GAS Dear Giary!

Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
With regards to some of your Fuji comments, Mike, I have to agree with you about appreciating ones with large (and generally excellent) EVF's. My current X-T3 has what for me is probably not only the largest - but also the 'nicest' (a difficult adjective to define, since it is rather subjective) EVF I've ever used. Previously, that subjective title belonged to my former Lumix GX8, a truly fine camera in many ways,, which possessed an outstanding (and tilting!) EVF, but the electronic viewfinder of X-T3 is just a tiny (but noticeable, to me at least) better. Interestingly, many photographers talk about an overly 'clinical' rendition which some (very) sharp lenses possess; I found the viewfinder of a friend's Fujifilm X-H1 to be a bit too clinically clear for me - although arguably it may be slightly 'better' (another subjective adjective) than that of my XT3.

My fondness for my Fujifilm cameras generally boils down to the variety (and, for me, richness) of their available in-camera jpeg film simulations, both the ones which come with different Fuji's, and the scores of 'recipes' available. For me, the Fuji simulations come closer to recreating some of the film characteristics that I have been fond of for many years, and that in itself has been a sufficient raison d'être for me to continue reaching for my X-T3. I also have discovered that the limiting discipline of shooting only in one (or another) particular jpeg simulation, reminds me of how I used to shoot film, waaaay back in the analog ages: I tended to have one or two camera bodies, often with different (but interchangeable) lenses, sometimes with the same film in both (often Tri-X), sometimes with different films in each. Having to shoot not merely with a particular camera or camera + lens, but also with a particular film, seemed to be a factor which occasionally did the opposite of 'limiting' me - it forced me to try to 'see' things in a certain way initially, but also later (in the darkroom) to work within those self-imposed limits.

Coming back to the overall questions and conversations about EVF's, I think what I really like about the viewfinder of my X-T3 is not merely how it shows what my lens is 'seeing', but also it manages to 'render' the colours with the characteristics of whatever particular jpeg film simulation I'm trying to use. Admittedly, this is the opposite of my former philosophy - of being able to 'fix' or adjust or infinitely vary my RAW digital negatives in post-production - but overall, for me, it works... and I think keeps some of the still-functioning neurons in my brain... functioning ;)
 
Location
Finland
I am glad you brought back the earlier discussion about EVFs Miguel. :)

Admittedly it's been about three years since I last looked through the viewfinder of an X-T camera but it's a nice and large finder. I distinctly remember having a dislike about the optical distortion that the viewfinder possibly exhibited. My previous major/sole EVF camera at the time was Leica Q and I was shooting Leica M as my main camera at the time of those experimentations. I don't recall having disliked the XT1 from three years prior to that, but my taste and standards may have progressed. I would like to see the viewfinder of an X-T camera once again to see how it fares to my current standards. I believe it'd do pretty well.



Anyway, continuing on OVF/EVFs. This Monday I walked with Olympus and its EVF experience once again clarified something for me. The question of "EVF or OVF" can be reworded as "WYSIWYG or seeing the real world before camera does".

It's the excitement that is having OVF and picture review as separate actions that makes OVF an explorer's tool for me. There are several factors to it.

Shooting OVF means taking plenty of extra shots as you may need to adjust your exposure, there's this iteration involved. EVF sells the idea that you can have everything set up before taking the shot, that one take should pretty much do it. Yet in any case it's a disservice (for me at least) not to take safeties and backup shots no matter the underlying technology. I embrace those backups. The first of the series may usually be over- or underexposed but the rest are good. Sometimes a blink ruins shot #2, sometimes some background activity enhances the frame in shot #5 out of a series of 6. I was sold the dream about EVF/WYSIWYG camera where I'd only need one shot. Not sure if I want that.

WYSIWYG also kills a whole class of accidental creativity.

And then there's the even bigger problem in the picture. Literally. When I look through an EVF, I get the camera's literal interpretation of the scene (colors, white balance) which is further interpreted by the EVF monitor. Dull monitor: your whole world looks dull. Maybe your camera produces bleak colors: your whole world looks bleak. There's been plenty of times my enthusiasm was killed because the camera shows so ugly white balances (currently I always do my thing in AWB and correct in post), or the color may be lackluster also. It can kill the mood. Yet I appreciate how it can create the mood for you. I see the appeal to shoot in B&W/film simulation preview but I never personally took to it. The colors of the real world are a fine basis for me, to mutilate in post anyway.

Okay, any camera with a screen to review pics suffers from the above. But it's a less severe buzzkill for me. Nikon's lackluster color and often-incorrect AWB sure throws cold water on me by the bucket but I can just lift the camera on my eye and get back to reality.

(💡If cameras started to offer raw histograms and raw exposure zebras/blinkies, it would greatly help with the state of affairs. I could set the most constrasty B&W views and get inspired by the light/shadow patterns and still get an accurate idea what I can do to the picture in post.)

And the physical realities of having limited DR, having poor color representation. As the viewfinders get better this is one diminishing problem, but we work with what we got, and I only got one EVF that's even remotely okay. And even then, the excitement of getting the result only after you take an exposure, will be lost.

I am predicting that the year 2023 will be even more OVF for me. (Did I predict OVF for 2022? I can't remember.) Maybe it'll be a new Pentax body and maybe the Fuji X-Pro2. Or perhaps even a modern Nikon DSLR (something along the lines of D750, D810, D850)?
 
Location
Finland
I am predicting that the year 2023 will be even more OVF for me. (Did I predict OVF for 2022? I can't remember.)


Fuji S5 Pro also popped up in a thread somewhere when I was investigating Pentax.

Another cheap camera for which I'd have a system of lenses already. Uh oh! :)

I am trying my hardest to maybe postpone any purchase until 2023. No real reason, just maybe so that I can wrap 2022 in my own way.

This arbitrary 10-day delay will also help me study which camera to get, Pentax K10D or the K200D. Both seem to have their pros. The K10D is more expensive but the same eBay store would sell me Nikon EN-EL14a batteries for Df. I promised myself to get fresh ones some time ago...
 
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Location
Talent, Oregon (far from the madding crowd)
Name
Miguel Tejada-Flores
Fuji S5 Pro also popped up in a thread somewhere when I was investigating Pentax.

Another cheap camera for which I'd have a system of lenses already. Uh oh! :)

I am trying my hardest to maybe postpone any purchase until 2023. No real reason, just maybe so that I can wrap 2022 in my own way.

This arbitrary 10-day delay will also help me study which camera to get, Pentax K10D or the K200D. Both seem to have their pros. The K10D is more expensive but the same eBay store would sell me Nikon EN-EL14a batteries for Df. I promised myself to get fresh ones some time ago...

Having used several K200d's extensively - and appreciated their many virtues while downplaying their occasional faults - I remain a fan of the camera. I've never actually owned a K10d, but several good local friends do, and have generously allowed me to play around with their cameras. I was struck by two things. First, although the K10d 'specs out' as being both a larger and heavier camera than its K200d sibling, when holding the camera 'in hand', to my surprise, it didn't feel either substantially larger or heavier. Second, and this is really more of a subjective impression than anything else, I found the K10d's OVF (optical viewfinder) substantially brighter, and easier to see through, than that of the K10d. My research (on Pentax Forums) explained why this is: the K10d was manufactured with a Pentaprism, while the K200d has a less-expensive Pentamirror. Supposedly the reason for this is that,
due to the refractive index of glass, a properly engineered roof-pentaprism should be able to transmit more light to the eyepiece of the camera body than a pentamirror can.

I can't say I truly understandable the technical ramifications of all this, but to my untutored eye, the K10d has a nicer OVF viewing experience. (It's one of the reasons I'm still considering buying a K10d one of these days, months or years... in addition to its semi-legendary CCD sensor.
 

John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
@MiguelATF Miguel, pentaprisms are superior to pentamirrors in almost every case. Actually, in every case where both are properly designed. The reasons become very complex, very quickly, but the following article gives a simple explanation.


My E-510 uses a pentamirror, and my E-30 uses a pentaprism. The difference in brightness is starkly obvious.
 
Location
Finland
During a long train ride yesterday I read up on Fuji S5 Pro.

It is such an attractive camera but the general consensus seems to be that its dual-pixel magic power can only be utilized by its own JPEG engine or some "Hyper Utility" windows application from 2007. Having such a high 3-4 stop highlight headroom would be a SUPERB thing, let alone all the CCD goodness...

...but with the way I shoot and process, having a clumsy extraneous -- actually totally alien -- tool in my edit/postprocess workflow would seriously cramp my style and I have to let go of that dream, for now.

It's a 200 € saved. This money would buy me the K10D and K200D both! 😅


Edit to add:

Yet when I thought about it over lunch, it's a rare camera that does take exposure-bracketed shots two at a time. Basically no other camera does this. I know linux tools that can extract the two frames separately and someone else is also entertaining about making automatical exposure merges of the files. I'll probably spend time after Christmas and in January to experiment on the sample files that I can gather from the internet. If I am starting to get really promising files on an automatic/batch process basis, I can get one no problem.
 
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Location
Finland
Welcome to year 2023. It will be a year of optical viewfinders!

To start off, I noticed that a local dealer is clearing stock of Fujifilm X-Pro3 cameras. Curiously the Duratect models are discounted while the standard black one is its high priced usual self.

Then there's that Pentax that I promised to buy.

K10D vs K200D, that's the question.

One German eBay store can throw in some Pentax lenses to even out the shipping costs, hence maybe going that direction.

On the other hand, K200D would come as a 100€ package deal with a lens on its own, making the camera cost something like 60-70 €, assuming the lens is some craptastic 30€ zoom. A very safe assumption! And who knows, maybe I'll be most pleasantly surprised.

Under the same 100€ price category there's also a K7, very famed for its thick color array and deep colors. But it's a CMOS camera and I can get to it later. I want my CCD right now.
 
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Location
Finland
Just incredibly difficult to choose what I shall buy now that I have the permission.

I think I'll throw dice about it.

  • 1-3: Pentax K200D + 35-70 F zoom as a kit from Italy [119 €]
  • 4-5: Pentax K10D + Porst 55/1.2 [324 €]
  • 6: reroll

Then I make the purchase, put it on my credit card, take a cold shower, go out for a walk.

The winner is: [1] but I think I'll go for the second anyway... no, I'll go with what the die told me. I have the other purchase also to be made.

I can always get the Porst later. Or another 55mm variant that will work on crop sensor Pentax and also adapts to my FF Panasonic.
 
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Location
Finland
The year opens with a 2-night trip to Helsinki. It's a cold weekend so I have to think about my gear choice. Something I can use with mitts on! But other than this one requirement, I have zero idea.

My gear selection is all surprisingly usable even with mittens. The strap is of course 200% essential because the handhold is very clumsy without fingers. But I use one 95% of the time anyway.

Today I will break my prolonged Christmas break and take a dedicated photo stroll. I'll start it small, with S1 and Pentax 50/1.7.

I suspect next week I'll have my new Pentax here to toy with, and we get to learn new things about the system.
 
Location
Finland
Decided I am going with Olympus, but about lenses I'm of two minds.

I could have some fun and only take Nikkor lenses with me, with the Speedbooster. But carrying them is something and the lenses aren't all very good speedboosted.

Or I can chicken out and take the lightweight Panasonic kit for daylight shooting and maybe only take two faster Nikkors for night time.

LensSpeedboostedNotes
Nikkor AFD 85/1.860mm f/1.27Good combo. Easy to focus. Excellent perf wide open and stopped down. Close enough to my favorite midtele 135mm eqv. [Sample]
Nikkor 28/220mm f/1.4Actually quite nice wide open, but aberrations become visible once stopped down.
Nikkor 50/1.435mm f/1 *The lens might not focus to infinity always (not the adapter's fault) and I suspect it has fidelity issues (= maybe too characterful for my taste?) wide open.
Nikkor 105/2.574mm f/1.75Used it once a couple of months ago, and I think the results were better than on Nikon? Oh yes, it's workable both at distance and closer [1] [2].
Nikkor 135/2.895mm f/2Good behavior wide-open. Heavy lens to be casually brought with me. [Sample]
Nikkor 28-70 f/3.5-4.520-50mm f/2.5-3.2 **Beautiful things on adapted FF but no idea how it looks on speedboosted/magnified M43.

*) Haven't actually used on Olympus or speedbooster at the time of this post.
**) Have shot it on the combo but can't remember anything about the resulting files. Will be giving them a quick inspection now.


~


Then... what else?

A couple changes of underwear and my Hadley Pro can't take it!

I hacked together an ugly looking side pouch that takes the few extraneous items. Looks kinda ugly but at least it isn't freely hanging and banging against me. Now that I know what I am missing, I placed some fastening straps on order.

I still might leave Billy home and take the larger backpack. There's time to make decisions. ;)
 
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Location
Finland
The trip started for me Friday noon (stepped on the commuter train in Hyvinkää station), ended at Sunday 6PM (stepped out) so that's what, 54 hours of travel.

My memory card took in 937 photos in that time. What the hell is wrong with me? I hope 400 of those are from some ProCapture exercises I decided to try, but I fear only 30-40 shots are from that particular drill.

I took every lens from the table two posts above. The backpack took it all in. And no native lenses. It was so cold at times I don't know how I managed. The metabones adapter and my Nikkor zoom got stiff to adjust, my water bottles were near to freeze totally. Couldn't get a sip because the neck was frozen solid.

Nevertheless, the files open up on my darkroom very nicely even though the camera's EVF doesn't offer much promise.

The Nikkor 50/1.4 SC sadly misbehaves even with the Metabones adapter so it doesn't always focus to infinity. This is such a favorite lens of mine.

The southern Finland witnesses a delightful blizzard today (ongoing) and I was in the right place to take it all in. White streets of Helsinki, artificial lights aplenty. Time for the most magical stuff. The scenery that makes kings.

But I decided to go very low-fidelity here. I decided to use the 50/1.4 for all these scenes even though it didn't focus further than maybe 3 meters. To add insult to injury, the Metabones speedbooster won't close the aperture of my lenses more than to f/4 or so. So I have maybe 200 shots of the best conditions of 2023 where stuff is going to be badly out of focus. I knew this at the time of strolling and photographing the streets. A choice I decided on. I think a heavy grain effect and maybe polaroid framing might be a worthwhile salvaging measure.

I don't know if I dare to study my negatives any time soon.
 
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John King

Member of SOFA
Location
Beaumaris, Melbourne, Australia
Name
John ...
Mike, maybe it was just too cold for your old film lenses?
Could also be that the old aperture and focussing lubricant failed at such low temperatures?

My Rolleiflex 2.8f had both problems before I had it serviced in the early 2000s, and that was at normal temperatures!

I hope that at least some of your images are acceptable.
 
Location
Finland
Mike, maybe it was just too cold for your old film lenses?
Could also be that the old aperture and focussing lubricant failed at such low temperatures?

My Rolleiflex 2.8f had both problems before I had it serviced in the early 2000s, and that was at normal temperatures!

I hope that at least some of your images are acceptable.
The Nikkor 50mm has focus issues at all temperatures. There's something going on there.

The zoom 28-70 is also stiff on a warm summer's day but now it was a bit stiffer. Tough to operate with mitts on!

We'll see about the pictures some day. :cool:
 
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