Why We Choose Our System - Revisited

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Why We Choose Our System - Revisited

Post by Pensioner » Sun Mar 24, 2019 2:15 pm

Over six years ago (November 2012) John Riley put up a post on this forum asking members to explain why they chose their particular camera system. The response was a little limited but now, with considerably more newer members and a further six years down the line, I think that revisiting the topic would be very useful for both members with their settled systems to see who else has similar kit, and those who are considering initial purchases, upgrading, or changing systems. So here goes with my updated forum entry from 24th November 2012: -

As a long-time Canon and latterly Nikon DSLR user, mixed in with a few 6x7 film cameras, I disposed of my complete Nikon kit and moved entirely over to the Fuji X-Series of mirror-less cameras.

Why did I take such drastic action? Purely and simply weight - not my weight (which has increased since 2012) but that of the Nikon kit! At one time I had two bodies, approximately seven Nikon pro lenses, two Nikon flash guns, and a load of other "indispensable' accessories. The total weight was around 56 lb.! Even limiting the kit for a trip out ended up with a body, 2-3 lenses, and a flashgun still weighing relatively heavy - the outcome? I rarely went out to take photos for quite some time until I forced myself into doing so by enrolling on a GCE 'A' level course which required set assignments to be completed (now finished - got a 'B' :) )

After a bit of reading/research and partly as an impulse buy I bought the Fuji X100 with its fixed 35mm f2 lens to do a 'street photography' assignment. This camera opened my eyes to its potential. Without the anti-aliasing filter found on most cameras the images that thing can produce is nothing short of stunning. It is very light, discreet but very well built. I could easily produce 16"x20" prints from its 10.2 million pixel chip. Indeed I found myself using it far more than the DSLR's due to its portability :D .

Then the Fuji X Pro-1 was launched with its initial trio of relatively short focal length prime lenses. One or two gripes about focussing speed from a few reviewers but everyone, and I mean everyone, raved about the image quality straight out of the camera from its Jpegs. Again no anti-aliasing filter in front of the sensor like the X100, combined with a 16 million pixel sensor and the fabulous Fuji prime lenses - WOW! So bye-bye Nikon D800 and the holy trinity of Nikon Pro lenses (14-24, 24-70, 70-200 f2.8) and hello to the X Pro-1 and the three primes with the dedicated flash as a bonus. Consequently I was out far more taking photos and didn't have a dropped shoulder or sore back anymore :D .

The Fuji roadmap of lenses incorporate focal lengths ranging from 15mm to 300mm (in 35 mm equivalent) including several zooms, and is constantly being added to. The IQ from these lenses and cameras are simply stunning - even the standard 27-80 (35mm equivalent) 'kit' lens is widely applauded as being excellent. Indeed Fuji have very recently entered the digital MF arena with two 50 megapixel bodies and a handful of dedicated lenses. There's even a 100 megapixel camera soon to be released.

Now I'm totally committed to the Fuji X system. My current set-up comprises of two bodies (X-T2, X-E3), six batteries, five lenses (15-35mm, 27-80mm, 80-300mm, 35mm, 50mm - [in 35mm equivalent] I will be adding three more by the end of summer) flashgun, off-camera cable, remote and Lee filters now fit into my LowePro Slingshot and weigh less, say, than my old Nikon D3s and 70-200 f2.8 combo. There's no need for a big, heavy tripod as a body and lens combo is relatively lightweight so hey-ho - one very happy bunny!

As for post processing, I'm a long time Photoshop and Lightroom user (I even did a few lectures at ADAPS re Photoshop tutorials back in the day). I still use them but nowadays I use Capture One Pro Fuji version for my RAW conversions and specific area colour management, then import into Photoshop/Lightroom for any work that Capture One can't do.

So, come on folks what's your story re your chosen kit?

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Re: Why We Choose Our System - Revisited

Post by Paul Jones » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:15 pm

Hi Barry

As you'll see, I'm not really into camera gear, but I'll join the conversation to hopefully stimulate more engagement.

My current camera is old by today's standards. It's a Fuji S5 Pro which I bought a few years ago (can't remember how long ago.) But it's still going strong and does what I need it to do. I pair this with three favourite lenses:

- 70-200mm
- 28-105mm
- 50mm

Before the S5 I had the Fuji S2. I think it was Mike Syddall at the club who initially put me onto the Fuji system. I think he had the S1 and S2. I bought the S5 when the S2 was on its last legs.

When the S5 gives up I'll most likely continue down the SLR route as I like heavier cameras. The D810 or D850 would be my current choices.
Paul
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Re: Why We Choose Our System - Revisited

Post by John » Thu Mar 28, 2019 11:45 pm

My own camera system is Pentax, and I've been a Pentax user since my first SLR in 1975. The original reason was elegance of design. In the days when metals SLRs were sometimes very clunky in operation, the Pentax range offered compact efficiency and it appealed to me. It's largely forgotten that in those days Nikon lenses had to be set at f/5.6 when mounted and then the aperture ring moved both ways to the extremes so that the external linkage that operated the metering could identify the maximum aperture and give correct readings. That's one example of clunky.

I used Pentax until I thought they lost their way, with large cameras like the SFXn which were very un-Pentax in their design. Then the MZ series arrived and they found their path again.

Now I use their DSLR Range, liking the backwards compatibility with lenses all the way back to the early 1960s, the magnesium alloy bodies, the weather resistance, the proper glass pentaprism finders and the general ergonomics of the control layouts, with easily accessible buttons for commonly used functions.

Of course these days I use all marques of camera, so has that changed anything? I'm not feeling any great pressure to change from my Pentaxes, but I could quite happily use any of the current crop of manufacturers. They all have their strengths and weaknesses, just as Pentax do. I will be continuing with DSLRs though, because I like the finder system and the versatility of the design.
Best regards

John

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