Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Cycling at Tower Bridge

I was tired from all the walking so i sat down at one of the seating area near the Tower Bridge, there were a lot of people whether cycling, strolling, jogging, photographing, u named it, with my X100S in my hands equipped with the WCL, i tried to capture this cyclist and see if my X100S is fast enough to focus and take a shot. i think it did well here. No hunting by the X100S. Although its a hit and miss, hopefully the X100T improves on that.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

From London to Italy and Leicester ........ (Part Florence)

23rd July 2014

Next stop Florence. First impression as soon as i got out of the train station, this felt like Milan. I'm not really enjoying Milan as i should be, except for that Piazza Del Duomo Milan, just standing in the middle of the Piazza is an experience itself. Florence is like a one big festival city. From one piazza to another piazza the road is crowded with people or specifically tourist. People just walked in the middle of the road, its like the road is for pedestrians, the car just had to slow down and do a soft honk. Beep beep... "Attenzione attenzione", i think you can do a one whole day visiting florence because that's what i did. One day is enough for sightseeing only minus museum walk-ins. I walked from the train station till the garden, (that's way down below in the map, wait? what map?), but it didn't feel that far, maybe because it was crowded from one place to the other, like i said it was like one big festival, its just super crowded with tourist.

I've checked into Hotel BellaVista, a nice small hotel just near the train station, it is convenience, i don't have to walked that far, dragging my luggage all the way, it's just a 5 min walk. Thank goodness for technologies nowadays, i just use Google Maps to give me directions and for my walking navigations. I'm gonna spend two nights here in Florence, one day in Florence and tomorrow, Pisa.

My hotel room's view

Its funny, the first time you walked the streets, you feel foreign, you feel lost but once you knew where you're going, or at least spend a day exploring what's nearby, exploring the city, you get familiar, you become comfortable and feel safe. But that goes for every country i went, not just Italy. That's what i'm feeling right now.

There are like 70 plus channels on Tv but all speaking italian. Only Oggy and the cockroaches and tom and jerry i could understand. I do miss hearing English speaking channel.

Gelato is everywhere in Italy, and so do Florence. Its really nice to lick a Gelato on a hot summer day and the nice ice blended fruity drinks. So refreshing, so cool.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

A street artist in Florence

Florence, its like a one big Festival city. The streets are crowded. Its like woodstock.
I was walking down the street when i stumbled this street artist. He's good. I took a bunch of pictures and tipped him.

Taken with a Fuji X100S. 
It made my face smirked when i see tourists with their big DSLRs. It looks heavy hanging there on your neck. Get a Fuji. Small, light and awesome IQ. plus that retro look that everybody seems to fond of. but thats just my opinion and i am entitled to it.
haters gonna hate.

A picture a day

I think starting today imma post a picture a day on this blog, probably only on weekdays since its the only days i have access to my computer. i started one yesterday, its called a man with trombone. Hope you guys enjoy the picture, and the upcoming dreadful pictures that will come along your way. giggles..... and LOL

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

A Man with Trombone

I was in New Orleans just walking along the street when i spotted this guy with a trombone. As usual i took a quick shot as if i'm taking a picture of the whole damn street but i was caught. He was cool about it and said "How was it?!"
I said "Nice!" and gave him a thumbs up.

Such a cool city!

"Lenny Kravitz" with a trombone.
Leica M8 with Voigtlander 15mm. 

Voigtlander 35mm 2.5 OR 35mm 1.4 ??? Help me!

I used to have this problem. Its hard deciding which of these two lens i should get. Back when i got my Leica M9 i solved this problem by getting the 40mm 1.4. Its not 35mm but close. Now that i sold my M9 and left with an M8, this problem is back. M8 being not full frame, a 35mm will become something close to a 50mm, say 46mm?? Anyway, one problem i found with M8 is choosing the right focal length. All those RF lenses were design for full frame. 35mm is 35mm. I din wanna get the 40mm because it might be a bit on the longer side for the M8. I set my standard focal length as 35mm because this is how my X100S used to be and i'm comfortable with it. Then i should get the 28mm, it will be roughly about 35mm on the M8. But i wanted my lens to be small. all those 28mm with fast apertures are quite big. So to make things easy for me, i set myself to get a 35mm. but which one? a faster lens at 1.4 or a pancake but slower at 2.5. i'd love a faster lens as i like to play with bokeh and shooting in low light will allow for faster shutter speed. But based on reviews on the net, its a mix reaction but mostly said this 1.4 classic nokton has focus shift. and worst distortion and prone to flare. The 2.5 color skopar gets nice review, sharper, less distortion and less flare, able to get bokeh as well and cheaper too!

I knew in my heart that the 2.5 is a much better lens than the 1.4, but i just cant get f1.4 out of my head, i was placebo-ed by faster lens equals more bokeh, faster shutter speed. and i hate the fact that if i buy the 2.5, i might still buy the 1.4 in the future just for the sake of the 1.4.

Sigh. Story of my life!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

From London to Italy and Leicester .... (Part 1 London)

12th July 2014

Its 6.15am and i'm hovering above the clouds of london, it was beautiful up here, the sunrise gave the clouds an orange tint glow and we're circling up here waiting for our turn to land. This is typical of london heathrow traffic, as we circled, there were a few planes visible from looking outside of the plane window as they takes turn to land. While we're up here it reminds me of the scenes from a movie called the langoliers, all you see is clouds blanketing the world below. I should have taken my camera but i'm too lazy to take it out of the bag, and just like that i missed the moment. As we descend into the clouds, i was expecting a little turbulence and to my surprise there was none. And then the city below begins to appear, London, gone was the sunrise, the city in mist and a typical london weather, grey skies. The mood definitely turns dark. The temperature outside is 17degrees celcius, not quite the hot summer but maybe it was just morning weather. I'm still adjusting the time change as my body prepares to prevent jetlag. I do feel like its 6am in the morning, thats a good start.
I hop the next train to Paddington.

I've arrived at Paddington station and it was quite a busy morning. Hundreds of people getting their coffees and catching the next train. There were a few cyclist, in their spandex also getting breakfast, there's burger king and some bagel stations, a lot of options to choose and me i just sit on the cold steel chair thinking what's good for breakfast. Pigeons literally flew past my face and i'm the one who needs dodging. Not from where i come from, a slight move of your hands, and there goes the birds fleeing for their lives.

Its 9am and the hotel check in policy is at 2pm. 5 hours to burn. My fuji x100s sits in my bag and have yet to come out. I'm too tired from the long flight and i need to sleep in a proper bed. Sitting for 16 hours is not cool. Your bottom hates you and your sleeping pattern messed up. I left my luggage at the hotel and head back to Paddington Underground Tube station. First stop, Whitechapel.

I am in Whitechapel to check out the market but it seems that i'm too early as they were just about to setting up their 'tent'. I've been to Shepperd's bush and i think Shepperd's is the better market. I'm talking about street market. cheap ripoff clothings, and stuffs. Its 10am and the weather is about to show its summer. cloudy blue skies and warm sun, here comes summer i thought. As i was taking out my camera and started taking pictures, one guy came to me, he was pushing a trolley full of stuffs, i guess he's one of the sellers there, he said "Brother, no picture please". I said "OK" and just like that, it turned me off, of doing any photography. I guess i am a sensitive guy. I also found out that, that place is quite dodgy. Quite a few hobos, asking for a penny. When one hobo came to me and ask for two penny, and me being the "NO" guy, of course said no, he started swearing and mumbling, all i heard was "Cmon its only 2 pennies". I am totally a foreigner there and for my own safety, I left whitechapel.

June 10th 2015
***at this moment, i have lost my idea for a write up, might as well post some pictures rather than me talking out of my ass, this has been a long overdue blog post LOL***

Just some Leica M8 shots in New Orleans

 I love how the sun burst into a sunstar. But ghosting visible and actually a lot of dust spots on my M8. time for a clean up.

 I love this city. Jazz all around. 

Something about in the middle of a railway tracks

I knew it would come to this!

GAS works in mysterious ways. at least with me yes. It comes and goes. At one time i would go Fuji crazy then at one time i go Leica crazy. Now that i dont own a Leica M9 anymore, guess what? you're right, i got the Leica bug back again. Just days ago i was so into the Fuji X100T, i still am but i'm still justifying the purchase of yet another brand new spanking camera. Its just a hobby of mine, i dont get money from taking pictures so why get a new camera when the one with me still works right? Well i have GAS disorder. i need rehab i think. But the camera i have right now cant compete with Fuji's IQ. at least thats what GAS told me. and the nifty features i like from X100T are the :-

  • ability to print directly to Instax Share printer, 
  • the classic chrome emulation, 
  • Wifi integrated, 
  • bigger LCD, 
  • faster EVF,
  • Face detection
  • Better faster autofocus
But all of these features i research via Google and various blogs reviewing the X100T, i have yet to test the camera myself. All those features i mentioned above are what makes me want to upgrade from X100S. Back during the S days, i have to transfer my pictures via a memory card reader which is kinda an ass. iPads being difficult, sometimes it just wont work straight out of the box with the memory card reader. basically it takes a lot of steps. Now with Wifi, it solved just that.

I have an Instax SHARE printer so i would love to have my camera print directly to it.
Classic Chrome not so much actually because i have VSCO but VSCO didnt have the KODACHROME film emulation which the classic chrome emulates. Bigger LCD is better to have because i have "the bigger the better" bug. i want the nexus 6!!!!

Now this one feature is i'm really curious, FACE DETECTION. Some reviewers said it works out of the box, some said it still needs improvement. but i really want this feature to work. so i can easily just put the camera to my hip and let the autofocus/face detect choose the faces and snap the photo for my candid street photography. that would be interesting. and with Face detection i dont need to do focus and recompose thingy.

I haven't updated you guys but i dont have any Fujifilm cameras no more. i just sold off my X-pro1 over the weekend. Thats why i'm hunting for an X camera now. at first i wanted the X-T10 but then i always like the X100 series. Still i haven't make the plunge. Maybe this week or next year or wait for the new X100F.

SO i was speaking about the Leica bug. At the moment, gratefully i am not crazy for a used M9 yet or the M240. Actually i'm loving my M8. Now i just wanted to add a collection of lens for the M8. i'm eyeing the voigtlander 35mm or the zeiss 28mm zm. I love the M8 but it being not full frame i have a hard time choosing lens as it is cropped sensor. 35mm becomes 46mm, etc etc etc. i'm not sure i wanna get wide or tele. and then there's the IR cut filter issue. it is bloody expensive. but i still put up the M8 for sale. Not sure if there's a crazy person will come up with cash like the M9 buyer did. LOL.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Leica M9 sold!!! Sob Sob Sob.... should i get the T now?

Cant believe for the life of me that someone actually came up with $4k cash money to buy my Leica M9. Worst it was in $5 notes. Now i'm not sure if i regret it or happy. Actually i felt both. Happy that i am $4k richer but sad that i had to let go a pristine condition and very low shutter count, its not even 500! for only $4k. and it comes with a Voigtlander lens. i feel stupid. stupid stupid stupid. its stupid cheap. its my fault that i put up a very low offer, a very good offer for the buyer actually. i dinna expect someone in this country would appreciate a Leica and comes up with cold hard cash. Its just because here, those entry SLR are more popular. Maybe only a hand few of people would understand and appreciate a Leica. Now i'm left with a Leica M8. Its still my favorite Leica. But M9 being the younger brother, full frame, now i just realised to feel the loss. Today i started to feel the loss. Last night after i met the buyer, i was so happy depositing my sale. and did not miss the Leica M9 at all. In my mind, an X100T would suit me best, better. its after all my favourite camera too! But after looking some pictures, i just realised there is just something different about Leica's bokeh rendering. The bokeh has character, maybe harsh for someone but i just love the look. almost balls of blurry and again harsh. It could be the Voigtlander's bokeh character but i just love the look. or maybe because its at 1.4. I try to find the same bokeh character as the Voigtlander on my Fuji X100S pictures..... None. The X100S bokeh is smooth out of focus. Cant replicate the harsh bokeh. Oh my.... what have i done? I sold my Leica for a Fuji upgrade. Sometimes you just didnt realise how much something is valuable to you until its gone. I took my Leica M9 for granted. But lets be real, i just suck at manual focus, why focus manually when your camera can do super fast auto focus right? i guess it was meant to be, the honeymoon period with my Leica M9 was over. It only lasted for months. She's not a bad girlfriend, its just that we do not click. there's no chemistry. i dont like making decisions, the Fuji X100T can make decisions for me. Leica? not so much. i am in control. i dont want to be in control.

I guess i was better off selling my Leica M9. at least i am $4ooo richer.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Leica M8 2015: New Orleans

i seem to have lost for words, and i rarely update this blog no more but i still very much wanted to share my photos to the rest of the world if you ever stumble this blog. I haven't even finished updating my travel blog from last year's trip to Italy, let alone my recent trip to New Orleans. What i plan to do now is to shut up and just post pictures. Here's a few taken with my Leica M8 in New Orleans Jan 2015. M8 is still the shit.

To be honest, it was soothing to see the big ships moving slowly going under the bridge. Such a nice weather when i was there. 

All shots taken with Leica M8 with Voigtlander 15mm 4.5 ii lens. Processed tastefully with VSCO. 
.....and i saw dust spots. .... sheesshh..

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Time for updates

I sold my X100S and now i'm missing the X100 series. Now i'm GASing for X100T. Why not? the X100S was after all my all time favourite camera. Its simple. One focal length to rule them all. Of course it cant do all types of photography. but for my type of photography, eg. portraits, landscapes, streets, the X100 series is great enough. With the new T model, i hope it fixes and improves all the niggles of the S series. To be honest, i sold the S so i could upgrade to the T. or should i wait for the F series? YOu may wonder why F? because F stands for Fourth but also stands for Five, i'm not sure whats the next naming convention. I'm sure you know that T stands for third? You dont? i dont blame you.... nobody cares what it actually calls. Anyway, i'm not sure if the T is sold here locally. i guess my best next bet is Singapore. but i'm not going to Singapore anytime soon.

I knew i'm gonna get the X100 series again because i kept the wide converter lens. I just love that camera. Awesome IQ, classic looks, although at times i wanna smash it to the ground because it keeps back focus (focus the background instead of subject). But now with face detection available, i hope it does what it does and be good at it. What else is there to be GASing about the T? Wifi implementation.... at first i thought of it as a good feature but not important but then i realised i loved transferring my recently took photos to my tablet and phones and upload it to instagram or just for viewing. I always do that with my Sony Rx100iii. it was indeed convenient! Large LCD is always a good thing. although non tilt, i dont think thats a deal breaker though.

As a taking still pictures tool, the T IS GREAT. but for video? based on reviews its bad although i wont probably noticed because i dun really know wat to look for in video quality. as long its not choppy i'm alright.

I brought the X100S for a trip to Italy last year. and i loved all the thousands of images that i took but i have to admit i kinda tired lugging it around. but the images taken was worth it.

I can also take pictures like above because the X100S is so damn quiet. Thats what i like about the X100 series. Suddenly i have guts to take candid photos. just because i'm stealthy. Because its basically mute. No sound! You cant do this with a Leica. unless you have balls. I dont. I also respect people's privacy. unlike certain Eric K.  but that's just me, different people different thinking. whatever to get your pictures.

I love this picture. This is how useful and stealthy the X100S can be. I was sitting on the opposite side when i noticed this man reading a book and at times looking out of the window. His face has got that character, the lines, the age, what is he thinking? is he heading home to his loved ones? is he going to work? thinking of the grand children? its a mystery. but from his face you can see he is definitely thinking of something.

Some people may not understand why i took pictures of strangers or why photograhers take pictures of strangers but thats what street/candid photography is all about, they were never your friends or families, just strangers running their daily business, their emotions, just characters, subject of a picture. Its like questioning why Monalisa?

What i dislike about Fujifilm is their aggressive noise reduction. if only we can control the NR manually. Its great to have noise free images but sometimes skins looked like mannequins and thats bad.

Why not X-T10 you say? Sure, its new, classic SLR looks, interchangeable lens, something about the X100 series is just so simple. no need to worry about focal lengths. and size wise the X100 is shorter? the lenses on X-T10 will be bulkier and longer.

I put up my two Leicas for sale. My M8 and M9. and i sell them cheap. especially the M9. too cheap. i think i wanna upped the price a bit. actually i felt a bit of regret selling those. Its a Leica. and i might never owned one of these again. I'm selling my M8 with Voigtlander 15mm about SGD$3000. and my M9 with Voigtlander 40mm at SGD$4200. Actually i'm having second thoughts about selling them but i believe i needed the money. SO far no buyer and i'm not desperate selling.

I love Leica, its like owning a Ferrari. but owning a Ferrari is over the top? not justified? i cant find the words here. any car can go from point A to B, just like a camera, it just take pictures. Leica is too expensive. i can get 3 or 4 Fujifilm and have one Leica.

One reason of selling it is i'm not really good at that rangefinder focusing. i'm just too slow. trying to aligned the patch sometimes it took me a while and the photo opportunity just gone. especially taking pictures of them kids. You cant ask them to stand still. and if you can its not natural. i like candid and natural expression. not created. i'm better off with a camera that can do fast autofocus just like a X100S. Shooting wide open at 1.4 with the M9 is harder for me. if i didnt get the eye to focus the pictures will become blurry or at least the nose is sharp. thats a bad photo in my book. With the M8 is okay because of the smaller aperture at 4.5.

But but but, this Leica M9 that i purchased has a very low mileage. the last picture i took was only at 473 shutter actuations!!!! its a steal! Its in pristine condition. I want to keep it for collection but then i might need money too. Confusing times. I wanna sold off just the M8 but the pictures it took was amazing too. super sharp. although need to put IR cut filter or else all black shirts becomes purple. uweeekkkk... and the M8 is in silver. its super sexy retro look!

Should i sell or should i keep?

I brought my M8 to New Orleans with the 15mm. 
This is where Nicholas Cage is heading when he'll rest peacefully. He's not dead yet. but very much owned this part of the cemetery. 

Jackson square New Orleans taken by Liam Neeson...Not... by Leica M8

The only thing Fuji cant take is sunstar. Correct me if i'm wrong. but i never got the light to burst into a sunstar with my Fujifilm X100S but with the Voigtlander there she is....

And just look at that color noise on the M8. but why peep when you can just watch and look at the picture of the alley.

Oh.... such tough times. 
To sell or not to sell the Leicas.... 
To buy or not to buy the FUjifilm X100T.
GAS comes and goes.