|Fujifilm X-100S with TCL-X100. 1/400th sec f/5.6 @ ISO 1250. Chinatown, Vancouver|
Thursday, June 26, 2014
Monday, June 23, 2014
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.
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
|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
|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
|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?
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
A couple of months ago I was introduced to David and Henry who run a video production company called Second Spark Productions. After showing them my blog and Instagram account, they were eager to help me start shooting YouTube videos. They asked me to start writing script ideas and scout for locations and we would meet in 2 weeks to begin shooting our videos. You can guess what happens next. When I was free, they were busy and when they were free, I was busy. 2 weeks became 3, then 4, then it's 2 months later. That's life. Sometimes collaborations are tough to organize and coordinate.
However, David gave me really good advise. He said not to worry about video quality at first. Some of the most viewed and liked YouTube videos are horrible in shooting quality, but heavy on content. He told me to develop my video persona and work hard to have my real personality show through on screen. I immediately started test shooting. I began taking goofy vids in my home-office, and then I finally wandered out and started shooting outside in the evenings. The video I chose to post first was just me walking back to my car after test shooting videos all evening. I was tired and wanted to go home and sleep. However, after reviewing everything I shot, this was the one I liked, minus the out-of-focus parts (the GR has no face-detection so its hard to maintain focus on me). My wife doesn't like it when I spin, but I think it's pretty cool (I know, I just learned about the 180 rule).
There isn't a lot of content, just me talking out loud about what I want to do with my future videos. It's funny how I bumped into Eric Kim over the week-end and he posted his interview of me before I was able to post my own introduction video first! So here it is, Bigheadtaco's first real video introduction. I'll try my best to post a video every 2 weeks. If you have any tips, tricks, or advise for me, please let me know. If anyone wants to help me shoot my videos sometimes, contact me.
Thanks for viewing and happy shooting!
Monday, June 9, 2014
|Eric Kim posing for Tarry of Revolver Coffee. Stranger in the line of fire. Taken with Ricoh GR.|
Sunday, June 8, 2014
|Ricoh GR. 1/800th sec f/3.2 @ ISO 1600. Shot in Gastown.|
Both Eric and myself will co-release this interview video on Youtube soon. Stay tuned for details...
Monday, June 2, 2014
|Fujifilm X-100S with TCL-X100 teleconverter attached @ 50mm equiv. 1/350th sec f/2.8 @ ISO400. Local artist and instructor Josh Hite in Gastown, Vancouver.|
I enjoy shooting with an optical viewfinder. For those who don't get it even after trying it, they will never get it I suppose. It's like trying to convince someone to ride a fixed-gear single speed bike, or drive a manual transmission on a car. Yes it's more work and more limiting, but through the limits we become better photographers, bike riders, and drivers. Sometimes, there's even advantages to the limits. For an optical viewfinder (OVF), we don't get exact frame lines of the final image, we don't get to see depth of field or exposure; but we gain something that a digital screen doesn't give us: the real world!!
Yes we get to see the world the way our eyes see it (but through a singular optical finder). When I use an OVF I find that I learn to imagine the shot which helps me visualize the final product before I shoot with it. It's the same thing many Leica film shooters have been saying for decades, the beauty of shooting with a rangefinder camera. It's true the Fujifilm hybrid optical and electronic viewfinder is technically not a true rangefinder (using dual framing windows to find focus), but it's the closest representation of one on a modern camera. When I shoot with the X-100S, I feel like I'm shooting a Leica M series camera. I can say this with confidence because as you know, I also review for Leica Canada as well. How does the X-100S shoot when attaching the TCL-X100 tele-converter lens? Let's find out...