Future by Othman Kammah

Before you were conceived, I wanted you. Before you were born, I loved you. Before you were an hour, I would die for you.
— Maureen Hawkins

My beautiful wife and I are expecting a little boy to join us in our journey through life.
Thank you Caitlin. February can't come any sooner.

Shot with the wonderful new XF35mm ƒ/2 WR lens and — my favorite — X-Pro 1.

Stargazing... by Othman Kammah

Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.
— Theodore Roosevelt

Closer. by Othman Kammah

If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough.
— Robert Capa

At the end of last year, Fujifilm surprised a lot of people and released some lens accessories that many had been waiting for, Macro Extensions Tubes.

Some photographers like to shoot close ups and details. I am one of those people:

Love.

Hell, I even put together an essay about the importance of "Details."
And for that, my favorite lens has always been the Fujinon 60mm Macro ƒ/2.4.

So you bet I was excited when I heard that Fuji was going to release not only one, but two different extension tubes. Enter the MCEX-11 (11mm) and MCEX-16 (16mm).
(Hyperlinks will take you to the lovely people at Aden Camera; they have them in stock at a special price currently!)

I've now had a chance to play with both of these on the Fuji 18mm, 35mm, and 60mm lenses and though I would share my findings by using my trusty Canon AV-1 as a model.
The order, although fairly obvious, is Lens, Lens with MCEX-11, Lens with MCEX-16.

FUJINON XF18mmF2 R

FUJINON XF35mmF1.4 R

FUJINON XF60mmF2.4 R Macro

Please note that none of this is not scientific by any means, I just want to show you the minimum focusing distance of these lenses with these new macro tubes! 

My method was getting a green focusing confirmation square on the camera; I am sure other websites out there (*cough*) will write up proper comparisons ;)

Fuji also made a very handy chart to better understand the impact of these extension tubes on all of their lenses:

Hope you enjoyed this little bit of insight!

One Camera, One Lens. by Othman Kammah

A few months ago, I went through a bit of a cleansing process.
I had fallen for the lust of gear over the last year or so and saw my photography and inspiration get heavily impacted by it. I then decided get rid all my gear and took some time to figure out where I really wanted to go with my photography.

I had hit that wall, the one that we all hit at some point. I needed to take a step back.
Fast forward a few months later and I fell in love, all over again, with a friend's old FujiFilm X100. This was the camera that made me switch over to Fuji to begin with.

With the new X100T on the rumored horizon at the time, I decided that I would start a 1C1L (One Camera, One Lens) project when I could get my hands on it.
One would argue that gear doesn't matter — and I'm the first to preach that — but I wanted to a fresh start.

And now I have it.
I give you my 1C1L Project:

This Flickr stream will continue to be automatically updated with the latest images coming out of this wonderful camera.

Hope you enjoy.

Tower. by Othman Kammah

Building the CN Tower was a vast and ambitious project that involved 1,537 workers who worked 24 hours a day, five days a week for 40 months to completion.

And there she stands...

Disclaimer: Long exposure shot with a pre-release Fujifilm ‪X100T‬
Image quality may change between now and release.

T, by Othman Kammah

It's here...
Fujifilm Canada was kind enough to send me a pre-release sample of upcoming the X100T for review. I will be putting it through its paces over the coming days and report back with a full hands on impression.

Until then, here it is... in all its glory.

X100T

X100T

Don't forget that you can pre-order it from the lovely people at Aden Camera here.

Mobile. by Othman Kammah

The Best Camera Is The One That’s With You
— Chase Jarvis

The iPhone 6 has arrived... and with it, the best mobile phone camera I've ever had the chance to use.
I have been shooting with it quite extensively and have absolutely loved having a good, dependable, and reliable camera with me at all times... in the form of something I already carry with me everywhere.

Just some of my findings...

Fujifilm X30. by Othman Kammah

Disclaimer: This hands-on preview was done with a pre-release sample of the X30 running pre-release firmware. Things may change before it is officially released.

Well the cat's out of the bag... Fujifilm finally introduced the first of its third generation X Series cameras.
And boy is it ever an exciting glimpse at what's ahead.

 

The Fujifilm X30 is an upgrade to its predecessor, the X20. I say upgrade because thats just what it is. An incremental release to the X20 but with all that Fuji has learned in its other X Series cameras.

A departure?

Lots of people complained that, when Fuji launched the X-T1, they had departed too far from the original design language and ethos. The Retro-styled rangefinder was no more, and the SLR-chic look is what was now "in".
Don't take me wrong, the X-T1 is a beautiful piece of kit, and if anything, this design change was a brilliant marketing move by Fuji. The DSLR toting market was intrigued and more than ever, Pros began considering the Fujifilm lineup.

Of course it had as much to do with design and ergonomics as it did with feature set.
The X-T1 introduced some great features to the X Series cameras such as intervalometer shooting, Wi-Fi remote, but it also allowed Fuji to show the world that EVFs were now so good that people couldn't use that as an excuse to stick to their DSLRs anymore.

The X30 is the latest camera by Fujifilm and the first one to release in the post X-T1 era.
To say that the X-T1 changed things for Fuji would be the understatement of the year. And it's very clear the second you hold the X30. 

Just like the X-T1 before it, the X30 stirs away from the original retro styling for a little bit of modern.

The X30 body is sleeker, sharper, and despite being a bit bigger and slightly heavier, it feels a lot more comfortable to hold. According to Fuji, this was meant to accommodate the much larger battery (it now uses the same one as the X100 series).
It also feels a lot more rugged thanks to its magnesium alloy build. Hold it next to an X-Pro 1 (which, to me, is the gold standard for Fujifilm X Series) and you would be hard pressed to see a (big) difference. The camera is solid, and everything feels the way it should be.

Speaking of everything, the X30 has a lot of buttons, not too many though, just enough to get the job done without having to deep dive into menus.
The other thing I appreciated is that, finally, it seems we now have somewhat of a standard between the X-T1 and X30 (let's keep that going Fuji yeah?).

Buttons on the top and the right side, large tilty-flippy (thanks Kai) on the left side.
Yes, you read that right, the X30 also inherited its bigger cousin's flip screen.
And it's a beautiful one that will be a joy to use for long exposure photography, low to the ground shots, or stealthy street photography.


But the star of the show here isn't the screen...
Gone is the not-so-great Optical Viewfinder that lived on the X10 and X20; which felt like a viewfinder for the sake of one IMHO.
The X30 now sports a beautiful Electronic Viewfinder (2.36 million dot resolution, 0.65x magnification, and display time lag of 0.005 seconds), which — while not quite as great as the one found on the X-T1 is still very pleasing to look through and a HUGE improvement over the X20.


Another key improvement is the inclusion of what Fuji calls the new control ring.

Located just behind the zoom ring, this second ring allows you to control things like your aperture while in Manual mode while the shutter speed is controlled by the dial on the back of the camera.

Speaking of that dial, because of the size of the X30 — and maybe the size of my thumbs — I found myself switching settings by accidentally hitting it while holding the camera.
Minor quirk, and one that could be limited to a very small set of users. It is, however, very comfortable to hold and use one-handed.

Another thing I didn't like about the X30, and this could very well be due to the pre-release nature of both the hardware and firmware, was how long it took to wake from sleep. I ended up having to make sure to keep it awake while walking around so as to not miss a shot.
This is something that I'm sure Fuji is aware of, and will probably fix before it's even released to the public.

A look at the future...

At the beginning of this preview, I mentioned that I thought the X30 was "an exciting glimpse at what's ahead".
I could explain what I meant but it has been mentioned on the web already, and so I will simply quote an eloquent and wonderful X Photographer and good friend:

But what’s most interesting about this release is how it sheds light on the road ahead: there are a lot of super nice improvements; important improvements that could eventually (fingers crossed) trickle up/down to other bodies: spot metering is no longer confined to centre (it now meters from any selected AF point), exposure compensation in manual mode in conjunction with Auto ISO, a dedicated raw mode for the EVF that bypasses the JPEG engine, stratospheric improvements to movie mode (that list alone goes on and on), a customizable Q Menu (YAY!!) etc…
— Patrick Laroque.

Samples and Conclusion...

During actual use, the X30 felt small (though not pocketable), fast to focus, and the newly added control ring was extremely useful in manual mode. I also love the new Chrome film simulation mode.

The tracking continuous focus also worked great, although with a smaller sensor than its bigger cousins, I expected things to stay in focus which they did.
Check out this pup running full speed:

 

This is a great purchase for people that are looking for a small, Swiss Army knife of a camera with good image quality and a very versatile set of features.
In today's world, it is the most feature complete X Series camera available and also one of the more affordable ones (thanks to its smaller sensor

For me personally, the X30's size was too close to an X100 and I will always take a prime lens over a zoom lens. Although I will say, that this particular lens was extremely versatile and definitely fun to use, and that's what it's about.

The X30 did, however, make me all the more excited about the prospect of a future X series camera... And if we are to believe what's being said on the internet, a cup of T will soon be in order.

As always you can pre-order the Fujifilm X30 from my good friends over at Aden Camera.
Canadian pre-orders even get a free extra battery and wall charger (the X30 comes with a usb cable to charge in-body...).

Sound. by Othman Kammah

There’s something about the ukulele that just makes you smile.
It makes you let your guard down. It brings out the child in all of us.
— Jake Shimabukuro

Family.

Music is a universal language. Music unites us all.
Yet, music has different. Different artists and instruments that deliver their own message.

Strings have always been my favorite. This instrument in particular, holds a dear place in my heart. I was lucky enough to meet another Ukulele lover.

Shot with the wonderful Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and XF60 lens.

Scream. by Othman Kammah

I remembered screaming then, screaming until my voice stopped.
— Ivy Devlin

Sometimes, you feel like you have lost your ways. Like the world is closing in.
Sometimes, you feel like you are on top of the world. You've got it on a string.

Either way... sometimes you just have to scream... and let it all go...

Scream.

Shot with the wonderful Fuji X100S.

Instax Share SP-1 Printer. by Othman Kammah

A few months ago (already!), Fuji launched the new X-T1. As part of the “press” I was invited to join the launch event that was to take place in the Canadian Headquarters.
It was a really fun event with great food, great people, and all the gear you can droll over. Fuji sure knows how to throw a party.

Tucked away in the corner of the showroom, was the Instax table. The Instax Mini 8 and Mini 90 were there, available to play with and snap away. I had always been intrigued by instant cameras. Print quality isn't where they shine — more on that later — they are more social then anything else.
Because I tend to interact with the subjects I photograph in the streets, I always thought that an Instax camera would be something amazing to carry around. Something that I could use to “give back” to the people I photograph.

Lights Out. The press conference is about to begin.

Greg and Billy, aka the FujiGuys, talk about what Fuji has accomplished over the last year (hats off to them) and what new products they are introducing in 2014.
We talk about the X-T1, the X-Trans sensor, the art of color reproduction in Fujifilm cameras, and all other very cool stuff.

The Instax family is still in the back of my mind. Low and behold, Fuji talks about the Instax Share SP-1 Printer and Billy even gives us a quick demo. 
“Wow, this thing is lightning fast” I remember thinking.

Developing.

Developing.

When the conference is over, I voice my interest to Fuji around the Instax line and I get to leave with an Instax camera and some film. 
I have been using the Mini 90 over the past few months and have absolutely fallen in love with it. It’s small, light, and most of all, it’s fun! 
So far, I’ve taken it with me on trips to Brazil, to the US, and to just about every party I’ve attended since. I’ve even used it on portrait assignments to provide the client with a token they get to take home with them.

It’s a conversation piece for everyone. The kids love it because they are instantly gratified, and the parents shed a tear of reminiscence. It makes everyone smile!

But the thing I’ve noticed with it is that once you take the shot, that’s it. Unless you take another one within a split second, that moment is gone forever and only one recording of it will ever exist. There is something pure about that, something that film shooters will appreciate. However, when you are asked if you can “print another one like that” you are left hoping.

Enters the Instax Share SP-1 Printer. SP-1, for short.

instax SHARE SP-1

Let’s talk about looks, since that is the first thing you experience. The SP-1 is very sleek, very ergonomic, yet very futuristic. A real departure from the X series cameras (and the Instax Mini 90) most of us are now accustomed to.


It’s white, glossy, and has rounded edges galore. It does look good however, don’t take me wrong. It reminds me of a plain white canvas, a medium for your art.

Something I like very much is that the SP-1 takes a very minimal approach to physical user interaction.

On the front you see a power button as well as the film release slot, simple enough. The top of the unit shows you a battery indicator as well as an indicator for the amount of exposures left (a very handy feature that the Instax cameras have as well).

Front.

On the right side of the unit, you will see two things, a DC power plug, and a Reprint button.
I call it “The Party Side”.

Reprint.

Picture this, you are at an event taking photographs of people. The SP-1 by your side on a table nearby plugged in to power (edit: it runs off batteries as well). You take a wonderful group shot of some friends. With the Instax cameras, they would have to share the one exposure or pose as many times as needed.
But not with the SP-1! You can use the Reprint button to spit out exact copies of the last exposure. With one button, Fuji has solved the biggest gripe I had with the Instax family. Bravo!

Alongside the CR2 battery compartment (x2), the back side holds typical FCC, and serial number information. Nothing to the left. 
The bottom of the device is where you will load your film. If you are familiar with Instax cameras, you will find yourself right at home. Just rip open the film packet, insert the cartridge, close the SP-1 door and you're in business!

So you’ve now shot a few images with your phone or your camera. What’s next?
The SP-1 printer connects to your phone or tablet (iOS and Android devices) via the instax SHARE app and you can print any image saved to that device. 
I've been using the Wi-Fi functionality of the X-T1 to save images to my iPhone and print them that way.

Where the Instax Cameras will only spit out an image based on what you’ve shot, the SP-1 printer gives you quite a bit of control over what is actually printing.
I won't go over all the different options, that is yours to discover, but I will highlight my favorites and the ones that I think could use a bit more work.

Printing from photos saved on your device is obviously the biggest thing about the SP-1.
Let me give you an example. I shot this photograph of this gentleman smoking in the streets of Toronto with an X-E2. We had a nice chat and he said he loved the image I captured.
Instead of giving him my business card for him to go and find said image, I could’ve provided him with this:

Smoking.

A print of that image, for him to keep. Look how nice and rich those blacks are!

The app even lets you add text to the print using the various templates it provides, if thats not a way to market yourself in the streets I don’t know what is.

One thing that I hope Fuji adds to the app is custom templates. A way for it to remember text, or even add a small watermark to your shot. As it stands, you have to edit your prints every time.

Speaking of edits, the app offers basic editing functionality. It allows you to zoom in/out of the frame, rotate the image, and apply Sepia or B&W Filters. The app also lets you connect to Social Networks such as Facebook and Instagram to retrieve images. Definitely part of the party mode I was describing earlier.

I mentioned earlier that the print quality itself was never the bread and butter of the Instax family. Don’t take me wrong, the images printed are clear and you will never have a hard time making out what is in that strip. It even has a vintage look to it that a lot of people use filters to simulate in the digital world.

Where I was disappointed however, is that even the text printed via the in-app templates, follows suit. It’s not clear nor consistent and makes it look like the printer is running low on ink.

As you can see, in the second sentence, the A is much clearer than the h at the end.
Maybe this is something that Fuji can address via an app update by making those templates a little bolder. As you can see above, thin text doesn't show very well on the prints.

So do I recommend the SP-1? Absolutely. Whether you are a street photographer, an event photographer, or even a wedding photographer (as Kevin points out very well in his review of the SP-1), this little printer is a joy to use. 
I really don't want to send this back to Fuji as it means that I’ll have to buy my own… 

Worth it.

The SP-1 is scheduled to hit the streets very soon, and I have a feeling that it’ll sell very well.

PS: Fuji, I hear you will be adding Instax Share to the X-M1 and X-A1 cameras, can you please update the entire family so I can print directly from my X-T1? Please and thank you :)

As always, all products mentioned above are available for purchase from the lovely people over at Aden Camera.

Details. by Othman Kammah

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.
— Confucius

They say "beauty is in the eye of the beholder". They say beauty is subjective.
I say beauty is everywhere, especially in the details.

Smirk.

When we look at photographs of our friends and family, we look at the bigger picture.

Rarely do we ever pay attention to the details. From the tip of our toes to the curls in our hair; details are what make us unique. They are what makes us beautiful.

We sometimes forget to look for the little things. The simple ones.

Love.

Take a moment to isolate things in your life. Look for those beautiful little moments and things.
Look for the details. They are what makes everything so wonderful.
Details are special...

Stare.

Love. by Othman Kammah

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring—it was peace.
— Milan Kundera

They are there when we go to bed... they are there when we wake up.
They are there when we're happy... they are there when we're not.
They love us unconditionally and expects nothing in return.

They are said to be our best friends. Theo sure is mine.

DSCF0091.jpg

Love you pup.

Shot with the wonderful Fuji X-T1 and an adapted Tokina 200mm/3.5 FD Mount.

Trapped. by Othman Kammah

The Toronto winter is still in full effect. While temperatures are starting to slowly climb back up to the point where one can enjoy taking a walk outside, our lives still remain impacted.

I decided to take a peak down by the water and see what our good friends on the docks are going through. I was hoping to get to chat with some people over there but to no avail. No one around. 

The place that was so full of life last summer was now deserted. People left it to battle with the elements. Over these cold winter months, the ice must have made them feel... trapped.

I continued my walk around and was overwhelmed by that same feeling. Ropes, chains, and locks were everywhere.

People are changing their lives over winter. The same people that would spend days after days on their boats have now locked them up until a better spring.

The sun is on its way back to us, hopefully the warmth will follow...

Shot with the amazing Fuji X-T1, Fuji X-E2, and XF35/1.4 lens.

Third X-T1’s a charm? by Othman Kammah

So it's here. It's finally here!
After seeing everyone else in the world happily receiving, unboxing, and shooting with their X-T1, it's finally Canada's turn.

Having had a chance to review the X-T1 a few weeks ago, I just couldn't wait for the day I would get to buy my own. (If you still haven't had enough of reading about the X-T1, my good friend Donovan has written one of the best reviews I've seen around the web).

So excited as ever — like everyone else today — I made my way down first thing this morning to our favorite shop in Toronto, Aden Camera! (Kinda helped them open up shop :P)
There it was... my very own Fuji X-T1. And because being Canadian rocks, there also was the free Fuji VG-XT1 Vertical Battery Grip!

Aden being the great customer oriented store that they are, Matthew and I unbox the camera right in the store so as to ensure that nothing is wrong with it. Typically just a routine check.
Not today...
As luck would have it, I was also interested in the Fuji XF27 Pancake lens in order to build a small walk-around combo with the X-T1.
So we go ahead and mount the 27mm to the X-T1 and start playing with it. Only to find out that the lens is stuck at ƒ/11. Weird... the back dial wouldn't change the aperture.
We try another lens, same thing. 

Hmm... let's try the 27mm on another X-T1. Low and behold the back dial works without any issues! So my First X-T1 was a lemon. Sad to say that but it's true.

Needless to say, I was happy we caught the issue in store. So I settled and went along home to setup and go out to shoot my upcoming visual essay I had been waiting for the X-T1 for.

I get home, unbox my Second X-T1, start setting it up then mount my trusty XF35. As I raise the camera up to my eye, I notice that the LCD has a weird round smudge on it.
Pixel...? I think for a second — not wanting to believe there is something wrong with this second body.

W1FcVjro.jpg-small.png

Obviously, as you can tell, that's no pixel... so I remove the lens and check out the sensor.
There it is, a white — clearly visible to the eye — speck right on the beautiful X-Trans II Sensor.

Out comes the Rocket Blower... nothing. This thing won't move.
So I pack my second X-T1 back up and head out to Aden Camera, again.

Just to be safe, Matthew and team take a stab at blowing the speck out, to not avail. This thing is stuck between the Microlenses and the X-Trans Colour Filter. It is not going anywhere.
Yep, you guessed it, my Second X-T1 was also a lemon... 

So out comes my Third Fuji X-T1 in the span of an hour, I test the back dial, check out the sensor, and you guessed it, checked everything else out. This one is a winner.

Now there is always a percentage of failure rate in electronic components. No matter what the industry, no matter what the component. Or maybe I'm just the luckiest guy in Canada and have already owned 3 copies of the Fuji X-T1.
The other guy that was getting his next to me had no issues at all right out of box #1.

Either way, everyone will be getting their own today, just make sure you check it thoroughly for any issues like you would anything else.

Happy Fuji X-T1 day everyone! This camera is a keeper and an absolute home run for Fuji!

Enjoy and hope to see you soon at one of our FujiTuesday Events!

Sunbathing. by Othman Kammah

Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face.
— Victor Hugo

Well after months of Grey, the Sun is finally upon us... maybe just for a short while.
Mickey knows that this is a precious moment. He is making the most out of it, Sunbathing.

Sadly enough, as I write this article, the sun is once again, already gone...
See you soon old friend, you are missed.

Shot with the Fuji X-E2 and the wonderful XF35/1.4 lens.

Floating. by Othman Kammah

Breathe in. Breathe out. 
Now float...

And roam... Roam and remember that you need not worry about what's next.
Live in the moment.

Shot with the Fuji X-E2 and the wonderful XF35/1.4 lens.

Prelude. by Othman Kammah

You don’t make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.
— Ansel Adams

From paper to strings. From mind to ears. Music is the product of our Humanity, the one that brings us all together.

Shot with the Fuji X-E2 and the wonderful XF35/1.4 lens.

Ese. by Othman Kammah

Had a blast shooting Ese Beaudoin Borha yesterday, a Toronto based Actor/Model/Producer.
Very laid back, and just awesome to work with.

Shots taken with Fuji's wonderful X-T1 and X-E2 bodies along with the, equally wonderful, XF35 and XF56 lenses.

Feel free to check out my set on Flickr for more details on each photograph.