Hi there from SE England


#1

Hello all, currently from deepest Surrey in the UK. I’m a 58 year old ex Project Manager trying to turn redundancy into early retirement.

I should say first that I’m not a Fuji fan, or a fan of any one make of camera, but after years of having to re-read the instructions on my Nikon DSLR on a regular basis to remind myself of all of the various menu options available, and continued disappointment with the optical quality of the Nikon lenses, the X100 came on to the scene and suddenly there it was - the camera that finally made sense to me.

I started my photography back in the early 70’s with an Exa 1a closely followed by a Praktica LLC, neither of which worked for very long before my first reliable camera, a Leica IIIc. I also used a Rollei 35S, Olympus 36RD and a Mamiya C330 over the next few years, and while there was a couple of Nikon F’s and a Nikkormat EL it was the Leica that just worked for me, so finding the X100 was a revelation with a decent optical viewfinder, a shutter dial and real apertures - and best of all, a threaded shutter button for a cable release - heaven! The only thing missing for me was a proper manual focus as I like to set the focus by feel as I’m composing, the f2 Summitar has a focus knob and you get the feel of where this knob is in relation to the focus distance making it very quick and easy to use - but as compromises go using the autofocus isn’t too bad. I was able to preset the focus on all of my other cameras as well, but of course the ‘fly by wire’ Fuji system doesn’t allow this.

A couple of years ago I saved up and treated myself to an X100T, so many improvements! I did actually look seriously at a Leica M10 when they first came out, but really didn’t like the feel of it or the viewfinder, and preferred the practical useability of the X100T instead. And then for my Birthday last year my Wife got me an XPro-2, so I used that as an excuse to overload my credit cards for the 16mm, 60mm and 35mm f2 Fuji primes, and although I’m a little disappointed with the optical quality of the 35mm - it’s pretty blurred in the corners, so I have to be careful to allow for this with the composition, the older 16mm and 60mm lenses are just incredible. I also have a 300mm catadioptric SamYang which is an interesting way of highlighting that my hands are not as steady as they used to be . . .

As my photography is just for fun these days, I usually either grab my X100T or XPro2 with one of the primes, depending on what mood I’m in, and enjoy the challenge of doing the best that I can with the camera I have. I will often repeat the same walk several days running with different a different lens each time, and see different pictures as a result. So, although not necessarily a Fuji fan, right now for me there’s nothing to touch them and the other manufacturers are playing catch-up bigtime for this old fashioned style of ‘proper’ camera.

I use mainly Lightroom for processing, but being used to film (I used to process my own B&W and Colour transparencies) my aim is to always try to get it right in camera so that processing is minimal.

My subject choice is usually pretty random - I go places and look for a picture that would look great on my wall - it could be a lamp post, raindrops on a flower, doorways, a cow or even a drain cover - I’ll know when I see it. I’ve always been rubbish at taking pictures of people though - the’ll always turn and look at me when I’m about to take the shot.

When not taking or processing pictures or gaining inspiration from others, my hobbies include fixing and restoring to working condition some old Kiev and Zorki cameras that I got at a very silly price recently - I want to do some analogue photography again, but I’ve absolutely no idea why. Also old motorcycles, walking, Twin Peaks and many other things that are not sports or football related.

Over the next year or so, I want to get a website up and running, and actually see if I can make some money from this lifetime obsession for a change. We’ve got a major house relocation to endure first, then early retirement can start being fun, hopefully - at present I have a Flikr page (https://www.flickr.com/photos/35788752@N02/), but I haven’t updated it properly for a long time as I’ve got too much going on right now. I’m quite proud of my work so far, but my best work ever will happen tomorrow - of this I have no doubt . . . .

I’m always looking for hilts and tips, as well as inspiration on composition and lighting, and my favorite photographers are Damien Lovegrove (lighting), DangRabbit (making everyday stuff into pictures) and Elizabeth Gadd - the Queen of selfies! My favorite website is Unsplash - there are some superb pictures there.

So, there we are, that’s one aspect of me - I’ll sit back down now and relax, and enjoy my (now cold) coffee. Toodles.