Basic questions - wannabe MF user

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JimKasson
MOD JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 34,895
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
2

bobby350z wrote:

I mostly shoot portraits but with covid-19 I had to move to shooting food and landscapes. For landscape use 32-64mm works quite good. I don't have side by side with the 45mm f2.8. 45mm is a nice lens but I wish it was f2. Right now I have bought Sigma 40mm f1.4 for my Sony which I like.

Here is one with the 32-64mm. You will be happy with picture quality from 45mm or the 110mm f2 but do know you can't be shooting anything unless you have the GFX100s as AF on 50MP bodies is slow.

I consider this a huge overstatement. The GFX 50x AF is plenty fast enough for many things.u

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bobby350z Regular Member • Posts: 185
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Well I have only tried my kids and I couldn't get nice sharp shots. Using Sony FF at f1.4 I have no similar issues. Maybe I am spoiled by good eye AF.

Macro guy
Macro guy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,575
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
1

Satyaa wrote:

Hi. Photography is my hobby. I currently use a D810 with 24-70/2.8 and D7200 with 70-200/2.8. I never traveled anywhere without a DSLR and a deccent lens in the past 15 years! Before that it was a compact camera or a flim SLR.

With my background (MORE BELOW) and a desire to try MF, what are the pitfalls I should be aware of? I would hate to get something only to fail and return it or sell it later for a loss.

I have been bitten by the GFX100S bug. Something about its form and controls is very enticing. I don't know what to expect. Hence, my post. Is MF camera a bad idea for hobby? Is it only for professional studio work?

I know that it's going to be heavy, something I wanted to avoid going forward (hence the Z choice, see below). I don't need the 100MP. I know that its AF won't be like D810 or D7200 for action and that's not my intent either. I hardly print anything, leave alone anything big. I shoot mostly handheld with VR lenses, not great technique for good landsccape shooting.

Am I aiming for more than I can handle? Should I really give up this thought and focus on something else? Or, is there something I should do to be ready before I spend on a MF camera like this?

Background...

Going back years, I was shooting landscape and nature for hobby when my wife pushed me into including 'people' in my shots. It led to some free work for charity events. My wildlife shooting is mostly the birds in the backyard.

For last two years before the pandemic, I was shooting for charity events, concerts, etc. Shot almost nothing during the pandemic, other than my new cat at home(!) and tinkering with an F3 film camera. Z7 II with a 35mm lens has been on my shopping list for past few months.

I am planning to get out this summer and shoot some landscapes and nature. The D810 I have is sufficient for the purpose. I know that I don't "need" something else, not even the Z, BUT the idea is tempting.

Thanks!

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.

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OP Satyaa Veteran Member • Posts: 4,310
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

I understand your point. My first spend on a digital system was fairly modest with a Rebel Digital XTi and one lens. Five years later, and for next 8 or so years, I have a decent but not a heavy spend into Nikon system. I plan to use them as long as they work.

The next system I buy will probably be my last. The one thing I expect from it is satisfaction. So, I need to consider carefully.

If it means a used 50S with a 45mm prime, or even a Z body with a couple of primes, I am open to all possibilities and am not in a rush.

Thanks.

Macro guy
Macro guy Veteran Member • Posts: 5,575
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
1

Satyaa wrote:

I understand your point. My first spend on a digital system was fairly modest with a Rebel Digital XTi and one lens. Five years later, and for next 8 or so years, I have a decent but not a heavy spend into Nikon system. I plan to use them as long as they work.

The next system I buy will probably be my last. The one thing I expect from it is satisfaction. So, I need to consider carefully.

If it means a used 50S with a 45mm prime, or even a Z body with a couple of primes, I am open to all possibilities and am not in a rush.

Thanks.

How do you derive satisfaction?  Do you derive it from handling the equipment or the work that you produce?  If it's the former, get whatever you like and don't look back.  If it's the latter, don't spend another penny on equipment.

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NotASpeckOfCereal Senior Member • Posts: 2,042
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Satyaa wrote:

[...] I routinely go on long walks (or hikes) with the GFX 100 around my neck (the big GFX 100) and I carry two more GF lenses in a small canvas Domke 803 shoulder bag.

I'm afraid I won't be able to do that! This is the only hesitation that keeps me from jumping all in.

Why is that? The weight?

I went all in, GFX100s and 5 primes (from a D850 and Nikkor glass). I work out and so have some strength, but my 64 year old lower back is feeling it (with accessories and a strapped on tripod plus the weight of the large bag itself). I take ibuprofen every day for it.

I'm now looking for smaller bag solutions (like the bag Greg mentions). The body (100s is less than the 100) with only 2 lenses, only essential accessories for each venture (leaving the rest in the car, which is a questionable thing, but something for you to consider that you will end up doing if you go all-in).

So if you want confirmation that all-in with a new MF system is going to be heavy and cumbersome, I can testify. I think I just did.

If you aren't going to print or publish in magazines, the Nikon Z ML system sounds more appropriate.

Chris

EDIT: I love the system though. If you get it, you probably won't be unhappy with the results ... far from it. I just wanted to say "hell yes, it's heavy stuff".

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Lumpia Junior Member • Posts: 28
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
5

I recently upgraded from the Canon 5d mk2 that I've been using for many years. Whenever I viewed well taken medium format photos there was something special about them that I couldn't replicate with my Canon. When the GFX 100s came out I knew that it would be my next camera for the next decade or two. I sold off my 5D along with four L lenses. I've had my GFX 100s mated with 45-100 for a little over a week now, and I don't regret switching over at all. I am thrilled to finally see that "something special" quality in my photos that was previously unobtainable. My shooting consists mainly of portraits in a dedicated studio. I'm mobility limited so I don't shoot much outside the studio.

Theia Regular Member • Posts: 463
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

NotASpeckOfCereal wrote:

Satyaa wrote:

[...] I routinely go on long walks (or hikes) with the GFX 100 around my neck (the big GFX 100) and I carry two more GF lenses in a small canvas Domke 803 shoulder bag.

I'm afraid I won't be able to do that! This is the only hesitation that keeps me from jumping all in.

Why is that? The weight?

..... If you get it, you probably won't be unhappy with the results ... far from it. I just wanted to say "hell yes, it's heavy stuff".

Greg is an ex-marine or something. He likes carrying lots of weight. I'm not and I don't. And I hate stuff around my neck. But I often carry a GFX50S with an EVF tilt adapter (and the 32-64mm) on a wrist strap all day long. And if I can do it, anyone can.

Lately I've preferred having the 45mm mounted while walking, mostly because its a superb prime that matches what I like at the moment, not because it's considerably lighter than the zoom. If I need to carry more, it's probably just one other lens and the PD carbon fibre tripod in a small PacSafe backpack. I don't like those one-shoulder bags even though they promise easier access.

And I agree, you will be happy with the results from the GFX system. I am sorely tempted by the GFX100S mostly because of the IBIS and less chance of aliasing, but think I'll wait to see what the 50S Mark II brings. The EVF tilt adapter is my main reason for sticking with the 50S, and the whole ergonomics and UI just fits, although it took a while to get used to it.

NotASpeckOfCereal Senior Member • Posts: 2,042
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Theia wrote:
[...]

But I often carry a GFX50S with an EVF tilt adapter (and the 32-64mm) on a wrist strap all day long. And if I can do it, anyone can.

I hear ya there. But it's not the camera + lens that's the problem for me, because the 100s is really in the FF size / weight category. and most of the GF primes are no big whoop.

It's me being a traveling landscape photographer, with the whole bag of 5 lenses and all of the things I want to schlep from the car out to location. It could be a bag with fewer things/lenses, but then I might be a mile out and think "Gee, this 45mm is nice, but I wish I would'a brought the 30mm for this".

Lately I've preferred having the 45mm mounted while walking, mostly because its a superb prime that matches what I like at the moment, not because it's considerably lighter than the zoom. If I need to carry more, it's probably just one other lens and the PD carbon fibre tripod in a small PacSafe backpack. I don't like those one-shoulder bags even though they promise easier access.

Yeah, I've tried them and they don't work for me either.

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Stan Disbrow Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
2

Hi,

I carry my stuff in a backpack. Some of these lighthouses require boat rides and/or significant hiking to get to. Sometimes you can float your car along and sometimes just your own self.

I have the P645D, two zooms, two primes and two TCs. That gives me from 45mm to 600mm. Putting it on my back really helps. From my farming work, I'm used to having 50 pounds in each hand (fuel, water or chemical jugs) or 50-100 pounds carried in front (feed and fertilizer sacks). But those are over short distances and nowhere is a boat involved.

The backpack can also carry the tripod. I have an aluminum one, and it isn't much to carry in my hand. Add it to the backpack and it's too much rearward weight. So, I use it as a walking stick by partially extending the legs. Just like I do with my monopod when hiking around road courses with small format gear.

I'd have no trouble with the Fuji gear in place of the Pentax. My trouble is having the money to buy it in the first place.

Stan

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Greg7579
Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
3

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.

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tgltgl Senior Member • Posts: 1,195
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
4

Satyaa wrote:

I understand your point. My first spend on a digital system was fairly modest with a Rebel Digital XTi and one lens. Five years later, and for next 8 or so years, I have a decent but not a heavy spend into Nikon system. I plan to use them as long as they work.

The next system I buy will probably be my last. The one thing I expect from it is satisfaction. So, I need to consider carefully.

If it means a used 50S with a 45mm prime, or even a Z body with a couple of primes, I am open to all possibilities and am not in a rush.

Thanks.

I own GFX 50R and most of the GFX primes at this point (also a former long time Canon DSLR user), and have been super happy with the system so far over the last couple of years. But even if I could only own 50R + GF 45 for the rest of my life it would still be enough to make me happy. That lens is my all time favorite and to me it was worth switching to GFX just to be able to shoot with it (I will eventually upgrade 50R to some new model down the road). I disagree with those who say it's not worth using GFX if you don't print big - I actually don't print at all but enjoy viewing those glorious files on my huge 43" 4K monitor - more than worth it to shoot MF just for that reason alone as far as I"m concerned. Some of the new FF cameras and lenses are amazing as well, but as far as purely IQ is concerned MF systems are still superior. Of course in most images it's hard to tell the difference, but that is true even if you shoot with high end mobile phones (for casual viewing). But for some of those very special once in a lifetime images (even if only capturing a handful of those every year) it is really worth it to have the best possible equipment - for me that also means always using GF primes over GF zooms.

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Greg7579
Greg7579 Forum Pro • Posts: 14,041
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

tgltgl wrote:

Satyaa wrote:

I understand your point. My first spend on a digital system was fairly modest with a Rebel Digital XTi and one lens. Five years later, and for next 8 or so years, I have a decent but not a heavy spend into Nikon system. I plan to use them as long as they work.

The next system I buy will probably be my last. The one thing I expect from it is satisfaction. So, I need to consider carefully.

If it means a used 50S with a 45mm prime, or even a Z body with a couple of primes, I am open to all possibilities and am not in a rush.

Thanks.

I own GFX 50R and most of the GFX primes at this point (also a former long time Canon DSLR user), and have been super happy with the system so far over the last couple of years. But even if I could only own 50R + GF 45 for the rest of my life it would still be enough to make me happy. That lens is my all time favorite and to me it was worth switching to GFX just to be able to shoot with it (I will eventually upgrade 50R to some new model down the road). I disagree with those who say it's not worth using GFX if you don't print big - I actually don't print at all but enjoy viewing those glorious files on my huge 43" 4K monitor - more than worth it to shoot MF just for that reason alone as far as I"m concerned. Some of the new FF cameras and lenses are amazing as well, but as far as purely IQ is concerned MF systems are still superior. Of course in most images it's hard to tell the difference, but that is true even if you shoot with high end mobile phones (for casual viewing). But for some of those very special once in a lifetime images (even if only capturing a handful of those every year) it is really worth it to have the best possible equipment - for me that also means always using GF primes over GF zooms.

Good post Tom.  I agree with you on the printing big comment.  That whole nonsense about how MF is only beneficial if you print big is ridiculous anti-MF FF marketing propaganda.

I totally disagree with you that on most images you can't tell the difference between MF and FF.  There is a big difference and you can tell on every image. Not just some.

The phone comment?  Come on Tom!  You can't put a phone up against even MFT or APSC, much less FF or GFX.  Sure, we all like our phone snapshots (well, I don't except to document my airport parking lot), but let's not worry about phones when we are in a FF vs MF debate.  😃

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zorgtool Regular Member • Posts: 133
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Satyaa wrote:

Hi. Photography is my hobby. I currently use a D810 with 24-70/2.8 and D7200 with 70-200/2.8. I never traveled anywhere without a DSLR and a deccent lens in the past 15 years! Before that it was a compact camera or a flim SLR.

With my background (MORE BELOW) and a desire to try MF, what are the pitfalls I should be aware of? I would hate to get something only to fail and return it or sell it later for a loss.

I have been bitten by the GFX100S bug. Something about its form and controls is very enticing. I don't know what to expect. Hence, my post. Is MF camera a bad idea for hobby? Is it only for professional studio work?

I know that it's going to be heavy, something I wanted to avoid going forward (hence the Z choice, see below). I don't need the 100MP. I know that its AF won't be like D810 or D7200 for action and that's not my intent either. I hardly print anything, leave alone anything big. I shoot mostly handheld with VR lenses, not great technique for good landsccape shooting.

Am I aiming for more than I can handle? Should I really give up this thought and focus on something else? Or, is there something I should do to be ready before I spend on a MF camera like this?

Background...

Going back years, I was shooting landscape and nature for hobby when my wife pushed me into including 'people' in my shots. It led to some free work for charity events. My wildlife shooting is mostly the birds in the backyard.

For last two years before the pandemic, I was shooting for charity events, concerts, etc. Shot almost nothing during the pandemic, other than my new cat at home(!) and tinkering with an F3 film camera. Z7 II with a 35mm lens has been on my shopping list for past few months.

I am planning to get out this summer and shoot some landscapes and nature. The D810 I have is sufficient for the purpose. I know that I don't "need" something else, not even the Z, BUT the idea is tempting.

Thanks!

Not sure if my answer going to help you, but I've a little similar thinking. I was owner of a D850 with lot of lenses. Do I need 102M, not really. I do very rarely printing. But I like the super high definition image.

And other point make me choose the GFX100S, are the size. The size of the body are not so big

https://www.cliftoncameras.co.uk/uploads/Blog/GFX100S%20Street/gfx100s-xt4-comparison.jpg

But yes the lenses are much more bigger than a APS-C or a FF. But if you carry few lenses that's not going to be a issue. Yes of course you can carry few small lenses too, but if in absolute the over weight are acceptable than you're OK.

The 45mm weight 490gr vs 280gr (for example Sony 35mm 1.8)

The 110mm weight 1000 gr vs 820 gr (for example Sony 85 mm 1.4)

So overall you're going to carry 390gr more in gear.

I will not tell you it's nothing in one day walking, but it's still acceptable.

And I know cropping are not the same thing as zooming/changing focal lenses, but if you're ok to cropping instead of little zooming, the 102M allow you to carry less lenses.

But if you like to have from 14 to 200mm, yes...the MF will break you bank account *and* you back.  You back will be in a little better shape if you accept to use the zoom. But still Fuji doesn't propose the whole range. So....

Z

NotASpeckOfCereal Senior Member • Posts: 2,042
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Good idea with using the tripod as a trekking pole.

Stan Disbrow wrote:
[...]

I'd have no trouble with the Fuji gear in place of the Pentax. My trouble is having the money to buy it in the first place.

My thing is more like "Alright, I sold the farm to buy all this stuff, so now I got'a make sure and take all the opportunities to use it!"

Hey, it gets me up in the morning—I can't complain about that. But those back pains ... oy.

Your lighthouse project sounds pretty cool. If you have an online gallery of samples, I would love to see it. I live on the west coast and was thinking of making a similar journey from the northern borders on down to the south.

Chris

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Stan Disbrow Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
1

Hi,

I have five of the seven in my gallery here on DPR. I will have to get onto a PC later and upload the two which are missing. There are also a few shots of the textile printer producing quilt blocks, which is the Why I returned to using MF.

Stan

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NotASpeckOfCereal Senior Member • Posts: 2,042
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Found them, Nice work.

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tgltgl Senior Member • Posts: 1,195
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user

Greg7579 wrote:

tgltgl wrote:

Satyaa wrote:

I understand your point. My first spend on a digital system was fairly modest with a Rebel Digital XTi and one lens. Five years later, and for next 8 or so years, I have a decent but not a heavy spend into Nikon system. I plan to use them as long as they work.

The next system I buy will probably be my last. The one thing I expect from it is satisfaction. So, I need to consider carefully.

If it means a used 50S with a 45mm prime, or even a Z body with a couple of primes, I am open to all possibilities and am not in a rush.

Thanks.

I own GFX 50R and most of the GFX primes at this point (also a former long time Canon DSLR user), and have been super happy with the system so far over the last couple of years. But even if I could only own 50R + GF 45 for the rest of my life it would still be enough to make me happy. That lens is my all time favorite and to me it was worth switching to GFX just to be able to shoot with it (I will eventually upgrade 50R to some new model down the road). I disagree with those who say it's not worth using GFX if you don't print big - I actually don't print at all but enjoy viewing those glorious files on my huge 43" 4K monitor - more than worth it to shoot MF just for that reason alone as far as I"m concerned. Some of the new FF cameras and lenses are amazing as well, but as far as purely IQ is concerned MF systems are still superior. Of course in most images it's hard to tell the difference, but that is true even if you shoot with high end mobile phones (for casual viewing). But for some of those very special once in a lifetime images (even if only capturing a handful of those every year) it is really worth it to have the best possible equipment - for me that also means always using GF primes over GF zooms.

Good post Tom. I agree with you on the printing big comment. That whole nonsense about how MF is only beneficial if you print big is ridiculous anti-MF FF marketing propaganda.

I totally disagree with you that on most images you can't tell the difference between MF and FF. There is a big difference and you can tell on every image. Not just some.

The phone comment? Come on Tom! You can't put a phone up against even MFT or APSC, much less FF or GFX. Sure, we all like our phone snapshots (well, I don't except to document my airport parking lot), but let's not worry about phones when we are in a FF vs MF debate. 😃

Greg,

I honestly can't tell the differences in most cases between high end FF and MF. But for about 5% or so of the images (typically and by far most likely those taken with the best GF glass which to me includes 23, 45, 110, and 250 - it seems 80 is in that category as well although I don't have so don't want to judge it) - when images are taken with those lenses at the stops where they shine, and the subjects and lighting is right that's when MF magic does happen, and differences in IQ can be quite obvious - but that is a huge minority of images I typically see (even posted on this great forum). Ok - with phones the differences are much more obvious but still there are many phone images that get posted online and it's often not obvious they were taken on the phones vs other formats (especially if good photographers have taken them). I think viewing those images on large calibrated 4K monitors like we use the IQ differences can be seen more easily , but we all know that is not how huge majority of people consume their images. Even people who use 'computers' to browse and view images most often seem to use laptops with 12-13" screens - and it's definitely not easy to see many differences there. Still, going back to MF and those 5% of best images taken with best GF glass - it is absolutely worth it to shoot MF just for those alone. I often view some of my favorite older images I took with my Canon systems over the years and only wish I had the GFX system (and could afford such a system) back in those days - it would have taken those images to another level of IQ greatness.

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Stan Disbrow Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
1

Hi,

Thanks. Folks around here love their lighthouses.

A couple months back, Jim had a B+W thread. I had made all seven up for B+W as I have had some call for such as paper prints. So I posted those. I dug back and found that thread, so here is a link to the lighthouses within:

https://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/64865918

I have other shots in other threads in this forum. I guess I just hadn't also put them into the gallery. I'll have to fix that later. Yet another thing a phone isn't good for!

Anyway, all seven are there in B+W.

I'll be getting back to wandering the Atlantic Seaboard in May. Once my Spring farm work is done, I can take a few days in a row to go places.

Stan

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Sam in Hawaii Regular Member • Posts: 377
Re: Basic questions - wannabe MF user
6

I'm not sure whether my thoughts on this will matter, but here I go.

I've had a sneaking lust for MF since giving up my Speed Graphic a few decades ago and embracing digital, but the cost/benefit ratio was just awful, and I still can't picture schlepping a MF system around all the time. I had a perfectly serviceable Yashicamat for the everyday carry, complementing the Graphic nicely. Digital for me meant looking for a single system for all purposes. It didn't work. At some point I realized that there are really just two occasions when I really want a camera;

1. when I'm deliberately setting out to take photos, and

2. the rest of the time.

These are really two separate things. Normal walk-around carry argues for something small, light, and convenient; and for my own satisfaction, with a useful array of manual controls. If I can set aperture and shutter speed and have a viewfinder, I'm satisfied.

For deliberate photo excursions, though, I want to emphasize quality above all.

No single system satisfies both. I've tried. Fuji X mount, or any other APS-C system, is pretty good, as is MFT, but both compromise in both directions. Once I mentally de-coupled the two needs, it gets easier, and the bargain basement price of GFX (comparatively) makes it do-able if I prune the "everyday carry" system aggressively. Sold most of my Fuji and MFT gear, replaced it with a GFX 50r, bought when they are including them in cereal boxes or whatever they do on the fairly frequent sales, the bargain 50mm, and a used 100-200 so far make me deliriously happy, although I kind of lust for the 30mm too. At the other end, my X100F, while not quite pocket sized, does good service as my everyday carry, fits in a belt pouch or small over-the-shoulder thing. Both have significant resale value, should the need arise, too.

All in, the cost was a bit more than the proceeds from flogging my other gear.

The truth is, on those occasions when I make a print, even my little TG5 can deliver the goods. Heck, I have made billboards with a D100. I'm really kidding myself about "needing" MF, but it makes me happy. It's cheaper than a convertible or girlfriend, and more acceptable to the wife than either. To the OP, I say, if you can manage it and it pleases you, then do it.

 Sam in Hawaii's gear list:Sam in Hawaii's gear list
Panasonic ZS100 Fujifilm X100F Olympus TG-5 Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm GFX 50R +1 more
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