Wednesday, April 27, 2016

The Kit

After much consideration and experimentation, I decided on the kit I will take to Paris.  I think.  
Initially I thought I would take the Fuji 18-55 kit zoom - after all, it’s autofocus and has image stabilization.  And it’s optically excellent.  But with practice I got better with manual focus lenses on the X-Pro1.  And I have just never got on with zooms.  Even the very nice manual focus Tokina 70-150 for my OMs has not seen the light of day for over a decade.
So the line up starts with the native, auto-focus Fuji 18/2.  It’s one of Fuji’s older primes and by some reports isn’t as good optically as later lenses, but it certainly is no slouch.  For the kind of work I do, it’s perfect - 28mm equivalent field of view, which I love for street work.  I have a feeling I will use it a lot.
Second is the OM Zuiko 35/2.8.  F2 might be nicer, but I don’t have one and it is larger and heavier than the 35/2.8.  I’ve always loved the rendering of this OM lens.  On the X-Pro1 it will provide a field of view of 53mm on a “full frame” camera/sensor.  If you only have two lenses for travel and street photography, 28 and 50 are the way to go.
I deliberated whether to take a longer lens and finally decided to go with it, so am packing the OM Zuiko 50/1.8.  I have a 50/1.4 which would give me one more stop exposure.  But the 1.8 is so small and light.  The 50/1.4 isn’t THAT much bigger, but it’s enough that the camera would balance quite differently than the 35/2.8 much less the Fuji 18/2.
What?  No film?  Well yes. Of course  I’m taking the Olympus XA.  It’s pocketable yet has rangefinder focusing and a lovely (if quirky to some) 35/2.8 lens.  It’s great at either quick street work or more deliberate shooting.
I had considered taking an OM body thus having use of the Zuikos on a film body as well as the Fuji.  I still may, but have pretty much decided to keep the kit as small and light as possible.  Too many choices does not promote good photography.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Mobile Test

Since I leave for Paris three weeks from today (!) I wanted to try a mobile app to be able to blog.  I am not taking my MacBook - travel light is my mantra!

I will have some access to my son's computer, but I certainly don't want to inconvenience him; and writing and posting from an actual computer draws me into a longer session. While not as convenient, posting from a mobile device may focus my attention along with supporting "real time" blogging.

So I downloaded the free version of Blog Touch for my iPhone.  Along with the iStick to transfer photos from my camera's SD card, I may have a workable suite of tools.

The photo below is just a test of inserting images - let me know if you see anything funky.  And subscribe!

© 2016 Earl Dunbar

"My name is Buddy, please adopt me!"

PS - I've finished this from my laptop.  It turns out the free version of Blog Touch supports what I need for mobile blogging except ... publishing what I've written.  Back to square one.  Maybe I'll just submit to using Tumblr for awhile.

Sunday, March 27, 2016


Buddy is the current foster dog in the house.

Young, full of energy and sweet!

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Fuji-Zuiko Marriage

I've resumed practicing using my manual focus Olympus OM Zuiko lenses on the Fuji.  I think I've made progress in understanding camera operations in manual focus meode and that I've gotten better.

I was out for a little while today at Lake Ontario, at the Irondequoit Bay access.  Both of these photos were made using the (legendary) Zuiko 21/2, which works out to a field of view of a 32mm lens on the Fuji APS-C sensor.  It's a nice compromise between 28mm and 35mm field of view.

I converted both of these photos from RAW.  The in-camera JPGs were very good, but I just wanted to gain further experience in editing.  The only changes I made were to work with the curves, light sharpening and resizing.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Buddy & Kalli

Today a new foster dog came to the house.  Buddy is an owner surrender - a new baby was severely allergic and even required hospitalization.

He's a little Shitzu and very busy.  It didn't take Buddy long to feel at home.  And while watching the Leafs and Sabres, Buddy decided he liked Kalli and wanted to give her a kiss.  Kalli was not impressed.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Sleepy Girl - Adapted Lens on the X-Pro1

OM System Zuiko 28/2.8 (with a bit of fungus on the front [I think] element)

This is cropped and with a minor amount of sharpening. ISO 3200, f2.8.  Love my dog.

March Break with Daughter

March break for Ontario schools (and some other provinces?) is a wonderful time.  It's there in the middle of March, not dependent on the timing of Easter.  You've seen the backside of January and February (if not late winter storms) and you can see, even if in the distance, the end of the school year.

Students adore it, but teachers even more.  This year I was able to take my daughter on a little road trip to see her Grandma, who will be 92 the day after my daughter turns 26.  Mom is healthy for her age, but obviously won't be with us forever, so we want to take advantage of opportunities to visit.

Being a teacher, of course my daughter had teacher stuff to do.  So we headed to a good coffee house to take advantage of caffeine and free WiFi.  Dad was a techie and had an Internet connection, but after he died, Grandma reverted to her buggy whips.

The next day we met up with my "girlfriend", the retired French teacher who was my first date -- when I was 10 days old.  😇

Since my daughter teaches in a French immersion school and I am headed to Paris, it was a really fun time.

Great trip, I easily got into vacation mode and only responded to two work emails.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Martini Time

With my daughter on March break .. this was called a Raindrops Martini ... was tasty.

Fuji 18-55 @ 18mm