Tag: diary

Film Photography – Why I love it

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Tangible asset is a word that I first learn in my accounting lecture. Film to me can have both tangible and intangible factors. I always believe I have to hold something in real life to actually feel it so that I can have a complete memory. Except the real film picture was taken, the way to take the picture in a visual sense, the places and moments happened in the surrounding or even noises are recorded in my mind. I would call this as my private film experience.

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Film photography do help to break my comfort zone and to shoot with my instinct. I love to imagine how a specific film result will look like including the grain, texture, micro contrast and most importantly the light. It also taught me to be less worried about the results and to be patient. Just screw it if it doesn’t look pleasant but the thing is, even if the pictures go wrong, the moment is still staying in my head. Because I remember all these little moments from each frame that I have taken, the steps and time that I have made to create these shots.

Imagination plays a big part of it. I love to predict what kind of result I will get from different types of film with different sets of lens. I enjoy this process very much as it constantly pops up in my mind when I look at different things in daily life. This is my private moment that I love most. Some people might think, oh well you have missed so many shots when you need to rewind your film and the shortage of time to advance a single frame.

I always think in a way that each moment, each split seconds is unique and it only happens once in our universe. To catch the time and seal it in a tangible is to take film and to create the sentimental feeling instantly is also to shoot with film. It is the most direct way of capturing of what has happened in a specific time. The funny thing is that the choice of film and how I scan I or develop it reflected my mood in that period.

My choices of film represent my mood and sometimes places that I travel played a big part in this decision game. Black and white film in my default preference. No matter what, I still prefer shooting black and white, not because of its unique and decent look. It is simple as, I don’t know how to shoot colour film. By thinking and imaging colouring images in my brain often confused me. I would love to have nice colour tone, combination and composition to help to bring out the pictures. But the key part missing is my mood, I couldn’t attach any mood on colourful. I tried but it doesn’t work most the time.

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The truth is not that I wanted to shoot film all the time. It is because it became a habit to me now. At the same time, I don’t feel attached to my digital images, at least I don’t see them as a part of me and my work. I think there is no way to separate me with using film as a medium to create my own moments. Some kids love to bring their teddy with them, and I am the kidult that shooting film will make me feel comfortable and happy. This is about me and my film photography bubble.

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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