FUJI X-T1

The Fuji X-T1 ticks all the boxes for me: an APS-C size sensor that delivers incredible results (even at JPG quality right out of the camera), an intuitive set of dials to control critical settings available right on the camera body, a large and bright EVF and a tilting screen. I'm really not sure there's anything I'd change about the camera. The fact that the native Fuji lenses are sharp and fast and they feature an aperture ring on them is icing on the cake.

Product photos taken by: B&H Photo. Click here to view their product page for this item.


FUJI 35mm f/1.4

One of the first native lenses built for the Fuji X system, the 35mm (50mm equivalent) is also lauded as one of the sharpest to this day. I chose this as my first lens for the X-T1 because of the small form factor and fast 1.4 aperture. Autofocus is a bit slow and noisy at times if it needs to seek, but the image quality more than makes up for it.

Product photos taken by: B&H Photo. Click here to view their product page for this item.


FUJI 18mm f/2

The 18mm was also one of Fuji's first native lenses for the Fuji X system, but unlike it's 35mm brother, it's gotten a bit of a worse reputation. Depending on which review you read, you'll hear reports of the lens not producing edge to edge sharpness, visible chromatic aberration and a lack of distortion correction. I took all of that into account, rented the lens and then instantly bought one. The 18mm focal length (28mm equivalent) felt like home to me and the image quality that I got out of it was superb. Any of the aforementioned "faults" can be corrected via software and the small size (nearly a pancake lens) makes carrying this lens all day a breeze. It, too, features an aperture ring even though it's almost as small as the ring-less Fuji 27mm. All that being said, it's a great partner for the Fuji 35mm f/1.4.


ROKINON 12mm f/2.0

The Rokinon 12mm f/2.0 is currently the only third party lens that I own for the Fuji X mount. At just over $300, this lens is surprisingly fast and sharp and just a bit wider than Fuji's own 14mm f/2.8. Unlike the Fuji, this is a manual focus only lens, but at this wide angle and with focus peaking turned on you can nail focus on just about any landscape that you're shooting. It's well constructed and the ultra wide angle amazes me with what it can capture in a single frame. It's definitely worth a look.

Product photos taken by: B&H Photo. Click here to view their product page for this item.


THINK TANK RETROSPECTIVE 5

I can’t say enough good things about this company and about this bag. First of all, the build quality on these bags is terrific. The seams and zippers are solid and the easy to configure interiors are fantastic. I also love the comfort of the shoulder strap padding - sometimes I can’t even believe I’ve been out all day with my kit slung over my shoulder because the padding is so effective and comfortable. The Retrospective 5 is able to carry my body with one lens attached and two others stored in the separate compartments, but in truth it does get a bit snug unless you’re carrying smaller primes. The zooms fit, but it’s tight. I could go up to the Retrospective 7 which is slightly larger but then again I really appreciate having the smaller bag when I’m out. The bags come in Black and Blue Slate as well as Pinestone. I chose Pinestone (pictured above). It doesn’t scream “camera bag” yet it still has all of the features that a photographer would expect from it. You won't regret giving this one a go!

Product photos taken by: B&H Photo. Click here to view their product page for this item.


THINK TANK AIRPORT ESSENTIALS BACKPACK

After expanding my kit into two or three cameras thanks to the acquisition of a couple 35mm SLRs and the Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera, I decided to look around for a way to carry multiple lenses and bodies on longer trips where my Retrospective 5 wouldn't be enough. My LowePro bag (featured below) was decent for day trips but only for one camera and a couple of lenses in individual Lowepro lens carriers. I went back to see what Think Tank had in their lineup and came across the Airport Essentials backpack, and the rest is history. The interior (shown above) is so infinitely customizable that I spent the first hour with the bag just trying out different configurations. A stock image is shown above, but it really does a great job illustrating how well protected the items in this bag are. The Airport Essentials also has room for my Macbook Air and a ton of extra accessories, and it even lives up to its name by fitting underneath the seat in front of you on flights! 

Product photos taken by: B&H Photo. Click here to view their product page for this item.


MAMIYA 500DTL (1968) AND MAMIYA ZM (1982) - 35mm

Even though the photography world is dominated largely by digital technology, there's still a large population of photographers who are still fascinated with film. To me, shooting on film is both complex and simple at the same time - complex in that you are forced to have more control over your manual settings but simple in that there aren't a million menus and buttons to distract you. I also love the anticipation of getting the film developed to see how the shots turned out and the feeling of turning the film advance lever to progress to the next frame. I currently load Tri-X 400, Portra 400, Fuji Superia 400 and Fuji Velvia 100.


VELBON UT-63D

I don’t use sticks very much, but I know I wanted something that would be easily transportable yet sturdy for the occasions that did call for them. The UT-63D is capable of handling far more than the mirrorless kit I put on top of it and I find the twist locks on the legs and the folding ability to be very innovative features. It even comes with its own carrying case and is incredibly light given the height that it can extend to when fully set up. They’re not carbon fiber so they do have a small amount of heft to them, but with the included ball head I think the price is quite reasonable for the small yet sturdy package you’re getting.

Product photos taken by: B&H Photo. Click here to view their product page for this item.


LOWEPRO COMPUDAY PHOTO 250 BACKPACK

I use the Retrospective 5 for 95% of my camera bag needs, but I needed something that could safely transport my camera gear, accessories and laptop through airports. Since I'm a fan of the backpack form factor for that purpose, this bag fits the bill perfectly. The side zipper pocket is great for storing the camera with attached lens and it’s much easier to access the camera this way as opposed to having to remove the backpack entirely to access the kit. The padding and accessory pockets are adequate, but just to be safe I usually transport my remaining lenses within a couple of Lowepro Lens Cases.

Product photos taken by: B&H Photo. Click here to view their product page for this item.


ACCESSORIES

I’ve invested in a few Fujifilm Protector Filters for the lenses I own. A proper cleaning kit is also something I use often and I always carry around spare batteries as well. Last but not least is the media - I prefer the Sandisk Extreme Pro SD cards for their speed and reliability.

 

Feel free to contact me If you have questions on any of the products above!