Fuji, Fuji/Olympus, etc. Throw in a little 4x5, 6x6 and 6x4.5 throughout and you have the makings of complete photo anarchy.

Oh, yeah, one more thing. If you decide to try single focal lengths, look at the Leica/Panasonic 25/1.4 and 15/1.7 lenses. They sure do make purdy pitchers.

I looked enviously at the A7 series a while back when I was wondering whether to replace my Nikon D800, but when I looked at all the lenses I had for Nikon, and the replacement cost, weight and size of the Sony versions, I was no better off.

An Xpro2 and some of Fuji's finest lenses was a better compromise for me. And I would still challenge anyone to tell the difference between images from my Xpro2 and D800 at A2 size (24X16).

I very much hope you enjoy your GX8. I feel Panasonic are somewhat underappreciated in the camera world, but offer excellent value and nice features. Just less bling than Olympus - no shiny bits and less complicated.

Which is normally a sign of good, practical design.

...I'm not counting myself as old yet...

Given that the life expectancy for U.S. males is just under 79 years, "middle aged" ought to be recognized as a bit less than 40. If you're not old, what do you count yourself as?

This from someone 64 years of age who'll get his Medicare card in exactly three and a half months and has decided to embrace reality. We're old, Mike. :-)

Enjoy your new camera, Mike. I haven't used the Version II 12-35 Panny, but the MkI version sure was a sweet lens. Cheers.

I've had my gx8 for almost two years and love it just as much as when it was new. I have the original 12-35mm f2.8 and don't know why I would want to trade "up." I agree with Dogman about the Leica/Pany 25/1.4. I bought it for low light work and because I have never owned anything with Leica on it and thought it was about time, at age 71. I have arthritis in both knees. Another camera would have to be LOTS better in many ways for me to part with the 90 degree rotatable viewfinder. And the gx9 has a little flash (so what) and no weather sealing. Why would I even consider it? BTW, when shooting on the street, I have been asked several times if my gx8 is a Leica. I tell them it's a democratic Leica.

Congratulations on a great choice.
But i must say, a conventional 35mm sized imaging device based camera, commonly known as a full frame camera :) simply offers more fun and creative possibilities. Why not buy a used a7II qnd use it like you hate it.

Knowing absolutely close to nothing about the camera you bought, I'll just say ENJOY it! And, more importantly, my best wishes to you regarding the medical side of the day.

Excellent choice! ;-)

Great choice Mike. You're going to have a blast with that camera. I'm amazed by the dual IBIS on my GX85. For static subjects it's fantastic, but it's also opened up opportunities for creative use of motion blur. A photographer can always use more contrast, be it tones, color, or, when using these new IBIS systems, sharpness. Here are two recent examples of motion blur that I've gotten handheld with my GX85: https://www.instagram.com/p/BgmFd66gnBg/?taken-by=david_raboin#


And, let me recommend your next lens: the Panasonic 35-100 f4.0-5.6. You are always saying you need more reach for the wide open landscapes of Upstate New York. The tiny, collapsible 35-100 is your solution. I've had this lens since January and I love it. It is sharp, sharp, sharp!! And, it's tiny. You can fit the 35-100 in your coat pocket, maybe even in your pants pocket. The dual IBIS makes up for the slow aperture. I've taken sharp handheld shots with that lens with shutter speeds as slow as 1/5 of a second. The 35-100 f4.0-5.6 doesn't get the accolades it deserves because it's not a romantic lens. It's tiny, almost toy-like, and so small you could easily misplace it, but to me, the Panasonic 35-100 is a miracle. It replaces my need for a giant 70-200 full-frame lens with something that fits in the palm of my hand. Here are several of my favorite Panasonic 35-100 pics:



OK, I'm grabbing my man-purse that's stuffed micro 4/3 kit, hopping on one of those new-fangled electric scooters that you rent via an app, and heading to Venice Beach for some street shooting. These are the days of miracles and wonder.

Have fun with the new 'device'!
Low-light and S/N ratio-wise, I figure that m4/3@20MP (in 2018) is probably about where FF24x36 was at the time of the Nikon D3 and should match your existing XT-1. Which is to say: Pretty decent.

Mike: But I kept my X-T1 and Fuji lenses.

I’m still using my four-year-old Fuji X-E2—same image quality as the X-T1—although these days it serves as a back-up to an X-T2. I took it with me last week when my wife and I went to New York City to see a couple of Broadway shows. With careful post-processing, the files are fine for the web (a couple of samples: https://tinyurl.com/y99hjsan and https://tinyurl.com/y9slu2eb) and I’ve even made some fairly decent 17x22-inch prints from them over the years.

I thought about upgrading it—I’m sticking with Fuji because I really like the lenses and I have invested in a batch of them—but frankly I think a lot of the motivation to upgrade camera bodies is more about gratifying an urge for a new toy than about acquiring the functional improvements of the current generation of technology. (What my psychologist sister-in-law calls ‟retail therapy.”)

If you're an amateur, as I am, and you don’t need to please a client or an art director, I suspect the time and effort to master the controls on a new camera (however much fun it may be) actually detracts from your ability to make interesting pictures.

That said, enjoy your new acquisition!

Congrats on the camera and lens Mike. I too have both the m43’s and Fuji systems after using FF for many years. In my case its the Olympus OM-D E-M1 v1 with a mix of Panny and Oly lenses, along with the Fuji system. Love them both for different reasons. The Fujis are my primary choice but the OMD is also great. In the case of the Fujis, the 24mp sensors are the sweet spot for me. Now go out and make some pictures!

Kudos, Mike, for figuring out what makes you happy and going with it. In the fanboy era there's a great deal of fog out there that only leads to FUD...

When I sold my Panasonic LX100 I kept the little flash that it came with as it functions perfectly on the GX8 as either a little fill flash or it can be used to trigger other flashes via the system.Its so tiny it takes up no room and works off the camera battery.
Still hanker after the LX 100 but Photokina in Cologne is coming up soon so who knows what Panasonic will prpduce

I've been so pleased with my recent purchase of two new GX8 bodies, one black, one silver. The Panasonic Leica 12-60mm zoom lens is superb. The 20mm f/1.7 II lens's small size makes it a delight. The Panasonic Leica 100-400mm is awfully good. The tilting viewfinder, compact body, weather sealing, ease of use, and fine image quality are the GX8's features that I especially appreciate. Photographing birds in flight, as I discovered, isn't the GX8's strength. If Panasonic brought out a true successor to the GX8, I'd be tempted. The GX8 has its flaws, but all in all, it's a winner.

On retaining other formats: selling the X-T1 gear likely won't result in a worthwhile profit. Perhaps it's better to retain that gear for those occasions when it's a better tool for the job at hand. One size doesn't always fit all situations.

The 20MP M43 sensor definitely makes nice images that are easy to work with.

On lenses, in direct comparison tests of two well-centered copies, I've found that the Panasonic 25/1.7 is very close to the image quality of the 25/1.4, to the point that IQ differences are negligible and at one-fourth the cost.

Similarly, Panasonic's sleeper 35-100 f4-5.6 (usually about $350 when not on occasional super-sale) is stabilized and very small yet surprisingly sharp. I've kept one tucked in the corner of my small M43 bag and have managed to resist the siren-song of faster 2.8 tele-zooms, even the excellent Olympus 40-150/2.8.

I am Older Than Dirt.
That's right. Not sure about you but I can prove it.
Make compost piles over the last 10 years and they are wonderful dirt now - and a lot younger than I am.

Now if my IQ was only half as high as my age...

You're ensuring your physicians are earning their doctorate degrees,
and you sir are the subject at hand.
At age 72 slowed by arthritis and Cellitus, the golden age is somewhat tarnished. If we live until 79 or better most of us will see that tarnish eventually disappear

Four years ago I sold my D700 for a D810. The camera produced gorgeous files and I had used Nikons for long enough that I had the handling and flash system down pretty well. A year later I borrowed a friends Fuji X-E2. Wow! Did I have fun handling that camera. I got one and a couple of years later added an X-T2, which I like even more (reminds me of my first camera a Pentax K1000). I realized that while the Nikon produced more detailed files with a wider dynamic range, I never loved shooting with it. It was an excellent tool but not fun. The D810 got sold to a friend and while I very occasionally miss it, I still love using the Fuji. My back is much happier too.

This 79 YO guy bought a used Gx8 about three weeks ago. Have not mastered the autofocus system and have only the 12-60 and 100-300 both old versions and find them adequate. Intend to use the camera and telephoto for birds. Results so far are pretty good. The 20mp sensor is better than the previous one and the camera seems better sorted out than previous ones.

Black or silver?

Hi Mike
Congrats on the new little photobox, am enjoying the gx8 for two years now.
And is still is my favourite camera especially with the 20mm 1.7 on it.
Do expect a streep learningcurve with Some buttons, and as left eye user occasional issues with your nose on the touchscreen.

Might want to hold off ordering that camera until you've exhausted your deductible.

Never mind the GX8 (good choice though)---what's with the zoom lens? What happened to Mike "The Case Against Zooms" Johnston?

[Only a limited number of lenses are compatible with Panasonic's Dual I.S. Besides, I love the Panny 12-35mm. It's been one of my favorite lenses from the very first time I used it. --Mike]

Congratulations, Mike. I think the GX8 is the best possible choice for you.

You seem to have made a choice that makes you happy, and is well suited to the way you like to use a camera.
Those are two Very important considerations that often get short shrift in the face of the mountain of information and opinion that overhangs our avocation.
Good for you.!
I look forward to hearing about it and seeing pictures.

To Sid and others who are sweating the age thing, I would say that getting older is a fact of life; getting old is a choice you make. My Dad died at age 90, but he was young right up until his death. He ran two antique mall booths through most of his '80s and was always looking ahead to the next thing to accomplish.

One of the reasons I chose photography as a career was because it was something no one could make me retire from. I am 81 now. When I was 79, I drove nearly 11,000 miles around the state of Georgia for a book, Backroads and Byways of Georgia, that was published in 2017 by Countryman Press. Now I'm looking at doing a similar book about Tennessee.

If I get sick that's another matter. Getting sick can age you in a hurry. But otherwise, I don't choose to be old.

Think young. Thinking old will kill you.

In my previous glowing post about the gx8, I neglected to mention what is for me the most important shortcoming. I mostly do street photography with the gx8, set on manual with auto ISO. I easily embrace a little grain to buy control over both shutter and aperture. But...this little gem does not offer exposure compensation in M mode with auto ISO. Getting that would so make my day.

Living in Montreal I have an old Leningrad Russian job clockwork motor F2 Jupiter. Was used by some Press Men in UK in 1960s, Mine is a wonder indeed serviced nice to hold and the motor wind is great.
Who can recall the Zenith Sniper outfit in case.
These days the cops will arrest you looks like a rifle, Dont get me wrong have SINCE NEW a Rollei 2.8F Planar Whiteface . But a few Feds and Zeniths have been with me.

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