Ed and I have shot with big full frame DSLR cameras for many years as they are proven workhorses that help us to get great results. Recently, high performance cameras have been getting smaller, lighter and frankly better. Yes, I said it… better.
‘But full frame cameras produce less noise!’
I can hear the chant of DSLR camera fans everywhere and for many years they were right. I remember the day I swapped my trusty Nikon D80, a cropped sensor camera that taught me so much for a full frame D700. It was an extraordinary experience, one that enabled me to shoot a rehearsal the Albert Hall with no concerns about image noise…….
When I bought my first camera, I had three lenses with it. Standard kit zoom lens (18mm-55mm) and two primes (28mm and 50mm). It was just before I left for my first trip to Japan and as I believed that more is better, I packed all three lenses in my bag. When I returned to London I noticed something peculiar. All my favourite shots were taken with either of the two primes. I kept on using them on my trip as I knew that the quality of a prime lens is far superior to that of a zoom and also they allowed me to shoot in lower light due to faster aperture. The fact that I liked these shots more was not down to either of these advantages however. It was, in fact, down to improved composition and more thought that has gone into creating the image. I decided to stick with these two primes and sold off the zoom. Last year I bought a camera that came with a fixed 35mm lens. After spending over a year with it I noticed that my vision has improved greatly. I no longer need to raise the camera to my eye to know where the framing is going to be and, although I need to work harder to get the framing I have in my mind, I like these shots much better than the ones taken with a zoom lens………
I am no expert in the politics or issues of my country. Nor am I a pure street photographer. But I do like to tell stories of my country’s people and the city I live in with my images. Now, in my city Johannesburg – Jozi or Joburg as locals call it – we have areas where you would avoid going alone, especially with a camera. But there is a number of good things happing all over the city, thanks to some very cool and interesting projects. I took a few other photographers for a little walk in one of these areas, called the Maboneng Precinct. It is safe, has a good vibe and is a great place for food and social……..
As an X-Photographer I was invited by Fujifilm UK to have my X-Pro1 re-skinned in their range of X-Signature colours. As far as I’m aware this is a service only currently available in the UK. I was also keen to get my X100S re-skinned at the same time as a matching pair so cheekily asked if I could have my X100S done as well! I went back and forth over the colours, the orange really appealed to me right away but I wasn’t really sure if I was ready for an orange camera! I initially asked for both of them to be done in the red lizard, which I think works well with the black finish of both cameras, but the red wasn’t in stock and available when I went down to Fuji HQ to have them done. However, now I’ve had them both done I’m so glad it wasn’t! In the end as you can see, I opted for and orange X-Pro1 and a dark blue lizard X100S…….
Es ist 22.30 Uhr, ich sitze nach über 30 Stunden auf den Beinen im Hotel und kann es immer noch kaum glauben. Es schien immer in so weiter Ferne, doch die letzten Wochen vergingen sehr schnell, und der Termin für unser Abenteuer rückte immer näher. Heute, bzw gestern war es dann endlich so weit. Wir fuhren mit dem Auto nach Frankfurt, bestiegen dort den Flieger nach Taipei/Taiwan, unseren Zwischenstopp auf dem Weg nach Hanoi/Vietnam. Der ganze Weg verlief komplett entspannt und reibungslos, auch wenn ein Sonnenuntergang um 15 Uhr schon etwas komisch ist. Dennoch war der Flug einfach nur zermürbend. Irgendwann will man einfach nur noch aufstehen und sich etwas bewegen. Der Zwischenstopp war besonders frustrierend, da wir fast an Hanoi vorbei geflogen sind. Taipei ist gute 2000 km weiter im Westen. Aber das war so einfach viel günstiger als ein Direktflug. Über den Wolken schien die Sonne dermaßen stark, dass die Reflektor der Wolken einfach nur strahlend weiß war. Unter den Wolken jedoch stellte sich die Wolkendecke als sehr dicht und grau heraus. Es war zwar nicht kalt, Aber auch nicht so warm, wie erwartet. Außerdem nieselte es ab und an ein wenig. Aber wir sind ja nicht aus Zucker und Kummer in Deutschland gewöhnt………
After a few travel photography related discussions over the last week or two I thought it’d be fun to share my Fuji X100s Travel Kit. While I use the “S”, this would obviously apply to the original Fuji X100, and to the newer X100t also. It is always a tough thing for a photographer to decide what photographic gear to bring on vacation, with the two competing elements being size/weight versus image quality. For those of us who love our images it is very difficult to compromise our gear choices, but carrying around a backpack full of DSLR gear, lenses, etc can also become VERY tiresome. The picture above (white poster board + window lighting = poor man’s studio!) shows my current travel kit. I have written extensively about the Fuji X100s, so I won’t recap that here other than to say it is the greatest camera i have ever owned. Some would argue it’s one Achille’s Heel is the fixed 35mm lens, but I find the opposite to be true in that it forces me to work a scene more for my composition…….
After shooting weddings exclusively with the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and X100S cameras for about 19 months, here are my thoughts and findings on the Fujifilm X-Series for Wedding Photography. Now this is not a technical review but rather a general conversation with my good friend and fellow Wedding Photographer, Jonathan Ellis which segued into a discussion on my experience shooting weddings with the Fujifilm X-Series cameras. I decided to hit the record button on my phone and here is a transcript of some of the topics we discussed. I don’t even think this is a format for writing reviews, but I hope it works out OK and the topics discussed provides an insight for anybody out there considering the Fujifilm X-Series for Wedding Photography, be it exclusively or to supplement their existing DSLR systems.
What to expect:
Well my name is Vincent, but commonly known as V ; so whenever V appears before a body of text, that was me talking/responding to Jonathan’s questions. For consistency sake and laziness on my part, Jonathan will be J in this article. Jonathan asks the questions and I respond ; I share my experience on the Fujifilm X-Series for Wedding Photography, my likes and dislikes, the strength and weakness of the system as a whole, the things to improve on and my conclusion…….
Three weeks ago today I returned from San Francisco, where I spent 5 days on a photography vacation. San Francisco is an amazing city, one I have visited many, many times. Prior to this trip I had been insanely busy with work, family and business and this was an opportunity to be by myself, indulge in my photography, and visit with a close friend who now lives in Silicon Valley. I travelled extremely light, taking only my beloved Fuji X100s and a small travel tripod. I will be making a blog post about that travel kit, which will be accompanying me from now on when I travel. I actually have many blog posts to make from this trip, but for now I wanted to share 20 of my favourite images I took that week. These are in no particular order, and some will be the foundation of future blog posts….
The X100s is a bit like Brian Clough at the football club Leeds Utd. A brilliant exponent of its art but just not the right fit, for me at least. After less time than Brian Clough actually spent at Leeds Utd, it’s now on its way to a new owner, who will no doubt cherish it and produce fabulous images with it – something I just couldn’t quite get to grips with. Having had a yearning for almost as long as the X100 has been available, I finally succumbed in late September and bought one to compliment my XP1 as a day in day out camera. Something I could carry around with me daily, something that I could use just as was needed, and of course, looking at it as a possible replacement for my XP1. Potentially, maybe, possibly. My initial impressions were as I expected. It’s a beautiful bit of kit, built wonderfully, with everything a photographer needs to get the image. It is after all the camera that many top, top photographers have made their fame and fortune with……..
Over the last year, shooting, mainly as I have been with Fujifilm X Series I have had a fundamental shift in my approach to lens choice. Prior to this period like most people, I favored zoom lenses. I enjoyed the versatility and convenience that a zoom lens has to offer. I also own a variety of prime lenses, in Nikon, Panasonic, and Fujifilm mounts. Like many photographers however, I generally reserved my prime lenses for specific circumstances, for instance, when I would need to shoot indoor shots in low light. Here the wider apertures offered by single focal length lenses become extremely useful, especially if no flash was to be used. I think the Fuji X100/X100s was the catalyst for the transformation to shooting primes day–to-day. Because of their size, these cameras have been very compelling companions for travel and hiking with one caveat: the attached 35 mm lens . Before the X 100 series, I would typically hike with a body and a zoom lens with a field of view of let’s say 24-80 mm. I would zoom to frame a subject, sometimes forgetting to consider the effect of the new focal length on the depth of field and perspective needed for the image…….