A jaunt with the RX1

Now that I’ve finally got my hands on the RX1 to play with – having sold some very near and dear equipment to finance it – I finally had the chance to put it to the test for 24 hours in Bintan.

When the RX1 was first released, many people scoffed at the concept. A full frame camera with a fixed 35mm, selling at more than a D800? Why even bother?

I wasn’t one of those people. I hate lugging around too much equipment when I travel. For commercial shoots, carrying a huge load of equipment is one thing, but doing it on holiday is another. This is exacerbated that I’m almost exclusively a prime shooter. This negated the advantage that cameras like the OM-D had for me, because I’d end up lugging around 6-7 primes with me at any given time – and using maybe 3, at best, on any given day.

Then along came the X100/X100S, offering a fixed 35mm equivalent focal length and a (relatively) fast f/2 lens. On paper, it ticked all the boxes for me, including the gorgeous styling. But as much as many people loved it, I could never quite get used to its controls, or the output from the X-Trans sensor in the X100S. Next was the Nikon Coolpix A, which is brilliant for landscape work, sharp as a tack, and I continue to love, but which continues to be hampered by the less than ideal f/2.8 maximum aperture which doesn’t do much in the way of subject separation.

So I got a hold of an RX1. And I am blown away. Does it have quirks? Sure. The autofocus is a little slow, and hunts in low light. It should come with an EVF built in. It charges through USB.

But that’s really just nitpicking. The output from that Zeiss lens, coupled with the dynamic range of the same sensor in the a99, leads to really beautiful, fuss-free picture making. I absolutely can’t wait to get more time with it! As always, click through the image to see the EXIF data.

(PS – Yes, the firework shots were intentionally out of focus.)

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look at the stars.

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fireworks

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Testing VSCO Film 04

I admit it – I’m a sucker for VSCO film and their presets. VSCO does an excellent job in replicating classic film looks, and they invariably make good pictures pop. So when VSCO Film 04 – a pack which emulates classic slide films -came out, I couldn’t resist immediately picking it up and giving it a whirl. I’ve found that it works incredibly well with landscapes in particular. Some examples below!

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Coolpix A at 28mm f/5.6, Fuji Velvia 100F+

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D600 at 35mm f/4.5, Fuji Velvia 100 Landscape

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D600 at 35mm f/2.8, Kodak E200+

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D600 at 35mm f/5.6, Kodak E100VS Landscape

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Coolpix A at 28mm f/4, Fuji Provia 400X Vibrant

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Coolpix A at 28mm f/3.5, Fuji Astia 100F Balance Warm

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Coolpix A at 28mm f/3.5, Fuji Astia 100F

I fell in love with a place, and a whisky.

I came to Islay with a bunch of dedicated whisky lovers, folks who shared my love for the brown stuff and the love and care that went into making it. Little did I know that I would find a distillery which made it in wonderful and wacky ways – blending the modern hipster approach with a reverence for old school ingredients. Bruinladdich. In the end, I bought a bottle that exemplified my love for the stuff, and the way it was made; the ominously named Black Art.

Apart from the whisky, the island itself has a sleepy charm so different to the rushrushrush mentality of Singapore. Driving along perfectly straight roads in the sunshine, with only blue ahead of you and green at the sides… It’s something I’m going to be longing for in the years to come.

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barrels o' fun!

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out on the loch.

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Islay, Scotland.

It’s been a dream of mine to come to Islay for awhile, being a massive fan of whisky. I expected to find distilleries aplenty here – it being the home of Caol Ila (my all time favorite), Laphroaig, Bowmore and plenty of others – but what I didn’t expect was the sheer beauty of the place. Sun drenched landscapes, with incredible blues and greens painted on the horizon.

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Pitt Cue, London.

I couldn’t resist writing a quick post about the Pitt Cue – a barbeque place in London that is simply transcendent. Not only was the food amazing – the potato skins, beef ribs, pigs’ head sausage, and pork jowl are all must tries – but the drinks were as well. Some great craft beers, and the best old fashioneds I’ve ever had in my life. Not to mention a somewhat bizarre drink made of bourbon and pickle juice…

Recommended without the slightest hesitation. Completely.

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The UK Tour – Covent Garden.

Ah, London, how I love thee. There are few places finer in the whole world than Covent Garden bathed in glorious summer sunshine. What a wonderful opportunity to take some good ol’ fashioned photos, and test the new Coolpix A. Which, by the way, I have completely fallen in love with – it may not look as sexy as the Fuji X100S, but the photos it produces are, to my eye, so much finer.

Love from London1

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