Monday, September 5, 2016

After Pre-Ordering the X-T2, What's Next

I am basically done with my equipment purchases for the foreseeable future, with the exception of my wishlist, which is very short at this time. My priority is to travel.  In January 2017, I'm going on a seven-day cruise to the Caribbean:


I have reserved and paid for a nine-day cruise to the Baltic in May 2017 with a stay of 3 extra days in Copenhagen. We paid $1, 090/person with an inside stateroom in the 9th-12th deck.  NCL will assign it to us later.  In addition, we are paying $1,350 Premium Economy roundtrip airfare to Copenhagen with the three extra days in Copenhagen with hotel included in the price. This might be the buy of the decade. To visit Copenhagen (3-days,) Warmemünde, Germany (I do not know anything about the city - 2 1/2 hours from Berlin by train, one way,) Tallinn, Estonia (probably the prettiest medieval city in Europe,) St. Petersburg (2 days,) Helsinki, and Stockholm (2 days) for that price with food and lodging included! I have never been to any of those cities; my wife has. I always wanted to visit the statue of the Little Mermaid in Copenhagen :) . I'm kidding. I know it is very insignificant, but world famous :)


I also reserved a 7-day cruise to the Western Caribbean - Mayan Ruins for September 2017 with a three-day stay in Miami. There is a possibility of going to Argentina for December 2018 and London in 2019-2020.
Western Caribbean - Mayan Ruins
These last two trips are in the wishful planning stage, but Argentina is more of a real possibility.  Of course my dream is to go on a 12-15 days cruise of the Nile and Ancient Egypt, but I  do not think I will able to do it for two reasons: money and political instability in present day Egypt. I'm not getting any younger.  I better travel when I can still do it.  The reason I'm choosing cruises is because I cannot longer live out of suitcases with land tours.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fujifilm X-T2


MGH-XT-2
After much deliberation and going back-and-forth, I finally pre-ordered the Fuji X-T2. My Problem is that I do love the X-T10, which I will sell now. This is something I could not do and still have problems doing. However, the T2 is the camera for me.The main thing that I have to keep in mind is that the T2 is my complementary camera to the Leica Q (My main Camera.) In other words, it does what the Q cannot do. In addition, it is my travel camera and I expect to travel a lot. It is a no-brainer and I have no idea why I had such a hard time making up my mind. I will have to get the Metal Body Grip  and 2 extra batteries.

Fujifilm NP-W126S Li-Ion Battery Pack
The Nikon D750 has been relegated to my fourth camera position. I will sell all the D750 lenses with the exception of the Macro and Night Photography lenses. Having gotten used to light cameras, the D750 is just too heavy to carry around.  In addition, the Leica Q and the T2 are my main cameras.  The D5500 is my IR camera. The D750 will not be used except for table-Top/Macro and Night Photography.  I only need the 4 macro lenses. The main reason I'm keeping the Macro/Table-Top system is because I'm getting older and it is becoming harder and harder to go out for shoots.  Therefore, if I cannot go outside for a shoot, I'll bring the shoot inside.
Fuji 55-200

The funny thing is hat I was not even thinking about the T2. I was watching a program on HGTV on Tiny House Hunters and thinking wouldn't it be great to get one of those houses to take them to different places as a vacation house. The problem is that it is expensive to transport them to different places (~$2,500.) All in the sudden it hit on me: "Why I am  not getting the T2?" It did not make any sense not to pre-orders the camera.

The nexus between the tiny house and the T2 is not that far fetched or completely unrelated.  I viewed the tiny house as a weekend house that I could move to a different location like once a year.  In other words, a kind of traveling weekend house. I view the T2 as my travel camera.  I will not get a tiny house - just daydreaming - but yes to my travel camera.



Fuji 100-400
In 2018, I'm planing to take a 7-day cruise to Alaska and I would need a long lens for the wildlife. Therefore, I'm thinking of re-acquiring the 55-200  or even getting the 100-400 (150-600 in FF format.) The problem with the latter is its size and weight ~ 3 lbs. I won't think about it; it will come to me. I should get enough money after selling a bunch of my equipment

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Fujifilm X-T10

Fuji X-T10

A funny thing happened to me when I put my Fufifilm X-T10 up for sale. I decided to keep it.  I love the T10; I just couldn't sell it. The reason I was selling the T10 was because I pre-ordered he Fuji X-T2. Therefore, I cancelled the pre-order.  The only reason I was buying the T2 was because it came with two-card slot. Since it was going to be my travel camera, I needed to use the second slot to backup the first one. However, I just purchased the Dell Inspiron 11.6" and 2-in-One Windows lap-top/tablet ($399.) It comes with 4GB Ram, quad-core, and a 500 GB internal drive. I also purchased a 1TB external drive - 2 1/2" ($60.)


1TB External Drive
When I travel, which is going to be once per year, at most,  I will take the T10, the Dell, and the external drive  to upload my photos that I took that day.  This is something I never wanted to do, but changed my mind. I needed to upgrade my i-Pad, the Dell was my best option. In addition, I will not re-use the SD card. I'm also getting more 32GB 1000X cards.  In other words, I will go with less capacity cards instead of 128GB ones.  If one goes bad, it will not be a catastrophe.

The only photo software I uploaded to the Dell 11.6 is Adobe Bridge CC.  That is all I need.  Bridge is much more than photo software; it is a file management software, which I'll use for the Dell.

When I purchased the Leica Q ($4,250) and the X-T2 ($1,600) I came up $400 short after selling a bunch of equipment. Since I cancelled the pre-order of the X-T2, I came up $1,100 ahead. I'm doing well. However, I will upgrade to the T20, when it comes out.
Dell Inspiron 11 Laptop/Tablet

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.
I decided against the T2.

My four cameras will be:
  • Leica Q.  I will not upgrade.
  • Nikon D5500 - IR. I will not upgrade.
  • Fuji X-T10. I will upgrade.
  • Nikon D750. This is a 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 XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II
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.