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Sounding Board on where to head with my gear

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by SZRimaging, Oct 1, 2013.

  1. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Nov 16, 2011
    Ok, here is the situation: I have a BFA in Photography, I shot semi-pro for a while, but now all my income comes from web development. I am no longer shooting sports, so I recently dumped my D7000 and lenses and moved into an E-M5. Currently I have the E-M5, the Oly 12-50 (almost never used), and the Sigma 19mm f2.8. I also have a few Nikkors and MC Minolta lenses with adapters.

    Besides that, I am shooting film on a TLR, and very much love shooting film, but at the same time I love the immediacy of digital, especially when doing things in my home studio.

    So here is the rub, I have up to $1000 to work with. The choices I'm throwing around are very varied:

    1. Used 4x5, would be good for portraits and scenics, but bulky and cumbersome. That said, I sorely miss movements. Not to mention 4x5 would give me a pretty decent bump in resolution for scenics and portraits.

    2. Some kind of tilt/shift setup. Gives me some of the movement capabilities while retaining some sort of compact feel. Probably faster to setup than a 4x5. Thinking a 28mm Nikkor PC (gives you shift only) plus a SpeedBooster. Not sure how that 28mm would do on m43 though.

    3. Used medium format camera. Probably a Mamiya 6 (or 7) or 645. Paired with a good portrait lens, would be a nice combo. But not sure how much I would use it (again, bulky).

    4. Fixed lens compact with APS-C sensor. I would get a fair amount of use, and they would replace the OM-D in my bag for everyday carry with me use. Leaders are the X100 (or s if I can swing it), the latest Ricoh, or a Sigma DP Merrel.

    5. Oly 12-40mm. Would sell the 12-50mm and switch to this.

    6. Small prime and hold the rest. Pick up either the Oly 45mm or Sigma 60mm then hold off until I decide what else to do.

    7. GX7. Seems like it would be nice, and might help me fight the urge to buy a Fujifilm X Series camera.

    8. Go dual system and pick up a Fuji X-E1 when they get cheap. The problem here being I would have two systems that don't have as much differentiation between them as, say, a 4x5 or MF gear.

    Thoughts?
     
  2. swampduck

    swampduck Mu-43 Veteran

    334
    Mar 29, 2013
    Taneytown , MD
    Dan
    IMHO you need to figure out what you are going to shoot first, then figure out what you are going to do with those pictures after taking them, eg. online, print..etc. Then you need to figure out how that relates to what you are willing to carry.

    You have literally gone from one photo spectrum to another.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    Yeah I think part of your problem is you're not sure *what* you want to do, so it's hard to decide how to go about it :smile:

    Are you looking for something with more image quality than your existing m4/3 setup? Something specific for portraits? More shallow DoF? A different shooting experience? All of the above?

    Without knowing more, I'd say maybe an X100 or X100S would fit the bill for you pretty nicely. It has reasonably shallow DoF, excellent IQ, a retro-inspired shooting experience, leads nicely into the X series if you wanted to go with an X-E1 later, and the leaf shutter offers some pretty cool flexibility in lighting if you wanted to do portrait work with it. Plus it's a great carry-everywhere all the time camera. The OVF/EVF hybrid, built-in ND filter, fixed lens and smallish size work well for that IMO.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Nov 16, 2011
    Yeah, but I shoot a lot of different things. Mostly travel/walkaround, landscape and attempting to get more portraits (willing participants seem to be the trouble).

    I'm more, how shall we say, flighty in my whims and shoot what I feel like.

    What I haven't found is a voice, or a series, I can just consistently shoot and pair the gear to that.

    I know for the olympus I eventually want to have the 45mm, 12mm, 75mm, 12-40mm and whatever the long f2.8 is going to be (40-100?). I also know at some point I will build up a digital MF system. I also know that I am in love with shooting film.

    That all said, I think the 4x5 and PC lens are off the table, although I do sorely miss movements (mainly just shift).

    Numbers 3, 4, and 6 seem most aligned to what I want/need.
     
  5. voltcontrol

    voltcontrol Mu-43 Regular

    133
    Apr 26, 2013
    Perhaps adding or diy'ing a tilt/shift contraption will get some of the possibilities back?
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Nov 16, 2011
    Oddly enough, I have an enlarger sitting on the floor of my home office to try just that (and convert to a stand for duping my film/slides). I have some of the parts already, just not sure if I'll be able to add shift to the front or rear standard. It may just turn into a duping or macro setup of some sort.
     
  7. flipmack

    flipmack Mu-43 Veteran

    252
    Mar 23, 2012
    irvine, CA
    sounds like you're using gear to compensate for a lack of a muse.

    I do the same thing, and every time I realize what I'm doing, I put my money away and learn to just work with what I have.

    What I would do with $1000? staycations and going to different places where I'd want to take pictures.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  8. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Nov 16, 2011
    So true, I do lack a muse. My wife hates having her photo taken, and I don't have kids. I contemplate ideas for series, as I feel these are often better than a single image, but have, at this point failed to actually execute them.

    That said, I sorely lack a good portrait prime. The 12-50mm just doesn't do it for me, and the TLR isn't good at getting up close for a portrait.
     
  9. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    In your situation I would look for a good project or two then get equipment to complete them. I will if the project requires buy a camera and sell it after I have finished, that being said I always get used gear. You should be able to get a 5x4 for a lot less than $1k, I think I only paid out about £150 for mine (with lens).
     
  10. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Nov 16, 2011
    I just got a line on a Broncia ETRS for cheap locally, so I may add that and then a 45mm. And darn it, I'm going to get back to portraits!
     
  11. alex66

    alex66 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    715
    Jul 23, 2010
    If you can check how the film mech is on the ETRS as they have a bit of a habit of putting too big a gap between frames as they wear down. Though its normaly the film back that needs replacing.
     
  12. SZRimaging

    SZRimaging Mu-43 Regular

    124
    Nov 16, 2011
    I plan to inspect fully before handing over the cash. That said, not sure how to check that one. The good news is that spare film backs are cheap on keh.