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Showing posts from October, 2013

Street Photography in Tokyo

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I have been going through the images I took during my recent 10 day trip to Japan. I still have images to post from Tokyo and this shot of two Japanese bikers riding through the Harijuku shopping and entertainment district of the Japanese capital caught my attention.

The shot was taken on my Fuji X100, which is the perfect street camera.  I heard the Harley Davidson before I saw it and I was ready to take the shot as they appeared, the riders weaving through the busy, narrow street.
The camera was set on a low shutter speed to capture some movement in the bike and I converted the image to mono in Silver Efex Pro to give it more of a timeless feel. I also added a vignette in Color Efex to focus the viewers attention on the bike.
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Sand Storm on an East Lothian Beach

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The weather on the east coast of Scotland has been sunny but a bit breezy of late.  A walk on the beach at White Sands yesterday was best described as 'bracing'.  The beach changes with every tide and this is not just due to the waves, the wind plays a large part as well.
While we walked along the sand the wind picked up and streams of sand were being blown across the beach. I decided to try and capture these patterns on the X100 and I think this image has done the scene justice.
I also aimed the camera towards the sand dunes into the wind and into the sun to give a backlit scene.

The blown sand had caused the shells at the waters edge to be coated in sand and the wet beach had formed a beautiful textured finish which I tried to capture with this image.

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COMMENT: X100 Firmware Upgrade: A PR Masterstroke by Fujifilm?

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Sometimes you can be forgiven for thinking that most of the large manufacturers take their customers for granted and want to wring the last penny / cent out of them without giving anything back. 

I'm not just talking about camera manufacturers here, I am talking about the whole world economy.  There are big, faceless corporations who don't seem to give a stuff about customer service or customer loyalty and are run solely to make a profit for their shareholders.  
They tend to forget, or don't care about the fact, that it is easier to keep a customer than it is to find new ones and in this age of the internet, someone's bad experience can quickly turn into a PR disaster.  
When money is tight and customers have a choice on where to spend their 'hard earned', the customer service experience can play a big role in helping someone decide to part with their cash.
However I am happy to report that this is a lesson that one Japanese manufacturer has learnt and is actively…

Autumn Colours

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A stroll in the woods near our home in Dunbar gave me another opportunity to test one of the four Fujinon prime lenses that came with the Fuji X-Pro1, this time the 14mm f2.8.


A couple of days ago I reported that the 18mm f2 lens (27mm equiv) was the surprise wide angle of choice for the new camera.  I didn't mean that I didn't like the wider 14mm (21mm equiv), it was just a more considered choice.  However taking images of the autumnal scene in Link Wood, the wider 14mm lens proved to be a good choice.




All images taken on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 and Fujinon 14mm f2.8 lens

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Review: Initial Impressions of the Fujifilm X-Pro1

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Well here it is, the new addition to the MacLean Photographic arsenal, the Fujifilm X-Pro1 Compact System Camera and four lenses.  After nearly a year with the superb Fujifilm X100 and a three month trial with the X100S, I now have the opportunity to test the X-Pro1 with four prime lenses.

The first thing I noticed about the X-Pro1 was the size.  Even with the optional hand grip fitted to the camera, the X-Pro1 is like an over grown X100, the same proportions, just slightly larger in every department. 

However when you compare it to the Nikon D800, fitted with the MB-D12 grip, it suddenly hits you how much smaller the X-Pro1 is compared to a DSLR and this is one of the many reasons this camera appeals.  



Sensor The X-Pro1 comes with a 16mp X-Trans sensor, the same as the one employed in the X100S I reviewed this summer.  This is 4mp larger than the sensor in the X100, but, as I have written many times, more megapixels do not equal better quality.  Having said that the 16mp X-Trans sensor …

Review: Tyningham Beach with the Fujinon 18mm f2

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I recently acquired the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and a quartet of prime lenses.  Of these four - 14mm f2.8, 18mm f2, 35mm f1.4 and 60mm f2.4 macro - I thought the moderately wide 18mm f2 (27mm in full frame terms) would be the lens that would stay in the camera bag the most and the 14mm (21mm equivalent) would be the wide angle lens of choice with this camera.
However the reality is this is the lens I have actually taken more shots on since getting the X-Pro1.  I think the reason for this is the 14mm is physically bigger - about twice the size of the 18mm - and because of the extra angle of coverage, it is a more considered choice when out and about.   The 14mm is also an F2.8 and one stop slower than the 18mm which is an f2. Not so much of a problem on a sunny day but in low light conditions without a tripod than one stop could make all the difference.


Today was a good example when we visited Tyningham Beach for a walk.  This wasn't a photographic trip, it was a walk out with my wife to get…

Late Evening Reflection

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Another beautiful sky at sunset was the inspiration for this shot.  After heavy rain there were lots of puddles on the track as I walked back to the car.  The sun had set and the trees were silhouetted against the bright sky.  The reflection of the sky in the puddles contrasted nicely against the dark track and trees producing a very two tone image.  

This shot was taken on the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Fujinon 14mm f2.8 lens.  The exposure was 30 seconds at f8 with the camera set to ISO200.  To keep everything steady I used the Slik tripod.

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Ravensheugh Sands Fungi Macro

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On the way out to Ravensheugh Sands there is a small copse of trees next to the track and the area is excellent for fungi, lichen and moss.  This provided the perfect subject to test the 60mm f2.4 macro lens on the Fuji X-Pro1 compact system camera.


The 60mm f2.4 Fujinon is already proving to be an extremely versatile lens having been used for landscape and now for macro images in the first week.

The equivalent to 90mm in full frame terms, this short telephoto is extremely well constructed and is sharp across the lens at all apertures from f2.4 to f22. The aperture is also slightly faster than my Nikon on 105mm f2.8 micro and is less than half the size. However the Nikon does benefit from a vibration reduction system that does increase the size of the lens.

I can see this lens being used on a regular basis for a lot of my work. Besides the landscape and macro the Fujinon 60mm f2.4 is also the perfect focal length for portraits. More on the new X-Pro1 system on Sunday's blog.



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REVIEW: Expert Shield LCD Protectors Revisited

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I do get asked to review a lot of items, some useful, some not so useful. The proof of the pudding is when I ask myself 'would I buy this with my own money?' 
In July I was asked to test the Expert Shield LCD Screen Protectors for my Nikon D800, Fuji X100 and the Fuji X100S I had on test at the time.  You can review my findings HERE but to save you looking I can say I was very impressed with these items.


Fast forward to October and I now have a Fuji X-Pro1 and my first thought was to protect the LCD screen, which is rather vulnerable.  A colleague had severely damaged the screen on his Fuji when it accidentally came into contact with grit and dirt,  so I wanted to protect the screen on my model.  It was a no brainer, I went to the Expert Shield website and ordered the protector for £6.95.  I actually ordered two (one as a spare - well you never know!) so I received free postage.  The items arrived the next day - how impressive is that?
Fitting was a doddle, as it was with the D80…

The Perfect Cure for Jet lag!

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My first day back in Scotland after ten days in Japan was spent fighting to stay awake with the jet lag. So I decided the best remedy was to grab the camera bag and head out to Ravensheugh Sands for some late evening photography in the bracing conditions.
The day had actually been very miserable and I suspected the rainy conditions that we had in Japan for race day had followed me half way round the world.  But as 4pm approached the rain stopped and the clouds parted to give some sunshine for the final couple of hours of the day.
Taking the Fuji X-Pro1 and the Fujinon 60mm f2.4 and 14mm f2.8 lenses I was able to capture the following images of the scene at Ravensheugh, there was no one else about. It certainly kept me awake for a few more hours.


Another Milestone Reached This blog post is the 300th I have produced since the 1st January 2013 and I am on course to reach my goal of 365 posts this year.  
Thank you to everyone who takes the time to visit and read my daily updates and please co…

Zojoji Temple in Tokyo

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After visiting the area around the Tokyo Tower we walked across the road to the Zojoji Temple, an oasis of peace and relaxation in the centre of bustling Tokyo.



Founded in 1393 as a fundamental nembutsu seminary of the Jodoshu School in east Japan, Zojoji later became the family temple of the Tokugawa shogunate.  The wooden gate of the temple remains as the original architectural reminder of the early 17th century and is designated as an important cultural property of Japan.



CLICK HERE for more information on the Zojoji Temple (in English)












Images taken on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 +  14mm f2.8 or 18mm f2 lens and Fuji X100 with 23mm f2 lens

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High Rise Tokyo

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The final day in Japan was spent back in Tokyo, with a whistle stop tour of some of the sights we missed last week before we headed to Narita International Airport for the flight home.
The modern buildings in Tokyo are amazing and I had to point my Fujinon 18mm f2 and 14mm f2.8 lenses upwards to capture the amazing skyline.


First stop was the Tokyo Tower before taking the subway to the Shiodome SIO-SITE and the walking to Ginza, Tokyo's equivalent to Oxford Street in London or Champs-Elysse in Paris.







Images taken on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 +  14mm f2.8 or 18mm f2 lens

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