Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Monday, 30 April 2012

Conversations with the Fuji X-100

Today's conversation with a barista at a local coffee shop is quite typical of what I get with this camera around my neck.

Barista: "Wow!  Cool camera!  What is it?"

Me: "It's a Fuji X-100."

Barista: "Oh cool (ie they've never heard of it before).  It's great to see people still shoot film."

Me: "It's digital."

Barista: "Really??  It looks so old school!"

Me: "Yep, it definitely has classic styling.  I'll have a latte, thanks."

Sunday, 29 April 2012

No Caps, we're Sony

When I purchased my Sony NEX 5n a few weeks back I was shocked to find that the lens comes mounted directly to the body in the package, and there are no lens or body caps in the box.  These are optional extras and are $12-$14 extra each.  

As Henry's Outlet Store didn't carry the caps, we got a bit caught as I was about to take Dad to the airport, and he was taking the lens.  The staff let me dig around the old lens bin for a back cap, and I found that a Pentax K mount cap fit on.  They let me have it for free, but no suitable body cap was available for the body, which we ended up having to wrap in bubble wrap.

So for all you NEX shooters out there, an old Pentax lens back cap is a very handy find.

Sony NEX 5n, Leica 50mm f1.5 Summarit

Friday, 27 April 2012

The FE2 find

The Nikon FE2 that I talked about in my previous post also had a story attached to it.  I had found it in a pawn shop in Sydney with a Tamron 35-70mm f3.5 zoom attached in 2004.  When I enquired about the price the shop attendant said it was $50 - a bargain now, but crazy cheap in 2004 when bodies were still selling for $250.  I did my normal checks and found that the shutter was jammed and it wouldn't wind on.  I pointed this out to the shop attendant and asked for a deal.  After some negotiation, we settled on $35 and off I went, figuring that, worst case, the lens alone had to be worth at least what I spent.

I then took it to a camera repair guy I knew, and he looked at it and said "Often when these things jam, you turn them to the mechanical 1/60th sec mechanical shutter mode and they unlock themselves."
And with an internal 'snap' from the FE2's workings, his prophesy came to be.  The best $35 I ever spent.

Nikon FE2

Thursday, 26 April 2012

One Year Later

I've been writing Snapshot Voyager for almost 1 year now and it has been a lot of fun!  I've learnt a lot about what makes a good blog, and what people like to see.

To date I have written well over 300 posts, have 9 followers and have had nearly 7000 unique views from over 30 different countries.  Not big numbers in website terms by any stretch of the imagination, but enough for me to think it's all been worthwhile.

Where next, I hear you ask?  I am not really sure; but I guess I will just keep following my photographic voyage through life and tell people about it on this blog.  And that's what it really was all about. 

Fuji X100 - Graffiti Alley, Toronto

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

The Pawn Shop

The recent sale of my Nikon FE2, which I had initially purchased at a pawn shop in Sydney, reminded me of a funny story with my wife and that occurred just after we were married.  Pawn shops have always been a great source of camera finds for me and I've always spent time there to try to find a bargain.

In Australian English however, 'pawn' and 'porn' are pronounced exactly the same way - unlike in North American English, which for my new Canadian wife and I, led to a rather funny moment.

Me: "I'm just going down to the local pawn shop for a while."

S: "Uh....why are you going there?"

Me: "Just to see if I can find anything interesting."

S: "What exactly are you looking for?"

Me: "Not sure yet.  Whatever might look interesting."

S: "Are you sure you don't want me to come."

Me: "No, it's fine.  I don't think you'll be interested in that stuff."

S: "No, no; I think I want to come."

Me: "Really, I know you won't be interested."

By this time she was quite agitated, and eventually I realised she was thinking something completely different than looking for old cameras!

Nikon FE2 w/ Nikon 35mm f2 AF

Monday, 23 April 2012

Low cost lens wish list

A few posts back I wrote about the interesting proliferation of low cost lenses that have high quality optics.  Here's what I wish would be available

Sony NEX E mount
- Low cost 35mm f2 lens.  Doesn't need OSS, but a standard prime around $200 would be sweet.
- Low cost 23mm f2.8 lens.  A moderately wide prime, even if it isn't fast, would make a great street lens for a NEX.  This would make it just like a Fuji X100.  The 24mm f1.8 Carl Zeiss is far too big and way too expensive.
- Sigma really have the right idea with their 30mm f2.8 lens, and there are a lot more opportunities to go a little wider with DX - ie between 20-25mm in focal length.  I think f2.8 is too slow for a prime though, and I think will limit its potential.

Nikon F mount
- Nikon already have a lot of excellent low cost lenses, but I'd really like to see a 23mm f2.8 DX prime.  That also would make a great street lens.

Princess St, Kingston ON                           Nikon D90 with Sigma 20mm f1.8

Saturday, 21 April 2012

Fuji GA645i

A couple weeks ago I picked up a used Fuji GA645i to use up a bunch of 120 film I have in the fridge.  This is a medium format auto focus camera, that defies description.  It isn't a compact because, well it isn't that compact (though compared to a Hasselblad or a Mamiya RB67 it is), it isn't a rangefinder because there is no rangefinder mechanism and it very definitely isn't an SLR.  It's much like a large Nikon 35Ti or Contax T3.

It does have a viewfinder with a frame outline that automatically adjusts for parallex as you  autofocus and also full automatic and manual exposure controls.

Although well used, this camera came with the original box, hood, case, instruction manual and period brochure for it as well.

A while back I had a Fuji GS645S, which is full manual, but I ended up not using it a lot and sold it.  With the GA645, I hope to take some shots, but having many automatic functions, it won't complicate my life too much like a Hasselblad or Mamiya might.

The lenses on these cameras are known to be excellent, though I wonder if I will get used to having no AF confirmation what so ever.  We'll see, but I think I will like it.

Fuji X100, Ottawa