Leica 50mm F2 Summicron

I was never a believer of Leica the brand, nor it’s products. I used to tell myself that I could capture images without it and it would still be stunning. Why would I need a leica camera or lens? It was until my wife bought me the leica 50mm f2 version 4 that flipped on the switch. Honestly, I am blown away by this little black beauty. The original intention was to have it go along with my leica M5, but once I was blessed with an adaptor, I have been using it with my old flame, the Fujifilm XT1.

The glass is really out of this world, producing images that make me leave my mouth open, practically speechless and friends going wow. Even my wife is happy with the images I take.

Don’t let me fool you, just have a look at these images and you tell me your thoughts.

As for me, I am indeed blown away by what leica can give me. I’ll definitely use this lens more often and bring you more stunning images. Enjoy!

At the traffic light
Waiting for the MRT
After the rain

Comparing Fuji X100F & Ricoh GR3

Thanks to my good friend, Alan who allowed me to try his Fujifilm X100F, I could do a mini comparison between his camera and my Ricoh GR iii. The X100F is a lovely camera and I must say that it’s super quiet when you snap a shot, so much so that I had to check if it was really captured. Here are my findings:

1) Size & weight:

Right off the bat, the GR3 wins in terms of size and weight. No doubt the X100F is also pocketable, the GR3 is even smaller and it fits nicely into my daily pouch with room for other essentials. It is also lighter and I could immediately feel the difference when I held it for a few minutes.

2) Functionality & usage:

Lens:

The X100F has a 35mm lens whereas the GR3 has a 28mm equivalent. I was so used to 28mm that I had to take a step back just so that I could capture what I could usually do with the GR3. Alan also told me that I could adjust the viewfinder to obtain a 50mm and 70mm view with just the twist of the lens on the X100F.

Gripping and holding:

I could also feel a difference in the grips of both cameras. The GR3 had a rubbery grip whereas the X100F was smoother to hold and I could feel that at times the camera was slipping away from my grip.

Viewfinder:

The X100F has a electronic viewfinder which also has a mini window on the right bottom corner, allowing you to see if you are spot on in terms of sharpness and you can also compose your shots with the larger rectangle. The GR3 doesn’t have a viewfinder. I believe photogs who prefer that would feel that the X100F has an advantage which is good. I have learnt to enjoy my view on the back of the screen and embrace the lack of a viewfinder.

3) Film simulators:

No doubt Fuji has beautiful colors in their Jpegs and also their acros 100 which I quite like, GR3 also has their own Positive film & hi contrast black & white. I enjoy all these films and to me, there isn’t anyone that is better than the other. All I can say is Alan was happy with the positive and the hi contrast films.

I tried to shoot in color (vivid is the usual choice for me), but I quickly changed in back to Acros100.

4) Battery life:

The battery of the X100F was great! When Alan handed it over to me, it was half full. I managed to take 37 images before the half life drained out. I handed Alan the GR3 with an almost full battery and when I got it back, it was almost fully drained. So hands down, the X100F wins hands down!

5) Snap focus & Image stabilisation:

Yes! GR3 has both snap focus and IS, of which the X100F doesn’t. Snap focus is a beauty when it comes to street photography. Image stabilisation also helps when you are walking. Nice and sharp images! Great job Ricoh!

6) Wifi and transferring of images:

Both cameras have wifi transferring which are great, but when we were transferring images to our phones, I noticed that the GR3 transfers a whole lot faster than the X100F. I’m guessing it’s down to the app and not the phone coz my phone is a Note 8 from Samsung.

Final words:

The X100F is a nice camera to try. I enjoyed capturing 36 images using this beauty. Its very quiet and the viewfinder is quite nice to look through. The image quality is also very nice. I enjoyed the Acros100 film a lot. In fact, of my 36 shots, 35 of them are in Acros100.

With that, it also made me appreciate my GR3 a lot more. I enjoy the fact that I can bring out this lil boy everyday and capture the daily life of Singapore.

Thank you so much Alan for allowing me to try your Fuji X100F. Hope you enjoyed the Gr3 as much as I enjoyed the 100F!

Here are some of the images I took with Alan’s Fujifilm X100F.

Enjoy!

Lead me there
Lifestyle experiences
Let’s go!
Growing from darkness
Delivery armor

Whining kiddo
One hardworking chap
Fashionista
Take me home
Ice cream lady

Experimenting with a modified A12 hasselblad back

A friend of mine Louis recently posted some pictures of what seemed like a Xpan. When asked, he shared that he modified his A12 back to get similar results. That got me interested. Instead of forking out a hefty sum to buy a Xpan camera, why not make use of my 500cm?

Thanks to Louis for modding the back and sending it to me, I managed to run a test roll of this beauty. Note that unlike the newer backs, this A12 back requires you to manually turn it, if not, it would remain at the same frame giving you multiple exposures. That itself would be a fun experiment but that would be for another day.

I tried my test roll with a Shanghai gp3 iso 100 film and here are some of the shots I felt worthy of sharing.

Note: I need to work out the spacing for this back as I was told my Louis that it should give me about 27 exposures. This round, I only managed a mere 15.

Esplanade bridge

The above images were developed using Rodinal semi stand and were taken using my Fuji XT1. Hope you like them as much as I do.

Embracing light and shadows

I used to fear light. It’s a funny statement because in photography, you definitely need light in order to capture an image. Okay, I guess it’s more towards over exposure and the heat of the humid sun in Singapore that I shun away from instead. I used to like my images nice and bright. If it was too dark, then it would be deemed a failed shot.

It was when I came across a few photographers who took them to another level that opened my eyes to view light and shadows in another realm. Fan Ho is one such great example who played with lights and shadows and blew me away. Sean Tucker also discusses this very nicely in his YouTube videos. Since then, I have been looking at my images differently.

I shoot black and white photos mainly because I see beauty in it. Black and white are also colors right? Apart from having great framing and composition, this is the next level up towards taking better images in my opinion. Playing with light and shadows. Not the strobes but with natural light.

Evening light

If you like to step up and capture nicer images, I’d suggest the same as well. Embrace light and shadows to see how it can make your images better.

Photo was taken with my Ricoh Gr3

© Copyright 2020 Ezekiel Kok Photography All Right Reserved

Darkroom print exchange

In efforts to encourage myself to print more in the darkroom, I’ve participated an upcoming exchange meet up. Rules are simple:

1) print 5×7 or 8×10

2) print 6 prints

3) open theme

4) Rc or fb paper

This would be my first time joining and I’m excited to see what I will be receiving from the other 5 individuals.

I feel it’s an indirect way of improving oneself to become a better all rounded analog/film photographer. It forces me to choose my shot wisely and print with pride so that someone else can appreciate my work.

Does anyone else participate in such events? I’d love to hear from all of you!

God bless!

Ezekiel

Darkroom printing

As many would have known by now, I have dived into the deep end of a beautiful journey of film photography. Having capturing images from all walks to life and onto negatives processed, now I move into the final stage of this process: dark room printing.

Seems like a simple process but it takes a lot of effort and practice to come up with a well exposed and well toned final image. You have to think hard and decide which one would be worthy of printing. Of course, when you have to select, it becomes harder because having shot 12 to 36 exposures, you have to choose just 1 to 3 images to print.

Steps aren’t very hard to be honest but will need loads of practice to hone the skill. I am still in the learning phase so kindly be patient with me.

The below image was taken during a photo walk with friends from the Let’s shoot film sg Facebook group. Many a times, it does boil down to timing. It just happened that this gentleman turned to see what I was doing. Click. With film, you never know the result of that shot until you develop the negative.

The above image was taken at near OG Albert. I wanted to capture the guy with the GO signage, but I guess his superior stepped in to stop me. I had already snapped and apologized as I walked away.

There is so much more to learn in this final leg of the journey. Why do I print? Simple, it’s nice to hold a hard copy now a days as many are left in the digital world. Very few print. I guess I like it in my hands and not my phone.