Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Fujifilm X100 Random Thoughts #2

X100 Pano Sweep
More X100's and accessories are on their way out the door to USA dealers.  The X100 talk on the forums and street are positive and as more work is done to gather feedback on possible firmware tweaks the camera continues to grow in popularity.  This is right on the heels of many reports about another camera model in the X series.  Details are around - so I'm going to skip this for now.

I think the next six months are going to be a very exciting time for the digital camera industry. It seems like almost every company has a major launch in the pipeline.  I see the web rumors about new Canon 1Ds & 1D models and shortly after a 5DIII. Nikon is probably launching a mirrorless compact camera as well as a new DSLR which I would guess is the D800 with impressive specs to beat back Canon in the high ISO and video areas. Then of course a D4 to keep up the speed freak war around 10fps.   I think for the USA, Photo Plus East is the time of many announcements which will mean the show has lift in attendance and excitement.

Olympus just dropped their new MILC and the reviews are where I would expect. Having a shared lens mount is a nice feature and folks should be taking advantage of all the lens possibilities with that system if you are an owner.

Sony has the ever growing NEX series and the larger APS-C sensor seems to me to be the sweet spot.  Their NEX-7 announcement puts down the gauntlet for the market.  An impressive feature set and I'll wait for the reviews from the massively packed sensor.  

I'm glad Fujifilm has the APS-C size sensor to work off of instead of a smaller 4/3" imager.   I would not expect to see full frame for any of the MILC cameras (yet) - price just puts that out of the mainstream budget for most (2011).  Leica can have the 24 x 36 arena and stay around $10,000 (with 35 2.0 lens) vs the APS-C X100 at $1200. (Did you know the Leica M-lens mount is not a proprietary mount and thus anyone can make a mount to use their lenses? (I think at least - correct me if wrong- thanks)  I've seen it on the Minolta CLE - Hexar-RF, Cosina, Rollei 35RF and Zeiss Ikon, and they sure do have a bunch of neat lenses over the past 55+ years, see list way down since 1954).  Now we see the Ricoh GXR mount module released so there is that option for those Leica fans.  
The other question is are we still in a megapixel battle?  I guess so with the Sony announcement.  I prefer a clean, sharp 12MP or so chip that can produce beautiful huge prints for 98% of the applications you'd use the camera for - right?  Do you need to shoot and crop 2/3 down and still have 12MP for every shot? I don't see most street shooters needing 18+ MP's for their work (this could change in the years to come). But hey if you do - that's okay (I wouldn't mind more MP for many situations - but when I shoot my 5DII I almost always use sRAW at 11mp - not 21mp).  But while on that thought - what is full frame anyway? When do we lose the 35mm film legacy and just talk about chips as chips (it's not happening!)?   I know not yet - just thinking out loud.  And how did a system as unpopular as APS get to stick around so much in our vernacular?   I still have some APS film in the freezer if anyone needs some.  It seems the APS-C sensor size is accelerating its dominance for the masses.  I'll be eager to see how the 24MP's on the APS-C performs in the tests.

Panasonic has a new SLR/MILC of some sort planned. Samsung is hot on the trail of everyone, Pentax did launch a funky camera - but I barely noticed, and the beat goes on. Where is the true sales growth now? I think most folks agree it is in this new hybrid DSLR segment - better known as the mirrorless (compact) interchangeable lens cameras (MILC) ( the $300-$500 segment is also very strong - look at the S95 and G12 dominance there). We all want great image quality - and if we aren't shooting in studio or a specific event which requires more horsepower (sports) or amazing file size (medium format) then why not have a compact camera? It seems the blend of an M9 style with today's technologies is where we are at. The X100 hit that sweet spot and now the follow-up camera needs to amp it up.   It is gorgeous - and that does count for something!

Clearly the advantage in my opinion (depending on your shooting style) goes to Fujifilm with the only hybrid optical viewfinder (bias alert here). The optical viewfinder is also extremely efficient on the battery (when the power save modes are on).  And the weight is perfectly suited for casual use anytime.  Sure I would like to see an interchangeable lens model, but for now the super sharp optics are impressive amid a few quirky menus.  Can we all chant F/1.4 - 1.4 - 1.4!
At some point we all have to realize (well i do) that we didn't win the lotto or don't have benefactors to supply us with all these great toys.  It gets addicting to crave all this gear.  What to buy and when is getting harder and harder.  When the X100 has a little brother and it yearns for a big brother, the decisions will be even tougher! 
I think we'll all be eager to find out! Until then my X100 is always at my side and I wouldn't trade it for anything.  
It's odd to look back at what I said about all this a few months ago.... if you'd like to email.

Leica lenses

(incomplete list)
With the Leica M:
  • 15mm f/8 Hologon
  • 18mm f/3.4 Super-Elmar
  • 21mm f/1.4 Summilux
  • 21mm f/2.8 Elmarit
  • 21mm f/3.4 Super-Angulon
  • 21mm f3.4 Super Elmar
  • 21mm f/4 Super-Angulon
  • 24mm f/1.4 Summilux
  • 24mm f/2.8 Elmarit
  • 24mm f/3.8 Elmar
  • 28mm f/2 Summicron
  • 28mm f/2.8 Elmarit
  • 35mm f/1.4 Summilux
  • 35mm f/2 Summicron
  • 35mm f/2.5 Summarit
  • 35mm f/2.8 Summaron
  • 35mm f/3.5 Summaron
  • 40mm f/2 Summicron
  • 50mm f/0.95 Noctilux
  • 50mm f/1.0 Noctilux
  • 50mm f/1.2 Noctilux
  • 50mm f/1.4 Summilux
  • 50mm f/1.5 Summarit
  • 50mm f/2 Summicron
  • 50mm f/2.5 Summarit
  • 50mm f/2.8 Elmar
  • 75mm f/1.4 Summilux
  • 75mm f/2 Summicron
  • 75mm f/2.5 Summarit
  • 90mm f/2.0 Summicron
  • 90mm f/2.5 Summarit
  • 90mm f/2.8 Elmarit
  • 90mm f/2.8 Tele-Elmarit
  • 90mm f/4 Elmar
  • 90mm f/4 Macro-Elmar
  • 135mm f/4.5 Hektor
  • 135mm f/4 Tele-Elmar
  • 135mm f/2.8 Elmarit
  • 135mm f/3.4 APO-Telyt
Multiple Focal Length Lenses Leica M
  • 16mm,18mm,21mm f/4 Tri-Elmar
  • 28mm,35mm,50mm f/4 Tri-Elmar


  1. Lots of Fuji rumors floating around too! I'm sure you know the answers though. X50?

    The more I use my X100 the more I hope Fuji continues the fixed lens line though, I have to say. I have a big DSLR (K-5) and many great Pentax lenses for it, which make me money and are suited to every task, but the X100 is my joy-cam. I don't ever want for another lens. I know it has the 23mm f2 and I know it's a beautiful optic. It simplify's everything in a way. I went camping a few weeks ago and I needed my Pentax for the bad weather but when I could use the X100, it almost always bested the K-5 for subtlety of color, and definition of detail. And I wasn't even surprised that 12mp files bested the 16 mp K-5. It's really amazing what a great fixed lens in capable of.

    The Olympus Pen was exciting at first until I got around to using it. They are just missing something in the design. It's the opposite of intuitive and if it doesn't have the image quality or pricing to back it up...I really don't see the point, just missed potential. The NEX is a better attempt but still not attractive until the 7 was announced, which comes it about about 2,100 dollars with the 24mm Zeiss lens. The Fuji X100 is still seeming like quite a bargain to me!

    I'm a happy camper. Keep the fixed lens cameras coming, please! I see the X100 as a great start, requiring only a few tweaks to perfect the concept. (Faster AF and tactile MF).

    All in all though it's exciting times. Nearly every manufacturer has at least one really interesting and unique camera out there. I'm thrilled that good design is returning to the photography.

  2. when i got my X100, it only took me to 5 min to decide on selling my D700/50mm combo... Never looked back, it delivers all what i wanted in a camera, a bit quirky but for the size/style/viewfinder/IQ and ISO performance i am not complaining!

  3. a digital m-mount camera fullframe for an normal persons price would defenitly be a killer.. but i doupt that fujifilm would go for a non autofocus way? and then the lenses for such a camera are still not a normals person price tag.. you need to be rather lucky to get a decent setup of lenses second hand for a good price, since this lenses hardly loos their value.

    another way could be the contax g2.

    the other question that allways pops up in my head (cause i don't want a mirrorless camera with electric viewfinder) is why does no one make a dslr fullframe in a compact size, i mean remembering pentax mx oder even nikon fm that were really small slr cameras, for a lot of people it doesn't matter if you can take 5, 9 or even 11 pictures the only thing that matters is to get the picture when you press the button. so why do they all go this toy style camera way and not just a less feature dslr.
    cause the battery live with a mirror when you hardly use the display is long. :) (hmm i miss my pentax mx :p)

  4. Anonymous10:12 AM

    The patent on the Leica M mount expired years ago so anyone can make M mount cameras and lenses. It also doesn't have any electronic contacts which makes it easier to connect to.

  5. Anonymous12:00 PM

    I was thinking about buying Fuji X100 - it seems so close to my beloved Konica Hexar, but it was unobtainable. No worries I said to myself - there is always something better in the pipeline. So I waited. I shot my Canon 1ds. Trolled the rumor sites. Salivated for Sony NEX-7. Then I took a look at my camera collection and realized that the gear is already there, it just needs to be used. As for a new toy I still might pick up X100 when it becomes available.

  6. Need this camera to happen


    looks like it came true!!!

  8. Anonymous11:38 PM

    I have been on the fence the GF 1. The X Pro looks like I may fall off the fence and take the plunge!
    Now if a Fuji camera come along that allows me to use use my Leica 28 and 50 f2.0 on it, I will be lining up like the kids at the Apple store!
    The Fuji 6x7, the 4x5 glass was great, the 6x8 system, the 6x17, Fuji makes great cameras and great glass, bring on a "big brother" that takes Leica glass!!


A Quick Look at the 1972 Hasselblad 500C/M

Just a few snaps of the awesome and durable 500C/M.