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)

Morning at Coyote Hills

All I could remember this morning was shooting straight up out of bed at 8:40. I was to meet someone at 9 a.m., but for some reason, my alarm clock failed me. Upon getting up, I put on some jeans and grabbed my sweater and my camera bag.

I ended up here after my meeting, along with my new 50mm f/1.4 and my Canon 5D Mark III. I’ve lived around this area practically all my life.

On my walk, I found this little guy on the side. I wonder how many took notice and stopped by.

Realizing what time it was, I knew what I was in store for. I was so excited.

I pass by this area very often on my way to work. After seeing it so many times, I somewhat figured out what time winds come along and what time there are no winds. And with no winds like this, reflections are everywhere! I love reflections.

 

 

I made my way back after the winds started to come in. The water became infested with ripples and small waves in a matter of minutes. The reflections were gone.

Strange enough, on my way back, I ran into the same little cat. The cat was located in a different spot this time, and this time it was awake. 😀

Ever since I can remember, I’ve always come here to this park. It’s one of the places I’ve come to appreciate in this small town. Each and every visit, it never ceases to surprise me with life and beauty of nature. I can photograph this place over and over again, and each one will be different.

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!

The Usual

It’s that time again. Time for my friend Tony and I to go on another drive. The only difference this time is that I’m not the only one taking pictures this time!

It got so foggy on our way up the hill that we couldn’t see a thing! So we had to drive back down a little to get a better view. And now it’s time to put my new gorilla pod to the test!

It was amazingly cold, so we decided to head grab a burrito and head back home.

It was a pretty short drive and not much time taking photos, but nevertheless, it was with good company!

Going Back in Time

This is my Uncle’s Olympus OM-2n film camera. For a while now, he’s known that I’ve been into photography. Over the course of the year, I’ve always asked him about his old film camera, since he used to be interested in it as well, while expressing his curiosity in my own interest in the art. I finally took the initiative to ask him if I could borrow it and experiment with it since I’ve never really used an old film camera such as this. I came over to his house to pick it up and was really excited. My first impression of the camera was that it was very heavy for its size and dirty with dust and corrosion infesting the old magnesium alloy camera body, which dated back to 1975. My Uncle handed me the bag with accessories, a flash unit, giant macro lens, some expired batteries and film, and the original manuals and warranty card. The pages of the manual were stuck together and felt crispy in my hands. At first, I thought the camera was broken since the lever to advance the film was jammed, but all it needed was a fresh set of batteries. I couldn’t help but stare at it.

It almost felt as if I was thrown back in time. Out of curiosity, I asked my Aunt if she had any pictures taken with this camera to see the kinds of images this camera could produce. She went to go find some and later came back with one photo. The photo was a close up of her wearing sun glasses behind a giant rock wall, with a wonderful youthful smile. Curiously, I turned the photo over to the back to see if it was dated. For a split second, I saw note and the word “Love” and my aunt suddenly snatched it from my hands. I smiled and looked up at her suspiciously. I wonder what was written on there. She replied to me, “This is my love note to your Uncle, you can’t read it”.

I laughed.

I took the camera home along with all the accessories and the old vintage looking bag. Sitting in my car with the bag on my lap, I opened it to take the camera out once again. As I hold the heavy, cold, dirty camera, I feel as if my Uncle and Aunt’s memories and feelings begin to flow into me. It’s strange…Their memories, their time spent together for all those years, those captures moments in time, all the abundant smiles and frowns that were captured and shared— I’m holding the tool that once was apart of their lives. I am immediately connected, attached, and what was most likely their dream or their vision is now apart of mine.

After inspecting the camera at home, I decided to give it a thorough cleaning. I also noticed the camera began to oxidize/rust.

After a few weeks, I decided to look into what kinds of lenses I could get. My first lens that I decided on was the nifty-fifty (f/1.8). However, looking them up, I found that there were many different versions and I didn’t know which one to get! So I did my research and in the end, I made my purchase.