2022 is finally drawing to a close and I hope that all our readers are staying healthy and well. As with last year, I have decided to wrap up 2022 by sharing a series of images I have made this year. To shake things up a little, I’ll break the year up into four different cameras that I have used and share what it was like to work with each one.
The X100V is still one of my most-used cameras. When I’m at work, I’ve either got my X-T5s or my GFX but when I’m not, the X100V is almost always with me. In this case, I was walking home from a session with a client and the snow began to fall. Simply because of its size and undemanding nature, I had the X100V in my jacket pocket that day, as usual.
Rather than head straight for the bus and go home to sit indoors, I felt inspired to simply wander the streets and see what became of my day. That is the power of the X100V for me. It is such a simple, focused tool that says, “Make some pictures!” every time I pick it up. Not only that, but it now has the official WR designation. Theoretically, this means I don’t need to worry about snow and rain getting all over the camera when I’m out.
In a scene like this, the camera is on auto-ISO and in aperture priority. All I need to do in order to shoot is to ride the exposure compensation dial. I have a minimum shutter speed set so I can get sharp images and I really don’t care about noise, so it’s a really freeing way to work when walking the streets. It allows me to focus on what I want my images to feel like and this one feels like Seoul in the winter to me.
The X100V is still a tiny camera with a small grip, though. So, when I’m working with cold hands like this and my dexterity is compromised, I like to have a wrist strap on the camera. I use the BlackRapid Breathe wrist strap as it works with my BlackRapid tripod plates and harness that I use for work.
Our summer rains this year were something else. I’m really surprised that my gear survived this walk. I was on my way to a corporate event shoot when the skies opened up. Within seconds, my clothing was drenched (umbrellas don’t help with horizontal rain) and I had to borrow a hairdryer from the hotel just to get things looking reasonably presentable when I arrived. Thankfully, it wasn’t just me who got soaked and the client wasn’t fussed!
I did, however, get a chance to make a quick few frames in this rain with the X-T4 and the Laowa Argus 25mmF0.95 while I waited for the lights to change. It still blows me away that this is two hours before sunset. The clouds and rain were so thick that it felt like night. Being able to quickly punch in and manual focus with the f/0.95 aperture allowed me to get a sharp frame without having to change several settings in the pouring rain. While the lens was not a weather-sealed one, I made a few quick frames and then wiped both it and the body (especially the lens mount) with a microfibre cloth as I crossed the road.
The X-T4 is one of those cameras that’s just dependable. After shooting this frame, I walked into a corporate event and completed my job for the night with the same camera. It does it all and does it in a tiny package. While I’m not the biggest fan of the fully-articulating screen, the rest of the camera does everything I need it to. Now if only Fujifilm would add the 65:24 crop ratio into the X Series, I wouldn’t have to guess my framing for shots like this!
One of the benefits of blogging and having a small YouTube channel is that I get to try all sorts of gear that I may never otherwise even consider. Recently, I’ve been working with an ultra-wide prime lens for the GFX that should be released in the next few days. It’s been a real pleasure to capture things this wide with the extreme resolution of the GFX.
Some of the main reasons I got the GFX100S are the improved autofocus and the image stabilisation. That said, here I’m using neither. This is a long exposure on a tripod that was focused manually on the rocks in the mid-ground. Nonetheless, the ability to zoom in and inspect all the details is still something quite special.
All those things about the portability of the GFX system (for medium format), its speed and its resolution? They’re all the absolute truth and it’s such a fun system to work with if you have the opportunity. I had this, along with my X-T5 kit for a client job, in a small shoulder bag and was able to walk around all day making images. Medium format truly isn’t what it used to be.
My GFX 50R changed owners when I purchased my GFX 100S. However, it’s still not too far from home and is in the expert care of my good friend and colleague Roy Cruz. Back in April of this year, I had the chance to be reunited with the machine that has photographed so much of my Tattoos of Asia project.
I had taken a couple of days off to cycle the Seomjin River Cycleway here in South Korea. Being only a short drive from Roy’s home, he came out to join me for the end of my first day’s riding. We headed up to a small temple, Saseongam, in the town of Gurye. We got a lacklustre sunset and the temple was, while impressive, not a wonderful photographic subject. Still, the mountains of this area are some of the most beautiful in the country and I couldn’t help but borrow the GFX 50R and Roy’s new GF100-200mmF5.6.
I had my X-T4 and XF55-200mm lens with me but the temptation to go this long on the GFX proved a little too much for me. The longest lens I had ever used on the GFX was the GF110mmF2, so having that much reach and resolution was a treat. The stabilisation in the lens makes it such an easy tool to compose with as well. I only made a few frames before giving it back but that is a lens I’d love to own someday!
Happy New Year
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this journey of four cameras with me. I hope that the end of the year brings peace and joy into your lives. Have a wonderful end to 2022 and a great start to 2023. Oh, and don’t forget to share some favourite images of your own down below in the comments!