Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Fuji 23mm f/1.4 R

I changed my mind about keeping the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R (or 35mm in FF format.) I have decided to sell it for the following reasons:
  • The Leica Q can crop to 35mm (16MP.) Therefore, the only reason for keeping it was when I use the T2 as a travel camera and not to complement the Q.
  • If I use the T2 as my travel camera, I will face two possible scenarios.  For inside, I have the 10-24 f/4 OIS, the 16mm f/1.4, and the 56mm f/1.2. I do not need the 23mm.
  • For outside, I have the 18-135mm - my go to lens  for outside. My pictures of the Grand Canyon taken wit the T1 and 18-135. If I need a prime, I have the 27mm f/2.8 (41mm in FF format - my favorite "normal" focal length;) and If I need a faster prime, I have the 35mm f/1.4 (52mm in FF format. ) In other words, 50mm at 24MP.  The Leica Q can crop to 50mm but at 8MP. Therefore, I do not need the 23mm.
  • Having the 23mm will lead to two situations.  I would very seldom use it or I would prevent others lenses from being used. I rather have less lenses and use them to the max.
  • One thing though. I'm no longer in a "fire sale" mode.  If I get what I'm asking for, then I would sell it; if not, I would be more than happy to keep it. It is also the main reason, I'm keeping the 18mm f/2.  I offered the lens for $275 - a bargain - but there were no takers.  I cannot discount the lens any further.
PS 1: I changed my mind. I'm keeping both the X-T10 and the FX 23mm f/1.4 R.

PS 2: The bottom line is that I can no longer sell any equipment and  the"fire sales" are events of the past. If I buy, I keep. I love the T10 and the 23mm.  How can I part with them? The Leica Q is paid for. I still need $500 to cover for the T2. I'll find the money. However, No More Buying! I do not need any more lenses. In addition, first and foremost, I do not need any more cameras. Obviously, I cannot keep up with all my cameras.  Otherwise, I would be buying and selling all the time. The decision to sell the T10 and the 23mm was very rational. On the other hand, the decision to keep them was completely irrational.

PS 3: I love my blog even though I might be the only one reading it :) I'm not a high-power reviewer; it is just me. I cannot live without it; it has all my links!

PS 4: I have decided to sell the Tamron 45mm SP  f/1.8 VI VC USD instead, directly to eBay (Sold.) I still have the Nikon 50mm f/1.8G  SE, and the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 (52mm in FF format.) I hate having the same or vey similar focal lengths in triplicates.

Why I pre-ordered the Fuji X-T2

Fuji X-T2
When I purchased the Fuji X-T10, I knew that the T2 was just around the corner; I took a chance. I really like the T10 (Silver Edition.) It is a very light camera (0.81 lbs) and a pleasure to shoot with, especially with the XC 16-50 and the pancake lenses. However, it has shortcomings compared to the new T2, which I could not ignore. even though I really wanted to keep the T10. On the other hand, the T2 has everything I wanted in a Fuji camera.  I do not think that a future T20 will have all these features.

The following are the list of features that I consider major or crucial to justify my upgrade to the T2:
  • Two SD card slots.  If the T2 is my travel camera, then this is a crucial. I need the second slot to back up he first one.  I have no idea when I'll be back to the place I'm visiting, if ever.  I do not want to lose the photos I took, just because a card went bad. This is the main reason I took the D750 to Washington DC instead of the T1. I seriously doubt that the T20 will have this feature. For me, this is a deal breaker and the main and perhaps the only reason I'm upgrading to the T2. Otherwise, I was very happy with the T10 or T1.
  • The 24 MP sensor is important not because of image quality; it is important because of cropping.
  • The controls are so much better. The ISO and Shutter Speed dials can be locked or unlocked depending on shooter's preference.  I no longer have to press the lock and turn the dial, at the same time.  
  • The "Joy Stick" to control the focus points is very important.  I no longer have to rely on the main dial like with the T1 and T10 freeing up four very easy accessible and programable functions buttons. In addition, the "joy stick" is so much easier to use. As I use the camera, I will learn how and what to program in each one of the function buttons.
  • The EVF is larger and brighter than the T10.  It is better or the same as with the T1. Nice!
  • The rest of the new features like 4k movie, AF spend, refresh rate, etc are not that important to me; I could take them or leave them.
If the T2 had the major features I was hoping for, what am I waiting for?

My five cameras will be:
  • Leica Q.  I will not upgrade.
  • Nikon D5500 - IR. I will not upgrade.
  • Fuji X-T2. I will not upgrade.
  • Fuji X-T10. I will not upgrade.
  • Nikon D750. This is the only camera that might need an upgrade in the future, but I do not see why.  Who knows what Nikon might come up with in the next 5 years or so?
Fuji X-T10

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Nikon AF-S 200-500mm f/5.6E

Nikon 200-500mm f/5.6E
I was not aware of the Nikon 200-500; it peeked my interest in  the lens. when I learned about it.

After careful consideration and analysis of the Nikon 200-500mm, Sigma 150-600mm, Tamron 150-600mm, and Fuji 100-400mm, the lens I liked the most was the Tamron.  However, I was aware of the Tamron when it was first announced and I was never interested in the lens. Why am I considering this focal length?  The only reason is because it is a Nikon in the line of the legendaries Nikkor long lenses. Firstly, I do not need it. I have enough with my Tamron 70-300, which I am yet to use in a shoot.  Lastly, the Nikon is too heavy for me (4.6 lbs.) Therefore, I'm not getting any very long lens.

Fuji X-T2
I am done with my "fire sale." I will not do this again.  It was very hard for me. I kept changing my mind which lenses to sell. I have enough to pay for the Leica Q with some change to spare ($1,100.) The Q is now my main camera - a game changer.  However, I'm not done selling, just the "fire sale." I just pre-ordered the X-T2 from B&H. Delivery estimated the first two weeks of October. Therefore, I will have to sell the T10, a camera I really like.  I cannot have everything.  I will write about my decision in a new post.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

My New Cameras and Lenses Lineup

Leica Q - Typ 116
The Leica Q has been a game changer for me. It has become my main and go-to camera displacing the Nikon D750 from that spot. Therefore, what are the new roles of the cameras?
  • The Leica Q is the main camera.
  • The Fuji X-T2 complements with lenses what the Q is not. It is also my travel camera.
  • The Fuji X-T10 have with me at all times camera with very light lenses
  • The Nikon D5500 continues with the same role as the IR Camera.
  • The Nikon D750 is now the specialty role camera.
The Leica Q with its 28mm (24MP) Summilux lens that can crop to 35mm (15MP) and 50mm (8MP) is the workhorse.  It is a prime that acts as a pseudo zoom lens. Therefore, the X-T2 will complement the Q with zooms and primes:
Fuji X-T2

Zoom Lenses

Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Prime Lenses

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R
Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R
Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R
Fuji 18mm f/2
I will keep my X-T10, a camera I really love and also the Fujinon XF 23mm f1.4 R.

Fujifilm X-T10

Zoom Lens

Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II

Prime Lenses

Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R
Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8

Yes, after much thought I did pre-order the X-T2.  Delivery is estimated  ~ October.  What's to think about.  This is the camera I really need, It comes with 2 SD cards slots, which will make it the perfect travel camera.  The second slot backs up the first one.  It comes with 24 MP and the control buttons are much better than the T1.

The 10-24 and 18-135 are obvious; they do not need an explanation. The primes are the focal length I do not have with the Q with the exception of the Fuji 23mm.  If the T2 will be my travel camera, then the 23mm (35mm in FF format) is a crucial length.

The T2 will be a pleasure to shoot with the very light "pancake lenses." The T2 weights 1.1 lbs. with battery and SD card. The Fuji 18mm f/2 weights  4.1 oz and the Fuji 27mm f/2.8 weights 2.75 oz.The T2 is like having the very much thought of Fuji X-100T with the added advantage that the T10 is not a fixed lens camera.

Fuji 27mm f/2.8

The D5500 is my converted and dedicated IR camera with:

Prime Lenses

Nikkor AF-S 20mm f/1.8G ED N
Nikon D5500
Nikkor AF-S 28mm f/1.8G ED N

Zoom Lenses

Nikkor AF-S DX 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G VR II
Nikkor AF-S DX 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR II
Nikkor AI-S 70-210mm f/4.5-5.6

I can always use the primes with the D750.  That camera was always a delight to shoot wth light lenses.

The Nikon D750 has become my multi-purpose role camera. It will be my:
Nikon D750

 My Zoo Camera:

Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

My Night Camera:

Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G ED Special Edition

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

My Specialty Lens Camera:

Sigma DG 15mm f/2.8 EX Fisheye

My Table-Top/Macro Camera:

Nikkor AF-S Micro 105mm f/2.8G ED VR

Sigma DG 50mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Sigma DG 70mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Sigma DG 150mm f/2.8 EX APO Macro

After much deliberation and though the above are the lenses I will keep  The others, including the Fuji X-T1 are sold. Will I upgrade the T10 to the T2?  Yes, I just pre-ordered the T2.

I have a very balanced camera lineup facing a very uncertain future full with rumors and debates what's better, DSLR or MirrorLens:
  • I have 3 Mirrorless cameras and 2 DSLRs
  • I have 2 Full-Frame and 3 APS-C cameras
  • I have 4 24MP cameras and one 16MP camera
  • I have 2 Nikon, 1 Leica, and 2 Fujifilm
  • I have my Leica, the one I can afford
  • I have 5 cameras, one for every occasion
  • Lastly, I have 5 cameras - 1 too many.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Looking into the Future for Me

What's in the future for me when it comes to equipment. I would like to get the Leica M - Typ 262 with the 50mm Summilux Lens. The combo will cost ~ $9,000.  I will have to sell my Fuji X-T10 system.  I calculated that maximum I would get is ~$3,800. Therefore, it won't happen.
Nikon D750

What about my Nikon D750 and lenses? It is my most versatile system.  I can use it with light fast primes and zooms. it is a delight to shoot with:

Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8G ED SE
Nikkor AF-S 85mm f/1.8G ED

It is also my night photography camera with the:

Tamron SP 35mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Tamron SP 45mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Tamron SP 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD

And my table-top macro photography camera, which is a full-fledged macro system including the following lenses:

Nikkor PC Micro 85mm f/2.8
Nikkor AF-S Micro 105mm f/2.8G ED VR

Sigma DG 50mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Sigma DG 70mm f/2.8 EX Macro
Sigma DG 150mm f/2.8 EX APO Macro

As I get older, I might not be able to get out.  Therefore, I will bring photography home. 

It is my Zoo camera with the:

Tamron SP 70-300mm f/4-5.6 Di VC USD

I paid $449 for this lens with a $100 mail-in rebate.  Tamron just emailed me that the rebate was approved and that they will mail the check, in the next few days.  This is a lens that will be used the least and $349 was the Maximum I was willing to pay.

In addition and at this time, it is my main travel camera because of the 2-slot SD card. I use the second slot as back-up for the first one.

Leica Q - Type 116
The Leica Q - Typ 116 is here to stay.  I do not think that I will ever upgrade  it - no reason to. I finally got my dream camera. It is like it was done with me in mind. Fantastic!

Nikon D5500

The D5500 - IR is also unmovable - no reason to.  It is excellent and a great buy. Therefore the last is the Fuji X-T2 with its lenses:

Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS
Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR
Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R
Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R
Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R

Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R
Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 R

As I stated, I can only wish to get ~ $3,800 for the system.  I will not sell it.  The only thing is to upgrade the X-T10 if the new one (X-T20) has the following:

Two card SD Cards
A better EVF - same as the XE-2
A 24 MP sensor.

I will keep the Fujifilm X-T10 and also the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R.

Fujifilm X-T10

Zoom Lens

Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II

Prime Lenses

Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R
Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Photokina - 2016

Photokina-2016 is a 6-day event being held from 20th September to the 25th September 2016 at the Cologne International Expocentre in Cologne, Germany. This event is held every two years in Cologne. Photokina showcases products like photo cameras and camcorders, camphones, scanners, camera accessories, digital storage media, films, photographic studio equipment, professional camera and lighting systems, image processing software, digital imaging and publishing, major and minilabs, image kiosk systems, online picture services, frames and albums, photo-fun-products, home printing, large-format printing, fine art printing, video, slide and film technology, screens and monitors, video projectors, interactive presentation systems, media control systems, home entertainment, Computer Generated Imaging, mobile imaging, video via SLR, imaging services, additional assortments etc. in the Media & Advertising industry.
Hasselblad X1D
This year promises to be bigger and better than ever. A couple of weeks ago, Hasselblad, the legendary Swedish camera company, given for dead by most, shocked the photographic world announcing the first Medium-Format (50MP+) Mirrorless digital camera: the X1D for only $9,000, body only.  Well, it is cheap compared to the other Medium-Format cameras offered by Hasselblad, but it is unaffordable for us mere mortals.

The X1D seems to be the first of many Medium-Format mirrorless cameras unveiled at this year’s edition of Photokina. Medium-Format seems to be the future of mirrorless cameras. In addition to the before mentioned cameras, there are many other ones rumored to be announced at the show

Canon 5D Mark IV -The Canon 5D Mark IV announcement is overdue.The core specification of the camera is not known yet, but we are sure that it will enjoy slight jump in resolution and will feature an advanced video mode.
Canon 6D Mark II camera – Canon 6D update is also overdue.
Canon SX70 HS or Canon SX100 HS? Canon SX60 HS camera is more than 2 years old and waiting for an upgrade, Nikon already announced p900 camera with 83X optical zoom that has created and World Records.
Canon Mirrorless Camera – Canon is expected to announce 3 new mirrorless camera in 2016 and one of them will be high-end mirrorless camera capable to record 4K videos.

Nikon Photokina 2016 Rumors - Nikon will announce mid-range entry level full frame DSLR at the Photokina 2016. The camera might be called Nikon D620 and a probable 24 megapixels and a full frame sensor with an excellent dynamic range.
Nikon D3500 – The Nikon D3500 is coming for sure since Canon already updated with entry level DSLR Canon 1300d on January of this year. The camera might arrive with a 24 Megapixel CMOS sensor and will be compatible with Snapbridge software announced by Nikon this year.

Nikon is working seriously on full frame or larger sensor mirrorless camera  Nikon might announce two new models one for prosumer and one professional

Leica is rumored to be working in a CCD M-Mount Sensor CameraIn other words, "Back to the Future."  This should be very interesting, if materializes.

Prior to Photokina event Fuji will be going to announce the Fuji X-T2 camera on July 7th 2016.
Fuji X100T successor - If everything goes under the schedule, the X100T successor will be announced on September 2016 during  the Photokina event. The X200 (possible name) will have same sensor as of the X-Pro2 camera.

Fuji is also working on a Medium-Format mirrorless camera due to be announced in Photokina 2016

Leica Summilux f/1.4
Will I get an affordable Medium-Format mirrorless camera? I seriously doubt it.  I am very happy with my Fuji X-T10 and ecstatic with my Leica Q.  In addition, all these rumored Medium-Format mirrorless cameras are coming with a 50MP+ sensor.  Right now, I have 16MP and 24MP sensors in  my cameras. My Mac 27 is fast enough.  With a 50MP+, I might have to upgrade my Mac. If any new camera for me, it would be the Leica M - Typ 262 and a 50mm Summilux lens.  

The M - 262 is a digital rangefinder, which comes without video and no live view.  My type of camera!  There is one small problem:  $$$$$.  The M = $5,395 and the 50mm f/1.4 = $3,795 or $9,190 for both.  That is for starter. At least a 24mm or 21mm Summilux, in the future, is a must Why? My Leica  Q  = $4,250 with a fixed 28mm Summilux - f/1.7, which is 1/3 of a stop slower than a f/1.4 lens.  Leica names any lens f/1.4 or f/1.7 as "Summilux." In addition, I can autofocus or manual focus with the Q,  I can only manual focus with the M and the 50mm.  However, it comes with  the great Leica manual focus of superimposing images. With my Q, I can take photos or crop at 28mm (24MP,) 35mm (15MP,) and 50mm (8MP.) I only publish on the Web.  Therefore, 8MP is more than enough, if I do not crop too much in Post-Processing. If I get the M and the 50mm, I will have to sell my Fujifilm system, at least. BTW, I'm really tempted, but very unlikely. 

My Present Equipment
My New Leica Q - Typ 116
My Test Run with the Leica Q. The shooting conditions were awful. No direct sunlight, overcast, and foggy.
Leica M - Typ 262

Rumors are that Tamron is coming out with a SP 135mm f/1.8 Di VC USD.  That lens might more than 2 lbs. It might be too heavy for me, but I have to see it before I make up my mind.  However, it is very unlikely.

Leica Q - Typ 116

When I bought the X-T1, I said that I consider it as the "poor man Leica." I always considered myself as a Leica shooter without the means of getting a Leica and 3-4 lenses. I'm also a "wide-angle" shooter. The Q was a no-brainer for me. I love the camera and is going to be my main and go-to camera. It is like walking around with three f/1.7 primes: 28mm (24MP,) 35mm (16MP,) and 50mm (8MP) plus a macro lens, and both AF and MF, if I want to. For me 8MP to publish on the web is enough.

I started following Leica when they came out with the M9 and X1, which I got (I sold it since.) However, I gave up on Leica when they started coming out with the designers M9, M - Typ 240, the Leica T, etc. I thought they lost their way, again. I stop following them over a year ago.
I went to a local photo dealer to look at the Fuji X-Pro 2 to see if it was worth upgrading to the X-T2, when announced. They did not have it. The guy, who I have known for years, was telling about the Leica Q (they did not have it in stock.) I thought he was talking about the Leica T, which I have no interest in. When I went home, I looked the Q up and got very interested in the Q. After much deliberation and planning what my new lineup of cameras and lenses would be, I decided to get the Leica Q.

My father had a full-fledged dark room. He had Zeiss cameras. His best friend and a neighbor of ours had nothing but Leica cameras. His wife would not even hear about a dark room in his house. Therefore, he used to come, at all times, to use my father's dark room; he had a key to the house. For that my father used borrow his fiend's Leica cameras and shoot with them. Therefore, ever since I was 8-9, my dream camera was a Leica. I just could not afford a Leica and 3-4 lenses, until now with the Q.

The Q is a great camera, worth every penny and then some. My Photos with my new Leica Q. The day could not be worse; it was overcast and since the place was by the coast, it was foggy as well. I took many photos at f/1.7, f/2.8. f/8, macro, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, etc. I cannot tell the difference and cannot remember which cropping I used. For me, 24MP is more than enough. In spite of the horrible shooting conditions, the camera came through with flying colors, imho.

I'm selling the X-T1 and keeping the X-T10, I’m selling the:

Fujifilm X-T1 with Kit Lens:
Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS

Fujinon XF 90mm f/2 R LM WR (Sold)
Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS