Thursday 29 June 2023

Regrets - I've Had a Few

 "The Road Ahead"

Sony A7RIV, FE 28-60mm

That's the last image I'll post from the A7RIV. 

Regrets have been something of a bane for me. Often my gear decisions have been driven by 'I really miss that lens', notably getting both my last E-M5II and my OM-1 have been driven by my love for the m.Zuiko Pro 12-40/2.8. Then I inevitably end up regretting not having those great FF RAW files, or not being able to adapt FF glass the way I want. I really need to put an end to this vicious cycle, as the end result is inevitably I have a more constrained set of gear than I should because I lost value on the last system switch. 

In looking back, and at the lenses Sony has announced this year (or is rumoured to be about to drop) I'd started to build up some regret at selling off the A7RIV. It was a good camera, and if it didn't really make me want to get out and shoot, it didn't stop me either. I'd likely still be shooting it if I'd still had it when the 20-70/4G was announced, that would have been the perfect replacement for the FE 28-60, which was a decent little lens but not quite wide enough and didn't focus close enough for me. And there's so much cool glass in E mount that I do miss the option to drool over all the options. Which of course had a flip side of I didn't buy them because I didn't have budget to buy every lens that takes my fancy, even if they are cheap, and never could pick which cheap lens to buy. There are some advantages of a more constrained lens lineup, less analysis paralysis. 

The regrets around the A7RIV have me looking closer at FF options again and I found yet another surprise with Canon RF glass. I've realized that I really should have taken a closer look at the RF stuff a couple years ago. 

My biggest complaint about FF kit after size has long been that the close focus usually sucks, especially compared to m43 Olympus glass, and I do a LOT of near macro work (bees, flowers, mushrooms, etc). In RF mount, it doesn't. In fact the lenses seem to be overall better than the already outstanding OM glass in MFD. I'm kicking myself a little bit now, as if I'd bought into RF instead of the A7RIV, I'd almost assuredly be still using it today as essentially none of my relatively minor frustrations with the A7RIV and Sony exist in RF mount. Flip/twist LCD's on everything except the lowly R100, an APS-C option with good ergonomics, compact and reasonably priced zooms, and zooms with good MFD. Also better grip ergonomics and weather sealing. The only remaining frustration from Sony is the IBIS/EXIF data issue for manual glass and that's comparatively minor as I shoot less and less adapted glass. 

What does this mean overall? First off, I'll almost assuredly grow into FF again. For landscape an R5, 14-35, 24-105L and 100-400 kit simply makes the most sense overall as a long-term setup. Since that kit is decent for the R7 as well, I'll likely head that way before any FF body is acquired (the RF100-400 will almost assuredly be a late July acquisition). That would make my light hiking kit that R5 based setup eventually, and I'd add the R7 and a macro lens for a 'heavy' kit.

Now if I can just pull off staying in a single system long-term...

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