Hasselblad X1D... Thoughts and Testing

Well I having been shooting photography for going on 13 years now and I remember when I was lucky enough to buy my first digital camera, the Nikon D100. At a whopping 6.1 megapixels, it was the semi professional camera of the early 2000's. At the time I was heavily involved with my collage newspaper, both in shooting, design and writing. I shot every sport on campus from football, hockey, basketball, gymnastics, baseball, you name it. I still remember being blown away by 8x10 prints the camera produced even using a cheap Epson photo printer. I used to sell prints for beer money to the athletes I took photos of. It did the job, and did the job well. 

Hasselblad X1D with 90mm and 45mm lenses. 

Hasselblad X1D with 90mm and 45mm lenses. 

Fast forward to today and we are spoiled with the options out there. Sony with their 42mp A7Rii, Nikon has the new D850, Canon has a 50 megapixel camera, Fuji, Leica, and well of course Hasselblad with their 50 and 100 megapixel sensors. They even can render a 200 megapixel image by compiling multiple images on top of each other. Where will we head next.

Shot on top of the William Vale Hotel Brooklyn, NY - Bride and Groom Editorial style shot.

Shot on top of the William Vale Hotel Brooklyn, NY - Bride and Groom Editorial style shot.

I was lucky enough to be able to use the somewhat new Hasselblad X1D for a weekend in NYC not only to bum around the city, but to shoot my wife and I as we celebrated our wedding. Now if you actually read my blog or this article you most likely just spit out your morning coffee in disbelief. Sure, would a Sony or even Fuji for that matter be easier to use, absolutely, however when you get to borrow a 50 megapixel Hasselblad, you just don't say no. 

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Bride and Groom heading to dinner.

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Bride and Groom heading to dinner.

To put it bluntly, this camera is a beast. The resolution is out of this world insane, and I can see why pro's who shoot portrait, and advertising work use Hasselblad. The camera is great, however it does come with some drawbacks, but more on that in a few. The pros to me outweigh the cons. The camera is lighter than most of the pro SLRs out there and way lighter than any other Hasselblad, Phase One system or Leica medium format system on the market. Yes I've also shot with the Leica and well... didn't like it at all. However, the X1D still has some heft to it, in a good way. You know you are handling something special as it feels really solid, and built like a tank. The lenses are also matching in quality. It's just beautiful to look at as well.  The image quality again is top notch and the amount of detail even zoomed past 100% is incredible. The menu system and touch screen is fantastic. Never did I have any glitches or issues using the functions as it's very straight forward. All around it's a fantastic piece of kit.

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Posing in Downtown Brooklyn, NY.

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Posing in Downtown Brooklyn, NY.

The Cons although not much, could be an annoyance to some, however, one must realize what they are comparing this too.People say it's not as fast as a DSLR or it's not as pro as a high end medium format camera. It sort of lies in the middle. That is where I think a lot of people get hung up on this camera. I could rant all day about people on YouTube getting paid to say this or that about one thing or another and it's frankly bullshit and annoying. The only real cons I'll bring up are three. The camera is a slow shooter. This doesn't bother me because I know what I'm getting myself into. I know this isn't going to be a Canon 5D iii or Nikon D5 or whatever. I have to slow down my shooting, plan the shot, set it up and take it. Second, the focusing. It is not meant for this type of shooting for one and I knew that going in. It's center weighted or you can select your focus point "it will not AF for you like a Canon, Sony, Nikon" it's a different focusing system so you can't bash it for that. You use the center focus square, focus and recompose, or if your'e on a tripod you manually select the correct AF point. Again didn't bother me because I knew what I was up against. Third and last, and I accredit this to just my style of shooting is the ISO and shutter speed performance. Now, in my scenario, I was shooting natural light between 2pm and 6pm. I like to shoot as the lowest ISO possible and tried to stay between 100-400. However I like to also use a fast shutter which means I'm used to shooting fast prime lenses as in f1.8-2.8. The lenses for the camera are a minimum I believe f3.5 which I think made it a bit difficult. That paired with some overcast conditions I was typically shooting around 1/60 - 1/250 of a second. For me I just missed a few shots with the lack of stabilization or all the other fancy things out there like VR lenses. Again, I'm okay with this because if I had lighting options I would have used them, or would have pumped up my ISO, whatever it was literally my wife and I, my dad and a tripod, I made it work and am still blown away with the results.

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Natural light editorial style shot of Bride and Groom.

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Natural light editorial style shot of Bride and Groom.

At this point famous YouTube people are probably cursing under their breath and saying this isn't an honest or "real world" review as they call it, but in my eyes it was. I know what I wanted to shoot, I took the camera out with nothing but a tripod and got some amazing shots. I didn't have a huge production crew, a million lights or makeup artist. All in all, again, this camera is great for what it's intended to be used for. It's not a run and gun wedding shooter, or a sports action 15 frames a second this or that, so I wish people would stop comparing different technology. If I had the money I would buy one in a heartbeat and shameless plug, would one day love to be a Hasselblad Ambassador, but at the moment it's just not in my budget. At the end of the day, just like all the other gear out there it is a tool with a specific job, it's just that this is a touch more special to me than any other camera I've used in the past.   

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Hailing a cab in Brooklyn.

Hasselblad X1D Sample Image - Hailing a cab in Brooklyn.

Thanks you for reading I hope you enjoyed - Never stop shooting!

**Disclaimer - all images are resized for the web and therefor do not represent the full resolution images that are produced by this camera** 

Analog Apex

The blend of analog photography & modern Motorsport...

I'm always up for a creative challenge, so I jumped at the opportunity to really test out the EOS 650 35mm camera during a IMSA race at Virginia International Raceway a few weeks ago with my trusty 50mm 1.8 and a rented 70-200mm. I also had my Hasselblad 500cm with me as well for some more static shots. Lets get right into it! For the Canon I was shooting Kodak T-Max 400 a Black and White favorite of mine and I'm sure many others, and I was also shooting some Fuji 400h Pro for the first time. For the Hassy I was shooting some expensive, yet sexy, and magical, Fuji Chrome Velvia 50, also for the first time. 

Rahal Letterman BMW M6 blasting down the back of the track...

Rahal Letterman BMW M6 blasting down the back of the track...

As the day got underway I was pumped with how decently well the Canon auto focus held up and dealt with cars hustling around the track some places over 100 mph. It would sometimes go out of focus and not be spot on however I just made sure that I was 100% sure I nailed the shot, because well as we all know, you can't review your images! In total I had 48 shots of black and white and 72 shots of color. 120 shots is not a lot esp when you are shooting all day and want to capture all parts of an event but I made the most of it alternating between the track and the paddock. 

A gentleman's chariot, Mercedes AMG GT car getting prepped to hit the track...  

A gentleman's chariot, Mercedes AMG GT car getting prepped to hit the track...  

After I got the film back I was disappointed to say the least. More than half of the shots both black and white and color, however most of the color ones were completely blacked out and it was obvious there was a shutter lag issue with this camera, bummer!  However looking at the bright side and staying positive this was the first shots I've ever taken with this camera and it essentially was a trial run. If I would have shot a roll prior I would have caught it, oh well. 

Team Risi Competizione prepping the Ferrari 488 GT car for track time...

Team Risi Competizione prepping the Ferrari 488 GT car for track time...

Out of the shots I got, I was pretty pleased that they were indeed in focus and offered some great images for the day. Since I did start with black and white, those turned out the most usable images. As it got hotter in the afternoon the shutter issue I feel became more apparent, hence the color not turning out so hot. 

The Ford GT speeding along full throttle...

The Ford GT speeding along full throttle...

All in a days work it was a fun time to shoot film at a fun event. I did also, get some weird looks, and struck up some good conversation with people who were shooting the latest high-end Nikon or Canon gear with 400mm glass and all sorts of gizmos. They were actually intrigued for the most part, and well when I pulled out the Hasselblad, some even turned away from looking at R8's or Porsches. 

Since then I have fixed the shutter issue for now, "crossing fingers" and still plan to use the camera for several upcoming events and travel, just need to maintain the shutter after each roll to ensure the sticking issue has ended. As a 25$ camera body investment for the Canon, I'm not too worried about it. If it breaks, I'll probably just buy another one. 

As far as the Hasselblad goes and that Velvia 50 Fuji film. Oh boy of course it is probably one of my favorite films I've shot on this camera. It sure is pricey though! At about 12$ a roll $55 for a five  pack it is not cheap, nor is it cheap to have developed, yet I want to buy a five pack and keep on hand for some awesome moments when I can put it to use. Forget really using this film in terrible light, however the dynamic range on it is fantastic, the grain is non existent and the colors are nothing short of Fuji fantastic. It uses an E6 processing method too, which creates a "positive" on the film once developed and in essence "slide film" The film itself once developed looks amazing holding them up to the light and once scanned looks brilliant. The images shown were not altered in Lightroom that much. I just adjusted the highlights and shadows a touch and some other minor dust removal ect.

BMW M6 of Rahal Letterman in the garage getting some tuning done before the race... 

BMW M6 of Rahal Letterman in the garage getting some tuning done before the race... 

Race Marshal looking on to the start of the race...

Race Marshal looking on to the start of the race...

This film would be best in early morning shoots, and early evening and even mid day when you have great light. I would also be careful on exposure and if you can push 1/2 or a full stop in camera depending on the light and shadows or else the image could be too dark. I'm happy with my first set of images and can't wait to shoot some proper landscape with this film. 

The R8 sits in the Paddock as it gets prepped to get on the track...

The R8 sits in the Paddock as it gets prepped to get on the track...

A driver looking focused and ready to race...

A driver looking focused and ready to race...

Well that's all I have so far! Hope you made it to the end of this long post as it was sort of two or three posts in one. Get out there and keep shooting, and don't be afraid to try something new and expand on something you might not be comfortable with. 

30 Years of Canon EOS reborn.

To start things off this isn't going to be much of a review as it is an experience, and well more so an impulse buy. Recently I have made some changes in my camera gear that have taken a step back into time. First when I bought the Hasselblad 500cm and just recently I found a perfect example of a Canon EOS 650 from 1987. The camera was a camera for the future and revolutionary at it's time and paved the way for future film, and later digital camera technology. 

The EOS 650 was simple with an insanely fast AF system, especially compared to today's cameras. It gave everyone the opportunity to capture great moments. The EOS 650 was Canons 1st EOS camera and it resembles similar controls and shape as a 5D would have to this day.  I can tell you that with just a 50mm 1.8 AF lens on this camera it focuses great even in low light or indoors. The shooting modes make it easy, load in film, and you are to the races with this inexpensive, simple to operate 35mm camera. 

I haven't put any film thought it yet but have a nice weekend planned for the 26th of August where I am slapping a 70-200mm F2.8 IS ii on the camera "since it can accept any EF lens after 1987" and taking it to VIR for the WeatherTech Sports Car Race. Should be a great test of auto focus, accuracy and speed, I'm just hoping for nice weather "fingers crossed" 

This should be a fun camera to mess around with and with the right film should offer great results. Stay tuned for some sample images coming in the next few weeks. 

- Never stop shooting

A Wedding in the Sand... Chelsea + Cody

This past weekend, 15 July 2017, I got the privilege of photographing a simple, quaint, yet beautiful little wedding ceremony of some friends in Wilmington, NC. The setting was Kure Beach ocean side and we couldn't have asked for any better weather. After the ceremony we moved to Elijah's Restaurant in downtown Wilmington right off the river. I captured some fantastic shots as I enjoyed great company, and met some new friends. These are just a sample of some of my favorite shots I got on Cody and Chelsea's special day. 

My photo gear I was using was my Fuji XT1 camera with 18-55mm and 50-140mm lenses. The camera performed flawlessly as I expected. The light was harsh, yet shooting in RAW the camera handled the shadows and highlights very well. The decent speed of the camera also made it possible to snag those important shots that could very well be lost forever. Although I've used larger more professional DSLR cameras, the Fuji sneaks right in there not making it stick out like a sore thumb. I thought it worked well for this small intimate setting. I would love to see some comments and hope you all enjoy the photos as much as I do! 

Never stop shooting...

Medium Format... An intimate affair.

How shooting film has made me a better photographer. Tips, Film Type and why film will never die!

This year I discovered the joy of shooting medium format film, and it has completely rejuvenated my interest in photography as a whole. Lets start by going over what makes medium format so attractive. I have been shooting photography since 2004 when I first picked up my brand new Nikon D100. At the time this 6 something megapixel camera was at the top tier for semi pro and pro shooters alike. In collage I never took any film classes, and really just wrote film off as, oh it takes forever to get developed, I can never see what I'm shooting, and it's just slow. Fast forward to today with over 13 years of photography experience, several digital bodies and lenses later and my favorite camera to shoot... My newly acquired 1979 Hasselblad 500cm. 

Until I bought my Hasselblad I really didn't know much about film as I mentioned above, yet alone the word that is medium format. I didn't know what 120 film was, or the 6x6/645 lingo until a photo friend started to show off his Mamiya 645 camera.  Lets just say it it peeked my interest. I started the long and grueling internet search for medium format cameras. I looked at photographers, bloggers, reviews, brands and so on. I was immersed in this new found love, it became an intimate affair. 

After I settled that I wanted a Hasselblad, mainly for it's iconic look and heritage I found a perfect example on Ebay and took the plunge. It arrived a few days later as anxiously awaited the USP driver like a little kid on Christmas morning. I opened the box and I was infatuated with the cameras purity. I snagged some film and started shooting.  

1979 Hasselblad 500cm with a few of my favorite rolls of 120 Film.

1979 Hasselblad 500cm with a few of my favorite rolls of 120 Film.


Slides of film are tangible... You can touch them, they aren't something lost on a hard drive.

Slides of film are tangible... You can touch them, they aren't something lost on a hard drive.

Wait so your'e saying it shoots a square photo? Like Instagram? Sure you can say that, although this is OG and timeless. At first I didn't know how I would like the square look. It takes a lot more thought and time to really compose an image because well for one, the rule of thirds it a bit thrown off, it's hard to lead your subject, and square proportions usually leaves a little less of a desired look. 

I was hesitant at first and sort of unsure how to approach photography, something I've been great at for the past decade. However, the rudimentary shape of a square quickly became somewhat of an obsession and a challenge. It makes one look at a photo, a portrait or a landscape in a whole new manor. 

Loading a roll of film takes time, patience, and a certain meticulous care. With a medium format camera one doesn't just turn on the camera and blast away at 14 frames a second. Remember with 6x6 you only get 12 shots so make them count, and the old saying can be applied, measure twice and cut once...except expose twice or three times and shoot once. 

When I shoot a roll of film I might not finish a roll in a day, week or even two weeks. Sometimes I forget even what is on the roll once I get it developed. I plan my shots, I wait for the moment and capture something sensational on a tangible format. Once you start shooting film it almost becomes an extension of yourself. When I shoot film, I'm in no rush, I think about my shot before I even compose the exposure and then I think about it some more. I can't Photoshop the image after or crop someone out it's there forever engraved into a piece of transparent plastic. 

I encourage everyone especially these days to explore film if they can. Maybe not jump into medium format right away, but 35mm cameras can be had for some great prices. Explore different film types, some are high contrast some are grainy or smooth. Slow down your shooting, explore new mediums and don't limit yourself the the digital world. 

Concours d'Elegance

Blending the history, heritage and grandeur from three of North Carolina’s proudest traditions – Motorsports, golf and military – The Pinehurst Concours d'Elegance is a unique celebration of America’s passion for the automobile and honor for the brave men and women who protect and provide the very freedom we enjoy.

Known as the birthplace of golf in the United States, Pinehurst has hosted more golf championships than any other site in America, including the 2014 U.S. Open and 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, PGA Championship, a Ryder Cup match, PGA Tour Championship and U.S. Amateurs.

Events are planned for the fifth annual Pinehurst Concours d’Elegance on Saturday, May 6, 2017, with some of the most historic and rare automobiles staged on the fairways of the iconic golf resort.

Virginia International Raceway

The smell of race fuel and sounds of engines filled the air as I got to spend the day at Virginia International Raceway for the Pirelli World Challenge. I have never been to VIR and I have to say it was a great racetrack. Nestled in the hills of Alton Virginia one wouldn't ever guess that there would be a world class racetrack hidden among the trees. As I slowly got closer to the gate you can start to hear the buzzing of the cars zipping around the track and the smell of rubber and race fuel fills my senses with excitement.  I was a kid in a candy story, although this candy is quite expensive. Here are some of my favorite shots from the weekend. Enjoy! 

Take Your Own ENGAGEMENT Photos!! A can do attitude!

Planning a wedding can be tedious, stressful, confusing, and probably, most importantly, costly on the pocket book. One way to have fun with your soon to be bride or groom is to alleviate the stresses and spend a fun filled day together out in the city, or maybe the mountains, or a place you both consider romantic. Not only spend the day together but bring along a few simple tools to take your own engagement photos! Now I'll admit it, I have over 8 years in the photography industry, some hobby and some working professionally on many different projects, however taking your own photos is not as daunting as it may seem. I will give some helpful tips and tricks to follow and you can achieve similar results. Let's get started!   

Selfie time! Actually I'm using my phone to control my camera shutter remotely!

THE GEAR! So I used to believe the more $$ the camera the better it is. While that is still true somewhat today, most decent consumer "non professional" cameras on the market are packed with megapixels and features. I will break it down.

THE CAMERA: Fuji Xt1 camera. Fuji 18-55mm f2.8-4  Tripod: Any sturdy tripod will do, however make sure when fully extended it's sturdy and wont tip over (some of very cheaply made) and a smart phone that allows you to download the Fuji app in my case or a wireless shutter remote that works for your camera brand. That's literally it! 

My fiance and I strike a pose while I control the camera with my phone behind me!

For the camera, it can be any type honestly, and whatever your budget fits. I like to buy used as long as it's from a reputable company locally or online. KEH, Adorama, and B&H Photo are all awesome sites that have used gear and offer warranties with them. I bought my XT1 right after the XT2 came out and got a great deal on it!. Fuji, Sony, Nikon and Canon are all great brands, however Sony and Fuji are stepping ahead of the game in the tech and features department and being mirrorless, they offer a much more compact option. 

I would also recommend something that you can change the lenses on but it's not totally needed, just givesyou more options down the road. At the end I'll have a few recommended cameras that are of different styles. 

A peaceful yet productive Saturday afternoon. 

Just dancing on the sidewalk... No big deal! 

THE PLAN: I would highly recommend doing a bit of recon where you plan to take photos. You don't necessarily have to know every single spot but know the area and always have a backup plan! We choose an urban environment for we felt it would give us many different looks and have more areas to explore as apposed to a rural or even mountainous environment. Do some research too! Agree on the look you want and research on the shots other people have done then replicate that with your own flair! I also planned for the shoot to take longer than it actually did. Typically with your own photographer he or she will tell you how to pose, what to do and you can knock out a shoot in 2-3 hours. We took slightly longer, about 5-6 hours total. This did include a few breaks but we still managed our time wisely. Time used for setting up the shot on the tripod, different poses, walking around other parts of the city all take up more time so plan for that!

TOP TIPS: Check the weather too! May be overlooked but make sure you know when you are heading out that the weather is great for the whole day. You can also bring a few different outfits to do a wardrobe change mid session if you would like. Bring a small bag to use for snacks, water, and miscellaneous things if needed or just take a break grab a coffee, snacks or some bloody marry's, on a break!

Most importantly have fun! Make the day stress free and what you want!

When it comes down to it these are your photos and they should reflect you both individually and as a couple. Don't get caught up in a million different details and that every single shot has to be perfect or else the day is ruined. Communicate with each other in the look you want. Bounce ideas of each other and make them work. Some ideas don't work but experiment and find out. Remember two minds are better than one! 

ONE FINAL THOUGHT: Now you may ask yourself... But I'm not a pro photographer or don't have the experience like you. How can I even come close to getting shots like that! Don't sell yourself short. Patience and knowing you can do it is half the battle. Make sure you are in good light, a super bright sunny day is not ideal, unless it's early in the morning or late in the afternoon when the sun starts to go down, overcast is actually the best because it diffuses the light and doesn't cast harsh shadows. Try NOT to use the on camera flash. This will create a weird look and in my opinion not as professional looking. Natural light is your friend. Shoot your photos in RAW format and on the maximum file setting. This will allow you to extract the most info out of your images for the best results later on. I recommend Adobe Lightroom CC for editing. It makes adjusting the photos very easy. You can download a free trial from Adobes website and edit the photos and never have to pay for it... unless you want to use it after 30 days. Lastly, most cameras these days as I mentioned have oodles of megapixels, however try to at least find something that is over 12. Anything beyond that is honestly overkill for amateur photography. With 12 you will be able to post them online easily, and make decent size prints for your friends and family.

RECOMMENDED CAMERAS: Fuji XT1, Sony A6000. Those are my two top cameras I would suggest. And honestly for the $$ I would go with the Sony. It already comes with a lens. It's higher megapixels and it's smaller. Both offer features too where you can send the pictures to your phone which is great for social media uploading. 

Well although a bit lengthy, I hope I covered a decent amount to enable you to get some great photos! If there are more questions feel free to email me or comment and I can help with answering anything. Happy Shooting! 

Hasselblad 500cm... A timeless beauty.

When you are shopping for a used medium format film camera that is close to 40 years old one doesn't just walk into any old camera store and swipe the credit card and walk out. That being said, when your are shopping for a used Hasselblad, the processes can get even more tedious. I began my journey with research on top of research. I browsed forums, online groups, YouTube reviews, what to look for what to avoid and after a few months of searching I finally landed a winner! A beautiful one owner 500cm with original manual, and matching serial numbers. I frantically checked my phone for shipping updates hourly anticipating its arrival. 

I was lucky enough to find a great seller in the US to avoid having to buy from Japan or another country and having to deal with longer shipping times and possible customs headaches. The package arrived and I ripped it open to reveal an amazing example of a timeless beauty

Holding a Hasselblad in your hands is something that just has to be experienced. Better yet, looking through that amazingly clear waist level viewfinder is something of pure magic. It's a view that can under no means be recreated by today's technology. Needless to say I tossed a roll of film in it and got to work! I can't wait to enjoy this for many years to come! Stay tuned for a new page dedicated to some film work!

Never stop shooting!

A Classic Reborn...

When I was a young kid I could remember when we would have family gatherings for holidays, birthdays, or even just random summer cookouts. My parents would line my sisters and I up for pictures and would could barely sit still for the photos. This camera was legit back in the late 80's early 90's with some models ranging over $550! Heck now that can buy you a Sony A6000 and a kit lens at 24 megapixels. 

After Polaroid announced the end of instant film in 2008 a company came along and bought the last remaining factory, days before it closed down. Impossible became the new face of Polaroid film in keeping a classic alive. A quote that the company bases itself on is

“Don't undertake a project unless it's manifestly important and nearly impossible.” - Edwin Land, founder of Polaroid and inventor of the world’s first instant camera.

I am on board with Impossible as I believe the feeling of having something tangible is lost in our fast world of digital and social media. It feels good to hold something after it's finished. It's great to share photos online or in a gallery but to actually see the live image in your hands and then hang it on a wall or an office cubicle, or school locker has a whole different meaning and feel. 

I appreciate this camera and Impossible for keeping a classic alive, allowing me to remember my childhood, and have a little separation from this digital world. It makes taking photos fun, engaging, and memorable. Thanks Impossible! 

For more information on Impossible Project, their history, products and mission, visit them at Impossible Project

Tactical Wrist Lanyard

UPDATE VERSION 2.0!!  Just finished the 4 color lanyard spread that will be available for sale. This is the colors I'm currently running. $35 for 1 and $50 for 2 with FREE SHIPPING to anywhere in the US!

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UPDATE!! Just finished another wrist lanyard in a nice deep red with beautiful rich tobacco leather. Love how this turned out. It's being shipped to one of my friends in a few days for him to enjoy!  

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Inspired by things that are rugged, functional yet fashionable I was looking for a simple method of keeping my camera secure while also allowing me to get shots on the move. I have used bulky camera slings that were cumbersome and just got in the way especially when shooting casually. I wanted something with a quick disconnect that I could easily take off and store with out fussing about.

A lover of para-cord, I deiced to make my own. I went with a simple wrist strap as I didn't need a camera necklace, yet at the same time this is lightweight and strong. The PROTOTYPE, if you want to call it that, turned out great! I am entertaining the idea of making a few other color options in this style and putting them up for sale. Look for new color options in the upcoming week or two.

Cheers and happy shooting! 

Rokinon 85mm F1.4 Beast!

So continuing my journey of exploring photography I was looking to add another lens to my Fuji XT1 to pair with the 18-55mm kit lens. While this lens is an excellent factory kit lens that pairs well with the XT1 I was looking for something with a bit longer reach. Since I bought the XT1 used and am not ready to sink in tons of $$ for insane zoom lenses I was looking for a budget friendly option. After some research I came across the ROKINON 85mm F1.4. I watched countless of YouTube reviews and read all about it and finally decided to give it a try. Snagged it up from Amazon for $270 shipped. 

I was pumped to get it and try it out to say the least. First thing I notices is the lenses size and weight. The construction is solid being made out of aluminum and it's a hefty fella. It's robust and I feel confident that even if I dinged it on a few things here and there it would stay strong. 

When I first got around to shooting with it there was a bit of a learning curve. I'm used to fast action auto focusing lenses in which I can just hold down the shutter and fire away and nail shots right after one anther. With this lens being a manual focus lens, I needed to take a different approach to shooting, especially if I was trying to capture a moving subject or people in general. 

Needless to saw I got the hang of it fairly easily and I was off enjoying the wonders of F1.4! Now, one thing that I had to keep in mind and if you a FUJI user you should as well is the focus peaking option. I keep my focusing to either "M" or "C" because with "C" mode engaged I can have face detection still on. This helps for getting moving shots and people in focus. Now for normal still shots or even portraits I would use "M" mode for more precise shooting and focus checking

I won't get all hard core and crazy with the specs and details of the lens as you can easily look that up. Just my honest opinion and real life review here. I would rate this lens high 8.5/10 mainly because the images are very sharp, you can't beat the quality of this lens paired with F1.4 for the price, and the build quality is great

I don't think anything can be perfect, but this lens does a great job. The fact that it doesn't have auto focus and no electronic connection to the camera is really the only downfall, yet for something equivalent from one of the big companies you will easily pay 4-5x the price.  

People Of NYC

I was in NYC for a few days during New Years and I went out with the FUJI XT1 and focused on street and people shots. Shot a little bit of everything, kept it clean and simple with Black and White