I read the whole topic and came to the conclusion that most of us never used the whole panel of possibility given by the photo industry. I try myself using all I can use. Leica S2, SIGMA Foveon gears, Nikon FX dslr, pentax things, Zeiss glass ... rented some MF backs ...
Over years, the only device who impressed me (and my clients) is the SIGMA DP2m. I starting to be fanatic about this thing because it let me foresee where SIGMA is going, compared to other brands. Also I sold my S2 because, at comparing the files, the DP2m give me better satisfaction thus better results for big files (and the S2 is plastic panasonic like, not that serious after all
I hear from here some ppl screaming " This is madness !!
But I'm not mad... at all. I also sold all my Nikon FX ED zooms and all my autofocus glass. I want to buy gear who last me lifelong, like in the old days (I'm 33 but learned the hard-way of film from 8 to 25
). Digital is a wast of money, so better time to trick the marketing pony. So I train myself with my team to be as reactive as AF with manual lenses in every possible situations (children, races, weeding ...). In this case, I went full Zeiss and, if I'm careful with, I'm sure those glass will be in my bag in 10 to 20 years at least because perfect mechanic, no motor, and aperture ring (like real MF, LF lenses at the end ...
The other problem to solve is the imagery device. I want something who can last a looonnnnnggggg time and give very good results, flexibility, reliability and versatility. Nikon FX dslr are here for that (not the D600
). So I keep the excellent D700 and will certainly take a D800e next year. Zeiss glass kick the hell out of megapixels even on D800e (mabe the 50 1.4 is a little bit soft but rendering is ok). D700 in studio is excellent, skin tones are excellent (I never understood why ppl say Nikon in salmon
) and If I want to freeze action at very high speed ... I only take my beautiful DP2 Merrill
If I want perfect architecture shoots I take also my DP2 Merrill, stitch and flatten lines in software. I did and sold works done this way with his ancestor (who have probably 70k actuations
), the DP2s.
If I want macro work, Zeiss macro on D700 or D800 give first class imagery. But the DP2 Merrill can be surprising to, even in macro (with accessory
Here is a file I did on the corner of my table, quickly :www.hulyssbowman.com/DP2m/BIG1.tif
Do I envy what Isak Bergwall showed in his post ?? Hell no !!!
That bring me to the essential : DOF.
MF give superb transitions, creamy bokeh, ethereal softness ... as some lenses can do on 24x36mm digital format !! We even have some shooting techniques where you shoot a frame in focus and stitch other OOF frames around to obtain a superb effect (don't remember the name ...
MF give superb sharpness and definition of skins and fabrics (!). The D800e too, with good glass, and the Foveon too ... even more !!
For me MFDB's are even more specialised today than in the old days and, if my crystal ball is right, are going to die. The first step in this lethal descent is Nikon with the D800 and the future Zeiss Glass (not here for decorating
). The second step in this programmed death is SIGMA (yes you heard right
). If SIGMA develop a 24x36 foveon, I think photo industries will have hard times, very very hard times to justifies anything, IQ wise, against a 24x36 foveon file, period (maybe ISO
The last and final step is the clients. I come with high (very high) quality files and low prices. I do not have any bills or mortgages or credits to fill, extremely ridiculous ROI and a lot of spare money to be even more creative, without any stress. The client will choose me that's the life.
It is harsh, it sound unreal. But when I see what can produce a 900$ camera ... the reality check is made quickly.
Once Nikon, SIGMA and Zeiss will release there new glass to out-resolve the D800e ...