Personal gear review

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
I met the fellow Leica shooter and I was able to try his gear out. Luckily M10P is not, after all, the second coming of sliced bread so my GAS wasn't triggered.

The live view is the main point of "pain" for me with M240. M10P is smoother, and the screen is nicer, when there's light but in dark conditions it's not at all fluent and pleasant anymore. So good to get to see a this kind of detail without committing to buy anything.

The improved viewfinder is super good but not revolutionary.

The shutter is quiet and smooth, really loving it.

The body looks clearly smaller than M240 when placed side by side. Could have been a black vs chrome thing.


This little test drive restores a lot of sanity. If I want to expand my Leica system it's best done with lenses. Now I have to consider the Panasonic deal.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Summing up from my gear history,

  • I have 1573 € worth of gear tied up, 256 € in one body and 1317 € in 3 zooms, 4 primes in µ4/3 gear.
  • I have 2900 € in a body and 6145 € in prime lenses in Leica M/M39 gear.
  • Finally, there's 1010 € in a camera body and 431 € in a zoom and two primes in Nikon F gear.

I'm eyeing the Panasonic G9 largely because that could in theory replace Nikon F gear in many ways. G9 is a fine and capable body, if a bit large. But will I actually sell Df or not, because an OVF is an OVF and an EVF is an EVF.


I should take up basket weaving or something.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
After an intense motivation period last night, I contacted the seller to see if the G9 + 12-60 is still available. Before I was brave enough to do so, a lot of supporting material was consumed from Youtubes and books.

G9 was on my "roadmap" anyway. The original motivation to round up my M4/3 setup with a big body and a WR standard zoom still holds.

This will be a new "weather sealed" setup too, which I currently lack. Panasonic's wording about WR is very weasely, they use terms like "splash proof" which doesn't really imply it can be used in rain. But it is what it is.

G9 is not about the IQ or the focus speeds for me. It's all about ergonomics. It may not be my preferred form factor but there's the grip and the big beautiful EVF.

I think I'll also pursue the PanaLeica 25 f/1.4 II, for its WR capabilities. Or perhaps I use the 60 € Panasonic 25 as a disposable lens. But PL25 has the rendering.
 

mumu

Regular
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 😎
View attachment 245685



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.
What did u use to generate the mind map? I used to make them (by hand) decades ago but for some reason I gave them up.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
What did u use to generate the mind map? I used to make them (by hand) decades ago but for some reason I gave them up.
Hand-drawing maps is pretty hard because nobody can anticipate what direction gets more action down the line.

But perhaps the real power of a hand-drawn one is that you have to redraw it several times and it will help you identify the big points?

Anyway, I don't do mindmaps often but perhaps I should. They're fun.


The one I used here is an online service MindMup.com. I noticed these tools (not just Mindmup) have speedy keyboard shortcuts to rapidly jot down ideas. "Enter" to create a sibling node and "Tab" to create a child node.
 
Last edited:

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Moment of clarity

For the record, I haven't acquired any lenses for M mount in over a year. The last lens I (re)bought was the 50/1.5 Nokton in September 2019.

It is smarter to invest in glass than in digital bodies. This applies triply so for Leica, given how digital bodies are not always the most reliable and how the lenses in particular hold their value.

Instead of investing 5k€ in a body upgrade one does so well investing in interesting and useful lenses. Five large buys a lot, erhm, as long as it's not Leica. It buys a lot of Cosina Voigtländer, it buys even more 7Artisans/TTartisan, it buys a small but sexy selection of vintage Leica, for that matter.

Some combinations for "small bucks"

For 1650 €
Voigtländer 35/1.4 MC II
Voigtländer 75/1.5 Nokton

For approx 2100 €
TTartisan 21mm f/1.5
TTartisan 35mm f/1.4
TTartisan 11mm f/2.8 fisheye
TTartisan 50mm f/0.95

Compare and contrast what would improve the game more, an improved body or several new lenses? Especially when buying a new digital body at 8300 €, you take an instant 2-3k hit on resale value.

But what will happen, if anything? The future is hazy wrt Leica lenses. Do I perhaps consider my M setup complete and stable?

But while lecturing you about investing in lenses let me draw breath and finish up buying a Panasonic body in the meanwhile...
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Panasonic G9 results in some buyer's remorse, as was reasonably expected. This time it's interesting because it kind of sheds good light on my existing gear.

G9 is a power house no doubt. And a fast shooter. During my trip I shot it pretty carelessly and as a result I see a lot of shots where the camera and I disagree about what should be in focus. I guess I have this weird mindset that since it's an autofocus camera compared to my Leica I can be more carefree about it but that's not the case. But these shots of missed focus kind of always bring me back to Leica where its wonderful rangefinder will passively always keep confirming my focus. In this sense, Leica is the more carefree option?

G9's image quality is great, no doubt about that. It actually surpasses Leica M in many critical ways and I may have a tiny tiny hunch it can actually put up a good fight against the most recent Leica M10-R also in some high-ISO situations. But again the BR bit: the native lenses just can't compete in rendering qualities against the older M gear. Of course this only applies to one lens currently; I will need to shoot more with my other M4/3 lenses that I know and trust. The second bit is about the megapixels. I enjoyed the 20 MP on Pen-F and I think this is the same sensor on this camera. But pixel-peeping I just love more the output of GX80; its color is more leicalike and the pixels are crisper. I like how the GX80 puts a subtle grain on the files even at base ISO. But I shouldn't peep!

The third is a major bummer, although I simply cannot say if these didn't happen with other brands as well. Panasonics give up so easily in low light. Not just because it's a CDAF system and the focus becomes unreliable (ha! now I figured it out why Panasonic does it this way and not any other way, more about this later) in low light, low contrast environments. Panasonic live view gets very choppy, quickly, when light levels drop. DSLRs might get unusably dim but at least the refresh rates of their viewfinders never go down. Same with Leica, naturally. But Panasonic chokes easily when the lens is not the fastest and I point it towards the dark corners of my home or whereever. How could I possibly think I could get this camera to replace Nikon Df?

What else? Well if I cannot remember more things to say, it's your win!

Like all autofocus cameras, I will mostly remember the shots that the camera failed to focus. And then with MF lenses and Leica I can so fondly cherish all the shots that I, the person behind the camera, was able to nail. Like the hockey player I posted in the other thread:


It's shots like these I so love my Leica about. The camera enables so much but it is I who focused and metered correctly, not the camera, I.

In essence my BR things revolve around if I bought too much of a camera for my second-system needs. The same happened with Fuji XT3, the Pen-F before that.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
This time it's interesting because it kind of sheds good light on my existing gear.
I didn't expand on this much on the previous post.

The quick and early impressions with G9 --- that's all they are at this stage, very early quick impressions --- however flimsy or unstudied or incorrect, have suddenly given new life to the DSLR that I still own. The poor Nikon Df that hasn't seen much action, now again seems a bit more attractive because its OVF never gets choppy or has delays of any kind. To be sure, neither does Leica M.

I was such a fan of the EVF 4 years ago and now I'm spoiled rotten by the ever-fluent optical viewfinders.

The real sadness must be that it must be a software/design decision how the EVF is being updated from sensor feed and there are probably some MILC brands that get it "right" but they get some other decisions "wrong", whereas Panasonic gets mostly everything else "right" but the EVF decision "wrong". Ah, compromises, gotta love them.

In any event I shouldn't jump to conclusions wrt Panasonic's night time chops before using it in real-world dark conditions first. But first impressions tend to last for a while.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Heh. I performed a series of tests, 3 pm, 4:20, 5:15 till 6pm. The light was diminishing and the candidates were Df with a f/3.5-4.5 zoom and the G9 with f/3.5-5.6. Not that fair a fight because the P12-32 is dimmer.

2021-02-18 (Thu) 13-58-47.jpeg


But anyway, what do you know, these cameras, the mighty OVF vs the new-and-fancy EVF came to a tie, really. Panasonic G9 (when appropriate settings were applied, and appropriate EC was set) started to get choppy at the same time when Nikon's viewfinder started to get unusably dim. By unusably I mean unusably! It was ridiculously hard to place the af point on a contrasty target in order to back-button-focus. I had to just press it so that the focus grid would light up in dim red so that I could see where the center point is, then do the focus properly.

We are talking about scenes like these. The contrasty bit would be the white text on the red box. The settings here would imply a light level of -1.33 EV* but I am not sure if I calculated or thought it through correctly. The lens was at its widest so that's what the viewfinder gets and the AF module works with.

2021-02-18 (Thu) 17-17-43a.jpeg


Two hours earlier:

2021-02-18 (Thu) 15-04-47.jpeg


Here the light level is perhaps 6 EV but compensation is only -.7 and the metering is different because the composition is tighter.

Panasonic GX80 was quickly out of the game because it doesn't have the nice features of G9. Specifically I'm referring to G9's menu option "Live View Boost: Mode 1" that was introduced in the camera in firmware 1.1 and further enhanced in firmware 2.0.

Panning is one thing, focusing is another. Nikon might have had a slight edge acquiring focus throughout the tests but the lens is brighter so it's not necessarily the fairest of fights.

I did switch lenses to approximately equivalent ones (Nikkor AF-D 85/1.8, vs Panasonic 42.5 f/1.7) down the game but by then I forgot to pay attention to focusing speeds.

I also tried to do some ISO comparisons but that's more difficult than expected because these two cameras of course meter differently and all that. I might do this again at a later date, using manual everything to match exposures. Nikon exposed so much brighter everything so that alone gives its files an edge.


*) My math behind this. Assume that EV0 is f/1, 1 sec, ISO 100.
  • ISO 5600 ~ ISO 6400 is +5.33 EV from ISO 100
  • f/4 is -4 EV from f/1
  • 1/25 sec ~ 1/30 sec is -4.66 EV from 1 sec
  • (Exposure compensation at -2, I am not sure if it enters the equation)
  • add these up: 5.33 - 4 - 4.66 = -3.33 EV without EC, -1.33 EV with EC.
 
Last edited:

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
So yesterday was "good" in that this comparison between systems gave new hope for Panasonic and my BR diminished. Nikon Df felt solid but heavy, its ergonomics definitely nowhere near what G9 offers.

But today, new explorations, new remorse. I don't quite know how Panasonic has implemented the live view in M mode but I cannot have my zebras or histogram active unless I activate the suboptimal Constant Preview option.

G9 much like Fuji XT3 is a camera that demands to be the head honcho in the household.

That's the funny thing. The more flexibility a camera allows, it's always that the photographer demands even more in response. Panasonic has so many custom function buttons on it; I would like one or two more. Panasonic allows so many ways to configure its dials; I'd like one setting more. Leica, that offers next to zero customizability, is just perfect for me.

File this sentiment under BR but if G9 fails my hyped expectations in a grand manner, its downfall may very well take my entire m4/3 setup away from me!

But whatever happens, it's very good that I got to see and test this thing by myself. It'll definitely be a yet another experience that will guide my journey going forwards.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
This may seem like a strange write-up, but It's again an attempt to wrap my head around some aspects that may drive future decisions, and as such, maybe others will find my observations useful as well.

The core of the matter: Since owning and using the Nikon Z system, my perception of other cameras and systems has changed considerably - it's my new benchmark. I've used the last few months for experimenting and deeping my understanding of several systems and how well they work for me. Interestingly, much of this hasn't been in relation with the Z 6 which has quickly become my go-to camera for serious shooting because it's simply the best camera I own. It quickly superseded its predecessor in this role, the D750 (a camera I still think is worth owning due to its backwards-compatibility). But the camera that really got me thinking *about other systems* was the little Z 50.

As some of you may remember, I wasn't that fond of that camera in the beginning. However, while I had bought it with a specific use case in mind (extending my reach through the APS-C crop without sacrificing resolution) which it serves quite competently, it quickly turned out that I can see myself use it as an EDC camera: Apart from its overall consistent and pleasant handling and fluid operation, it delivers really pleasing images from its humble kit lens. For those who know the Panasonic 12-32mm and are as impressed by it as much as I was: The Z 16-50mm DX is even better by comparison, more reliable in its performance and, at least in combination with the camera's auto-corrections, optically better across the board. I'm not saying this lightly - after all, I'm not really a fan of small, plasticky retracting zooms ... However, this one punches - literally! - way above its weight. And so does the camera - but more on this later.

I still own several systems - I like to experiment and find out for myself what all the hype is about. The two I'll have a closer look on today are Sony and Fujifilm.

Here are the results of my findings and delibrations:
  • I'll start with an observation that may surprise some, but probably not everyone: The Z 50 simply outshoots the Sony A7 II. By this I mean that there's no single area where the Sony delivers considerably better results than the Nikon, but several aspects in which the Nikon tops the Sony. The most obvious field is AF - the Sony can't keep up, in any light, with any lens. Yes, the Sony has a couple of advantages over the Nikon (bigger EVF, separate SD card slot, headphone jack ...), but they don't add up to any real advantage in day-to-day use. However, surprising as this may be, then Nikon's APS-C sensor simply outperforms the Sony's - admittedly quite dated - FF unit in most cases for low light shooting, and it doesn't give up anything that'd be noticeable in good light, either (the difference in resolution is negligible). Pair the Z 50 and the A7 II with equivalent lenses (the Z 35mm f/1.8 and the FE 55mm f/1.8), and the images from the Z 50 will be as convincing or sometimes even better than what the A7 II puts out (the Z 6 with the Z 50mm f/1.8 tops them both). All that said, the one thing that's still missing for the Nikon Z system as a whole are compact primes - and the only reason I have kept the Sony A7 II for so long is the wonderful Sigma 45mm f/2.8 C. I almost replaced the A7 II by a Panasonic S5 only to be able to continue using it - I know that'd be completely frivolous, but that's how much I like this lens! Yes, the Z 35mm f/1.8 is very good (optically at least equivalent to the 45mm f/2.8 C), but it's not as compact, and it lacks the superb tactility of that lens.
    Anyhow, I will sell the A7 II and the FE 55mm f/1.8 as soon as possible *and* the 45mm f/2.8 C as soon as an alternative for the Z system emerges. I did contemplate keeping the 45mm f/2.8 C anyway because I *will* keep an E mount body (see below), but it doesn't work at all well on the A6000, unfortunately - and even less so on the Techart TZE-01 adapter I bought in the hope it would allow me to use the Sigma lens on the Z 6.
  • Somewhat surprisingly for me after the assessment of the A7 II was that I still really like shooting with the A6000, especially with two small - yet very, very different - lenses: the Samyang 35mm f/2.8 FE I initially bought for the A7 II and the 7Artisans 35mm f/1.2 (I). For me, the 7Artisans works as my personal "brush" - it's a lens I know how to use to get images I truely enjoy. The A6000 helps this by being small and offering an uncomplicated way to get at magnification (I don't use its less-than-stellar focus peaking): You can set the camera to use the center button on the back control dial to enable magnification in manual mode, which is fast and intuitive enough. Both the Samyang and the 7Artisans turn the A6000 in very compact combo with reliable (in the sense of: as expected) performance. Everything is so cheap that the whole "system" is less expensive than the Z 50 with its kit lens, but it offers a different, frugal, yet enjoyable experience with results I like.
    So, I decided to keep the A6000 around with the Samyang and 7Artisans lenses - but actually sell the one lens I initially bought the A6000 for, the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 C. This has nothing to do with the performance of this lens - it's great for what it is, and also way, way better than its price would suggest. But I don't use it enough because it turns the small A6000 into a much more substantial combo than I feel comfortable with - thus negating the virtues of the super-compact system *for me*. Should Sigma ever decide to make the 30mm f/1.4 C available for Z mount, it's very likely I'll re-acquire that lens - the Z 50's layout make shooting with bigger lenses an non-issue. This means that, yes, while I found that lens to be so good that I actually bought it for *two* systems (Sony E and :mu43:), I'll actually sell *both* copies - for :mu43:, the new Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 II (the weather-sealed version!) superseded it a short while ago.
  • Now for the - probably - most controversial part of this post: I have serious doubts whether I should keep the Fujifilm system I've built up around the X-E3:
    • I initially bought it as a companion system for my Leicas - with the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 zoom. While this lens works well for that, I own very tough competition for it: Not only does the Z 50 - with its kit zoom! - more or less match the output of the X-E3/18-55mm combo, it's also more compact. And furthermore, another lens, the Olympus 12-45mm f/4 PRO, outperforms the 18-55mm on both the Olympus OM-D E-M5 III *and* the Panasonic GX9 - and those cameras are also capable of matching the X-E3's IQ up to ISO 1600, and both have I.B.I.S. (not so much an issue with the 18-55mm - because of O.I.S.).
      The E-M5 III outperforms the GX9 as well as the X-E3 in most shooting conditions anyway, but I'd end up with a bigger combo; however, the GX9 with the 12-45mm PRO isn't considerably bigger than the X-E3. However, this is where the Z 50 comes in again: Paired with its kit lens, it performs almost as well as the E-M5 III/12-45mm combo in most situations and furthermore has the best low light performance of any of the cameras mentioned in this section, comfortably leaving the X-E3 behind at ISO 3200. So, while not *looking* as desirable as either the X-E3/18-55mm or the E-M5 III//GX9/12-45mm combos, the Z 50 simply represents the best overall option for *competent* and *compact* - something I've been chasing for a very long time.
      Taken together, this means that the X-E3/18-55mm combo has lost its initial appeal as a compact, high-performance EDC - because the Z 50/16-50mm combo matches it in all important aspects and surpasses it in others (overall speed, EVF quality, handling).
    • I built up a set of primes for the X mount, all of which are very pleasant in their own right. But, surprisingly, I found out that they don't quite live up to the hype surrouding them, and that for each of them, I have at least one alternative:
      • The most obvious choice for the X-E3 seems to be a classic street lens, the 23mm f/2 WR. And yes, it's a good performer, optically as well as mechanically. However, it's not as compact as other lenses of that ilk (the Canon 22mm f/2 comes to mind, but also the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 and 15mm f/1.7 - more on that later), and while it's proficient, it has more optical issues than you usually read about - LoCA is pronounced, and at closer distances, there's quite a bit of spherochromatism. If this lens was marketed as having something of a "classic" look, that'd not be as much of an issue, but it's said to be an optical powerhouse. Well, it's not. It's not bad at all, and the images coming from it are pleasing, but that's it. Crucially, the little Panasonic 15mm f/1.7 clearly outperforms it optically, while offering more or less the same advantages. So, instead of using the X-E3/23mm combo, I'd really rather have the GX9/15mm - which I already own.
      • Another lens I was really looking forward to was the 27mm f/2.8. It's a classic pancake, and quite a good performer. Again there are a few other contenders from other makers (like the Sony 20mm f/2.8 and, again, the Canon 22mm f/2), but only the Panasonic 20mm f/1.7 matches its FoV of 40mm-e. So, it's natural to compare the two. This time around, the 27mm actually wins - not because it's optically superior (it really isn't - it's as even a match as you'll find), but because it's faster and a bit more reliable in use while still being tiny (yes, smaller than the 20mm!). However, coming from the Sigma 45mm f/28 C mentioned above, the AF action - both in terms of speed and reliability - of the 27mm seems seriously lacking; not as bad as the Panasonic 20mm, but loads worse than a more modern lens. And alas, the new 27mm II (WR) uses the same old mechanism ... So, yes, the 27mm is a very desirable lens, and would be for any system, but it feels dated. It still makes the X-E3 jacket-pocketable - but speedy it is not. Which means that for an EDC solution, I still prefer either the Z 50 - even if it's not jacket pocketable - or the Canon G1X III, a camera with really impeccable AF (though optically inferior).
      • I couldn't resist the pull of the "classic" - which means the 35mm f/1.4. And yes, that lens, with all its shortcomings, is a pleasure to shoot ... as long as you don't compare it to the Z 35mm f/1.8 S used on the Z 50. Yes, the Fuji combo is smaller, but the results from the Nikon combo are even nicer. Now, don't get me wrong, the 35mm f/1.4 is a very enjoyable lens - but, at least in my use, it's no longer essential. Most of you will know that while it's quite good, it does have its issues - and optically, it's not even a close match for the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 C I mentioned earlier, and more recently, I found the Panasonic 25mm f/1.4 II to be optically superior as well. So, whatever angle I choose, I could easily live without the 35mm f/1.4 - but I admit that it's a lens every Fuji shooter should try. It's addictive ...
      • Finally, the last and truely great lens I acquired was the 90mm f/2 WR - a powerhouse, and one of the best 135mm-e lenses around. However ... I did a comparison shoot with the Z 50 and Z 85mm f/1.8. The Z 85mm matches or outperforms the 90mm f/2. I don't really know how Nikon did it, but this lens is fantastic, and it's smaller and lighter than the 90mm f/2, though not by much. However, the Z50/85mm combo offers much better handling than the X-E3/90mm combo (even when using the additional grip). There's a saying in German: "The better is the enemy of the good." This holds true in this case: I'm completely sure I could do everything the 90mm f/2 offers with the Z 85mm f/1.8 instead.
    • I end up with a sobering insight: While I still think it was a good thing to explore the X system and the X-E3 in particular, it simply doesn't offer any real, consistent advantages over other systems I know and own. I could sell it without losing any functionality (maybe except for the portability of the X-E3/27mm combo) - and certainly won't expand it any further. I'm pretty sure that as soon as Nikon provides a couple more lenses (especially compact ones), this system will - just go. However, in contrast to the Sony A7 II, I probably won't stop using it - it's nice, and very consistent in itself.
So, there you have it - only part of this was new thinking. But it certainly appears that the two major "explorations" of the past couple of years seem to come to an end. Yes, I'll keep a rudimentary Sony system - but just to play around with (and have something super-cheap), not to develop. However, I think the Fuji system will quietly disappear from my kit much sooner than I could have anticipated after my initial infatuation with it. It seems that I prefer practicality over appearance, after all ..

M.
 

rayvonn

Hall of Famer
Before you bin the Fuji system Matt, do see if you can at least rent the 16mm F1.4, its close focusing and wide open abilities are unique and amazing to experience. You’ll know what I mean when you use it, the image output easily separates itself easily from any rangefinder or dslr setup. Also you mentioned the 35mm F1.4, I’m pretty sure this isn’t optically corrected, that’s why I liked it so much, I thought the out of focus areas coming out of that lens were fantastic and that it was superior in rendering (for me) than the equivalent F2 “Fujicron”. Similar to the Panasonic 25mm F1.4 but they both have their own different signature rendering, which is a good thing.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Before you bin the Fuji system Matt, do see if you can at least rent the 16mm F1.4, its close focusing and wide open abilities are unique and amazing to experience. You’ll know what I mean when you use it, the image output easily separates itself easily from any rangefinder or dslr setup. Also you mentioned the 35mm F1.4, I’m pretty sure this isn’t optically corrected, that’s why I liked it so much, I thought the out of focus areas coming out of that lens were fantastic and that it was superior in rendering (for me) than the equivalent F2 “Fujicron”. Similar to the Panasonic 25mm F1.4 but they both have their own different signature rendering, which is a good thing.
Thanks for that, Ray. I'll think about it. However, I *have* bought another fantastic wide-angle quite recently, the Nikon Z 20mm f/1.8 S - together with its 50mm and 85mm siblings, that lens "makes" the system for me (when mounted on the Z 6). So it's not very likely I'll be swayed. Anyhow, I don't *hate* the Fuji stuff or anything, so I'm not eager to sell it - I just think I'm (pretty obviously, by now) better served by the Nikon Z system mid-term (which also means, mostly by the FF offerings!).

Truth be told, between the arrival of the Z 50 and my rediscovery of my - by now - small, but literally "cherry-picked" :mu43: gear, the Fuji system just doesn't quite cut it for me. Judged on its own, without constant comparisons and competition, it's a fine system, and amazingly well rounded. It may just not be the system for me after all.

Time will tell.

M.
 

CraigC

Top Veteran
Location
Toronto, Canada
Real Name
Craig
Matt, since you like the A6000 and love the Sigma 45mm, sounds like an A7C is the perfect choice to replace both Sony bodies. ;)

You can even get a FF 7artisans MF lens to scratch that itch.
 

agentlossing

All-Pro
Location
S. Oregon Coast (the Northernmost-Cal of them All)
Real Name
Andrew Lossing
Well, as long as the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 lives up to its good reports on the KP, it will function as my "G.A.S. killer" lens for the K-mount system, I won't have a legitimate excuse to buy lenses, or, at least, they will be firmly in the "want" rather than "need" category (what part of my photography isn't "want?" Um...). If I find a cheap enough deal on a 40mm f2.8 I might get it merely for the compactness. Plus, if really cheap K-mount film era primes happen across my way, I might spend small bits of money on those. But the capabilities for which I bought the KP should be aptly covered by the 17-50. I want to do some focus tests to make sure there isn't any issue with back/front focus, not that I expect there will be but since I bought used from B&H, it seems like the wise thing to do. I think I'll be able to resist further lens purchases for quite a while, and won't upgrade the body for the foreseeable future.

The only other thing I've been feeling a lack of is a faster, slightly longer M-mount (or LTM) lens for the Bessa-T. The Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 Nokton is quite appealing and inexpensive, not to mention my favorite focal length. But it would be an addition to, not a replacement for, my 35mm f2.5 Color Skopar. That lens is too nice for me to let myself sell - I know I'd regret it. So any funds for the Nokton would have to come from elsewhere, and I've used up my camera gear fund for a while. The Bessa-T has such a big and accurate dedicated rangefinder view that it asks to have a lens with a larger aperture than the Skopar mounted on it, but of course it also comes with the omnipresent additional need of an accessory viewfinder... though I suspect with a little trial and error I could use the Voigtlander 35mm viewfinder I have and guesstimate slightly narrower FoV. I don't think I'll do too much else with my humble Voigtlander M-mount system, unless I get a bee in my bonnet about switching the T for an R (which I could probably break even on) or R2/3/4 (which I'd have to spend extra for). I considered the T to be an entry point for Voigtlander, yet I still find myself quite pleased with how it works (except the viewfinder need) and not wanting to switch it up. The accessibility of the meter for on-the-fly adjustments as I walk around just by glancing down at it is great, and I usually zone focus with the Skopar and adjust my focus and meter at the same time. Then it's fast and freeing to just raise the bright, uncluttered VF and shoot.

The nice thing about film is that I can spend a very little money to experience different "sensors" i.e. film types, new development techniques, all of that fun stuff without any major expense.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
Matt, since you like the A6000 and love the Sigma 45mm, sounds like an A7C is the perfect choice to replace both Sony bodies. ;)

You can even get a FF 7artisans MF lens to scratch that itch.
Craig, that's what I thought when it was announced - but I wear glasses, and I want a good EVF because I don't like to work via the screen (as a general principle!). Plus while I like the frugal handling paradigm *in something so cheap as the A6000*, it's not something I'm prepared to accept in a quite expensive camera. I see where Sony went with this (reduce size as much as possible), but would adding two or three millimetres in height in order to accommodate a decent EVF and two dials have hurt? I doubt it.

I'll admit that size, appearance and quality of the A7C had me very fascinated for weeks, and I'm sure it's mostly a fine camera. But if I have learned something over the last couple of months, it it to not go solely for looks and pure prowess (see my Fujifilm story). I'm absolutely certain that the A7C is a great camera if you can wrap your head around it - but it represents too many compromises for me to consider it.

To illustrate this: I'd pick the A6000 again if money was an issue - it's really impressive for its price, so much so that I'll keep recommending it for casual shooters. But I'd pick the Z 50 over the A6400 any time, in spite of the fantastic tech Sony put into that body. The Z 50 is so much more comfortable to use - and that's true with lenses of any size: I've carried and shot it with the 70-300mm f/4,5-5.6E on the FTZ adapter - and I had to remind myself constantly *not* to simply carry it on its grip because it felt comfortable enough, but doing so is a bit unwise because of the length and weight of the lens (with any camera!). The A6000 starts to feel front heavy with the Sigma 30mm f/1.4 C after a while!

And while the Z 50 isn't quite as well built as the Z 6, it's still very well put together, and it's really quite compact (lighter than then A7C) and sports an impressive little kit zoom. Of course, the A7C is higher quality, and its kit zoom is weather sealed, so you can count your blessings right there - albeit for at least twice the price ... But then, will something like the (small!) FE 55mm f/1.8 make the A7C feel as slightly crammed as the A7 II? As much as I like that lens, I never quite enjoyed shooting with it - which seems daft. However, while I can carry the Z 6 in the hand for hours on end (with any prime and even with the Z 24-200mm zoom), my fingers feel sore with the A7 II and the FE 55 f/1.8 after less than an hour - and the grip of the A7C is even smaller. For the record, yes, I usually carry my cameras in hand when I'm out shooting, and I don't like neck straps (but will usually carry a cross-body bag or backpack).

So, as much as I wish you were right, it's not a good move *for me* to take that route; it's too likely I'd end up disappointed (or at least feeling restricted by the camera).

M.
 

mike3996

Hall of Famer
Location
Finland
Now I have a promising buyer for the Summilux-M 50 ASPH that I've had listed for sale since June. I have taken Brian's advice to heart, my own experiences selling count too, and I know I will definitely miss the lens the moment we (possibly) make a deal. "Never sell a Leica lens!"

But I have to also follow the facts of the matter. Focusing closer (less than 10 ft) the bokeh of the 50 Lux gets super smooth and creamy in a clinical way: Nokton 50 f/1.5 will win. Focusing farther, here lies the Karbe-designed 50's strong points definitely. You can go all the way to infinity at f/1.4 and a get superb rendition. That's where I see Summilux has the uniqueness that none other can replicate.

The Summilux has other fine qualities, such as the ergonomics of use, the focusing tab. My Voigtländer fifties definitely aren't half bad, especially given their light weight, but the difference is still notable. 50 'lux makes perfect sense for being an all-in-one, end-it-all fifty.

The sales of the Summilux 50 could easily fund two or three of the following shortlist:
  • ZM Sonnar 50/1.5
  • TTartisan 50/0.95
  • Leica Summicron 50
  • CV APO Lanthar 50
  • ZM 50 Planar
(Granted, the f/2 lenses are not on any of my wish lists currently.) With this rationale I am open to selling it to make room for more character lenses. But given the high probability of seller's remorse I won't be selling my lens at a huge loss either.
 
Well, as long as the Sigma 17-50mm f2.8 lives up to its good reports on the KP, it will function as my "G.A.S. killer" lens for the K-mount system, I won't have a legitimate excuse to buy lenses, or, at least, they will be firmly in the "want" rather than "need" category
The Fuji 16-55/50-140 2.8 has done this for me. With the exception being if I find a need for more reach when the warmer months get here.
 
Location
Switzerland
Real Name
Matt
All this talking about the Z 50 got me thinking: How well would the G1X III do in a direct comparison? I seem never to have done one before, so I took both of them with me on today's stroll (winding up with three cameras again - at least not four this time :rolleyes:).

On one hand, there's no doubt about one thing: Whatever comparison shots I took, the Z 50 with the Z 16-50mm DX was consistently sharper, more detailed (more contrast on all levels), and more than once, more accurate as well; it is also way more capable at focusing on fine detail, thus making subject isolation a lot easier in busy frames. So, the Z 50 outguns the G1X III in technical terms.

But ...

... the G1X III produced pleasing images most of the time, and had I not seen the comparison shots, I'd've been completely happy with what I got. And also, I noticed that since I was carrying the G1X III in my jacket pocket, I rarely reached for the Z 50 in my bag. Yes, the Z 50 generally provides more keepers between its better ergonomics, technical prowess and better lens, but it's not as if I felt the urge to use it in order to get usable images this time around.

So, to sum up, the G1X III is perfectly adequate, even decent; in fact, I'm happier with its colour signature than with the Nikon Z 50's files right out of the gate (even though that's something that's pretty easy to balance in post, especially if you have the "right" profiles). However, had the Z 50 arrived before the G1X III, I'd never have any incentive to buy the latter.

That said, the G1X III still is a uniquely positioned and well balanced compact, and it *does* fit into any jacket pocket I could care to put it in. Actually, I'd say that the rugged little G1X III is the ideal companion for biking and similar activities.

M.
 

Latest posts

Latest threads

Top Bottom