Many photographers run a “dual system” approach, using one system for landscape and another for all-around use. This is an excellent way to go when one system has clear benefits over the other for some types of photography. Sometimes the cost can be kept down for one system by having just the key lenses for its strengths.
Reader Jim S writes:
I’m going with the Fujifilm GFX100S and have it on preorder. I have that infernal one-way tilting LCD on my FujifilmGFX 50R, and it drives me mad when I want to shoot low-angle portrait-orientation shots. Now that the 100S is coming, there is little temptation for me to get the Sony A7R4 outside of the unique glass available for E-mount like the Voigtlander APO lenses.
But I am already running a dual system for faster AF and reach – Canon EOS R5 with the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2 and the Canon RF 100-500mm (and the 35 1.8 and 50 1.8 for casual use). The R5 Eye AF actually does get the iris in focus even at f/1.2 most of the time, and the animal eye-AF for birds and pets is as they say, like witchcraft. My only complaint about the R5 is the anti-aliasing filter. Also I was not happy with the RF 15-35 and sold it. It was great at 15mm but weak at 35mm (the cheaper RF 35 1.8 macro was much better). I would have kept the 15-35 just for 15mm, but the heavy vignetting at wider apertures negated the sharp corners too often for me.
For the Fujifilm GFX100S I already have the 30/45/50/63 and have the 80 on preorder. That gives me a really light system as the 80 would be the only heavy lens in the batch. And I could run with 30/50/80 or just 30/80 in the field. I thought about getting the 23 again (used to own all the GF primes), but I’m going to wait for the RF 14mm autofocus tilt-shift lens and the RF 24 f/1.2. That will let me use the R5 for ultra-wide, the 100S for landscape from 30-80 and the R5 again from 100-500. And by the time the 14 TS and 24 1.2 arrive, the R5s will probably be here to replace the R5.
DIGLLOYD: the Canon EOS R5 is seemingly targeted at video users what with its anti-aliasing filter (inappropriate for stills in a 45MP camera), and 8K video. But it is solid for landscape as well with a touch more sharpening. I am not a fan of its controls, which I rate as inferior to Sony and anti-functional for my most common operational usage (at least for landscape)—wrong buttons in the wrong places and too darn small. Presumably there will be a 60-80 megapixel Canon EOS R-something at some point.
The Canon EOS R5 system has some superb lenses. But there is no lens for the R5 like the Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM and there is no Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO-Lanthar and similar (very high quality plus compact and lightweight). OTOH, the Canon RF 50mm f/1.2L and the Canon RF 85mm f/1.2L are stunningly good, if not very small and light.
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OTOH, Sony has no tilt-shift lenses and hasn’t risen to the level of the Canon RF 50/1.2L and 85/1.2L which are unique in the 35mm world in their fast lens speed and ultra high performance. But there is the Sigma 35mm f/1.2 DG DN Art, which is comparable, and the Sony lens ecosystem continues to grow and is by far the largest available.
The Fujifilm GFX100S system still has one severe limitation: the lack of any really good ultra wide capability. The single lens is the Fujifilm GF 23mm f/4 (excellent, but beware of bad samples!), which is equivalent to 19mm f/3.3 in 35mm terms.
Some landscape photographers don’t feel a need to go beyond 25mm (35mm format ~=30mm on Fujifilm), but for me, a ~25mm widest lens is unacceptably narrow for canyons, big skies, interiors.
IMO, the landscape photographer is better served by a dual system of the Fujifilm GFX100S, along with the Sony A7R IV or Sony A1 + Sony 12-24mm f/2.8 GM to cover the wide end. In hiking scenarios, I’d of course be tempted to take the Fujifilm, but the reality is that a 12-hour stroll up Mt Whitney is ideal for the 12-24mm along with minimal extra weight of the Voigtlander 50mm f/2 APO and perhaps the Zeiss Loxia 35mm f/2. There are just too many places where that 12-24mm range can be put to use really well and that 12-24mm range is poorly served by prime lenses—and I also like strong perspectives if photographing a person climbing a slope or similar. I could see having the GFX100 with the 50/3.5 as an excellent adjunct on the same hike (bless my aching back!).
None of these systems has a first-rate native-mount fisheye lens, which I’d really like to see for cycling videos. The native-mount part is important in keeping the lens relative short and balanced; while the Canon 8-15mm f/4L fisheye zoom with the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R will work for general purposes, it would be an unbalanced floppy solution unsuitable for my purposes putting the front lens element at risk.