I recently got this new photographic toy in the mailbox and wanted to test it out.
I gathered my willing subjects Yasmine and Linnea and started to make a temporary studio in my hallway using a few Nikon SB flashes and a lastolite background.
I have actually never used a ring flash of any sort in the past so this was my first shot at testing one. I decided upon the ”Roundflash” after reading a lot of positive things about it. Especially for the price it seemed like avery good choice. I read about the Orbis and some other cheaper alternatives but i thought the Roundflash got better reviews overall than the others.
I read several users claiming it could be a pain to set up so was preparing myself for a bit of a hassle there, but to be honest it was quite nice and easy to put up.
I DO agree on that folding it tp put it away was a bit more tricky, but that is the case with most things in my opinion, like tents and umbrellas and all sorts of things you have to fold. its always easier to set it up. I never seem to be able to put it back like i got it out of the box the first time 😉
My subjects choose their wardrobe for this one themselves and that was sort of the deal for them to be the willing subjects today. The themes seemed to be either very ”dressy” or martial arts in style!
Once i started shooting everything went quite smooth. I do have to say the Roundflash is quite easy to shoot with. It gives quite nice results and much like i had in mind when i bought it.
That was a minor problem though but a little annoying from time to time.
I must say that i like those pictures the most myself of the lot i shot and together with the ring flash it gives a nice effect in my opinion.
Overall I’m very satisfied with the job the Roundflash did. Its easy to use, very light and quite easy to fold and bring along.
I can say i recommend it if you want something that give you good results for a good price.
/Over and out..
Ok, so the title suggest something majestic is going to be reviewed , but it is only a bag. For me though the bag is something special, and worthy of a mention and a quick review.
For people who know me or have read the blog at some point they know i only write about things i use on a daily basis or feel is something special.
I heard about the On a bag from reading other peoples reviews, and i was drawn to the look but also the quality people spoke of. Also the passion people had when they described their ”relationship”( yes…us guys also have relationships with bags!) to their On a bags made me very curious and i decided to buy one to begin with.
First of all the price is not for the faint of heart, i have to get that out of the way first. A middle sized bag goes for like 300 Euros. yeh, a pretty hefty sum for a bag you use for a camera, one would think it is sewn together with threads made from diamond dust!
Even so I’m going to say it is worth it, if you find a model that suits your needs. Because these are bags you will grow fond of and that will also get ”better” with age, yes almost like a fine wine.
Especially the leather bags. I started buying the Ona Prince street bag. And the leather Cognac version. It cost me around 400 Euro.
It is a middle sized bag which will fit basically a body with a lens fitted and 2 more smaller primes. Then you can also fit an ipad in the back and some batteries and a phone and smaller gear you need like cleaning equipment etc.
For me it was pretty much what i wanted from it. The look and quality alone made me think it was worth it because like i said it is a bag i can use for a very long time and that i believe i will not get tired with as with some of the other bags i own.
For a trip on town it is a perfect bag if you talk size and shape. What i can say though is that the leather bag is on the heavy side for being a smaller shoulder bag . If that is a concern for you but stil want the same size they have the canvas version is different colors as well. And i actually got one of those as well. They cost slightly less as well. Plus the can take the rain, which the leather version can’t brag about. It will be ok for a light sprinkle, but in heavy rain it will surely be ruined.
Another thing i miss sometimes is some more practical inner pocket with a zipper or something to put smaller gear etc. As it is you have 2 open pockets on the outside which i feel things could fall out if tilted forward.
So also if you are after the most practical and smart bag to carry your gear in, the On a bag is not the most intuitive bag out there. Then Thinktank for example is a better alternative. But the quality and look of the On a at least in my opinion, blows the other bags out of the water. I love the style and it is the only bag i would contemplate going to town with almost as an ordinary designer bag for guys.
So i really recommend this bag. They have some different models to check out and they all are great for different purposes. I might get a smaller leather On a bowery bag as well for my X-T1 in the future.
So thursday evening and some time to kill made me think through what my next gear review should be. I am going to try to be consistent with only reviewing things i have actually used for a while, and actually like using. I will always try to review if from my angle, because the way i see it people having the same style or liking the way i shoot will be mostly helped from these reviews. I will not post a lot of technical details but rather give my impressions of the lens and what i feel are the pros and cons of it.
After reviewing the D700 and also the X-T1 which were both two pieces of equippment that i loved using, i feel that my next gear review will naturally be one of my favorite lenses.
Lets just state the obvious for people that knows the qualities of this lens that it is definitely not for everyone. First of all the price itself will put people off. I was REALLY lucky finding this on an auction and getting it for a price you normally would not find it for anywhere. Then if you actually do find it to a reasonable price there is the very specialized quality of the lens. Originally it was a lens for nighttime photography, and the way it renders lightsources like citylights or stars etc are very unique. It is also the fastest lens out there so it is a joy to use in lowlight in general.
Also the odd 58mm might be something to put people off, it is not a ”normal” length to shoot at, slightly short for portraits and alittle too long for street or architecture etc.
Still it has reached a sort of legendary status as a unicorn of lenses that is rare to find and very good to use. I read so much before i had the chance to shoot with it and knowing its characteristics in beforehand i jumped on the opportunity to try it when i at last got it.
Shooting mainly portraits i was dreaming about how the Bokeh would look on the Noct. And after shooting with it a few times i could right away it had something special none of my other lenses have. The way it renders the background when opened wide is just incredible. I know some people out there does not like the ”swirly” bokeh it gives. I love it. Also the character of the pictures that it produce is also so unique. It is a joy to use.
The look and feel of it is also like no other lens i have. The build is great, heavy and solid like an old tank!
Paired with my Nikon DF it feels like it was made for that lens alone. The pairing is perfect.
Balanced perfectly, and blend very well together, i actually have the black DF so it is not my DF on the picture above.
So what are the cons then you ask?
Well, it is manual of course being an old lens. So if you want something fast or modern it is not for you. Also it is a heavy lens for its size, that is actually a plus for me because i preferr the solid built to the new plasticky things they sell nowadays.
Also i use it strictly for portaiture. And if i need to shoot something else i leave it at home.
Or like a street/portrait lens. I sometimes take only that when leaving for a trip to town for example, the 58 lend itself to being quite versatile since its close to a normal. I would not say its the best architecture lens or the best tele lens or even the best normal lens though, as its very best characteristics comes out when you take portraits and make use of the Bokeh which is spectacular.
Also if you do not like the ”swirly” look of the Bokeh you might not like the lens either.
So why do i love to shoot with this lens?
Like with so many other things you just feel right away if it suits your needs. I can see why many think it is a fluke or a pretty quirky thing to get since of its pricetag and its very special use.
For me it really makes me want to shoot with it. I love using it, which for me in itself is a incredibly important thing. Also since of that very special look it makes the picrures very personal and stand out, and not many tools out there does that now in my opinion. So for that alone it earns a very special place in my photography heart.
If you have a chance to try it out, do it if you think it might be for you.
/Over and out.
So, after owning the Fuji X-T1 now for over a year i feel like i have a pretty good idea of what i like and what i do not like with this camera.
Like with most of my other gear i really like this product or i would not own or use it.
Still i can be objective enough to point out what i really like and what i do not like or what could have been done better in my opinion.
I bought this as a capable travel camera or a decent backup to my D700. What i did not realize when i first bought it was how much i would use it or how much it would become a really competent backup for my D700 on many occasions.
One of the other main reasons for buying it was also the weight which after using the D700 on my travels had become a real issue for me lately. I hated dragging around my D700 with lenses all over the place. It did produce great pictures but sometimes i just could not justify bringing it after all the pain i had to go through dragging it along.
Taking the X-T1 with a few lenses was such a difference and something that really made me happy when i traveled together with it the first time. Secondly the images that comes out of the X-T1 are great. So not only did it spare my body but also produced some great looking pictures and left me completely satisfied with taking that instead of my D700.
After my first vacation with it i started using it more and more back home as well, taking it to trips and using it as a backup for my D700 for real.
I also found that i wanted to pick it up more and more which for me is a very important thing. After all if you do not get inspired by your camera you do not get motivated to take pictures either.
I love the retro feel of it, and the layout of the wheels and buttons feel great using in my opinion. I was a bit worried about the size of it first as the D700 feels great in the hand when shooting. But the X-T1 have avery solid feel to it although smaller and with the lenses which are all amazing it feels really well balanced.
The build quality of it is as good as it gets as well. Weather sealed and just a really solid feel to it.
I mentioned the image quality and lenses. And all i can say it neither disappoints . The image quality is really nice, and rarely do i feel like i have to use my D700 with lenses to be satisfied any longer. The build quality and the images that the Fuji lenses produce are amazing. The lenses i own or have owned are the 18-55 and 10-24 zooms, the 23, 35, 56 primes. And they are ALL great lenses but with the 23 and the 56 being my favorites of the bunch.
So what is the downside with this camera then? Well, many have complained about the AF and the conversion of images using Raw converters etc.
I can begin with the AF and adress that. Sure, the AF is not as snappy and accurate as my D700. When i want to shoot something fast or use it for sports etc i do not use this camera.
Still its perfectly capable of shooting ordinary day to day events without any sort of problem in my opinion. Also now after Fujis new Firmware update ( writing this the 23/5-15) they have adressed some of the issues with the AF and some of the problems might have been solved. Even so its pretty good as it is.
Also about the Raw conversion using Lightroom for example as i do. I do not have any issues. I used to have some with my older Fuji X20. There i did see those problems especially in nature shots or images where i had grass or trees etc. However on the X-T1 i don’t.
The rangefinder is also great in my opinion. And i have no issues with it.
Something else to consider when buying this camera though is the lack of flash. It does not have an inbuilt flash, nor does the Fuji system ( as of now) offer any really good TTL flashes that compares to my CLS system i use for my Nikon. I did get a few Cactus triggers etc but i found it pretty clunky to use them together with my Nikon flashes and if you do you can only go manual and no TTL. I own the Fuji e-42 which has TTL and it is ok as a travel flash to get some fill flash on occasions, or save you in a tight spot. But if i want to do anything studio i am not using my X-T1 for that. So that is also something to consider.
For me using the Nikon DF now also as a backup to my D700, the X-t1 fills a really good spot as a capable fun travel companion and also as a good day to day camera that never disappoints .
I would recommend it to anyone that needs a great small camera that will give you amazing pictures and that you can take with you without breaking your back.
If you have the money to spend for it and the lenses( which are expensive! ) go get it.
So, this will be my first review on my new website. And im going to dedicate that to my ”old friend” the Nikon D700.
First off, i am going to say that i am not a proffesional reviewer or the kind of photographer that is pixel peeping or get stuck too much in the technical domain of photography. My reviews will come from the heart and from my personal experiences and thoughts of the equippment i have used over the years as a photographer.
The D700 was my first ”real” step into the new world of digital photography. I had used compacts as the Lx3 and similar cameras but never really experienced a proper replacement for my analoge Nikon F100 that i loved shooting with.
I did shoot with a Eos D30 at one point and even if that was a pretty good camera the image quality and handling comes nowhere near what the D700 stands for in my opinion.
When i first saw the images that the D700 produced i for the first time started to realize that i could leave my old film gear behind and start a new chapter in my image making.
I loved the character to the images and files. And i also loved the robust solid feeling of the D700. I started building my gearpark around it and still to this day shoot with it as my main body. I have not found a decent replacement for the D700 yet, and as a matter of fact i have not really needed one for the type of photography i do to this day.
Rarely have i found that it lacks anything. Although i can agree with that a higher amount of megapixels would not harm it in anyway. I have done a few assignments were i felt cropping the images or enlarging them in the end abit more would have been a nice possibility. But 99% of the time i have been satisfied with everything it delivers.
I use CLS( creative lighting system) together with the inbuild flash a lot so that for me was a big plus as well when buying it.
And the ability to use the camera as the commander that way gives you so much creative ability.
Besides the D700 i use a Nikon DF and a Fuji X-T1 as backups. But for all my professional work i use the D700 as my main everytime. It is just so reliable.
Thus far none of the camera bodies on the market intrests me or make me want to trade the D700 for it. The AF is just too good, and its lowlight capabilities together with its ergonomics and handling makes it the best body out there still even though its an old camera by todays standards and the lacking in megapixels.
So, for me it will always be the camera that made me go digital and have a special place in the history of my photographic journey…