Monday, July 28, 2014

New Video: Fujifilm X-T1 vs X-E2. Also water pour test on X-T1 and XF 18-135 WR!

Hello everyone, 

I've been so busy working on my different projects that I haven't had much time to focus on my YouTube videos and my articles. I'll be back in full force in the next week or so. I currently have on review the following: Fujifilm X-T1, X-E2, XF 18-55mm, XF 35mm, XF 18-135 WR, SHARE SP-1 wireless INSTAX printer. I also have some Leica cameras on the way: Leica M Monochrom and M240 and some lenses. I will be a guest speaker at the upcoming Leica Akademie being held in Vancouver so I have to make sure I know what I'm talking about before the workshop! 

So here's my latest YouTube video. I'm comparing the X-T1 and the X-E2 and help people decide which one to get, and I also do a water resistant test with the X-T1 and the XF 18-135 WR. Enjoy and happy shooting.



Monday, July 7, 2014

Street Photography, iPhones and Instagram

All images taken with iPhone 5S and edited with Instagram, VSCOCam, PS Express, and/or Camera +


I love reviewing cameras and I enjoy street photography. I only review cameras that interest me and want to use while shooting on the street. I care less about absolute image quality, but focus on what camera is best for shooting quickly and discretely, important qualities while taking street images. Funny thing, I've been spending much of my time shooting with my iPhone and using Instagram as the primary platform for my street photography work. When I upgraded my iPhone 4 with the latest iPhone 5S back in December, I saw a leap in image quality and felt it was powerful enough for me to shoot with it as a serious imaging tool. What makes smartphone cameras ideal for street photography? Here's a few things I've learned while using my iPhone and sharing my images via Instragram during my street photography project...

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Gear Review: Leica Brightline Finder M-24


When I received the Leica T to review for the second time, there was an odd accessory in my review package, the Leica Brightline Viewfinder M-24. The angle of view (24mm) didn't really work with the lens that was provided (standard 18-56mm zoom lens), and they included the EVF in the package anyway...so why did they include it? Who cares! This is a great accessory and I wasn't going to complain. I had an awesome time playing with it and it made my shooting more enjoyable. The question is: how good can this very expensive viewfinder be? Let's just say that it destroys the competition...

Street Photography 101: Zone Focusing

Tokyo-X-Vario project: Leica X-Vario @ 18mm, 1/1000th sec f/7.1 @ ISO 1600. Zone focused to 3.5 M


There's been much talk about scale or zone focusing and I've had a lot of people asking me what the difference is between the two and the advantages of shooting this way. I've mentioned it many times in my camera review articles, so I thought I would post a quick video to explain the basics. Scale focus just means that you focus by using a scale, instead of using a focusing aid, such as rangefinder focus or split image focusing. Many older cameras used scale focusing as the only focus aid, and with a depth of field scale, most could estimate the distance pretty good.

Zone focus is more purposeful in that you choose a comfortable focus distance based on the focal length of your lens and the subject you're shooting, choose a suitable aperture that will give you enough depth of field within the 'zone' you are focusing on, and then leave your settings there. Once you get use to zone focusing, especially for street photography, it becomes a faster way to shoot versus relying on autofocus. Watch my YouTube video for more details. 



Hopefully this video wasn't too complicated. If so, or if you still have questions, don't hesitate to comment below and I'll do my best to explain further. Zone focusing is good training for your eyes, to be able to estimate distances instead of relying on a focusing aid to tell you. I hope you enjoyed the video. Don't forget to subscribe to my Youtube channel, and please check out my Instagram account and my Twitter as well for updates and extra pictures.

Happy shooting!

Munetake 

BHT

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Review: Fujifilm TCL-X100 Converter Lens

Fujifilm X-100S with TCL-X100. 1/400th sec f/5.6 @ ISO 1250. Chinatown, Vancouver


When Fujifilm announced the WCL-X100 wide angle converter for the X-100 series cameras, I was a bit confused. The difference between the standard 35mm equiv (23mm) angle of view and the 28mm equiv you got with the converter was negligible. If it went to 21mm or even 24mm equiv, I would have been more interested. But I understand why they didn't go wider, since the optical viewfinder on the X-100(s) couldn't accommodate such a wide lens (although they could have been creative and added some sort of OVF adaptor as well...) When Fujifilm recently announced the TCL-X100 this spring, my ears perked up. A 50mm equiv focal length with a rangefinder-style camera... now that's more like it! When Fujifilm Canada asked if I wanted to test it out for a few weeks, I immediately said yes! Let's check out this monster converter and see how it performs on the X-100S...

Monday, June 23, 2014

Video Review: Fujifilm TCL-X100 Teleconverter for the X-100 Series


Here is my quick video review of the TCL-X100 teleconverter for the Fujifilm X-100 and X-100S. My full written review will be up soon with sample images. For now, let`s just say that if you own an X-100 or X-100S and you`ve been wanting a little bit more pull-power, this is the perfect solution. It`s an easy, screw-on adaptor, and no optical compromises (except for funny lens flare). It`s a lot of glass, and it`s heavy, but it balances well on the X-100S. At $349 USD, it`s not cheap, but if the X-100 is your primary camera, this lens is a must have. Check out my preview here, and watch my video below. Happy shooting.



New Video: Ricoh GR Limited Edition




The Ricoh GR is my favourite compact camera of all time, both film and digital. The film GR-1 camera kept up with my full size SLR`s and lenses when it came to my wedding shoots back in the day; and the digital GR-D IV was compact yet powerful so it came with me where ever I went. The latest GR has an upgraded APS-C size sensor, equalling most DSLRs when it comes to sensor size. Check out my quick overview of the GR series, as well as some quick reasons why I love my latest GR, the GR Limited Edition. 


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Shooting YouTube Vids with Lunakiwi: Ricoh GR Family Preview

Taken with Ricoh GR. 1/320th sec f/2.8 @ ISO 250 with built in flash. My wife Lunakiwi with Fuji X-100S.

I've started recording YouTube videos around town where I shoot most of my street photo images, in Gastown, DTES, Strathcona. I've done some camera reviews already, and I'll try my best to post once a week. I'll also start doing more produced how-to series on street photography about once a month with a proper video crew. Think DigitalRev meets Mijonju meets The Camera Store. For now, my wife (aka @Lunakiwi) will be my camera-girl, and other times I'll just hold the video camera myself while I shoot (I know, video selfies look weird). So here's my latest video, a preview to my upcoming Ricoh GR review. Enjoy and happy shooting


Monday, June 16, 2014

Video Review: Polaroid Automatic 250 Land Camera and Polapan 664 Film

Taken with iPhone 5S. Railtown District, Vancouver.

Old cameras. Old Polaroid cameras. Rangefinder cameras. If you love all 3 of these things, you need to buy a Polaroid Land Camera. Not the goofy ones that came later with integral film, but the older ones that take the peel-apart 3.25 x 4.25 films (667, 669, 664, etc.). My dream is to own the more specialized models that have manual exposure control (model 180, 185, 190, 195); but the 250 is still a great camera and fun to use.

I won't go into too much detail since I have my YouTube video to explain many of the features of this camera. Basically its a great introduction to Polaroid's peel-apart film cameras without spending too much money. The 250 model typically sells for around $150-200, although it's getting harder and harder to find it with the original case, flash, and portrait lens. The more expensive models are easily in the $500 range, some go for even more (check out Mijonju's video on his 185 Classic Edwin Land). The model 250 is reasonably priced and performs well, and every camera collection should have one of these, not on the shelf, but in the camera bag!

iPhone 5S picture. Quick photoshoot with my wife. Railtown District, Vancouver

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Yes The Leica T Also Takes Great Pictures!

Leica T with Vario-Elmar T 18-56mm @ 23mm. 1/400th f/8 @ ISO 400. Main Street, Chinatown, Vancouver.


Is it wrong to care about how a camera looks? If that's all you care about, then yes. But we are creatures of aesthetics and symmetry. That's why we are attracted to beautiful things in both nature and things made by hands. How a camera looks and feels can affect how we feel, which in turn affects how we shoot. Shooting with a rangefinder feels very different to me versus shooting with an SLR. Shooting film or instant really feels different versus shooting digital. My mood affects my shooting pattern.

Leica successfully plays on this concept of beauty and style (along with function) with the new Leica T. They spent a lot of time and energy marketing this camera as such, including a 45 minute video of an employee hand polishing a T body. It's Audi design. Does all this effort in making this camera sexy successful? Yes it is. Wherever I walk around with this camera, people want to look at it, touch it, play with it. Even at Eric Kim's recent street-photo workshop in Vancouver, everyone wanted to hold and play with the T over any of my other review cameras. Moreover, if you want attention, buy the Leica T, it's worth every penny. However, do you also want to take great pictures?