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Thursday, 20 August 2020


Rent or borrow the Fuji 50R. Since you love the Fuji cameras would be interested to read your perspective. I don't think its really medium format though, as not 56mm x 56mm in size. But that is my Pentacon six bias, that you might relate to as you too like that camera line.

Love to see three wildly different photographers review the same camera.

Definitely review it. An unconventional perspective is often (mostly?) welcome and needed.

I recently sold my Nikon Z7 for a Fujifilm X-T4. I really like Fuji's UI and it's good to have my main camera a Fuji again. But, hi res is so nice.

That's why I'm in the middle with a rental of a Fujifilm GFX 50R. Very interesting comparing the 50R to the X-T4. Pluses and minuses on both sides.

Just highlights the fact that there is no perfect camera. They're all compromises.

go for it.

Well, you’ve already called the Leica S ‘the best camera in the world”.


No better way to know than to try one. But, based on your familiarity with Fuji, and given its relative MF affordability and availability, that would seem a more practical option, if you decide to go that route.

Be interesting to hear the results from someone who has never tried one, but has a good working knowledge of cameras (as yourself). Always been scared that if I tried one, I'd have to have one- that's known as a completely irrational fear (phobia?) as I could never afford one...

I doubt I’ll be the first to mention this, but why not both? I.e., why not get your take, Mike, and that of someone who uses such cameras regularly? I think that would be fun and informative, especially as I’m someone who’s unlikely to ever use medium-format digital.

If you can do it at a low cost just do it. I would love to try one but it’s way beyond my budget. I suppose I could rent one but even that’s had to justify. Just do it. ( Am I allowed to say that without a copyright notice?)

Mike wrote, " if you're going to run a review of such a camera, enlist a writer who knows more about it than you do ... "

I have no experience with medium format cameras but how better to learn how I might like one than reading what someone like me -- inexperienced -- thought of the experience. Certainly more interesting than a review of still another full-frame-mirrorless-interchangeable-lens-camera-system.

I think you AND a different writer should both review the camera. One perspective from somebody who knows, another perspective from someone who is doing it for the sake of doing it.


Never say "never", Mike. I can see DMF suiting your style of shooting (or at least certain aspects of what I can discern of your style of shooting from afar).

I suggest the following exercise or experiment: Arrange for both you and someone who uses DMF as their primary photo tool to review the same camera independently, and publish both reviews.

Full disclosure: I do not use DMF, never have, and likely never will. But I'm very curious what you'd make of it. The only issue I see is how to choose just one (assuming you don't already have one in mind).

That'd be cool.

I think you should do it personally, it'd be more likely to give a perspective on whether such a camera is really worthwhile in a real sense in the age of affordable full-frame cameras.


Hey, Mike, after using medium format film cameras for years, I finally got into MF digital with the Fujifilm GFX50s a couple of years ago, then the GFX100 last fall. The Fujis are interesting cameras, excellent image quality, great lenses, along with some odd user interface issues. But they are really the first truly affordable MF digital system, meaning that enthusiasts (your readers) would be among the potential customers. Probably wouldn't hurt to have a review of some affordable MF digital gear.

Just a thought: What about a set of contrasting reviews? One might be done by you as an experienced photographer who has not previously used a digital medium format camera, the second by an serious hobbyist/fine art photographer with digital MF experience, and the third by a professional photographer who regularly uses a digital MF camera to earn a living?

Perhaps a few columns about large format film photography might be appreciated by readers, given your own prior LF experience and the growing albeit sparsely informed interest in LF film photography.

Maybe not a review of a specific camera, but more about what you find different about shooting and processing with the different format? I don't think I would ever buy a medium format system, so I would be living vicariously through you.

Yeah, sounds like fun, but somewhat pointless unless you're willing to go out to a custom printer for something like a 48-inch print. Otherwise, looking at it on an iMac, you might as well have shot with your GX9. (I could be wrong.)

Do it.
i don't care what yet another reviewer says, I want to know what you think.

Yes ! You may not have experience with MF but you have experience being you - and I'd guess a good portion of your audience are long time readers that would benefit from your take.
I suspect it's a point of diminishing returns - when compared to any of the high MP count enthusiast cameras... but perhaps I'm wrong and you'll find some large sensor magic.

Mike, I am not telling you to review medium format cameras but, always a but, I really like the looks of the Fuji GFXR camera with the muffin like 50 mm lens. It looks like it would be an ideal travel camera. I may rent one myself anyway, but that normally proves dangerous for my checkbook. Every time I do that I seem to buy the camera. Would love to hear your opinion of the files, handling, reach and overall feel of the camera.

If you genuinely want to try a Medium format camera I think that’s great , do it. If you are doing it because you think you Shouldn’t then I would say don’t bother. If you do, I don’t think you need anyone else to help you.
I would be interested in what you think about the image quality.
We all already know your preferences for moderation in size and price and MF clearly goes against those . I certainly respect that, but if you could put those feelings on hold and just shoot with the camera, maybe some of those portraits you’ve been wanting to make, or some of the heroic landscapes up there, - I would be very interested in your opinion.
I hope you do it

It could be fun. Buying a Phase One would be on my 'if I won the lottery' list - it would be nice to know how much you get for your (fantasy) money.

Would be interesting to hear Ctein's thoughts on it too - although I imagine that would be tricky in the current climate.

Why not? It's still photography related so it would be interesting to most. Perhaps choose the camera that would be the most accessible (cheapest) to your readership to add another element of interest in the review.

Not really of interest to me, but seems as if others are interested. Can't see myself ever buying one.

". . . the 100–400mm Fuji lens I used recently, with its extreme angle-of-view equivalency of 600mm, was the longest lens I've ever used...ever. It was a great experience, and I felt like I learned a lot from it, even though I won't be shooting with such a long lens regularly."

Since I acquired the Leica 100-400 (pre-ordered, the moment it was possible), I've taken 30,000 photos with ILC cameras. Of those, 92% were µ4/3, 50% of which were taken with the 100-400, 48% of which were @ 400 mm, 800 mm eq.

My longest AF lens for FF is 240 mm. Anything longer is unmanageable for me in the field, which makes FF a secondary, niche format for me.

As you might then imagine, I have no interest in reviews, or even news, about MF cameras. Terra Incognita, where there be Dragons. «\;^)>

But have fun, whatever you decide!

It might be better that you've not used one, fresh perspective. And I think, a lot of us have not used one either, so it would be interesting to see how you take to one.

I don’t even know whether this makes sense to suggest, but how about reviewing a digital medium format camera for B&W shooting? I suppose I like hearing you talk about B&W, and maybe the possibilities of richer tonality (that the larger formats enable?) mean more to you when it’s for B&W?

To put it bluntly: you seem to only allow yourself to show exacting interest in certain kinds of technical quality when it’s for B&W work, and unapologetically so. Otherwise, you’ve held firm to “Goldilocks principles” and tend to like systems that have just enough ado about their something. Otherwise, it’s not for you, you say.

I love that perspective, of course. It’s hugely refreshing on today’s internet. But many of us also do love when your exactingness really shows its face. I’ve noticed that it pops up with B&W. Your darkroom warrior days come out into the light.

Of course you’d better get a honey of a lens for whatever system you choose, probably, to do that. Hey, that sounds fun too!

Mike it seems to me you live in a neck of the woods where you could make some very nice images with medium format digital. Surprised you haven't tried this earlier. Looking forward to seeing the pictures!

Your style seems to emphasize composition and contemplation. DMF would seem to be a good fit. You seem in sync with Fuji's idea of colour and menu layout. Can you try a competitor? I like the idea of three reviewers covering three or four topics; maybe suitability to task and ease of use, colour management, flexibility for amateur or pro use? And just in time for the end of farm season and maybe change of weather - sounds like camera testing time!

Yup. I'd love to get your take on a Fuji GFX 50R, Mike. Is it worth skipping full-frame for?

Yes, you should. I’d be interested in your take. I’m not a pixel peeper, but sometimes I look at the files from media events where I got to shoot the Leica S and the Pentax 645Z and somehow I like those images better than what I get from my FF cameras, including the Sony A7R IV, which beats them in resolution. I wonder whether you’d see the same.

Get the heaviest one you can find, add an appropriate tripod, then carry them up that hill you've mentioned a couple of times. Review that walk for us. (I'm kidding.)

The fact that you're even considering reviewing a MF camera should tell you something. Because I don't shoot medium format, I would appreciate the opinion of another non-medium-format shooter much more than I would the opinion of an experienced shooter. It would be something that I could relate to, and it would be fun. Please do it!

I second the nomination for the Fuji 50R. Of all the options, I can see you with this one, Mike.

To disclose, I have never used MF digital. Would like to, though, but finances get in the way.

Like most of us, I started in photography with a spotmatic, and flirted with MF film with a Yachica. And I would a whole lot rather wind a 120 roll on a stainless steel reel that 35. When I got my first real photo job, it was for a commercial studio, and I immediately jumped into the Hasselblad system. At that time I loved it because it made my you know what bigger. When I went out on my own, 35 was what got the job done, but eventually, I got my own 'blad. First with a 80 and a 50, but eventually I added a 150 and a 250. Still own it. I shot some of my best work with it, and shooting 12 exposure rolls taught me shooting discipline that have made it possible to shoot digital on single frame only. No spray and pray for this boy.

Were it not be out of the question for this retired guy, I would get a MF digital, but I would prefer to wait on the lottery and a real 2 1/4 square sensor.

I (we?) expect you not to review anything unless you have enough experience to comfortably address it. Thus there are areas you would likely need to spend extra time with, but if it is not central to you why do it?**I don’t think we read your material w/ the expectation it will be all inclusive.

** But as you say, you may be missing a lot if you don’t do something. I did not use a fisheye lens in my first 5 decades of photography, and now I have more fisheye lenses than any other lens category. Boy I missed a lot in those 5 decades.

Didn’t you review a Bronica 645RF that you owned for awhile? It almost convinced me to buy one for myself. Fortunately, the only one I could find was from a seller who wanted original list price and my budget was not sufficient. While I would have enjoyed it, I already had more cameras than I needed at the time.
A round about way of saying your perspective on MF cameras is well worth hearing so I hope you give it a go with digital MF. In the film era, there were opinions about 35 vs 120 and role of the larger lenses in the “look” of 120. It would be interesting to hear from you in the digital era.

One question that I would like to see answered is whether there really is a distinct visual difference in pictures taken on two different formats where the standard focal lengths are 63mm and 50mm, respectively. I can understand that there is a significant difference going from 50 to 75 or 80 or 105, but from 50 to 63mm ?? This might be a case of the emperor's new camera :-)

Sure! Too, the Sigma Quattro SD (or HD). Fraction of the price &c., and I remember your loving the prints. They've been playing nice with LR for a while now.

What MF lens would you like to shoot with?

In some ways, I think that your unfamiliarity with such a camera makes your review more relevant, not less as you go into the process with fewer biases.

Be careful! You could get converted (addicted?) to MF.

Can your bank account stand that?

[No. It's the main reason I don't review super-expensive cameras like Leicas and medium-format gear. --Mike]

>>Should I review a medium-format digital camera?<<

Is the pope catholic?

I would like to read a review of the medium format cameras by someone who actually has a long history of using cameras. I'm amazed to get deep into a camera stat page to find out a lot of 'professional' medium format digital doesn't offer .tiff files, the files most of us give to end user ad agencies. It would be interesting to read a review by someone who looks at "finished print" as what they're after.

BTW, someone mentioned a Fuji GFX100 on here. I just scrimped and saved to buy what I would hope would be my last car, and brand new, it was less money than that camera with a few lenses!

It would be good. Please do. You are sort of ordinary, common sense person with lot of experience and good way with words. I would like to hear what you think. Fuji GFX50R or the somewhat similar Hasselblad X1D or whatever it is now called, would be the most suitable. Most reviews I have seen are either by someone who has bought one, and then tries to justify his spending by claiming it is the best thing ever, or a person who does not really know what it is, has no general knowledge of photographic equipment and practical image quality, and thus writes an equally useless review.

Yes, you should. But don't just do another Fuji review, please. Instead, do a direct comparison of a 645Z and the comparable Fuji as a user in the field. And please also look carefully at the files you get and contrast them with the files from your other cameras, especially torture tests.

I'd loan you my Z, but I'm about to get into a heavy use cycle in the next few weeks and into the fall. But, If I get a window, then I will drive up with my kit and let you use it for a few days. Serious offer. I'm in Baltimore, and had tried a couple of times to swing up your way while making several work trips, so I know just how far you are from me. I'd bring a tent, and we'd be distant.

Yes. And do the reviewing yourself. I doubt I will ever get one but I dearly love the idea of the X1D system from Hasselblad so hint hint :D

Yes, agree with everyone. Do it, would be fascinating (mistyped as gascinating at first go ;)

You have a long perspective on photography, and on cameras as well, so it would be very interesting to hear your take. Would be great to hear your impression of a print or two as well... maybe even in comparison with a print of a similar image, from a smaller Fuji.

Normally I would suggest reviewing the most affordable model, but the 100 mp Fuji with IBIS sounds too intriguing to me, and since this is about as close to a "Mike Drives a Ferrari" post as anything, you might as well go for the camera that lets you take sharp photos on a walk around your neighborhood.

What most subjective reviews tell me is that new toys are fun! And that reviewers can be a fickle bunch (sorry, nothing personal intended).

The shooting experience of the Fuji GFX cameras is very much like the XT's. The Hasselblad X1D ii really is a different shooting experience from all the digital dSLRs. With your background you could "add value" in a review of it.
Even more so if you chose to adapt a manual focus prime and grapple with the quirks of getting the exposure you want.

If you go with a guest author, a guest author suggestion: Nathan Wright, of ohm-image.net.

The only medium format review I’m really interested in is old MFD(B) vs new FF, e.g., Phase One P45+ or Pentax 645D vs. ~40mp mirrorless. At that price point, what’s the difference?

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