the end of gear addiction (addendum)

Date Series Part 10 of Gear Reviews Tags photo / gear

I promised to update my notes on what I defined "my final camera".

So that's what I want to do in this very short post.

Yes, the Fuji XT2 is still my main camera. The newest iteration (XT3) is not interesting to me. Nothing that has come out in the photographic world has been interesting to me, to be honest.

I have only slightly updated my lenses, selling the 55-200mm and replacing it with the lower-spec, ultra-cheap 50-230mm f5.6-6.3. The reason? I was often getting slightly fuzzy photos with the supposedly "great" 55-200, something that I have never experienced with the other tele-zoom I used to have on Nikon, another mid-range lens (70-300mm). Maybe it was a slightly defective unit, but I told myself, for how much I use these kind of lenses, let me try the plastic-fantastic 50-230mm; I bought it (new!) for around 160 Euros. And guess what? The optical stabilization works better than on the 55-200m (never had a fuzzy photograph), and overall the quality of the shots are on par with the more expensive Fuji lenses I have. Plus it's so much lighter!

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the end of gear addiction

Date Series Part 9 of Gear Reviews Tags photo / gear

This is it, my final camera. Meaning that for the next foreseeable future I'm sticking to this camera, no matter what. This decision comes after a year where I have tried many different tools, perhaps driven by the lack of a true photographic project in my mind (and yes, the usual lust for new shiny things that affect all men).

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best sensor ever

[Click here for italian version.]

That's the Nikon D850 I'm referrring to. But it can also mean the Fuji medium format GFX's sensor, or any of the latest Sony full frame mirrorless.

Anyway, the point is that I played with a couple of raw files from a D850 and the experience left me cold. I distinctly remember when I first saw what my Nikon D600, my first full-frame camera, could do. I was upgrading from a D7000 with smaller APS-C sensor, and the richness and modulability of the files blew me away. How easy it was to extract the colors I wanted from the raw files; the amount of information hidden in the blacks; the endless possibilities!

Back to the D850. My friend Daniele rented the camera and some of the best lenses available (Sigma primes; the 50mm f/1.4 and the 14mm f/1.8), went for a trip and then sent me a few files.

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[Click here for italian version.]

I left Bari many years ago. It is my adoptive hometown, and when I return every once in a while, I enjoy walking around aimlessly, meeting old friends, the cool breeze from the sea, rediscovering situations and places that haven't really changed that much.

Bus stop (1/200 sec. at f/5.6, ISO 400, 28 mm).
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bari (italian)

[Click here for english version.]

Ho lasciato Bari tanti anni fa. Resta la mia citta' adottiva, e quando ci ritorno una volta ogni tanto, mi piace girovagare senza meta, incontrare vecchi amici, sentire la brezza marina, riscoprire situazioni e luoghi che non sono cambiati chissa' quanto.

Fermata dell'autobus (1/200 sec. at f/5.6, ISO 400, 28 mm).
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Date Tags photo

A pretty simple demonstration that you only need four photos to make a narrative.

In other words, "narrative" and "storytelling" are bullshit. We only talking about photographs, folks!

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thoughts on photography 1

I think a lot about photography; usually random, incoherent things that I tend to forget (or more often, forget the point I was trying to make). This is an attempt to make some order. A second part is half-written. It may be published sooner or later.

portrait photographers

Are they really that good? As Bill and Jefferey often say on their show, how hard can it be to take a good photograph of George Clooney or some beautiful model?

Why do we refer to Platon, Newton, Leibovitz as some sort of geniuses because they know how to set up lights and get these professionals (whose job is looking good) to look good? Not to mention the make up artists, strobists and whatnot working for them.

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art photographers

The world of art photography fascinates me. I especially love those who refer to themselves as "artists", their art being typically exemplified by boring, flat, sad photos where the "artist" himself is shown with vacuous eyes, half naked, a cigarette maybe, with another sad human or animal being by his side. Or empty landscapes showing detritus and crap with not an ounce of interestingness.

I find it wildly entertaining and maddening at the same time their ability to write so much and with so many complicated words about the void their art is made of.

I love even more critics that find meaning in these empty images. It leaves me cold and a bit angry, I admit, that some of these "artists" are even able to pay their bills with this shit they (and nobody else) call "art".

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pretty pictures of cuba

Date Tags photo

Last year I went to Cuba with my wife and my daughter. Before the trip I was overwhelmed with the weight of Cuba and its iconic tropes (the cars, the beautiful people, the cigars); after the trip I became annoyed with the whole thing however, realizing that the photographic essence of Cuba is as fake as the oversaturated, foamy waters landscapes that pollute the passionate photographer visual experience these days.

One little example: you know those american cars that nobody fails to mention each time you talk about Cuba? Turns out most of them they're empty shells, the original V8 engines gone and replaced by cheap, reliable and easy to service Toyota 4-cylinder diesels. Overlooking this detail is a criminal act in my view. Photographing them like they were real american muscle cars from the 50s and not tourist traps is to betray the honesty of your photographs.

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late review of the fuji x-pro1

Date Series Part 8 of Gear Reviews Tags photo / gear

I think that camera reviews should be written either within 3 months from initial purchase or after a much longer time, like 5 years maybe. After a few weeks of use, any average photographer would know by heart button locations, quickly change the camera settings, know what's the highest ISO and the minimum usable shutter speeds, how the autofocus works and so on. And obviously shot a few hundreds photographs in different locations and situations.

After this initial period, he is either using the camera (and enjoying it) or decided to look elsewhere. And if he continues to use that camera, he starts to find loopholes, alternative ways to go around certain defects, until he no longer remembers what was the problem in the first place -- and the longer way to accomplish a task becomes the norm.

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backcountry pyrenees

October 2016, I finally get the chance to ride my Nicolai Mojo in a proper setting. And what a test it has been!

I have been riding for seven days straight on some wonderful trails mostly around the Huesca province in Spain, south of the Pyrenees. That means mostly Ainsa, for the more knowledgeable bikers, that may remember the 2015 Enduro World Series race.

And yes I should mention the geological significance of Ainsa too. In fact, I have been in this part of the world years ago -- around 2006 if memory serves well -- but honestly the emotions you get from riding on these rocks are way above those you get from studying them.

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