I don’t know if that has to do anything with the fact that first camera ever I was given to shoot was a rangefinder. Sure, it was a “copy” of the “original”, my Dad’s Russian made Zorki… Chrome body with 50 lens and full leather case. Smell of that leather I count as one of “the smells from my childhood”. I struggled with that camera to make it in focus. For a teenage kid, rushing to press the shutter button it was unbearable to “wait” and line up that “double image” in the little “window”… But I did it! And I photographed my first celluloid images with that camera… After Zorki, many other cameras came in to my bag, some stayed longer some not. I was a “Canon guy”, then “Nikon guy”, then “Hasselblad guy”, then “Nikon guy”… You get the picture…….
Leica chose its first prime lens for the T mirrorless camera system wisely. The Leica Summicron-T 23mm f/2 ASPH. ($1,850) matches the field of view and light gathering capability of the quintessential Leica optic, the 35mm Summicron that has adorned many of its full-frame digital and 35mm rangefinder cameras. This new Summicron is an autofocus lens that covers a smaller APS-C image sensor, but it’s quite compact and can focus closer than its M-mount cousins. And, while it doesn’t deliver quite the impeccable performance that its price would dictate, it’s a solid prime lens option for the T system, and one that does a better job capturing images with a shallow depth of field than the Vario-Elmar-T 18-56mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom that is also available for the T……
Without doubt my biggest frustration with the Leica M cameras is the rangefinder focus system only focusing as close as 0.7M. After coming from a Nikon D800 DSLR camera I was used to working very close to my subjects to either create a shallow depth of field and/ or to crop tight to improve my composition. I now have some nice Leica M lenses but I never seem to be able to get as close as I would like. I can get shallow DOF with lenses like the Leica Noctilux 50mm f1.0 and Leica Summicron 90mm f2 but both these lenses only focus as close as 1M. My closest focusing lenses are the Leica Summilux ASPH 50mm f1.4 and Leica Summicron 50mm f2 both of which focus as 0.7M but that is still not near enough for say detail shots at a wedding…….
At the end of this quick photo shoot, I knew that Canon was a thing of the past in my life. Fujifilm has won my heart with the X-T1 mirrorless camera body and their superb XF56mmF1.2 R lens. I honestly, at this point, cannot see myself ever going back to a bulky DSLR. I just have no interest any longer, as I’m getting mind-blowing images with my Fuji, and it has, without question, reignited a major passion for the purity of photography that I haven’t felt since I first picked up a camera. I love the X-T1… and I LOVE this lens! Highly recommended! =)
I’ve spoken before about my love for the Fujifilm x-series cameras. The idea of having a camera that produces good enough quality and usability without having to lug around DSLR really appeals to me, whether for day to day stuff or even on jobs. You can read my thoughts on the x100s and X-Pro1 here. Although I love them as cameras to use day to day I probably wouldn’t be comfortable shooting a commercial gig exclusively on them. I tend to keep them as back-up and also as something to use for myself. However when the Fuji X-T1 came out I was excited that it could be a potentially great set-up for traveling with and shooting editorial assignments – it was much closer to the DSLR setup I’m used to using but without the bulk. With this in mind I decided to take one away with me on some recent assignments to Croatia, Spain, Morocco and Sweden. I already own some x-series lenses (18mm, 35mm) and I was lent a few extra ones (27mm, 56mm, 18-55mm, 23mm) which gave me a fairly thorough set-up……..
If you’re unfamiliar with the X100 series then get prepared to geek out. If you already know all about it then get prepared to be blown away by the Fujifilm X100T – because it’s the best X100 model yet. The reason is simple: the X100T brings an updated viewfinder, complete with parallax correction in manual focus and what the company is calling an “electronic rangefinder” feature too. And it’s utterly brilliant. In terms of build, the X100T is the same fine example of craftsmanship as the previous X100S and original X100 models. There’s not much we can say to better our previous thoughts on that – this silver-colour, magnesium alloy construction is solid in both visual and physical terms. If, that is, you like retro styling and the old school of thought when shooting, because the X100T has manual control dials and a fixed 23mm (which is a 35mm equivalent) f/2.0 aperture lens. No zoom to be found here. That’s a staple of the X100 series though and it restricts working practice in a kind of beautiful way. The quality is the same tried and tested optical performance as in its predecessors, as is the APS-C sized 16-megapixel X-Trans II CMOS sensor……
I give this lens 4 out of 5 stars. I enjoyed my time with this lens but I’m going to sell it for something more compact and less bulky (*see UPDATE 1). It’s a little awkwardly weighted on the XE-2 and I found myself shooting only within the 10mm – 14mm range 80% of the time. So I’m purchasing the Zeiss 12mm f/2.8 Touit * — a nice middle ground that will take up less space in my bag. The Fujifilm 10-24mm f/4 is a high-quality lens that could definitely pass for certain professional uses but perhaps not for huge fine-art prints (though that’s up for debate). While compiling the photos for this review I almost convinced myself to keep the lens! If you don’t mind the extra weight and size or f/4 aperture, this is is fantastic purchase……..
Welcome to the second part of my fuji X-T1 camera review. This post will focus primarily on how the X-T1 performs while shooting weddings. Part I of the review (which focuses on landscape photography) is here. I broke the review up into two sections because the two genres are quite different and I figured it’d be nice to have two shorter reviews that are more specific to what people might want to read. First off, let me explain that I’m NOT a full time wedding photographer. I never have been and don’t plan to be anytime soon. I’ve been a second shooter for some friends of mine for the last three summers which is a role I really enjoy. I’ve also had the pleasure of shooting a few weddings for close friends and I always bring my kit along to weddings I’m invited to (that’s where the above image came from). Because I’m a second shooter I’ve been asked not to share any images from my most recent wedding until the primary photographers wrap up their blog post… So this image won’t have a ton of images in it for a few more weeks. For that I apologize but I figured I’d get my thoughts written down now while they’re fresh.
I first started using Fuji X-100, thanks to a happy accident: I fell down a flight of stairs in Varanasi, India, and destroyed my Canon 5D. As a secondary emergency camera, I had bought my X-100 before my trip, and so began my relationship with Fuji. Later on, when the Fuji XPRO-1 appeared on the scene, I sold my Canon equipment, and since then I’ve been using exclusively Fuji equipment. Though, I must clarify now, I have no special deal with Fuji; this is all my sincere and own opinion. I’ve taken tons of photographs in low light conditions with my Fuji, and with one of these night shots on one of my photo tours I won the National Geographic World Photo prize in 2012 (though it was disqualified at the end of things, for reasons unrelated to the camera). As well, in the low light category I was a finalist in the 2013 Sony World Photo Awards. Again, my trusty Fuji was my camera of choice. I should say here that 95% of the time I like to use a manual set focus button, and then shoot. I feel it faster this way…….
Despite people having their reservations about the XF18-135 when it was announced, I was still looking forward to the lens being that it along with the X-T1 are the first of Fujifilm’s “Weather Resistant” line of products (with more to come later this year). The XF18-135 isn’t a fast lens given its variable aperture spec which is why I think most people would hesitate getting this lens. But I think what many don’t realize is the reasoning for this. A lot of it comes down to getting the most versatile zoom range while still retaining compact dimensions. Remember that while this is a mirrorless lens, that does not equate to a major design difference size-wise compared to dslr lenses. The mirror on the X-Series cameras may be gone which affords them a much more compact body but the lens for the most part has the same design as any APS-C camera out there. So, many would argue that it would have been better to get a constant F4 or F2.8 on this lens; the fact of the matter is, that would have made the XF18-135 into an unwieldy lens for travel which is what I think this lens is targeted for………