Personal gear review

Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
A short, but somewhat significant (for me) update:
  • As stated in today's post in the SiJ discussion thread, I'll move on the Panasonic GX9 - which means that I'll basically cut my :mu43: system down to about 60%. Fine by me. I'll hold out for a little while because I may want to replace the role of "stabilised rangefinder style body" in my kit, but I might not even do that. It all depends on what's coming out this year: What I read about a hypothetical Leica CL2 is interesting, but there's also the Fujifilm X-E4 on the horizon - if either of them sports I.B.I.S., it'll be next to impossible for me not to pounce on one of them. I.B.I.S. on the X-E4 would be my absolute dream - but I'm prepared to go all-in on Leica APS-C if Fujifilm doesn't provide I.B.I.S. while Leica does. I want a care-free rangefinder style system to combine with my Leica Ms - the X-E3 comes tantalisingly close but lacks I.B.I.S. The CL isn't quite where I want it to be, but could get there with I.B.I.S. The GX9 just has slightly too many flaws to compete.
  • I'll keep the Nikon 70-200mm f/4G. I was considering letting it go or replacing it by a different lens, possibly even for another system, but the truth is, there's nothing out there that would realistically get me a reliable event lens (that's its purpose in my kit) that's either significantly better or significantly smaller. The fact that I won't often use such a lens (and haven't used the 70-200mm f/4G a lot in the past) only serves to strengthen that assessment - I have a good lens, can't find a more desirable option but might miss it, so I have to keep it for the time being. The Z 24-200mm will see a lot more use because it's so much more versatile and actually very good - but it doesn't give me f/4 at 200mm, and the 70-200mm f/4G really shines at 200mm. I felt uneasy about even considering the move - I was right about that.
  • EDIT: Almost forgot: Both the Canon G1X III and the Ricoh GR III stay and won't be replaced; I also don't think I'll acquire another compact camera (with the exception of maybe looking at the Q2 after the dust has settled on the rangefinder style body - but I actually rather doubt it). The G1X III I'll use till it dies. We'll see about the GR III - but later.
M.
 
Last edited:

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
When I flirted with Nikon Df I bought the great 85/1.8 D. Affordable, handles well, not too shabby.

Ultimately perhaps the DSLR technics aren't what they cracked up to be and I was actually thinking how M4/3s and 42.5 or the 45 is probably a better performer, better at autofocusing, stabilized image, way better MFD, all that.

During 2020 I was on the lookout for the Panasonic 42.5 f/1.7. It surfaces at second-hand markets quite seldomly. One time I tried to snatch one but I reacted too late.

So now the opportunity knocks with its usual bad timing.

P42.5 and PL15 and P25 to boot. While I'd prefer PL25 over P25 for largely vanity reasons this is a killer trio of primes. And the package deal is attractively priced.

My biggest worry now is whether I lose the compartmentalization I have so far maintained with my two big systems:

  • Leica M is the world of primes for it has no other options.
  • M4/3 has the best zooms (judged by a variety of factors, but definitely including size, weight, price) and because Leica M can't have those, I focus M4/3 towards zooms.

With these primes my planning goes awry. Now both systems have strong primes and could be that the existing zooms take a step back because I'm probably a prime shooter at heart. And if that happens, what then?

Berst (best/worst) case scenario: 2021 sees me downgrading from Leica M to M4/3 with all these wonderful sharp primes???

Second best scenario: I skip this prime deal.


Mindmaps help with dealing with entangled thoughts about systems and things to come 😎
a91590a95cefc53e1e2861aa.png




Edit:

I ultimately turned it down. It's a good deal so it's probably gone by the end of the week. Next week I probably again want a close-focusing midtele and kick myself for not taking this.
 
Last edited:
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
I shot the GX9 alongside the E-M5 III today - revealing: Their EVFs are about the same size - but the E-M5's was so much nicer on the eye that I can safely say one thing: As much as I like bigger EVFs, the really important thing is if it's "easy on the eye", especially in *bright* and *low* light. The GX9's unit is neither. The E-M5 III's is both. The Canon G1X III is less than ideal in very bright light, but very good in low light. I could go on, but you get the gist ...

Remember that I was trying to focus manually using magnification (because focus peaking isn't reliable enough on the GX9). It was a bleak and cloudy day. The noise and grain visible on the panel were really, really heavy and made it very unpleasant to work that way. But working with magnification on the screen (something I've tried a couple of times in the last couple of days) isn't much more pleasant, and some of the graininess is present there as well, making it quite difficult to judge sharpness. I actually had to remove my glasses and stare at the screen from a very close distance - not fun at all. In the end, I put up with the EVF - not better, but less hassle.

If anything, this serves to strengthen my resolve to move the GX9 on. Someone who prefers screens would be a much more suitable owner (as long as he or she is not into selfies).

M.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Okay, it's me again :) After the return of the M10 from its long-overdue CLA at Leica Switzerland, I was able to reliably nail focus with the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.2 (again?). And I have to say that this lens is a very solid performer, regardless of its added benefit of being so bright. I'd be a fool to let it go. That doesn't mean it's my favourite 50mm for the M mount (that's its little brother, the Nokton 50mm f/1.5), but it's the lens I'd pick if I had to make as sure as possible I could get the shot.

I'll test the Summicron-M 50mm f/2 in the near future (starting tomorrow if weather allows); its role is now more contested than ever: I'm pretty sure the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 could do most of what the Summicron can - we'll see.

The lens to replace the Summicron with if I remain unconvinced? The upcoming Voigtländer APO Lanthar 50mm f/2 ...

M.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Okay, it's me again :) After the return of the M10 from its long-overdue CLA at Leica Switzerland, I was able to reliably nail focus with the Voigtländer Nokton 50mm f/1.2 (again?). And I have to say that this lens is a very solid performer, regardless of its added benefit of being so bright. I'd be a fool to let it go. That doesn't mean it's my favourite 50mm for the M mount (that's its little brother, the Nokton 50mm f/1.5), but it's the lens I'd pick if I had to make as sure as possible I could get the shot.

I'll test the Summicron-M 50mm f/2 in the near future (starting tomorrow if weather allows); its role is now more contested than ever: I'm pretty sure the Nokton 50mm f/1.2 could do most of what the Summicron can - we'll see.

The lens to replace the Summicron with if I remain unconvinced? The upcoming Voigtländer APO Lanthar 50mm f/2 ...

M.
Going on from your recent post about the APO and 50mm lenses in general, I was looking at the Summilux 50mm lenses pre and post asph and came to the conclusion that if I had one I’d want the other, ie I’d probably end up getting both(!). I concluded that it was too dangerous a path to go down, gave myself a slap, then moved on.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Going on from your recent post about the APO and 50mm lenses in general, I was looking at the Summilux 50mm lenses pre and post asph and came to the conclusion that if I had one I’d want the other, ie I’d probably end up getting both(!). I concluded that it was too dangerous a path to go down, gave myself a slap, then moved on.
I'm actually glad the Summicron-M 50mm APO is so hideously expensive I've never even considered it; the same is true for the Summiluxes. But you're right there - the mere existence of those powerhouses makes one look for the flies in the ointment ... Not a healthy move, whatever the object ...

M.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Regarding the M4/3 primes,
I ultimately turned it down. It's a good deal so it's probably gone by the end of the week. Next week I probably again want a close-focusing midtele and kick myself for not taking this.

The seller countered with a very mild improvement on the offer and I took it. After all, it's chump change in the grand scheme of things (resale value; and compared to Leica glass money).

The lenses are all gorgeous. Funnily the Panasonic 25/1.7 is considerably larger and thicker than the 42.5/1.7 despite physical necessities. The midtele prime 42.5 is precisely what the doctor ordered. It'll do very nicely for me, with its short MFD. The 25 is a fast focuser and so cheap I can use it as a beater lens if for nothing else.

PL15 is also a tiny bit larger in dimensions than I hoped. Nothing problematic but a true m4/3 hoarder will definitely see the benefits of having both the PL15 and Olympus 17/1.8 in the stable. The Olympus focuses like lightning, is compact and cute, also has the excellently implemented manual focus clutch. PL15 excels for its optical qualities

The Panasonic Leica DG 15 renders nicely but so far I have had some difficulty settling into the FL. I supposed it's so close to 28mm field of view but in practice I look through the viewfinder and it looks like a wide 35mm. In this sense this lens is not filling any exotic hole in my lineup. These are all well built lenses but the autofocus motors are nowhere as instant as the zooms for the platform.

Yes, the zooms vs primes proposition was my original cause of worry. If I "dilute" my m4/3 setup with primes what will happen of the cohesion and compartmentalization? Is it all now up in the air, the time-tested formula: Leica for the great primes, M4/3 for the great zooms. We just have to see.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
Given Panasonic's recent announcements/attitude OMD Solutions may actually end up being a good source of mu43 bodies. Given that they don't seem to have any new sensors available, all they really have to do is keep making OMD bodies.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Given Panasonic's recent announcements/attitude OMD Solutions may actually end up being a good source of mu43 bodies. Given that they don't seem to have any new sensors available, all they really have to do is keep making OMD bodies.
And why not try testing the market with something other than Olympus rehashed formula? Like what about a simplified body with few buttons and controls for the purists? An LCD-screenless body? Maybe a compact body with vlogging capabilities and a good EVF like the G100? Let's see some experimentation! I know... I dream.
 

CraigC

Veteran
Location
Toronto, Canada
Real Name
Craig
As for many of us, 2020 gave me plenty of time to review and think about my kit. I wanted to "simplify", as I found that I was building up more gear than required and it was leading to indecision on what to bring when/where. On top of that, I did want to upgrade my main camera body to something more current in terms of AF, both in accuracy, tracking, and low-light performance.

My main camera kit was the Sony A7ii with a full kit of prime lenses - 28mm f2, 35mm f1.8 & f2.8, 55mm f1.8, and 85mm f1.8. I then added the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 zoom late in the year to allow for some versatility on the occasion I needed it (I definitely prefer shooting primes however).

On top of that, I had a couple of secondary cameras - Ricoh GRiii and Fuji X100T. Each of which offered their own perks in terms of size and shooting styles. If I did a ton of street, the GR would have stayed, as it excels at that more than any camera I've tried. And the Fuji is oh so lovely to handle, shoot with, and look at.

When Sony released the A7C, it checked many boxes for me - compact size, AF, versatility, etc. and the key point: I had all the lenses to pair with it. The size was the main draw, as I could pair the camera with a small prime like my Sony Zeiss 35mm 2.8 and have a camera basically the same size as the X100T, but with all the current performance specs - quick and quiet AF, as well as FF IQ. I watched many, many, many reviews on it and determined it was currently the best choice given I was already in the Sony ecosystem.

As much as I liked those secondary cameras, the choices were more than I wanted to deal with, so first went the GR, then the Fuji. I felt some relief with their departure, but also miss them being an option for specialized situations. Still, I wanted to stick with my simplification goal (for now lol) to pare down my kit.

Next up were the lenses - with the arrival of the Tamron late last year, I decided to part ways with my Sony 28mm and 85mm. Both were great for what they offered - the 28mm being compact, fast, with good IQ for the price and the 85mm was just a fantastic portrait lens. But, I could pretty well cover most of what they offer with the new Tamron.

So, having said all of that, I am now left with the simple kit below:
  • Sony A7C
  • Sony Zeiss 35mm f2.8 - ultra compact general purpose lens
  • Sony Zeiss 55mm f1.8 - compact portrait, general purpose lens
  • Tamron 28-75mm f2.8 - versatile all around zoom lens
A7_03964.jpg


Hoping to find the A7ii into a good home, as it has treated me very well and I do still have the Sony 35mm 1.8 which will likely go, as it is redundant with my other 35mm for my purposes/needs.

Lastly, I may not be totally done with the kit yet, as I am very interested in Sigma's I series - mainly the 24mm and 45mm compact primes. I am waiting to see more reviews on 24mm, but I could see myself swapping out one or both of the Sony's with those, as they offer better build, excellent rendering, and an aperture ring, which would come in very handy on the A7C. I also expect that they will offer some of that old school feel and allure that Fuji's do for me. Time will tell.
 
Last edited:

gordo

Top Veteran
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Gordon
GAS is surging quite badly right now wrt the GFX-100S. Going to take the time to cool the jets.

K-1 stays for now, along with a few lenses, primary landscape kit.

Fuji cameras and lenses stay for now, for travel, birds, and aviation (if airshows open back up).

Flys in the ointment include the afore mentioned new precious, and the expected release of the K-3mkIII next month.

If Pentax has made significant upgrades to tracking AF and can get me at least as many keepers as the X-H1, likely I'll be changing the X-H1 + 100-400 for the Pentax. I really prefer OVF for birds and aircraft. Once no-lag EVFs are the norm it might be a different story. Of course, to make use of the new AF system I'd need the newer lenses with the newer AF motors, so there's going to be an expense unless I keep the Fuji stuff.

I'll spend the next year seeing how many unplanned expenses arise on top of the ones I already know about, how much stuff I can sell, and pushing to see how much I can wring out of the K-1 before making the decision on the DMF.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
And why not try testing the market with something other than Olympus rehashed formula? Like what about a simplified body with few buttons and controls for the purists? An LCD-screenless body? Maybe a compact body with vlogging capabilities and a good EVF like the G100? Let's see some experimentation! I know... I dream.
I don’t think they are going to sink a lot into R&D so maybe simplified models might work for them.
 

drd1135

Zen Snapshooter
Location
SW Virginia
Real Name
Steve
GAS is surging quite badly right now wrt the GFX-100S. Going to take the time to cool the jets.

K-1 stays for now, along with a few lenses, primary landscape kit.

Fuji cameras and lenses stay for now, for travel, birds, and aviation (if airshows open back up).

Flys in the ointment include the afore mentioned new precious, and the expected release of the K-3mkIII next month.

If Pentax has made significant upgrades to tracking AF and can get me at least as many keepers as the X-H1, likely I'll be changing the X-H1 + 100-400 for the Pentax. I really prefer OVF for birds and aircraft. Once no-lag EVFs are the norm it might be a different story. Of course, to make use of the new AF system I'd need the newer lenses with the newer AF motors, so there's going to be an expense unless I keep the Fuji stuff.

I'll spend the next year seeing how many unplanned expenses arise on top of the ones I already know about, how much stuff I can sell, and pushing to see how much I can wring out of the K-1 before making the decision on the DMF.
You could just sell everything and your car to get a GFX-100S kit
 

gordo

Top Veteran
Location
Arizona
Real Name
Gordon
You could just sell everything and your car to get a GFX-100S kit
I need one vehicle to get to where I can shoot the photos.

Otherwise, I have considered selling everything except the X100F.

And the second vehicle.

And other hobby stuff.

And lesser used kitchen and household items.

Not sure how well it would do at airshows...

:whistling:
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
The fact that I can't test an M10-P (and by proxy, M10-R) out before purchase has kept that whole situation at bay successfully until now.

Now if I get to peek through its larger viewfinder, if I get to hold the slimmer body in my hand, if I get to feel and hear the silky smooth and quiet shutter, if I can witness the improved live view in action, well, something can just snap in my leizard brain and I can instantly justify the extra 5500 € the M10-R is over my M240P. 👀😵
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom