Three months ago, I got myself the new Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f2.0 NCS CS lens for my Fujifilm X-E2 and in the time since I’ve been using it a lot, both locally around here and in trips to Greece and Ireland. Even though I specifically selected this lens for its qualities with respect to astrophotography, I’ve been using it for all kinds of landscapes and more, including close-ups, street and even cat photos! While I don’t do real reviews and I have no test charts to shoot or any way to measure sharpness, light fall-off or distortion, I still wanted to give you my impressions of using it in the field and show some of the images I got out of it. If you just want the punch line, here it is: I like this lens, I like it a lot. If you want to know more, read on…….
Eigentlich war der Plan super. Wir fahren bis Bao Lac und steigen um in den Bus nach Meo Vac, unserem Ziel. Sieht auf der Karte aus wie ein Katzensprung. Wir kommen so spät an, dass es an diesem Tag nirgendwo mehr hingeht, denn leider gibt es keine Busverbindung zwischen diesen Orten und auch per Anhalter will uns niemand mitnehmen. Wir mieten uns ein Zimmer. Ein sehr, sehr schlechtes, denn nachts beginnt das große Krabbeln, das Fenster lässt sich nicht schließen und das Bett ist älter als wir beide zusammen. Ich schlafe trotzdem gut, aber leider niemand sonst, was nach dem Aufwachen etwas Ärger nach sich zieht. Am nächsten Tag landen wir durch Zufall im Haus einer Bauunternehmer-Familie und nach einigen Runden verhandeln, ignorieren, Schnaps und anschweigen fährt uns ein Jeep nach Meo Vac im äußersten Nordosten Vietnams……
I’ve been a loyal Canon user since I’ve started photography, and I have nothing but praise for its cameras. I shall still retain my Canon 5DII and a bunch of lenses for as long as I can. However, I realized that my style of photography has evolved during the past few years…prompting me to splurge big time on a Leica M9, and not too long ago on a Fuji X-Pro1. The evolution of my way of seeing, the lightness of these two cameras and the quality of their images laid the foundation for my being ready and very receptive for a DSLR replacement. Traveling to photograph Holi in India earlier this year, and having to hold the 5DII at shoulder-length to photograph inside temples and avoid color powder/water bequeathed me a short-lived tennis-elbow like pain, but it made me realize that DSLRs are really heavy computers with lenses attached to them……
After the official workshop ended, as often, we offered an extension on the trip. The planned extension was to Srinagar Kashmir and the surrounding valley But as you might know the Kashmir region was faced with unprecedented flooding and there was no way we would be able to lead a workshop in such surroundings. So Piet, Alou and I had to put our heads together in a hurry and come up with an alternative for Kashmir. The obvious choice became the one we went with: the amazing Nubra Valley. The Nubra Valley is located Northeast of Leh over the Khardung La (Khardung Pass). The Khardung La is touted as being the highest motorable road in the world at 5,602 m (18,379 ft). Frankly I doubt that. Our GPSs all came in closer to 5,334 m (17,500 ft). Nevertheless, it is high! So much so there is a sign posted in all caps that reads, “STAYING FOR MORE THAN 20-25 mins CAN BE HARMFUL TO YOUR HEALTH”……
Today Adobe released Photoshop CC 2014.2, this post covers the updates to this amazing release, there will be upcoming posts covering some of the items in much more detail. Creative Cloud Libraries. This new addition to the Creative Cloud will allow you to download graphics from the Adobe Market and have them available to inside both Illustrator and Photoshop. The Libraries panel also allows you to add fonts, graphics, PSD’s, colours etc all within the Photoshop and Illustrators. Any content here will be synced automatically to your Creative Cloud storage area. This feature is a wonderful enhancement if you have ever wanted to have a global set of favourites to your workflow. Of course you can create new libraries at any time to organise your content based on your preference……
Tonality Pro Verdict
There’s no doubt that there is a lot of functionality here for quite a modest stake. The ability to use layers to stack effects and the texture overlays make it possible to get lots of creative effects. Some of the film emulation presets look pretty much like the others, but there are enough presets across the board to give you specific effects that suit everything from portraits to landscapes and HDR projects. It’s also a bonus that a number of effects actually use colour as well as mono. The app is fast at providing previews and has a lot of different looks it can bring to your projects. It’s not as wide ranging as Alien Skin’s Exposure but then it is a great deal cheaper and easily represents the best budget option for those wanting stylish or grungy black and white conversions.
Having had more than a week to mull over what worked and what didn’t on The People of Tay Bac Photo Expedition-Workshop, I come to the conclusion that it earns a B….not a B+, not a B-…just a plain B. However, the trip’s logistics and accommodations were faultless, and all the credit goes to the travel agent I work with in Hà Nội. They were responsive and on the ball at all times. I think the prevailing extraordinary high humidity levels we faced all through the trip played a significant role in dampening our energy levels (certainly mine were), especially in the streets of Hà Nội. That said, and set aside…here’s what I thought were home runs (or third base hits)…….
At the start of September, I headed to the Puglia region in Italy to shoot Mali and Bram’s wedding. Mali is my niece (although we are the same age; the family tree is complicated), and living continents apart as we do, we don’t get to participate in the big moments in each other’s lives much. So their big day was a special day for me too. The wedding itself was a weekend long affair. The bride and groom had arranged for an small group of their closest friends and family to celebrate their big day, by enjoying a relaxed time together in the idyllic Italian rural setting that is Masseria Montenapoleone. My good old X-Pro 1 was showing signs of imminent failure after the last 2 years of rough handling – files were randomly getting corrupted, and a quick look into this by Fuji’s service department suggested that it could be a sensor issue. Luckily, Fuji Nordic had lent me an X-E2 for the summer, so my gear for this event consisted of……..
Third Kozara MTB marathon took place yesterday organized by Austronet-procycling club from Prijedor who commissioned me to cover it. I was a bit nervous knowing the limitations of my equipment and on edge to borrow some different camera just in case. But… I didn’t. I decided to try out my Fuji and to find out how big are my own limitations. Anybody who ever tried to shoot with Fuji X-Pro 1 had to notice it’s superb quality but in the same time it’s lame AF performance. Fuji did a great thing by upgrading camera firmware constantly but still… X-Pro1 isn’t made for action and sports photography. Or maybe it is…? I’m quite satisfied with the final result. I relied on a well known recipe: scout a few locations few hours before the start, calculate your time well, get out of the way, set some lights, make test shots, PREFOCUS (this was the most important part), and wait……..
In this special episode of Adobe Creative Cloud TV, Terry White shows off the NEW features in the October 2014 release of Photoshop CC…..