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Thread: Have your equipment choices 'evolved'?

  1. #1
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    Have your equipment choices 'evolved'?

    I started out with 35mm film, moved up to MF and ended up using quite a bit of LF. After ending up in Afghanistan in 2006, sticking my head under dark cloths appealed less and less and so I went back to 35mm and brought in a Mamiya 7 rig for large scenics.

    I've shot on Holgas and all sorts, but with the move to digital, my kit is once again becoming smaller and lighter. I still own most of the below, but here is a chronology of purchases:

    5D II > Leica MM > Sony A7 > Panasonic GM-1... last series of images was shot on.... a phone (gulp).

    From my work, the quality threshold (even for scenics) is now easily met by the best FF cameras (my MM and A7R easily give my mamiya 7 + Delta 100 a run for its money). Even M4/3 cameras give far more detail for street shooting than TriX 35mm ever did.

    Has anyone else found that the quest for 'big' has now largely gone away with the astonishing quality of 'small' cameras? I feel completely happy with FF and below and cannot really see it changing except for very specific applications. I don't shoot high end technical work or produce huge landscapes. My work always has a documentary or less detail demanding spin on it, so I can call it a day before others perhaps can.

    Has your journey been the opposite?

  2. #2
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    Re: Have your equipment choices 'evolved'?

    same here.

    MF -> FF -> APS-C (DSLR & MLU) -> APS-C (P&S like Fuji X100, Ricoh GR, Sigma DP Merrill etc.)

    If AF would be better with compact cameras and a built-in OVF would exist, I would end up only with APS-C P&S cameras like Ricoh GR, Sigma DP Merrill, Fuji X100s etc.

    It is hard to match the IQ of those compact cameras, in which sensor and fixed lens are optimized for each other.

    I do not see a lens-mount system, no matter whether it is MLU or DSLR, that can compete here if you are also considering weight, size, and price..

    Only the tele-focal range above 100mm is still not well covered by P&S...

  3. #3
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    Re: Have your equipment choices 'evolved'?

    Quote Originally Posted by turtle View Post
    ...

    Has your journey been the opposite?
    While I also love and use compact digital cameras like Leica M and m43 I have to say that - in my point of view - with my Leica S equipment I can achieve another level of IQ. The Leica S images look so real. I think it is a combination of rich midtones, very good color (specially skin), micro contrast and sharpness but also very important the smooth transition between focused area and out of focus area. Probably a combination of sensor size and lens character.

    The other thing is while EVF become good (I do like the one of the EM1) for me nothing beats a good and big optical viewfinder. (One of the reasons I do like Leica M over some other mirrorless cameras when AF is not important).

    BUT I agree that I do enjoy the unobstrusive small cameras - not so much because of weight just more because one is fast/flexible and doesn't catch much attention.
    I also do start liking the speed of the EM1 and some of the m43 lenses (For some reason I do seem to also prefer primes for m43)

  4. #4
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    Re: Have your equipment choices 'evolved'?

    My favourite camera is now my old Alpa12WA with 24mm Schneider hanging off one side and a 33 megapixel back on the other, I use it hand held. I guess you could say I have become an eccentric photographer who enjoys a wide view of the world and has come to understand that sharpness is indeed a bourgeois concept - very over-rated as far as making decent photos goes.

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