Luminous Landscape Forum

Equipment & Techniques => Digital Cameras & Shooting Techniques => Topic started by: armand on November 09, 2017, 02:21:31 pm

Title: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 09, 2017, 02:21:31 pm
I'm reaching a point where it takes me a very long time trying to decide which system and what lenses should a I bring for a particular outing. I usually have no specific projects, more like walk and shoot whatever I find appealing.
I have m43, Fuji APS-C and Nikon (full frame and rarely used these days APS-C).

The problem is two fold, first system and then what lenses. I find less and less exciting to take many lenses and to keep changing them. Yesterday I left with 4 lenses but I ended up using the zoom 24-120 for most of the trip despite knowing I'll be losing some iq.

Does anybody else has these kind of "problems" and how do you get around?


One option would be to decrease the number of systems but I'm also gravitating a lot towards using just zooms for landscape. How can I justify the primes when most of the times I'll be using F5.6 or less (equiv 35mm).
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: David S on November 09, 2017, 03:18:32 pm
The modern issue- which system to use followed by which lens. I now use Panasonic GX8 and Fuji systems and am having a great time. I am fullied retired so I have no need to worry about which will please publishers the most. Fun!

Dave S
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on November 10, 2017, 03:49:46 am
If you have no particular objective in mind, then any system with a relatively large sensor will do; say starting from m43 and up, any recent/modern camera system will fit your needs.

From there, you just need to decide what to keep from what you have; you clearly have too much stuff. Trim down to a couple of cameras, plus 2 or 3 lenses. That is what I did, because when I moved from DSLR to MILC, I wanted to simplify. Like you, I shoot mostly for myself, at my own leisure.

Modern zooms are perfectly fine for landscapes, and they provide a lot of flexibility. Complement a couple of zooms with a prime lens around 35mm or 50mm, and you are set.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 10, 2017, 04:35:27 am
My sympathy to the OP!

I have long felt much the same, ever since retiring, in fact, and the sense of freedom in carrying a camera with a single lens stuck to it is worth much more than the sense of dammit! shoulda brought whatever as well!

This, along with many years of equipment juggling/changing that have cost a small fortune, has led to a philosophical change which is: sell nothing and keep everything. You are better off making a daily choice from what already exists in your armoury than wishing you hadn't got rid of the thing you suddenly find you need. Kicking yourself in the ass is a difficult, demanding process.

What you are not using is not costing you anything extra. It cost you what it's going to cost you the day you shelled out for it. Don't think of it as a permanent piece of exchange value, a negotiable instrument: it's a photographic one. Unless you screw with it, it will probably remain as good in a hundred years as it is now, which can't be said for yourself. Which leads to the next point: stay with one system and don't be misled into buying stuff that has built-in obsolescence. That was one good thing about the Nikon F mount, at least until the advent of the G lenses. Sadly, my stinking old eyesight has forced me into af if I am off tripod and want to be sure, and I usually am off tripod.

But, all is not lost: with the 50mm G, used on an FF and a DX body, I get two focal lengths in one (more or less): a 50mm and a 75mm which actually makes quite a difference in reality.

Money not an issue, the only other thing out of the sytem that I'd buy would be a Leica M (digital) of some sort, just for the experience. I'm sure that it could never be my single system because I enjoy shallow DOF and for me, that means I need to get a good idea of what's what on a screen. No, live view is out of the question: I would require speed.

We all get fidgety feet: there's even an old jazz number proving the point. Resist temptation and, if you can afford it easily, consolidate down to a single system, preferrably a full-frame one for its potential... In all honesty, if it's just for fun, why would anyone need more than a single system? This may appear to fly in the face of my opening bit of personal equipment wisdom, but it doesn't: once you settle onto a system you are set for life.

Of couse, if you are an equipment junkie, then God help you: you are your own worst enemy.

Rob
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: KLaban on November 10, 2017, 04:47:35 am
Money not an issue, the only other thing out of the sytem that I'd buy would be a Leica M (digital) of some sort, just for the experience. I'm sure that it could never be my single system because I enjoy shallow DOF and for me, that means I need to get a good idea of what's what on a screen. No, live view is out of the question: I would require speed.

But Rob, with an EVF (electronic viewfinder) you'd get exactly that.

;-)

(http://www.keithlaban.co.uk/Rob2.jpg)

Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: KLaban on November 10, 2017, 07:33:49 am
I'm reaching a point where it takes me a very long time trying to decide which system and what lenses should a I bring for a particular outing. I usually have no specific projects, more like walk and shoot whatever I find appealing.
I have m43, Fuji APS-C and Nikon (full frame and rarely used these days APS-C).

The problem is two fold, first system and then what lenses. I find less and less exciting to take many lenses and to keep changing them. Yesterday I left with 4 lenses but I ended up using the zoom 24-120 for most of the trip despite knowing I'll be losing some iq.

Does anybody else has these kind of "problems" and how do you get around?


One option would be to decrease the number of systems but I'm also gravitating a lot towards using just zooms for landscape. How can I justify the primes when most of the times I'll be using F5.6 or less (equiv 35mm).

My mantra is to keep everything as simple as possible. One system consisting of as little equipment as I can possibly get away with.

Works for me, but I admit it could be a case of simple things for a simple mind.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 10, 2017, 02:42:49 pm
But Rob, with an EVF (electronic viewfinder) you'd get exactly that.

;-)

(http://www.keithlaban.co.uk/Rob2.jpg)

Oh. I had imagined you had a traditional rangefinder viewing system, not one of those new Japanese things that resemble tiny tv screens with additional banks of info. I thought you'd have to go to LV and inspect the rear screen if you wanted to see stopped-down DOF. Also, I had the impression that focus peaking would only be available on the rear screen.

Maybe I need to hold one to get its value in perspective. But that wouldn't help me buy into any such system! Unfortunately, I have to add.

However, if the viewing system is actually similar to slr systems, why do people still stress the so-called rangefinder advantage of seeing the subject without the effect of the lens's focal length and aperture?  Does the evf switch off and let the camera revert to a traditional rf viewing system with guide frames for two or three focal lengths?

The more I read the less I know!

Great photo, by the way; shows the hoped for control extremely well.

Rob
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: rdonson on November 10, 2017, 06:26:00 pm
Armand, for walkabouts I use my Fuji X-T2.  If I don't know what I'm going encounter and I was to travel light with only one lens then I take the 18-135.  For me this is a good meandering setup.  I find it ideal for my small town work.   

This afternoon I was looking to go somewhat light for some landscape work where I wanted sharp quality and took my 16-55 f/2.8 and 5-140 f/2.8 along with my tripod with the X-T2.  I wasn't looking to do a lot of walking or any hiking so this worked fine for me.  I ended up no more that 100 yards (meters) from my car.  I knew the location and what might be needed.  I did forget my polarizer though.   
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Telecaster on November 10, 2017, 08:34:29 pm
Rob, the M240 & all but one of its variants & the M10 let you focus and compose via the rear LCD or via a clip-on EVF. But the traditional optical/mechanical rangefinder bits are all still there. So you can skip the EVF, ignore the LCDís live view capability and use the cameras the right way.  :)

-Dave-
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 11, 2017, 04:09:12 am
Rob, the M240 & all but one of its variants & the M10 let you focus and compose via the rear LCD or via a clip-on EVF. But the traditional optical/mechanical rangefinder bits are all still there. So you can skip the EVF, ignore the LCDís live view capability and use the cameras the right way.  :)

-Dave-

Thanks, Dave.

Yes, now I get it: I have a memory of watching somedody's video of shooting with a digi M and there was a circular-looking thing up on the accessory shoe; I thought that was a frame finder! Maybe that was an EVF, instead. But the video may have been for one of the cheaper Leica models - not sure.

Now that I think about it, wasn't there something about the Leica one being interchangeable with a far cheaper Japanese camera branded one?

I've just searched for it, and it turns out to exist (the tubular one), and be a Visoflex EVF finder, far dfferent to the Visoflex sytem for the old film cameras. I see there's another version that resembles a scaled-down finder for the 6x6 Rollei.

Sadly, though it may do the trick perfectly - it makes it even more unaffordable for me. Too bad.

Thanks again.

Rob
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: KLaban on November 11, 2017, 05:53:02 am
Oh. I had imagined you had a traditional rangefinder viewing system, not one of those new Japanese things that resemble tiny tv screens with additional banks of info. I thought you'd have to go to LV and inspect the rear screen if you wanted to see stopped-down DOF. Also, I had the impression that focus peaking would only be available on the rear screen.

Maybe I need to hold one to get its value in perspective. But that wouldn't help me buy into any such system! Unfortunately, I have to add.

However, if the viewing system is actually similar to slr systems, why do people still stress the so-called rangefinder advantage of seeing the subject without the effect of the lens's focal length and aperture?  Does the evf switch off and let the camera revert to a traditional rf viewing system with guide frames for two or three focal lengths?

The more I read the less I know!

Great photo, by the way; shows the hoped for control extremely well.

Rob

Rob, the M240 & all but one of its variants & the M10 let you focus and compose via the rear LCD or via a clip-on EVF. But the traditional optical/mechanical rangefinder bits are all still there. So you can skip the EVF, ignore the LCDís live view capability and use the cameras the right way.  :)

-Dave-

Thanks, Dave.

Yes, now I get it: I have a memory of watching somedody's video of shooting with a digi M and there was a circular-looking thing up on the accessory shoe; I thought that was a frame finder! Maybe that was an EVF, instead. But the video may have been for one of the cheaper Leica models - not sure.

Now that I think about it, wasn't there something about the Leica one being interchangeable with a far cheaper Japanese camera branded one?

I've just searched for it, and it turns out to exist (the tubular one), and be a Visoflex EVF finder, far dfferent to the Visoflex sytem for the old film cameras. I see there's another version that resembles a scaled-down finder for the 6x6 Rollei.

Sadly, though it may do the trick perfectly - it makes it even more unaffordable for me. Too bad.

Thanks again.

Rob

Hi Rob, a little more detail. All Leica M series (film and digital) are rangefinder cameras. Dave is right, using the rangefinder is the right way. :) It's the way I love using the cameras and it's the way I use them most of the time.

The accessory EVF2 for the M240 is an Olympus design, although it's available as a rebadged Leica for twice the price: needless to say I bought the Olympus version used at around £100. The EVF gives you the option to use and see most functions that are available on the LCD screen. So, the modern digital Leica M has essentially the choice of three 'viewfinders', the optical viewfinder with rangefinder, the LCD and an accessory EVF. Live view also allows - with cheap adaptors - the use of a plethora of non-coupled legacy lenses such as your Nikon lenses. One of my favourite lenses for use with the M240 is the Nikkor 55mm Macro AIS, simply superb. The addition of live view was crucial; it allows the building of an adaptable system around the Leica rangefinder cameras. Additional to the option of using third party lenses, live view allows for accurate framing of wide and telephoto lenses not covered by the pairs of guide frames. It gives the user the ability to see DOF, accurate framing of any lens, as well as exposure (not just exposure information), with the options of focus peaking and magnification. Even the screen used as viewfinder can be a lifesaver, for instance when the camera is mounted way above head height on a tripod. BTW, I don't see the rangefinder advantage as seeing the subject without the effect of the lens's focal length and aperture but as the ability to see outside of the frame, great for fast changing situations.

As you know I used medium format film and digital systems professionally for many years. When I 'retired' the mere thought of lugging around a MF system in often very difficult conditions filled me with horror. I was looking for a simplistic - I admit I am a technophobe - lightweight and compact system, full frame with remarkable lenses. I was seduced by a Leica M9-P which as it turned out was a godsend and the perfect introduction to the rangefinder way.

Unfortunately I've never had a proper job; all my income has been earned as an artist and photographer. I'm simply not in the position of being able to own, maintain and insure multiple systems in combination with my beloved rangefinder system and neither would I want to. I've bought most of what I have pre-owned from orthodontists, surgeons, astrophysicists and the like ;)
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: BrownBear on November 14, 2017, 07:34:15 am
I faced a similar problem upon retiring from pro shooting. More gear than sense compounded by a deep ennui with the loss of directed shooting.  Not only what in the hell to pack, but also what in the hell to shoot. Packing lots of gear only compounded my listless wandering.

For me the solution was very simple and the results were quick. I left the whole SLR setup at home and set off with a then-new RX100V. Its quality viewfinder resolved my hatred of stretched-arm photography while image quality is startlingly good. The 35-70mm equivalent lens seemed confining at first, but I quickly developed an "eye" for its range when looking for shots. I don't miss longer lenses in the least for wandering and shooting, though I must admit I'd be quick to buy a RX100VI if it had a 20-70mm equivalent lens.

Bottom line, my solution was to leave all the bulky, heavy, befuddling SLR gear at home and get back to a simpler approach to photography. It dramatically improved my output, while also improving performance with SLRs and lens arrays on occasions when those were actually needed. My photo muse was restored with less investment than a single quality SLR lens.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on November 14, 2017, 10:15:09 am
If I may further my opinion, I see two systems today that are +/- affordable (compared to the coveted Leica M), and combine all the modern technology with the "photographic haptic" of the "past". There are:

1. Sony Alpha 7 and 9 cameras, with Zeiss Loxia lenses. Who needs more that what Zeiss, in their wisdom, decided to produce? 21, 35, 50, and 85mm lens line, all providing the same look and sharing a common filter size (52mm).

2. Fujifilm X Pro camera, with 23 f2, 35 f2, and 50 f2 lenses (so called Fujicrons:) The XPro lacks the sensor based image stabilization of the Sonys, but counterattacks with the wonderful hybrid VF.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: KLaban on November 14, 2017, 10:31:48 am
If I may further my opinion, I see two systems today that are +/- affordable (compared to the coveted Leica M), and combine all the modern technology with the "photographic haptic" of the "past". There are:

1. Sony Alpha 7 and 9 cameras, with Zeiss Loxia lenses. Who needs more that what Zeiss, in their wisdom, decided to produce? 21, 35, 50, and 85mm lens line, all providing the same look and sharing a common filter size (52mm).

2. Fujifilm X Pro camera, with 23 f2, 35 f2, and 50 f2 lenses (so called Fujicrons:) The XPro lacks the sensor based image stabilization of the Sonys, but counterattacks with the wonderful hybrid VF.

Very different beasts and of course not rangefinders.

Whenever I pick up a Sony 7 series or Fujifilm X series all I want to do is put it down again. Certainly no "photographic haptics of the past" there for this tog. There again whenever I pick up a Canon or Nikon DSLR all I want to do is put it down again.

I liked using the Hasselblad H series but there was no love. In truth the only system I've ever used and loved other than the Leica M system was the Hasselblad V series, but that was then and used with that 12 shot stuff.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Telecaster on November 14, 2017, 12:35:19 pm
I like the upper-left-corner EVF with the Fuji X-Pros & X-Es. Same with my Panasonic GX8. Both systems have 40mm equiv. lenses too a la the Leitz/Minolta CL(E). In the Sony camp the Loxias give you a really nice manual focusing option, with auto-magnification when you turn the focus ring if you want it. Neither system is gonna give you the full-on Leica M thing, but unless that thing is your thing you wonít miss it.  :)

-Dave-
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 15, 2017, 04:27:17 am
Very different beasts and of course not rangefinders.

Whenever I pick up a Sony 7 series or Fujifilm X series all I want to do is put it down again. Certainly no "photographic haptics of the past" there for this tog. There again whenever I pick up a Canon or Nikon DSLR all I want to do is put it down again.

I liked using the Hasselblad H series but there was no love. In truth the only system I've ever used and loved other than the Leica M system was the Hasselblad V series, but that was then and used with that 12 shot stuff.


Me 2!

But yes, even when I was just a year or two past my prime, those became less than easy to carry around for any length of time. Hell, so did my big Gitzo, for that matter. Like so much else it lies unused - a testament to human frailty. But one day, one day...

;-)

Rob


Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Paulo Bizarro on November 15, 2017, 05:08:59 am
Very different beasts and of course not rangefinders.

Whenever I pick up a Sony 7 series or Fujifilm X series all I want to do is put it down again. Certainly no "photographic haptics of the past" there for this tog. There again whenever I pick up a Canon or Nikon DSLR all I want to do is put it down again.

I liked using the Hasselblad H series but there was no love. In truth the only system I've ever used and loved other than the Leica M system was the Hasselblad V series, but that was then and used with that 12 shot stuff.

As I said, those options were in alternative to those who can not afford the Leica M system. You can even use what is arguably the best of Leica M: the lenses.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: KLaban on November 15, 2017, 10:02:28 am
As I said, those options were in alternative to those who can not afford the Leica M system. You can even use what is arguably the best of Leica M: the lenses.

Forgive me, I was just offering a set of very personal points of view and preferences. I'm sure the Sony and Fuji cameras suit many very well. Yes, the lenses are the best of Leica*, some perhaps the best of all, but not all work at all well on third party bodies. 

But hey, I wouldn't recommend anyone pay any attention to anyone whose all time favourite imaging device is a 6B pencil (apologies to all those nationalities who don't use the correct pencil graphite grading scale).

*Not forgetting of course the best if not only available rangefinder digital bodies.

Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 15, 2017, 09:42:34 pm
Well, I will never get a Leica so that's that.

If I know the light will be tricky or I need heavy processing or great tracking I will take the Nikon as it has the best sensor.
My best lenses are on Fuji though, probably the Nikon get's away with the current lenses as the sensor density is not as high.

For hiking I used the Olympus E-M5ii with either the 12-40 +/- 35-100 or the 12-100. It's a good quality weather resistant combo. The sensor is lacking though in tougher conditions compared to the others.
If I know the weather is not going to be bad I am taking the Fuji which has good to great options on wide to short telephoto. They lack much WR unless I gain weight. If I need longer telephoto they add significant weight. I'm not thrilled re x-trans even after 6 years of dealing with it.

If I would be in an variable situations, in the cities, etc and be alone (as in nobody rushing me) I'm likely carrying the Fuji with 3-5 lenses.


I'm looking for a combo to rule it all and need other lenses only for niche scenarios. The new D850 looks good because the APS-C crop has good quality so it's more versatile. The issue is the zoom to use it with. The 24-120 F4 that I have is not that great, particularly the corners. The 24-70 F2.8E is a little limited in range and the combo becomes too heavy.
I'm looking for reviews of the Sony A7iii with the 24-105 F4 or for the Fuji to release a good quality 16-70/85 WR lens, as good or better than the Nikon 16-80 F2.4-4 for DX.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 16, 2017, 11:56:35 am
Well, I will never get a Leica so that's that.

If I know the light will be tricky or I need heavy processing or great tracking I will take the Nikon as it has the best sensor.
My best lenses are on Fuji though, probably the Nikon get's away with the current lenses as the sensor density is not as high.

For hiking I used the Olympus E-M5ii with either the 12-40 +/- 35-100 or the 12-100. It's a good quality weather resistant combo. The sensor is lacking though in tougher conditions compared to the others.
If I know the weather is not going to be bad I am taking the Fuji which has good to great options on wide to short telephoto. They lack much WR unless I gain weight. If I need longer telephoto they add significant weight. I'm not thrilled re x-trans even after 6 years of dealing with it.

If I would be in an variable situations, in the cities, etc and be alone (as in nobody rushing me) I'm likely carrying the Fuji with 3-5 lenses.


I'm looking for a combo to rule it all and need other lenses only for niche scenarios. The new D850 looks good because the APS-C crop has good quality so it's more versatile. The issue is the zoom to use it with. The 24-120 F4 that I have is not that great, particularly the corners. The 24-70 F2.8E is a little limited in range and the combo becomes too heavy.
I'm looking for reviews of the Sony A7iii with the 24-105 F4 or for the Fuji to release a good quality 16-70/85 WR lens, as good or better than the Nikon 16-80 F2.4-4 for DX.

It's probably a silly question, but do you know the bythom Nikon reviews site? He's pretty clued in about the entire Nikon range.

Rob
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 16, 2017, 03:54:47 pm
It's probably a silly question, but do you know the bythom Nikon reviews site? He's pretty clued in about the entire Nikon range.

Rob

Yes, I read it on regular basis. He cannot change the lineup though and currently Nikon doesnít have what I want.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Two23 on November 16, 2017, 11:24:32 pm
I'm reaching a point where it takes me a very long time trying to decide which system and what lenses should a I bring for a particular outing. I usually have no specific projects, more like walk and shoot whatever I find appealing.
...

... Yesterday I left with 4 lenses but I ended up using the zoom 24-120 for most of the trip despite knowing I'll be losing some iq.

Does anybody else has these kind of "problems" and how do you get around?



I think the problem you are hinting at is called "analysis paralysis."  There have been some studies about decision making over the years and the conclusion is that we soon reach a point where more options simply creates more unhappiness.  When I go to buy ice cream at Dairy Queen my choice is chocolate or vanilla.  When I go to Baskin Robbins there are more choices than I can comfortably consider in a reasonable length of time.  In the end I'm no more happy with French Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake than I was with chocolate. ;D 

I think your basic mistake is to concentrate on "image quality" (technical) than on "quality of the image" (aesthetics.)   Concentrating on "image quality" has a way of sucking all the fun out of photography, so why do that?  Here's what worked for me:  go buy yourself a Kodak Brownie.  Any year will do, 1904 to 1958--they're basically the same.  You can even get a pretty red one from the early 1930s. ;D  Put a roll of Ilford FP4 in the thing and just go out and shoot some sunny day.  You are limited to eight shots.  Concentrate on making the most interesting images you can.  Rediscover the fun!


Kent in SD
(South Dakota, NOT
San Diego!)

Below shot:
Kodak Brownie (1904), Ilford FP4+

Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: KLaban on November 17, 2017, 07:33:49 am
Most half decent offerings are capable of delivering enough "Image Quality" for this photographer. I'd rather look for and use a half decent offering that delivers joy in use. 
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 17, 2017, 09:04:05 am
If one could decide which focal length (in which format) was the key one to one's way of working, it would be easy to buy one body and lens. Unfortunately, for me at least, I can periodically fall in love with anything I've got from, on 135 format, 24mm to 500mm cat. That makes overall simplification impossible, but it's no longer a problem for me because I learned some years ago that it's an error to leave home for a few hours with more than one camera with the chosen optic of the moment.

As long as one's talking about basic 135 format systems, they are all close enough to make but theoretical differences in weight and convenience terms; it ends up personal taste/depth of pocket.

Rob
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 17, 2017, 12:03:33 pm

I think the problem you are hinting at is called "analysis paralysis."  There have been some studies about decision making over the years and the conclusion is that we soon reach a point where more options simply creates more unhappiness.  When I go to buy ice cream at Dairy Queen my choice is chocolate or vanilla.  When I go to Baskin Robbins there are more choices than I can comfortably consider in a reasonable length of time.  In the end I'm no more happy with French Cherry Chocolate Cheesecake than I was with chocolate. ;D 

I think your basic mistake is to concentrate on "image quality" (technical) than on "quality of the image" (aesthetics.)   Concentrating on "image quality" has a way of sucking all the fun out of photography, so why do that?  Here's what worked for me:  go buy yourself a Kodak Brownie.  Any year will do, 1904 to 1958--they're basically the same.  You can even get a pretty red one from the early 1930s. ;D  Put a roll of Ilford FP4 in the thing and just go out and shoot some sunny day.  You are limited to eight shots.  Concentrate on making the most interesting images you can.  Rediscover the fun!


Kent in SD
(South Dakota, NOT
San Diego!)

Below shot:
Kodak Brownie (1904), Ilford FP4+

Thanks, I self diagnosed this some time ago and you are right but dealing with it is not that easy.


Most half decent offerings are capable of delivering enough "Image Quality" for this photographer. I'd rather look for and use a half decent offering that delivers joy in use. 

I could just use my cellphone.

Yes, all of them could be good enough strictly image quality but that applies for most situations not all and itís in the human nature to strive for more.
I enjoy using all cameras at different times with Fujifilm having the edge on enjoyment.
Part of the problem is that I have too many lenses and I feel I should use them all, or as many as possible at a given time.

Oh well, Iíll keep trying.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Two23 on November 17, 2017, 01:44:49 pm

Yes, all of them could be good enough strictly image quality but that applies for most situations not all and itís in the human nature to strive for more.
I enjoy using all cameras at different times with Fujifilm having the edge on enjoyment.
Part of the problem is that I have too many lenses and I feel I should use them all, or as many as possible at a given time.



And back to "image quality."   I think we often get too hung up on that.  It's something objective and can be measured, so it's easier to deal with.  We've all seen images from guys who spent tens of thousands $$ (or Islandic Kronas) on the latest gear only to make photos that were perfectly exposed, perfectly sharp, and perfectly boring.  I've come to think that putting too much emphasis on the gear distracts us from the more important thing, the quality of the image. :)  I have been using two strategies to deal with this myself.  First, I sometimes will just go out with a very simple camera made a lifetime ago.  I have just as much fun using them, and they force me to focus my energy on composition.  Second factor is I eventually just got tired of carrying a pack full of heavy lenses, the majority of which I ended up not using.  It's just not fun!  I have slimmed down to carrying only one camera and three lenses (usually 24/50/105mm or their LF equivalents.)  Next week I'll be in Seattle, WA and plan on doing some "street" shooting.  My camera of choice?  My c.1942 Lecia IIIc with period correct LTM 28/35/50/90mm lenses.  This all fits in an exceedingly small bag--smaller than my wife's purse even!  I will have just as much fun as if I had taken a Nikon D800E with my Sigma ART lenses, and I'm betting the quality of the images will be the same.  I will conclude with a quote from St. Ansel, "Any photographer worth his salt can make compelling images with just a Brownie!"  (Never mind that he mostly used state of art Zeiss lenses on his Hassleblad or Schneider lenses on his Deardorff.  ;)  )

I suppose what I'm getting at is that by using long obsolete cameras I was forced to not depend on the camera gear to make a nice photo.  Once I came to think that in the end the camera gear is the least important thing in photography, my photos became more interesting.  Instead of finding it frustrating to use a Brownie, I found it liberating!


Kent in SD


Below photo:
Chicago,
Leica IIIc, Leica 50mm Elmar, FP4+


Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 17, 2017, 03:31:24 pm
Hold your stallions! Cameras are not just interchangeable boxes. Cameras give not only your images but yourself a different dynamic as you use them.

I've used this story before, but it bears repetition here: on a fashion shoot, the client, a lady, remarked to me that she preferred it when I used the little cameras (Nikons) because then I jumped around doing different things and generating an air of something happening. What I couldn't tell her, diplomatically, was that I was using a 'blad on a tripod for a simple, logistical reason: the clothes were so formal and boring and the model so wrong for the job that I wasn't prepared to waste my time processsing and proofing more rolls of film than I had to when I knew that nothing was going to happen beyond getting a competent record shot which could be achieved on a roll of twelve frames per garment. Clearly she understood that excitement drives creativity, but not that creativity and subject are directly linked.

So yep, different cameras and focal lengths make you work differently. That's why it seems a good idea to sally forth with but one lens and use different ones on different days as the mood takes you. And of course, if for fun. it must be fun.

Rob
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: KLaban on November 17, 2017, 04:48:08 pm
I've spent far too many days hauling large bags brimming with equipment up and down villages built into mountainsides: not fun. Now, on a typical walkabout I'll have one small body with lens in hand and another identical body with lens in a tiny bag worn across the chest. Works for me and remains great fun.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Telecaster on November 17, 2017, 05:09:42 pm
I also do ďone camera & lens per outing.Ē Rangefinders take zooms out of the mix too, which helps simplify the process.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 17, 2017, 11:20:32 pm
I occasionally get out with just a prime (even went to New York once for 3 days with only a 35 F1.8 on APS-C) but I dislike missing shots just because I want to prove a point. My time for photography is limited. Therefore when I go out with primes a take at least 2, more like 3-4.
The 2 body works the best but the weight makes me do it less often plus I donít have identical bodies so I have to decide which lens goes on which body; this is valid only for Fuji, I donít have backup bodies for the others.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 17, 2017, 11:25:12 pm
From the prior reply you can guess most of the underlying problem. My time dedicated to photography is limited and I donít want to miss the few opportunities that I might get.
ďBetterĒ cameras wonít make me take better photos but will help me miss less shots or salvage some suboptimal settings, etc.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Telecaster on November 18, 2017, 04:12:01 pm
With my little Panasonic GX8 I have a 14Ė140mm zoom I use when I want focal length versatility. Itís a darn good lens for a 10xíer. This rig is great for travel when taking pics isnít the main purpose.

-Dave-
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on November 18, 2017, 07:46:54 pm
Sorry I haven't chimed in before this, but I've been too busy out shooting pix with cameras that I do enjoy.

In my younger days I shot with everything from 35mm to 8x10 view cameras. When I went over to the dark (digital) side, I started with a Canon 10D. That, of course, led to the acquisition of numerous lenses, mostly Canon L-glass. Then I upgraded to the full-frame 5D and then the 5DII. I still had the hefty Gitzo that I used to haul around with the various lenses and cameras.

But when I wasn't looking, I got older and less enamored of hauling piles of equipment everywhere I went. Than a couple of years ago I started looking for something a bit lighter but with decent optics for taking along on a trip to the Dordogne region of France. My local camera store guy suggested I try out the Sony RX10, which was light enough and with zoom lens that went from (FF equivalent) 24mm to 200mm.

I was skeptical, but he let me take it out to shoot for a day, and I was convinced. The Zeiss lens was excellent at all focal lengths, and the stabilization was good enough for hand-held shots even at 200mm. I bought it and used it for the trip, and liked it so much that I immediately sold off my Canon 5DII and all my Canon lenses.

This year I traded it in for the RX10 III, which has an equally fine Zeiss lens that runs from 24mm to 600mm (FF), still hand-holdable.

Now I never worry about what lens to take with me, and I never have to clean crap off the sensor. I quickly got used to the very good EVF, and it doesn't bother me that the rear screen only tilts one way. I don't miss my Canons at all.

Well, I haven't completely abandoned the Canon camp. I must admit that I also now have a second camera, a Canon G5X, which is small enough to fit in a largish pocket, with an EVF and back screen. Previous pocket Canons have not had a viewfinder, and the rear screen was unreadable in bright back sun lighting. This little gem is the camera that I have with me almost all the time, even when I don't want to carry as much as the Sony.

As they say, the best camera for any situation is the one you have with you.

Cheers,

Eric
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: scooby70 on November 19, 2017, 05:31:00 pm
I have Panasonic MFT with a selection of Panasonic and Olympus primes and zooms and I also have a Sony A7 with Sony 35mm f2.8, 55mm f1.8, Voigtlander 40mm f1.2 and the 28-70mm kit zoom which I've never used outside of the house and garden. I also have quite a few Minolta Rokkor, Olympus Zuiko and Canon FD primes.

My problem at the moment is I'm stuck between the look that the old lenses give, and some of them do have their own look, and the excellence of the newer lenses and particularly the Sony 55mm and Voigtlander 40mm. I think I need to decide which direction to go in, should I choose the older lens for the look they give or the newer lenses for their technical excellence.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 19, 2017, 06:50:32 pm
The more you have the more difficult is to choose.

Going back to what I've said earlier that I have hopes for the A7Riii + 24-105 F4 my bubble is being deflated as I looked and added the weights.

A7Riii + 24-105 = 1320
D750 + 24-120 = 1420
D850 + 24-120 = 1585

If I consider that the batteries are less heavy for the Nikon for the same shooting duration (video excluded) then the D750 combo is about the same weight while the D850 is at most 200g heavier.
That 24-105 really needs to be good to justify 4500$.

PS. for somebody who starts the current deal on the D750 with a grip and the 24-120 F4 is really good at 2000$.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: stever on November 20, 2017, 11:50:39 am
i did these same numbers against my Canon ff shortly after Sony introduced zoom lenses and came to the conclusion that micro 43 is the only way to lose significant weight and bulk if you need zooms and/or long lenses.

i'm satisfied with the latest 43 generation that has eliminated shutter shock and the high quality olympus and pany lenses - testing against Canon 7d/dIi i don't see a noticeable difference in IQ

That said, the last couple generation of ff slrs have obviously lower high ISO noise, significantly better dynamic range and resolution (and probably AF)

So now i still have to decide when it's worth carrying ff.

PS - the Sony RX 100 is amazing, particularly with good light
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: armand on November 20, 2017, 01:39:10 pm
I still have and occasionally use the original RX100 with at 28-100 equiv lens and it's decent. Once I took it on a trip with another Sony compact, a pocket superzoom to cover for the telephoto. It worked well and I came with good shots but on the better ones I was wishing I had a little better base file. This is why I'm a little reluctant regarding the RX-10iii; if anything I would prefer the mark ii version with the 24-200 equiv.


The m43 I decided to use the most is the E-M5ii with the 12-100 F4 particularly for backpacking. It's a good quality WR kit at about 1000g. This is the combo that makes the most sense for me because if I go for the 12-40 the weight is practically the same as the Fuji X-T2 with the 18-55. You lose the 24 equiv and some WR but I prefer the Fuji combo otherwise.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on November 20, 2017, 05:10:20 pm
I still have and occasionally use the original RX100 with at 28-100 equiv lens and it's decent. Once I took it on a trip with another Sony compact, a pocket superzoom to cover for the telephoto. It worked well and I came with good shots but on the better ones I was wishing I had a little better base file. This is why I'm a little reluctant regarding the RX-10iii; if anything I would prefer the mark ii version with the 24-200 equiv.
I skipped the RX10ii, but the RX10iii seems to me to give as good image quality as the original RX10 did. At least on both of mine the Zeiss lens has been superb. The extra weight of the iii over the ii makes a bit of difference, but I have not regretted going for the iii, and I do find (much to my own surprise) that I do use the 600 length from time to time, even hand-held, with good results.

Whatever you decide on, try to get a chance to borrow it for a day to try some real shooting. I got both of my Sonys at my local camera shop, and they were happy to let me try before I bought.

-Eric
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Rob C on November 21, 2017, 07:01:19 am
I skipped the RX10ii, but the RX10iii seems to me to give as good image quality as the original RX10 did. At least on both of mine the Zeiss lens has been superb. The extra weight of the iii over the ii makes a bit of difference, but I have not regretted going for the iii, and I do find (much to my own surprise) that I do use the 600 length from time to time, even hand-held, with good results.

Whatever you decide on, try to get a chance to borrow it for a day to try some real shooting. I got both of my Sonys at my local camera shop, and they were happy to let me try before I bought.

-Eric

For as long as it proved possible, I always believed in sticking with a local hero. It used to be the norm; different shops carried a different variety of brands and sometimes specialised in one or two; they came with a wealth of experience about those particular marques. The closest I can still find to that confidence and knowledge regarding Nikon is in London, which ain't exactly next door.

That world of unfair trading and digital salesmen has sure washed a lot of happy babes down the plug hole.

Rob
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: BrownBear on November 21, 2017, 07:18:56 am
So true. In many venues in addition to photography.

I'm encouraged by local developments in venues other than photography.  A Walmart moved into our small town, driving off many small businesses. But a handful made an important discovery.  Walmart service suxx, and the "expert" behind the counter was a previous window attendant at McDonalds. The shops that focused on service and expertise in their staff have thrived, to the point that Walmart even shut down their own competing departments.

The same is true for web competition. Shops focused on service and expertise can thrive if they survive the learning curve for dealing with online or big box competitors.

It's not universal for all businesses by any means, but if we as clients and customers place value on service and expertise over a few percentage points in price, we can help.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: scooby70 on November 21, 2017, 08:19:45 am
..the "expert" behind the counter was a previous window attendant at McDonalds.

I think it's nice to be a little less dismissive or condescending, even on an internet forum.
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: BrownBear on November 21, 2017, 08:41:16 am
I think it's nice to be a little less dismissive or condescending, even on an internet forum.

That's neither dismissive nor condescending.  I'm reporting multiple first hand experiences, because I've known each of the clerks I reference in their successive uniforms. 
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Two23 on November 21, 2017, 06:48:56 pm
The shops that focused on service and expertise in their staff have thrived, to the point that Walmart even shut down their own competing departments.



I find that highly doubtful.  Since 1983 I've been in nearly 1,000 Walmarts and have never seen any close a department.  Walmart has never carried the more expensive camera gear--the volume just isn't there.  The real problem for local camera stores is online.  Even that is nothing new as B&H has been around since at least the 1980s (when I bought my first new camera,) and since then it's gotten far more competitive.  I do buy something from my local camera store every now and then, but I rarely buy new cameras or lenses.  I greatly prefer picking off used ones from ebay, especially in late January.


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: BrownBear on November 21, 2017, 08:40:53 pm
Believe what you want.  I bought three bolts of fabric for some special needs when ours dumped their sewing department.  Meanwhile we have two sewing shops and one knitting shop in our town that thrive.  Similarly they cut their hunting and fishing department to two aisles and destaffed it while we have two independent fishing and hunting stores that are SRO and best of luck finding a parking spot.

A whole 1,000 Walmarts?  You've been a busy, busy man.   ;D
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: Two23 on November 21, 2017, 11:08:56 pm
  My small city has a nearby Cabelas, two thriving independent gun shops, and a well established large hunting/fishing regional chain.  Despite this our small city has gone from two Walmarts to four, and the hunting/fishing departments are expanded.  Walmarts in general have been closing out fabrics because they take up of a lot of space without providing much gross margin, i.e. the profit per square foot just isn't there.  The space was given to video games, cell phone, and accessories.  I'll add that at one time Walmart carried 24 feet of film skus!  Now they only stock about three Fuji 35mm items.


Kent in SD
Title: Re: Choosing a lens/system
Post by: ErikKaffehr on November 22, 2017, 12:58:29 am
Hi,

Personally, I just want to use single system. I should say, I have two systems, a Sony A7 based and a Hasselblad 555/ELD/P45+ based.

I decided long ago that zooms were better for my kind of shooting, and I would mostly say that they are good enough. I have seldom seen the great advantage of primes. Why not?


On the Hassy system I obviously have primes, but most Hassy lenses I have are outperformed by the zooms I use with the A7rII.

So, I am actually selling off my 400/4.5G APO and 300/4G APO lenses for the Sony and possibly replace with a new 100-400/4-5.6LII from Canon. As a remark, I mostly use Canon lenses on my A7rII.

I was using Sony and Hasselblad in parallell for four years, with the Hasselblad claiming 1/3 of the exposures, but with the arrival of the A7rII I have seen no benefits in image quality from the Hasselblad, so my usage dwindled to nil.

If you print up to 16"x23", I think any of the cameras you mention will do a great job. Printing larger, I would suggest that more megapixels may be an advantage.

Best regards
Erik

I'm reaching a point where it takes me a very long time trying to decide which system and what lenses should a I bring for a particular outing. I usually have no specific projects, more like walk and shoot whatever I find appealing.
I have m43, Fuji APS-C and Nikon (full frame and rarely used these days APS-C).

The problem is two fold, first system and then what lenses. I find less and less exciting to take many lenses and to keep changing them. Yesterday I left with 4 lenses but I ended up using the zoom 24-120 for most of the trip despite knowing I'll be losing some iq.

Does anybody else has these kind of "problems" and how do you get around?


One option would be to decrease the number of systems but I'm also gravitating a lot towards using just zooms for landscape. How can I justify the primes when most of the times I'll be using F5.6 or less (equiv 35mm).