TAP & DYE Camera Strap

My girlfriend, Emily, and I received our camera strap from TAP & DYE that we ordered last week. This camera strap is their L E G A C Y fixed neck strap, which comes in either Black & Natural, Antique Tan, or Dark Amber color. Also, this strap comes in different lengths– mine is Black & Natural in 44″, while Emily got Dark Amber in 38″ for her new X100. See hers!

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It came along with a custom pouch. Very nice presentation in my opinion. My first impression as I took the camera strap out was how nice the leather felt. Considering it was still brand new, it was rather stiff, which also made it nearly impossible to get on the camera! Emily and I probably spent 40 minutes trying to get it on…But once I got mine on, I couldn’t help but admire the vintage feel and look of the strap on the X-Pro 1, and it was the same with the the X100 I gave to Emily.

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In terms of accessories, I’ve pretty much completed my X-Pro 1 with this strap. Considering the quality of this strap, it runs “cheap” at under $100 shipped compared to other high quality leather straps (e.g. luigi, artisan & artist, etc.). I’m happy with this purchase and I couldn’t have made a more successful purchase if it wasn’t for the help of Justin over at TAP & DYE.

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Fujifilm X-Pro 1 + XF 35mm f/1.4

Canon 5D Mark III + 85mm f/1.8

Up and Into Spaces

_DSF0092Today, I decided to go shoot around the city after my afternoon classes. I waited a bit in the library until the sun went down, which was around 4p.m. I brought my Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and my Olympus OM 50mm f/1.8. I’ve actually been waiting for the chance to test this lens combo in the real world. I’ve actually had the lens for a while now, but after picking up the X-Pro 1, I also picked up a cheap adapter that works with OM lenses. The lens, in 35mm format, has an equivalent of about 75mm on the X-Pro 1. So it’s a pretty decent medium telephoto lens. Also, this lens is all manual (focusing and aperture) though the body is electronic.

tich 3 tich 4 tich1 tich2 tich5 tich6 tich7 tich8Doing street work with this lens can be really tough. First, it’s an all manual lens with no real indicator of a focused image on the camera body. Second, because it’s all manual, the best method for focusing is either taking the time to focus (still objects) or zone focusing (moving subjects). Third, it’s not wide enough for people on the streets that are constantly moving closer or further away from you. Despite all of that, this lens is SHARP! The colors and contrast come out very nice too, though some images did lack a bit of contrast (due to lighting), but it’s nothing a simple post processing can’t solve. I’ll have to admit, shooting at this focal range is challenging.

San Jose is an interesting place, really. Sometimes it just feels so deserted and quiet. Other times, it’s loud and busy. Most of the time I shoot, it usually deserted and quiet while the shadows from the tall buildings creep up on the rest of the city. It’s a fascinating sight, and there’s a stillness to it that makes one wonder at times. Unfortunately, looking up at bright buildings and then back down into darkened spaces really started to hurt and tire my neck and my eyes.

One thing is for sure: I don’t regret taking only this lens to shoot!

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Fujifilm X-Pro 1 + Olympus OM 50mm f/1.8 Zuiko (OM-XF converter)

Summer Morning in SF

It was all so random, but it happened so spontaneously. I contacted Emily the night before to see if she wanted to go for an adventure. Who would have thought that we’d both wake up around 3a.m. to catch the sun rise. Our destination? The Golden Gate Bridge! It was my first time at this spot, and I couldn’t help but get so excited about the spectacular view!

Fujifilm X100 + Nikon Wide Converter WC-E68 (24mm equivalent in 35mm)

It was a sight to behold. We were extremely lucky for how clear it was! Although I’d like to come visit again when there is fog to get a different perspective.

Fujifilm X100

Here’s the same shot without the wide converter.

Fujifilm X100 + Nikon WC-E68

The above image was shot at F/2.0 and you can see the loss in detail, significant amount of blurring, and distortion. I noticed that f/5.6 the image quality is usable, with f/4 at a push if you need the 1 stop light and don’t mind the periphery slightly blurred. It appears that f/8-f/11 looks ideally optimum. Then at f/16, diffraction starts to become apparent.

Lights from the bridge went out as if preparing for a worldly show. It’s amazing how many people were up here to view the sun rise. People are, indeed, strange creatures– I’m one of them!

The sun began to rise around 5:48a.m. and it was such a awesome sight! It went rising before I could even dial in my settings on my X100.

After our adventure, we met up with Emily’s friends for some breakfast! Adventures like this make me so hungry… 😦

After our delicious breakfast, we head out for more adventures! So we headed back to our cars to head over to the Palace of fine arts!

I snapped this on the way back to my car. Again, this is another example shot with the wide converter at f/2.

Here’s a panoramic taken with the Wide Converter on! The X100 handles it quite nice even with the converter. I’m quite impressed.

Sadly, this is where my camera died. Unfortunately, I only had one battery because I left the charged one in my camera turned on over night. I should probably pick up more!

In any case, our adventures didn’t end here! We even visited fort point to explore the historical building with another perspective of the Golden Gate Bridge. After our exploration and time spent standing around not knowing what to do, we went to go get some yummy sandwiches over at Ike’s Place, while we sat around on the sidewalk relaxing.  Sadly, I parted with Emily and her friends here because I had work later that day.

Nevertheless, I couldn’t be more thankful for the time Emily and her friends spent with me. It was very memorable experience that I look forward to again in the near future.

Nikon Wide Converter WC-E68

After my 5 hour trip from L.A. due to delays of the flight and BART, I came home exhausted. However, my mood completely changed when I found a box waiting by my door. It was the Wide Converter that I bought a few days ago while in L.A. I’ve been looking around for a good alternative for the Fujifilm X100. Fujifilm released their version of a wide angle converter, however, at $350 wasn’t a justified price point for a mere 35mm to 28mm. Looking around, I found a Nikon lens that converted my 35mm to a 24mm!

The build quality is quite excellent. I didn’t expect this kind of quality from something I picked up for $60 shipped from ebay. It was definitely a bang-for-the-buck!

However, I don’t expect it to fit right onto the Fujifilm X100! It does need a step-down ring. The X100 has a 49mm thread, but the Nikon has a 46mm thread. So while I was in L.A. I picked one up for cheap from a local photography store.

And that’s all that’s needed! For all you X100 users, keep in mind that the optional adapter isrequired! Here’s what the set-up looks like:

I know it looks a little funky, but hey, it still works! After some testing, I’ve concluded that it was definitely worth my money, especially compared to the official Fujifilm converter.

Further experimentation is still required and examples will be shown in future posts, so stay tuned!

Trying Film

During summer, I was riding my bicycle around the neighbor hood. I saw a garage sale and decided to stop by to see if they had anything interesting. The first thing that immediately caught my eye was a mirror reflecting the sun in my eyes. Within that split second, I recognized what it was. It was a camera body. I quickly walked over to it to make out what it was: Canon EOS 630. A film camera! Even more exciting was the fact that it was ONLY $2! Without even thinking about it, I hurriedly payed for it and took it home on my bike.

I gave the camera a thorough cleaning since it was left sitting out without a body cap. Even the little door on the bottom was broken. Fortunately, the magnet that was supposed to hold it closed was still attached, so I super glued it back where it was supposed to be. Since I still have my EF lenses such as my 50mm f/1.8 and 85mm f/1.8, it was a perfect fit for the camera body!

With my first roll of film, I wasn’t too happy with the outcome. I might have been because of the lab I got it developed at (Walgreen’s), but everything came out green in the highlights. I had to reduce the green a lot in post process. Nevertheless, it was fun trying film for the first time!