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3 months, 3 weeks ago 6

I got a few emails after yesterday’s entry.  The most interesting was; “you’ve covered the image quality, and the lens sharpness, but surely there are more reasons why you’ve gone this direction!?”  Happy to expound on that because it contains some important opportunities to talk about photography.


1.  Small cameras do not threaten people you would like to photograph, who may not know you!   The quality of the image that comes out of say a D4 is truly spectacular, but most people get nervous when you point a big camera and  lens in their face.  By contrast a small non-imposing mirror-less camera doesn’t seem to bother people at all.  So I’m getting a lot better people images than every before.


2.  One of the cool facts is that smaller sensors don’t need as big a lens to cover there circle of confusion.  It’s easier and less expensive to make highly corrected lenses when they can be physically smaller.  When lenses can be made smaller they can be made physically stronger and they can take much smaller filters, which are less expensive!


3.  Smaller cameras and smaller lenses mean smaller camera bags, and less weight!  If you take the Fuji System I’m currently carrying, (three bodies, 7 lenses, filters, batteries {lots of batteries}, chargers, and other accessories comes to around 14 pounds.  The same system with my Nikon gear would top out at 30 pounds or more!


4.  Relative cost of high end lenses.  One of my favorite lenses is the new 23mm f 1.4 Fujinon lens (remember that the sensor in the Fuji X series bodies are APS-C size,  so the 23mm would be the equivalent of a 35mm lens)  In my Nikon System a 35mm f 1.4 lens costs over $1,600 takes 77mm filters and is twice as big as my Fujinon 23mm f1.4.  Plus the 23mm f 1.4 from Fuji costs at least $600. less.  Quality?  The Nikkor is fantastic, but then so is the Fujinon, maybe a hair better!


5.  The optical viewfinder on the X-Pro-1,  and X100s are even brighter than DSLR viewfinders.  If you shoot a lot of available light, the rangefinder type optical viewfinder on the Fujis are fantastic!  The bright line frame lines are great when you want to keep track of what is happening outside the imaging area.


6.  The biggest advantage is that the X System camera allows you to shoot a single frame and have it processed, in camera, into three different color or monochrome palettes!  Did you get that?  You shoot a single frame and you get three separate files in any three palettes of your choosing.  I have my cameras set for Velvia, Provia, and Monochrome.  The Provia is almost identical to the classic Fuji film, the Velvia is a little overblown, but you can adjust all the parameters in the settings.  The monochrome is the most beautiful rendition I’ve ever seen come straight out of the camera.  I rarely have to even take them into NIK Silver Efex Pro unless I want a much more or less contrasty image. This is a huge plus since you don’t have to go out searching for just monochrome images or do lengthy monochrome processing.


7.  The best image stabilization I’ve used before the Fuji System is that in the VR II in Nikon’s newest lenses.  The Optical Image Stabilization in the lenses featuring it with Fuji are just as good!


8.  Lens speed is excellent.  My 14mm is a f 2.8, the 23mm is f 1.4, and 35mm f1.4, the 60mm Micro is a f 2.4, the only slower lens is the 55-200 (80-300 equivalent) is a f 3.5-4.8, not fast, but as 80-300 goes faster than most!


9.  Noise, I covered this before, but this is the biggest advantage to the X System.  Noise is virtually non existent all the way to 3200 and only barely visible at 6400, believe it or not it’s usable even above that!  One of the tremendous advantages for me is the ability to once again shoot hand held if needed!!!


10.  Easy to understand, familiar, retro controls that take you back to the days you learned how to use a camera!   As hard as I tried, I always missed a real aperture ring, a shutter speed knob, the feel of metal dials!  When you feel complete comfort with the operational aspect of a cameras it just feels right.  The new Nikon Df played on that theme, a throw back camera that took you back to the past, some love it. some don’t, I for one am absolutely back in my comfort zone with the X System cameras and lenses!


Hope that at least partially answers the questions.




the pilgrim

3 months, 4 weeks ago 8



This Christmas I’m thankful for many miracles, the coming of a Savior who changed our lives, and the blessings of this life.  Family, friends, faith, and the joy of being a photographer.  Brian Stefl and his family stopped though Corbin, and had breakfast with Stephen Hart, Wesley and I and then I got this wonderful Christmas Card from him and his wife Carrie!  It just reminded me of the greatest joy, people like him, and Jim Begley, Jim Haverstock, Richard Small, Jack Graham, Carl Turner, Snake, and Chuck, Raymond, Ted, Ron, Susan, and Lynn, Don, well you get it, lots and lots of great people that make this life, here worth while!


Then there is the new lives that join us!  We welcome into this world Olivia, born to John and Sarah Walrath.  They are blessed this Christmas.



The next blessing I’m enjoying this Christmas season is a renewed love for photography! Retiring has helped me focus on the more pure aspect of seeing, searching and enjoying the process.  The switch to a lighter system has lifted my spirits as well!  I’m loving the freedom it brings!


Merry Christmas,


the pilgrim


December 26th –   Gearing Up for 2014!


4 months ago 9

Thanks for riding along with me this past year, I promise to do my best to keep it interesting, and inspiring in the year to come, enjoy Christmas Eve and Christmas Day,

I’ll be back the 26th!




the pilgrim

4 months ago 16

O.K. pull up a chair and let me take one more swing at making my point.  It is the season of peace and joy, and my remarks have not contributed to peace or joy, or so says my wife.  We went to church this morning and I was continuing to grumble and she let me know, in no uncertain terms, she was tired of it, and would like to move on to Christmas in peace.  Got it, she’s right, so this is my last attempt to clear the air and then I will in fact move on to better, more pleasant subjects….


Let me share with you what, about all this,  that got me so exercised.  On the second day after the Duck Dynasty thing blew up, I was obsessed with hearing what all the news channels had to say about it, (big mistake)!  I know I don’t have to tell you that I’m a born again, evangelical, politically conservative, Christian. That being said, the one TV news outlet that I never watch, because their take on the world is 180 degrees polar opposite from mine, is MSNBC.  When I turned over to see what they had to say, two commentators were discussing the issue.  To be honest, they were being pretty even handed about Phil Robertson’s right to say whatever he believes, (free speech issue), but I nearly fell out of my chair when they said, “This is and example of extreme hate speech.”  I find this to be beyond comprehension!


So as I see it, this is what happened.  Phil Robertson did and interview with GQ magazine. During that interview he was asked if he thought being gay was a sin.  He should have said, and I quote,  ”According to my faith, God says it is.”  He did say that but he added some descriptions and his opinion about why would a man would prefer another man versus a woman in some rather graphic terms.  But essentially he simply answered the question and said, yes in God’s eyes, it is.  The MSNBC translation is, “if you say something we don’t agree with or don’t won’t to hear, it’s Hate Speech.”


The Christian faith is based on the belief that there is a God, and He loves us above all else.  He loved us so much that He sent His Only Son to serve as an example for us, and then died on a cross to pay the debt of our sins.  Our faith teaches that there is no other way to receive forgiveness than to accept Him, repent, and ask for His forgiveness.  If I suggest to a sinner, (keep in mind that I am a fully confessed, but forgiven, sinner myself),  that all they have to do to be forgiven is confess to God, repent, (which means turn away from that sin), and receive His forgiveness.  How is that hate speech?  Wouldn’t that be Love Speech??!!


If you do not believe in God, and if you do not believe that anything written in the bible applies to you, I can understand your rejecting what I’ve said here.  But even if you think I am wrong and I’m believing in a fairy tale, why would my, in good faith, trying to help you, be hate speech?  Wouldn’t I be just kindly, mis-guided


I don’t know much about what happens on MSNBC or TV shows that depict the gay lifestyle, because I don’t watch them.  Since I’m not interested in what they portray, I simply don’t go there.  If someone thought I was a fool for believing as I do why wouldn’t they just avoid people like me.  This is my point.  An atheist organization hung up a billboard in New York that said who needs Christ in Christmas?  If you don’t believe there is a god, why would you waste your time poking your finger in the eyes of those that do?


I’ll tell you why, because the agenda is being driven in the spiritual realm.  The opposing forces to God, (and I’m not talking about human beings), are encouraging the culture war. Nothing would serve the enemy more than to turn us against each other, and deepen our hatred for each other’s actions and beliefs.  Jesus said love your enemy and pray for them.  Can you see how this attitude defeats evil?  I was too quick to try and defend myself, I should have been calmer and recognized where the criticism came from.  Let’s have the kind of Christmas God meant for us to have, starting with confessing our sins and accepting Him, and then forgiving those that have hurt or harmed us.  Their is no hate in loving others and praying for them.


Merry Christmas,


the pilgrim