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Mate, Vino, Bife, Dale – The Porteños of Buenos Aires | Adrian Seah

A hint as to the origins of the inhabitants of Buenos Aires lies in the collective name they have chosen to call themselves, Porteños, orPeople of the Port. The population is largely comprised of immigrants from Europe, primarily Italy and Spain who arrived by boat in the late 19th century and early 20th century when the Argentine government went so far as to subsidise boat journeys in order to populate the growing city in The New World. The difficult economic climate at the time in Europe fed the exodus. The dominant culture today remains distinctly European.

¡Dale! punctuates sentences between the rapid-fire exchange between 2 Porteños lamenting the price of bread or the inconsiderate neighbours with their noisy asado party the night before. Much like ‘OK’ in English, it is unique to Argentines, part of a rather large repertoire of lunfardo that characterises the Argentine version of Spanish, Castellano.
Nearly 2 months living in the city gave me a small peek into the lives of Porteños, living today in a climate of high inflation and questionable governance meant that Porteños are by necessity, resilient and adaptable. I personally found them more introverted than their Brazilian neighbours up north, but possess the same kindness and hospitality below the sometimes indifferent outer façade. I’ve been stopped by old ladies on the street for a chat and struck up conversations with random people genuinely curious about what a couple of foreign looking visitors with a smattering of Spanish might be doing in their city, what we think of Argentines in general, and everyone seemed to have an opinion on la presidente Christina Kirchner, mostly unpublishable. Almost without exception, everyone loves a good maté (a ubiquitous tea like drink that is an institution unto itself), a good Argentine steak and a glass of Malbec from Mendoza.
Dinner for Porteños is a fantastically late affair, we were often the first ones at our local Parilla at 8.45pm, when the chef was still having his mate before the dinner crowd and the waiters were still milling around and setting up tables. 9.30-10pm on a weekday would be typical Argentine and 11-11.30pm on weekends de rigueur. Our untrained bellies could not keep up and we often capitulated by 8pm or so, racked with pangs of hunger, although towards the end of our time in Buenos Aires, we had sufficiently adapted to the Porteño way of doing things and managed a semi-respectable 9pm, which no longer elicited a ‘Muy temprano!’ (Very early!) from the waiters when we sat down.
Strangely, I found them, in that sense, quite similar to the Chinese, who might not be the most friendly people outwardly but if you manage to peel back a couple of the outer layers, you might just be surprised by how hospitable they really are.
Mate, Vino, Bife, Dale.
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Experiences Using The Fujinon XF60mm | George Greenlee

The XF 60MM lens has a bad rap. Reviews around the web will tell you that its sharper than a scorned woman’s tongue, but slower to focus in low light than a politician is in making a decision. I have had the 60mm lens since it was released, but I have not used it that much as I tend to use the 35 and 18mm most of the time. I went to San Fran for christmas and it seemed like a good opportunity to get to know the lens better. I wanted to see if the lens deserved the rap and were there ways to overcome any short comings? So this is not a lens review, just some experiences in using the lens. First let me say I cut my autofocus teeth on sport photography with a Nikon F5 and then the D2Hs, D3 etc. It was a bit of a learning curve at the start but now its second nature. My default approach is to use the AF-ON button to separate the AF  from the shutter release button. I tend use AF-C with 9 point dynamic setup. This set up gives you so much control its a godsend, I can pretty much focus and track anything and I seldom have focus failures. Now the X-Pro1 is a different beast and requires a different way of working. For the XF 35MM and 18mm for candid work I use AREA + AF-S with a single focus point. Not only does this mean I can move the focus point around to suit, it reduces focus errors. The most common Auto Focus error, and I suspect why one sees so many people on the internet claim back focus issues, is the failure to fill the focus point(s) with the subject. The AF system will then focus on the point of highest contrast, which may not be on the subject. Using a larger number of focus points with a wide angle lens means a lot of the FOV is fair game for the AF system and  the camera decides where to focus, using a single focus point means I stay in control. I only get failures on these two lenses if I can not cover the subject with that AF sensor. Note for landscape I would tend to use hyperfocal focusing biased to give better focus at infinity. This set up works well for the XF 60mm lens in high contrast situations, but in lower contrast situations it causes it to hunt a lot and fail often. There is just not enough data for the AF system to make a decision..a bit like a politician and just as annoying. Fortunately the solution is quite simple, just use more focus points and make sure to fill the frame. You do this by hitting the AF button and rotating the selector dial left to increase the number of focus points. For night time candid photography I have found that rotating it two clicks left from the single focus point setting works really well. During my night shoot in Avignon I only had two focus failures where the camera could not capture focus at all. Both of these were caused by the fact that there was no real contrast in the subject…well it is a contrast based AF system after all. Clearly you still have to make sure the subject covers the focus points or you may be disappointed, but it deals nicely with lower contrast situations. Locking focus is one thing, the speed with which it locks is another. The Fujinon XF 60MM focuses quickly in when there is lots of contrast even in low light like the night shots below, not DSLR speed but fine for candid work and I would have no hesitation in recommending it for that purpose.  For sports….well there is always the Nikon. Overall I am really enjoyed using this lens. It does not deserve a bad rep, you just need to find your own rhythm with it…..
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Lady in Ray | Rinzi Ruiz

Lady in Ray – Black and White Image by Rinzi Ruiz

Rinzi Ruiz is a Los Angeles based street photographer. He is playing with Lights and Shadow and creats perfect black and white images. One of my favourite!

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Fujifilm’s X-PRO 1 – In the Studio | Joel Addams

I have enjoyed the Fujifilm X-PRO 1 more than I anticipated. After having it hang out in my bag for a few months, thinking that it was my “fun” camera that I would pull out when I wanted to go to dinner and just have something small, I slowly started incorporating it into daily use, both on the street and then in the studio. I was pretty blown away by the very aperture (f/1.4) on the 35 mm lens, and I knew that this lens was highly regarded among the reviews on all the major techie sites. But for the price, (now $1399 for the body and still $599 for one of these lenses), I believe the X-PRO 1 (or X E1) with a 35 mm or 60 mm lens to be one of the best deals for a very wide aperture on a professional APS-C sensor. The results have been phenomenal for me, and now I think of the X-PRO 1 as less of a “fun” camera and more of a serious camera. In fact, I look for opportunities to use it. (But wait, aren’t you supposed to look more professional with bulkier, heavier cameras in your bag? Don’t you want to be the guy to show up at the most famous location with the longest lens?) Whatever floats your boat. If you hand me a metal, well built camera with a killer lens and sensor, I will suddenly start planning my next backpacking trip or walk across Europe around it. Thank you, Fujifilm. And by the way, if you put a full frame sensor in one in the future, I will buy that one, too….

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Review of the Fujifilm X-E1 | Martin Doppelbauer

Since many years I am using digital full frame Canon cameras. Starting with the EOS 5D I have now switched to the Mark III. I am not always able or willing to carry the heavy equipment and for such cases I have a second, lighter system. That used to be a Panasonic Lumix G1, which I replaced by a Fuji X-E1 and the 18-55 mm 1:2.8-4 zoom lens at the end of 2012. After several weeks with the Fuji I am still excited by the X-E1. Further down you will find a number of photographs that demonstrate the potential of this camera. But there are not only positive things to report: The X-E1 does have its quirks and I they will also be reported here…..

Compared to the Canon EOS 5D Mark III

The images of the X-E1 are of such a high quality that a comparison with the full-frame EOS 5D Mark III seemed reasonable. Both cameras were tested together with their “kit zoom lenses”, the 18-55mm f/2.8-4 on the X-E1 and the 24-105 L f/4 on the Canon.

I have shot hundreds of images in various tests with all ISO and aperture settings. Landscape shots were represented as well as close-ups and photos of test images to determine resolution and moire. Some of the images are available for download in full resolution high quality JPG. You can find the download links at the end of my report.

For fair comparison the settings of both camera systems should be largely identical. This affects focal length, depth of field and exposure (ISO and shutter speed). Due to the different sensor sizes and Fuji’s exaggerated ISO numbers the matter is not so easy.

Focal length and depth of field (aperture) is converted to the crop factor, i.e. with 1.5. For example, a focal length of 23.3 mm on the X-E1 corresponds to the popular 35 mm on a full frame sensor. An aperture of f/5.6 on the Fuji gives a similar depth of field as f/8 at the Canon. I have always reduced the ISO values by 2/3rd steps on the EOS 5D Mark III.

All images were shot in RAW format and developed with Capture One 7.0.2. In some of the X-E1′s pictures the white balance was adjusted according to the EOS 5D, which I generally found slightly more accurate. All other parameters of the RAW software were left at their default values, which is particularly important when comparing noise performance.

The first series is a landscape shot with 35 mm focal length (full format). I used f/11 on both cameras in order to achieve optimal image quality. ISO levels were varied. All shots were taken with self-timer from a tripod. The image stabilizer was turned off. Below is a series of 100% crops from ISO 200 to ISO 6400…..

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The Fujifilm X-E1 is The One | Rey Spadoni

I wanted to like the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 (see my review here).  I really did. The fit and finish.  The metallic heft.  The reminiscent styling.  And the new x-trans sensor mojo with image quality rivaling bigger sensor systems.  They were on to something here with this no anti-aliasing filter wizardry and whether concocted by the pinstripe suit marketing executives or fashioned in the basement by doctorate scientists, no matter.  My eyes didn’t lie. Me like.

But alas…

Autofocus performance and overall sluggish performance made me think better of it.  And then there were the niggles, like no built-in diopter adjustment capability for these aging eyes.  No easy-on flash for quick fill for shady conditions. So, like Bogart and Bergman, we parted on the misty tarmac.  Ah, what could have been… what could have been…

OK, I’ll stop messing around.  The newest X-mount body from Fujiflm is a dream come true.  It solves just about every problem I encountered on the X-Pro 1 and then, for kicks, goes even further up the tickle-my-fancy meter.  This is the camera I had been waiting for.  This is The One.

Read on for some impressions.
The X-E1, available in a very X-Proesque black or more X100-like silver topped finish, is a smaller and lighter body.  I did find the X-Pro to be a bit heavy and oddly tall for my liking.  Most likely because there’s no need to house the mechanics of a full hybrid viewfinder, the X-E1 is squatter and without lens, especially, its lightness gives you the distinct impression that baby brother has been manufactured with a bit more plastic than the Pro version.
Did the loss of the nice hybrid viewfinder bother me?  Actually, it didn’t.  Don’t get me wrong, I love shooting with the X100 and you can’t beat having the ability to look through clear glass at the world in front of you.  But the higher resolution electronic version in the X-E1 is wonderful. Much as been written about lag and it’s clearly not as snappy as the viewfinder in the Olympus OM-D (another camera I love – see here), but it’s more than adequate for my type of shooting.  If you’re someone who moves the camera all about in quick fashion, trying to see and capture what lies in front of you, especially in lower light conditions, then I think there are many more reasons why the X-mount system isn’t the one for you. How about the autofocus?  Much, much improved.  That’s a function of some software updates along with a built in motor within the exceptional, and I mean exceptional, kit lens.  It’s faster and sharper than any other kit lens I’ve used and so it’s almost a shame that Fujifilm had to package this lens with the X-E1 as many reflexively look down their noses at it, thinking, ha… it’s only a kit lens.  Well, look again.  Fast, sharp, and the ability to adjust aperture on the barrel is wonderful.  Manual focus, again because of firmware changes, is actually useful.  The upcoming X cameras have focus peaking and the X100s has a digital split-prism effect.  It would be wonderful if Fujifilm could backward add those features to the X-E1 now that the code is written.  That would make an outstanding camera even better…..

2 Guys Photo is a website dedicated to emerging photographers everywhere.  The 2 Guys are Ed and Rey, brothers living in New England (United States) who fell in love with photography as young boys and who have continued to be in love with it since.

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CaptureOne 7.0.2 and the FujiFilm X-E1 short words.. | Daniel Blasko

So I wanted to try what the forum writers call imposible, shoot action with the X-E1. To make it even harder I only have a non-TTL flash and really crappy indoor (cave) lighting conditions. I called up a friend and a really good skater, Daniel Blasko and he was up for the task.

We headed over to Area 51 in Gothenburg and did a quick two hour session. Basically the rundown is simple, I´ve been shooting skate, snowboard and in short.. everything that goes fast for over a decade now so the motivation and knowhow is not totally f-cked from my side when it comes to actually produces somewhat good pictures in this scenario.

My quick thought are.. flash.. problems and issues and my knowhow of this specific camera.. well there is a lot to wish in the knowledge area for this camera and Im not quite there to say the least. Cant get the flash to sync at all.. tried to do the best but It seems to lock on other settings that I cant find out within the menu system (during the started shoot). The camera is sloooow on autofocus even with the AE-L/AE-F button and I winded up trying to shoot totally manual.

The flash was stuck on 2nd curtain when I finally got it to sync, and sync only worked full to 1/125 after that.. well there were sporadic symptoms ;)

So what came out?

Did a mix of lenses and even tried out the new adapter for a couple of the Canon lenses.

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Antarctica with the X-E1 and E-M5 | Cyril Dhénin

Oyez, oyez, lecteurs, cette note est avant tout destinée aux geeks de la photo et notamment à mes connaissances de et du Forum Olympus France, deux sites que j’ai pas mal parcourus avant ce voyage. Si vous vous fichez comme de l’an 40 du matos photo, sautez ces lignes et jetez un coup d’oeil éventuellement aux photos de cette note (non publiées dans les notes précédentes). Comme promis donc, voici un retour d’expérience sur l’usage conjoint d’un Fuji E-X1 et d’un Olympus E-M5. L’idée ici n’est pas de dresser un comparatif « E-X1 versus E-M5 » car j’utilise ces appareils dans des situations bien distinctes, mais plutôt de souligner leurs atouts et contraintes dans ces contextes. Grosso modo, le Fuji est principalement utilisé avec le zoom 18-55 pour des photos de paysage tandis qu’un 75-300 (éq 150-600 donc) est vissé en permanence sur l’Olympus pour de l’animalier. Autre précision concernant les conditions de prise de vue : l’Antarctique, cela veut dire de la lumière. Beaucoup de lumière. Et, avec la glace, la mesure d’exposition par défaut des deux boîtiers est sans surprise à côté de la plaque. Pour retrouver la blancheur de la neige, le bleu éclatant de la glace, il faut donc surexposer, de 1 voire de 2 diaphs. Dans ce contexte, on apprécie de pouvoir afficher l’histogramme lors de la prise de vue (ce que les 2 appareils permettent) pour tirer à droite l’expo en évitant de brûler les hautes lumières. Un p’tit plus sur ce sujet avec l’Olympus et sa fonction de peaking des hautes lumières (les zones brûlées brillent lors de la prise de vue). A noter que cette fonction semble au menu du X100s. Donc, pas de souci avec l’Oly comme avec le Fuji pour corriger l’expo…..

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Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens Review | Patrick Leong

When Fuji announced that they were coming out with the X-Pro1, it got many photographers out there excited because finally, there was a digital camera that reminded them of how cameras use to be built. The Leica M digitals evoke the same feelings but they also cost a lot more. The X-Pro1 was a camera that really allowed photographers to take an active role in the photographic process instead of letting the camera do everything for them but for several times less than something like an M9. Furthermore, the X-Pro1 had many of the same attributes of a traditional rangefinder even though it was in the mirrorless class. Many thought that just like a traditional rangefinder, only fixed focal length lenses could be used. Then Fuji surprised us by announcing that they would be creating zoom lenses for the XF Series lineup. The first of these zoom lenses is the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens, which is the lens that I have here today for review, and the lens that came with my X-E1 kit.

Honestly, even I was a bit surprised when I heard the news that Fuji was coming out with zooms for the X-Pro1/X-E1. First off, most people who are going to buy a camera like the X-Pro1 or the X-E1 are more interested in fast primes. I know I was because I grew up with fixed focal lengths. Optically, they’re just better, faster, and most importantly for a rangefinder type camera, smaller. But as my interest grew for the Fuji X-E1, I began looking at the price of the new zoom. If I bought the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens separately, I would have to cough up almost $700 for it. However, if I bought it packaged as a kit with the X-E1, I would only be paying about $400 for it.
The Fuji X-E1 with XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R lens.
I’m pretty traditional in terms of what I like in photographic equipment, and everyone who knows me knows that I can be pretty stuck in my ways. Look at my blog.  You’ll see Leica, and Fuji X series cameras, which are all cameras that rely heavily on user input. I’m not trying to rat on anyone else’s preferences; that’s just my style. I like these kinds of cameras because they’re basic, and the controls are manual allowing me to fully concentrate on the photo. I really don’t like electronics getting in my way, and in terms of lenses, I really believe that all you need is a fast prime to take care of 90% of your shots. For me, the ultimate setup to this day is a Leica M9 with a 50 Summilux ASPH. So what made me try out this zoom?  Well, for me, the fact that the X-E1 had only an electronic viewfinder bothered me a bit because I like having an OVF. But the features of the X-E1 got me to take the leap, and buy it so I figured that since I’m giving the EVF a chance, I might as well go for the zoom, and see what I’ve been missing. Plus, again, the zoom cost me only an extra $400 if I bought the Fuji X-E1 kit, which to me was a great incentive to give the zoom a chance.

Did I regret my decision? No, not at all. This is one awesome lens, and in my opinion, Fuji shouldn’t label it as a kit lens because that’s very deceiving. I love using this lens. Is it perfect?  No but it definitely expands the range, and usefulness of the X-Series system, and gives the X-Series system one more reason to love it.
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Sony RX1 and the X-E1 | Andre Goosen

Hello world! I’m very excited to share this with all of you. There has been huge amounts of interest in my Sony RX1 post so i thought i would share 2 frames shot tonight for a lovely client who was nice enough to let me use 2 of the photos to show you what i mean by “Pro” quality from a small camera. The photo you see above was shot with the brand new Sony RX1 and i still can’t believe how spectacularly good it is… and it’s a total pleasure to use.

Here is a 100% enlargement from the Sony for the Pixel Peepers… (i don’t really care too much about this but i know people will ask)

The second image was shot with the Fuji X-E1 and is equally spectacular… these are two very different systems.. both have pros and cons… but man… i love them both!!!

Here is a shot to show the diffence in size between the two cameras. The Fuji on the Left and the Sony on the right… keep in mind that the Sony is a FULL-FRAME camera and the Fuji is not.
I am totally blown away by the quality and the sixe of these two cameras and you can expect a full writeup in the next few weeks once i’ve had enough time to fall in-love again….

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