Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait
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  1. #1
    Member hidden830726's Avatar
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    Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    Hi all,

    Before im into watches, i photograph quite a lot, with my Nikon DSLR, then i made the switch to Fuji X100 and later X100s for street photography and sold off all my dslr gears, includes the beloved 105mm macro lens.

    I am still shooting mainly street photography and portraiture on and off, but only with my faithful X100s. I'm no longer a gearhead / novice tho, i resisted many temptation to upgrade or get an additional camera everytime a new model launched. Sometimes, i will complaint on its limited range, but overall i am very happy with the X100s for my street and travel, but i just feel limited to shoot portrait and watches.

    After spending most of my funds on watches in 2015, i feel its time to slow down and re-channel my budget for something that combine my both passion in photography and horology.

    So, here i am asking for your opinion for a camera / camera combo so that i can use it for occasion macro shot for my watches or to use it for portraiture.


    • I am a bit reluctant to go back to DSLR, eventhough i understand that may be the best solution so that i can grab a dslr + macro lens + portrait lens, but no, its too heavy and not minimalist, i prefer to spend lesser than this.
    • I prefer something small much like the X100s, but for portrait and macro, the only one that mentioned and i have an eye on is the Sigma Dp3 Quattro, besides the obvious problem with the Fovean sensor and battery life, i am not very sure about its macro capabilities, i do understand its not true macro, and many photography friends really talk me out about buying this.


    So whats options i have left?


    • Sony and Fuji is a possible solution, its smaller, but still big with its lenses, also again i dont prefer to spend that much.


    Before you asked, my budget is around 1000-1500 USD, but im open for all suggestions.


  2. #2
    Member jamal_GT's Avatar
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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    hi, for micro photography use a pocket camera. cos pocket camera got greater depth of field.
    Better still get the SONY RX100. Now is version 4. this camera win "the camera of year Award"
    for a few years. It Is equip with German Carl Zeiss lens which is sharp and contrast.
    I ever own the Nikon micro Nikkor 105mm, it is sharp but shallow depth of field.
    for sharp pictures use a tripod.
    hidden830726 likes this.
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  3. #3
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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    I love my X100s and I think it''s a great all around camera, including for portraits and watches, though 35mm is limiting it can be done.

    I've got two ideas for you.

    #1 is Micro Four Thirds. You can get a decent body (like the older OM-D E-M5) and a 45mm F/1.8 lens (this is a 90mm FF equiv). It's a killer portrait lens, and because micro four thirds has the 2x crop factor, essentially all lenses have somewhat of a macro-capability. Though this lens only has a 0.2:1 enlargement factor (true macro would have a 1x), an average watch face will fill half the frame. And you can get a great (leica designed) true macro lens if you want to.

    There are a number of good standout lenses for micro four thirds actually. If you want to replace your X100s, I shot photojournalism/street/portraits for years with 2 OM-D E-M5s and a 17mm F/1.8 (35mm equiv, very similiar to X100s), and 45mm F/1.8, probably my favorite modern camera kit ever. You could pick up this whole kit with dual bodies for $1200 probably. Other good lenses are 12mm, 20mm, 25mm, 60mm macro, 75mm (the best portrait lens I've ever used). And they have some pretty amazing pro zoom lenses, I have never used those though as I'm a prime-lover.

    #2 option is an good condition Canon 5D Mk1 and 100mm F/2.8 macro lens, and then also a 40mm F/2.8 if you wanted to get rid of your Fuji. This would give you killer portraits (I've owned 5D2 and 5D3 and the 5D1 colors win in good light!!!) and macro capability, but low light performance is not comparable to modern cameras. It's DSLR though so I see where you would shy away.


    Foveon is not good for a primary camera in my opinion. I rent them frequently for landscapes, but I would not want to use one as my main, or secondary, camera.
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    Member hidden830726's Avatar
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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    Hey, thank all the feedback.

    @jamal - Yes Sony Rx100 m4 is definitely on my list as what you stated, also I would love to do some video on my watches.

    @catwithdifferentcoat - wow, really love your nick. Not really looking to replace the x100s tho, as you said, its a great little camera. Just looking at another camera to complement what I have and for what I opt to shoot nowadays.

    I will consider the m43 ststem, agreed with you on the 2x crop, it may come handy.

    As for dslr, ok, but I will prefer nikon tho. Im a nikon man... Sorry canon. Hahaha.

    Anymore feedback?

    Sent from my D6653 using Tapatalk


  6. #5
    Member jamal_GT's Avatar
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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    at least go for bigger sensor. That is the CCD. I never go below APS-C for normal camera.
    But I loved the 1 inches sensor which is big for pocket camera. That is the Sony RX100/
    I give up my Nikon, sold most of the things, it is expensive to keep up.
    I am using the Sony Nex 6 couple with Carl Zeiss lens.
    Last edited by jamal_GT; December 1st, 2015 at 12:38. Reason: spelling
    Rolex Submariner (Automatic)
    Rolex Jublee (Automatic)
    Girard-Perregaux F1-047 (Automatic)
    Omega SeaMaster James Bond Quartz
    Suunto Core
    a few Seiko quartz
    a few CiTizen eco-drives
    a Casio edifice tell time,chrono,current tide,moon phase n temperture
    Orient pocket watch & Orient F1
    Bulova accutron ][ snorkel
    Vostok Ampibian

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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by hidden830726 View Post
    Hey, thank all the feedback.

    @jamal - Yes Sony Rx100 m4 is definitely on my list as what you stated, also I would love to do some video on my watches.

    @catwithdifferentcoat - wow, really love your nick. Not really looking to replace the x100s tho, as you said, its a great little camera. Just looking at another camera to complement what I have and for what I opt to shoot nowadays.

    I will consider the m43 ststem, agreed with you on the 2x crop, it may come handy.

    As for dslr, ok, but I will prefer nikon tho. Im a nikon man... Sorry canon. Hahaha.

    Anymore feedback?

    Sent from my D6653 using Tapatalk
    Heh thanks, I didn't think anyone would get the username reference. I was giddy like a schoolgirl when "the episode" aired and I got to re-live the shock through the reactions of non-book readers.

    Nikon is great too, but for a straight up portrait and macro cam, you can get a FF body + a great macro/portrait lens in Canon for $800 combined or less. I don't think you can do that with Nikon currently. But Nikon has some great gear too of course (refurb D7100's are ridiculously priced), just the original 5D is such a good deal right now at $400-500 for one of the best portrait cams in history.

    Yeah I would definitely keep the X100s. It's just so fun.

    You could also try the TCL-X100 -- the conversion lens to convert the X100 to 50mm. It's actually very good. People on the internet will tell you that you can't shoot portraits with 50mm but many of the most iconic portraits were shot with it.

    Another option is a Fuji X-mount body + vintage macro lens (I've got Micro-Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 AI-S and it's great but I use it on micro43), + vintage something like Minolta Rokkor 58mm F/1.4 which should make an excellent portrait lens on APS-C. Manual focus is fine on the recent Fuji bodies (autofocus sucks for macro anyway). And if you wanted to, you could splurge on the native 56mm F/1.2 -- that is a ridiculously good portrait lens from what I hear, though I haven't used it myself.
    Last edited by cat of a different coat; December 1st, 2015 at 13:55.

  8. #7
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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    Quote Originally Posted by cat of a different coat View Post
    You could also try the TCL-X100 -- the conversion lens to convert the X100 to 50mm. It's actually very good. People on the internet will tell you that you can't shoot portraits with 50mm but many of the most iconic portraits were shot with it.

    Another option is a Fuji X-mount body + vintage macro lens (I've got Micro-Nikkor 55mm F/2.8 AI-S and it's great but I use it on micro43), + vintage something like Minolta Rokkor 58mm F/1.4 which should make an excellent portrait lens on APS-C. Manual focus is fine on the recent Fuji bodies (autofocus sucks for macro anyway). And if you wanted to, you could splurge on the native 56mm F/1.2 -- that is a ridiculously good portrait lens from what I hear, though I haven't used it myself.
    Actually i am pretty fine with 50mm, have been considering TCL-X100 too, but feedback on its AF turn me away, im sure i can grab one in the after market if it ever appear.

    Yup, i love the Fuji 56mm f1.2 alot alot. really love its bokeh. Have been trying it at Fuji roadshows and event multiple times, but i am holding back because i am a OVF person and really hesitate over EVF. XT-1 really solid, but im holding my guns for maybe X-Pro2 which is announcing soon.


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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    I have the XT-1 with the 56mm and I confirm it is an amazing portrait lens. I also have the 23mm, the 10-24 and the 18-135. I would not consider any of these real macro lens though due to long focus minimum length. I would not go back to DSLR either, not even for full frame, my brother has to carry his gear in a backpack (Nikon D610 and a few lenses) while I have everything in a small messenger bag. The Fuji promotions also make the upgrade less painful.
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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    And the EVF is so good, you forget it is not an OVF, until it gets dark and then it is even better. No lag at all!

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    Re: Advise me camera combo for Macro (for watches) and portrait

    I use FUJIFILM cameras and have a XT1, XE1 and a X100. I'm a graphic designer by trade and use all of them for professional use, so phew to full frame lots of professionals are using Fuji nowadays.

    Since you have a X100 you might be able to use a high quality close up filter to get in close enough. Or pick up a used XE1 and their Macro lens, I think it is a 60mm and would be perfect for close ups. No need to go above the Fuji's sensor size unless you are printing poster sized prints. I've blown up fuji images to over 24x36 and the look perfect. All three cameras make exceptional images and since you are familiar with Fuji not need to move platforms. I have a close up filter that I'll try with my X100 and send you some samples if you'd like.

    Also there is a great forum called Portal | Fuji X Forum that has an excellent for sale form and pricing there is very competitive and there is a wealth of knowledge that you can ask what is the best way to get the pictures you want with the camera you have.

    Good luck

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