Panasonic / Leica 15mm F1.7 – Just Arrived

panaleica15

The Panasonic H-X015 Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Lens has arrived, this will be my wide angle lens. In the box you get the Lens, with rear cap, front pinch cap, hood and hood push on cap (as you can’t put the pitch cap on when the hood is on) and a Lumix Lens pouch.

The lens is a lot smaller and lighter than I imagined, it feels well made, the aperture ring moves smoothly with positive clicks, the focus ring is nicely dampened and the AF/MF button is small but has a positive action. The lens hood is great but round not square like other Leica Lenses, so initial impressions are good, will review as soon as I can get out shooting.



I’ve been cured of G.A.S – New Site!

For the Record

 

Well after nearly two years of testing different Cameras and Lens Combos I’ve finally decided to stick with one…Panasonic Lumix Cameras with PanaLeica Lenses. The Camera that made up my mind was the Panasonic GX7 (Review to follow) it’s so comfortable and easy to use, with the 25mm PanaLeica Lens it’s perfect for my style of Photography.

This new site will be a resource for all Panasonic Lumix / Leica Information, not just content from me but the best of whats out there on the web….so sign up and receive alerts as new content is added.

LEICA.LUMIX.LIFE!


SHRC London Meet Up

SHRC London

Streethunters London Meet Up 27th September 2014

Since joining the Streethunters Google Plus Community i’ve been lucky enough to chat to some great street photographers from all around the world. Many of them are actually based in the UK so we decided to ‘Meet Up’ and have a casual photo walk around London (photos on next blog post).

I highly recommend Streethunters website and community as its a great way to meet fellow street photographers, gather information and show off your photos!

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Olympus OMD E-M1 – First Impressions – Street Photography

GEAR   Camera : Olympus OMD E-M1    Lenses : Olympus 12-40 f/2.8 Pro, Olympus 45mm f/1.8 & Panasonic 14mm f/2.5

Those EyesABOVE

Those Eyes

1/800s f/1.8 ISO200 45mm (35mm eq:90mm)

I was all set to buy a Olympus OMD E-M1 around a year ago, I went into the store but came out with a Sony A7! Anyway a year later I have the E-M1 in hand with the Pro 12-40 Lens, the stellar 45mm and the pancake 14mm.

First impressions with the Pro lens fitted is it’s very heavy for a Micro Four Thirds Camera, perhaps too heavy. One of the reasons photographers buy into the m43 system is because it’s light and compact, remove the Lens and put on a prime and it transforms the camera back into a light OMD. One of the reasons this camera is so expensive is because of the Pro Kit Lens with its constant f/2.8 aperture and weather sealing, its has been getting some very good reviews. My experience is that it’s not worth the weight to carry it, I’ve heard people are replacing their primes for this…….NO WAY! It does take great photos but the autofocus is slow and I like having the little bit of speed and light you get with a f/1.8 or f/2.0 or even a  f/1.4. The actually camera body feels like an OMD with a nice big grip….which it is, with benefits!

 

Big or Small?ABOVE

Big or Small?

1/640s f/3.2 ISO200 29mm (35mm eq:58mm)

For my afternoon Photo walk I went to Chichester, East Sussex, I’ve been there a couple of times but never really got the shots I wanted, unfortunately it was an overcast day so no ‘playing with the light’ shots. This is also the reason that most of my photos have been processed in black and white, it lends itself to a dull day.

 

ThreeABOVE

Three

1/1600s f/1.8 ISO200 45mm (35mm eq:90mm)

BELOW

Looking down on you

1/125s f/8.0 ISO640 35mm (35mm eq:70mm)

Looking down at you

 

Now I said the E-M1 was an OMD with benefits, I’ve had an E-M5 and a E-M10 so initial comparing I would say that the main benefits were:-

  • Much better EVF, you think the other OMD viewfinders are good until you look through the E-M1.
  • Much better Grip, it makes the camera look boring but helps with comfort and stability.
  • Much better Autofocus, well vs E-M5 about the same as the E-M10
  • Better Manual Controls, more space on the camera gives you more buttons and dials.
  • Better Build Quality, it feels better than the E-M5 & E-M10

 

Foxy LadyABOVE

Foxy Lady

1/1600s f/2.8 ISO200 40mm (35mm eq:80mm)

I’m not sure the above is a Fox but it makes for a great title!

 

ListeningABOVE

Listening

1/1600s f/2.8 ISO200 40mm (35mm eq:80mm)

On the whole I was pleased with the performance of the E-M1, I did have a problem with Auto ISO in that it stayed at 200 but I’m sure it’s just a setting I had wrong. I ended up manually changing the ISO value in a couple of shots, this affected my shutter speed which was lower than I would have liked, all this was down to me not setting the camera correctly. Luckily I will be keeping this camera for awhile so will give an updated review later.

A few more shots from the day…..

 

The wind in colourRelaxed

Bags.


Dabbling with the Df – Nikon Df Street Photography

Camera : Nikon Df  Lens : Nikon 50mm 1.8G

Nikon Df

Since the Nikon launched the Df, I really wanted one of these cameras, the only thing holding me back was the price and wether I wanted to go back to owning a DSLR as weight was an issue. Nikon saying this is there lightest Full Frame camera some what alleviated my fears though.

What can I say about the first impressions, well as i’ve had mirrorless cameras for the last few years so they being relatively small and light the size was was a bit of a shock…it felt Hugh! Weight was OK, heavyish but quite well balanced, I was disappointed the grip was small and would have expected a better one on such a large camera. The general look, well I would say it’s a handsome camera, especially in silver. The dials (which there are plenty) all feel well made and very tactile, I like the idea of the locking buttons but in practise they are a slight pain. The screen is good quality but I would have liked it to be articulating, I been used to EVFs lately and I must say I like the OVF of the Df it makes a nice change.

So as usual I went to London to test………..

 

Looking Centre

ABOVE

Looking Centre

1/640s f/2.2 ISO100 50mm (35mm eq:50mm)

This time I took a slightly different route and ended up at Victoria Train Station. My route this time would be from Victoria up to Knightsbridge, through Hyde Park to get to Notting Hill and Portobello Market. Unusually all I took was the Nikon and 50mm, I usually take at least another lens but this time I didn’t want anything else interfering.

 

Cameras

ABOVE

Cameras

1/640s f/2.2 ISO100 50mm (35mm eq:50mm)

The Nikon begs to be put into Manual, so I switched to M then centre weighted the Exposure, then kept ISO as low as possible, the sun was in and out so constant changes were made, Shutter Speed was kept high and Aperture was set as I required, I usually set around f/8.0 for general scenes then lower for portrait work.

 

Walk Through

ABOVE

Walk Through

1/800s f/5.0 ISO160 50mm (35mm eq:50mm)

As you all should know now I don’t have the camera on a strap, not even a wrist strap, I hold it by the grip and wander around town. I usually have no problem with this but the weight of the camera plus the poor grip started making my hand ache a little….not so good.

 

Two Panel

ABOVE

Two Panel

1/640s f/8.0 ISO180 50mm (35mm eq:50mm)

Lets talk about taking pictures, when you buy a camera you do your homework, read reviews, on line videos and check out forums, this gives you an idea of what to expect. I’m saying this because after doing my homework I was expecting the cameras autofocus to be slow and a bit poor. Well in my experience is very quick and very accurate, its a shame all the focal points are clustered in the middle but that is the only downside. I used the camera at night without a flash and still got good autofocus lock. The camera shutter sound is noticeable but its a very nice sound hard to describe but not the clunk of a Sony. You do need to used the OVF for taking all your shots, live view is for tripod work.

 

Red Hat

ABOVE

Red Hat

1/800s f/5.0 ISO400 50mm (35mm eq:50mm)

The above photo is a square crop, I don’t usual do that but I feel it works here.

BELOW

Eye see you

1/640s f/8.0 ISO220 50mm (35mm eq:50mm)

Eye see you

 

Using the Nikon Df for Street Photography does have disadvantages mainly the size of the camera, it’s not a stealth camera, this is indiscreet Street Photography. You can as I have read use a 85mm lens and stand a little further back, this is probably a good idea and the way to get the best from the camera. I like to get close and sometimes the camera ‘scared’ people away. This is the first time this has really happened to me, even with the Sony A7 and the 55mm I had no right turns as soon as they saw the camera. The camera seems to be seen a lot quicker, I’m not sure if it’s the colour or the size.

 

Flower Girl

ABOVE

Flower Girl

1/640s f/2.2 ISO100 50mm (35mm eq:50mm)

This is one of the few times the Df missed focused but actually I quite like it, soft focus on a portrait….can’t beat it!

Conclusion : From a purely Street Photography stand point, this is perhaps not the camera to have, especially if you like candid shots. If you ask for your shots and engage with your subjects you would get away with it and in fact would be a great camera. The camera is heavy and with any other lens apart from the 50mm f/1.8 it’s too heavy to carry in the hand for long periods. So if you what to stand back and take scenic shots have a longer reach lens this could be your camera….if you want to mix with the crowd and take discreet shots…this isn’t.

A few more shots from the day……

 

LinesDare to crossFor the recordDeckchairs

 

As always there will be a few more on my Flickr Photostream

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Camden Town – Sony A7

Camera : Sony A7   Lens : Sony FE 55mm F1.8 ZA

Camden Lock

ABOVE

Camden Lock

1/1600s f/1.8 ISO100 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

Occasionally I’m lucky enough to take the day off work and go on a special photographic trip. I usually end up in London as it’s such a cosmopolitan place with completely unique areas. One such place is Camden Town, mainly known for it’s market and waterway.

I wanted the trip to be about getting reacquainted with the A7 and the Zeiss 55mm and to confirm that I made the right choice going back to the camera.

 

Spotted on the Escalator

ABOVE

Spotted on the Escalator

1/800s f/2.0 ISO800 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

To get to Camden I had to take a train into Waterloo, then the Underground to Camden. To start the photographic day, there were some great shots to be had on the London Underground. The above was one of my favourites. I always set my ISO manually as I want to keep it as low as possible so ISO800 gave me good brightness and I could keep the shutter speed up.

 

I Love You

ABOVE

I Love You

1/2000s f/2.0 ISO200 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

Just as I left the Camden Underground Station I noticed the ‘I Love You’ heart on the wall, perfectly there was a girl waiting there so this was an easy first shot in Camden. I decided early on I was going to use the large aperture on the Lens, so most photos were taken around f/2.0. This allowed me to keep ISO low and Shutter Speed high  – perfect for candid street photography.

 

Icons

ABOVE

Icons

1/2000s f/1.8 ISO200 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

BELOW

Of

1/2500s f/1.8 ISO200 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

Of

 

If you start walking down the road towards Camden Lock, you come across the Camden Town Market and the many shops selling unique clothing, I thought the T-Shirts were great and an easy photo. One of the areas I did want to improve on, is my street portraits. I’ve usually gone the easy Zoom route; this is a great way to defocus the background and make the subject stand out. Now I have a full frame lens with a f1.8 I thought I’d try using this lens, it’s not the traditional portrait length of 75-85mm but the shots I took I was pleased with. I think the background is just enough out of focus.

BELOW

Fruit

1/500s f/1.8 ISO100 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

Fruit

BELOW

Take a Punt

1/5000s f/2.2 ISO320 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

Take a Punt

 

So a little further down the street you get to Camden Lock and Camden Lock Market. There were a few boats and punts on the canal, this one was waiting as the girl’s friend had popped to the toilet, he wasn’t pleased! Next destination was Camden Lock Market, WOW it’s amazing, I’ve been to the Souks in Marrakech and this is the English equivalent. It’s set in some old stables and warehouses next to the canal, there are numerous traders and places to eat; but it’s the atmosphere that really makes it….I highly recommend it.

 

The Look

ABOVE

The Look

1/100s f/2.2 ISO100 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

One word of caution, it’s a very difficult place to take photography especially in manual. The light changes constantly, from bright light in the sunshine to dimly lit cellars and underground stalls, you need to check your settings regularly. I managed to keep the ISO to no more than 800 so very similar to the Underground. The A7 and the Zeiss 55mm make a great NON discreet street photography set up, everyone knows you’re there as the shutter’s so loud. Focusing was OK perhaps a little slow and not always as accurate as I would have liked though sometimes this can throw up a photo in post which i like…..see below.

BELOW

Thank Tucks

1/5000s f/2.0 ISO200 55mm (35mm eq:55mm)

Thank Tucks

 

Well I had a great day with the camera and lens combo and am very pleased with the results, people are talking about the A7S great low light abilities, but I think people have forgotten that the original A7 and A7R are Low Light monsters too!

I’ll leave you with a few more shots of the day and there will be a couple more over on my Flickr photostream.

 

Cuban Cigar

Poster look

 

 


First Impressions – Sony A6000

Camera : Sony A6000    Lenses : Sony 50mm f1.8 – Sony 55-210 – Sony 10-18

The Jogger

ABOVE

The Jogger

1/320s f/7.1 ISO100 50mm (35mm eq:75mm)

I was keen to test the Sony Alpha A6000, in the past I’ve had a Sony NEX-7 and a Sony NEX5R and have at present the Sony A7. It was the NEX-7 and my trip to Barcelona that got me into Street Photography, I whole heartedly recommend Barcelona as the best place to go for Street Photography; the people, architecture and general vibe make it a great place.

My “first impressions” trip was to Southsea in Hampshire, UK.  This is the seaside town so it has a beach (unfortunately a pebble beach). I went fairly early about 9am and was there for a couple of hours, basically walking up from the Fun Fair (not open) along the promenade for about a mile.

 

Ferry walk

ABOVE

Ferry Walk

1/500s f/9.0 ISO100 65mm (35mm eq:97mm)

For these first few shots I was walking along the pavement on the opposite side of the road, one of my favourite shots is the now classic #sidey so I managed to get a few walkers and joggers. Southsea is next to Portsmouth which has a Ferry Port where the ferries go to France and Spain. The above shot was to get a Ferry Sidey which has got to be rare!

The lenses I took were the 50mm F1.8, 10-18mm F4 & 55-210mm, they were all in black with the black A6000 they all looked great and very professional looking, build quality is good but not exceptional. The 50 and 55-210 have OSS (optical steady shot) the 10-18 does not, but it’s not really required for such a wide angle lens. All lenses were fitted with Hoya Pro-1 UV filters (My UV Recommendation) and I attached the hoods as the sun was rising and didn’t want flare to be an issue.

 

Beach for Two

ABOVE

Beach for Two

1/320s f/7.1 ISO100 50mm (35mm eq:75mm)

BELOW

Posted

1/4000s f/1.8 ISO100 50mm (35mm eq:75mm)

 

Posted

 

Let’s talk about the camera, to start with it has a good grip, the battery bulge feels nice in hand and very secure and most importantly, comfy. The button and dial placement are good and is very similar to the A7, customisation is good so you can control your focus from the C buttons. The biggest improvement over the old NEX series is the menu system, I hated the old system but going to the Alpha system has made a real benefit in speed and user experience….well done Sony. The screen is very clear but still not a big fan of the shape 16:9? It’s tilting which is a bonus but not touchscreen; the resolution is 921,600 dot 3″ LCD screen. The viewfinder is nice and clear, resolution isn’t that high but you shouldn’t have any complaints.

 

Anyone for Ice?

ABOVE

Anyone for Ice?

1/400s f/7.1 ISO100 50mm (35mm eq:75mm)

The camera in use is very quick, focus is super quick, whether the target is moving or stationary. The focus is not only quick, but it’s very accurate as well. I’m not sure but I don’t think I got any mis focused shots. If you are a photographer who uses Auto but want better picture quality than a Point & Shoot, this is the camera for you. That’s not to say if you know what you’re doing this camera can deliver great IQ in Manual / AP or SP. Changing settings using the Fn button is easy and having the customisation buttons means you have all your settings at the touch of a button.

 

Push Bike

ABOVE

Push Bike

1/400s f/7.1 ISO100 18mm (35mm eq:27mm)

So what are my initial impressions?

The camera is great fun to use, it does everything you ask of it especially when it comes to focusing. I must also add I feel it’s very good value for money compared to other cameras with similar specifications. The Sony E Mount Lens line up is now very impressive and you don’t need to buy the expensive Zeiss lenses as the new 35mm and 50mm lenses are great quality.

I just has three little disappointments:-

1. No Hot Shoe Cover – it’s an optional extra – Sony…. since when????

2. Loud Shutter sound – even with the electronic first curtain

3. No Electronic Level – I miss this as I like to get my shots level

 

The Rule of Flowers

ABOVE

The Rule of Flowers

1/400s f/7.1 ISO100 18mm (35mm eq:27mm)

Camera Specs:

- 24.3 MP APS-C Sensor

- 1080p 60p and 24p video

- 1,400K dot EVF

- 3 inch 921,600 dot LCD screen

- 1/4000 shutter speed

- 11fps

- 1/160th flash sync

- ISO 100-25,600

- 179 phase detection Af points


NOTE : I shoot RAW and post process in Lightroom 5.


derren.photo

derren.photo

Since this website started in May it has been called derrenhodsonphotography.com which is quite a long name to type. With the announcement of the new domain names i’m pleased to say i have secured which i believe to be the shortest URL i could get – derren.photo.

This website will still be called derren hodson photography but now with a shortened URL.

 

 


Street Photography – Fuji X-M1

GEAR : Camera : Fuji X-M1    Lens : Zeiss Touit 1.8/32

 

Cardboard Face

ABOVE

Cardboard Face

f/4.0 – ISO400 – 1/1400s

This will just be an impressions review about the Fuji X-M1 and comparing it against the X-T1, this is because I only had it for a couple of hours.

My initial impression was good, Fuji build well constructed cameras especially in the X Range. Even though this is their Mid to Low range camera it still feels great, definitely a premium camera. It’s smaller than the X-T1 but that’s to be expected as it has no viewfinder, the screen however seems just as good to me. In the sunlight to start with I had trouble seeing the screen, but going into settings and increasing the screen brightness soon resolved this problem and I could start composing my shots easily on screen.

 

The Trio of Buildings

ABOVE

The Trio of Buildings

f/8.0 – ISO200 – 1/800s

It was easy to familiarise myself with the camera layout and menu system, I must say I prefer the buttons on the X-M1 to the ones on the X-T1, much more positive action. The X-M1 is not weather proofed like the X-T1, so that needs to be taken into account when moaning about buttons! The menu is typically Fuji so very easy to workout and find the settings you need and it has the Quick Menu – Q Button.

 

Miss the Bike

ABOVE

Miss the Bike

f/9.0 – ISO400 – 1/800s

BELOW

Selfie at the Crossing

f/8.0 – ISO320 – 1/60s

Selfie at the Crossing

 

So on a Street Shoot I carry my camera all the time, usually the camera is on constantly (you never know when you’re going to need it!) The first thing I noticed is there is hardly any grip so my fingers were holding the camera tighter than normal, this meant after awhile my fingers started to ache, so my recommendation would be to buy the optional grip.

My next problem is shutter lag, the delay between pressing the shutter button and the actual time when the shutter fires…..it’s long. I’ve never really noticed it with any other camera I’ve used but this one is so long I missed a couple of shots….not good for Street photography.

The third and final negative is the actual focus and focus speed. The focus is not quick or good in low light, autofocus sometimes gets it wrong or doesn’t get it at all. This is definitely not a action camera, you could call the focus “leisurely” and there were a few times when I’ve got focus lock but the subject has been slightly out of focus. Now this could have been my camera or I might have been running older firmware (I forgot to check) but autofocus is POOR.

 

Relax its Saturday

ABOVE

Relax it’s Saturday

f/2.8 – ISO200 – 1/800s

Now if this was a test drive I wouldn’t be buying the car, it’s not for me. That said, I did like the feel and general urban shooting with this camera. The screen is very nice to look at, the dials and buttons are of good quality making it easy to change settings. Shooting a still scene would be a pleasure, shooting moving subjects is a little harder and pre focusing may be the answer if you want reliability. The photos in RAW were OK but not to the standard of the X-T1, the sensor in that camera is much better. I wonder if the slightly cheaper X-A1 is the better bet as I imagine the quality will be the same.

 

Straight - Not Straight

ABOVE

Straight Not Straight

f/1.8 – ISO200 – 1/4000s

Just to let you know the grain was added to the above photo in post. I hope the photos taken at a variety of Apertures and Shutter Speeds have given you some idea of quality, I rarely shoot jPeg and these cameras were meant for RAW shooting. This is the first Fuji camera where I can’t see ‘Fuji Colours’ popping out, it’s simply not that good, I’m not sure what they have done but I can’t recommend this camera.

A few more shots……

Pondering.

Hercules at the Bus Stop

the Art House

Toxic Waste

Conclusion:

Pros

  • Good build quality
  • Lightweight
  • Good screen
  • X Mount camera so good lens selection
  • Price

Cons

  • No grip
  • Poor focus
  • Shutter lag
  • IQ not up with Fuji’s best.

Update : Having checked the camera, it is running version 1.10 firmware. There is an update to 1.20 but in the release notes it doesn’t mention anything about improved focusing.