It took a while to make the determination that I wasn’t able to discern whether my problems with photography had to do with my kit/gear or with my skill set. There’s the old adage about the “real” photographer who does not need any special or great gear – he can make all things happen on the merits of his skills alone.
Believing this, I kept with the outdated kit for a long time, thinking I could hone my skills. It never really happened, and now I realize that I was not able to determine what the real problems were because my older gear was hiding the answers from me. OK, so “hiding” is not the correct word to use, as the camera obviously had no malice intended for me. But, it didn’t seem to me that the gear was helping me to find the problems, and I wasn’t sure what to do to correct that issue.
Recently, I decided to upgrade my gear in a last ditch attempt to make something good happen. I thought that an upgrade to full frame status would surely make a difference in my photography, and after a lot of calculation I determined that the Nikon Z7 would fit the bill.
The problem is, I’m a little cheap when it comes to camera gear outlay. I had been buying minimal gear online (used stuff) for a small amount of money. $Two thousand for even a used Z7 was disagreeable. So … what was the next best thing?
Sticking with APS-C might be OK if I thought I had a shot at some kind of incremental improvement. After a lot of calculation, I was able to match (what many think is) good gear with my cheapo budget limits. I bought the Fujifilm X-T2.
The incremental improvement was immediately obvious to me. I bought an adapter for the Fuji so that it could use some of the glass that I already had, as a starting plan. It was clearly obvious after only a couple weeks that the same old glass I’d been using with older, less capable gear – was suddenly transformed – by a significant increment – by a system that would allow me to determine what was at fault (my gear or me).
It turned out to be both (my gear and me). My eyes are not what they used to be fifty or sixty years ago, and I rely on focus peaking for my shots. My older gear has focus peaking, but it took the Fuji focus peaking system to make me realize that the older system was not showing me the error of my ways. Additionally, I think the extra megapixels of the X-T2 really are making a substantial difference.
A reason for the incremental improvement is the larger number of focusing points available in the X-T2, combined with the great techniques that are employed by the camera to use those points, to show exactly where the DOF (depth of field) starts and ends. Such inspection may have been possible with my older gear, but it was not intuitive to me exactly how I could accomplish the task, easily and efficiently. So – my newest photos with the X-T2 are benefiting from better decisions on my part relative to aperture selection for DOF, and distance to subject for DOF enhancements.
The photo that is at the top of this page is (believe it or not) an incremental improvement over what I’d been getting from my photography. It does indeed have a depth of field problem, but the good part is that I know exactly how it happened. For other recent shots with the X-T2 see my photo repo at:
The newest X-T2 shots are all the pink/rose flower pics.
It remains to be seen whether or not I can parlay the additional knowledge gained from the X-T2 camera’s precise DOF informer and focus-peaking system – to printable results. Stay tuned.