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Those with many FF systems experience, looking for advice

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by stripedrex, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    373
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    So as you can see from my sig I have WAY too many cameras and lenses and need to consolidate. While I find myself finding a way to use just about all these lenses I've come to the conclusion I might as well be carrying a full frame camera with a 24-70 f2.8. I have the o12-40 and find the systems high iso is just not good enough at 2.8 indoors and just doesn't provide me enough dof control for the style I like to shoot. I'm not a big fan of flash although I'll use it on occasion and even as I attempt it to do flash correctly it always either seems too commercial or artificial for me (Bounced, low power, multiple flashes etc etc). I sometimes just go lazy and go high grain high iso b/w. Now that the lx100 is out I'm considering keeping that as my main do it all camera but on occasions I want more DOF control and better low light thinking of FF. I currently have the A7 but the system SLLOOOWW and doesn't seem like will have a normal 2.8 zoom anytime soon (an f4 zoom is available which barely better dof then m43 f2.8 but will have the same high iso issues). I have the adapter for alpha lenses but in practice the focus points and speed are just not anywhere near my e-m1. SO many missed shots (I prefer candid shooting so I typically point and shoot quick when I see people at the right moment). I keep thinking to go old school and get a mirror but have been SUPER spoiled with m43's speed, near eye autofocus and 5-axis image stabilization. All I need to do is focus on exposure and composition and the system handles where to focus etc. These technologies and the broader dof make my hit count (in focus catching the moment) remarkably high. If I'm to shoot full frame at 2.8 it's going to be harder to get things in focus and NONE of the full frame systems seem to even come close to m43 with these techno tricks. Those who have used Nikon, Canon or Sony what are your experiences with autofocus compared to m43? Are you as spoiled as I am with near eye autofocus and contrast detection accuracy? Is the face detection on some of these systems any good in practice (I find SOOO many images with Canikon / Sony FF with missed critical focus on flickr etc)? I read NONE of them really are. At tight DOFs I'm not a huge fan of focus and recompose. The fine tune adjusting I have to do for critical focus make me miss my shot. I've been leaning towards Sony a99 but I hear frustrated reports of any accurate focus is restricted to the middle. I shoot focused in the middle probably less then 50% of the time. Thinking of grabbing a 24-70 f2.8 alpha to adapt to my e-mount but I already know I'll be slow with that rig. I suppose I can keep my m43 and continue the prime lens swapping madness I do now but I'm starting to get tired of it. I constantly switch between 17, 25 and 45mm, then go to 20mm only to get frustrated on the autofocus, then to 75 to get that mega bokeh only to be too long most of the time etc etc.

    If you're going to just tell me I need to use my feet please don't bother replying, my feet are tired of it and I miss shots doing that with my style of shooting =p. I can zoom faster then I can run anyhow =p. Also please no flash comments either it's just not the look I want and I'm continuing to experiment and read about lighting so maybe one day I'll appreciate that look more. I find flash distracts my style of shooting to I like to be a ninja.

    Hey, with the lens tricks Panasonic did to compress the LX100 lens maybe we'll see a 1.4 12-35 zoom? I have to say it seems possible now doesn't it? =)
     
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  2. MAubrey

    MAubrey Photographer

    Jul 9, 2012
    Bellingham, WA
    Mike Aubrey
    Why don't you buy a second E-M! body or an E-M5 and then always have two primes mounted? Less switching, more shooting.
     
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  3. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    If your shooting as much as it sounds like and you enjoy the m43 primes, this is your best solution. The menus will be the same and they will share batteries. Using one body with a zoom is no problem, but if you enjoy shooting primes then 2 bodies is the ultimate setup. You could even use one zoom and one prime!

    B
     
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  4. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    373
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    Thanks guy, very true I have tried that actually but with lesser bodies (gf2, gf3, epm2) but found I typically won't be carrying them both at the same time. And I'll be running to the camera where ever it is constantly and going back. I suppose I can double holster. While I typically don't care what others think of me I think camera geeking out to that extent pushes people's comfort with me around. Actually the LX100 doulbles as that 2nd camera also once I get it. My gut tells me still once someone comes up with a proper full frame mirrorless with the bells and whistles (I was hoping the Nikon DF was going to lose the mirror and use existing nikon glass, oh well =/ ) with 2.8 normal zoom comes out I'll be in heaven. I'll keep thinking about it I suppose. Any nikon, sony, canon full framers chime in? I know a handful of the folks here use m43 as a second system.
     
  5. BAXTING

    BAXTING Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Aug 5, 2012
    Los Angeles SFV, CA
    Bradley
    Does this guy look geeky?

    Tommy_Gun_Gallery_1.

    Ive found that a good casual camera bag helps to look less inconspicous. At the end of the day whatever gets you the most keepers is the right decision. :thumbup:
     
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  6. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Honestly, within the scope of what's available right now, the E-M1 coupled with some of the fast primes is quite possibly the best low-light system you can get. If you don't mind manual focus, get the voigtlander 0.95 primes and you've got FF-equivalent shallow DoF with really good IBIS.

    I currently have a fairly similar body lineup to yours - although my E-M1 is mostly a 'zooms' camera, and the A7r gets used for primes, landscapes, people shooting. The A7r is a really great camera, but it's not as refined as the MFT gear, the AF is considerably slower, but the files are stunning and the FE55 alone is almost worth the price of admission. I've added a Voigtlander 35/1.2 nokton, which is also excellent. Honetly, if I want real DoF control I want primes in the sub F/2.0 range. F/2.8 doesn't really 'do it' for me, and at that point I'd rather just shoot the MFT gear. If Sony gets MFT-level autofocus in their FF bodies, adds a touch screen, and manages to get IBIS into the system and provides a really broad range of great glass, it might be worth considering a switch. However, I won't do it for high ISO performance (if that was key I'd get an A7s), at least not for static subjects.

    For the record, I used to own a Canon 5D mark II, a 35/1.4L, 135/2.0, Sigma 50/1.4, Canon 17-40, 24-105, 70-200/2.8 IS, 100-400L, and a few other lenses. The size advantage and quality of the files in MFT land pulled me over, although I really do still love that FF look for specific situations, and I started weeding out the Canon gear - which was getting about zero use once the E-M5 came along. Then Sony released the A7r, which I knew had limitations and downsides going in, but has still fulfilled my expectations and needs as a 'second' camera for landscape shooting and people shooting, and if the Zeiss 16-35/4.0 is as good as I hope, the Panasonic 7-14 will very likely be leaving (with its annoying purple flaring, and I'll take the loss of a little ultrawide angle).

    I find the systems have strengths and weaknesses, and there is quite a bit of overlap. For me, the MFT gear is the best all-rounder, easy to operate, speedy AF, great ergonomics, and a sweet spot for size/performance, particularly for telephoto/general use. The fact you get more DoF with the lens relatively wide open, and that there are lots of lenses that perform really very well indeed wide open (and generally don't need to be stopped down past F/5.6 for adequate DoF) is an advantage. Plus, y'know, IBIS. The Sony is just fun, the files are awesome, and it's my perfect landscape camera.
     
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  7. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    373
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    ROFL! That guy for sure does not look geeky. Where was this bad ass in the Lego movie? He would have never let the Piece of Resistance get in the wrong hands.
     
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  8. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    373
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    I had the A7R too the files are insane, switched to A7 I just couldn't handle the shutter shock in lower shutter speeds. Anyhow you kind of just confused me more haha. It seems you carry 2 systems for similar reasons as I do so perhaps I may just need to keep them and minimize my lens overlap. I suppose for my normal zoom 2.8 ff wants I can try dual gunning it like my lego friend up there for now maybe until Sony starts releasing a fast zoom on the e-mount. I just looked they don't even have one for the APS-C e-mount. What's wrong with these guys?! While I understand the lens would be large for sure I can't be the only one wanting one. That's like the o12-40 ofcourse people will buy it even if it's big.

    I may run to a photo store and try these big dslrs and see if the autofocus is up to snuff. I still would love some feedback from those who carry these with a 2.8 normal zoom and how performance compares to m43's current bodies in regards to people shooting and autofocus. Or perhaps I'll rent one for an event.
     
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    You need to write with paragraphs, that block of text nearly gave me aneurysm! :eek:

    Anyways, I love M43. It's the most well-rounded and affordable mirrorless system. Saying that, I shoot Nikon FF DSLRs and for continuous AF, super bokeh and shooting fast lenses it can't be beat. On the other hand, M43 has 99% near accurate single shot AF, Olympus 3/5 axis IBIS is the BEST image stabilizing system of any brand and I'd also have to say Olympus metering is in the tops of brand image processing. That's why I still keep both systems around. M43 for me is my day-to-day camera for street and shooting the kids. Nikon FF is when I want to get serious and get shots that produce a look that only FF provides.

    If I were you, I'd keep a core M43 system and then supplement it with a FF DSLR.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. broody

    broody Mu-43 Veteran

    388
    Sep 8, 2013
    Going full frame DSLR for low light is not without its headaches. So you want an F1.4 prime... Your choice is between the mediocre overcosted first-party offerings by Nikon and Canon, or the better Sigma ART line which will require micro-calibrations to autofocus properly, and which suffer from significant QC issues.
     
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  11. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    Eric
    I divested my Canon 5D Mark II and 35mm, 50mm, 85mm and 200mm primes primarily in favor of something lighter. Of these, the only one I was able to use reliably wide open was the 200m f2.8 and only because I was shooting bursts of cyclists in AI Servo mode so I usually got a shot in focus. The 50mm and 85mm wide open were great when they were on, but I got a lot of missed shots due to the inherently thin DOF wide open. So yes full frame certainly offers more DOF control and yes full frame offers better high ISO performance, but in my experience it wasn't as pronounced as you might expect seeing as there is a greater need to stop down in order to ensure that you have enough in focus - especially and closer camera to subject distances. I think m43 offers a huge advantage with its fast, accurate AF and ability to preview exposure but in my opinion you need to use the fastest (sub f2.0) lenses (and use them wide open) to keep your ISO low and keep enough control of DOF (since it sounds like you're into that sort of thing) to take advantage of what the system can offer. Again, FOR ME, coming from full frame, the f2.8 zooms don't cut it because they leave too much of the advantages of full frame on the table.
     
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  12. slau

    slau Mu-43 Regular

    79
    Jan 26, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    While I love my M43, AF is still the weakness of the system (compared to my Canon pro bodies). However, AF is not everything to ensure high keeper ratio, especially under poor indoor lighting. Actually, I have a lot more confidence to shoot with my M43 and fast prime lenses like the PL25 or Voigtlanders 17/.5 or 25 under those poor lighting condition. Personally, my M43 is a lot more useable under poor lighting condition whether using AF or MF. With the current AF technology of either Canon or M43, their zoom lenses just won't cut it when it gets dark. Fast prime lenses are still the answer, no matter what system you are using.
     
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  13. tosvus

    tosvus Mu-43 Top Veteran

    632
    Jan 4, 2014
    How about a LX100 - it has 24-70 with 1.7-2.8 aperture ;)
     
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  14. InlawBiker

    InlawBiker Mu-43 Veteran

    218
    Feb 1, 2012
    Seattle, WA
    Greg
    Well to be fair the prices are not all that different in many cases, nor are they mediocre. They are usually within $100 of the equivalent Micro 4/3 offering, sometimes less expensive (Nikon 50mm 1.4 is around $400 for example). The excellent 1.8 G is only $250 or so. As for the Sigma Art series, at least they are offered. The Nikon 1.8 G series is not that expensive and is really quite good.
     
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  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    You have a lot of gear at your disposal, have used and disposed of more, and IMHO, it seems a bit like you are in search of a "Holy Grail". No camera or camera system is perfect. I can do things with my NIkon and 70-200 that I cannot with my Oly bodies, and vice versa. Each AF system has strengths and weaknesses. In low light, most have weaknesses. And, good luck trying to manually focus a FF a DSLR, especially at the razor thin DOF that you are often seeking. Unless your budget is capable of supporting your equipment trials, I would suggest spending more time refining your technique and learning the strengths and weaknesses of your gear in greater detail before making any other purchases, as that will most likely lead you to a greater keeper rate, regardless of what equipment you choose to use.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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  16. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    373
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    I find this post interesting can you elaborate on 2.8 zooms leaving much of the advantages off? For me I find f1.4 would be perfect for micro 4/3 in regards to DOF for most of the normal range. A FF 24-70 2.8 would effectively give me that. Are you saying in regards to resolution and not shooting ff primes instead? There seem to be quite a few high quality 2.8 zooms out there with good resolution and good bokeh.
     
  17. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    M43 is going to be faster and more accurate for S-AF but you will get more keepers with a decent Nikon or Canon body with C-AF. Just point at the subject and let it track. When you are ready just fire away.
     
  18. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, CA
    Nonsense regarding the Sigma Art lenses. Sigma has really stepped up quality since initiating their Global Vision plan and I've shot and owned top level Nikkors like the 400 f/2.8 VR and 200 f/2 VR lenses. At this point I don't feel Nikon or Canon are any better than Sigma when it comes to glass. I own the Sigma 50mm 1.4 Art and just recently acquired the Sigma 120-300 2.8 Sport. Both lenses are tack sharp out of the box and I haven't focus adjusted either lens.
     
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  19. stripedrex

    stripedrex Do or do not. There is no try.

    373
    Jun 8, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    Alex
    While I agree with you i do work on learning technique probably not enough but I do know my gear very well and use them very much (I typically read the entire camera manual). Last main camera I had sold was the em5 and it had 20k on the dial mostly from me =p. I have 9k of photos in my flicker and that's mostly from 2 years of processed photos! So while I seem to have a lot of gear I use the heck out of them and get the camera settings to my liking immediately. As for the holy grail camera I really don't think I'm asking for much. Face detection autofocus has been around for years it boggles me how poorly dslrs implement them. It seems phase detection is the root cause. Speaking of which it seems the A99 really has what I'm looking for. Any a99 shooters here speak to face detection? Does it get squirly when it falls outside the phase detect area? I went to a few forums but it seems not may people shoot a99 (which worries me). Gary Fong demonstrates it here seems to work the way I want it (he has a99 on tripod there):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rOvYm_KOd3o

    I'm really interested in that a99 because I also have a legacy minolta lens which is my favorite on my A7 with adapter, it has to my eye some of the best bokeh I've experienced (Minolta Maxxum 35mm F2 shots I took below):
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/ageslani/sets/72157644168212103/
    Just as a side note I missed a good 50% of the shots I took and went back and forth between manual and autofocus with laea4 adapter. Manual focus with moving people just doesn't make much sense at wide apertures ff for sure. Stationary subjects and peaking is cake. I tried practicing man it's just no good especially kids. I know if I had the e-m1 I'd have hit at least 85% perfectly in focus on the nearest eye and would have allowed me better composition (subjects in extreme sides of frame).

    It seems I just have to play with some cameras at a store and likely need to continue to be 2 system for awhile. Here's to hoping Panasonic / Leica put their lens shrinking magic on the new LX100 into a 12-35 F1.7 and still keep it to o12-40 size =p.
     
  20. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    My apologies if I implied that you had little shooting experience. But, I do feel there is a difference between shooting with lots of different gear, and shooting with the same gear over and over and over and over. You get to know every little quirk about your equipment, and that is a different experience that working with lots of different gear. A close friend who passed away at way too young of an age a number of years ago used to shoot with a beat up old Leica, and he was amazing to watch because it looked like he never raised a finger. He could adjust the aperture or shutter, and the lens focus point (shooting 28mm) for changing light conditions while walking and talking, and you would never know that he was doing anything. I shot with many a body over the years, and I wish I was half as gifted as he was. I am ready when I shoot, but he was always steps ahead. It was a muscle memory thing not unlike being familiar with the manual transmission in a car that you drove for years. Your body just does what it needs to do when it needs to be done. No real conscious thinking required. That, for better or for worse, was what I was hoping might help you get a better handle on what you were seeking. It is a skill level that few of us can easily reach without many years of work and practice, but it is something to be admired, and something to consider, especially in this day of "disposable technology" when new bodies are released every 12-24 months. I hope you find what you are looking for.

    Good luck,

    --Ken
     
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