#776. Monday Post (8 October 2018) Cleaning up after Photokina and the SBH goes to Singapore

#776. Monday Post (8 October 2018) Cleaning up after Photokina and the SBH goes to Singapore

Photokina is done and all the new cameras and lenses are slowly finding their way into reviewers’ hands and some into stores, no doubt filling the early adopters with delight. So, time for a quick look at some of the highlights.

 

 

Top of the expectation list, Nikon’s mirrorless Z effort(s) appear to be making the right kind of waves, although Thom Hogan still feels his D850 has the edge. Well, that might be so. The 850 is the pinnacle of several generations of digital DSLR, while the Z is brand new. In an iteration or two, the Zn will doubtless shine in its own right.

 

Interestingly, Canon’s latest mirrorless release generated significantly less media interest than the Nikons, or the Leica, Panasonic, Sigma licensing tie up, which promises much in the years to come. Maybe.

 

There was lots of other news, but Zeiss’ announcement of the ZX1 really generated the column inches – or whatever it is that the marketers measure media interest in these days.

 

 

 

 

 

37mp, 35mm lens mated to the body, 500Gb internal storage, big rear screen, USB-C, Android; perhaps as a replacement for Sony’s RX1, the ZX1 seemed to tick all the boxes. That was until someone got out a tape measure. This thing is a monster, bigger than pretty much anything that’s not medium format. That’s just the body – the lens protrudes sticks out a fair way too. You’ll need a poacher’s pocket to pop this into as you walk the streets.

 

Fuji’s X-T3 arrived with a new 26mp sensor and a processor to drive it. I’m not sure why Fuji has made what seems to be such an incremental release and a brief conversation with our own Bob Hamilton confirmed my thoughts; the recently announced X-H1 (we both own one) might just be morphing into an outlier and this is Fuji re-arranging the deck chairs product range.

 

Curiously, a few hours later one of the Fuji rumour sites was positing an X-H2. QED, I really don’t know what the hell is going on.

 

 

 

 

 

And, as if that weren’t enough, Fuji’s 50mp MF camera is heading north for 100mp and as that arrives, a new MF rangefinder is also due. Judging by the positive response from pretty much everyone, I’d say Fuji had thrown down the gauntlet to the entire industry, while staking out a big and hopefully profitable niche for themselves.

 

The SBH goes to Singapore

 

I did. I really, really wanted to pack my Fuji primes for this trip, rely on the X-Pro2 and maybe even pack it’s predecessor for a full street expedition in one of my favourite cities. It was a done deal, everything was packed until a couple of hours before leaving for the airport…

 

Suddenly, in my Crumpler carry on was the X-H1 and SBH (Standard British Handful AKA Fuji’s excellent, but huge 16-55 zoom), the 35 f1.4 prime and the street (ever)ready X100F.

 

In truth, the primes are awkward to pack, make for a lumpy carry-on and are just plain heavy. Plus, despite indelibly marking their focal lengths in white on their back caps, they aren’t the easiest to manage in a fluid street situation, so they’ve stayed home and the zoom got the nod once again.

 

I’ve written before about the SBH . My buddy across the Cape in Paarl calls it a game changer and I am in absolute agreement with him. If it just wasn’t so big and heavy.

 

Those words again. You’d better get used to them if you’re planning to buy a Z6 or a Z7. The lenses Nikon has announced are large, certainly in the same zone as Leica’s and Sony’s giant FF glass. And, just wait for the 58mm f0.95. Nikon are claiming that they want it to out perform the Otus and we already know what a monster that is.

 

The photographic shops in Singapore are just starting to stock up with the first of the Photokina announcements. I’m trying my best to walk on the other side of the road when passing such emporia. That’s difficult in a city that made it’s name for inter alia cheap(er than elsewhere) photographic kit. I recall my form master’s constant plaint on my (many) school reports; “Must try harder.”

 

“I will, I promise,” I’ve told my bank manager.

 

 

 

Late news: The two halves of my X100F have parted company. Off to the local Fuji shop this morning to see if a repair is possible before we leave for home at week's end.

Late news: The two halves of my X100F have parted company. Off to the local Fuji shop this morning to see if a repair is possible before we leave for home at week’s end.

 


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11 Comments

  1. Avatar
    NMc October 08, 2018

    Paul you forgot to mention that Zenit won the FFmirrorless wars, I think that is what happened. 😉

    I tried to stay in a virtual safe space while Photokina was in process, and from my observations it was the lack of middle market stuff that was most obvious to me. I feel like the camera companies have lost it to their own hype and marketing. They are all promoting a latest and greatest disposable values culture that is great for screechy bloggers and vloggers but not for us in the long run. Despite the fringe side-shows of what Phillippe called weird; only big, only expensive, only high tech, and only middle of the high end road. Any company that announces a fixed lens camera with a 50mm equivalent lens would look innovative in the current market.

    The lack of any courage, vision or leadership is damming. The biggest risk must surely be to only follow one small sector, especially when everyone else is doing almost exactly the same.

  2. Avatar
    philberphoto October 08, 2018

    Whew! What an array of eye-arresting pics, Paul!
    Just a few observations. The ZX1 is (relatively speaking) huge, but not heavy. At 800g, it is hard to find any FF mirrorless + premium lens combo that is lighter. Surely it passes Noel’s test for innovation and courage? One could also spot that in Laowa’s new range of lenses, such as a 100m “ultra macro” (enlarging) lens, or 10-18mm FF zzom with built-in filter holder.
    Your going to Singapore with your heavy zoom rather than mulitple primes confirms what I think, and which Noel writes: the decline of the middle glass. You’d probably trade one stop of speed if your lens shed half its weight (and part of its cost, too), wouldn’t you? Right now, I’m playing with a small, light, easy-to-use moderate-speed wide-angle, which, on my APS/C sensor, looks like a standard lens, and it drives me to shoot more shots -not all of them bad! So one more nod towards practicality.
    Finally, just because I so enjoy mischief, I’d say this. Isn’t Singapore the same as your zoom: practical, comfortable, but ultimately like Diet Coke to Hong-Kong’s “Real Thing”? Have fun, and safe travels!

    • Avatar
      paulperton October 08, 2018

      Aaah Philippe, you know me too well.

      Yes I’d trade the stop for less mass, but when it’s in a comfortable bag (more on this issue on DS soon), it’s not so much an issue. It’s the bloody fucking airlines and airport security which make my (and probably everyone else’s) choices for me.

      Well, that and a perennial mistrust of my own judgement. I really wanted to just pack the Leica-like X100F, but spent hours fretting about what I might miss if I wasn’t better prepared with a litany of focal lengths.

      While here, my X100F’s top plate and body have said farewell to each other as you’ll have seen in the Monday Post. It’s just been taken to Fuji’s Singapore home for sick cameras and they’ve promised to get it back to me before Friday fixed or not – we leave for home late on Sunday night and I’d hate to leave it behind.

      Then, we’re off to London to become grandparents in December and I have absolutely promised myself that this will be a one camera trip.

      Really?

  3. Avatar
    Kristian Wannebo October 08, 2018

    I’m really enjoying your photos!
    Inspiring, to say the least.

    And shadows *are* fun!

    • Avatar
      paulperton October 08, 2018

      Thanks Kristian. If it wasn’t coming down like the proverbial stair rods just now, I’d probably be outside shooting at yet more shadows.

      • Avatar
        Kristian Wannebo October 08, 2018

        🙂

        Yes, photographing in rain is troublesome.
        Cameras don’t like it.
        And it can be hard to avoid close falling rain to dominate the photos…
        I prefer fog.

        ( Although an occasional rain walk – in warm weather – can be delightful.)

  4. Avatar
    Adrian October 08, 2018

    I really like some of the photos Paul – difficult to name them without a reference, but some interesting work, especially some of the square crops.

    As foe Photokina, everyone is heading up market (bigger sensors and premium) as it remains the only “buoyant” market segment. Compact cameras only really exist as premium high value models, and all the signs are that consumer level m43rds and APSC is going the same way, as most makes haven’t refreshed their models for several years. They are all retrenching to the last safe space, the enthusiast market (note I deliberately don’t say “professional”) where customers will pay £1500-2000 for a premium apsc model, than than £300-400 for a consumer grade model. The added benefit is enthusiasts buy lots of new lenses for cameras with new mounts, whereas consumers rarely buy any and stick with the kit zoom.

    There’s going to be one hell of a shake out when that market starts to erode, as it going to be seriously over crowded.

    Anyone taking bets?

    • Avatar
      jean pierre (pete) guaron October 10, 2018

      Not taking “bets” – just having attacks of the “shudders” – what the hell do you do, if you’re allied to one brand and it goes under? – what use is all that investment in the glass you bought to go with the system?

      Paul, what did you do to the X100F? I’ve never come across anything quite like that!

      Ah – shadows! – Ming was talking about this the other day – for someone like me, who’s lived almost his entire lifetime in a place like Australia, with perennial blue skies and shadows that are almost black enough to justify the French Academy’s horror at the Impressionists’ blue shadows, I don’t understand the fuss. Shadows is part of what I see – what I photograph is what I see – ERGO, shadows are part of what I photograph. No wuckin’ furries, mate! Oops – is that bit of Aussie slang a step too far?

      As for packing gear – the best thing about FF DSLRs is that by the time you chuck one in your bag, and add a few batteries, a light meter, some filters, cards etc, you’re lucky if you CAN squeeze more than two lenses in, as well. Any more, and they’d be demanding that you put it in the hold – as if that’s ever going to happen! So you make those choices before you leave home, and live with the lenses that you took with you.

      All this miniaturisation is all very well, but it encourages bad habits. Next, ‘togs from all over will be wanting to take EVERYTHING with them. Where will it all end?

  5. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron October 10, 2018

    Not taking “bets” – just having attacks of the “shudders” – what the hell do you do, if you’re allied to one brand and it goes under? – what use is all that investment in the glass you bought to go with the system?

    Paul, what did you do to the X100F? I’ve never come across anything quite like that!

    Ah – shadows! – Ming was talking about this the other day – for someone like me, who’s lived almost his entire lifetime in a place like Australia, with perennial blue skies and shadows that are almost black enough to justify the French Academy’s horror at the Impressionists’ blue shadows, I don’t understand the fuss. Shadows is part of what I see – what I photograph is what I see – ERGO, shadows are part of what I photograph. No wuckin’ furries, mate! Oops – is that bit of Aussie slang a step too far?

    As for packing gear – the best thing about FF DSLRs is that by the time you chuck one in your bag, and add a few batteries, a light meter, some filters, cards etc, you’re lucky if you CAN squeeze more than two lenses in, as well. Any more, and they’d be demanding that you put it in the hold – as if that’s ever going to happen! So you make those choices before you leave home, and live with the lenses that you took with you.

    All this miniaturisation is all very well, but it encourages bad habits. Next, ‘togs from all over will be wanting to take EVERYTHING with them. Where will it all end?

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