Simplr Strap

Charlene gear 10 Comments

A year or so ago, I wrote a little story about a Domke camera strap, reposted here. I’ve always been a fan of hardy gear, because I’m a klutz, and despite my best efforts (and believe me, I try very hard) everything I use regularly gets pretty well beaten. When the strap in that post finally frayed to the point of retirement, I simply got another. The Domke is functional, sturdy and straightforward, I didn’t think anyone else made a strap like that (and honestly, didn’t actually care). Then Jason from Simplr Straps got in touch a couple of months ago. He makes tough, lightweight, functional straps, he said. He wanted to send me one to try out. Ok, I replied, never one to say …

The Fujifilm X-E3, small but mighty

Charlene gear 67 Comments

The three of you that are long time readers of this somewhat irregular blog, will know that what my camera looks like, is important to me. Almost exactly 2 years ago, I wrote an uncharacteristic post about all the Fujis I’ve loved before, and then followed it up with more angst a few months later. Both these posts have the same message: I like rangefinder bodies, the more compact the better, and my favourite one so far has been the X-E2. Today marks the launch of the X-E3, the E2’s next incarnation. Insert googly eyed emoji here. The X-E3 is, in a nutshell, all my favourite things, in an even smaller package than its predecessor. It’s like Yoda. You think it’s a small frog, then …

Idle impressions on the Fujifilm GFX50S

Charlene gear 7 Comments

If you follow me on Facebook, you’ll have seen this already. This one’s on the blog for posterity. Day 2 with the GFX: A couple of quick impressions from walking around and doing my usual kind of shooting, in my usual manner. I will say first that I have never used any kind of medium format camera. The GFX50S is my first experience with medium format. So. Everything said here is in context of the X-Pro or X-T series cameras that I’ve been using for the past few years. If you’re an X-Pro / X-T user thinking about the GFX, you might be idly interested. Everyone else, have a chuckle (but be kind, please). 1. It didn’t take long to get comfortable using this camera. …

Fujinon XF 23mm F2, another lens with gorgeous flare

Charlene gear, journal 28 Comments

It’s been 4 years. I’ve wanted a compact 23mm lens since I first held the X-Pro1, back in mid 2012. I’ve been around the world for the last 4 years with the XF 35mm F1.4 (53mm full frame field of view on Fujifilm X series cameras), and have been hankering after something wider – that classic 35mm f.o.v. At the end of September last year, I bounced into the Fujifilm Nordic room at Photokina, where our long suffering Product Manager Karl was doing three million things around the new medium format beast they’d just announced at the fair, that every man and his dog wanted a piece of. “Do you have a lens for me?” It was the same question I may or may not …

Review: The Little Strap That Could (Domke 1″ Gripper w/ Swivel)

Charlene gear 4 Comments

(Originally published on Kage Collective.) The Domke 1″ Gripper Strap with Swivel once saved me. In 2013, not long after arriving in Mexico City, I’d made the mistake of getting into the Metrobus – as the name suggests, a rapid transit system on wheels instead of rails – at rush hour. It was packed. I’d sardined into the bus with everyone else at the station, back against the doors, with both shoulder bag and camera (the good old X-Pro1) slung across my body to make sure they stayed with me. Arriving at the next station, the doors opened to disgorge the flood of departing bodies and take in a fresh wave of incoming ones. As they were closing, a guy who had been fighting his way to get …

A Camera With My Name On It and Other Things

Charlene gear 26 Comments

Early April 2016, Copenhagen A week before we came to Belgrade, Flemming and I met the man himself, Mr FujIb Thordal (key Fujifilm account manager in Denmark), who had a big box of goodies for us. I unwrapped: A production X-Pro 2 with my name on it X-Photographers Book 2016, with my picture in it Fujifilm 5 Years of X Series: Getting Back To Photography book, also with my picture in it Kamera & Bild magazine’s March Fujifilm Special issue, with my pictures, and an entire story about me in it Being part of the X-Pro 2 launch was a tremendous thing for more than the look-at-me factor. Camera companies don’t market to people like me in general. Mine is not the face you see, or think …

Building blocks

Charlene gear, journal 18 Comments

I haven’t stopped shooting since I’ve been in Guanajuato. The UNESCO Heritage Listed city itself is unbelievably beautiful, with that gorgeous colonial architecture framing an exhilarating assemblage of shapes and colors. It is impossible to ignore and for anyone who is visually inclined, an unending pleasure. Most of all, it’s impossible to ignore the binary play of light and shadow, where tone is all but lost to the camera’s eye before the long twilight sets in. A little bit of camera talk: the X-Pro 2 All pictures in this post were made with the pre-production X-Pro 2, now running production firmware. [Original, review and images here] I’ve been using it continuously since I got to North America in January, to Flemming‘s detriment, as this unit was meant for us both to share. The mildly stricken look on my face when I have to use anything else though, eventually led him to graciously declare that …

Fujifilm X-Pro 2: She’s got it where it counts, kid

Charlene gear, journal 68 Comments

It was exquisite. I spent a whole day in late October last year, doing nothing but hitting “refresh” on DHL’s tracking site, willing the courier to make it to my door in under 12 parsecs. So lifting the pre-production model of the new X-Pro 2 out of its packing was a hotly anticipated moment. Picking up the X-Pro 2 for the first time felt like returning to some kind of photographic home. I got its predecessor – the X-Pro 1 – in 2012. It was my first X-series camera, and with the old XF 35mm f1.4, the only thing I had to make photos with for 2 years. It had been a while since I’ve held an X-Pro body. The first time this one sank into my palm, I had that feeling. The one …

The Fujinon XF 35mm F2 | A Lens With A Certain Flare

Charlene gear 71 Comments

I’ve had the new XF 35mm F2 lens from Fujifilm on loan for the last month, while Flemming and I were in Colombo, Sri Lanka. There’s nothing quite like taking new gear (to say nothing of the mind) for a spin in a fresh destination. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this lens. Plenty has been written about what a great lens the new 35 is, but new gear is usually met with a certain level of frenzy. I’m not a nit picker when it comes to gear, particularly since Fuji X-series gear is never bad. I already own the XF 35mm f1.4, which was for 2 years, the only lens I had to put on a camera. It’s endured some questionable treatment, and still works fine.  So I wasn’t …