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11-25-2020, 11:35 PM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Before I bought the G1X I borrowed a friend's X100F for a few weeks and really gave it a good field test. I shot the same scenes with it and my K5ii, keeping all the shooting variables as close as possible to make it a fair comparison. Honestly, I was very disappointed in the Fuji. I had high hopes that this would be "The One" compact camera for hiking, street, etc.. But in almost every comparo scene I much preferred the image from the old K5ii . There was better dynamic range and truer, deeper colours. The sharpness was pretty much a wash as long as I used a good lens on the Pentax. The highlights on the Fuji were blown out on many shots.

Note that I shot all in Raw, and I have read many reports that Fuji X-Trans raw files are a bugger to process. OOC jpegs may have been better, but then I wouldn't be comparing fairly to the K5ii, and I prefer doing my own editing not letting the camera do it for me.

Other beefs with the Fuji -- I hated the EVF mode, it gave me sore eyes and a headache; the rear buttons were too sensitive and I found a bunch of settings kept getting changed when I didn't want them too; the power switch got turned on a couple of times putting it into the bag, and the auto-off didn't work leaving me with a dead battery . OTOH, there were things I loved about the camera: the form factor; the intuitive film-era controls; menu interface; the solid build quality; fast and sharp lens; close focus ability; and the low noise images (much better than the K5ii). All in all this camera was not for me, and I ended up with the Canon, which seems crude and unsophisticated by comparison, but gets the job done for me. I actually prefer the image quality from the old G1X over the Fuji -- the lens is extremely sharp, noise is low, and the colours, while muted and a bit dull in raw, are easy to boost in the editor. It was cheap, and I feel it can take a knock and not give me a heart attack that a expensive bit of kit has been hurt.

Have you considered using, say, a KP, K3, or K5 and a small WR zoom for hiking? Something like the 20-40 Ltd.? Would be compact enough for a small sling or hip bag, and weatherproof. Just a thought...

Hope this helps.
I understand that Fuji isn't as "clean" looking as Pentax, I guess the crowd would go for Ricoh GR for that route.
Yes, JPG of Fuji is great, a lot of users prefer their film simulation, people who like Fuji are the sort of people who want to enjoy the film experience.

---------- Post added 26-11-20 at 02:36 PM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
You know, of course, that the Fuji cameras don't have optical rangefinders.


Steve
Yes, the GFX 50R have no OVF.
Hope that there are full frame rangefinder with OVF, looks like Leica is what we have that fit the criteria today.

11-26-2020, 09:43 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by Angelic Layer Quote
Yes, the GFX 50R have no OVF.
Hope that there are full frame rangefinder with OVF, looks like Leica is what we have that fit the criteria today.
Meaning that even the X100F mentioned above does not fit the criteria. A camera is not a rangefinder camera unless it has an optical rangefinder, meaning a second window on the front for the rangefinder. Non-rangefinder cameras with optical viewfinders are simply viewfinder cameras.

No makers have made rangefinder digital cameras except Leica and Cosina.


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11-26-2020, 10:13 AM   #18
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Steve, if I recall (it's been a few months), the X100F has a sort of pseudo electronic rangefinder in it's optical finder. I remember there being a little pop-up square in the middle of the finder which allowed one to use manual focus. The pop-up was electronic, in the middle of the optical view, and it magnified the center of the focus area. Pretty clever design actually, and it worked reasonably well once you twigged it...a bit squinty to use. So it's not technically a real rangefinder, the function is more or less the same. However, it was like focusing on a tiny ground glass screen, albeit an electronic one -- things just popped into focus; not at all like a proper rangefinder which can be incredibly quick to use.

A flick of the lever on the front of the camera would turn the whole viewfinder into an EVF. Also a genius design, but since I don't like EVFs in general I rarely used it unless I was checking DOF or something.
12-20-2020, 07:20 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by Angelic Layer Quote
The camera would be a lot larger and lost the appeal in terms of portability.
The X100 series is quite expensive for a fixed lens APSC rangefinder with no weather sealing, for the price they are listed, a full frame would be more attractive for the featured they offered.
The newish X100v is weather sealed with a filter on
(My next fuji purchase probably and sell my x100t)

---------- Post added 20th Dec 2020 at 09:25 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Angelic Layer Quote
I understand that Fuji isn't as "clean" looking as Pentax, I guess the crowd would go for Ricoh GR for that route.
Yes, JPG of Fuji is great, a lot of users prefer their film simulation, people who like Fuji are the sort of people who want to enjoy the film experience.

---------- Post added 26-11-20 at 02:36 PM ----------


Yes, the GFX 50R have no OVF.
Hope that there are full frame rangefinder with OVF, looks like Leica is what we have that fit the criteria today.
Leica is the only true digital rangefinder in production , Fuji’s have the ovf ( I own the x100t and xpro 1 and 2 ) but it is not a rangefinder . ...
that said for what a Leica costs I would buy the gfx 50r . The elf is an excellent one and it is hands down better IQ and there are some insanely good primes for it (the 23 would be an ideal landscape prime, the 50. 3.5 great on streets

12-21-2020, 02:41 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Steve, if I recall (it's been a few months), the X100F has a sort of pseudo electronic rangefinder in it's optical finder. I remember there being a little pop-up square in the middle of the finder which allowed one to use manual focus. The pop-up was electronic, in the middle of the optical view, and it magnified the center of the focus area. Pretty clever design actually, and it worked reasonably well once you twigged it...a bit squinty to use. So it's not technically a real rangefinder, the function is more or less the same. However, it was like focusing on a tiny ground glass screen, albeit an electronic one -- things just popped into focus; not at all like a proper rangefinder which can be incredibly quick to use.

A flick of the lever on the front of the camera would turn the whole viewfinder into an EVF. Also a genius design, but since I don't like EVFs in general I rarely used it unless I was checking DOF or something.
The X100 and most similar mirrorless cameras, with or without interchangeable lenses, use focus-by-wire so the focusing ring on the lens just spins, endlessly. This is anathema to trying to focus like a true rangefinder. It's as much about the short focus throw and muscle memory in where to set the focus as it is using a superimposed image. You can't replicate it with focus-by-wire.
12-21-2020, 03:30 PM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
The X100 and most similar mirrorless cameras, with or without interchangeable lenses, use focus-by-wire so the focusing ring on the lens just spins, endlessly. This is anathema to trying to focus like a true rangefinder. It's as much about the short focus throw and muscle memory in where to set the focus as it is using a superimposed image. You can't replicate it with focus-by-wire.
So true - all of it. Honestly, I didn't like the X100F much at all, including the "digital rangefinder" focusing aid popup thing. It was way too squinty and irritating. A true rangefinder is MUCH easier to use. And yes, the focus by wire felt odd and disconnected...strange sensation for an old film camera shooter.

As a general comment, after using a couple of higher-end mirrorless cameras over the past year, it was always a massive breath of fresh air to pick up an SLR and see the world through a big beautiful viewfinder again. Even a dslr like my K5ii with all its indicators in the viewfinder was leagues better than any EVF, OVF, or rear screen on a mirrorless. To each their own, but I wonder how many mirrorless converts will switch back to slr after a while, once they tire of looking at yet another electronic screen?
12-21-2020, 04:36 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
So true - all of it. Honestly, I didn't like the X100F much at all, including the "digital rangefinder" focusing aid popup thing. It was way too squinty and irritating. A true rangefinder is MUCH easier to use. And yes, the focus by wire felt odd and disconnected...strange sensation for an old film camera shooter.

As a general comment, after using a couple of higher-end mirrorless cameras over the past year, it was always a massive breath of fresh air to pick up an SLR and see the world through a big beautiful viewfinder again. Even a dslr like my K5ii with all its indicators in the viewfinder was leagues better than any EVF, OVF, or rear screen on a mirrorless. To each their own, but I wonder how many mirrorless converts will switch back to slr after a while, once they tire of looking at yet another electronic screen?
I should add that I have come into rangefinder use later on, having never had one in pre-digital days (which is too bad). So I'm not speaking from any sort of nostalgic feeling. I got my Voïgtlander this year and just took to the little 35mm f2.5 Skopar lens right away with it's short throw and protruding focus post.

You know, I've been thinking about the viewfinder thing a lot having switched recently from an EVF (for years now) back to a DSLR VF. I'm not sure how I feel, honestly. What gets me now is not knowing exactly how the highlights will be treated. I'd love highlight weighted metering, without it I feel like I have to check the screen for image review after every shot. The one really nice thing about modern EVFs is blinkies in the highlights. I value that a lot.
12-22-2020, 06:43 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
I should add that I have come into rangefinder use later on, having never had one in pre-digital days (which is too bad). So I'm not speaking from any sort of nostalgic feeling. I got my Voïgtlander this year and just took to the little 35mm f2.5 Skopar lens right away with it's short throw and protruding focus post.

You know, I've been thinking about the viewfinder thing a lot having switched recently from an EVF (for years now) back to a DSLR VF. I'm not sure how I feel, honestly. What gets me now is not knowing exactly how the highlights will be treated. I'd love highlight weighted metering, without it I feel like I have to check the screen for image review after every shot. The one really nice thing about modern EVFs is blinkies in the highlights. I value that a lot.
I am rather amused at the missing the "blinkies in the highlights" comment, mostly because since learning my way around digital cameras (dslrs, mirrorless, and high-end compacts), I have become as dependent on such electronic aids as the next guy. Yet when I pick up one of my film cameras (usually medium format) my brain goes straight back into thinking of the film's latitude, scene dynamic range, spot metering highlights and shadows, and setting the best exposure to capture both....then comes what developer to use, developing time (N+0, N-1...?), best agitation for that particular film. It's second nature by now...takes no time at all.

Which begs the question: why haven't I figured out these same basic parameters for digital? Have I become that lazy? I should have figured out by now what the sensor's dynamic range is at every ISO, and I should know how to meter for that. I mean, there's a spot meter built right into the camera for Pete's sake! I should be able to do some quick metering and bang off the mental math in seconds to figure out best exposure for a scene. I should know how the shot will turn out without ever chimping . Needless to say, I'm far from doing any of that. Shameful, ain't it? My brain needs a jolt to start thinking again when I pick up a (digital) camera. Thank goodness I use a K5ii, which has that amazing dynamic range...the need to actually think is even more reduced.

But aren't all these photographer's little helpers wonderful?

PS -- which Voigtlander do you have? I've been eyeing up the old 1950s era ones for a while, just to try what a nice German-made rangefinder can do. And the glass they used in those days can have a wonderful rendering, unlike anything else -- I have a couple of Agfa folding medium format cameras from that era, and those lenses are quite special. I've read that the Skopar is one very much like that.


Last edited by Viking42; 12-22-2020 at 07:01 AM.
12-23-2020, 01:30 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
I am rather amused at the missing the "blinkies in the highlights" comment, mostly because since learning my way around digital cameras (dslrs, mirrorless, and high-end compacts), I have become as dependent on such electronic aids as the next guy. Yet when I pick up one of my film cameras (usually medium format) my brain goes straight back into thinking of the film's latitude, scene dynamic range, spot metering highlights and shadows, and setting the best exposure to capture both....then comes what developer to use, developing time (N+0, N-1...?), best agitation for that particular film. It's second nature by now...takes no time at all.

Which begs the question: why haven't I figured out these same basic parameters for digital? Have I become that lazy? I should have figured out by now what the sensor's dynamic range is at every ISO, and I should know how to meter for that. I mean, there's a spot meter built right into the camera for Pete's sake! I should be able to do some quick metering and bang off the mental math in seconds to figure out best exposure for a scene. I should know how the shot will turn out without ever chimping . Needless to say, I'm far from doing any of that. Shameful, ain't it? My brain needs a jolt to start thinking again when I pick up a (digital) camera. Thank goodness I use a K5ii, which has that amazing dynamic range...the need to actually think is even more reduced.

But aren't all these photographer's little helpers wonderful?

PS -- which Voigtlander do you have? I've been eyeing up the old 1950s era ones for a while, just to try what a nice German-made rangefinder can do. And the glass they used in those days can have a wonderful rendering, unlike anything else -- I have a couple of Agfa folding medium format cameras from that era, and those lenses are quite special. I've read that the Skopar is one very much like that.
Judging exposure with digital is more tricky, it just is. What I always come back to is that most films treat highlight rolloff so much more subtly and gently than digital. Even if it's a film that tends to lose detail in highlights, you get this smooth transition whereas with digital, it's all too often a weirdly color-shifted gradient and then pure white - and when you try to edit, the bad transitions just stand out even more. I always expose digital to protect highlights when I can (and the GR III's highlight weighted metering is awesome for this). I have a harder time doing that with a DSLR - I mean, how does one? You either take the time to spot meter for the highlights, or maybe use blinkies in image review? Ugh, neither of these options appeal to me.

I have the Cosina made Bessa-T, which is a quirky camera but probably the cheapest way into an M-mount (except I got the olive green Heliar special edition, because it looks cool). It has a separate rangefinder (BIG, magnified, and super bright, hands down the best rangefinder I've ever seen - but not inside of a viewfinder) and you have to add accessory viewfinders for the lens (which is the biggest bummer, budgeting in for these rather overpriced accessories). It's a different kind of shooting, but it works for me. On the street I zone focus with the excellent little Color Skopar lens, and if I'm taking a more methodical approach I have no problem switching from the rangefinder to the viewfinder to fine-tune focus. It's just a matter of using the right technique for the moment.

Here's an example from the 35mm f2.5 slightly overexposing Superia 400. This lens is characterized by its gentle focus transition and overall just good looks. It's not the sharpest out there, but just overall pleasing.

12-23-2020, 02:56 PM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
Judging exposure with digital is more tricky, it just is. What I always come back to is that most films treat highlight rolloff so much more subtly and gently than digital. Even if it's a film that tends to lose detail in highlights, you get this smooth transition whereas with digital, it's all too often a weirdly color-shifted gradient and then pure white - and when you try to edit, the bad transitions just stand out even more. I always expose digital to protect highlights when I can (and the GR III's highlight weighted metering is awesome for this). I have a harder time doing that with a DSLR - I mean, how does one? You either take the time to spot meter for the highlights, or maybe use blinkies in image review? Ugh, neither of these options appeal to me.
Interesting comment about exposing to preserve highlights. When I got my first serious digital camera (K5ii), an experienced photographer friend of mine taught me, as a starting point for newbies, to shoot in Av mode and keep the exposure compensation dialed to -2/3 stop. This didn't make sense to me until I saw exactly what you and he are talking about -- the highlights can just "poof" disappear....one second they're there, and +half-stop later they're gone. TBH, I think I could train myself to quickly spot meter the highlights, just like film shooting. The thing would be to remember the dynamic range at different ISO values, as it decreases as ISO goes up. We'll see if I can break my lazy habits. I would still prefer taking a moment to meter correctly, than to have a mirrorless as my main camera. I just find those EVFs so irritating on the eyes...give me a headache. Not for me thanks. There's no such thing as a perfect camera, so we have to make compromises to get our priorities in hand.


QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
I have the Cosina made Bessa-T, which is a quirky camera but probably the cheapest way into an M-mount (except I got the olive green Heliar special edition, because it looks cool). It has a separate rangefinder (BIG, magnified, and super bright, hands down the best rangefinder I've ever seen - but not inside of a viewfinder) and you have to add accessory viewfinders for the lens (which is the biggest bummer, budgeting in for these rather overpriced accessories). It's a different kind of shooting, but it works for me. On the street I zone focus with the excellent little Color Skopar lens, and if I'm taking a more methodical approach I have no problem switching from the rangefinder to the viewfinder to fine-tune focus. It's just a matter of using the right technique for the moment.

Here's an example from the 35mm f2.5 slightly overexposing Superia 400. This lens is characterized by its gentle focus transition and overall just good looks. It's not the sharpest out there, but just overall pleasing.

Nice camera! And very nice picture. Classic film look. Love it!

I wholeheartedly agree about lens rendering vs. sharpness. I think sharpness is overrated . Seriously, I'm not kidding. Some of my favourite lenses are not the sharpest, but they have such a gorgeous rendering and tonality that it trumps all else. No one ever looked at a print from one and said that the image wasn't sharp enough, but the rendering and tonality hit the viewer from across the room. Too many photographers I think are overly-obsessed with sharpness and fine detail, while neglecting all the other aesthetic qualities of what makes a good picture.
12-24-2020, 04:53 PM   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by Viking42 Quote
Interesting comment about exposing to preserve highlights. When I got my first serious digital camera (K5ii), an experienced photographer friend of mine taught me, as a starting point for newbies, to shoot in Av mode and keep the exposure compensation dialed to -2/3 stop. This didn't make sense to me until I saw exactly what you and he are talking about -- the highlights can just "poof" disappear....one second they're there, and +half-stop later they're gone. TBH, I think I could train myself to quickly spot meter the highlights, just like film shooting. The thing would be to remember the dynamic range at different ISO values, as it decreases as ISO goes up. We'll see if I can break my lazy habits. I would still prefer taking a moment to meter correctly, than to have a mirrorless as my main camera. I just find those EVFs so irritating on the eyes...give me a headache. Not for me thanks. There's no such thing as a perfect camera, so we have to make compromises to get our priorities in hand.




Nice camera! And very nice picture. Classic film look. Love it!

I wholeheartedly agree about lens rendering vs. sharpness. I think sharpness is overrated . Seriously, I'm not kidding. Some of my favourite lenses are not the sharpest, but they have such a gorgeous rendering and tonality that it trumps all else. No one ever looked at a print from one and said that the image wasn't sharp enough, but the rendering and tonality hit the viewer from across the room. Too many photographers I think are overly-obsessed with sharpness and fine detail, while neglecting all the other aesthetic qualities of what makes a good picture.
Part of the problem with EVFs for me is that I often wear sunglasses or photochromic lenses and an EVF is harder to see with shades.

I totally agree about sharpness and rendering. One of my favorite lenses in micro four thirds is the Olympus 17mm pancake, regularly panned for its lack of sharpness, has that special something in its rendering.
12-25-2020, 06:51 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
I totally agree about sharpness and rendering. One of my favorite lenses in micro four thirds is the Olympus 17mm pancake, regularly panned for its lack of sharpness, has that special something in its rendering.
I'll have to remember that about the Oly 17mm. My daughter has a little Pen MFT camera which would benefit from a little pancake lens like that. I think she just has the kit lenses at the moment, which are pretty bulky. Thanks for the heads up on that!
12-25-2020, 10:32 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
Judging exposure with digital is more tricky, it just is. What I always come back to is that most films treat highlight rolloff so much more subtly and gently than digital. Even if it's a film that tends to lose detail in highlights, you get this smooth transition whereas with digital, it's all too often a weirdly color-shifted gradient and then pure white - and when you try to edit, the bad transitions just stand out even more. I always expose digital to protect highlights when I can (and the GR III's highlight weighted metering is awesome for this). I have a harder time doing that with a DSLR - I mean, how does one? You either take the time to spot meter for the highlights, or maybe use blinkies in image review? Ugh, neither of these options appeal to me.

I have the Cosina made Bessa-T, which is a quirky camera but probably the cheapest way into an M-mount (except I got the olive green Heliar special edition, because it looks cool). It has a separate rangefinder (BIG, magnified, and super bright, hands down the best rangefinder I've ever seen - but not inside of a viewfinder) and you have to add accessory viewfinders for the lens (which is the biggest bummer, budgeting in for these rather overpriced accessories). It's a different kind of shooting, but it works for me. On the street I zone focus with the excellent little Color Skopar lens, and if I'm taking a more methodical approach I have no problem switching from the rangefinder to the viewfinder to fine-tune focus. It's just a matter of using the right technique for the moment.

Here's an example from the 35mm f2.5 slightly overexposing Superia 400. This lens is characterized by its gentle focus transition and overall just good looks. It's not the sharpest out there, but just overall pleasing.

Speaking of the Bessa T, did you get the Heliar lens it package with?
I heard it is sharper than Leica Summicron, only slower.

The highlight rolloff tip is interesting and I agree film is much more forgiving than digital.
12-26-2020, 11:01 AM   #29
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Yes, I did get the Heliar 50mm, but my plan was to sell it by itself and put the money into a slightly cheaper lens. I couldn't justify the whole purchase price for the Heliar package. So now my Bessa T lives with a Color Skopar 35mm f2.5, which is more like the focal length I wanted anyway. I only shot one roll with the Heliar, which was kind of a bummer, as it looked really good, though the roll were just snapshots.

The collapsible Heliar is a little finicky, you have to get used to the infinity lock and keeping it extended and locked in place when you're using it. But it is a beautiful and amazingly well-made lens. If I had a bigger budget for film shooting, I might own one again. Incidentally, the Bessa T has a really large rangefinder making it really easy to focus with nearly any lens, it calls out for larger apertures. I keep thinking of putting a 40mm Nokton on it, I think that would make a very nice pairing.
12-26-2020, 04:05 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by AgentL Quote
Yes, I did get the Heliar 50mm, but my plan was to sell it by itself and put the money into a slightly cheaper lens. I couldn't justify the whole purchase price for the Heliar package. So now my Bessa T lives with a Color Skopar 35mm f2.5, which is more like the focal length I wanted anyway. I only shot one roll with the Heliar, which was kind of a bummer, as it looked really good, though the roll were just snapshots.

The collapsible Heliar is a little finicky, you have to get used to the infinity lock and keeping it extended and locked in place when you're using it. But it is a beautiful and amazingly well-made lens. If I had a bigger budget for film shooting, I might own one again. Incidentally, the Bessa T has a really large rangefinder making it really easy to focus with nearly any lens, it calls out for larger apertures. I keep thinking of putting a 40mm Nokton on it, I think that would make a very nice pairing.
Yes, the Heliar is the only 5 element design available for 35mm I think, otherwise it is available for large format only.
Color Skopar and Nokton is nice and seeing your choices I understand that the Heliar wasn't exactly to your taste.
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