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All other DSLR's and Four Thirds, 4/3 All DSLRs excluding Canon and Nikon mounts ie Sigma, Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Leica R Back DSLRs and 4/3 System

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  #1  
Old August 28th, 2011, 12:49 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Default Primes for new camera systems

To complement the thread about choosing a small camera system, I decided to look about the primes offered for the new camera systems. I think that the new camera systems are:
Sony NEX
Olympus-Panasonic 4/3
Samsung NX
Leica S (yes, I know it is not a compact and light system, I just throw it in for comparison)

The basic idea behind the listing is to come from the point of view of a photographer who is using a small set of primes. Can he/she find a set of primes in any of these new systems? A set of primes would be a wide-angle, standard and small tele, and maybe another lens. Something akin to the focal lengths used for the Leica M6 (understood as the focal lengths for which the built-in viewfinder had a dedicated frame). I know it is arbitrary, but this is just an exercise: "can a photographer walk around with a camera and a small set of primes today as he/she did in the 50s?".

I decided to list the lenses by angle of view, given in equivalent 35mm format. Small lenses (so called "pancakes") are in magenta. Macro lenses have the letter M, lenses with Optical Stabilisation the letter S. Sony has 2 converters for the 16mm, making it into a wide-angle and fisheye primes, those are listed in grey (are they primes or not?). I list the lenses announced, even when not yet available.




__________________fish_______18_______24_______28_______35______40_______50______75______90________135_____


NEX_______________2.8________2.8_____2.8________________1.8________3.5M ________1.8S_______________________

Olympus _____________________________2.0________________2.8______________________________1.8_______________
Panasonic_________3.5__________________________2.5______________1.7______1.4_____________2.8MS____________

Samsung______________________________2.8___________________________2.0____________________________________

Leica_S2_______________________________________2.5 ________________________2.5________________2.5M___ ____3.5


Interestingly, all manufacturers have around 4 primes (except Samsung), but they did not chose the same focal lengths for them. 4/3 has more primes than any other system, because it is supported by 2 independent manufacturers.
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Old August 28th, 2011, 01:40 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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It is not a new camera system, but I think that this comparison would not be complete without adding Pentax, who has a whole line of "limited" primes for their camera system. Interestingly, the focal length available are quite different (there is a glaring hole around the equivalent of the 35mm focal length).

__________________fish_______16_________24_______28_______35______40_______50______75______90________135_____
Pentax lim__________________________4______________3.2______________________2.4_2.8_____1.4____2.4_________
________________________________2.8_______________ ______________________1.8__2.8M_1.9_1.4________1.8________
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  #3  
Old August 28th, 2011, 06:24 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Hi, Jerome,

Thank you for this very nice review in this important, and rapidly evolving, area.

I think this realm has the potential to have the same kind of impact on photography that the introduction of the 35-mm film format did.

Best regards,

Doug
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  #4  
Old August 28th, 2011, 08:38 AM
Cem_Usakligil Cem_Usakligil is offline
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Good job Jerome, thanks for this valuable overview.
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  #5  
Old August 28th, 2011, 09:23 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Jerome, this is excellent work and could be a sticky reference.

If we bring the Pentax system into the equation, we should not loose sight of the fact that
the M system too has very small and light lenses from CV ( 12/15mm), ZM ( 21/4.5 ) and the older versions of Leica lenses.

Some of the lenses for the M4/3 when attached are imo too big to warrant the ' small ' claim/ e.g the
Leica summilux or the macro 25mm. This one weighs over 500 gms! more than my lux 50-M asph!!

But it is early days yet..hopefully there are exciting times ahead.

Thank you for your initiative and effort.

Regards.

p.s I even have a pancake 45/2.8 F mount for my Nikon in Black.Simple Tessar design but wow!!
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Old August 28th, 2011, 11:45 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Do not read too much in this simple comparison. I think that it mainly shows that the rate of lens introduction is about the same for all manufacturers. It is also interesting to see that manufacturers do not abandon the market for primes, even if zooms are their bread and butter.

Do not misread me, I love using primes, but the fact is that most people use zooms. Many pros simply use a 16-35, 24-70 and 70-200 (or simply 16-35 and 70-200), many amateurs use a kit zoom, a two zooms kit or one of the wide-range "travel zooms".
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Old August 28th, 2011, 11:52 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
If we bring the Pentax system into the equation, we should not loose sight of the fact that
the M system too has very small and light lenses from CV ( 12/15mm), ZM ( 21/4.5 ) and the older versions of Leica lenses.
Certainly, and I am keeping this system as a comparison. In the 50-60s, the Leica M with two or 3 primes started the idea of small camera systems. But there is no way I could fit all the M lenses in a table here...

However, in my opinion, the digital M system has a problem. Either one uses a M8, and then there is a lack of small and fast wide-angle lenses or one uses a M9 and then there is a lack of money... ;)
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Old August 29th, 2011, 01:36 AM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
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Another factor is what ISO does it take before the noise level starts to work against a clean image. It's difficult to make any kind of accurate statement here because some bodies will use some kind of noise reduction even at their lowest settings and you probably have to have a camera and play round with it to understand what you can pull from the files.

Still, just looking at DPReview noise comparisons, the clean noise ceiling may be approximately as follows for the following cameras: Olympus 400ISO, Panasonic and Samsung 800ISO, Sony (from C3) 1600 ISO, Fujifilm X100 3200ISO.

Then there's the effect of stabilisation. This mainly applies to Olympus, which has in-body stabilisation and then only to landscapes because subject movement will mean it will have little effect for social shots in this focal length range.

I've expressed the table below in terms of EV @ ISO100, for a rough estimate of the minimum EV for a clean image hand holding at one over focal length, or taking stabilisation into account for stabilised landscapes. I've assumed that stabilisation gives 2 stops for olympus and 3 for Sony and Panasonic.

I also simplified some focal length ranges, and I've used the fastest lens where there is more than one for a manufacturer.

.......................16........24........28..... ...35........40 to 50........75 to 90

Fuji X100.............................................2
NEX.................(3)........2.5................ ...2.5...........5................4
Samsung......................4.5.................. ................4.5
Panasonic.........4.5..................4.5........ ................4.................6.5
Olympus.......................4.5................. .6.................................6

Stabilised landscapes
NEX............................................... ........................................1
Panasonic......................................... ......................................3.5
Olympus.......................2.5................. 4..................................4

Of course, the other factor is how good each lens is wide open or generally.
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  #9  
Old August 29th, 2011, 01:08 PM
Bob Rogers Bob Rogers is offline
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Here's something really neat about NEX that is related to what Jerome is writing about:

You can put an adapter on it that lets you shoot with Leica rangefinder lenses.

You can get adapters for just about any other sort of lens too, but most of them kind of defeat the purpose of a small camera. ;-)
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Old August 29th, 2011, 01:54 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Default A Lens to Consider for NEX and the GXR with the Respective Leica M-adapter/units.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rogers View Post
Here's something really neat about NEX that is related to what Jerome is writing about:

You can put an adapter on it that lets you shoot with Leica rangefinder lenses.

You can get adapters for just about any other sort of lens too, but most of them kind of defeat the purpose of a small camera. ;-)
My Ricoh GXR does the same thing but it's really only good for guys like Fahim who already have those magic lenses. I wonder what Leica lenses are small enough to work well with the NEX system.

For the GXR, Ricoh's 28mm and 50mm lenses are already superb.




Cameraquest: 90mm 3.5 APO Lanthar

Note that the hood is rather large but can be replaced by a collapsible one


A Cosina/Voigtlander 90/3.5 APO Lanthar: Leica Screw Mount -- add Screw Mount adapter for perfect compatibility Leica M with the GXR M-adapter unit. The mag factor is, I believe, 1.41 (thanks Doug Kerr), as the M-module has an APS-C size sensor. So the 90mm lens would give a perspective of a 136 mm lens. Now that's pretty nice for a totally silent camera. 369 for the lens and $59 for the screw mount to M mount adapter.
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 29th, 2011 at 06:23 PM.
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  #11  
Old August 29th, 2011, 04:14 PM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
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I notice that B&H stocks a Voigtlander 50mm f0.95 Nokton for m43, which hasn't been considered above and which also suggests they may after a time produce lenses for NEX.
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Old August 29th, 2011, 06:25 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Foote View Post
I notice that B&H stocks a Voigtlander 50mm f0.95 Nokton for m43, which hasn't been considered above and which also suggests they may after a time produce lenses for NEX.
Murray,

In the cameraquest website they do refer to the NEX system too for use of these lenses.

Asher
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Old August 29th, 2011, 08:13 PM
Bob Rogers Bob Rogers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post

I wonder what Leica lenses are small enough to work well with the NEX system.
I've seen photos of the 35mm Biogon mounted on a NEX. It looks cool -- vintage lenses on modern cameras.

Also some of the affordable Voigtlanders. It sounds like there might be an issue with corner softness created by the sensor and the way the light from the lens interacts with it.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 12:41 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Foote View Post
Still, just looking at DPReview noise comparisons
I would advise against trusting any noise measurements. They are not scientific.

The problem is that the manufacturer can make the noise figures as low as they wish by averaging details. The manufacturer can also make the image appearing as sharp as they wish (almost) by reconstructing details. At the extreme, the camera processor could simply recognize the standard iso resolution target and replace it by a stored, noise-free version.

In video cameras, I have seen pictures of a fine structure on a door which appeared noise-free and sharp... except that the actual design of the structure was different. The reconstruction algorithm got it wrong.

In real photographic practice, my personal experience has taught me that noise tests, dpreview or else, bear little relation to what results one can get shooting in dark places, especially when one uses raw files and third-party noise reduction.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 05:22 AM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Foote View Post
It's difficult to make any kind of accurate statement here because some bodies will use some kind of noise reduction even at their lowest settings and you probably have to have a camera and play round with it to understand what you can pull from the files.
I'm not aware of any noise figures. I was simply making a subjective judgement about noise patterns and smearing based on shown noise examples, and that judgement may well be arbitrary. I did have a suspicion that I was understating m4/3 noise because the small sensor probably means more agressive noise reduction even at "noise-free" settings.

My first digital cameras were a Panasonic FZ20 and then FZ50 which I used for available-light shots of bands. That was actually a good learning experience in combining different noise reduction methods and masking according to the image. So I agree that what you start with in terms of noise may be quite different to what you end up with.

If you know of better comparisons I would be very interested to read them.

Essentially I agree with what you say. Still, what can you do if you're not in a position to make direct comparisons yourself? You still have to make some kind of judgements as to what noise and quality levels are for purchasing decisions. For example, I'm probably about to purchase an X100 but I've never even seen one and they are currently unavailable in stores where I live.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 06:46 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Foote View Post
what can you do if you're not in a position to make direct comparisons yourself
If you intent to shoot raw, all cameras of the same generation are roughly equal.

If you intent to shoot jpeg, go to flickr and try to download full resolution real life examples.

At least, that is what *I* do... ;)
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Old August 30th, 2011, 07:23 AM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerome Marot View Post
If you intent to shoot raw, all cameras of the same generation are roughly equal.
... providing they're of the same sensor size, surely.

I suspect that what I observed is broadly correct (and was based on extracts from RAW files).

Olympus hasn't upgraded its sensor so it makes sense if it's currently behind Panasonic. The Samsung is poorly implemented and probably equivalent to the Panasonic notwithstanding the larger sensor (and I suppose is previous generation anyway). The Sony is better even though handicapped by NEX-5 lenses at least. The X100 is better again due perhaps to the fixed lens carefully matched to the sensor.

It would be better to test this off raw files but I don't have the time and energy at the moment.
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Old August 30th, 2011, 08:49 AM
Bart_van_der_Wolf Bart_van_der_Wolf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Foote View Post
If you know of better comparisons I would be very interested to read them.
Hi Murray,

I generally find the DxOmark database very useful. For the cameras that I have measured myself, their noise measurements are extremely close to mine, and I've read similar findings from reputable owners/testers of other cameras. Do note that these are measurements taken with a solid testing methodology, so it may take a bit of study to understand the measurements and their results. The measurements are based on Raw data, before Bayer CFA demosaicing, so the role of Raw converters is eliminated. Were talking about sensor data, so one does need to interpret the findings as how that will translate to every day use.

Quote:
Essentially I agree with what you say. Still, what can you do if you're not in a position to make direct comparisons yourself? You still have to make some kind of judgements as to what noise and quality levels are for purchasing decisions. For example, I'm probably about to purchase an X100 but I've never even seen one and they are currently unavailable in stores where I live.
Here is a link to the DxOMark data for the X100 sensor.

Cheers,
Bart
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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:11 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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The impact of different kinds of noise on the delivered image as perceived by the viewer is a very complex area, in which doubtless dozens of Ph.D. degrees have been earned. Among other things, it of course depends on the nature of the scene, and in fact what is the context of viewing of the image - what expectations arise from that.

There are, for example, complex ways in which the quantization of the imaging system can influence the (objective) impact of sensor system noise on the image.

We may well find that when we compare two images (with the same geometric resolution), the one that shows a lower RMS signal-to-noise ratio at some specific general luminance level will better allow us to read a license plate number, for example. And between two images taken with the same camera with different "settings", one with the poorer SNR may appear "better" when viewed at a certain angular size - a phenomenon that depends greatly on the structure of the scene.

These are not matters easily summarized by a few numbers.

And of course there is the quite different issue of the "mood" certain noise results may impart to an image (as we often hear of film grain), perhaps an artistic objective of the artist for certain works.

The cautions expressed in this thread regarding "noise measurements" or "noise performance ratings" are well put. The discussions have been very valuable to me.

Most telling of course are the observations of photographers based on their own experiences (as for any craft).

Certainly some simplistic relationships (relating perhaps to sensel size, ISO sensitivity, and "maturity of design") can help us avoid "surprises" when moving to a different camera paradigm. But we need to be careful that we do not attempt to predict from quantitative parameters whether Henry Kissinger or Angie Dickinson is the most valuable. Neither should we completely disregard what quantitative measurement might tell us. (Farly reliable evidence tells us that Henry Kissinger was probably taller than Angie Dickinson - but maybe not.)

Best regards,

Doug
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Old August 30th, 2011, 09:32 AM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
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Hi Bart

Thanks for that, that's very useful. I'd forgotten about DxO. I'll have to pay more attention in the future.

Regards,
Murray
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Old August 31st, 2011, 12:37 PM
Asher Kelman Asher Kelman is offline
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I'd advise everyone to consider a subscription to Reid Reviews for in-depth real use of prime lenses in compact cameras. Today I discovered a treasure. Sean has just published an ongoing review of the A 12 module to use Leica M-mount lenses with the GXR system. If you're considering any investment in a small mirrorless camera, then the rich website will be an investment you will really benefit from. It's $35/yr*. Here's an Index to the Articles in Reid Reviews. No one else know has such a rich collection of Leica mount lenses and compact cameras who's also capable in assessing the impact on use of the system in drawing the images in a way that reflects what we want for the presentation of our ideas. The idea of mating choice of lenses to the esthetic framework chosen for your picture-making, is where Sean Reid's skill are most useful to us.

Also in Luminous Landscape , there's a pretty objective sentinel article with reference to Imatest measurements of lens and sensor performance. Again, this article is a "must-read" to anyone optimizing small carry with you always camera sets. It provides a great reality setting for your decisions.

Reading both sources would help anyone about to invest in a small prime-based high quality take-everywhere camera system. I'd love to hear feedback on both articles.

Asher

* Disclosure: I paid for my own subscription to Reid Review initially, but subsequently made this continue as a courtesy to a photography forum. Otherwise, there's no business relationship or conflict of interest.
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Last edited by Asher Kelman; August 31st, 2011 at 01:08 PM. Reason: Just Read: Reid and "must read" Imatest look on compact cameras!
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 04:53 AM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
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Another alternative for a paid subscription is Lloyd Chambers. Much more expensive, though if you consider separate subscriptions for advanced photography, leica, zeiss lenses, sharp images or infrared. Much larger coverage than Reid I think, though.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 06:49 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Small primes..depending on which camera it dresses!

It is not a question of ' noise '..whatever that implies to a viewer. It is the ratio of information that is
perceived by an observer to be useful to that which is considered extraneous by him/her. One might
call it' S/N ' but in a photographic context it might not mean what Shannon might have envisaged.

Sean Reid's excellent site gives one the ' drawing ' characteristics of lenses by a working photog combined with meticulous test results. Highly recommended. The discussions of cameras should appeal to all levels of interested readers.

MR of LL is worth visiting, if only to read about experienced opinion by the contributors. Some fine photographic techniques available.

Lloyd's site was very useful to me for the Zeiss information. I found the Leica section/s, intially at least,
of little value to me. The other content I am unaware of.

To answer Jerome's question on wa for the M8..yes seems to be some issue. I have no experience shooting wide..35mm- 100mm is where you find me.

While an M9 is indeed expensive ( for me at least ), my film Leicas have plenty of wa available. Putting a relatively cheap ( but excellent ) cv 15/4.5 on it I can see the earth's sphere!!

I am on the fence still..why should I buy adapters for the M lenses if I already have the M system?

The beauty of the new M4/3 or Nex or GRX should be the small lenses of those systems. In volume and weight..
e.g a 12/2, a 20/1.7, a 45/1.8..for me plenty and more.

Regards.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 07:57 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is online now
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Hi, Fahim,

Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
It is not a question of ' noise '..whatever that implies to a viewer. It is the ratio of information that is
perceived by an observer to be useful to that which is considered extraneous by him/her. One might
call it' S/N ' but in a photographic context it might not mean what Shannon might have envisaged.
Very well said, my friend!

Best regards,

Doug
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 08:01 AM
Murray Foote Murray Foote is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Murray Foote View Post
I notice that B&H stocks a Voigtlander 50mm f0.95 Nokton for m43, which hasn't been considered above and which also suggests they may after a time produce lenses for NEX.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Asher Kelman View Post
Murray,
In the cameraquest website they do refer to the NEX system too for use of these lenses.
Asher
Asher

As far as I can see, that is only using a NEX adaptor. The Voigtlander lens I referred to is becoming available with a m4/3 mount.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 09:23 AM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
I am on the fence still..why should I buy adapters for the M lenses if I already have the M system?
Because they cost $16.99 delivered?

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Leica-M-lens...-/110634831245


Quote:
Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
The beauty of the new M4/3 or Nex or GRX should be the small lenses of those systems. In volume and weight..
e.g a 12/2, a 20/1.7, a 45/1.8..for me plenty and more.
Except that the 12/2 and 45/1.8 are not small lenses. They are lighter than their film counterparts, but for example the 12/2 is about the same size as the Leica 24mm f/2.8 it replaces.

If the idea is to have a camera system with primes which is small in volume, the new generation of interchangeable lens cameras do not deliver. Even less so if you still want goodies film photographers have become used to, like, say, a viewfinder...

It is not that they are bad cameras, they are actually very good (all of them). But in practical photographic use, they will force you to operate differently than you are used to with a M6.
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Old September 2nd, 2011, 09:39 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Jerome, I do not deal with the evil bay. Lumix/CV adapters cost a little more. The M A12 module from GXR
a lot lot more.

As to the 12/2 and 45/1.8, I really have not looked at their measurements. You could very well be correct
as to their size/volume envelope.

That is why I am on the fence. I checked the weight of the G3, e.g, not really all that nice with the 45/2.8 macro attached!!

Best.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 12:35 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Fahim, Jerome

A couple of very quick thoughts appropos this discussion.

- Jerome is correct that moving to one of the smaller cameras, even with an evf, will change the way you work. That may or may not be a problem. When i had my gx100 i used to clip an external optical finder on it. So far i've not seen an evf that works for me.

- the m lenses don't always work that well on these cameras. Leica had to work hard to get to the m9, and there are still residual red edge issues with some zeiss wide angles.

Hence, i'm staying m, with m9 and film sharing lenses, and no field of view conflict.

Murray, perhaps worth being aware that lloyd's focus is more technical and tripod based than sean's. Probably appeal to different markets. Sean's best articled, imho, have been aboit making pivtures rather than gear reviews, but they seem to have slowed down at the moment.

Best

mike
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Old September 6th, 2011, 01:17 AM
fahim mohammed fahim mohammed is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Shimwell View Post
Fahim, Jerome

A couple of very quick thoughts appropos this discussion.

- ..... will change the way you work. That may or may not be a problem. ....

....

Best

mike
Mike, you are correct. There was a time when I could swing a Nikon 70-200mm over one shoulder, a 28-70mm in the bag and a 85/1.4 on the camera. I had a backup cam too.

Things have changed..my children have children, my hair have turned grey, one of my arteries has a stent and I cannot workout at over 3000 meters..Yes things change and one may have to adapt.

IMHO, I have not yet found a better camera system than my Nikon/s..for what I do. Film or Digital.
But while Nikon has improved, I have deteriorated with age. I need to change my camera too, however
reluctantly, into something smaller, more wieldy for me.

Hence my quest for a smaller..much smaller system.
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Old September 6th, 2011, 04:42 AM
Mike Shimwell Mike Shimwell is offline
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Location: North Yorkshire, UK
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Originally Posted by fahim mohammed View Post
Mike, you are correct. There was a time when I could swing a Nikon 70-200mm over one shoulder, a 28-70mm in the bag and a 85/1.4 on the camera. I had a backup cam too.

Things have changed..my children have children, my hair have turned grey, one of my arteries has a stent and I cannot workout at over 3000 meters..Yes things change and one may have to adapt.

IMHO, I have not yet found a better camera system than my Nikon/s..for what I do. Film or Digital.
But while Nikon has improved, I have deteriorated with age. I need to change my camera too, however
reluctantly, into something smaller, more wieldy for me.

Hence my quest for a smaller..much smaller system.
You could buy a M4/3 and a clip on optical viewfinder. The Panasonic 1.7/20 is supposed ot be a cracking lens that would meet your needs. Add the voigt 0.95/25 (manual focus only) and you'd be about there.

MIke
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