Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
enigmatico Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Greg7579 wrote:

Macro guy wrote:

It sounds to me like money is burning a hole in your pocket. You already have a camera that's more capable than your needs. Are you printing any of your work? If so, how big are the prints?

You can certainly go the 100S route and be no worse for wear, but be aware that it's going this whole thing is going to run you around $10k and it may wind up being an exercise in futility as you find out that the equipment hasn't made your photography any better, sharing your photos via the web doesn't require anything even remotely near to what you already have, much less the 100S and you'll be out of 10 grand, which could have been spent on something more... useful.

Macro and I have had this discussion many times. He has said all of this many times and he is certainly right about the ten grand minimum. It is insanely expensive and you have to realize that up front and be willing and able to spend it. And ten grand is not all. It will grow. So he is right about that.

But I never agree when Macro starts the lecture about GFX not making that much difference unless you print big, and that if you just post on the web it won't matter.

Let me tell you that it does. The differences in image fidelity is significant and you will see and enjoy it. It can have an effect on you and your photography.

But what really matters is the word "want" not "need". You want it, and you know why.

The only question is can you afford it, and if you can, are you willing to go in for ten grand and up?

If so, then you have already decided.

I shall chip in with my case scenario, because I seem to defy the norm. I use several cameras but my current favourite setup is a GFX50R paired with an adapted manual focus Zeiss Distagon 35mm f1.4 mark ii lens. (An outstanding pairing that gives me a wonderful wide aperture on a medium format camera)

Both were bought used but in 100% mint condition The camera was about $2,300 and the lens about $800 (in USD).

I carry this relatively heavy setup for my street photography. (Only a hobby). I’m in my 60’s, my eyesight isn’t great and I don’t print anything larger than 6” x 9”.

So, why use such a system? Because the files are clearly richer and contain more information than images I get from other cameras. The IQ is stunning.
There are endless discussions about how you don’t need this or that camera if you don’t print large. In a sense those arguments are true. But a camera is much more than its IQ. It’s also an artist’s tool and the choice for an artist is an emotive one. How you relate to it, how you feel using it, whether the ergonomics are right for you, how it looks....... etc.  A heavy manual focus camera slows me down and makes me think more before I take a picture. I appreciate that it does that for me. 
I am not a snob about it; I also own Sony cameras and Fuji X.  Sometimes I like to carry lightweight gear or have fun with eye AF and tracking - but the GFX is my preferred camera by far. 
I would say to anyone who is curious about medium format, rent first or buy used so you don’t lose too much money if it doesn’t work out for you. Don’t expect Sony eye tracking or 30 frames a second. You might bond with it or you might not. Don’t base your decisions on how large you intend to print or whether you “need” medium format. Even APSC is so good today that few people even “need” FF let alone medium format. If photography is your hobby or passion and your heart says “medium format”, forget print sizes and give it a try if your budget allows 😊.

 enigmatico's gear list:enigmatico's gear list
Leica Q2 Leica SL (Typ 601) Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm X-H1 Sony a7 III +12 more
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