Using vintage glass is something that I really enjoy. Given the contents of this blog, it might not come as a huge surprise to some of you. I started shooting vintage glass on the X-Pro1 a couple of years ago when I got a cheap Fujinon 50mm f/1.4. Since then I’ve ventured through a lot of vintage primes. Mostly in my favorite focal length of about 50’ish mm. Since these vintage lenses only uses manual focus, you need som help achieving critical focus when coupled to a digital camera. When Fujifilm added the Version 3.0 of their X-Pro1 firmware last summer, it finally came with Focus-peaking. Something that made the whole vintage-lens-thing much more enjoyable to use. The X-Pro1 still only does white highlight edges, which can be less that stellar in bright light conditions…..
Yes, that’s the Fujifilm X30. Not a bad upgrade, and not something to make you jump around your room in excitement either. To me, it’s the X20 with an EVF. Nothing more. The few improvements, like the rotating (and clearer) LCD and the new control ring, will make a difference, and make it a nicer camera to use than the X20, but it’s still the same thing at heart. Not that this is a bad thing. The X20 is a very good camera to begin with. And having the same camera with a very high-quality EVF is a nice prospect indeed. But the market having cameras like the RX100 III, with the same kind of EVF, and a much larger sensor, and (in my opinion) a better AF system, in a significantly smaller body, Fujifilm needed to upgrade the core of the X20 to give us something new. A newer sensor – a larger one, at that – or a smaller body, or even a faster lens. Something of that sort. And not simply the same camera with an extra feature or two. For the first time since the X10 came out, I’m a bit disappointed with a new Fujifilm X-series model. Oh well……..
I am a preset guy. With two kids and two jobs, I am a big fan of anything that can speed up my workflow. I own the VSCO suite, Replichrome 1 & 2, AlienSkin’s Exposure and Red Leaf’s film emulsions. Being a heavy preset user, I welcomed the opportunity to test drive Rebecca Lily’s New Pro Set. I am a big fan of her work and absolutely love her “look”…in particular her colors. It’s easy to spot her signature colors in her new Pro Set. I randomly chose a wedding from my archives and had a lot of fun playing with different color schemes. I quickly realized this might take a while because so many of her presets worked so well. So instead of identifying one preset for the batch which I normally would do, I used quite a few of them to show their versatility …..
I just got my hands on a Fuji X-E2 kit with the Fuji XF 18-55 F2.8-4 OIS lens. As a longtime DSLR user, I’ve been skeptical about the mirrorless systems’ capabilities. I’ve tried a fair number of top compact cameras, but the results were always lacking. Last month, I got to play with a Fuji X-E1 for some time, and the results were really surprising in the best possible way. General use, image quality, and high ISO performance were on par with any APS-C DSLR I’ve tried. The X-E2 is even better. It has a better EVF, it’s faster, and it can focus better in low light conditions with its phase detection focusing system. It also boasts a second generation sensor and some nice improvements like dedicated AE-L / AF-L buttons…..
My first proper camera was a Nikon FM. Just a silver Nikon with a 1.8 50mm lens. That’s what I could afford and all I could manage for my formative years as a student photographer. It’s a beautiful camera and really put me at the heart of photography with it’s simplicity and magical mechanical reliability. And the lens was a joy. I loved that camera and it became a crutch for me along with the ever honest and reliable Tri-X black and white film. In fact it was years before I would fall in love with another camera enough to make a move to a more automated world of the Canon EOS system – my weapon of choice was now an EOS 3. I felt like I was charting on my FM, but marching on with the times…….
Fuji has done a great job in building a robust lineup for their X-Series mirrorless cameras, but despite releasing the weathersealed X-T1 earlier this year, they hadn’t created a weathersealed lens until now. The XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R OIS WR is a wide range super-zoom lens that features Fuji’s new Weather Resistant tag, with rubber gaskets around all points of entry and even a novel ventilation system to allow air to enter and leave the lens without sucking in moisture and dust. The lens covers a great range of focal lengths, equivalent to the field of view that a 27-205mm lens would have on a full frame camera. The one big up front question with this lens is whether it’s worth the rather high $899 price of entry. Let’s take a look…..
I recently treated myself to a new camera. I’m not a camera geek. There are a lot of people who spend a lot of time poring over specs, comparing sample images and reading gossip blogs—the current incarnation of the same people who spent enormous amounts of time reading reviews in Amateur Photographer or the British Journal of Photography. Tools become cults and fetishes too quickly: programmers spend an enormous amount of time arguing the intricacies of Python vs Java vs C or Vim vs Emacs (vs Sublime vs nano vs Eclipse vs TextMate). I’ve spent far too much time listening to writers who spend more time deliberating between Microsoft Word, Ulysees, Scrivener and Writer Pro (for some people, writing about writing tools seems to be the only thing they seem to do with their writing tools). And photographers have a similar problem of extreme tool fetishism…….
I have recently been approached by FujiFilm South Africa through AtPhoto to take the Fujifilm X-T1 for a ‘spin’. I have since taken this amazing ‘little’ camera on a couple of shoots. I use the word little, because it is compact, and easy to work with – no bulky equipment and a lens that allows so much freedom. I’ve been a professional photographer for 23 years, and for me this is my day-to-day, my income, my livelihood… I hear the word ‘passion’ amongst a lot of my peers – using the word to describe themselves as photographers – and yes, it is a passion, but doing 70-80 weddings a year you get into a flow, you give your absolute best, do what is expected of you, and give your clients what they pay for (and more) while making sure your business is a success. But the Fujifilm X-T1 had a wonderful effect on me…it inspires me, and I am excited everytime I get a chance to use it, to play around with it…I almost want to compare it to a performance enhancement drug – it makes me want to be even more creative!…….
So after using Leica digital M system since it became available with first M8 model and raving about it any chance I had (see my previous post here on that subject), I woke up one day and had a “brain fart”: why am I paying every few years for a rangefinder digital body so much money only to sell it 3 years after for a fraction of purchase cost (pure reality of shooting digital with any system. Basically using a computer with a lens mount. Not much, not less…)? Problem IS that Leica digital rangefinder looses value percentage wise far more than some other digital cameras, as they are overpriced to begin with (I have no idea what is going on but just check out the used prices on the net on year old M240s…) Lenses are a different story: Leica glass IS an investment. You can not go wrong with good (and desirable) Leica M lens. Over the years I acquired all lenses that I needed to complete the system. But, amount of money invested became crazy high… After all I am professional photographer, not wealthy collector. I got tired of dropping a big bag of cash every 3 years for a new Leica M body… Something had to change! ……
Rangefinder, the optical viewfinder doesn’t show the image through the lens, instead a small central window is used to focus the camera. Due to the Leica M Typ 240 featuring live view, for the first time in the Leica M history, you can compose and shoot images using the actual image through the lens, much like using a Digital SLR in live view, on the rear 3inch 920k pixel screen. In addition with the optional Visioflex Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) you can use the camera as you would a DSLR or mirrorless camera with an electronic viewfinder. The Leica M Typ 240, like other digital rangefinders from Leica, does not offer auto-focus, or even auto-aperture, with manual focus and aperture required. Auto shutter speed and ISO is possible. With live view there are two new modes available to aid focus, “Live View Zoom” gives you a 10x magnified live view display, and there is also “Live View Focus Peaking” which automatically highlights edges when in focus……