Nov 6, 2021
So, big changes compared to my last post, and its a good thing.
After months of running in circles over the Fujifilm 50s II and looking particularly at affordability, and losing all of my previous gear in exchange for one camera, something interesting happened.
I was browsing for something on the Henry's site (a Canadian retail photography store) and while I can't recall what I was looking for at the time, a search brought up a cascade of these used Nikon cameras. Lo and behold, I noticed a Nikon Z7 rated a 9, which for a used product 3 years old, is astonishingly good. It included the Nikon 24-70 F4. All was at literally half the price as new. So, I took a chance and within 30 minutes had ordered it. I'm glad I did. Upon receiving it, it felt like a beefed up Z5 (but I guess you could also say the Z5 was a dumbed down Z7) so I was instantly comfortable and pretty excited to get a camera near the resolution of the 50s II and with comparable image quality based on all the reviews along with a fantast DxO rating on the censor. So I took about 30 pictures and decided to do a shutter count out of curiosity. In total, the shutter count read 109. I could not believe it. Minus my 30 or so cat pictures, the previous owner had only taken about 75 pictures before selling it. I have to tell you, the condition was no lie. It is pristine and once I realized the shutter count was so low, I basically had purchased the equivalent of an open box for half the price!
In the end, I get to keep all my beloved Fuji gear but have sold the Z5 to another photographer who needed something new.
And its also a good thing as I did end up handling the Fuji 50s II in-store and while its an amazing camera to handle and even walk around with (though its near medium format and faily sizeable), there was just something I did not like about the viewfinder. A lemon? Probably as Fuji is known for quality, specially if you're spending that much, but given that my purchase would have been delayed even further.
The icing on the cake is that I saved $3000 and won't be indebted for the next year, and have a sutiably comparable new camera and already three lenses so fit it out with the original 24-50mm from the Z5 the photographer did not want, the 35mm f1.8 and the new-to-me 24-70mm F4.
Oct 10, 2021
Today has been my birthday and 10 days ago I put to rest my beloved Crowley.
I've had Crowley's ashes back for about 5 or 6 days now and I think the things I miss most are the routines around which I lived with two cats for 15 years. My brother's in arms. Having only one now has changed things to a great degree. Aziraphale gets my attention in the morning by meowing incessantly for food whereas Crowley used to hop up on the bed and paw my forhead ever so gently. And that's just one thing. I will miss him for about forever. But such is life and it all goes on.
About photography though, I've made some pretty major decisions about my technical direction. Some may already know this means a new camera and they would be right. Over the years I've dreamed of using medium format digital exclusively, but its always been too expensive. Even a body only would cost $8000 CAD and up. But no more now that Fujifilm has released the 50s II, with a lens, for a nominal $6300 CAD with tax. So my plan in the coming weeks to unload all my APC-C Fujifilm cameras and lenses, and probably even my recently purchased Nikon Z5 and the lens and adapter, along with my laptop. All in, I'm guessing I will cover half the cost of the new MF Fujifilm.
I'm partly looking for both a new challenge and simplification, but also the obvious advantages of medium format and that larger sensor. I had for a time also considered Leica. The only issue with Leica is that the Leica I would want (the Leica Q2) is 2k more with a fixed lens, so that was out immediatley when I learned of the Fujifilm 50s II. And anything interchangeable with Leica, then you're talking $10k and up. Is it worth it? I have my doubts, and full frame vs medium format when the second is $2k less out of the box AND I can change lenses down the road? Its an obvious choice.
So in the end, I get to stay with familiar Fujifilm and finally fulfill the dream of medium format AND I get to simplify EVERYTHING with one body and one lens (with an option to get a prime at some point). Hilariously though, Fujifilm is oft times seen as the poor man's Leica and I can only confirm that in my case, how true that is after taking care of a sick cat for the past few months.
RIP Crowley. Thanks for letting me be your buddy for 15 long years.
Sept 4, 2021
Currently trying out the express version of Capture One for Nikon. I've used Capture One Pro before with Fuji for one year, and thoroughly enjoyed it but found it very pricey compared to the value offerings of an Adobe subscription for only about $15.00 CAD a month vs, Capture One for $25 CAD a month. With Adobe, we get the website tools and Behance + Photoshop (though I hardly use it) and some other apps with fairly good integration between them. Having said that, I just answered a questionairre from Capture One with some questions regarding cost and how much you would pay for Capture One to make it "affordable". I said $9.99 a month, which I think is fair considering you don't nearly get the breadth of value as Adobe offers. I would probably use Capture One for that price, but continue to subscribe to Adobe for the other benefits.
Anyway, it got me thinking about how obessed many of us are with editing after the fact. This preset vs this style; this platform vs that platform. Its true that whatever your camera, its not going to do everything you want it to do in keeping with what you had in your minds eye. Hardly ever. No matter how close it may come, you'll always want to tweek that or tweek this in some way.
So here's my friend Lisa, also a documentary photographer in her own right, sitting in a heart shaped tub with a tweek this and tweek that, and maybe a style applied. Why? I don't know, nothing really wrong with the original except just something, something...
August 8, 2021
And another great day at the beach with the Nikon Z5 and the Minolta with some film. The film is not developed yet, but will do that tomorrow. This one is from the Nikon.
More trips planned until the warm weather runs out.
Everytime I take someone to the clothing optional beach to shoot or just hang out, it turns into a 'no one wants to leave' experience and that makes me happy. It really is a liberation for both myself and whomever I'm with.
August 1, 2021
Its August and thought I'd share a youtube vid about sharing, and more about how you don't need to share everything you do. I found myself very much in agreement. Here's a great vid from The Photographic Eye on Youtube that hits the nail on the head.
July 2021 - Carry
Another update for July, likely the last for this month.
Managed to obtain a new camera bag. Doesn't sound like much, but it affords me the opportunity to carry both the Nikon Z5 and Fuji X-e4 plus 5 lenses with 2 attached to each camera, in a suprisingly small package. It also allows for other bits and bobs. I have an affinity for Roots camera bags, and this one is part of the 'Roots 73' Collection. Just the right size, though its not weather proofed, its a very easy carry.
Nerd picture to right :)
It also fits an 8 inch tablet if that's your cup of tea. It's specifically the Roots 73 Uptown Digital SLR Camera Bag, if you're in need. Usually available from Best Buy or Henry's in Canada.
July 2021 - Instagram vs Ello
I have a bunch of thoughts since I stopped using Instagram for the second time and started using Ello. Mainly that it is pretty freeing, but I won't go beyond that as its a moot point and its not like people will suddenly make the switch from the evil machine, lol.
Did I mention Ello has no ads nor censorship? ;)
In other news more photographically aligned, I recently picked up the 35mm Nikkor 1.8s. It is likely the only lens I will ever need for the Nikon in consideration of what I do and how I do it.
Keeping it as simple as possible.
July 2021 - Social Media
You can now find me posting to Ello at ello.co/christm which I favour over Instagram.
July 2021 - Gear
I'm a Fuji lover primarily, for all the same reasons most Fuji lovers are - a more engaging and manual experience looking back to the days of film.
However, I'm also a newly minted Nikon user as well, at least digitally.
Primarily, I use the FujiFilm x-e3, X-e4 as they are easy to travel with, and the Nikon z5. I opted for a nikon z5 as it's much more stills focused and full frame, and Fuji has decided not to pursue full frame at this time.
For my film work, its mainly various Minolta 35mms and a Mamiya 645 Super.