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Fuji S5 Pro : some questions

Preparing to head off on a prolonged journey that will take me along the north coast of France, Spain, Portugal, south coast of Spain, and later to Morocco and perhaps further, before returning to settle in Spain.

I’ve been an Olympus DSLR shooter since buying the E1 in 2004, and become less and less happy with Olympus suitability for my work, having shot with E1, E300, E500, E400. I have longed for greater depth of field capability for a long time, I am tired of postprocessing for hours to remove noise. I love the small bodies of my pair of E400s, which backpack everywhere with me, but not much else that I care for about them, apart from the stunning 50mm macro I shoot with most of the time.

So it’s time for an upgrade. I’ve worked and save hard, and have enough to begin migration to another system, and sell my existing kit. I’m torn between the Fuji S5 Pro, my preferred body, and the Canon 40D. I own lenses for Olympus only, so there’s no sway there. My main concern is, will editors buy Fuji S5 Pro shots? I know some markets [stock, for instance], are fussy about the S5 and won’t take it.

There are a few reasons I prefer the S5 to the 40D. The main ones:
Weather proofing [I spend a lot of time at the beach and coast]
Zeiss Manual lenses [I shoot mainly primes and like wide apertures]
Opportunity to upgrade within the Nikon system
Dynamic range
Grid preview in viewfinder
Great JPEGs [I’m a 100% RAW shooter, but would like this option]
Fuji film settings

I feel the two are close equivalents for high ISO / low light. Both cameras feel good in the hand to me.

I currently shoot mainly food, interiors, still life, and am slowly expanding [not so slowly from next month] into travel and documentary editorial work, so my main concern is will I be able to sell the shots from the Fuji S5 Pro as well as the 40D would?

Has anyone got experience of coming up against problems shooting with the Fuji? I would love to buy the Fuji and the Nikon system, but I have a concern that I should take the ‘safe’ bet and go Canon. Yes, I know the D300 would solve the problem, but would leave me a lens short for glass, but if you think I should go with that and less glass, I’d love to hear why! When not shooting editorial and commercial food and interiors, I also shoot fine art, and sell my work as limited edition prints, and as illustration stock for book and cd art. So would love the tonal range of the S5, and am tempted to shoot more portraits too.

Rough guide to lenses I plan to get, either way:
28/1.8 Macro
100/2.8 Macro
Lensbaby 3G
Hartblei super rotator tilt shift [probably later, budget wise]

Any thoughts welcome. Apologies for the long post!

by Ando Perez at 2008-05-01 10:18:01 UTC (ed. May 13 2008 ) St.Ives, Cornwall , United Kingdom | Bookmark | | Report spam→

You should look into the d300 with 18 to 200mm zoom kit not a very fast lens but could give you a good start to figure out which lens to purchase later on. I have a friend in NYC who uses this setup and has no complaints. hope this helps…Pat

by Pat Pollock | 01 May 2008 13:05 | pittsburgh pa., United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Pat, but I’m afraid I don’t shoot with zooms, they’re not my cup of tea. I need fast wide lenses, at least 1.4, 1.8 and no more than 2.8 in the longer lenses. I need macro on my lenses. Zooms are wasted on me, except for I may buy a 10-22 for interior work, but I don’t shoot at longer focal lengths.

My question is not about which camera, but about would an editor have issues publishing shots from a Fuji S5 Pro, as that is my camera of choice, and if not, then I will have to choose the 40D, or maybe go short of lenses for a couple of months and travel with D300 and 2 primes. If I get the right feedback to go for the Fuji, I plan to expand to get a D300 or D3 later as main body, as I usually shoot with 2 bodies, but to do the upgrade, I’ll need to go with that later. I could buy a pair of S5 Pros for the price of a D300, and run them with a pair of fast lenses, one longer, one shorter. Perfect.

by Ando Perez | 01 May 2008 16:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
yes you will run into problems with some editors and definatly with stock agencies. if you are shooting for resale they want 12 megapixels or higher. I believe the s5 is like my s2 in the fact that it’s 6mp that interpolate to 12. best to ask the editor before starting a job you could always rent and pass on the fee to client if nessasary. if your looking to save $ buy used lenses, try www.keh.com their in atlanta ga. if they say it’s an 8 or 9 they don’t lie.

hope that helps…Pat

by Pat Pollock | 01 May 2008 17:05 | pittsburgh pa., United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Pat. sad but true, oh well…

I figure that even at 10MP I will get away with the Canon 40D, Getty will take 40D files [although I’m not that lucky yet!] as the files are going to be better at high ISO than the 450D, which I also looked at. Great camera the 450D, but not really sturdy enough for my liking. All the other 12+ MP cameras are not suitable ranges for me, I have looked at and handled the Sony A700, the Pentax K20D, but not convinced by their lens ranges, although the Sony is a good match for the D300, and there’s a full frame in the pipeline, as with Pentax, the Sony lenses [the good ones] are going to be painful to buy.

Hmmm. More thinks time. Thanks for the link, I know KEH, but being UK based, I have some cheap [European cheap] options lined up for lenses, even at new prices.

by Ando Perez | 01 May 2008 18:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
hope that was a help and not a mental hassle. I drive myself nuts when I have to make a new purchase. would you mind sending me links to your european shops. thank you talk to you later…Pat

by Pat Pollock | 01 May 2008 18:05 | pittsburgh pa., United States | | Report spam→
No worries Pat. I’ve delayed my jump from Oly for long enough. If it was just journo work I was up for, I’d buy an E3 and one more lens and be done. I wish it could be that simple. I hate buying and selling, but I’ve put this off for far too long already. It’s time.

There are a couple of Ebay dealers from Hong Kong [reliable ones I have dealt with before] who are guaranteeing no customs fees / refund of customs fees. I bought from the US in the past, but the customs fees killed the deal. Also a bunch of pretty good prices around on the Canon and Nikon kit with all the cashback deals right now. Technikdirekt.de is a great site for European technology, but with the weak £ / € deal right now, not so good. cameraworld.co.uk is another well priced dealer, plus bargain spotting in the WarehouseExpress.com bargain bin, although it’s not so good as it used to be. Trying to track down a refurbed camera at this minute. Some good deals around on refurbs. Good deals to be had at BristolCameras.co.uk and DigitalDepot.co.uk from time to time too.

I know someone selling a load of Oly stuff off too! ; )

Right now, I’m rebuilding my web site from scratch, and processing the hell out of my Oly files. Hate looking at those artifacts and noise. Painful. Just keep telling myself it’s not much longer now, so happy to finally have enough money to get a body that suits my style and needs better, and in my breaks from CS3, checking out the forums for S5 Pro, 40D, D300 on Flickr…

by Ando Perez | 01 May 2008 18:05 (ed. Jul 11 2008) | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
thanks for the info. good luck on your search…Pat

by Pat Pollock | 01 May 2008 19:05 | pittsburgh pa., United States | | Report spam→
Caz, just go with Canon or Nikon. They are the industry standards. Why row against the tide here? There are plenty of good bodies with sensors of 12 mp or more from those companies.

I personally like the Fuji sensors, which give a pleasant luminescense to some shots (I think that’s why many wedding shooters use them), but not everyone shares that viewpoint. Nobody can complain about the output of a D300 or 40D, or their big brothers/sisters.

by [former member] | 01 May 2008 21:05 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Thanks Neal. I guess I don’t see it as rowing against the tide, as after years on the wing with Olympus systems, I see the Fuji as a Nikon with a different sensor. But I guess the IPTC police will not let me past easily, so reluctantly, I will consider the other options. If the 40D had 12MP, I would snap their hand off, but instead, it leaves a tight decision of 40D with a few lenses, 2 × 40D, with 2 good lenses, D300 or 5D with maybe only 2 good lenses. I don’t like to work with only one body, so this will be a tough decision. I like to keep things simple lens wise, and shoot nearly full time with a 50/2 macro on my Olys, so maybe simple will be my ideal. I can add more glass later if I really need it. What I do need now is quality files I can sell. I can take the shots, but if the camera is outputting files that will get rejected, it’s all a waste.

Thanks again,Caz

by Ando Perez | 02 May 2008 04:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

I worked on S3pro. This is very good but very slowly camera. S5pro should be faster almost like d200. This camera have amazing colours, but need quick postproduction, especjaly with dark parts. and of course this is 6 milion camera. If you like experiments with images and color (I have seen your photos) this will be great camera for you.
Prints 40-50 are sharp and deep.
and zeiss lenses… just great.
This is camera for creativ people with imagination.
also for photojournalists.
I don’t understand why any editor could have problems with s5pro or any other pro camera. Many times they will not know witch camera was used.

sorry for english

by kjkjlljkkljk | 03 May 2008 08:05 | Wroclaw, Poland | | Report spam→
Thanks Marcin. Your words are reassuring, and your English is just great. Thankyou. You help to inspire me along this path.

Re: images and colour, experimentation and so forth, guess you viewed my Flickr images from my Lightstalkers page, which are mainly made up of my fine art and illustration work. I also shoot commercial product, food and interior shots for the restaurant & hotel trade, and for artist / makers. Mainly for websites, menus and marketing material. [Examples online at my web design site www.createfolios.com or later, at www.cazmcdonnell.com my new portfolio site that I am currently building. You will see lots of white on white interior stuff there, and plenty of colour too. My illustration and fine art folio is more b&w and toned, with added layers of colour [painted stuff]] But I am developing my portfolio as I will be travelling for most of the next 12 months, and wish to break into editorial work, with a folio of food, interiors, still life and travel. Hence the importance of my question. I so want to buy this camera. I just can’t run to the price of a D300 right now. If it was just for my fine art and illustration work, I would snap a Fuji S5 up right now. I post process everything in CS3 right now, using Noise Ninja, and Alien Skin Exposure. I would love to reduce this workflow, especially whilst travelling. I figure, if I can get away with it, I can start out with the Fuji and put my money into the best lenses I can afford, then get a d300 or d400 when they release one, later. Otherwise, I feel like I would have to go with a Canon 40D, as I love the D200 handling, but not the results, preferring the S5 Pro. I will go 40D if I have to, but I so want to shoot Nikon with Zeiss lenses, and this seems a good upgrade path for me.

Is anyone here shooting with a Fuji S5 Pro?

by Ando Perez | 04 May 2008 16:05 (ed. May 4 2008) | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

d300 and 40d are very similar cameras, but I think D300 is better one. I have never used s5pro but sensor is the same as in s3pro (not as s2). And s3 and s5 are quite different cameras than nikon and canon. defferent hue and color range. If you can buy d300 later you should buy this s5pro first i think. especialy if you work for advertising. s5pro have “so so nice” colors, but this “nice” you can chane in “great” in many situations.
I could simply say “buy it it’s great camera”… but I know that not every photographer will satisfy looking at colors…
but you say: “as I love the D200 handling, but not the results, preferring the S5 Pro”
so… s5pro is d200 body with little diferent “heart”

and about zeiss lenses: I don’t have but I should have one. I was thinking hard but I prefer leica m and films, and i don’t use digi so often. maybe later i will buy 25/2.8. I took only few frames in shop in street… just revelation.

by kjkjlljkkljk | 04 May 2008 19:05 | Wroclaw, Poland | | Report spam→
Thanks Marcin. Very helpful. I have found a good deal on a Fuji S5 refurbished direct from Fuji UK, so I am going to get one. I came close to deciding on a D300 and only 1 or 2 lenses, but I think this is the best route, I can easily get another body later, but now, whilst I have the money, I wish to get the best lenses. I love the idea that the Fuji is a great people camera, and look forward to trying it out for portraits on my travels, as well as the usual shooting I do. Exciting times ahead for me I think!

by Ando Perez | 05 May 2008 12:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
You might want to think long-term on this. I recently spoke with a rep from Canon on the future of dslrs. He said that when it all shakes out Canon, Nikon, and Sony will be all that’s left. At least that’s the guess at this point. Ulltimately, the investment ends up in the lenses. So, to me that would leave it Canon or Nikon. Canon seems to have more of a commitment to single-focal length lenses than Nikon. However, the D300 is acknowledged as being a bit better than the 40D. Given a choice in either direction I don’t see how you could go wrong.

by John Robert Fulton Jr. | 05 May 2008 12:05 | Fort Worth, Texas, United States | | Report spam→
Hi John, so I guess that also means that the Fuji is a fine choice, because it will leave me set up for the Nikon path with the lenses. All good I figure. Sat here making one final day of deliberations before I push the button on either an S5 Pro, or a D300. Would sure love the D300, but want more than 2 lenses. Canon are out of the running for me now. It’s just not the route for me personally. I’ve looked hard at the Sony A700, but that came up short in the lens choice for me, and would prefer the Nikon + Zeiss lens range.

Thanks for the input!

by Ando Perez | 05 May 2008 14:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
I ordered the Fuji S5 Pro. It’s on it’s way now. A great refurb deal for £569 direct from Fuji UK. Wrangling over lens choices now. I’ve got £600-700 to spend this weekend, and then in a week, when all my Oly kit has sold on eBay, will have a bunch more, around another £600-700+, although I do need to spring for a couple more compact hard drives as well, so lets say maybe another £600 to come.

Does anyone here shoot Nikon or Fuji, with experience of the fast primes by Nikon or Zeiss?

I’ve been Oly digital for over 4 years and Oly OM before that, and so I’ve got a task on my hands learning the Nikon system and lens choices. I like manual focus, and I like to carry a short macro. my Oly 50mm/f2.0 macro is going to be a tough one to replace. The only equivalent I can find is the Zeiss 50/2 macro.

by Ando Perez | 11 May 2008 13:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Soooo, how tough is that S5 built? Is it built as strong as the d200 d300 or more like the d70? Thanks, Tim

by Tim Hodge | 11 May 2008 16:05 | North Carolina, United States | | Report spam→
Hi TIm, It’s the Fuji sensor and operating system in the body of the D200. Exact same body. Solid, weatherproof, seals, magnesium, and all that jazz.

by Ando Perez | 11 May 2008 17:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Caz the Zeiss lenses are superb. I think you will be suprised just how good the 50/2 macro is. The 25/2.8 is a real star performer too. For more information on the Zeiss lenses have a chat with Tre (Trelawney) at Robert White (UK Zeiss distributor) http://www.robertwhite.co.uk/products.asp?PT_ID=287&P=Zeiss-SLR-Lenses

by Nigel Meaby | 11 May 2008 19:05 | Bournemouth, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thanks Nigel. Always glad to hear another vote for Zeiss. I gather the bokeh doesn’t suit all tastes, but I like the idea I could run them on an old F series body at some point too. Sweet set-up!

Looking at the following for my initial kit:
Sigma 30/1.4 [would upgrade later when I find a better option I can afford, maybe Zeiss 35/f2]
Zeiss 50/f1.4 or Zeiss 50/2 Macro
Zeiss 85/f1.4
Zeiss 100/f2.0
Hartblei Super Rotator 85/f2.8
Lensbaby 3G/f2
HolgaMods Holga Digital 60/f8

If you’re wondering about the last three, I’m a sucker for tilt shift and blurriness, as well as bokeh and defocusing, which are techniques I use in much of my work. The rest, I want sharp as possible with good depth of field and nice bokeh.

Have to buy at lest one in the next 24 hours, so I can test the camera when it arrives. Which one though? The 85/f1.4 or 50/f2 macro are tempting me most right now, having shot solidly lately with my Olympus ZD 50/f2 macro.

I love the thought of the buttery focusing with the Zeiss lenses, and having a whole lot less whirring and grinding going on with AutoFocus [well, maybe not the grinding bit, that will be my teeth as I hear my batteries draining!]. The other excitement is the thought of that sweet F series body : )

by Ando Perez | 11 May 2008 19:05 (ed. May 11 2008) | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
As a 20D and now 40D owner, I would actually recommend a used 5D… or if you have the time to wait: a 5D Mark II, which is supposedly coming weather-sealed. After having shot side-by-side with a 5D owner and looking at shots later, it was amazing the quality that a full-frame sensor has over a 1.6x cropped sensor. I’m personally waiting for the 5D Mark II to abandon the cropped sensor bodies I have. There’s just no comparison in the range of tones.

by G. Morty Ortega | 12 May 2008 14:05 | Punta Arenas, Chile | | Report spam→
Hi Gabriel. Thanks for your input, but I have already committed to the Fuji / Nikon route, and now have my S5 Pro. Testing it this week. All looks good. The Canon 5D is beyond my current budget, along with the L lenses, and I wouldn’t go that route unless I saw the 5D Mark II on the market, as I have used the 5D, and whilst I like the files, it is just not the camera for me right now.


by Ando Perez | 13 May 2008 06:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
For Nikon manual focus fans there are also the Voigtlanders, 40mm f/2 and 58mm f/1.4. Both are chipped for Nikon. I have the 40mm and highly recommend it. Great feel and build and iq.

by jussi rovanpera | 13 May 2008 15:05 | Helsinki, Finland | | Report spam→
Pentax K20D. Fabulous primes, rugged as hell, weatherproof, noise rivals D300, 14.6MB, 3200/6400ei.

by John Kelly | 13 May 2008 15:05 | manouch, United States | | Report spam→
Jussi…thanks, will check those out. Interesting.

John. Thanks, but already gone with the Fuji S5 Pro, which allows me to build a Nikon system. I did look at Pentax, but not for me. This way, I can build a lens system for a D3 upgrade later.

by Ando Perez | 13 May 2008 21:05 | St.Ives, Cornwall, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Ando Perez, Writer & Photographer Ando Perez
Writer & Photographer
Brighton , United Kingdom
Pat Pollock, Photographer Pat Pollock
New York , United States
kjkjlljkkljk, kjkjlljkkljk
Paris , France
John Robert Fulton Jr., Photographs John Robert Fulton Jr.
Spring Lake, Michigan , United States
Tim Hodge, Semi-Student/Full Photog Tim Hodge
Semi-Student/Full Photog
Conway, Sc , United States
Nigel Meaby, Nigel Meaby
Faro , Portugal
G. Morty Ortega, Visual Journalist G. Morty Ortega
Visual Journalist
Tenancingo , Mexico ( MEX )
jussi rovanpera, jussi rovanpera
Moalboal , Philippines
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Southwest , United States ( ABQ )


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