GAS: Please Share your Latest Acquisitions Big and Small

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
This isn't a proper acquisition, but rather a weird chain of events. I had been meaning to send in my GR III to have the rear dial issue fixed (not the wobbliness of the earliest models, but actually not scrolling, skipping, jumping all over the place in use, I tried lubricating it a little bit but that did not solve the issue long-term), and I'm a) past my factory warranty, and b) nearing the end of my Visa-backed "extended warranty" from the credit card I used to purchase it. So I sent it in to Precision camera, also noted that yes, it does have some minor dust on the sensor (again - second time, but both were minor) so I might as well get that cleaned too, if it would be covered under warranty.

Precision Camera's web portal indicated the GR III charge was typically a little over $300. After I mailed it off, Amazon had their 25% rewards back on some camera items, including the GR III, and I decided to pull the trigger on one and just sort of keep it to see what transpired with the repair/reimbursement. Precision took their sweet time, but eventually quoted me... a little over $800! The email indicated they would replace the rear dial assembly and the lens assembly, which seemed like overkill to me, also far beyond the $300 their site quoted. I submitted the invoice to Visa without a lot of hope, and let Precision know to hold onto the camera till I heard back.

Some back and forth later, and Visa has finally approved my claim, for the quoted $813. Conversation with agents over the phone made it clear that they don't care whether I replace or repair, so I guess the obvious thing to do at this point is pay the fee to have my original GR shipped back to me and now I own two! One new one, and one somewhat gimped one. On the one hand it's a stroke of luck, I guess. On the other, I'm still boggled at Precision Camera's quote. It sure seems like a ripoff.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Nikon is finally getting their mirrorless act together! I like the Z5 way better than the Z6/Z7. The Z5 to me feels a bit more polished than the Z6/Z7. It can be powered through USB type-C; it has a higher capacity battery; comes with dual UHS-II SD card slots; has a big and bright EVF; responsive touch screen and all the AF improvements the Z6/Z7. It has the older D750 sensor, but the D750 actually had sharper image output than the 24mp BSI sensor of the Z6 (I compared both). Handling is a pleasure and feels like you're holding a real purpose driven stills camera and not some disposable electronic device.

I even like that it doesn't have the LED screen on the top. It's like a streamlined roadster! I can also port all my custom Picture Control Settings from my DSLRs. It takes the MB-N10 battery pack and best of all used bodies are in the low $1K range, and probably soon to be under that in the coming months. I really could care less about video and this camera still does decent 1080P if I need to capture footage for some random reason! My only con with this camera is the 4.5 fps. I wish Nikon at least tried aiming for 5-6.5 fps. On the plus side the shutter isn't loud compared to Sony which really needs a silent/e-shutter for quieter performance.

I also picked up the latest Megadap M-mount AF adapter for Nikon Z. This adapter is a bit slower than the Techart AF adapter for Sony, but it feels much more solid and deliberate in it's focusing. When it locks on you know it's good, build quality is excellent. Also adapting F-mount lenses like my bargain bin Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX HSM on the FTZ adapter really shows excellent performance!

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CraigC

Veteran
Location
Toronto, Canada
Real Name
Craig
Also adapting F-mount lenses like my bargain bin Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX HSM on the FTZ adapter really shows excellent performance!

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Nice little write up Jonathan. The Z5 does really look like an attractive offering in the entry level FF space. Great feature set and price point.

Would love to hear more about the adapted lenses with the FTZ adapter - do you have any native lenses? If so, how does it compare? Also, do you get EyeAF and all the tracking options?
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Nice little write up Jonathan. The Z5 does really look like an attractive offering in the entry level FF space. Great feature set and price point.

Would love to hear more about the adapted lenses with the FTZ adapter - do you have any native lenses? If so, how does it compare? Also, do you get EyeAF and all the tracking options?
Nikon's eye-AF isn't anywhere as good as Sony. The Z5 feels and handles more like a mirrorless DSLR, while Sony has a more high tech feel. You can set it to focus skip AF points and it comes with a little d-pad. I don't have any native Z lenses right now, I bought the Z5 more as a mirrorless replacement for one of my DSLR bodies while still keeping with F-mount lenses and using it as an adapted lens camera back for my MF Nikkor glass.

At first I thought the 4.5 fps was slow, but in actual use it's quite responsive, unless you're shooting serious sports action. The only Sony body that can shoot real sports action is the A9 and that's a body I don't think Nikon or Canon will match with mirrorless unless they get the stacked CMOS sensor. One thing that's noticeably better is that the Z5 turns ON faster than either my A7III or A9. I think it's anywhere from 0.5 to 1 second quicker. I consider that a big deal when shooting, because the Z5 has almost DSLR-like responsiveness when shooting in the real world. Sony has quicker mirrrorless AF and underlying technology, while Nikon just has more experience when it comes to ergonomic and handling know-how.

Image quality is very similar to the 2014 D750 and honestly that's just fine. I still shoot with the D750 and consider it a solid performer. People forget Sony only caught up in high ISO performance when they released the A7III. In fact Nikon's auto-ISO, metering and auto white balance are more accurate. Also I prefer Nikon's flash hot shoe. Sony's multi interface hot shoe is way too delicate, especially when shooting in run-n-gun conditions.

While I really enjoy the tech with Sony, the Z5 ergonomically is near-perfect. With Sony, it doesn't feel as natural in-hand. All the little tweaks of the Z5 over the Z6/Z7 make it feel much more refined. I'll post images from the camera probably next week. I'm in the process of doing some computer maintenance this weekend (cloning my RAID 0 and updating my Mac OS), so I won't be to do any photo editing until it's done! ;)
 

CraigC

Veteran
Location
Toronto, Canada
Real Name
Craig
^ Agree 100% about the Sony hotshoe - I hate it compared to other cameras I owned. With my Canon, or Nikon before that, I felt comfortable slamming in my flash quickly and going to shoot. With my Sony I always am extra cautious and slowly put the flash on - like you said, very delicate feeling with that front electrical interface (I know it has its benefits).

Looking forward to seeing your results with the Z5.
 

Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
^ Agree 100% about the Sony hotshoe - I hate it compared to other cameras I owned. With my Canon, or Nikon before that, I felt comfortable slamming in my flash quickly and going to shoot. With my Sony I always am extra cautious and slowly put the flash on - like you said, very delicate feeling with that front electrical interface (I know it has its benefits).

Looking forward to seeing your results with the Z5.
An issue I faced with this Z5 is that Nikon inadvertently or covertly sabotaged third party lenses and adapters. The problem doesn't affect the Z6/Z7, not sure it affected the Z6II/Z7II? With the previous version of Adobe Camera Raw/Lightroom, if you used the Z5 and FTZ adapter with a third party lens or using a third party adapter, the raw files will not open up! Adobe blamed Nikon and Nikon blamed Adobe.

Adobe recently upgraded ACR/LR to fix this problem, the only problem is that they changed minimum system requirements to only accept Mojave for the operating system on Mac computers. I'm running a 2012 Mac Mini that was on High Sierra, so over the weekend I had to do some OS upgrading to get my computer running on Mojave so I could upgrade my ACR, in order to open Z5 raw files shot with third party lenses/adapters! 😩

Thank goodness for Youtube and the internet for the vast knowledge to allow me to figure out how to fix these issues! 👍
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
"Acquisitions big and small" - well, this is a small one. I finally got a Ricoh GV-2 Viewfinder, after stalking them online for a year or two.

First impressions, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to see the framelines at all with glasses, turns out it's not too bad. I have to shove it right up to the glasses, but then I can just make out the vertical framelines and it's easy to see when I'm close even if I am not perfectly positioned, since there are "teeth" near the corners. I think they approximate the 1:1 ratio but they also show me how close I am to the vertical edges. I think it'll work fairly well.

Curiously, the GV-2 is significantly narrower in FoV than what the lens sees. I find this is often the case; my Voigtländer 35mm finder is narrower than the 35mm Skopar which should be more or less perfectly matched with it. I'm not exactly complaining though - for one thing, finders like these are only for approximation. Also, I'm highly tempted now to replace the bulky Voigt finder with the GV-2 and see what it's like using this somewhat narrow 28mm to compose with the 35mm lens. It's so tiny, it lessens the footprint of my Bessa-T quite a bit!

The comparative finders, only slightly distorted by closer perspective on the Voigt.
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Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
This turned up today, much earlier than expected (and it was the day when I remembered the first 7Artisans lens I ever got and liked: the 35mm f/2 for M mount).

When I saw this new lens advertised, I was immediately intrigued; it's a totally different optical formula from the first version, and it looks much more symmetrical, so it should have a different character from its predecessor. And given the absence of any small primes for the Z mount yet, I thought it would be worth a try whilst I'm waiting ...

More on it can be found here: New: 7artisan 35mm f/1.2 Mark II manual focus APS-C lens for Fuji X, Sony E, Canon M, Nikon Z, and MFT mounts - Photo Rumors

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Something to play with over the weekend ... First tests show that it exhibits a massive amount of glow wide open, which makes focusing a bit tricky even when using magnification, but the center (and a solid central portion) of the frame sharpens up very satisfyingly by f/2 (the aperture ring's a humonguos plastic aluminium affair that clicks in full stops - not as satisfyingly vintage and minimalistically elegant than the smooth metal ring on the first version, but it does the job for stills, and I prefer clicks in principal). Should be fun ...

M.
 
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Jonathan F/2

Top Veteran
Location
Los Angeles, USA
Not directly camera related, but I do use my keyboard for photo editing! My recent Apple USB keyboard started acting up with sticking keys. I tried cleaning it, but it's still acting buggy. Over the years, I've had a string of bad luck with my Apple keyboards always having issues. This time around I opted for a PC keyboard instead. I also went with a mechanical keyboard, even if they're a little geekyl! I swapped the ALT keys to be COMMAND keys to maintain my Apple workflow! My wife and kids think the clicking key sounds are really annoying, but I like it! :D

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tonyturley

Legend
Location
Scott Depot, WV, USA
Real Name
Tony
After a lot of thinking, due in part to a new camera, and in part to some great rebate pricing. I decided to rearrange my kit. The X-E3, X-Pro2, and 23mm f2 were sold. The 16mm 2.8 is currently for sale, and I'm deciding on selling or keeping the 50mm f2 and 90mm f2. I am currently awaiting the arrival of this to make up my new kit.

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Now who could have seen this coming? :daz:
 

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