Street Photography #6 Try Using a Fixed Lens

Spoiler – bit of a rant here….

Just about managing to get a pagespics tip out before the weekend. There were a couple of choices I was playing with today. The first was ‘Don’t buy a Fujifilm X100f, all the reviews say they are great, so there must be something wrong with it’. The second was ‘Don’t read DP Review and PetaPixel – they say the same thing’.

I am going to talk about the X100f though. The camera sounds fantastic; there are so many reviews reporting how wonderful a tool it is. This makes me a little suspicious, particularly when many of the articles are written by Fujifilm Ambassadors. Most reviews wax lyrically about the film simulation mode. Here is the rub – if you want to use film, use film! There are some great SLR’s out there for less than $100; admittedly there is the cost of purchasing and developing stock, but a 35mm film camera is $900 cheaper than the X100f, and that buys a lot of film.

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Shot using Kodak Portra 400 with a 50mm prime.

Here is the second rub – most articles appear to be reviewing the camera based on its black and white capabilities. I’m 95% over B+W, the world is a colourful and beautiful place. Here is the 3rd rub, many reviews talk about the B+W Acros film simulation. What is Acros? I don’t know, but every other street photography shot is now an Acros simulation. Beware, a crap photo is still a crap photo, irrespective of the film simulation mode. There are however 4 reasons why I didn’t write an article about why not to purchase a X100F…

Reading articles about a camera written by someone who does not own that camera is annoying.

The title of the article would be too long for an effective article header.

I will probably purchase a Fujifilm X100F in the end – they look awesome.

It has a FIXED lens – which I like. (I got there in the end!).

So, what is a fixed lens? It is a lens with no zoom. If you want to get closer, you have to get closer using your feet and not your lens.

Why use a fixed lens? Enough reasons to use bullet points…

1. They are small and light.

2. They are (generally) cheap.

3. They have a wide aperture, this allows more light in, which makes the lens excellent      when the light is dying, or just coming up. It also means I can use lower ISO’s.

4. They have a wide aperture (again)– perfect for a nice blurry background when taking      portraits.

5. They force you to be creative.

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Using a fixed lens meant I could shoot in this rather dark room, just off the street, without using a flash.

If you have a DX crop camera, then I would recommend a 35mm lens, or a 50mm if you want something that will get you a little closer. If you have a full frame camera, you probably know all this anyway….

If you want a camera with a fixed lens, then I would strongly recommend the Ricoh Grii (or GR if you want to save money and don’t need wifi – which is crap on the ii anyway). It has a beautiful 28mm fixed lens, which I love.

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The Ricoh Gr is great for more than just Street Photography as seen with this cityscape.

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Ricoh Gr, small enough for your pocket, it’s there when you spot an interesting composition.

Then there is the, er, Fujifilm X100f. It looks awesome. I want one. If I ever start using Acros film simulation, please shoot me…

Have fun and keep clicking,

Chris

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