Digital Cameras, Lenses, and More

My much beloved pseudo-rangefinder Fujifilm X-E3 camera. I gravitated toward the X-E series after experiencing a friend’s X-100F. The X-100F is a great camera, but has a fixed lens. I enjoyed the smaller package of the X-100F, but I wanted interchangeable lenses.

I originally bought a used X-E2S, but shortly thereafter I upgraded to a new X-E3. The smaller body lends itself perfectly to travel. It packs light and is unobtrusive. 

I really appreciate the retro (dare I say Vintage?) styling of the Fujifilm camera series. The mechanical dials to set shutter speed, aperture, exposure compensation, etc., all hark back to 35mm film cameras. on more than one occasion I’ve had people ask me if it was an old film camera.

Even with its classic styling, it has superb image quality and plenty of digital adjustments available. Of course, Fujifilm is renowned for their beautiful film simulations. Even though I am a raw (RAF) shooter, the JPG images from Fujifilm are absolutely amazing. 

Currently this is the only Fuji manufactured lens that I am using. This lens (like almost all Fuji lenses) has superb image rendering in a smaller form-factor. I have owned the Fujinon XF35mmF2 R WR, and the XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. I have sold both and kept the versatile 18-55.

This is a fairly recent purchase. I’m a little late to the party as this lens was introduced in 2018, but a couple of years does not reduce the amazing qualities of this lens. This lens is so sharp!

The Laowa 9mm ultra wide lens has an incredible 113º field of view on an APSC sensor camera. It sports 15 elements in 10 groups, and has a maximum aperture of f/2.8. All this in a 215 gram package. The best feature is what they call “Zero D” or zero distortion. In practical terms, this lens has virtually no pincushion or barrel distortion. Absolutely brilliant for a lens this wide and small. It WILL show convergence if it is angled up or down from vertical. As Scotty from Star Trek always said, ‘I canna change the laws of physics.”

I should mention this is a totally manual lens. It will not interface with your cameras electronics. You will need to manually focus and adjust the aperture. It is also incapable of sharing EXIF data with your camera.

The biggest downside of using a smaller camera is that it’s smaller! I added this grip to my X-E3 shortly after purchase. Not only did it improve the grip of the X-E3, it sports an Arcs-Swiss plate for tripod ease of use, and does not need to be removed to change the battery of the SD card.

I currently use the very fun, 249g,DJI Mavic Mini for aerial footage and stills. I have found this drone to be incredibly small, lightweight, and agile. My current Mini is a replacement drone and the tragic tale of crashing the original can be read in THIS POST.

With no side or top sensors, this drone has almost no obstacle avoidance systems. Therefore, it’s pretty easy to crash if you’re not paying attention. I did add eye decals from Ken Heron so it could be on the lookout for danger!

Vintage Lenses

Vlogging Gear

Film Cameras and Accessories