Thursday, December 18, 2014

First Impression: Fujifilm XF56mm f/1.2 R APD is Insanely Bokehlicious!

Fujfilm X-T1 Graphite Silver with XF56mm f/1.2 APD. 1/2400th sec f/1.2 @ ISO 3200. Classic Chrome jpeg

I'm Japanese and I've never liked the word 'bokeh'. Yes, Japanese are famous for making up words (karaoke, emoji, cosplay, anime), some work, some are just weird. Shallow depth of field sounds a bit too technical for such a subjective 'quality', so someone had to come up with a better word. I guess 'bokeh' will just have to do for now, although I wish the Germans or Italians came up with a term first. Not only am I not fond of the word, I'm not fond of the pursuit of it, as if bokeh is somehow intrinsic to a good picture. In fact, as a street photographer I almost avoid it. I typically shoot F/8 and 1/750th of a second and I focus on composition and the decisive moment. 

When Fujifilm asked if I wanted to review the new XF56mm f/1.2 R APD lens, they assumed I would say no and I assumed I would say no as well. However, after looking at some pre-production images, I was intrigued (check out this link and this one as well). There was something about the out-of-focus area that was... should I say 'bokehlicious?' I wish I didn't type that...

Friday, December 5, 2014

Camera Video Review: Fujifilm X100T in Hong Kong

Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island at night. 1/320th sec f/2.8 @ ISO 1600.

When I'm gone on vacation, my wife has been very patient with me over the years. She's use to me bringing 3 or 4 different cameras and testing out equipment and film (during my Kodak days). Recently she's allowed me to bring along review cameras and spend time testing them, and write articles. This year I've added the extra burden (for her) of shooting YouTube video reviews, with my wife as my 'Camera Girl'. 

My 3 week vacation in Hong Kong has been very difficult for me to review for both Fujifilm and Leica, write articles and shoot videos. I've decided to review the cameras and shoot and post the videos, but I'll wait until I get back home to write a full review and share pictures. For now, enjoy my YouTube videos. My latest is my video review of the Fujifilm X100T. 

This camera is great for travel and street style photography. What it gives up in focal length versatility (fixed 35mm equivalent focal length) it makes up with practical tools to help the photographer take better pictures. Is it way better than the X100S? Is it worth the upgrade? Is the new hybrid optical viewfinder with mini electronic viewfinder mode just a gimmick? Check out my review to find out what I thought of the X100T and wait for my full written review in a couple of weeks. You can still post questions here or on YouTube and I'll try and answer as quickly as possible. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Bigheadtaco Goes To Hong Kong with the Fujifilm X100T, the Leica T and the Ricoh GR

Ricoh GR. Wai King Street, Kowloon, Hong Kong. 1/1000 sec f.5.6 @ ISO 100. Converted to b&w in Photoscape.

I'm finally here in Hong Kong. Actually, I've been here for 2 weeks already, but I'm here with my wife (aka Camera Girl) visiting family and taking our annual vacation. I always take this opportunity to review cameras and take pictures, but it's a matter of work-life balance, even for a street photographer. Every second that I'm free, I run off and take a few pictures, but then I have to remember this is my wife's vacation time. I haven't been able to take as many pictures as I want, but that's ok. I never feel as if I've taken 'enough' pictures. Hong Kong is an amazing city and I could probably spend a year here and feel I haven't seen everything. 

Both Leica and Fujifilm loaned me some pretty cool cameras to review while I'm here, and I have a couple of my own cameras to shoot with as well. Fujifilm Canada has loaned me the X100T, Leica Canada has loaned me the Leica T, and I have my own Ricoh GR and my iPhone. I won't be compairing sensor size, megapixels, or AF speeds. To me, these things are inconsequential to taking a great image. If you depend on technology to take your images, you will always be a slave to technology. If you depend on your eyes, your hands, your instinct, and some level of competence and skill as a photographer, you will get great images no matter what camera you're shooting with.

I was able to shoot a few videos and here's my first introduction video to Hong Kong. I'll post a few more before I leave, and hopefully post the rest when I get back to Canada. Thanks again for all your support. To keep up to my day-to-day photography, follow me on my Instagram account. For now, enjoy my latest video: