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Tuesday, 07 May 2019


I looked into a used 928 back in the day. I was told a water pump cost $600 or so (about 10x the cost of a Chevy water pump). Mechanics soon dubbed the 928 the "world's fastest pizza oven" because that large expanse of glass at the rear made the parcel shelf red hot. (I wound up with a used 1979 911SC).

B&H's Payboo card, while interesting for the return/rebate of sales tax amounts, carries a nasty 29.99% interest rate for those dim enough to use it and carry any kind of a balance on it...

that's where the money comes in for the bank/lender....

Sorry, Mike. The best camera deal in the entire universe was when I picked up a brand-new X-H1 with grip from Popflash Photo for $1239. Flaws or not, the X-H1 is a great piece. I use my XF 16-50 f/2.8 and XF 90mm f/2.0 almost exclusively on that body. I also have a G9 for other photo work. If you can swing it, it’s worth having both.

I always think that when I believe I've made a mistake and bought the wrong thing, it is better to bite the bullet and buy what I really wanted.

In your case, It is not that the G9 is deficient, but it is a case where Cameras are subjective choices and feeling you have what you really want, is part of the enjoyment. I also think that comfort and satisfaction contribute to better pictures.
Life is short, Photography is a big part of your life, bite the bullet, get what you really wanted.
I'm sure B&H would find a way to help you out.....

That's a pretty solid bargain. I recently bought a refurb Nikon D7500 for $699, though (only to have brand new ones go on sale for $799 a month later). I'm not kicking myself over that (though I'd probably opt for new for the extra $100). But I am kicking myself for not holding off, because it's available with the excellent 16-80/2.8-4 for only $1399.
So that's my vote.

I agree with your appraisal of this fine camera, Mike. However, in the digital camera era, where almost every product depreciates rapidly and is technologically out-of-date in 18-24 months, it's hard to buy a product that hasn't sold well. Their value drops even faster after purchase and they are "yesterday's story" even faster. I have been salivating for one of these for a while, but this little voice in the back of my mind cautions me. I may still go for it. If it was a film camera, its tech life cycle would be measured in decades and not months, and this would be a different decision.

Yes, it's heck of a deal, but here in the little corner of the universe -- Hong Kong, you can walk into a camera store and pay US$1070 for the combo, no sales tax. I got a 3-months "old" 2nd hand one at US$920!! Really sorry to bust your claim.... really. The price has no meaning for anyone living in the US.

All that... and two additional (Fuji) batteries!

Couldn’t live with those slippery command dials which were difficult to turn without also pressing them enough to actuate their respective functions. A real shame since I otherwise liked it. The D7500 can be had for just under $800 but is a different beast and lacks IBIS.

I like this Nikon deal for $1,400.


(Although I paid $1,750 for this in January. Sigh)

D7500 body only for $800 is a killer deal.

Maybe I am wrong but I get the impression that during the last year everyone is in a frenzy of chasing never ending deals on the latest and the greatest (:

I’m getting my old LF set up going after many years of neglect. A Toyo 45CF, disparaged by some, adored by others. Looking forward to taking it down a few notches and interested in the results that a change in the creative process might produce. All that brought to mind a simple song from long ago...

Slow down, you move too fast
You got to make the morning last
Just kicking down the cobblestones
Looking for fun and feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

Hello lamppost, what'cha knowing
I've come to watch your flowers growin'
Ain't you got no rhymes for me?
Doo-ait-n-doo-doo, feeling groovy
Ba da-da da-da da-da, feeling groovy

I got no deeds to do, no promises to keep
I'm dappled and drowsy and ready to sleep
Let the morningtime drop all its petals on me
Life, I love you, all is groovy

Songwriters: Paul Simon
59th Street Bridge Song (Feelin' Groovy) lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group

No optical finder. Some of us don't get along with electronic finders.

I would've bought this camera already if it had the x-t3's sensor. I'm waiting for the update.

I am just glad that Fuji made this camera.

Five years ago, I bought an Olympus EM5 with a crappy 17mm f2.8 for $1100. I still love it, great little camera even by today standards.

Both the Fuji and the Sony are the deals of a lifetime, if you ask me.

Dang, Mike, I had looked at that and decided that I would wait. I have a pair of XT2 bodies that I use at work -- almost three years old, thousands of shots a week, never had any problems with them. But I know I'll need to buy one more set of cameras to get me to retirement. So do I get a couple (or three) of these or wait a year and pay twice that for an XH2, or an XT4? Hmmmmm.

Given that the cameras are sooooo good these days, it might make sense to grab the bargain.

Unfortunately, this bargain is not for me. I'm sitting at the other end of the value spectrum as I wait for the Leica Q2 to get beyond the level of unicorn sightings. I do wish it cost somewhere in the same region as the Fuji, but the Q2 will bring my photography to new levels and make me take pictures previously impossible. Well I know that's not true, but this is what I have my heart set on, and I look forward to a very long relationship when I finally get mine.

"Beat This"? Done!
I love my X-H1, and it's far more satisfying than my X-T2. But our "minimum advertised price" in Canada is $1700, which would convert to $1236.81 in American dollars. So we're getting just as much bang for fewer bucks, grip and extras included.
(And yes, the camera is underpriced, but as a late adopter I'm not complaining.)

[Canadians are like Americans only better. --Mike]

Semantics....After 5 Nikons, I decided to make the move to Mirrorless.
I looked at Fujifilm and it seems great, and it obviously is. But, I went to Sony and moved through my 5th of them. It was an issue to be named FujiFILM.....Even Mike and Tuck refer to the Camera as FUJI in this post and featured comment. They should put the FUJI on the camera.

While I've been trying a lot of new gear recently, I'm really getting to a point of realizing that the best camera deal right now is to just keep going with my aging D800.

My printer is an Epson P800 so I can't make a non-panoramic print larger than 17x22 unless I send it elsewhere for printing (something I've been loath to do since I discovered the joy of printing my own work). The D800 has more than enough megapixels for the P800 so I don't need the upgrade in that department.

The D850 has a lot of refinements that make for a better camera. The AF and frame rate are probably chief among those. I'm usually photographing things like grain elevators or landscapes where those advantages aren't a necessary gain to better my work, though.

While I like the Z7, I'm slightly miffed that my old D series lenses won't AF with the FTZ adapter. I'll either have to add a lot of newer glass to go with a $3K camera or live with manually focusing autofocus lenses. (Admittedly, this latter point is somewhat negated by the very good focus peaking system of the Z7; still, it feels like a let-down that several of my lenses have lost an ability that they once had).

I also feel like I've been on a bit of a film kick recently. I recently found good deals on a Busch Pressman Model C and a Kodak Retina IIa. I'm eager to spend more time with both cameras (which combined cost less than what I'd have to pay for an XQD card for the Z7) and also want to spend more time shooting my 8x10 and learning to make better contact prints with it.

If I'm being really, truly honest with myself, I just don't need any upgrades in the digital camera realm at the moment. Rather, I'd be better off looking to invest time in shooting rather than investing money in a camera.

Sticking with the XPro2 for now. More my style.

I've only really lusted after two cars, the 928 and the BMW Z-8. It was like lusting after Scarlett Johansson -- completely impractical and out of reach. I wanted the 1995 928 with the stick shift. I once ran into a guy who had a Z-8 sitting in his side yard, apparently collapsing into junk, half-covered with a tarp, leaves all over the exposed parts. I pushed him on it, why he'd do that to a great car, and he explained that his assets were being assessed by his wife's lawyers, before an impending divorce, and he didn't want them interested in a $140,000 car. He would, he said, get it all refurbished after the papers were signed.

Mike said: But as I always say, first you pick the lenses you want to use, then find a body to go with them.

That's why I shoot with Canon. Nothing is sharper than the old, non-L, 90mm f/2.8 TS-E. For my style of bokeh-less product/still life photography, nothing is better.

For me, size matters—smaller is better. The inexpensive Canon RP is almost as small/light as my 1935 Leica IIIa (which also doesn't have IBIS).

"That's $2,577 just for the two basic medium-speed primes ... They could give me the A7II for free and it would still be too expensive for me."

I think that's exactly why these 'deals' are in the eye of the beholder: If you already bought into a system and have the lenses you like, what is not to love about the discounted cameras? Otherwise, maybe it's not such a great deal and probably not of great interest to most people.

Mike, but what would the X-H1 give you the G9 doesn’t? I’ve got an X100F and a G9 and not really feeling the pull of the X-H1. Actually, the operational quirks of the X100F remind me how much I like the Panasonic, fast, fluid and intuitive as it is. The X100F, in contrast, has controls scattered haphazardly around with nary a thought to usability or ergonomics and continuous autofocus that could charitably be described as useless. I tolerate those quirks because the little Fuji’s such a lovely and discreet people and travel camera, as long as you respect its limitations. Put them in a camera marketed to more demanding use, sports, say, and I’d be much less pleased.

Or is it the image quality drawing your eye? Surprisingly, I’m not sure I’d rate the Fuji as better than the Panasonic. Different, for sure, but not better.

I'm a fuji shooter because full frame lenses were both too heavy, and too expensive. I am really tempted to get X-H1 now, IBIS is really seductive and the grip is quite nice. But selling my XT-2 would be...disappointing, to say the least...ugh.

Yeah new lenses for the Sony aren’t cheap, although the Zeiss 55mm 1.8 seems like a good value other than a very occasional onion ring artifact.

What is wonderful, and also a little bit of a problem, is that I have probably 60 lenses that I can use on it. A early Nikon 105mm f/2.8 when they were still using the Sonar design, and a Schneider-Kreuznach 35mm f2.8 Curtagon in Retina Deckel mount are what I use most of the time. They are both lovely things and I think I paid $20 for each. I also paid a couple thousand for a bunch of lenses I mostly don’t use which is how you find the ones you want to use.

For film geezers , I would be so delighted to have the digital equivalent of a Minolta Autocord or my old Hasselblad (why I like the Deckel lens) with the Rollie screen. And some verichrome pan.

Got to go chase the kids off of my metaphorical lawn.

Mike, a propos the 40 and 85 Zeiss Batis lenses for Sony, they have regular discounts. At least in Portugal, Zeiss were running a promotion until end of April recently, where you could get up to Euro 300 discount on lots of lenses.

This reviewer really likes the X-H1.

I bought an XH1 early in its release cycle and it was marred with bugs that should never have been on a production camera. 2 weeks in and it completely bricked itself. I’m on a second new replacement and even after all of the firmware updates it remains unreliable, at random times still locking up and requiring battery removals. Maybe I got unlucky, but 3 different bodies all being this unreliable have me questioning that. Sticking to my xpro2 and keeping the XH1 deep in the backup plan bag for now.

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