There Is Something Special Happening In Sydney This Friday

I know there are a few fellow Leica nuts out there who probably haven’t heard but the new Leica Boutique at Digidirect is opening this friday-


Friday, 27 March 2015 from 6:30 PM to 9:00 PM (AEDT)
75 King St
Sydney, NSW 2000

I have it on good authority that it will involve a rooftop and lots of Leica goodness. If any of the Leica fanatics out there want to go along the team from Digidirect would love to hear from you- this is especially relevant to the Fotoriesel Leica crew.  This is the store that Leica users deserve- great staff, plenty of stock and service to back it up. If you would like to go please contact me or


Town Hall

Seem to be spending a lot of time in the city lately, always carry the X100T

Town Hall Station, not exactly retail at its finest but everyone needs their suit dry cleaned sometime. Not much has changed in a long time here, surprising because the rest of the city seems to power forward.
This guy was very angry at me taking photos- you can see him point at me. He followed me for some time screaming about calling the police. Not sure if I have infringed on any laws but I definitely upset a little old man who sold smokes.
I am enjoying the artificial light and the moody colours, might spend some more time shooting underground Sydney.

The Fuji X-T1- Is It Good Enough?

I found myself with a Fuji X-T1 and an 18mm lens. The question I ask myself of all these mirrorless cameras is: can they replace the 5D kit for jobs? The X-T1 is a brilliant camera and is built like a tank, better quality than the Canon. the images it makes especially the JPEGs are fantastic. Its low light performance is possibly not as good but it makes up for it with the superior color rendition. I guess what holds me back is not the cameras or the lenses, both sony and Fuji make cracking lenses but its the wider compatibility. I use flash systems like the Profoto B2 which only TTL with Nikon and Canon. I pretty much use flash for every job so for me its critical. Maybe the mirrorless manufacturers could get together with major accessory manufacturers and give them a hand to develop add ons? Probably won’t happen but it would be nice to think that in order to compete with the Canikon eco system they would do something different. So the X-T1 is a great camera but if I am competing against 24, 36 and now 50 megapixels the I am afraid 16 just doesn’t cut it. I know 99% of the stuff I do would be fine on 12 megapixels but its that one time when a client wants to go big or you fluff a shot and need to crop that a smaller sensor may not hold up. What I will be doing is using the X100T and the X-T1 for my personal stuff, poor mans Leicas possibly but I am thinking that once there is a Profoto TTL adapter for Fuji or Sony it might be a different story.

The 18mm lens is nice and sharp and it renders artificial light really well
Noise is not too bad but some of the other brands leave it for dead especially the new Sony sensors
Noisy it may be but it definitely handles color better than any other

Black & White

I really like shooting black and white, always have ever since my first foray into shooting while working in London. Is there room for a dedicated black & white digital camera? I have shot with the Monochrome and the files are fantastic, the only issue is its based on the M9. I have also shot extensively on Fuji and Sony cameras processing the files through Silver Effex and the results are good but they are no where near the Monochrom.

Do we need one? No. Do we want one? Possibly. Do we want one enough for a mainstream brand to produce one? Probably not.

Here is a quick video on the Leica Monochrom-

I tell you what, if you could make a mono X-100T I would buy one!

Where Are We Going?

Ran into and old friend while at a clients today. This guy was the national pro rep for a major camera brand and had been for some time- he was the contact between the brand and the retailer. I say was because today he was given his marching orders as they made him and some others redundant. Here is a guy who is good at what he does and for no fault of his own he is out of a job. The industry shrinks, margins are tight, costs go up and people lose jobs.

I guess for those people who rely on stores to support their tools of trade, having little or no contact with the supplier of those tools is going to leave your average sales person in a pickle. No more demos of new product or help when a customer has a curly question. No more support at pro events. Who to blame? Is it just the way the market is evolving? Will our local suppliers devolve into a tiny local team with all other support moving to somewhere in Asia? In a global market is this such a bad thing? One thing is for sure- get to know the guys behind the counter who know their stuff because the call centre in Manila won’t be able to help you work out how to program your Speedlight.

Is this an opportunity for specialty stores, your average large chain store person won’t be able to help you so where do you go? The problem is that there is now so little margin on the hardware and service is valued at next to nothing that the small guy is doomed from the start. Good service and product knowledge won’t help you when it comes to price, nine out of ten customers will take the cheaper deal and use your customer service to research their product- online or big chain store it doesn’t matter as the result is still the same. Online is even more insidious as once the customer gets used to transacting this way it becomes habit.

How do we stop it? One way is to offer unique services and products but you can’t really succeed without the big brands to draw the customers in. Another is to cut costs to the bare minimum, low rent, small staff but customer service suffers. Maybe go online? Don’t even try to compete on price but again you have to be there. The answer, as usual is a combination of all of these plus more and the un fortunate truth is that there will be casualties as the market restructures itself.

Whats the point of the rant? I guess if we don’t support our local specialists stores then there will be no one left to support us. Sometimes this means we will have to pay a little more or perhaps wait a little longer but when you need something fixed or a loan to get you out of trouble I can guarantee B&H won’t help you. Good luck major brand pro rep, I am positive you will go onto bigger things but I guarantee it will be outside the industry we know.

Guitarist Andy Summers Is A Photographer

He documented the antics of the band The Police from the 80’s until their reunion tour in 2007-

“Photography started to become very important to me while I was in The Police. I grew up with European art films. I think somehow this is where it came from, because pretty early on, and certainly within the first year of The Police, I had some pocket money and I realized I could get a really good camera, I thought, “I’ll see whether I can do this photography thing.” I hadn’t had much experience with a camera at the time either.

There’s some part of me that is definitely a photographer, and throughout pretty much the entire career of The Police, I was always photographing everything and studying it, taking pictures of the band and thinking about making realistic photographs. I was creating weird stuff–I was influenced by Man Ray and people like and– the more intense it became with the band. On tour is you become an automaton who knows how to play 15 songs very well, that’s it. There’s not much more to you than that. This is what happens on the long tours and ours never ended. But I would be off away from the others, away from the band environment, doing photography and I was completely in control of that. So I think that was sort of a cathartic thing for me, which came with the photography. And of course, I also really enjoy it, and I love it, and I like looking at it, and studying it, and being immersed in it. And it’s continued on ever since The Police, of course.”