Category: Diary

Dragon Boat Race (Hong Kong) – Fujifilm Xpro2

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The weather was excellent on last Sunday afternoon. I went to the open area in Admiralty right in front of the Central Government Office together with Fujifilm X-Pro2 and two lenses in my bag, 23mm f2 WR and 35mm f2 WR. By coincidence, I found out there is a dragon boat race competition happening in the waterfront. So I chose to use 35mm because it is more tele and I want my images to be clean and focus only on certain subjects. 35mm on Fujifilm is equivalent to 50mm in 135 Full Frame format.

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Dragon Boat

Dragon boat is a human powered watercraft with team paddling together in the race.There was history about a minister called “Qu Yuan” tracing back to 278BC. After his suicide for patriotism, people beat drums and splashed the water with the paddles to prevent fish from eating his body. This is the story that I learned from high school. We eat “zongzi” as a traditional food, one of them made with beans and meat and the other one made with lotus seed paste. I prefer the later one that is sweet and with nice texture. And this festival occurs in every year in June.

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This is my first time shooting in dragon boat festival, I have seen it so many times from TV and I wanted to capture it with strong focus on composition. The Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera was set at AF-S mode, Auto exposure, Aperture at F/11 and maintaining ISO at 400, which I want to freeze the dragon boat rather than having a motion blur. Most importantly is to use AF-L to lock the focus in infinity to have faster capturing speed. Overall the Fujifilm XF 35mm f2 WR is a nice and compact lens for any type of street activities. This is definitely my choice during the day.

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Peng Chau Island with LomoChrome Purple

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A weekend getaway to different islands in Hong Kong is another great options for a warm sunny Saturday. Peng Chau is one of my favourite island though it is not as big as Cheung Chau but the vibe and quietness attracted me to re-discover this little outlier.

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LomoChrome Purple XR 100-400 is a Lomography negative film trying to bring back the impression and colour tone of the famous Kodak Aerochrome. This single roll of film has been sitting together with the rest of my unused film for almost half a year. Since the weather was so good on that day, I decided to take it with me and shoot something differently with a Hasselblad Xpan II, Panoramic format.

After loading the film into the panoramic camera. There is one question immediately came to my mind. Which ISO speed should I use? The film was indicated 100-400 on it’s package. I read a few blogs and articles about this film most of them suggest you to shoot at ISO 200 to give the best result of its purple tone. Then I changed the ISO setting at the back of my Xpan to ISO 200. Some suggested to use ISO 100 when the environment is darker, in this case some shots was slightly overexposed by one to half stop. Through composition and guessing the colour effect from this film was fun because it is something new to me. Last time I had this feeling was with the Kodak High Speed Infrared black and white film.

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Peng Chau Island is so nice because of it’s size. Great for pairs or some photo hobbyist to spend a full day just to walk around on this beautiful island. It has some nice beaches, scattered buildings and there is no tall buildings which was great.

We walked from ferry pier to get some local “Char Charn Tang” food and then continue the journey along the beach. After that we went up to Finger Hill then moved to walk along the coastline.

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20 shots were fired and the film safely returned in the film canister. I sent the film to trustworthy lab – Colorluxe Express in Wan Chai Jaffe Road. And I got the scanned copy on the same day.

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So now, red became purple, blue became cyan. The mood is quite special to me. I think I will try to shoot one or two more under different environment but definitely not my essential negative film. But worth to give it a try!

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9 months with Leica M10

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After six months of waiting, it is arrived with a huge label on the box printed with “LEICA M10 BLACK CHROME” I couldn’t describe my happiness with words. Because it has been a long mental debate of repurchasing M9 or M240 or just wait for this new camera. This has been the camera I want most after I sold my Leica M9-P and decided to wait for this new Leica digital camera.

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Honestly, I love Leica in black paint way more than black chrome. It was something that initially put me on Leica’s spot. Not about the red logo, its about the creamy bokeh and the glossy black paint nicely brassed with use. The black chrome finish from M10 was so good but to a perfectionist, that isn’t something good enough.




With the brand new M10, I took some street snaps in Hong Kong. I was happy that Leica finally has a proper digital rangefinder camera. However, at the same time I was disappointed again because I thought the camera can deliver more than this.

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The huge viewfinder is the thing that I love most but I prefer the frameline display in there even when the camera is switched off which it took me some time to adapt. And there is some weird LED red light showing while I was trying to half press the shutter button.

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Leica M10 failed to deliver the character of the old lenses. To a person that love nearly all of the vintage Leica lenses, the picture doesn’t have the mood. It performs really well with ASPH lenses with razor sharpness and natural colour. Leica M8, M9 and M240 they all gave us great image quality even when you are using some vintage glasses. But it just missed out something. I brought it to Cuba to test it out. It is absolutely amazing under low light environment and the white balance is accurate. Images were great but I demand more than that.

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Is it my problem to have expectations set too high for this US$7,300 camera? I still remember how happy I was with M8 and M9, like a kidult. How colour and dynamic range impressed me. Except the ISO performance, huge VF and yes, it has rangefinder coupling, it didn’t amaze me. I guess most of the people agree that Leica camera gave you unique “mood shot”, it gives you atmosphere that you will never find in DSLR or Mirroless world but I doubt it now.

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After all, maybe this is the end of story about my fantasy on Leica digital camera. It is more about the mood shots from Leica. I am going to save my money and focus with Fujifilm X-Pro2.

2 Months later, I sold my Leica M10 and changed it to Fujifilm X-Pro2.

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Switching from Leica M10 to Fujifilm X-Pro2

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If you have read about my Photography Journey for the past 8 years. You would have known that I have been shooting extensively with Leica film and digital camera (M8, M9). But recently I made a move. Sold my Leica M10 for a second hand Fujifilm X-Pro2.

“WHY?” this is exactly the response from most of my photography friends. And yes, I sold 4 out of 8 of my leica glass too. Because by judging the outlook and ISO performance of Leica M10 outbeat the X-Pro2. But what are the key factors for such a big move?




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The concept is really simple as I want camera to be my “tool”. What I meant is that I don’t need to worry about getting the most correct exposure with a light meter. Some people might think doing manual focus is really cool, but in fact when I wasn’t doing hyperfocus I can easily miss quite a number of shots. But now with X-Pro2, it re-ordered my photography workflow for me. I would love to try everything now mainly because of its fast autofocus. Frame with the OVF. If I want my pictures with precise framing, I will quickly switch to EVF with the handle on the right hand side of the camera, right beneath my middle finger. These seriously helped with my photo creation process. But the truth is, it increased my successful rate of getting pictures that I want.

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I am having the Fujifilm X-Pro2 in my bag every day since then. I started to try out more with different focal length, 18mm and 56mm XF lenses (28mm and 85mm in 135 equivalent) which I never would have thought about getting one. To Kwa Wan was the first testing site with this camera set up and I fell in love with this camera.

Nothing is perfect, there is something I don’t like about the camera start time. Leica M10 gave me instant start up with only 1 second from “off” to “on”. Also, if you keep the X-Pro2 with the battery on, after a while the sleep mode with really put the camera in bed. But these flaws doesn’t stop me from being a little Fuji fan.

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Can’t wait to use it in this coming weekend. I will explain more about my experience with the X-Pro2. Hopefully to continue my little project on “Framing in the city – Hong Kong”

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