I have to confess with a modicum of embarrassment and, of course, some amusement, that deciding to buy a Nikon D500 was probably the HARDEST decision I have ever made in my life!
I appreciate that I have entered into marriage, filed for divorce and even refused to have kids because I felt I was ‘too young’ with considerably less thought and deliberation. Yes, two keywords that clearly defined much of my life have been ‘impulsive’ and ‘impetuous’. I am sure that getting older, and I will be 63 soon, had to have played a role — but I don’t think that that was all of it.
And, fortunately, it hasn’t to do with the cost either. Despite what some of you may think I am very careful and conservative when it comes to matters fiscal. I live within my means and budget. Way back, nine months ago, I had budgeted for the Fuji X-T1 successor (i.e., the X-T2) and had been forced to be somewhat generous as I had no idea as to whether Fuji planned to mark it up well above that of the X-T1. So budget wise I am OK. SMILE. So the agonizing, over the last 2 weeks, was not about the costs either.
As some of you know I rented a Nikon D500, with a Tamron 16-300mm f/3.5-6.3 zoom lens, from LensRental, for 8 days (one week rental + one day complimentary). I would like to say that I fell in love with the D500 during that week. Not so.
I did not, at any stage, come anywhere close to loving the Nikon D500.
And hence the real horns of the dilemma.
I do NOT even LIKE the Nikon D500!
Yep, you read that right. So, I am going to buy an expensive camera that I do not like. Yes, that is it. And hence the soul-searching. Like an arranged marriage.
Why would I, even given my propensity for ‘craziness’, do something as crazy, if NOT outright stupid, as that.
Because during the last 3 days with the Nikon D500 I came to RESPECT it.
Over the decades I have come to realize that respecting someone or something is more important than liking that someone or something.
Let me show you.
I was lucky enough to be able to take pictures of Mystic Aquarium (in Connecticut), on consecutive days, first with the D500 (on August 17, 2016) and the next day with my now erstwhile Fuji X-E2s. I made sure I took the same subjects from the same vantage points. So have a look.
Nikon D500 on the left, Fuji X-E2s with the kit 18-55 lens on the right.
Yes, a more proficient photographer than I probably could have got better pictures from the X-E2s. I probably could have too, if I took more time. That is not my style. I like to shoot quick.
Yes, many will complain that the D500/Tamron is over 2.5x times the cost of the Fuji X-E2s. That is true. But my D500 is NOT a replacement for the X-E2s. I am getting a Nikon P900 to replace the X-E2s. The D500 is instead of the new Fuji X-T2.
And then there were these three pictures — all taken in and around Mystic.
The first picture, taken at “Foxwoods“, when Teischan and I went there for dinner was the clincher.
I, as you know, take a LOT of concert pictures. I took this one, point-and-shoot using 300mm. I already had ISO at 8,000. So didn’t touch that. Cranked up exposure compensation ‘plus tow notches’ and shot — handheld. And I had so much more ISO left. I then realized that this was a camera to contend with.
Very personal. My camera. A LOT has to do with lenses and my shooting style. The 18-55mm was the ONLY Fuji lens that I liked — and 55mm, top end, was way too short for me. 300mm, like above, suits me. And then there is my style. I am basically a ‘point-and-shoot’ photographer who likes sophisticated cameras that give me lots of bells and whistles. Yes, I play around with ISO, exposure and White Balance. But once set for a ‘location’ I will shoot away without stopping to fiddle too much — bar checking exposure. Hence why the D500, in the end, came through.
All this said, I am not getting the D500 right now. Probably not in September. First need to get my “Brain Meditation” book published. I then want to spend at least two weeks reading up the D500 documentation and boning up on it. So, most likely order it in early October. Till then I will have the Nikon P900 to keep me amused and to provide you, with a a minimum, the “6 Images of the Day”.
OK? Yes, of course, I will keep you posted.
I have to check out the Nikon D500. I owe it to myself. If I don’t (knowing myself as well as I do) I will have lingering qualms that I might have missed an opportunity.
If it is as good as what everybody claims, and excels at AutoFocus, it might be the best ‘long-term’ (let’s define that as 2-year) ‘big camera’ for I. But I need to be convinced.
Yes, I could cheat. I could order a D500 (with say the kit lens) from Amazon and return it, within 30-days, if I am not convinced that it as good as ‘they claim’ or if it does not work out for I. But I don’t want to do that. Having rented a Fuji X-T1, last month, for our trip to Acadia National Park, I am 100% sold on the notion. With a rental I get to play around, experiment with settings and put it through its paces … and then send it back. I took 1,000 pictures with that rented X-T1. That is what I plan to do with the Nikon. Then if I decide I am going to get one — I get to start AGAIN with a brand new camera, ALBEIT now much more familiar with its workings.
So that is the rationale.
And lenses are going to be an issue. One of the reasons I am ditching Fuji (and the process started yesterday) is that the lenses are not only expensive but do not warrant such premium pricing. In comparison Nikon glass is cheap! I do not like to juggle lenses during a ‘shoot’. That is why I am trying out the Tamron 16-300 f/3.5-4. That range (extensive as it is) will cover most of what I want 85% of the time. And yes I know that Sigma and Nikon also make variants. I will do more research as to whether Sigma is SHARPER than the Tamron — and yes, I have read that the Tamron, though v. good, is slightly ‘soft’ (and that will drive me nuts if that is the case).
I wanted to rent from Lumoid because we already had a rental history. Despite three pleadings they appear, inexplicably, reluctant to add the D500 to their range. Maybe it is too expensive. So I had to go with ‘LensRental‘ — who I know have been in the rental game for longer. They confirmed and accepted by order — without any hassle. But I am not renting until mid-month. So as was the case with Lumoid it is possible that they might still come back asking for more credentials (which, to be fair, is fair enough given the value of the items we are dealing with).
Yes, of course, I will share with you my experiences and pictures.
This may NOT sound that serious to you, but in my small (insignificant) world this is as DRAMATIC as me saying: “I am through with sex and orgasms. That is it. Starting today I will no longer, ever, have sex again and I will never have another orgasm again”!
I have publicly lusted after the replacement to the Fuji X-T1 (now the X-T2) since last October — i.e., last 10 months.
I followed everything and anything to do with the X-T2. To be fair, from what I can see, bar niggling concerns as to the efficacy of its autofocus, the X-T2 body is STILL the ‘made in heaven’, DREAM CAMERA for I. No question about that. It has everything I want in a camera body — bar the AF concerns.
But, alas and alack, the X-T2 is an interchangeable lens camera, and without a lens it is but a very expensive paperweight.
On May 18, 2016, I bought my first first Fuji — a brand new Fuji X-E2s that was to be my longterm ‘compact’ and adjunct to the X-T2 (when I got it). Then earlier this month, to coincide with the announcement of the X-T2, I rented a brand new Fuji X-T1 from Lumoid.
In the 70 days since May 18 I have taken over 10,000 pictures with the X-E2s and X-T1! And you have seen at least 700 of these!
And I am totally and utterly disillusioned with Fuji — in particular the Fuji lenses.
I have three Fuji lenses: the XF 18-55 f/2.8-4 R LM OIS, the XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Zoom Lens & the Fujinon XF 35mm F/2 R WR. Yes, my X-E2s body and all three lenses have the June 9, 2016 firmware updates installed.
The XF 55-200mm f:3.5-4.8 is, indubitably, THE WORST lens, by far, I have ever had the misfortune of using! It is a useless lens. Yes, every once in awhile, in perfect lighting, it will take an absolutely stunning image. But the AF on it is beyond pedestrian. It hunts for focus like there is no tomorrow. I hate that bloody lens. If it wasn’t so expensive I would smash it just for the sheer satisfaction. Luckily Amazon will let me trade it in …
The XF 35 mm is slightly better than the 55-200 — which can’t be hard given that the 55-200 sucks. But it is also a pathetic lens, especially indoors. And I got that lens to use indoors! I hate that lens too.
The 18-55 is GOOD. No question. It is a brilliant, all-round lens in all aspects. But there is only so much you can do with 18-55.
I am NOT going to spend $1,500 on a lens. Just seems wrong.
So this is the MAIN reason I am not going to get the X-T2.
I also have concerns, in addition to the MAJOR AF issue, about Fuji metering and ISO. My X-E2s is an ISO hog (and yes, I have it set to “High Performance”). For daylight shooting I have to have ISO at 1,000 and for indoor at 6,400 to get halfway decent images. Forget ISO 100, 200, 400 — even if the sun is beating down.
Fuji has, like no other camera vendor, totally driven me away — into the arms of Nikon.
Yes, this is my experience, my opinion — but it is also my money and my life.
I am going to trade in ALL my Fuji gear and start getting Nikons.
++++ Check Categories ‘Fuji’, ‘Six Images’ & ‘Camera Notes’ >>>>
++++ Also search ‘Fuji’ >>>>
See this post for resolution details.
NO post-processing whatsoever.
Click pictures to ENLARGE.
Attribution WILL be enforced.
That the max. extended ISO on the Fuji X-T2 has remained unchanged from that of the X-T1 (which is 2.5 years older) has gone unsaid in all of the current raves about this latest Fuji flagship. ISO 51,200 is not bad. It is the same as what I have on my Fuji X-E2s and I know that at that ISO, barring the noise, you can turn darkness into light.
That said, I have also noticed, and some quick Googling seems to bear this out, that Fuji ISO tends to be on the low side. I notice that I am invariably using 200 more ISO with Fuji than what I am normally accustomed to; i.e., setting 640 ISO on a Fuji when I would normally use 400, and 1,000 when I might have settled for 800. I still find that Fuji, both my X-E2s and the rented X-T1, invariably underexposes too — though I know that I prefer brighter exposure to that of darker. So I am also continually shooting with E/V set +1/3 or +2/3 higher.
The Nikon D500 numbers are obscene. That is a full 32 x uptick! Barring noise that really would allow you so much latitude in terms of handheld shooting at night or at concerts.
So something else to think about.
++++ Check Categories ‘Fuji’ & ‘Camera Notes’ >>>>
++++ Search on ‘Nikon’ >>>>
That is Maya and Braxton.
NO post-processing whatsoever.
Click pictures to ENLARGE.
Attribution WILL be enforced.