X100F – Classic Chrome Series 1

X100F – Classic Chrome Series 1

I guess you could call this update a proper outing with my “new” X100F since I’ve sold it in my last X100F update after purchasing the Leica Q.  The only difference being that this time, I picked up the black body instead of the silver one, because you know…want to stay inconspicuous for those candid photos.

One of the few things that drew me back to the X100F (other than my original reason here), were the following:

  1. The awesome hybrid rangefinder – to be frank, I’m having a lot of fun using a OVF Rangefinder style camera. I personally turn off the LCD Live-View on the back of the camera and strictly compose via OVF. It’s overall preparing me for my ultimate end goal.
  2. The compact body with a 24MP sensor with the 23mm f/2 lens (35mm equivalent) which is my favorite focal length for street photography.
  3. The amazing in-camera film simulations, such as Acros, Provia and my personal favorite: classic chrome.

While everyone on social media paste on filters to give their photos a moody tone or film look, the Fuji X series cameras have these “filters” baked onto the photos straight out of camera, which cuts down on most of my post-processing.

I personally use the built-in simulations and add a touch of my own adjustments to add a bit more contrast.

Example below:

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Reston, VA – Fujifilm X100F – Classic Chrome

Imagine your workflow where you don’t have to go crazy with the heavy RAW (.RAF for Fujifilm) files, but using the lighter JPEG files instead?

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Speaking of end goals, I originally took the Metro into the city because I thought my Leica Q workshop was Saturday, but it actually ended up being the following Sunday.

Needless to say, I felt dumb but still enjoyed my time playing with all the Leica toys in the shop and then walking around the city a bit more to capture some more street photography with the Fujifilm.

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To end it here, I’m thoroughly enjoying my time shooting with the X100F using the hybrid rangefinder and the images that come out of the camera is nothing short of satisfying.

To see more, you can follow my dedicated classic chrome instagram account here: @urban_chrome

Flickr

New EDC Camera: Fujifilm X70

New EDC Camera: Fujifilm X70

The original purpose of my purchase of the Fujifilm X100F was to have a compact, everyday carry camera that I could just throw in my jacket pocket or my bag, therefore always having a real photographic tool with better quality than the iPhone.

The iPhone X takes excellent pictures, don’t get me wrong, but the process of “photographing” is something to be desired and everything shot with my iPhone usually gets lost in the abyss that is Apple Photos. However, when I take photos on a dedicated camera, I feel more disciplined to not take my photos for granted.

The photos will rarely feel expendable if you use an actual camera. They typical hold more value – either due to image quality or how it made you feel when you took the picture.

The occasional slideshow of your weekend trip with your friends may garner the occasional nod, but then people will usually forget about them – rarely ever seen again.

If you want to go even deeper in appreciation for photos, look into printing Instax photos. I promise you that those little photos will be worth more to you, your friends and family than your iPhone slideshow ever hope to be.

There is a zen-like experience of actually taking the time to take photos, rather than snap and go. 

Obviously, carrying a compact camera with you on a daily basis is not for everyone, but I personally don’t like to waste my time taking shitty and forgettable photos, therefore it’s worthwhile for me that enjoy capturing moments in higher quality.

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Side Gripe: It makes me absolutely cringe when people use their camera phones during their “once-in-a-lifetime” trip to somewhere and try to share their photos with me on their small screens like they’re weekend photos of their family cat.

Stop it.

If you want to share your photos of your amazing trip, share it on dedicated photo site like Flickr or something where people can actually feel emotionally compelled to appreciate your photos as much as you were when you took them.

“But I don’t want to carry a camera when I travel! They’re so cumbersome.”

One word: Mirrorless

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Ahem.

This brings me back to the X100F.

The X100F quickly became less of a pocket camera due to the addition of the thumbs  up grip and the lens hood. Since it no longer served the purpose of being my “pocketable” camera, it soon became a stablemate with my other “serious” cameras: the Leica Q and the Olympus PEN-F. Cameras I take with me when I plan to go out and take photos.

So this brought me back to square one: I need another EDC camera.

Originally I’ve picked up a brand new Panasonic LUMIX DMC-LX10 pocket camera with the excellent 24-72 equivalent f/1.4-f/2.8 zoom lens. However, I’ve been lukewarm about the camera for several reasons:

  1. The camera was not comfortable to hold and it was terribly slippery.
  2. The start-up time was noticeably slow due to the requirement for the zoom lens to extend out, even at its widest end.
  3. The image quality was decent, but I blame my standards from owning bigger sensors and my lack of tolerance to poor high ISO rendering that the Panasonic had. It would easily hit 4 digit ISO too easily.

To cut it short, I traded the camera with a member on Fred-Miranda and picked up a Fujifilm X70.

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To put it succinctly: this camera is tiny.

It’s actually smaller in length than my iPhone X, but the caveat here is that it is definitely thicker.

But here is the real important part about this: it’s so small that you can actually take with you everyday in your purse, jacket pocket, or your everyday carry bag.

You’ll also get image quality like this (and have useable RAW files if you want to edit them in Lightroom):

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Using the built-in “Classic Chrome” film simulation – no filters needed!

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I’ll make an update on this in the future but my point is this: get a camera.

Spoiler Alert: A dedicated camera will blow the shit out of your iPhone.

Also, using the “too big” to carry as an excuse is becoming redundant as mirrorless cameras like the Fujifilm X70 is tiny, but if you want to use the camera on your phone to share onto social media for instant-gratification because you’re impatient, then I can’t help you there. 🙂

Getting Inked: Amy’s First Tattoo

Getting Inked: Amy’s First Tattoo

“This was a long time coming…”

Ever since I’ve known Amy, I knew she always wanted to get a tattoo eventually, but it wasn’t until recently she finally decided to pull the trigger.

A tattoo artist known as @jk.tat from Queens, NY, was in town this weekend at a local tendy Hair Salon called “Be Scene Studios“, a hair salon that is more in line like a urban hipster hangout lounge, but also some of the nicest people I’ve ever met.

I’ll also add that I loved the interior decorating in the studio.

All images were shot with the Leica Q

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“…you’ll meet some of the coolest people.”

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Now, I’m not an expert on all things beauty (or whatever is considered trendy since I care more about functionality and usefulness), but I couldn’t help but be impressed with their “lab” (or so I call it), where they mix their own hair color recipe in-house.

What looked like boxes of camera film, turned out to be small containers that looked like colored toothpaste, where each employee could mix the colors to their customer’s wishes.

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The “Lab”
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The “toothpaste” – not the official term
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Loved the Instax photos

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Jen striking a pose
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@jk.tat herself working on a customer’s tattoo
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One of the many lounges

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She could play an elf in the Lord of the Rings
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Wide-open studio

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As Amy’s turn was coming up, you could tell she was anxious (as if her leg shaking didn’t give it away), but at the same time, very excited to finally get her first tattoo.

Despite her anxiety, she still manages to strike a pose for the camera.

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“Que Será, Será” – “what will be, will be”
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Getting wiped down

Needless to say, Amy was very happy with her first tattoo and I was very impressed how it turned out. Maybe I should look into that Leica aperture ring tattoo around my arm?

…hmmm

Link to Full-Size Photos: Flickr

Instagram: @cosmotographer