Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
OP Satyaa Veteran Member • Posts: 4,310
Reply 1: Answers to Top Questions

Hello and thanks to you all for the responses, suggestions and more importantly the questions! I have not replied to each of you (Stan, Chris, Macro, Greg and several others) because there was a lot to read and think about.

There were a couple of responses that spoke about photographers' connection to their gear (enigmatico summarized it well). I clicked thumbs up for all responses that helped me think through this.

In this first reply, I'll try to answer the top questions. This provides a backdrop but doesn't explain my desire for GFX100s. My second reply will get into that part.

The most easy answer is that I rarely print. I view my photos on a 4K monitor, play them on 4K TV and share some online. I use an old Android phone with a memory card as my photo album.

Next, I do not like the idea of heavy gear for multiple reasons. Short answer is that it's not as big an issue as I make it to be. At least, not always. A knee damage from an accident 25 years ago plus early arthritis made me prioritize smaller/lighter. On a good day I can walk few miles OR carry a backpack with decent lenses (probably not both at the same time). On a bad day, I can't go for a walk. It doesn't matter whether I've any gear or if the gear is light. One more factor is that I don't change lenses while out and about. So, I pick one body and what I think might be the best lens for the situation and go with it.

Another question that came up is, whether I use my current gear to potential. Probably not. I have seen shots online from D810 that wow me. I get such good results sometimes but not consistently. Until I can take such shots consistently with my gear, will I get similar results from a larger more expensive camera? Or, will the new gear motivate me to do better? I don't know.

I use Capture NX-D to process the NEF files with camera default settings (or minor edits), export to 16-bit TIFF, convert them to HEIF using another s/w and delete the TIFFs. In other words, I like whatever processing the camera does, and add very little on top of it.

The tougher question was what gives satisfaction! This will be my longest answer.

When I think of photography as a hobby, I don't include events. The event coverage is satisfying for the occasion and the people I do it for, but there's not much time to think about the process of taking the photo. I have to use my camera by muscle memory and be quick in the situation. I cannot go back to re-take a perfect shot of something that happened a minute ago. As I start to think, the next thing is already happening. This process is familiar to most of you. The combination of D810 with 24-70/2.8 and D7200 with 70-200/2.8 has remained my event gear for past two years or more. I use FZ2500 for event videos.

For hobby, I like to be more deliberate. The process of taking the photo is what I enjoy. Barring a fast paced situation like something my active cat may do, I can mostly think back and re-take a shot. A camera I can connect with and enjoy using, is important. When I got my D7100/D7200 I connected with it right away. It took a while with the D810. They are both equal favorites now. Earlier, I was comfortable with Canon Rebel bodies as well (a film version and an XTi). I also use a Nikon F3HP but not regularly.

I don't connect well with the FZ2500 at the same level. It gives good results for my purpose but I don't feel the same way using it, as I feel with the DSLR. Once I got my second DSLR body, I stopped using FZ2500 for stills.

The results matter but there's more to that story. When others see my phhotos, what matter are an undistracted scene, the detail they can see within the screen, good colors, capturing a moment that speaks to them, etc.

For me, the photos remind me of a situation, how I took the shot or something new I learned while taking that shot. Many times, I also zoom in for the detail. I sometimes feel that there's a lot to learn from photos that didn't turn out well. I sure don't spend time reflecting on the past. Also, I can't go back and look at them because I've already deleted them.

I'll post in my next reply about why I gravitated to the GFX100s

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