« Tolerating Yr. Hmbl. Ed. | Main | Blog Note »

Monday, 19 July 2021


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


For me, I like geeking around with stuff, which is what a new camera represents. Even though I am pretty well equipped for M43, the Fujifilm universe beckons. Their booth at Photo Plus Expo a few years ago was the most crowded. There must be a reason. I want some of that.

Mike, isn't the X Pro 3 one of the Fujifilm cameras without IBIS ? You have said you really need IBIS. You have also said that you could be happy with a smallish camera and 2 lenses. So why not sell everything and buy the Sony with your favorite lens, and add another in time?
At least you will have a camera and lens you want. What good is keeping them around if you don't use them?
In any event, if you want to stay with Fujifilm, why not borrow or rent an X Pro 3 to be sure you will be happy without IBIS.
If You are keeping the H1, perhaps the best compact complement to that system would be an X100 v ? Maybe you could arrange to borrow both an X Pro 3 and an X100v and do a real comparison.

I really think you need a Photography project that excites you, because if you are excited about the pictures, the camera matters a lot less. But in any event it would be nice to hear about you really enjoying photography again. Life is short, and you have gives your readers so much enjoyment, it should be your turn.

I think we all know that a new camera is rarely the key to more or better photography. A few years ago a friend recommended a workshop instead as a way to stimulate my photography. He was right.

Mike, maybe you should go on some sort of photo safari. Pack some clothes and a camera or two, get in the car and hit the road for a week or so with no purpose other than to take photographs. Put TOP on hold until you get back and then share the results with us.

I'm a Mac user... I believe you are, too? Recently, I got drawn into buying a Sony FF body and a couple of Sigma lenses that interested me. I discovered (shortly after it was too late to return the gear, of course) that updating the camera's firmware is a hair-raising process involving multiple software installs. Worse, Sigma doesn't support user-installed E-Mount firmware updates on Mac after High Sierra - you have to actually send your lens to their service department. I understand it's the same situation with Tamron, but I haven't confirmed.

My fault. I didn't do enough research, nor did I imagine that a situation exists in 2021 where you have to send in a lens to get its firmware updated. Lacking a Mac running a compatible OS or a Windows machine, I decided to take the loss and sell the whole kit. If I want to try those Sigma lenses again, I'll do so on L-Mount which allows firmware updates through a memory card.

Not trying to dissuade you from the A6600, but I recall you were interested in using it with the Sigma 30mm and wanted to give a head's up in case you aren't aware of this.

After a working career of being careful with money, adding $ to the RSP and TFSA accounts, I am now in the position of spending it, along with CPP. How fast to spend it, and on what, is a tricky question, given I don't want to outlive my money, nor have any significant amounts of it outlive me. It's surprisingly hard, and requires a complete change of thinking.

The current thing is thinking about replacing my hearing aids. The old ones were bought 8 years ago, and the audiologist called them "outdated" and "obsolete". The state of the art has advanced. I'm trialing some new ones, and they are easily, noticeably, obviously better in all respects. But for such small objects they seem stupidly expensive, on the order of a new R5 and L lens. I'm having to talk myself into them.

And then there's cameras. A pro buddy of mine recently spent (or his company spent) nearly $20K on camera and lens updates. To say the old equipment had some milage was an understatement. I'm currently shooting with a Canon 6D Mk 2, with L lenses or equivalent, and a full upgrade for me would be similar money. I was doing a shoot last week, and one of the kids asked why I had two cameras. I explained about backups in case I broke one or it failed, and there being no do overs for events. Then she asked, "how do you know when to get a new camera?" Out of the mouthes of babes and all. Decisions, decisions.

I'm with you: $1,400 here, $1,400 there and pretty soon you're talking real money.

In looking up where the original version of that quote -- billion, here, billion, there -- I found it was misattributed to Everet Dirkson:
From wikiquote.com:

A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon, you're talking real money.

Although often quoted, it seems Dirksen never actually said this. The Dirksen Congressional Research Center made an extensive search when fully 25% of inquiries to them were about the quotation. They could find Dirksen did say "a billion here, a billion there", and things close to that, but not the "pretty soon you're talking real money" part. They had one gentleman report to them he had asked Dirksen about it on an airplane trip and received the reply: "Oh, I never said that. A newspaper fella misquoted me once, and I thought it sounded so good that I never bothered to deny it."

I buy cameras, lenses, fountain pens and stationery items too quickly and use them too little. But other things that don't interest me can take a long time, even if they make my life easier and make total sense to buy.

And, about watches: I just hope I never fall for that hobby. I have a few, all cheap ones of gifts but wear them only when going out and since Covid, not even consistently anymore.

"Do you ever run into problems with this?..."

Yup. I keep buying things that I already have covered. I hope that it is just because I'm bored, and I'm not going crazy.

I just bought the TTArtisan 17mm f/1.4 for my Fujis. I already have both the 16mm f/1.4 and f/2.8 lenses, but I told myself that I need one manual focus wide-angle lens with comprehensive DOF Marks for zone and hyper focus use. That lens was pretty good and it actually works for zone focused street shots from the hip, just like the old days.

But then I bought the TTArtisan 35mm f/1.4 based on my positive experience with the 17mm. This is totally insane. I have the excellent Fujifilm XF35mm lenses, both f/1.4 and f/2... why the manual focus lens? The even crazier thing is the day after I ordered the TTArtisan 35mm, they announced that Voightlander is coming out with a Fujifilm mount 35mm f/1.2 that is chipped for data from the lens to the camera... only 700 Dollars. I'm already drooling.

Life was simpler when I was broke and could only dream of buying gear to replace my already perfectly functioning equipment.

Sell the cameras and the lenses, then the watches, and put the money towards what you want to replace what you used to have.

Is the Xpro-3 still viable without IBIS? Because, well, you don't love the X-H1, you mentioned earlier that your favorite 23 1.4 was no longer used much - a camera and system you don't use is a waste of money, too.

Yes, I know you have trouble indulging yourself, but go ahead. Buy the A6600. If you can buy a pool table and finish up the building for it, buy a nice Cherry Wista 4 x 5 and collect watches, you can certainly afford a new camera. Just do it. Place the order. Buy the camera.

But if you bought the Sony then you start falling into the spending too much on things you don't need :-)

Yes, I think a modern Fuji is the wisest option here. If you love the XT1, get the XT3 or XT4.

Mike, you already have some excellent cameras. Just go use them. Forget this stuff about Brand X or Brand Y. Nowadays, all the digital brands will record essentially identical images. For years, you told readers to learn to use the equipment they already had.

It's useless to try to directly blunt some urges. So I'll obliquely abet yours by reminding you of two little words:


I’m not a Fuji shooter so I’m wondering, does the X Pro-3 have IBIS? If not, buying one is a mistake. If it does have IBIS, why assume you would love Fuji X Pro-3? Have you used one for a week? I suggest that you look at LensRentals.com rent/keep option. Rent an X-T4 and an X Pro-3 for a week from LensRentals. Keep/buy the one you like best. Sell your XT-1 and xH-1. Done!

Fingers. Can have as much fun with them as with a machine. http://www.ericmencher.com/some-people-ive-seen/PORTRAIT-12/

Posting online is somewhat harder, but...

Should try learning to use my fone. Maybe. How hard can excellence be?

Hi Mike

This feels familiar, though in the past few years I experience much less gear angst. The shift for me was to:
a) Land on the photography out put I wanted to achieve, and which I would enjoy. Yes, enjoyment is a factor
b) Find a camera which feels good, can be operated intuitively, and which I enjoy using

Most of all, it was about making photographs more often, more intentionally. This shifted attention to the art and process.

I do occasionally add a lens, but I now have one digital camera and lenses, a 35mm set (for color and BW) and a MF. I have been settled on this for a long time.

I now make more photographs, enjoy it more, and only have angst about how to further increase the time available.

Bottom line: be driven by the output. If you are certain the Sony will help you make more and enjoy more, then make the move. It's important.

I don't think of camera gear as an asset. I see it as an expense I don't want to duplicate – until I realize that the perks of the new equipment under consideration are worthwhile.

All bad advice. This included. But you asked...

Sell everything and immediately buy exactly what you think you want.

Life is short, we'll all be dead and unable to acquire anything new after that.

I've watched so many friends and relatives scrimp and save like abject paupers only to end up dying with millions of dollars in the bank. The goal after 60 (presuming no clingy dependent -- or maybe more so in the face of clingy dependents) is to maximize good, clean, harmless fun while you can still hold the stuff in your hands and then try to "Die with Zero." There's even a book with that title.

Being unable to let go is, in my book, worse than not having enough...

Two of your oft desired and discussed camera attributes, IBIS and a flip up/down screen, limits your Fujifilm camera options to the XH-1 and the GFX 100S... not that your lenses suit the later.

Recognising the difference between needs and wants is a survival skill. There is no end to chasing after wants and you can spend a lot of time, energy and resources in a never ending pursuit.

On the other hand, once needs are met, you free up a lot of time, energy and resources in pursuit of the physical, intellectual and spiritual, and take photographs.

About "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For A Hat". I tried reading it when it was new, and had to stop because I was (incorrectly) finding in myself many of the symptoms noted in Dr. Sacks' patients.

I will second what Mike says (to Mike). I sent my second box of unused older gear to KEH and await the quote confirmation. I'm finally able to buy the lenses I want for my X-T4 (14 2.8, 60 2.8 macro, 16-55 2.8 and maybe the 40-150 2.8 if the second box gets me enough). I bet you have some unused stuff in the closet somewhere. Then get that Sony and your desired lens guilt free. And slow down on the Watches : )

"It's a psychological problem more than anything else." The inability to spend money easily is only a problem if you think it's a problem.

Having grown up in a farm family with lots of children and not much money, then progressed through a 'starving student' phase to first and second careers in the arts, parsimony was a necessary way of life until my forties when I was drawn to a health care profession with a steady income — a startlingly unfamiliar new world. Having learned to live without much money, my (artist) spouse and I continued, by simple habit, to be extremely cautious with expenditures on non-essentials. I'm not immune to G.A.S. but I have rarely given in to it, instead getting my retail pleasures by analyzing and mulling over the acquisition of a lens or camera for months or years before taking the plunge … although by that time the shiny temptation has often worn so thin that it gets replaced on the list and things-I'd-like-to-have by something newer and more appropriate to my purposes. No instant gratification, but instead the on-going pleasure of examining possibilities … perhaps like owning a lottery ticket and not rushing to check the winning number immediately after the draw?

Rather to my surprise I now find myself retired with more money for 'discretionary spending' than I ever allowed myself when I was working. I have photographic equipment suited to my purposes, and enough items on my wish-list to give me pleasant hours of contemplation when my mind is not otherwise engaged.

Where's the problem?

I would never buy a camera to mount lenses on it that aren't made by the manufacturer of the camera. It just doesn't make sense to me. If you want to get a Sony get the FF one. I say this as an APSC shooter who has one FF camera, the Leica Q2M. My other cameras are Fuji cameras + a Panasonic GX8. There is no magic to a FF sensor. I use to shoot Nikon FF for several years but got tired of lugging around the heavy camera/lenses. However I wouldn't buy a Nikon, Sony, or Canon APSC because they don't have the lenses I want. A camera is only as good as the lenses for it.

Ask Kirk Tuck if he’ll do it for you, if you ship all your current gear to him. He can ship your nice new Sony/Sigma back. He’s very adept at the camera shop visit and departure with lighter wallet!

That $1400 grass on the other side isn’t any greener than what you have now. And I’m speaking as a FF Sony shooter.

Guilty as charged.

You crave the endorphin hit from a new purchase. Buy the last purchase... how much joy did that actually bring with it. And how long did it linger.

Guess what? Your next purchase will produce an identical result.

Go volunteer a days labor to a local in need. You'll get far more mileage from that experience.

I think you spent close to that amount of money on watches recently.

Well, I mean, if you think about what it would take at KEH to turn your current camera into a Sony 6600.

I solved this problem many years ago: I give myself a birthday present. I don't have to justify the expense, or make any other explanation. When friends ask why did you buy that, and I explain it was a present to myself, the conversation is ended. At 93, I don't get presents (other than a dinner or lunch), so it makes sense to me. I usually limit the amount to under $100, which is more than adequate. ANd best of all, I never feel guilty about spending the money.

Channeling the Photo Shrink:

The new camera will not take photos the old ones wouldn't.

The new camera won't take photos any better than the old ones.

Based on your track record expressed here, the chance of bonding with the new one is relatively poor.

The desire for new things that duplicate existing things, or are genuinely unneeded, is almost certainly rooted in a sense of emptiness in another area.

Most of my photo gear acquisitions genuinely allow me to take photos I otherwise couldn't, or to take different ones, better in one way or another than I could otherwise.

But I am fully guilty of the above reason for some of my acts of GAS. Pandemic isolation may have been a factor . . . that's my excuse for this lens sitting here, taunting me to find a creative way to use it.

Sounds like you need to sell all the existing gear, buy the Sony and the 24mm lens, and do the OLOCOY thing.

Get back to enjoying photography. :)

What you want is the Sony A6600 so you can mount the Sony/Zeiss 24mm f1.8 lens on it.

When I'm looking down the barrel of an expensive photography purchase I just pretend I only have a week to live, and I can't take the money where I'm going. Who knows, it could even be true. 📷😃👍


Stop buying cameras.

Photography is mostly just an excuse for guys to waste money

Which is OK if you have the money.

The A6600 is a superb camera. No wonder you're jonesing for one, and it pairs up so nicely with the Tamron 17-70mm f/2.8 Di III-A VC RXD.

Just admit to yourself that as soon as you get the A6600, a year or two later there will be another camera that will sing its siren song and lure you to sell the Sony and open your wallet for it. The only way to be free of temptation is to reject it entirely or to give in to it and embrace the irrationality. And along the way, maybe shoot a project or two. Just sayin.

For me, what cured me of worrying about spending money on things I want/enjoy was going through a divorce. I spent so much money on my divorce (even though my ex was reasonable enough) and in agreeing to pay more until my son was 18 (happened a few months ago!), that it became easier to spend money on things for me. In comparison to what I spent on the divorce it was nothing to buy a camera. I still don’t waste, but I also don’t fret over spending money. It’s just money after all. I’ll earn more and I’ll be fine (as long as I don’t get a second divorce - don’t plan on it).

In the mid to late 90s just before the first wave of really good DSLRs took over the enthusiast photography market I spent a few years trying to convince myself that I wanted to be a slightly pretentious black and white rangefinder shooter and bought a lot of cameras (and darkroom equipment) including that beloved Mamyia 6.

If the Mamiya had been more reliable I might have stuck with it, but it was flakey and pretty soon digital (and the need for faster sharing of kid pictures) took over.

In the digital land I stuck pretty much with just the Nikons for 10 years, then Olympus for another 10. They all do basically what I need ... which is get pictures that the iPhone can't.

I use Nikons because Thom Hogan writes good manuals for them.

I use the m4/3rds Olympus because it's small. But now that there are smaller Nikons I might slowly shift back, esp. since I had one Olympus lens fall apart on me even after only light use (it has a telescoping hood, which telescoped right off along with the filter ring on the front of the lens).

I expect that except for aspect ratio, the pictures will not change too much.

"Do you ever run into problems with this?" – Mike.


Mike, with all due respect, I've seen you wrestle with this for over a decade now. They're just cameras.

My suggestion would be to be more objective about it and less emotional about it. They are simply tools to do a job. In this respect, they are no different than a torque wrench. It's not important whether you used a Snap-On or Stahlwille, all that's important is whether the fastener is torqued to the correct specification. Did you get the job done correctly, or not?

I have a good buddy who's spent the majority of his life as a professional wedding photographer. His advice to people looking to buy a camera? Pick one that fits your hand the best and whose controls make the most sense to you when using it.

Job done.

just saw this post after answering your previous post (sorry about the typos in that one). I know exactly what you are talking about! I am that way, but I have had to teach myself that sometimes I need to give myself a gift. It's hard though.

Good for you Sroyon! I wish more people would buy and use the things they love for the joy of using them instead of trying to logic their way to some afflicted notion of best or appropriate. I hope you love it for years. That’s what you’re buying.

Mike, I think you either do what half the commenters say and sell it all for the thing you want and be done.

Or failing that, just try to describe to yourself exactly how the great you had is preventing you from making the picture(s) you want to make (out from having the picture-making experience you want to have), and then get out and do it.

So you are frustrated at not being able to print and lacking motivation for taking photographs and feel you lack a suitable camera. Mr Tanaka, above, suggested

as a solution. I agree, do another print sale but also why not go further and try to get prints you are satisfied with from an iPhone. You’ve had a print sale of a phone cam photo and this would be a reason to upgrade your iPhone instead of buying yet another ‘real’ camera.

My problem is reversed. I have too many lenses and can’t decide which ones to sell. And yesterday 43 Rumors wrote that Olympus might soon launch a new 20mm f/1.4. In my mind I’ve already added it to my collection even if it’s the last lens I need and would make the decision about selling even more difficult.

I believe that I recommended Free Will by Sam Harris in this comments before. Modern neurologic research suggests that we don’t have it. See also other recommendations (Oliver Sacks et al).

So mentally you probably already bought that A6600. Now you’re struggling to find a motive for this silly move. There isn’t any. It’s all as irrational as falling in love.

A wise old friend (who will kill me if she finds out I called her 'old') once told me "if you don't use it and you don't love it, get rid of it."

Do that with your kit. If that leaves you sans camera, sit down and have a good think about what it is you want from one, which one fills the bill.

Then get one and use the d@mn thing! ;-)

The leica story quoted is amazing and let me try to joint the theme of wanting something which is great but should not get.

Epson rd1.

I have 30+ digital camera ( note the present tense). The last one I got is a Hasselblad 907x more the digital back. Now. The ranger finder experience to me is not much. Until I saw the 1.0 cheap version.

Basically you can open your two eyes, look at the rangefinder and see the frame in the world. No more squeeze your eyes. Just float there. You cannot do focusing. But the window in the world it is. That is the the greatest way to do framing. But whilst I like to do film. 135 is too small. And not worth the effort. But the epson rd1 is the same v camera but digital …

The problem is it is so dated eg it use the same sensor of nikon d100 (the one before d70). And it costs1.5k us$. And have I said i still have 30 …

But it is a struggle. After I sold my m8 (use 1 year with 1 lens) very disappointing, I did bought a epson rd1 for exactly 1 day and return as i do Kot know how to adjust myself the rangefinder. I should have learnt but … anyway after a decade, I still look at the ebay for epson rd1/S/x … and thinking about learning to adjust the rangefinder.

May be I should take the advice here and just sold the other 27 (have to keep my two z I guess and hassey) and perhaps some lens to get it. I did promise myself hassey is my last camera though (even though I bought the z50 for the two cheap kit lens lately :-)). Well as said by someone based on my poor memory or as i remember it at least:

“I cannot think about it any more, otherwise I will go crazy. Let me think about it tomorrow; after all tomorrow will be another day!”

I'm still not sure why you want the A6600 over the Fujis. Is it handling, features or just a new, shiny thing? Like most here I've spent/wasted a lot of money over the years switching to new cameras for all these reasons! If it's just new and shiny, forget it, something new will be along soon. Is it features you can't live without?- I doubt that, having followed your blog for years now. Handling, though, that's different, for me it really impacts whether I even want to go out and photograph with a camera. I've found that the cheapest way to answer this question is to rent. Much cheaper than buying, regretting and selling at a loss later. An on-point example was that I rented an Fuji XPro3 late last year. Some commentators have mentioned this for you. I'd always wanted to test an XPro out, I still had love for Fuji (having owned X100, X100T and XT1 in the past), the new back screen looked so retro, and maybe I could eschew IBIS and use the new 16-80f4 instead (the OIS on this is amazing, I could easily handhold 1 sec exposures and I have mild hand tremors.) For me the issues I had with the new hybrid EVF/OVF (low-magnification EVF, an OVF worse than my old X100T, not being able to use a 28-e lens with the OVF) and lack of IBIS outweighed all its positive features, but that was my personal take. I don't keep cameras I know I will not use, what's the point. If you don't like the XH-1 move on to something you enjoy. Just rent first!

Come for the cameras, stay for the lenses

My problem is that I have bits and pieces of three camera systems.
Nikon: I have a 70-200 2.8 VR that I use to shoot my wife’s equine events (Plus a handful of primes) so I need to keep a Nikon body. I didn’t tell her how much I spent until after she had seen the pictures.
Olympus: I have the 12-40mm 2.8 that is my favorite “street zoom”. My only macro lens is an Olympus. My only full frame fisheye is for M4/3 as well (Plus a handful of primes). So I have my old E-M5 (original) and an E-M1ii,
Fuji: Along with the 23mm Fujicron and the 56mm 1.2, I have a handful of other lenses. These keep me in the Fuji system.

Depending on the situation, I choose the lens that I want and then pick up a body that it works with. I usually try to mess around with that body for a day or two in advance so I can remember where all of the controls are.

When I have lenses that I like for a particular situation, I find it hard to sell the known lens at a loss for an unknown lens from another manufacturer. Does anybody else have this problem?

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007