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2016 was a big year for us in terms of building new, and extending existing camera systems, and I cannot believe that a year has passed by since my infatuation with Leica’s TL system began. It would be fair to say that the 2016 Photography Show had a huge impact on my decision and is conclusive proof that such events help greatly when evaluating new systems.

The recent rediscovery of some images taken for a photo restoration project prompted me to write this blog article. I get great satisfaction from taking an old, damaged picture and restoring it to its former glory, although I have spent less time working with this kind of material than I would like recently. Other more recent work seems to get my attention leaving this corner of my interests to gather dust.

Having recently acquired a brand new Leica T, I was surprised to see that it was still running v1.1 firmware and would not recognise my 11-23 zoom lens. I thought I would update the camera to the latest firmware version (1.55) to fix many of the bugs reported over the last couple of years, and also to provide compatibility with all lenses, including the newly released 60mm f2.8 macro.

Readers of the PhotoArk blog will be aware that I have been evaluating different camera systems for the last year with the intent to buy into and build a new system for personal use. Having no commitment to any existing system at present made this job a little easier, as I have very little legacy equipment that I wish to continue using. For the last 18 months I have been using the Leica X and before this, Leica’s X1. Both cameras are excellent performers but I have felt a longing to return to wider and longer focal lengths. The X series camera’s I use have fixed 35mm equivalent focal lengths, excellent in their own rights and one of my favourite angles of view. Both models have provided years of use as my primary cameras and I intend to keep using them well into the future, due to their stunning image quality and portability.

Unfortunately, our beloved Mac Mini finally died over the weekend. It has been showing signs of old age for quite a while but I was hoping I could keep it limping along until next year when I am in a better position to shell out ridiculous amounts of money for a new one! But this wasn't to be, while working on a new feature for PhotoArk it suffered an epileptic fit before restarting, never to boot again! I tried many things to coax it into life but sadly, it wasn’t having any of it. RIP Mac mini!

FujiFilm’s X series of cameras has made a big impact on the market since its introduction in 2010. Starting with the fixed lens X100, it has since evolved into a full mirrorless interchangeable lens system that meets the requirements of most, if not all, photographers. With the introduction of the X100 it seemed that Fuji were taking on Leica in terms of styling, and further models through to the current X-Pro2 also bear this trait. Back when the X100 was released, I was in the market for a fixed lens camera with 35mm equivalent lens so it naturally made it on to my short list of two – the other being Leica’s X1. The Leica won and the rest is history, as they say.

We have recently returned from a holiday to Rome and Sorrento, which provided us with a burgeoning amount of photographic material that took several days to process. Part of the reason we chose these locations to holiday was because of the large amount of sightseeing available and that we get restless sitting around relaxing on beaches. As we had never visited either destination before, our list of ‘must sees’ went on and on…so much so that when drawing up a final itinerary it became clear that there were more activities than could be conformably shoehorned into our allotted time.