I can't quite explain it, but I don't think it's the shutter lag that's the problem. I think on some emotional level there is a connection when you can see the eyes of the subject while you are photographing. It's not like 100% are keepers, but my success rate is incredibly high relative to my previous DSLR work. I shot quite a bit with 5x7, and I had a thing where I would try to shoot at most 2 frames, but would try to only shoot one. I used to do really well with that. I got lazy after a while, and with 4x5 got even lazier, but I would end up with 8 good frames of the same picture. Since there is so much effort put into each frame for development it was mostly a waste.
I'm living on a boat now and/or moving a lot for work, so carrying the LF stuff around isn't really making sense, although I think I will hold on to the 5x7 out of loyalty. And my 2 Mamiyas C330s...it would be hard to part with them. My beautiful 4x5 though, I think it's going away.
Anyway, you are totally right. I could just use a really good SLR on a Tripod. I've never done that, really. I kinda think SLRs look stupid on tripods, just from a coolness perspective, but obviously that's kinda dumb. I've also sold all my Canon stuff, and have no lenses left. Totally did not like the OM-D. Pondering other micro 43 bodies or dumping it entirely and trying something else. I'd try Fuji but I don't think they are water sealed at all? I need to check.
Thanks for the thoughts.
Interesting posts here. I've been a portrait photographer for 15 years and always used SLR's (Mamiya RB, Bronica's, FM2's and for the past ten years Canon DSLR's) and so have almost no experience with direct view cameras. Recently I bought a Ricoh GR digital and also the accessory optical finder. It is of course fixed 28mm lens and the optical finder is not ideal for close work because of parallax. But I really find the uninterrupted view of the subject very pleasing. The fact the camera is almost silent adds to the experience too - the shooting is fluid. I should add that I also have Panasonic GH2's as well with some lovely prime lenses - but the Ricoh is a better experience.
Incidentally, when doing large groups I always put my DSLR on a tripod precisely so that I can look directly at my subjects - much better than looking through a lens - I can communicate directly with people then.