What camera should a beginner buy?

Stident on old collage chum George Neal had never picked up a camera till I got him shooting a Fujifilm X-20. Later he ugraded his camera to a X-T1. Here is George on the left with both camera next to Piet Van den Eynde on a recent trip to India.

Student and old college chum, George Neill, had never picked up a camera till I got him shooting a Fujifilm X-20. Later he added an X-T1 to his kit. Here is George on the left with both cameras next to Piet Van den Eynde on a recent trip to India.

One of the more frequent questions I get asked, is “What is the best camera I should buy if I am a beginner?” Honestly, these days there are so many choices, which can make it confusing and overwhelming. But the reality is it doesn’t have to be. I tell newbies to step back, take a breath and answer a quick question or two. Then I give them usually one, possibly two answers. They are almost always happy if they follow my advice.

I start off by asking one simple question: “What are you going to be photographing?” It might seem simple, but so many people get ahead of themselves. They see all their photographic potential well before they have developed any photographic prowess. “Are you going to be shooting a wedding anytime soon?” Most will not. I probe a bit more. “Is this camera for birthdays, family vacations or maybe a new baby?” If they are honest and that is all they want to photograph I usually have a good idea what camera I am going to suggest they use.

If all you are shooting is selfies, then a smartphone is the perfect camera for you.

If all you are shooting is selfies, then a smartphone is the perfect camera for you.

But, if I get a real sense they want to up their photographic game, to desire to be creative in their new found interest, my answer will be different.

Let’s look at the birthdays and family vacations folks. Most of these – if left to their own devices – will run out and buy a new DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex, think Canon Rebel). They will probably get it with the 18-55mm kit lens and a few folks with cash to spare will purchase a telephoto with the kit. They leave on vacation with dreams of becoming the next Ansel Adams or Steve McCurry. Before they depart, they usually do a cursory look at the manual and then off they go.

If truth be told, they never take the camera off “P” or the little green “Auto” box. They rarely switch the lens from the 18-55 mm to the telephoto. The vast majority of the time they are using their new toy like an iPhone. So, I usually tell these people, to just use their iPhone. Most of the time, in most of the locations they will be shooting, the iPhone or any smartphone will give them just as good of photos as their DSLR. Not because the DSLR is incapable of making better pictures, but because the user is unwilling to use the camera to get even close to its potential.

There are many reasons for this and in teaching photography to loads of aspiring Ansel Adams on weekend classes I have found the main reason is simple. People are too confused or intimidated by the digital array on the back of their cameras. Too many buttons. Too many menu options. On top of that, they have no clue what an aperture is or what it does. They sometimes know that a shutter “flips” or “closes” but they are not real sure where it even is. When I explain what these two rather important elements of the photographic process do, they get excited. They see the potential. But once they figure out where the buttons on their Canon are or where the menu settings on their Nikon are, they seem even more frustrated. It is all just too overwhelming!

Even the simplest DSLRs can get very confusing with their digital displays and hidden menus.

Even the simplest DSLRs can get very confusing with their digital displays and hidden menus.

 

But here is something fascinating. When I show them these same concepts, aperture, shutter, etc.. on my Fujifilm X-camera, something clicks, sometimes literally. It’s true. It’s like a light comes on when I show my Ansel Adams the aperture ring and click through the f-stops. I tell him when you turn it one way the lens opening gets smaller, turn it the other way and it gets bigger. When I show him, the shutter speed dial and he sees the list of numbers relating to the shutter speeds he somehow grasps it. I have come to believe we humans will always relate quicker and easier to the physical world of analogue than to a virtual digital one.

Here are the analogue dials on a Fujifilm X-T1.

Here are the analogue dials on a Fujifilm X-T1.

 

Another big point for choosing a Fuji X-System camera is the EVF or Electronic View Finder. This as opposed to the Canon, Nikon or virtually any other DSLR’s OVF  or Optical View Finder. The DSLR’s OVF is like looking through a window. You see the same thing you would see if you took your eyes away from the camera. The only real addition is adding some digital information in number form at the bottom or side of the frame. However, in a Fuji, you have something entirely different, an EVF. The EVF gives the photographer immediate feedback and a real-time representation of the photograph you are about to take. With the EVF, you see the exposure, the depth of field (that is the effect the aperture has on the depth of focus.) Plus you have other information laid on top of the view if you choose. Things like a histogram that gives you a graphic overview of your exposure. You can see if any part of your image will be blown out or underexposed. You can add a green level line that shows you something like a horizon line in an airplane – granted; the latter can often be found on DSLRs, too. The Fuji can add a “Rule of Thirds” grid to help the new photographer learn better composition and of course, it shows you the same settings you find in the DSLR’s OVF like shutter speed and aperture information as well as what mode you are shooting. If you’re shooting in a specific crop mode, like square, the EVF will show you that square crop. With a DSLR, you have to imagine your square crop. And the beauty is, if you shoot raw, you can still revert to the original 2:3 aspect ratio later on. Same deal with the Film Simulations. You want to know what a particular scene would look like in Black and White? Just set one of the Black and White simulations and the EVF will update accordingly. And as long as you’re shooting Raw or Raw + JPEG, you still have the original color data in your file.

An EVF will give you the same data a DSLR view finder will give you with one important difference. The EVF gives you a real-time depth of field preview.

An EVF will give you the same data a DSLR view finder will give you with one important difference. The EVF gives you a real-time depth of field preview.

Some people might say, that a DSLR can provide an electronic view using the live view on the back of the camera. Three issues with this argument. First is when you hold out your bulky DSLR away from your face to use live view you drastically destabilize the camera. You go from anchoring the camera like a tripod against your face/eye with your two hands (three points of connection with your camera) to only two floating in the air. The second point, whereas the DSLR live view screen does give you a video image and can give you an idea of exposure; it doesn’t give you a real-time representation of your depth of field. There is a convoluted way to do this using live view1 But it is not seamless like an EVF. There really isn’t any comparison between the two. And lastly, have you ever tried looking at a camera LCD in the blaring sun? You don’t see much, do you? The EVF, especially on the Fujifilm X-T1 with its optional ‘long eyecup’ is much better protected from incoming sunlight and will, therefore, give you a much more realistic preview.

Of course, there are people out there that can handle digital buttons and menus and don’t mind waiting to see what they shoot until after they shoot it. I am sure there are plenty of them. But, what I have come to believe, in no uncertain terms, is that the average beginner will understand the concepts of photography quicker and will have a better understanding how his or her camera works using a camera like the Fuji X-System.

This is why if I see that Ansel or Steve need only to take a quick passing photo I suggest they use their smartphone and for the most part they will be very happy with their results. But if I sense even a hint of a desire to be creative I propose that they buy a Fuji X-System camera. I either tell them to get the X-E2 or the newer X-T10. These two cameras will give them the creative latitude they need and the analogue controls to help ground them in their new found hobby.

I can already here you sceptics crying foul! “But,” you say, “You are a Fuji X-Photographer! Of course, you will say Fuji is the best!” This is a bit of red herring, seemingly plausible, though ultimately irrelevant. I am an X-Photographer precisely because I believe in what I just wrote (and more). I don’t believe in what I wrote because I am an X-Photographer.

So if you are an aspiring photographer who hates fighting with dials and switches, and you are having trouble getting your head around the basics of photography, I suggest in all honesty, you consider your next camera to be a Fujifilm X-System.

 

 

  1. You can check out how to use live -view to preview depth of field HERE

Depth of Field: Damien Lovegrove

Damien_Lovegrove

Damien Lovegrove

Damien Lovegrove is a treasure trove of both photographic and business knowledge. With years of photographic commercial and wedding work under his belt, this knowledge is all field tested by real life. I feel fortunate that he took an hour out of his busy schedule to share some of this insight with us. To say Damien is easy to talk with would be an understatement. He is flowing with wisdom, ideas, encouragement and more.

Damien is considered by many to be one of the world’s most influential contemporary photographers. These days he is best known for creating portraits that make women look amazing. Damien is known for his lighting style picture composition. If you don’t believe me check out his website, Lovegrove Photography and you will soon be convinced.

He is also a fellow Fujifilm X-Photographer and ambassador. He has shot exclusively with Fuji cameras since May 2012.

Damien shoots around 1,000 frames a week. He says if he doesn’t shoot that much in a week he starts to feel like he is going backwards. Yet, I never got the impression in this conversation that he is driven to the point where he runs over everyone in his way. Generous with his knowledge and experience, he speaks with me about creating what he calls that “big picture equation” that helps a photographer stay afloat financially. We also spoke about developing a style that is uniquely yours and how critical this is to your work. We cover how to take a dream and turn it into a reality and so much, much more.

Check out Damien’s work at:

Facebook: facebook.com/damien.lovegrove.1
Twitter: @damienlovegrove
Instagram: @damienlovegrove
Blog: ProPhotoNut.com
Personal Website: Lovegrove Photography

Podcast: A look at the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and more…

Piet, (foreground) and Rene with the camera and the SMDV Speedbox Professional 70cm and a Cactus RF60 in the alleyway of Varanasi, India.

Piet, (foreground) and Rene (camera to his face) and the SMDV Speedbox Professional 70cm and a Cactus RF60 in the alleyway of Varanasi, India.

Every year after our workshop in India, Piet Van den Eynde and I spend an hour or so talking about this years new Fujifilm gear. Because we do it in the field it sometimes becomes difficult to find a good location to record these discussions. It is India after all, things are noisy. One year we even made a tent out of blankets and recorded the show under it. Not to worry, this years was a breeze. Piet and I only had to deal with noisy bellhops and stray dogs,  all of this served as a background to an amazing hour of looking at the latest gear from Fujifilm.  For this episode we invited camera geek and photographer Rene Debar, host of the Fuji Xtras blog to help us with our yearly overview and to discuss the new Fujifilm X-Pro2.

Note: You can keep reading or you can click here to skip to the podcast and refer back to this post while listening.

A sadhu watches a lady pass by as we photograph him with the X-Pro2.

A sadhu watches a lady pass by as we photograph him with the X-Pro2.

One of the first topics we discuses is our workshop in India and what we did during the 10 days traveling India. The last couple of years we have been doing more and more off camera flash work. This year, we hosted an exclusive group of alumni workshop participants and we did even more flash work. We brought with us two Jinbei HD600 studio strobe (Available in the USA as the Flashpoint Rovelight RL600 – $399!), three or four Cactus RF60 Wireless Flash with Built-in Wireless Commander and Receiver and even the small Nissin I40FJ Flash for Fuji. So as you can see were were ready to light up India! All this light needed modifying, so we brought the light weight and compact Lastolite 36-Inch Trifold Umbrella and what became our favorite, the SMDV Speedbox Professional 28-inch (70cm) and A110B – Professional 44 inch (110 cm). In many ways, the star of the show were the SMDV Speedboxes. They were so simple to set up and tear down that it was a no-brainer to use them. Sure, the Lastolite umbrella was light and simple to use, but it had a ton of light spill over. Frankly, the Speedboxes where almost as simple to use and with the benefit of a more directed light. As I said, a no-brainer!

In this episode we also spoke about the difference between the detail you get with using off camera flash verses available light. I said I would post an example of one image shot with both flash and available light. Here they are:

The set up.

The set up.

 

This old "fakir baba" was photographed with available light. Zoom in by clicking the photo to see the detail. But compare it to the next photo shot with the Cactus off camera.

This old “fakir baba” was photographed with available light. Zoom in by clicking the photo to see the detail. But compare it to the next photo shot with the Cactus off camera.

The above image is with available light. Nice, right? But if you zoom in by clicking on the image you will see the detail, not bad, unless you compare it to the image shot with the Cactus flash. This difference is striking!

The same fakir above, but this time photographed with a Cactus RF60 off to the left. Zoom in for more detail and see the sharpness and clarity. By the way, both photos made with the Fuji X-Pro2.

The same fakir as the first image, but this time photographed with a Cactus RF60 off to the left. Zoom in for more detail and see the sharpness and clarity. By the way, both photos made with the Fuji X-Pro2.

 

 

 

Check out the 100% crops to view the difference in sharpness:

UPDATE: I am a little concerned that the focus might be off on the “no flash” comparison shot. I used it because that was the only frame I had shot at the same distance AND focal length to compare and the to images. So, to be fair I adding another comparison. The only difference is the “no flash” or “without flash” image is shot closer to the subject. Both are still 1:1 and this time SOOC. But you can clearly see the flash image is sharper.

1:1 flash comparison.

1:1 flash comparison.

 

Piet with the camera to his face Raju our helper holding the Cactus with the SMDV Speedbox Professional 28-inch (70cm) attached.

Piet with the camera to his face Raju our helper holding the Cactus with the SMDV Speedbox Professional 28-inch (70cm) attached.

 

The results of the above lighting. BTW we put a CTO filter on the flash to warm the light's color.

The results of the above lighting. BTW we put a CTO filter on the flash to warm the light’s color.

 

Even the little Nissin i40 performed well withing it's parameters.

Even the little Nissin i40 performed well on the X-T1 within it’s parameters.

Of course much of the show is dedicated to discussing the new Fujifilm X-Pro2. An amazing camera, but not without a few quirks.

Here is the podcast, I hope you enjoy it. Please drop by iTunes and rate us.

Special thanks to our India crew. Raju and his men were a great help schlepping our gear and translating.

Special thanks to our India crew. Raju and his men were a great help schlepping our gear and translating.

 

Lights:

 

Modifiers:

 

Lenses:

 

Cameras:

 

Websites:

 

The Confessions of a Digital Immigrant

Bakarwal Gujjar 1989 - Photographed on slide film. I am guessing Ektachrome given the blues.

Bakarwal Gujjar 1989 – Photographed on slide film. I am guessing Ektachrome given the blues.

 

matt-brandon-gujjar-12.11-16.17.13-Edit

A Gujjar buffalo herdsman – 2012. Photographed with a Canon EOS 5D Mark III

 

There are two terms today that seem to categorize the world. Two terms that describe the entire world as we know it; they are digital native and digital immigrant. 1 In short, digital natives are those who never knew the world without the internet and digital immigrants are everyone else. Some of us immigrants speak “digital” like a native, while many of us are still trying to figure out Facebook. We may be fluent, but we are no natives.

As digital immigrants some of us are in a unique position to comment about both sides of the digital divide and how we see these changes affecting us. Some of us on the other hand are much like the frog in the proverbial pot of water, as the heat slowly increases we don’t see the change as it is so gradual. Mind you I am not trying to comment on what is good or what is bad with our current digital world, I’m just highlighting some of the changes this migration has seen.

I migrated to the digital world from the analog world along with all the other digital immigrants my age. If I had to identify one area that was the biggest barrier to my growth in photography I think it would simply be money, not technology. As a young photographer I struggled with the huge investment in camera gear, darkroom gear and the biggest cost of all film and processing unlike young photographers have to deal with today. Photographer Nevada Wier and I don’t see eye-to-eye as to whether the digital world is really cheaper or not. Check out my interview with her on the “Depth of Field podcast where we talk about this issue. (She takes issue with me on this point at 6:55 on the timeline.) I’ll stick to my guns on this. I still believe overall it is cheaper to get into photography today than ever before. Cameras and lenses are better and cheaper than ever. Yes, some software is pricy, but with options like the subscription model for Lightroom, you can get a month’s usage for less than two gallons of Milk (in America 😉 ).

Let’s think about this for a minute. The cost of chrome (slide) film and photo processing in 1976, the year when I graduated from high school, was somewhere around $15. A roll of 36 exposure Kodachrome would cost somewhere around $10 to $12. The processing was often only 2 or 3 dollars after that. So call it a total of $15. Today that same $15 is inflated2 to $63.46! Just buying and processing two rolls of Kodachrome is more costly than a year’s subscription to Lightroom and Photoshop today. Given that price, there was very little chance that a kid of my means would be able to experiment with frame after frame of trial and error to learn from my successes and failures. I got as good as I could through high school classes and later in university classes through a slow and costly process. But today, you can shoot as much as you want and waste as much digital data as you like at virtually (pun intended) no cost. By the way, that process of learning from your successes and failures took at the least a week or more as you waited for your slide film to be processed and returned. Today as we all know it is instant.

But here is a thought. As a photographer today I can shoot until I run out of memory, then delete and shoot some more. With this “digital excess”, if you will, are we really learning as much from it as we can or are we becoming sloppy and lazy. Reality is that creativity thrives under constraints.

“…the imagination is unleashed by constraints. You break out of the box by stepping into shackles.”

Jonah Lehrer, Imagine: How Creativity Works

When we put limitations (intentionally or unintentionally) on ourselves like time and resources we unleash creative juices we never thought we had. Don’t misunderstand me, I am not for one instance saying that the digital revolution has stifled creativity as a whole. But I do think that it might work that way with some people. The amazing wealth of information can also serve to be overwhelming and distracting. Remember a few years ago the book that was making its rounds in the creative community? It was titled, “The War of Art” by Steven Pressfield. He talked about how so many things fight for our attention. At the top of this list has to be the internet —  Facebook, Twitter and Instagram in particular. I am not alone in this observation; article after article is written about how the internet is stealing our time. With the ease of photographing and processing all your thousands or tens of thousands of images at home on your personal computer comes the risk of distraction or as Pressfield calls it “resistance.”

For me, being a digital immigrant has been a huge blessing.  I would never go back. Gear cost is less than ever. Photographers have been given complete control over over the creative process. I never would have been able to clone, dodge, burn with the detail I can do with Photoshop. If I choose I can leave my graduated filters at home and use Lightroom’s graduated filters and more. The digital era has made all this possible. Light, a company who uses new camera technology has a touch screen user interface that uses sophisticated depth-mapping technology. Meaning, you adjust focus and depth of field even after a photo is taken, all the way to f/1.2!

I love being able to look at the photo I just shot, critique it on the spot and shoot again. It has opened new doors for me to do the same with others in workshops across the globe. I would never want to return to the days of analog.

My migration continues as I have moved from shooting large heavy DSLRs like the Canon 5d MK III to lighter weight and stealthy cameras like the mirrorless Fujifilm X-T1. As tech continues to get smaller and lighter and more efficient, this movement to mirrorless cameras allows less attention to be drawn to the photographer as they are much less intrusive and nondescript.

Change is never easy. Every immigrant is uncomfortable for a period of time. But there is no going back, that boat has sailed. As a Digital Immigrant I can either complain and be a curmudgeon or learn to navigate in the digital world. As I do, I quickly uncover the treasures that await.

 

 

Fujifilm Podcast With Piet Van den Eynde 2015

Piet & other X-photographers on our past India workshop take a break to talk about what Fujifilm is serving up.

Piet & other X-photographers on our past India workshop take a chai break to talk about what Fujifilm is serving up.

 

Welcome Fujirumors Readers.

It’s always fun when I get together with Piet Van den Eynde and we compare notes on the latest Fujifilm gear. This podcast was not different. This episode is about our thoughts on the latest lenses and a few interesting accessories.


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Views of Kenya with the Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 WR

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 WR Well balanced, but it couldn't be called a small lens.

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 WR Well balanced, but it couldn’t be called a small lens.

 

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 WR with it's tulip lens hood attached.

Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 WR with it’s tulip lens hood attached.

So just before I left for Kenya, I got a WhatsApp message from my contact at Fujifilm Malaysia telling me they had the yet-to-be-released Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR. I have been waiting for this lens since it showed up on the Fujifilm Lens Road Map. A 16mm f/ 1.4? That’s a lot of light!  But the real question was going to be, would I feel it was wide enough? Let’s face it, a 16mm lens on the X-system is effectively a 24mm in 35mm-speak and I generally like shooting wide. I like fast even better. This lens has not disappointed me.

f/1.4, 1/2000 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/2000 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1


I really wanted to write this review before leaving and post it the day the lens was officially announced, but unfortunately I got the lens only the day before I left for Kenya and I have been working on an OFMP training everyday since I arrived. I was able to carve out a few moments here and there to put this little guy through some of it’s paces.

 

f/4, 1/10 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/4, 1/10 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1


Speaking of little, this actually isn’t all that small. It dwarfs the Fuji 14mm f/2.8. It’s bigger than the 23mm f/1.4 and the real shocker is, it is even slightly bigger than the 56mm f/1.2! I am not sure I understand why it needs to be this size. I understand the weight. It weighs right in between the 23mm and the 56mm at 375 g (0.83 lb), about where I expected. After all, it’s loaded with glass. But I don’t understand the size. It’s slightly bigger than the 56mm that is 3.5 times longer in focal length. But what this lens looses in size, it makes up in sharpness. Like many of the other Fujinon lenses, the 16mm is razor sharp. You need to be careful because you’ll cut yourself, its so sharp. It’s sharp at f/16 all the way to f/1.4. I was thoroughly surprised to see this lens was not only sharp in the center at f/1.4, it was also sharp from edge to edge.

 

f/10, 1/160 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/10, 1/160 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

I have yet to discover any chromatic aberrations at any f-stop. It’s here where I am suppose to tell you about the 13 lens elements in 11 groups, including 2 aspherical lens elements and the 2 ED glass lens elements to reduce lateral and axial chromatic aberration, but honestly I have no idea what that means, so as Clark Gable once said, “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn!”. All I know is it is crazy sharp!

 

f/10, 1/40 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/10, 1/40 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

I do know nice-looking bokeh when I see it, and this lens has it. Apparently it has to do with the 9 aperture blades. Again, I am less concerned with why it happens and more concern with “does it look nice?”, and it does.

The lens is weather sealed and becomes a great addition to the the weather sealed X-T1. Twice on this trip I was shooting in the rain and the camera got completely drenched. Not a problem.

 

f/1.4, 1/400 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/400 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

 

f/1.4, 1/550 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/550 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

 

I have read somewhere that this lens was slightly slow focusing using phase detection. Maybe, but I never experienced it. Every time I used it, it seemed to snap to focus as quick as the best Fuji lens.

I want to be fair here; I have not put this lens through a tough regiment of shooting. I just received this lens as I was leaving for an OFMP training at The Kilgoris Project in Kenya and only had a limited amount of time with it. What I can say is I am not disappointed with it. Unlike the 16-55mm, a lens that I felt was a well crafted lens but will never find it’s way into my bag, there is a chance this lens will not come off my camera! It is just wide enough to provide context in photos without creating undo distortion on the edges. It is fast, so it will be useful in low light situations, it is sharp and focuses quickly and accurately. What more can a photographer want? My guess is once I get this lens, my 23mm f/1.4 and my 14mm f/2.8 will stay in my bag a lot more.

 

f/1.4, 1/320 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/320 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

Did you know that this is the 4th lens in Fujifilms lens lineup at the 16mm focal length? They have the 10-24mm f/4, the 16-55mm f/2.8 and the XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6. None of these are primes and all of them slower, with the fastest being the 16-55mm at f/2.8. It might surprise some of you that I never bought the 10-24mm f/4. As sharp as that lens is, and it is really sharp, I found it too slow at f/4. Yes, I know it has image stabilization (OIS) but that just stabilizes the lens not the subject. When I did use the 10-24mm, it was almost always on at the wider end between the 10 to 16mm focal length. So the new 16mm lens gives me speed at f/1.4 and a nice wide focal length. Do I wish this was a wider lens? Sure. But at the moment, there is no wider lens at this speed on the Fuji Road Map. But I can live with that. This lens hits the sweet spot for me.

 

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/60 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/60 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

The 16mm seems to have plenty of contrast and shooting at f/1.4 it gives your subject a nice separation from it’s background. It focuses close, as you can see from the tea flower and the daisy image below. I think I was as close as 6 inch or more. The bokeh get more impressive the closer you get to your subject.

 

f/1.4, 1/1800 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/1800 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

f/3.2, 1/90 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/3.2, 1/90 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

The lens is suppose to be selling on Amazon for $999… er $1,000. So in the end, it comes down to would I shell out $1,000 for a 16mm f/1.4 lens? The answer is a resounding, “Heck yeah!”

 

f/5, 1/1100 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/5, 1/1100 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/1250 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/1000 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/1000 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/2500 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/2500 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

f/1.4, 1/2000 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

f/1.4, 1/2000 sec, at 16mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

 

f/16, 1/110 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

f/16, 1/110 sec, at 16mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

Indian Summers: Another Look

 

Alice Whelan played by Jemima West walks through the Simla bazaar. (Note the camera in the lower right and the crew giving direction to an extra in the lower right)

 

This past Sunday Indian Summers premiered. It was everything I had hoped. If you want to watch it, it will be available for 30 days from this post date HERE. You might need a little extra help to get it to play in your region. 😉  But then I am biased. I had such an overwhelming response to my photos of the main characters of this new UK Channel 4 drama, that I wanted to do a follow up with other photos. Today I am posting images of a few more actors that don’t have what some might say a main role. Yet, they still play a key place in the upcoming story line. You’ll also find some wider shots of the setting to give you a feel for Simla, India in 1932. I can’t say anything about what is going to unfold. But I can say that there is passion, suspense, intrigue and of course drama. I am posting photos but I’m not giving you any background to the scenes so you will have to use your imagination or better yet, you’ll have to watch the show to find out how these scenes relate.

 

Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph Whelan

 

Alice Whelan played by Jemima West

Alice Whelan played by Jemima West

 

 

f/1.2, 1/70 sec, at 56mm, 400 ISO, on a X-T1

Alyy Khan plays Ramu Sood

 

 

f/1.2, 1/950 sec, at 56mm, 250 ISO, on a X-T1

‘Indi’ Nadarajah as Kaiser

 

f/5.6, 1/180 sec, at 12.6mm, 320 ISO, on a X-E2

Patrick Malahide as Lord Willingdon, Viceroy of India Stands in front of his Roll Royce Phantom.

 

 

f/1.2, 1/250 sec, at 56mm, 250 ISO, on a X-T1

Ayesha Dharker as Nalini Ayer

 

 

Guy Williams as Rowntree

 

Ashna Rabheru as Shamshad Dalal

 

Fiona Glascott and Craig Parkinson watch the skills of “tent pegging”.

 

Coolies shift the Raj from New Delhi to Simla when the summer heat arrives.

 

Fiona Glascott as Sarah Raworth at Ivy Cottage.

 

Tea at Ivy Cottage with Jemima West, Julian Fenby, Craig Parkinson and Fiona Glascott.

 

 

Hasina Haque as Jaya

 

Amber Rose Revah and Craig Parkinson hold Adam.

 

Henry Lloyd-Hughes as Ralph Whelan

 

Nikesh Patel as Aafrin Dala and Rick Warden as Ronnie Keane share a moment.

 

Lillete Dubey as Roshana Dalal and Roshan Seth as Darius Dalal

 

 

Aysha Kala as Sooni Dalal soothes he on screen father Darius Dalal played by Roshan Seth.

 

f/2.5, 1/210 sec, at 56mm, 200 ISO, on a X-T1

The dinner party. L to R Rick Warden (with his back to the camera, Jemima West, Olivia Grant, Henry Lloyd-Hughes and sitting Edward Hogg.

 

Rick Warden as Ronnie Keane

 

 

 

Indian Summers to Premier Feb 15th in UK.

Penang, 2014

Georgetown, Penang, 2014

 

My adopted home, Georgetown, Penang became the unlikely setting for the new UK Channel 4 series, Indian Summers. The series is set in Colonial India in 1932 in the summer capital of Simla. Yes, during these days the British Raj had two capitals: New Delhi during the winter months and Simla, a hill station set in the foothills of the India Himalaya in the hot Indian Summers. Thus the name. Continue reading