Seems like that time of year ...... I've been thinking I have far too much stuff of late. I hardly ever use the Leica M10. My eyesight is not what it was and although I have the evf it's still not practical for daily family photography ..... with a toddler granddaughter and a dog! I sort of feel that it's best suited for travel..... although none of us is going anywhere any time soon That leaves me with the Sony A9 which is very good for it's focussing abilities, a fairly redundant A7RIII and the tiny Sony RX1R II which I also bought for pie in the sky travel purposes. Thinking more carefully now about what I really need.
As of now, I have the X-Pro2/X-E3/X100F for bodies. With all four Fujicrons and the 90mm F2. Plus we have my son's X-E2 and 55-230. I am well settled into this kit. My plan is to stay with these. Replacing the bodies when/if one breaks down. And possibly getting a telephoto lens down the road.
My GAS will be in the area of lighting, modifiers, backdrops, props, etc.
It would be silly of me to say what I'm going to do in the future, as I seem to have a history of changing my mind often with my camera gear. But for now, I have an X-E2, X-T2, and XF 18 f2, plus an adapted Pen F 38/1.8. I'm hoping the "epic Fujifilm X summit" (per FujiRumors) on October 15 has some news about the XF 27 Mk II.
The truth is that Df's high ISO was overrated from the start. Back in the day Canon 6D that wasn't much of a camera in high ISO department, was compared against Df and when the print sizes were matched, 6D was very close to Df in ISO 25.6k. And thanks to 50% more megapixels, 6D performs much more favorably in low-ISO situations.
But there's that last "5 percent" of high-ISO performance that still keeps Df in the running.
And in any event, while I exclude Sony from consideration, they would probably beat Df left-handed any day of the week.
I've been around the houses a lot of late. I jumped into m43 back in 2012 when it was in its ascendency (from Canon FF DSLR - 5Dii) and found it a very liberating experience. I since built a decent Olympus system (including buying a 75/1.8 from @christilou) and apart from a brief dabble with a Sony A7rii some years back I've been pretty faithful to m43. Then in May this year I upgraded from the E-M1ii to the E-M1iii and was a bit underwhelmed. At about this time I'd been musing (again) about FF and liked the look of the Nikon Z system. Then there was the JIP announcement so it seemed a good time to move on and I bought a Z7 with the 14-30, 24-70 and TTArtisan 11mm fisheye (I like fisheyes). I also ordered the 24-200 but it was on back-order everywhere.
So I ran with the Nikon system over the summer and into the autumn but bit by bit I found that despite its stellar IQ, I just didn't enjoy shooting with it as much as the Olympus cameras. Then I eventually received the 24-200 that I'd had on order for months and was somewhat disappointed in it. I'd hoped for something as good as the 12-100, but it just wasn't. I need (no, I really do!) 200mm equiv FL for landscape and I realised that the only other alternative with the Nikon was the 70-200 f2.8 which is huge, heavy and pushing £2.5k!
I then went back and looked closely at the images I was producing and how I was using them and came to the conclusion that apart from the dubious pleasure of admiring the IQ at 1:1 in LR the Nikon was making no practical difference to my photography in terms of output. Worse, it was actually impeding some of the enjoyment and in fact some of the shooting opportunities (e.g. to get some shots of summer lightning storms I used the E-M1 since the Nikon has no LiveComp mode).
So, the obvious thing to do was to admit my mistake and back-track. So, I sold all the Nikon gear. The financial loss wasn't as bad as it might have been since I bought most of it as grey imports and sold it for only a couple of hundred less on eBay.
So, I'm now back with the E-M1iii, 8mm fisheye, PL 8-18, 12-100, and 40-150. I'm watching the planned Olympus 8-25 as a possible replacement for the 8-18, but other than that I'm not planning any moves at all.
I've been paying a bit more attention to the user experience of some of my cameras ... and I have discovered a pet peeve with two quite different bodies that bugs me somewhat, especially since I'm used to putting my focus exactly where I want it:
Both the Olympus E-M5 III and the Fujifilm X-E3 struggle to lock focus (single point, no less) on smaller foreground subjects against a busy/contrasty background in heavy back-lighting. This is quite a nuisance and has cost me a couple of shots in which I discovered the lack of sharpness in post. I'm not used to having to chimp when working on static subjects with single-point AF-S ... Now I'll try to get to the bottom of this; I like that kind of shot a lot and want to be sure to get the desired results. Yes, I know I can focus manually, but I want to know what limitations apply - after all, I own a couple of bodies precisely because they have AF - like the X-E3 ... If I want that gestalt for manual focusing, I pick a Leica. Next up is the Panasonic GX9 ... probably with the Olympus 12-45mm f/4, in order to cover that lens' behaviour, too (it was on the E-M5 III when I discovered the issue).
On a different note, I'll do a crazy comparison (not so crazy, come to think of it) soon: The Fujifilm 90mm f/2 WR on the X-E3 against the Nikon Z 85mm f/1.8 S on the Z 50. Very close in size and weight - let's see about performance. As much as I like the 90mm, I think the 85mm has a lot of potential ...
I hope my house hunting, moving, settling in will postpone things for the next 3-4 months. Dark winter is an apt time to move.
My assumptions for 2021:
I will probably be buying both Nikon Z6 and Panasonic G9. Probably not the same time though!
If I'm being weak in the spine (and the head) perhaps Leica M10R, who knows. Hopefully not!
Ultimately my strategy is to fight off Leica M upgrades until M11 or an EVF-M specs emerge. You may know this already, my biggest dream is to have a Leica M -sized FF camera that would have very suitable live view capabilities for an occasional adapted lens. The sad thing is that M10(R) may already fulfill my dream but I don't have anywhere to test the camera out so the wait is on.
I found the one area my gear was lacking in for my work was low light AF performance. The X-Pro2 and X-E3 do pretty well in low light. With the X-T2 being a little better. But as I have already mentioned in other threads. The opportunity to make a huge jump in low light AF performance presented itself. I can say, now that the X-T3 is in hand and updated to firmware 4.0. It was the right decision to make. Despite photography not being and area currently to throw money at. But life has taught me to get while the opportunity is there. And now I'll have for when I can shoot bands/events more regularly.
Lately I have been hankering after a Rollei 35, because the G.A.S. never sleeps! I got a photobook published by someone on another forum where he used the 35 for a long time with the same film and processing, resulting in a body of really cool impressionistic B&W work. I always like the idea of truly tiny 35mm cameras, and had a Minox 35 for a while, but could never get along with it since manipulating the tiny controls was unpleasant. The aperture ring on the lens had no click stops and was very small and fiddly, you couldn't access it from underneath since the fold-down lens cover was in the way, and the shutter release had basically no feedback. I parted with the Minox after very little use.
The Rollei looks like a much more robust tiny camera, and the CLA'd ones available from Film Furbish are actually a good deal, along with a warranty. Scale focus is fine, I enjoyed that when I had a working Konica C35 Auto years ago. But... my Ricoh 500G is only a little bigger, and I seldom use it now, even though I've been really happy with the photos I've taken with it. The responsible thing to do is to carry around and shoot the 500G for a while, before making any more purchases, so I'm going to make myself do that.
The one expenditure which I feel like could make sense is a better film scanner. Since I only shoot 35mm right now, I've looked at a couple of the Plustek models and the Pacific Image Powerfilm CCD. All are expensive for single-purpose machines, especially the Pacific Image, but the appeal of putting multiple film strips into a feeder is quite strong, after fiddling with the poor film holder in my Epson V550 for so long. These machines all get very mixed reviews, it seems to me that it takes some time and determination to get one working well, and maybe a little luck as well. But if I could speed up the scanning process as well as obtain better scan quality, that would really fix the pain point I feel when shooting film.