Fuji XF 56mm F1.2 R Lens Review:

A fast short-tele portrait lens is a “must-have” for many photographers, especially for those in the wedding and portrait industry yet for a long time, it was missing in the Fuji X Series lineup.  There are third party versions, and there’s also the sharp, compact XF 60mm F2.4 but nothing made by Fuji, below the F2.0 range.  As of spring 2014, that changed with the release of the XF 56mm F1.2 R lens, an optic that many have been patiently waiting for.  With the crop factor taken into account, the 56mm F1.2 is approximately an 84mm equivalent, which is a preferred focal length for many portrait and wedding photographers.  Its fast aperture is also prized in this type of lens both for available light photography and for creating beautiful shallow depth of field or as some refer to as “bokeh”.  So far, the details sound promising but does the XF 56mm F1.2 really cut it?  Is it worth its asking price of $999.00?  Was it worth the wait?  Let’s find out. [click to continue…]


View of The Brooklyn Bridge From Dumbo:

I hope everyone is having a great summer.  Sorry for the lack of posts.  What was only suppose to be a two week fishing trip ended up being extended a lot longer.  I also know that a few of you left me comments and sent me emails.  I’m sorry for the late replies!  I’m back now, and I will be posting again.  I have some cool Fuji stuff coming soon, and I might throw some Leica in the mix since I want to expand that section of my blog.  But for now, I just wanted to post something quick to get the ball rolling again.  I figure a great way to start off is a pic of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge.

I took this shot in Dumbo.  It was actually a pretty muggy day.  While I like walking across the Brooklyn Bridge, I rarely do so now because it gets very crowded.  I had my M 240 and my old 35mm Summicron Version 4 with me.  I’ve been shooting with a lot of my older lenses lately.  I prefer the modern Leica lenses in general but a lens like the Summicron Version 4 is so compact; it’s a great lens to carry on those hot summer days.  Nowadays, I use the ASPH version more because I prefer it optically but the older one is still no slouch; someone recently requested a 20×30 print of the photo in this post, and I have to say, for a lens that is decades old, it still performs brilliantly.


 Anyway, I appreciate you all stopping by.  Take care!


Anker Astro Mini 3000mAh Review:

These days, we rely on our smart phones more than ever.  When I’m away, I don’t always bring my laptop with me, and often times, I rely on my phone to search the web, check my email, work on blog-related business to even showing my pictures to whoever is interested.  But since I use my iPhone so much, the battery usually doesn’t make it to the end of the day.  So, what are my options?  Well, I could shut some of my apps down or I could simply use my phone less.    I can also bring my wall charger, and pray I’ll find some place to charge it during the day.  None of these options really sounded good to me.  That’s when I started looking into portable chargers, and that’s how I came across the Anker Astro Mini. [click to continue…]

The search for the perfect camera – from a pro tog’s perspective
Taken on a Sony A200, entry level DSLR. 6secs at f5.6 on the 'crappy' kit lens.

Taken on a Sony A200, entry level DSLR. 6secs at f5.6 on the ‘crappy’ kit lens.

Note from Admin: Here’s an excellent guest post with exceptional images by Paul Richards who’s a professional photographer in the UK.  Enjoy!

I am a professional wedding photographer in Cornwall, UK, who specialises in documentary style photography. Honest storytelling is at the heart of what I do, and the only posed shots I do at a wedding are the group shots. I am somewhat of a purist photojournalist, so I won’t interfere at all, not even to move a wedding dress into a better spot, I’m only interested in finding the truth of the day. To me, life in all its glory is more than beautiful enough without being staged. [click to continue…]


Cupcake Baking Class at Butter Lane:

Sometimes it’s easy to get stuck in a certain mind frame or pattern, so this year, I’ve been making it a point to try new and interesting things.  I’ve been making huge efforts to broaden my horizons as they say.  One new adventure in this quest of mine was to go to a cupcake baking class at Butter Lane.  This was actually my sister’s idea.  Now, this doesn’t seem like such a big change but I bet many of you haven’t actually eaten anything that I’ve cooked before.  Trust me, you don’t want to.  I like you all too much to feed you what I cook ;) .   [click to continue…]