Articles

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.

For this walk, we took a complete departure from our usual Derbyshire haunts and discovered this stunning hike along some of the Amalfi coast’s most spectacular scenery. This is not a walk for those who are afraid of heights as some sections of the path cling perilously to vertiginous cliff walls, so it goes without saying that a certain amount of sure footedness is prerequisite.

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. 

We have always liked photographing small things and are particularly interested in macro subjects. Due to this, we found ourselves moving in to small product photography not only out of interest but also due to picking up some work in this field. Initially we used similar methods for photographing these small items that we had deployed for our macro work. And while the results were acceptable it was obvious that something more professional was required. This triggered a search for lighting, stages and backdrops of which there are many. As we did not intend to work with subjects much larger than the size of a DSLR body and a couple of lenses, our attention was drawn to Novoflex’s Magic Studio system. Having used some of Novoflex’s products in the past, and been happy with them, we took a closer look which resulted in a purchase.

I admit, I am a bit slack when it comes to reviewing my equipment, it usually takes me about a year before I even consider reviewing it. But it does give me plenty of time to familiarise myself and give it a bit of a beating before I start singing its praise.