Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

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Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Stany Buyle » Sun 17 Nov 2013 15:15

Steve Bingham is the person I learned the most from in my digital photography hobby and passion. He also helped whenever I asked for to make this forum better. Steve has an impressive knowledge of PS and a mind blowing creativity in his work. It is an honour for me that Steve shares often his thoughts and experiences on various subjects on this humble photography forum.
After a "how are you - mail " to Steve he answered me that he's actually moving from the too-heavy and too-big Nikon gear to the Fuji X system, because of size and weight.
Timing and reasons have quite a bit of similarity with a recent move another VIP on this forum did: Leen Koper.
I am very curious about Steve's findings while I plan a similar move from the moment Fuji will catch up with AF speed and lens offering. I need a lens with 1:1 magnification for macro work and a tele that covers upto 500mm for some occasional birding and wildlife action.
Fuji Xpro2 might be the answer to my prayers for a compact and lightweight camera system.

I hope Steve will jump in on this thread asap with his first impressions on Fuji camera system... :)

Kindest regards,
Stany
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Leen Koper » Sun 17 Nov 2013 17:44

It is like you said before, I too was looking for a somewhat lighter camera system.
For me it was Panasonic, although I considered Olympus and Fuji as well. The system m4/3 system of lenses was a lot larger -and cheaper- than the Fuji X-system, so I decided to choose for m4/3. Between Fuji and Olympus it was, when it comes to quality, harder to decide, but the requirements for me are pretty low: it just has to be able to record the way I intended to see things. No video and any other "funny" filter system are of any value to me. Just a basic camera would do.
Olympus has wonderful cameras, but holding my arms straight forward when photographing, closed the doors for me to their system. And the ones you could use at eye level are way to pricey compared to the Panasonic ones.
Although the Olympus name meant a lot to me given their reputation in the past I decided to go with the new kid on the block: Panasonic. Moreover, it was half the price at about the same quality so no long thinking was required. And, until now I have not been disappointed at all in this new brand.

In the past a camera could not be too heavy; each gram added to the stability, but now I have come to a "certain age" each gram less is very welcome. I prefer this extra weight to be on my tripod or monopod!

It seems they invented this 65+ camera system just in time for me and other people of my age.
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Gilbert » Wed 20 Nov 2013 08:42

Hello everybody: my first reply...
As i am also in the 65+ category and started looking with interest first to the amazing good comments on the Fuji X 100 published early this year (and before). Secondly had the opportunity to buy a Fuji XE1 with the famous 35mm (52mmFF) f 1.4 secondhand at a terrible good price. GThe results were amazing: as good as or even better as my DSLR gear... and possibility of auto iso with high values, but no degraded pictures. The last month went by and had my bag completed with the X 100 (black- Limited Edition) another XE1 (black) and finally the renomated X 100 S (many professionals promote this camera as the only one they need and the best they ever had)
I' ve choosen for Fuji for their APS C sensor which is actually bigger than 4/3... Very satisfied with the switch.
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Sun 24 Nov 2013 15:43

Hi Stany! You always are way too kind. Thank you.

Because of age (77) and severe arthritis I decided to abandon my Nikon system. It wasn't an easy decision. Lots of agony and soul searching. I finally settled on the Fuji X-Pro1 . . . and within weeks switched to the Fuji X-2E.

As I usually print 16" x 24" (A2) for my gallery work I had some concerns about resolution. I shouldn't have! After visiting tests on the X series I was amazed. The X series uses a different arrangement of RGB sites on its sensor which are designed to minimize moire and enhance resolution (it uses no AA filter). What is amazing is the resolution tests have resolution going PAST the infamous Nyquist limit! What - defy physics? Using the ISO 12233 chart you can clearly see the Fuji X camera and lens crossing right through the Nyquist! As this is breaking the laws of physics, what is really happening? Well, on the ISO 12233 chart, as well as nature, the Fuji sensor is creating false information! It is simply taking the information available and creating new information based on best guess on nearby pixels. This is sort of what we do when we resample with bicubic in Photoshop.

So, being the pragmatist that I am, I decided to run a simple resolution test or two against my Nikon D610. Yikes! It appears, using the ISO 12233 chart that the smaller Fuji 16mp sensor was out resolving my D610. OK, how about real world shots. Ah, now they are about equal. OK, equal is good! Actually, equal is excellent!!!

Next concern was dynamic range and color. Again, I only have simple methods of measuring this but I found that the DR of the Fuji X chip equal to the famous DR of the Nikon D610 and D800. Fuji just does it a different way. The DR is spread out much differently. While Nikon digs deep into the shadows, Fuji seems to favor the highlights. OK, if that bothers you simply adjust the exposure. Done.

The good news - for me - is that the X-E2 only weighs 3/4 of a pound or 310 grams. Throw on a super wide 14mm (21in 35 format) and you add another 1/2 pound 235 grams. LIGHT. Very light. Focusing with the 14mm is instant - the fastest in the industry if we are to believe Fuji.

So what's not to like? Well I needed a more substantial grip - Fuji makes one. Solved :) As the batteries are smaller and lighter, I bought 2 extra. Solved. :) I think the new Fuji X-E2 will be a big hit with many photographers. Being a Nikon user (for the most part) it was a tough switch for me. However, I am SOOOOOO glad I made it.
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First question

Postby Stany Buyle » Sun 24 Nov 2013 16:54

Steve Bingham wrote:Hi Stany! .......
.......
So what's not to like? Well I needed a more substantial grip - Fuji makes one. Solved :) As the batteries are smaller and lighter, I bought 2 extra. Solved. :) I think the new Fuji X-E2 will be a big hit with many photographers. Being a Nikon user (for the most part) it was a tough switch for me. However, I am SOOOOOO glad I made it.


Hi Steve,
First question that comes up in my mind: How about high iso? Your impression and -if possible-, could you post some sample images here at several iso settings?
Thanks in advance and kindest regards,

Stany
kindest regards,

Stany
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Sun 24 Nov 2013 21:08

From what I have seen and read, the X-E2 high ISO is stunning. 6400 looks good and the camera can do 25k if pushed 2.
I will post a sample when time permits. Probably a dog picture. :lol:
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...or to Olympus?

Postby Stany Buyle » Wed 11 Dec 2013 18:34

From a post by Steve on Dpreview:
Fuji X-E2 is updated. 18-55 is updated. Read manual over and over again. Problem: The light is a little on the dim side so I was LOVING ISO 6400. Plenty of shutter speed and shooting at f9. Got some great photos of my dog's face - ears up, bright eyes, etc. 2 were TACK sharp, 4 were close (OIS not locking on?). OK, par for the course. So I went to repeat the photo session 15 minutes later. Same lighting. Same subject position. I was sitting on the same couch. OIS was on and shooting at 1/70th to 1/90th. I could not get the camera to focus on the dog's face - not even for a second. Same 55mm. I tried macro on, macro off, repeat, and back to the manual. Tried a zillion combinations. I have been around pro camera equipment for the last 40 years - including 5 Nikon models. I am not a newbie!
So I went outside and tried some more. Much better, but still missing some. Focus square was where it was supposed to be (for me), right in the center. I was using half-depress method. It seems to me that either the lens is screwy or the AF in the camera is screwy.

Olympus is starting to look better and better.

I knew Nikon is better... ;)

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Stany
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Thu 12 Dec 2013 00:14

Well, that didn't last long! My Fuji ownership, that is. Guess what- the new Nikon D5300 weighs 1 lb, almost the same as the Fuji X-Pro1 and slightly more than the Fuji X-E2.
Back with Nikon!!! I can now use my very lightweight Nikon 50mm f1.8 or light weight Nikon 85mm f1.8. The Nikon D5300 (Nikon's lightest DSLR body) and the 50mm f1.8 are almost as light as the Fuji setup I was using. I also bought the Sigma 17-50 f2.8 OS. It is 20 ounces but I can always go light with the Nikon 50mm f1.8. :D
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Leen Koper » Thu 12 Dec 2013 10:08

Hmmm.
My new camera set up weighs about 600 grams and that includes a 14-42 (= 28-85) and a 40-150 (= 80-300mm) and it costs about 700 euros, so even less than just a D5300 body.
I think I did not do a bad buy, given the wonderful results I 've had so far. But I haven't tried -or plan to do so- ISO 6400. :D
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Thu 12 Dec 2013 15:20

Now THAT is light, Leen! I am learning that we have to live with a camera for awhile before we bump into its weaknesses. Too bad! :o
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About size and weight...

Postby Stany Buyle » Thu 12 Dec 2013 15:50

Hi Steve,

D5300: Approx. 530 g/1 lb 2.7 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap;
Df: Approx. 765 g/1 lb 11 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap;
.....
:?:

And more: Df is tailored for use with small lenses like 28 AF-S F1.8, an old 70-210 F4 is light and optically good...
Not to forget the tamron 28-75 F2.8, optically very good and featherlight... Further more the "classic" 28-105 works very well as well on D4, and not heavy neither...
An FX sensor with "only" 16Mp is doing extremely well with optical less perfect lenses because of the big pixels.

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Stany
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Thu 12 Dec 2013 18:09

StanyB wrote:Hi Steve,
D5300: Approx. 530 g/1 lb 2.7 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap;
Df: Approx. 765 g/1 lb 11 oz with battery and memory card but without body cap;
.....
:?:
And more: Df is tailored for use with small lenses like 28 AF-S F1.8, (not a really sharp lens) an old 70-210 F4 is light and optically good...(actually, not good enough for my needs)
Not to forget the tamron 28-75 F2.8, optically very good and featherlight... (True. Had this lens and loved it)Further more the "classic" 28-105 (weak optically - for my needs - in my opinion) works very well as well on D4, and not heavy neither...
An FX sensor with "only" 16Mp is doing extremely well with optical less perfect lenses because of the big pixels.
Kindest regards, Stany


So how bout the Nikon 50mm f1.8 at 187 grams, 6.6 oz?
or the 85mm f1.8 at 350 grams (roughly 12 ounces)
Both are FF, of course, but with lightweight construction - and excellent optical qualities.
Then Tamron makes a non VR 90mm macro at 405 grams (the non VC model)
. . . or, as you mentioned, the Tamron 28-75 at 508 grams. Not quite as good as the Nikon 24-70, but close enough, especially stopped down to f5.6 or f8
Last edited by Steve Bingham on Thu 12 Dec 2013 18:19, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Stany Buyle » Thu 12 Dec 2013 18:31

So, did you order you Df already? That's what I feel...
I would love to read YOUR Df review :o on THIS forum... :D ;)

Stany
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To Mr. Steve Bingham

Postby ADeVos » Thu 12 Dec 2013 18:36

What did you not like with Fuji X2 compared to Nikon?
Thank you.
Greetings from Belgium
Andre
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Fri 13 Dec 2013 01:33

Well, the two things that bugged me the most about the Fuji:
1- The back was cluttered with all sort of options that activated every time my big fat thumb wandered over them. Some surprises while shooting!
2- The battery indicator was totally wrong most of the time. Every time it read less than 50% charge bad things happened - like focus problems with certain lenses. The solution was to replace the battery with a fresh one - at 50% or less. I would than have to unscrew the hand grip to remove the battery - and hope I had another in my pocket (what a hassle).
Both items were totally unacceptable to the way I shoot. For me, I simply needed another camera. We shall see how the Nikon 5300 works out. The Olympus was very tempting!!!

Lots of good things about the Fuji, but that's another story.
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Sat 14 Dec 2013 19:03

Well, I am now experimenting with the Nikon D5300. Great little camera with lots of pluses and a few weaknesses.
1- No penta prism to reduce weight - uses a lighter penta mirror. Not the same large and bright image as my old D610 . . . but adequate.
2- Getting single point focus to be in the center is not easy
3- Auto mode locks up a lot of features (like manual ISO). Be sure to be on something like aperture priority or shutter priority
4- Lacks some features found on D7100, D610, etc. (of course)
5- Terrible manual designed for newbies and as usual . . .no index! Readable fonts but no index. I guess the Japanese don't use indices. Cultural? Or laziness?

What I like:
1- Great low light performance for a 24 mp camera
2- GPS in camera
3- Articulating monitor
4- Small and lightweight
5- Easy to learn
6- Quiet
7- Handles like a Nikon!!! (extremely well)
8- Excellent resolution and dynamic range. Uses 12 bit or 14 bit raw. I shoot, and save, everything in 14 bit raw.

Favorite lens:
Sigma 17-50 f2.8 with OS. This is the range I shoot in most. Now investigating super wides (used to have the Nikon 10-24)
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Sat 14 Dec 2013 22:53

I found out how to set single point focus. The D5300 manual was of no help what-so-ever.
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Steve Bingham » Sat 18 Jul 2015 20:37

Hello, Stany!
:lol: I'm back! After brief visits to Fuji and Sony, I now have a Nikon D7200 and the brand new Nikon 16-80 f2.8-4 VR. I will be testing it next week with my ISO 12233 charts. I bought my wife a new Nikon 7200 and gave her two of my "old" lenses and she had so many questions I decided to return to Nikon. The D7200 and new 16-80 make a VERY light package. Fun to use.
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Re: Steve Bingham moves to Fuji X system

Postby Stany Buyle » Sat 18 Jul 2015 21:37

Steve Bingham wrote:Hello, Stany!
:lol: I'm back! After brief visits to Fuji and Sony, I now have a Nikon D7200 and the brand new Nikon 16-80 f2.8-4 VR. I will be testing it next week with my ISO 12233 charts. I bought my wife a new Nikon 7200 and gave her two of my "old" lenses and she had so many questions I decided to return to Nikon. The D7200 and new 16-80 make a VERY light package. Fun to use.


Welcome back Steve!

After your roundtrip over Fuji and Sony I'm very interested to read your reasons why... So curious that I started a new topic on this: :arrow: Steve Bingham back to Nikon!

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