It's been difficult lately to figure out what I want from my gear. Since my last post I've considered the following options.
- Keep the X-E1. Buy another Fuji (X-E2 or X-T1) body and a wide angle lens to serve my landscape needs. XF 14/2.8 or XF 18-55 seemed like the most viable options. I figured out that I'd just use the better body, and probably hate swapping lenses between the wide angle and XF 35/1.4 Not a real solution then. I also like the form factor of X-E1. X-E2 seems like wasted money, because the only real benefit would be faster AF. Do I even need that?
- I thought hard about getting the A7r. This would replace my Fuji gear. After abandoning it, I stumbled upon this post and everything started over. I know I don't like Sony ergonomics, and I'm not a fan of storing 36Mpix raw images. There's something about that resolution and sublime image quality that flatters, but I know I wouldn't enjoy using it. So, the next one.
- Keep the X-E1. Buy a Leica M8 and stick that Sonnar-C in front of it. Then again. Two pretty similar performers lens-wise, and I'd have to bear the eternal dilemma of image quality (Fuji) vs. pleasure of using it (M8). Difficult...
- Today Sigma announced the DP quattro range of cameras. The design seems radical, and I know image quality will be up there with the best (meaning D800E and A7r). Compact size, but no word on possible improvements from Merrill cameras. The raw workflow will be cumbersome, and I doubt they've got that notorious high ISO performance any better than before. However...
What if there really were two digital cameras in my bag. DP1 quattro (with 28mm lens option) for landscapes and my current Fuji (or maybe that M8) for general photography. It's not the easiest setup, but it would be relatively simple and without too much hassle in changing lenses and deciding which camera to use. We'll see how this goes.
Anyhow, as you see, I'm fighting with GAS syndrome again. And I can't understand why. It's all about images and taking pleasure out of this beloved hobby. The biggest limiting factor to my image production is between the back of my head and the viewfinder. And I haven't got the time right now to do much about it on the field. Darn.
Whatever happens, I'd like to build a kit that I truly enjoy using before the summer. Problem right now is, I feel like the Fuji has nothing to give. I like using it, but I don't love using it so much that I'd like to push the limits just a little more every time I take it for a ride. This wasn't true with Sigma, although I take more pleasurable images (to my eye) now than last winter with DP2 Merrill. If the current images matter, then the camera should be versatile and fluent enough, which the Fuji currently is. However, if I want to improve my skills and think different, maybe I should make my life a bit more difficult again. How to do that, I'm not quite sure yet. I took my M3 along last weekend, and it felt like an industrial precision tool without ANY compromises. I can't get that feeling with Fuji, no matter how much I like the technical qualities.
No images this time, but as the topic is GAS, I have a recommendation for you to purchase. It's my first photographic book purchase, and it's unbelievable. Across The Ravaged Land by Nick Brandt is something everyone should see. This really got me thinking about the meaning of printing. The images are truly stunning, and all made on medium format film. Gives you something to think about.