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Finally did it - M43 in, Fuji out...

Discussion in 'Open Gear Talk' started by Ray Sachs, Nov 11, 2013.

  1. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Please forgive this strictly personal rumination, which I realize is ALL this is after reading it over...

    Since about March or April, I've been using the RX1 and Nikon A as my primary every day shooters - they're in a focal range I basically live in and am very comfortable with. But I've also been maintaining a slimmed down m43 system, primarily for portrait length and longer lenses, and a slimmed down Fuji system, for the wider angle lenses. And as much as I liked all of this gear, I started to feel like it was just purely stupid to have TWO systems to cover two types of shooting that, together, don't account for more than about 10-20% of my overall shooting. So over the past couple of weeks I've gone through a period of trying stuff and deciding which way to go.

    I thought about going all in with Fuji which would have meant adding either a Zeiss Touit 12mm or the coming Fuji 10-24 wide angle, both of which are pretty large and almost certainly quite expensive. AND I'd have to figure out a telephoto setup. The 55-200 is a very nice lens, but slower than I'd want for low light portraits and there's really nothing north of about 85-90mm in a portrait lens, either today or anywhere on Fuji's roadmap. The 60mm is a really nice lens but the AF is very slow. And the coming 56 f1.2 will no doubt be an amazing lens, but 85-90mm effective is not a portrait range I'm happy with. If they had a fast 85-100mm lens, I might have gone with Fuji and hope that they come close to m43 for auto focus performance in the next year or two. I don't care much about AF speed for most focal lengths, but for longer lenses I still do and Fuji just doesn't touch m43 for AF in any number of ways that matter with longer lenses.

    On the m43 side, I already have an Olympus 75mm f1.8, a Panasonic 35-100 f2.8, and an Olympus 75-300 for really really long reach. So I'm set on the tele end. And on the wide angle side, I have a 9-18. I'd like to go to a 7-14, which may have required getting a Pany body instead of my Olympus OMD (in the process of irrationally upgrading from EM5 to EM1) due to the purple flair issues with that lens and Oly bodies. The GX7 is a great camera but I don't like it as much with the long lenses as the Olys. The 7-14 on an Oly body is something I might be able to live with, or maybe not. BUT, it appears that Olympus now has a pro level UWA zoom on their roadmap for 2014 that's rumored to be a weather-proof 7-14 f2.8, which would be simply wonderful. It won't be small or inexpensive, but it should be incredible and should more than meet my long term UWA wants and needs. In the meantime, I have the 9-18 which is a pretty nice little lens in it's own right - just not quite as much range as I'd like on the wide end. And if the Oly 7-14 turns out to be a pipe dream, I'll likely just get a Pany 7-14 and, if necessary, a cheap G5 body or something to use it with in another year or so...

    So after trying stuff and changing my mind a couple of times, I've sold my Fuji gear, am slightly upgrading my m43 kit, and feel really nice being down to three cameras! Two fixed lens, one "system" body. Once the new camera smell of the EM1 wears off, I probably won't shoot with the EM1 a whole lot (although I'll use it a TON for family stuff over the holidays), but I can see a travel bag with the RX1, Nikon A, EM1 with the UWA mounted (9-18 for the next year or so) and the Pany 35-100 in the bag. And of course I'll still probably just go out with the RX1 and/or the Nikon A a lot of the time. But I like the range of options I have covered with a pretty small kit. I loved my Fuji gear but there was just less and less reason to keep it. Hopefully I won't miss it too much. But paring down feels pretty liberating.

    -Ray
     
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  2. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    You're just thinking aloud Ray:). I'm having a similar dilemma with all the kit bits I have. Now I have the M and 50mm I really need to consider what else I really need. Like you, I have the Fuji XE1 and two lenses and have just sold my EM5, 14mm and 25mm. This leaves me with the Oly 75mm 1.8 which take great portraits and also a Pentax FA77 which is also good for that. The RX1 is my 35mm and a camera I just get a lot of pleasure from. Should I sell the 75mm and keep the FA77 to use on a Sony R7 together with a few other stray lenses I own or should I reconsider the Oly EM1 purely for my portrait stuff. I could also try a 90mm on the Leica and see how that works out!
     
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  3. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    Luke
    The Fuji would have been the one for the 80-90% of what you shoot, but for the 10-20% you are using it for, the m43 is the right choice.

    The Fuji didn't get beat by m43.... it got beat by the RX1 and your wee Nikon.
     
  4. Biro

    Biro SC All-Pro

    Aug 7, 2011
    Jersey Shore
    Steve
    Cost (or, more accurately, my personal finances) and lens size have been preventing me from jumping into the Fuji APS-C pool. If anything, I should be thinking about letting a lot of my Pentax gear go. Like you with the Fuji gear, my Pentax kit is used about 20 percent of the time these days. But when I reach for it, I really need it.

    I've been tempted by the Ricoh GR, but given the micro four-thirds lenses that I already own, the new Panny GM1 would make much more sense for that kind of camera. The answer is a bit different for all of us, Ray, but your logic seems quite sound.
     
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  5. Penfan2010

    Penfan2010 SC Top Veteran

    747
    Jul 21, 2012
    NJ, USA
    Ed
    Thanks for sharing, Ray. As you know I have been trimming down gear and consolidating systems as well. I really liked my X-Pro 1, but in the last few months have never really used it. I never went beyond buying the 35mm F1.4, using my legacy Olympus and Leica glass with the X-Pro instead. But, most of my personal everyday photos are taken with the E-PL3 and the X-10, and the E-M5 has been my primary tool for covering my son's High School Band competitions for web posting and photobooks for the parents. The E-M5 also does excellent low light work as you know, so that has killed off one main reason to keep the X-Pro 1. And, in as much as I liked the analog controls and hybrid finder, I shot 80% of the time on Aperture-priority anyway, and used the EVF for 90% of my photos.

    So the X-Pro has gone as well, and I am now selling off the 35mm and my various adapters. It really does not make sense to stay with multiple systems, and the Oly m43s continue to be the system I come back to, so I am very pleased.

    Looking forward to seeing more in-depth real world use reports of your E-M1.
     
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  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Very astute observation and dead on. When I just had the two systems as my primary shooters, I was using Fuji for standard and some wide angle and m43 for long and ultra-wide (this was before the Fuji 14mm or Zeiss Touit. If not for the RX1 and Nikon, I'd have probably stayed like that but moved fully to Fuji for ultra-wide since I'd be in the system anyway and I sort of prefer 3:2 to 4:3 for wide stuff. And if Fuji ever got there with the longer lenses and AF performance, maybe I'd have gone all the way over. Although I doubt it because the size and excellence of the m43 portrait through telephoto lengths is gonna be really hard to beat, even if the Fuji lens lineup was more mature. But the RX1 and Nikon took out the most used mid-wide range and the "systems" were playing such a reduced role that it didn't make sense to keep both. And Fuji went...

    I have periodically thought of moving away from m43 completely, but it was the first gear I got into nearly four years ago when I got back into photography, and I seem to keep coming back to it. With it's current lens lineup and increasingly amazing bodies, it's just like a Nikon or Canon system, only a whole lot smaller without full frame IQ (but still damn good) and equally good at almost everything. The exceptions being tracking AF, where the EM1 is taking the first serious step towards getting that right, and extremely narrow DOF, where the laws of physics do count for something. Although with the f 0.95 lenses available from Voigtlander, you can do a lot of that with m43 also. But it's just so damn versatile and good. I've been saying for quite a while that I love both Fuji and m43 but if I was to choose just one, it would be m43 because it does nearly everything so damn well, while Fuji does a few things marginally better but a lot of things a whole lot worse. And damned if I didn't end up doing exactly that...

    -Ray
     
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  7. wogs

    wogs New to SC

    1
    Nov 11, 2013
    As far as portrait goes, there is also the 2014 supposed Panasonic 42.5mm 1.2, which is another reason I decided to hold on to Oly. That and the new line of pro 2.8 zooms.
     
  8. Andrewteee

    Andrewteee SC All-Pro

    Jul 8, 2010
    Yay, Nice post. Personal ruminations can make for great reads. Agree with your quote above. Every now and then I downsize and then eventually upsize again, then long for downsizing... so the cycle goes.

    I think the EM1 is a very impressive camera. Lately, I've just been using the GR and the EM1 with the Panasonic 50mm (I have the new 12-40mm on order). I also have the Olympus 45mm, but I continue to circle back to the 50mm focal length. That and the 28mm GR are about all I need. Of course, with the kids the 12-40mm and the upcoming PRO tele are very useful. As far as system cameras go, the EM1 seems to me like the best option right now.

    Enjoy!
     
  9. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Indeed, the m43 lens lineup is getting ridiculously good, for both really high level and also relatively budget level lenses. I don't have much interest in the Pany 42 (I already sold the Oly 45 because between the 75 and the 35-100, I never used it - I tend to like longer portrait lengths than 85-90. But who knows, maybe someday I'll develop an interest in macro and there are a couple of great macro lenses. Or maybe someday I'll even find SOME use for a neutral 50 and I'll buy another copy of that wonderful Panalecia 25 f1.4, which is a great lens for those who can use it... Sounds like Olympus is getting ready to add the 7-14 f2.8 I mentioned earlier and a 300mm f2.8 or f4 - I forget which I read. In either case, I probably wouldn't buy it but it'll be just perfect for someone and it'll be good to know its out there...

    I'm even get a loaner of the new 12-40 f2.8 when one becomes available. I'm not a zoom shooter at all (except at the really wide and really long focal lengths, where they're almost unavoidable) so I seriously doubt I'll buy it, but now having two excellent 12-35/40 f2.8 zooms - just choose your flavor - is almost an embarrassment of riches...

    -Ray
     
  10. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    No, I was, but now I've actually acted on it. The EM5 is physically gone, as is the XE1 and the 14mm, as are a few of the deadwood m43 lenses I was still hanging onto. I have the EM1 but haven't paid for it. But what I have in my possession is what I'm going forward with for the foreseeable future... I'm sure something will come up that will grab my attention in the next year sometime, but the Sony and Nikon full frame announcements haven't done it, and some of the excellent additions to the Fuji lineup haven't either. So, I know myself too well to ever say never, but I'm set for a while.

    I can't imagine upgrading the RX1 - there are some tweaks to the interface I'd love to see and I wouldn't hate a built in EVF or a flip screen, but none of these things would cause me to spend the money to buy a new version. And the sensor and the lens are so flat out wonderful, I can't imagine wanting anything better there either. The Nikon I'd upgrade if they do one with a notably better someday and make a couple of interface tweaks there too, but if not, no problem - I love it as is. And I'm sure Olympus or Pany will have another quantum leap in sensor tech sometime in the next couple of years too and I'm sure I'll be a sucker for another great body in another year or two. But in terms of general approach to my system, I'll be surprised if that changes soon. I've been figuring out what and how I like to shoot pretty intensively over the past few years and I think I have a pretty good handle on it. And I don't think birds in flight or pro motor sports or bugs and bunnies are gonna suddenly become my thing. Or that I'm suddenly gonna want the best possible 50mm lens. Could happen, but I just don't see any of it... So, for now, I'm good...

    -Ray
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    Someday I'm probably gonna have to find someone else who's selling another version of the 12mm I recently sent your way, now that I'm staying with m43. :cool: Shouldn't be a problem - I also sold off the 9-18 and shortly after bought another one back for the same price - so I was out shipping and a small paypal fee - no problem... Sometimes you have to act rashly to figure it all out. The great analog interface of the Fuji was definitely something that kept me in it this long. But the RX1 also has an even nicer aperture ring and an even nicer exposure comp dial - all it's missing is the shutter speed dial, which I never used anyway because I'm almost always in aperture priority too. So I get the parts of that interface I really loved in the RX1. And with Fuji moving away from the OVF, there was just less and less keeping me there...

    -Ray
     
  12. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Please comment on the 35-100mm. As brilliant as the 75mm is. Mft with a 35-100mm and a RX1 in the bag and a GR or Nikon A in the pocket could be all one needs.
     
  13. Landshark

    Landshark PhotoDog

    Jul 15, 2010
    SoCal
    Bob
    One of the things that I love about photography is how one can choose to use such different tools and still come up with an incredible portfolio of work. One can pixel peep and play all one wants but it comes down to, just shoot with the system that motivates you to use it. I have chosen to go in the opposite direction sold all of my M4/3 stuff nd gone all in on the Fuji and Ricoh GR. the Fuji for the days I know I am going to shoot, the GR for the days I am not sure. Ray sounds like a well thought out choice, enjoy.
     
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  14. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs SC Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    I'm really liking it a lot. At those sorts of long-ish focal lengths I actually LIKE using a zoom, because I'm mostly doing people shooting, friends and family, etc, and the zoom helps get the framing right from a variety of distances. The AF and face detect is excellent and basically as good as the body you're using. I can say it rocks with the EM1 and GX7. The OOF areas aren't AS OOF as with the 75mm, but it's very very nice and the bokeh looks very good. The only thing I haven't done enough of to know for sure yet is how well it will do in low light compared to the 75 f1.8. That stop and a half or so could make a difference. I'll have a much better feel for that after the Thanksgiving holidays in a couple of weeks - a LOT of family will be here and I'll be the family shooter... If it works well enough, it might possibly even replace the 75 f1.8. If not, I'll probably keep both...

    But yeah, in July in Italy, I had the RX1, Nikon A, Fuji XE1, Sigma DP1M, and OMD with the 75. I never took more than three out with me at a time - usually one or two. On some hypothetical future trip, I could see it being the RX1, Nikon A, and OMD with a 9-18 or 7-14 mounted and the 35-100 in the bag. That would pretty much cover it...

    -Ray
     
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  15. christilou

    christilou SC Hall of Famer

    Jul 13, 2010
    Sunny Frimley
    I'm glad I'm not the only one who takes a handful of cameras out on a trip!
     
  16. DHart

    DHart SC Regular

    91
    Feb 28, 2011
    Arizona
    Ray... I dabbled in Fuji for a very short while, while maintaining a full complement of m4/3 gear as well. Much as I liked the Fuji gear, m4/3 still made more sense to me... as a system, and I stepped back out of the Fuji arena. Your considerations and ultimate decision sound like a good move for you! m4/3 truly is a force to be reckoned with... the bodies and lenses at our disposal right now are very impressive indeed... and getting ever more so with each passing iteration.

    Thanks for sharing your personal rumination.
     
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  17. Stan

    Stan SC Regular

    164
    Apr 19, 2013
    California
    Stan
    Ray -- it's a good move to go down a system. In effect you are running two systems. You have the two fixed lens cameras for your main setup, and M43 for when you need focal length flexibility. Have to other systems seems inefficient. This is not dissimilar to my Canon 5D3 with two lenses, plus M43 setup. There are times when I enjoy being able to capture big landscapes with FF, and shoot M43 for everything else that requires a system camera.

    The Panny 35-100 is perhaps my favorite lens in M43. Great optics and useful OIS.
     
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  18. retow

    retow SC All-Pro

    Jul 24, 2010
    Thanks for your comments. Sounds tempting, this 35-100mm. Especially when traveling to new places a decent range fast and good quality zoom is great to have. I can`t believe how good the 75mm is, one of the best lenses, eye to eye with Leica glass imo. So even if I will buy the zoom, the 75mm stays. For the wide angle solution I`m a believer in the GR with and without the wide angle adapter. It does not get any better than that in the 21mm and 28mm ranges.
     
  19. Archiver

    Archiver SC Top Veteran

    618
    Jul 11, 2010
    Melbourne, Australia
    As you know, I don't cut down my gear, I almost only accumulate. It's come to a point where I'm running three lens systems (Canon, Leica and m43), and I therefore will only buy something new if it really fills a unique requirement. I've always loved small cameras, and although I shot with a 30D and 5D Mark II for a few years, as soon as smaller cameras of comparable quality were available, I moved in that direction. For you to consolidate your m43 lineup and pare away the Fuji system makes a lot of sense. As much as the Fuji system has beckoned to me, I've never taken the plunge because I'm increasingly asking myself if any new purchase helps me in my work. The Fuji would be a fun system for personal work, but not the paid stuff.

    I used the 5D Mark II for video work shoots for the first few years, but after getting the EM-5, I found myself wanting a GH3 to see what it was like. Now the GH3 has replaced my 5D Mark II for almost all video shooting, and I only use the Canon if a client wants high quality stills. I'm enjoying the GH3 as a general purpose camera, too, and the trinity of 7-14, 12-35 and 35-100 is wonderfully small compared with the full frame equivalent.

    In wet weather, I'll take out the GH3, 12-35, the Voigtlander 25/0.95 for low light shooting. The GR rides in my jacket pocket, and often serves as a primary stills camera, with the GH3 handling video. When rain prevails, the GH3 and 12-35 are deployed. I often feel very fortunate to live in a time when we have such choices, and to be able to afford them, too.
     
  20. Armanius

    Armanius Bring Jack back!

    Jan 11, 2011
    Houston, Texas
    Jack
    Oh mine, what a great idea -- using the Pentax FA Ltd lenses on the A7r!! I bet the 31/1.8 would be a great lens on the A7r. And that FA77 sounds like it would be an awesome portrait lens!!

    I find 90mm on Leica very difficult to focus. I have a 90 Summicron which rarely sees any action. It tends to make the M very front heavy too. If you want a nice cheap (relatively speaking), but awesome portrait lens for the M, try the Voigtlander Heliar 75/2.5. It's a screwmount lens that will need an adapter. You can get an used one for $400. Or you can pay a little more and get the newer 75/1.8, which is already in a M mount.
     
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