My Gear

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Zone IV Mahogany 4x5

My Zone IV is a wonderful camera. The quality of which I doubt this world will ever see again. Back in 1998 I actually ordered a brand new walnut one of these, SN:4554, and I seriously wish I had never sold it. The camera is a pleasure to use in the filed with one exception: the weight. It's 6 solid pounds of gold plated (literally) brass and mahogany. Unfortunately the lens boards are not compatible with the Intrepid and vice versa, so switching between the two cameras requires a complete lens swap over which takes a bit of time. 

Intrepid 4x5

The Intrepid is a very serviceable camera. At 2.5 pounds it's also pack-able to a much greater extent than the Zone IV.

It's not as smooth and refined, but it gets the job done and is fast and easy to set up. The price is great too, but if you want one, the wait for production is measured in weeks/months so be prepared to wait for it. And pay the little bit extra and order it with a Fresnel focusing screen, your going to want it.

Rodenstock (Caltar-II) 90mm f6.8 - A great lens that's about equal to a 30mm in 35mm format terms. (But it feels wider somehow.) I get limited movements on the Zone IV with the standard bellows (full movements with the bag bellows) and interestingly a bit more movement is available with the Intrepid's only fixed standard bellows.

Nikkor 135mm f5.6 - Equal to about a 45mm in 35mm format terms, so a great normal lens for 4x5. The Nikkor is sharp and (relatively) fast.

Rodenstock (Caltar-II) 210mm f6.8 - A lens I use A LOT. It's a great focal length for 4x5, being about a 70mm in 35mm terms. These Caltar's are re-badged Rodenstock lenses which Calumet photographic sold as their house brand and are identical to the Rodenstock models and a terrific value. 

Nikkor 300mm M f8.0 - The Nikkor 300mm M is a great value as well. It's sharp and small and covers 8x10, or so I've been told. Again, divide the focal length by 3 to get the 35mm format approximation: 100mm

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Nikon Z7II     A Full Frame 45mp imaging beast. It has quickly become my goto digital landscape camera of choice. Image quality is the best I've seen from any digital camera, and it's a pleasure to use. An added bonus is that it's part of an integrated system of lenses and bodies. The Nikon Z6II shares the exact same body, buttons and menus, so using both is a breeze. The Z7II is my main stills camera when high resolution is required.

Nikon Z6II     One of the best "Hybrid" cameras I've used. The video quality is superb and many people commented in the first few days of using it that my videos on Youtube had achieved another level of quality. First time it has been that noticeable. The eye detect tracking during video is the as good as any, maybe better. And the flat image profile straight out of camera with a +1 added to color is superb.

Nikkor Z 14-30mm f4 S    I don't shoot a lot of wide angle stuff these days but this lens was just too good to pass on and it makes a great video lens. It's better than the original Nikkkor 14-24 f2.8 F lens and that was as good as it got 10 years ago.

Nikkor Z 24-70mm f4 S     The best "kit" lens anyone has probably ever made. My main normal zoom lens and a pleasure.

Tamron 70-210 f4 F-Mount      A decent lens I bought as a stop gap until a Nikkor Z 70-200mm f4 becomes available. It works well on the FTZ adapter, though I had to buy the Tamron hockey puck to upgrade the software.

Nikkor Z 35mm f1.8 S     Big lens for a prime, but that's the way things are going. The IQ is great and it makes for superb video at f2 with the eye detect AF. Great for low light as well and a general all around lens.

Nikkor Z 50mm f1.8 S     Such a great lens that I couldn't resist when Nikon put it on sale. Reaches OTUS levels of IQ, at 25% of the cost.

FTZ Adapter    It's a faff but it works.

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Fuji X-T4    The Fuji X-T4 is my main video camera. It has quite a few bugs, or maybe I'm still trying to figure out the best settings. but it's not as good a video camera as the X-T3. But the potential is there. It makes a great back-up stills camera as well to the X-T3.

Fuji X-T3    The Fuji X-T3 is my main digital stills and video camera. For some reason, my X-T3 is made in Japan. Battery life could be better, and the layout isn't as good as the X-T4, but it does seem to work better than the X-T4 for video. The exposure doesn't "surge," the white balance is more steady and the AF works better too.

Fuji X-E3    I bought the Fuji X-E3 with the kit lens XF18-55 2.8-4.0 for $800. It makes a great back up and B-roll camera, and the 18-55mm is decent, but not as good as they used to be. A lot of sample variation in these lenses and the one I got is OK, but not stellar.


XF 10-24mm f4/0 WR     Fuji's best landscape lens and does great for video as well. The only limitation is the f4.0 isn't great for astrophotography. The 2nd gen is great: the aperture ring with lock and hard marked apertures is the way it ought to be. Diving into the menus to turn on and off the image stabilization is a step backwards though.

XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.0       Fuji's kit lens that used to be of better optical quality. It's still good today, but there's a lot of sample variation. My current copy is OK, but not great.

XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8      The perfect Fuji landscape telephoto lens. Sharp, relatively lightweight, tough as old boots, but unfortunately not dust and weather sealed.