Tag Archives: Summicron

April 16th, 2014 … Fuji X-Pro 1 and 18mm … a Meeting of the Eye, Heart and MInd

Well, Garry woke early this morning again. He had the un-named 18mm on and I gotta tell ya…I don’t plan on naming my lenses only because I have to many to deal with. My Leica glass alone is like a well equipped shop, in fact it used to be. So back to Garry and the 18mm. I spent decades with a 35mm Summilux or Summicron on my M bodies and never felt the need to switch FOV except sometimes. Well That became my NATURAL FIELD OF VIEW. Of course now just like then I carried a few other lens in my small bag. Well, that’s easier said than done with the X-lenses except the 18mm and the 27mm. So for many years with a variety of cameras I’ve come to learn to see the 28mm FOV as natural.

Now this doesn’t mean that I can’t use other lenses, it just means that my NATURAL FIELD OF VIEW has actually changed due to habits. It’s now really 28mm or the 18mm that Fuji makes but gets trashed by many users on forums because it doesn’t have that snappy sharpness that has nothing to do with the real quality of a photograph. What is true is that the 23mm (35mm) is an amazing lens and I’m lucky to own it and understand it. because of that….I will now revert back to the magical 18mm.

Fortunately I am of the mindset, that the content of my photos always without exception takes precedence over the Pixel Peeping that gets in the way of the Art of Seeing. The mechanical aspects of photography have never grabbed me and held me long enough to effect what and why I do what I do or try to do.

04-14-0287Fuji XP1 & 18mm

I have to say that many months ago, I used the 18mm a lot. When the 23mm arrived on the shelf, I fell under it’s spell and was enamored by it’s charms. On the street I felt as if an old friend had come to visit me. I felt the FOV just work for me without hesitation. I could come upon a scene and when I raised the camera, I was where I was to be. That brought back the Natural Field Of View to me and I cherished every frame I made with it. There was something I started to notice. I noticed that many times, I was too tight. It felt uncomfortable and I spent a lot of time analyzing the situation to try to find a solution.

I had figured on having the Trinity. This is like my 1st release Tri-Elmar 28-35-50.  So I would want to get the 18-23-35 to equal the Trinity. I have it but with the Leica and all my Leica’s and lenses…I used 35mm as the Pivot Point for Lens change. So, I would be at 35mm and could go wider to 28mm or longer to 50mm. As it happens now, I still have the Trinity but my Pivot Point is different.

I would use the 18mm as normal, then go to the 23mm or 35mm. Of course the 14mm is an option but not for me at the moment. There are a few shooters that make use of the 14mm that should be studied. Chris Dodkin and Gene Lowinger really have it down. For me it’s a bust time with street shooting, preset designing, magazine stuff. interviews and Tanya the Russian Wifey. I simply don’t have the time to investigate the 14mm. Besides, I’ve used the Heliar 15mm for a long time and it’s virtually the same but different.

04-14-0302Fuji XP1 & 18mm

So with all this going on, I am glued to LightRoom making Presets. It’s going to be a nice set and should be released soon. What I do with my presets is to find a formulae I like then, take it in another direction but still keep the characteristics of what I started with, just enhanced. This way, when someone loads the presets in their program, it will work as a continuation . Think of it as a series of images, related but different enough to be interesting and re-interpret the image.

The X-Trans requires different approaches as there are many that use the DR 200 & DR 400. Of course that requires a different approach that I am working on. Today I got out just a little and ya know for Spring Tome here in Philly, I froze my nuggins off. Tomorrow promises to be about the same but I’ll go out anyway because sometimes I do stupid things like that.

You should all know, Duane is flying his Jet all around trying to find Spring. He’s a flying Marine and if anyone can find Spring, he can. I don’t know how he’ll get it back here for us but the Marines Improvise and Overcome.

Have a good day and thanks for your friendship.

January 8th, 2014 ….. 20F The Fuji XE1 Makes Me Warm

01-14-0166Don’t get things wrong now, 20f is cold. I know, I know…my wife Tanya laughs at the Americans and spoiled way of living. So as she walked outside to the garden, it was obvious that America has worked it’s way into her mind and heart. She comes back in and says….”You better dress warm because you can’t take the cold like me”. Well, of course she ran into the living room and got under a blanket to warm up. I smiled and just let her think she’s still a Russian Comrade that doesn’t flinch in the cold.

But she did set the course for the day. See, I am told that I am not the sharpest pencil in the box…(yeah right)….but I know when it’s cold. I also know that film will reticulated in cold but sensors aren’t as sensitive to weather conditions. So I headed out with the XE1 and 21mm Skopar to just take a nice walk in the more than brisk cold.

01-14-0169I was on Market Street and I have to admit…it was cold and then…this young woman walked by me and for some strange reason, the sun came out and I felt warm…well warm all over. Funny how things like that can stir your day. Obviously beings the elder gentleman that I am I wouldn’t even look at her…..my camera, well….that’s another story.

01-14-0173I gotta be frank now. The Fuji’s are excellent to work with but using a good lens like the Skopar or Heliar or Summicron etc, brings the camera to life. Using a DOF scale is the joy that can’t be matched by Auto Focus lenses, no matter how good that may be. Tomorrow I’ll be on the streets with the XP1 and 35mm 1.4 because I promised to get that 50mm FOV under control.

Till then…stay warm and if your in OZ where it’s like 66F…sheeeesh……

January 4th, 2014 ….. Fuji XE1 & XP1 do the Mummers Parade … Part 2

01-14-0043With the shots from the 35mm 1.4, all were made with the XP1 and I used the OVF.  On this post, the ones with that Mr Bokeh are the ones from the 35mm. The guy above is MR. BOKEH and I found him wondering around with those glasses on to fool people. He’s the guy responsible for all that Bokeh stuff that was and will ever be.

Anyway, my Queen photo has gone viral and is on explore at Flickr. Well deserved and it once again shows that the Flickr editors do have eyes. I used the XP1 with the strap I saw when Ray, Pete and I met in Sept or something. Ray is my front man on new products. I think he knows that but at any rate, he has a talent for spotting a product that has quality and more importantly, that works. He had this slider strap on and I watched as he pulled this ring and the strap changed length in a second. I didn’t say anything but shortly after our meet, I ordered on and it came from Pop Flash…Tony Rose  http://www.popflash.com/index.php?p=catalog&mode=search&search_in=all&search_str=slider+strap because he has it in stock and it was the best price. For many years, decades I have resisted a strap like that, you know…the sling thing. This strap changes my way of thinking and I use it all the time. I have installed the “LeHook Cady”  http://www.lehook.co.uk/index.html  and this makes changing to a wrist or different camera a very elegant task. I hope the links work.

Battery power is quite remarkable for both cameras. I have the cameras to never sleep and to have the screen always on. I’ll just say that I might be in disagreement with a few that say the power management is not good.

01-14-0057This was in front of the Urban League and it’s a place for the wealthy people to look at the commoners and feel like they are in touch with reality. Eh…once a year they can have the pleasure of seeing all the people that they crush financially act up and have a good time. I’m sure they get double showers when they get home. I’m sure all the ladies with their fancy mink coats get horny and when they get home, their husbands are sleeping because they had sex with the young parade goers…(male or female, I hear they don’t care).

The guy above has no idea that he’s in a bad spot but later he’ll find out because those guys on top can’t hold their drinks and the guy on the bottom s in direct line of fire. Obviously, he’s a Marine not Army……shhhhhhhhh!

01-14-0091See these guys….they are the crew that test Beer Can Camouflage. If they don’t get busted, the company that sponsors them will make millions of dollars because the company can sell beer can covers  to all the beer drinkers in the world. I think these guys are off to a startling success.

01-14-0062Jimi was at the parade this year……



01-14-0073There’s more stuff sitting in a LR5 folder but I’ll post some of them tomorrow.

Tom, the Heliar is BRILLIANT.  Most of those that have issues have used cheap adapters. I use the Fuji and never have any issues at all….

January 3rd, 2014 ….. Fuji XE1 & XP1 do the Mummers Parade … Part 1

01-14-0093Don’t look for the traditional Mummers photos here. There are many good shooters that made those photos but I ain’t one. I have worked the parade bystanders and not the traditional shots of the participants for decades.

I used the Fuji XP1 with the 35mm 1.4 and the XE1 with the 15mm Heliar. No other lenses or cameras were used and more importantly needed. I gotta say first off….the XP1 is now the camera it was designed to be. I used the OVF only and I loved every second of it. The XE1 was a screen shooter except for one frame where I tried the finder. Works great but with the 15mm, you need to get the camera moving in space and not at the eye.

01-14-0068For me the screen is still where it’s at but the OVF in the XP1 is as close to working with a M camera as Fuji probably could get. This is not meant to compare at all, even tho I feel more than qualified to do so but more of an observation on how a camera works within the vision of the shooter. The XP1 is a joy to work with, especially since the new firmware. It’s amazing how accurate the frame lines have become.

01-14-0033When I’m working, I can’t tolerate a camera that fights my vision. If the camera intrudes on my vision even a little….eBay….bye. I’m not selling Fuji’s and certainly I’ve had major issues with them in the past but truth be told, credit should go where credit is due. Enough props for now.

01-14-0063I don’t want to write too much as I feel the photos will speak better than I can with those words. I’m not as a loss mind you, just paying respect to the images.

01-14-0048This photo will no doubt go to the Homeless Advocacy Group I work with. Of course all the Lawyers there are either wearing or their mates are wearing these fancy schmancy fur coats. There’s nothing wrong with that, don’t get me wrong. If a man has been hungry and cold for a while, what’s one more day? Am I being sarcastic, I donotcanknow……..

More tomorrow as I have many nice photos. Peace be with you….

December 30st, 2013 ….. Fuji X-Pro1 & 35mm 1.4 ….. Some Thoughts

12-13-0554Yeah, yeah…just a dry practice run till tomorrow.

So since about 1985 I have been struggling with the idea of using the 50mm FOV as a main focal length. I mean of course I’ve used it in many occasions but I never felt that it was a real part of my vision. Well, the Leica’s are retired and no other camera has ever offered me the excitement of another focal length. I am or shall I say, I was always a 35mm FOV guy and never switched hit in anything. Hey, hey…married and anyway, there ain’t nuttin wrong with it anyways….

so I’m using the Fuji X PRO 1 and the X E1 and I have to say….I have the 35mm 1.4 for a good spell already and thought I’d sell it cause once again….50mm ain’t my thing. Well one day, don’t remember when I looked at my photos and my camera and low and behold…it was all working with 28mm. Oh, that’s just great….I mean let’s add fuel to the mental fire in me poor head…. So I use 28mm for many years, so much so that it went from an acquired FOV to a Natural FOV. Horrors, I thought!

I was just about to unload the Fuji 35mm and the 27mm and maybe the 18mm. I really like the Voigtlander lenses. I mean they have a focus scale, a DOF scale….a real lens! I was ready to make a few eBay listings and then the Fuji Engineers got word of me getting ready to move their stuff out of my coat pocket and then, all the sudden, without fair warning to all good Fuji users of any level of commitment, released a firmware update that rocked my uh…uh…nah, not world but got me to thinking again…..


The X-PPRO 1 now does things it tried to do before the update but couldn’t get it right.


They got the frame lines very accurate at all but the closest distances and even then, it ain’t bad. The framing box is so accurate that I decided to take the 35mm out for a spin. Well, for the 1st time since 1985, I am really excited with this focal length. I am seeing the frame box a little more accurate then the Leica M cameras. That doesn’t matter but to me it really does. I do not now nor ever like cropping my images. I know, I know…but it’s my process to crop before release…..not after…unless it’s a Million $$$ shot then crop the heck out of it…..sheeeeesh! I tested the frame box with all my lenses that I like to use and accuracy is incredible, even the Voigtlander 15mm and 21mm are right on.


12-13-0552Antwayz….I’ll be around tomorrow and hopefully make a few photos but if not…..Mummers Day is just a few shots away……NO NO….not photo shots…..Single Malt Shots…….

Till we meet again……..shooter out…………………….


December 29th, 2013 ….. The Waterproof Fuji Saves The Day

12-13-0547Man, it’s raining cats and dogs here in Philly. I don’t mean cats like my buddy Barsik, I mean cats like my ex drummer, ex bassman that kinda cats….huh….hold on…..yeah, ok….I’m told by the left side of me poor brain that I spelled cats wrong….it’s supposed to be Kats or Katz…sumptin like a dat…..~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ anywayz……..

I went out with Tanya to go return some stuff. It was and still is rainin’  like….uh…uh… crazy.  So I was thinking about making photos, of course I’m always thinking about that and I said to myself…. self, the Fuji XE1 is not gonna be a happy camper in this weather….hmmmm…..I thought, what about the Fuji XP1, I mean it’s a real PRO camera that does everything including have a meltdown in the rain……

what to do, oh my….what to do.  See, the Yellow Mother invented a law that the gov’t of all nations far and wide base their law and financial matters on….. It’s called the Inverse Square Law.  That law means less is more and more is less. For us, the original followers of this fine law, it means…the larger the hole, the smaller the number….hold on….check this out….it also means the smaller the hole, the larger the number.

So as shooters, we know that the more you spend on a camera, the less risky use you’ll do with it and then…the less you pay for a camera, the riskier you can get.

For the gov’t, all gov’t…this means that the more people you have the less they get to eat and have less money because they have to share it amongst themselves…..well…the less people..like in Congress etc, the less people there, the more food and money there because they get to steal it from the masses of people that trust them with their lives…….this ain’t no lesson on astrophysicaldynamicalpoliticalmathematicalbeanimpotantpersonandstealbecauseyoucanandhaveajunkysexlifesoallhastopay conversation…..

So, anyway….Tanya and I ventured out in the pouring rain and the Fuji’s didn’t…..HOLD ON A MINUTE! Enter the Fuji-film XP-50. It’s a very small point n’ shoot. It has basic settings but….it thrives in the rain, snow, dust, dirt, heat, cold and even in a politicianspocket…THE HORROR!

This camera is very nice to deal with. If you want to adjust all the settings and everything….take yer XP1 out in the rain. If your just interested in making photos in adverse conditions……The XP-50 is a great choice…. I got this on eBay for cheap….

When we got home because we didn’t go anywheres but the rain because our shoes and boots leaked and out feets gotz wet so we had to come home….

I put the file in LR5 and of course it was in color because it only does jpeggies and I leave it in color so I get the best file to work with…..

The camera is a gas and I like being able to work in bad weather etc….

More tomorrow when I get back from the streets of Philly….. By the way….if you get out a little…if you see my brain someplace…tell it that vacation is over…..

December 24th, 2013 ….. Happy Holidays To All Youse Good Peoples

12-13-0396No, it’s not a hipshot. No it’s only tilted if you look at it that way. Look at the left door frame….see….it’s not tilted. Some one did that a lot in his photos….there is always a reference point in photos and in life. Reference points in photos are to explore and play with like Garry but reference points in life are to anchor by and to live by. When you stumble into the here and now, those reference points may come together to create…uh….something. C’mon…the road to self discovery is not here with me or the blog….it’s inside you….find your own answers.

12-13-0384You like juxtapositions? ….. Yeah, me too. Making photos sometimes is like working on a jigsaw puzzle. I don’t have the patience for puzzles that live on my table. I mean it’s too convenient to have all the pieces there waiting to find where they fit in puzzle society. I’m a streetshooter. I like to find the pieces of the world and life in front of my camera so I can see where I don’t fit in. When I find a part of that society or life that I do fit in, I don’t like to feel like I fit in. I’d rather struggle to make it in the street and the world so I don’t get complacent like so many others do.

12-13-0353See the guy with the mask. He’s struggling not to fit in even tho’ he’s at a Santa party at an Irish Bar. This bar downtown gets a lot of Irish and Scottish people in especially at this time of the year. I don’t think the younger ones make it home for Xmas because the Guinness is really cold and the Single Malt is very good. I think they do a good job of celebrating Xmas because their bellies show their commitment to the festive season. I used to go there all the time to do what they do until I got married again and became a mature married man with certain responsibilities. My wife tells me that all the time but I’d rather be at the Irish Bar trying to make a Santa Belly. Hey, we all have dreams…even if some are nightmares…..!

12-13-0355This is the real Santa. He’s just left the Irish Bar because Mrs Clause talked with Tanya and he has to go home to the freezing North Pole because he’s a mature married man with certain responsibilities. All the young female elves are sorry to see him go. They really like riding in the sleigh.

Be safe, be loving, even to those that you feel don’t deserve it because, they do. Have a great holiday and I’ll be back on line Thursday…..if da wifey can keep out of Macy’s.

End Transmission…….Shooter out…………………

December 5th, 2013 ….. Homage to a Migraine

12-13-0033My eyes are kinda overloaded. If I watch the Tele or try to read or use the computers, iPhone, bright lights, low lights I get this immediate headache. It’s like my eyes and processing machine in the head need air to function without pain. So I was heading to the VA Hosp again for a treatment and of course I carried a camera. I felt that the XP1 with the 15mm would be good. The weight of this camera will help to steady it if need be.

So I started to walk south on 18th Street to get to the Midtown Diner for some light breakfast. I’ve walked this route a million times thru the years. I was afraid of getting this terrible headache again and didn’t plan on making any photos but needed my camera along as a pacifier. I glanced left and saw a woman behind the blinds. My hand was on the camera, thumb switched it on….I slowed my pace until she got just where she needed to be for the frame…..then as I raised the camera….click!

I realized at that very moment that no matter what I did in my daily routines, making photos was not going to give me a headache.

November 26th, 2013 ….. Lessons From the Archive

GF GAMB'E GAME-EditIt’s cold and rainy out. I’m stuck in the house. My iPhone crashed while I was talking to Olivier. I reinstalled the backup 4 times and it finally worked. So I decided to Re-Photograph my images. Don’t ask and I won’t explain what that means…..what, oh…sure…but….nah…let’s just do it. I go thru my catalog not to find missing images, well how could they be missing if I know where they are? Yeah, this applies to you…and you over there…yeah, you. Just cause you use Aperture, that ain’t no escape.

I know this sounds crazy and, well it just may be but truth is….we need to do this sometimes. No, not sit here and write like an idiot, re-shoot our photos. So, in LR5 or whatever…open your catalog and just look for photos that turn you on. It’s best not to start with an agenda but it’s almost unavoidable. I usually go back 2-3 years and just check out stuff that turns me on. It doesn’t have to be your best work but it will lead to that in the future.

In LR5 I put the chosen ones into a collection and label it “Picks.”  This does not do anything to the original location, it just copies the photos to the new collection. At this point your not doing anything brilliant…or are you? What your doing is grouping photos that you respond to after capture and putting them together in a collection for study.

After you are satisfied, the work begins. It is easy to see what lens is working and how you use it. Do you get in close or medium or far distances?



What camera was really working during this period? Was color or black & white the majority of images? What was the subject matter? Hmmmm, I got an idea….let’s group things by these different common denominators. What about time of day and position of the Sun? Light conditions are all important. How about recurring themes. How about collections like series?

This seems like a very anal process and boring. I mean, who wants to sit and really organize? What if the desired results are not met?

What this does is creates a collection of memories and facts that put together by a shooter with an open mind, makes a roadmap for the present and future. How would you like to go out and work and feel like you might be getting somewhere?  No, this doesn’t appeal to you….ok…B&H is having a sale….go buy a camera ya don’t need….

06-11-0240-EditI’m working the Homeless Advocacy Group tomorrow, rain or shine….. Seeya’s soon…..

November 23rd, 2013 ….. Fuji XP1 & 15mm Heliar on the Streets

11-13-0523There’s something about the Fuji XP1 & XE1. I love the 15mm on either and never choose a favorite camera. I just let the situation call the shots.

On the XP1 with the 15mm, I get 22.5 mm FOV. Well, the way we do math here in Philly, that means 21mm. I had the 21mm for my M’s but never wanted to use it on a daily basis. I always considered it an extra lens for a suitable need. Now, with the Fuji’s…it’s on one of them at all times. I love the DOF scale and the Focus scale. That’s technical stuff but where it really counts, is seeing.

The Heliar has the unique ability to draw you closer to your subject matter then most other lenses. This turns me on big time. I feel like I can’t get close enough. Of course the subject feels differently.

I was walking on Arch Street near 12th and I saw a familiar doorway that I’ve seen many times. I made a few photos there thru the years but it’s not an easy juxtaposition. The woman who work in this place, well they are not Streetshooter friendly. I had just gotten past the door as my left eye caught a woman move into the doorway on the phone. So I slowly backed up and extended my arm and let the camera see before I could see. I saw the screen and then moved in to release. It’s not the best photo I ever made but it’s a real good one to explain Juxtaposition to my new student.

11-13-0504Another thing I try to explain is how to make photos because you just love making photos. Simply put….how to be free with your process. This is important because once the concept of freedom is grasped, then getting more rigid with ones work is understood. It’s just another form of juxtaposition and or, the Inverse Square Law. So for a spell, I am responsible to make lesson for those that think they can learn from me.

I will be at the Thanksgiving Day Parade again but even there, I am shooting for the City. My stuff will be in a different camera. I need a good shoot on the street with little or no agenda.