First Impressions: Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR (Sample Images Included)

I applaud Fujifilm for delivering the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR to us in such a short time; being the equivalent of the 35mm field of view I also applaud their delivering a wide angle medium format lens with a relatively fast aperture. Like the other Fujifilm GF lenses, this one is weather sealed and is putting an emphasis on delivering only the absolute best image quality from Fujifilm. What’s really interesting here though is that a lens like this delivers the equivalent field of view of an approximately 35mm lens but it is inherently a longer focal length. What that translates into is less distortion for something like portraiture–which I’m positive the Fujifilm GF 45mm f2.8 R WR will be used for.

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First Impressions: Fujifilm X-E3 (Sample Images Included)

I’m really glad that Fujifilm announced the Fujifilm X-E3 partially because the Fujifilm XE2s was such an absolute failure in my eyes. In many ways, it felt half-assed and due to its release after the announcement of cameras with the new 24MP X Trans sensor, its usage of the 16MP sensor seemed odd. Nonetheless, I believe that sensor’s output looked much more analog than the newer ones. With the Fujifilm X-E3 though, photographers are getting a camera that is perhaps one of Fujifilm’s most straightforward creations in a while. However, there are things that are sort of odd. It uses the same sensor as the company’s flagship cameras and includes 4K video, the joystick that every Fujifilm user pretty much demands at this point, and a shutter speed dial without the ISO setting incorporated (lest someone who doesn’t understand how to use the dial goes onto YouTube and creates a video about how terrible this one thing is when they’ve probably never shot with a film camera in their life).

No, with the Fujifilm X-E3 you’ve got a heavy emphasis on just the basics: exposure.

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Common Mobile Photography Mistakes and How to Fix Them

If there’s one thing photographers of all experience levels agree upon, it can sometimes be tough to create a beautiful photograph with a mobile phone. Luckily, the most common photo fails are getting easier to fix as smartphone technology improves. Whether it’s simply wiping the lens of your camera phone, switching to the manual mode, or composing and or autofocusing, there are various fixes and hacks. Here are 8 of the most common issues with smartphone images and the easy changes you can make to fix each one.

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Nei Valente: Street Photography With a Sony RX100 IV

All images and text by Nei Valente. Used with permission.

“Fifth Avenuers” is a visual registry of people and moments from one of the most iconic avenues in the world. It captures the vibrancy created by the mix of people who walk along the street that divides Manhattan into east and west. Some of the most famous museums in New York—like MoMA, the Met, and the Guggenheim—attract art-conscious locals and tourists alike. Others are attracted to Fifth Avenue by its proximity to Central Park and the ostentatious, tall buildings that line the avenue, including the Empire State and Flatiron buildings, Rockefeller Center, and Trump Tower. Those who can afford to, shop along one of the most well-known and high-end shopping streets in the world. Store employees, construction workers, and street vendors are combined, and sometimes contrasted, with the people who work in the tall buildings and walk on the avenue during their commute. To further add to the energy and bustling atmosphere, the street hosts important events like the LGBT Pride March, Puerto Rican Day Parade, and St. Patrick’s Day Parade.

For a couple of months, I walked along Fifth Avenue trying to capture the specific things that encapsulated the vibrancy of the avenue. If you paint a canvas with fifty black dots and add just one red dot, your painting is no longer about the fifty black dots. But it’s also not about the red dot. The painting is about the relationship of the fifty dots that looks the same with that one different red dot. That’s what I had in mind when photographing the avenue during my lunch breaks. I was always imagining the street as a canvas and trying to include in my photos the interactions and people that would be the red dot, representing a specific moment on Fifth Avenue. Because, to accurately represent a place, you can’t photograph only the ordinary people and scenes, but also capture what contrasts with the normality and thus makes that place special enough to be photographed.

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The Profoto A1 is the Small Studio Light We’ve Always Wanted

Profoto has been making some very interesting moves lately, and with the Profoto A1 just being announced, photographers have what the company is calling the smallest studio strobe ever made. The Profoto A1 is a 76 watt second flash that can work in the hot shoe and uses its own Li-Ion battery. It’s partially because of this that Profoto says it can recycle up to four times faster than other on-camera solutions. Unfortunately, it’s only coming in Canon and Nikon TTL at the moment–which is a total bummer for those of us who use mirrorless cameras. That battery also helps because there is an Air remote built in–just like there is with every other modern Profoto light. There’s also a massive LCD Screen on the back.

The press release is after the jump; and we’re not quite sure what the official word is on pricing yet.

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Why a Manual Focus Lens Will Make You a Better Photographer

There’s a lot of articles out there about the pros and cons of using manual focus lenses for your photography, with everyone trying to explain what the benefits are to shooting in manual, and the theory that taking pictures with a manual lens heightens creativity. Great photographers for National Geographic, Time, Magnum, and many others are using not only manual focus lenses, but also film cameras. Cameras of 35mm, 6×6, or even large format cameras (for the most patient photographers) are still playing a major qualitative role among professionals in the era of Instagram and iPhone photography.

In the 1998 film Pecker, we see a young and talented photographer taking satirical pictures of his family, friends, and city. He steals film so he can take as many photos as he wants and is manually focusing his cheap ‘60s Canonet in no time. There’s a funny scene in the movie where Pecker receives a new, autofocus camera as a gift, but he contemptuously puts it aside.

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An Update to the Ricoh GR II: Will There Ever Be a New Ricoh GR III?

The updated Ricoh GR III could potentially be nothing more than just a myth, but it still stands as a fact that the Ricoh GR II is a popular choice for many street photographers. This isn’t to be confused with the older iteration of this camera, which Eric Kim reviewed for us years ago, but instead an updated version of the Ricoh GR II. The camera is a cult hit with this genre for a number of reasons including the small size, fantastic image quality and the pretty silent operation coupled with great ergonomics.

It’s been a number of years since the Ricoh GR II was announced and so it’s a bit odd the camera hasn’t been updated in a long time. Fixed lens cameras and point and shoots typically have shorter life spans, but the 16MP sensor inside the Ricoh GR II is still capable of putting out very sharp images. We’ve even featured photographers who shoot with it here on the blog.

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First Impressions: Lomography Lomo’Instant Square

In the past few years, I’ve learned to trust in Lomography’s ability to churn out solid instant film cameras, and the Lomography Lomo’Instant Square seems to be every bit as solid as lots of camera I’ve seen thus far. It’s the first camera to use the Fujifilm Instax Square format that isn’t made by Fujifilm. With a very classic design that is sort of an ode to old Kodak instant film cameras, this is one of Lomography’s more curious cameras. Lomo decided to go with a glass lens, a bellows system, and more or less the same sort of system the previous Lomo’Instant cameras have had. It borrows a lot from them and personally speaking, I’m pretty glad that I backed it. For ethical reasons of running a photography blog, I typically don’t like to back Kickstarter campaigns, but this is one that I firmly believed in.

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