Category Archives: Review
Fujifilm X-Pro1 has done amazing job throughout almost 2 years of using it. It was the camera that really gives me a new experience of taking pictures. It teaches me to slow down and be discreet about what i’m about to shoot, and wait for the moment desired before actually clicking the shutter. With the variety choose of Fujinon lenses on the market, or some like to use other lenses with the use an adaptor, there is actually no reason for me to upgrade the Fujifilm X-Pro1. It is the camera that fit my requirement and I’m super satisfied with it.
I had several chances of hands-on experience with Fujifilm X100 series on actual fields of shooting. I liked every single part of it, the vintage design & its performance. I’m considering the own it ever since but keep on reluctant as I had already one of the best camera I ever had, the Fujifilm X-Pro1.
Things has changed and so to me.
I barely use my 14mm Fujinon lens. The 35mm Fujinon lens always attached to my X-pro1 body. I can travel with only 1 lens (fujinon 35mm) attached to the X-Pro1 and I’m happy with it. Then I was thinking about how pocketable the X100 are. Switching 35mm to 23mm is not a big deal for me, as I tried it before. The X100 series is what I need for travelling. Fixed lens allow me to shorten my decision which lens to use, I can enjoy the extra time to witness the beauty of the view, not wasting a single second to think which lens is the best for this kind of view and the time taken to switch the lenses if required to do so. Being small and compact yet deliver fine quality of images, I can always carry the camera in my pocket and take it out when needed. The compact & small design makes people think I was just a tourist and not to draw their attention compared to the big sized DLSR and its lenses. So people feel more relax with it, because it was just an idiot here taking photos of them. For older people, the design opens up conversation when they asking if this was an old camera, so it is a bonus tool to communicate and engaged to the them. Wifi capabilities on X100T added another good reason why I should go the for upgrade (or downgrade?) from Fujifilm X-Pro1 to Fujifilm X100T.
The focus is not the fastest AF on the market but it was fine to me, at least it work faster than X-pro1 does. Is was good to know X100T has the face detection mode, this is useful when you asked somebody to take your photo with the higher success rate not to of out of focus which always happens to me.
Fujifilm has made focusing much more fun yet classic focusing experience, it offer split focusing which adopted from analogue camera. I love to use this focusing when a scene not requires fast focusing, it was whole new experience for me (a digital camera with split focusing).
Most of the button is programmable. Since I used to the X-Pro1 fuction button setting, I set the same for the X100T with a little changes. Up button is for Face-Detection, Down for Select focus area, Left for ND Filter, Right for timer, another 2 function setting is for video (Default) near the EV Dial, and for Photometry option. The up button which I choose to work as face detection mode sometimes I switch to flash EV when needed.
Q Button menu also can costumizeable,
Fujifilm made the camera, you design its function button because it simply yours.
I was given leather case as a free give when I bought X100T. It protect the whole body of the camera. While in use, you can either just open part of it or to leave only the “jacket” case. You can access battery memory card bay while using the leather case. But using the leather case meaning you add the case of the camera, it will no longer a pocketable size camera. Furthermore, the leather case did not provide mounting for tripod.
Cam Remote Apps
I would not end the review without mentioning about the “Cam Remote” Apps (available in App Store and Play store). With the wifi capability on X100T, you can now control your camera remotely with the apps. You can select your focusing, choose your shutter speed, ISO, Aperture, EV, film simulation and more with the apps. You can transfer the file to your device like iPad or iPhone with different option of file resolution.
Please note that this review only a brief review about what I like to say about this camera.
Update on 6th July 2015:
This advise goes to those who still thinking of switching DSLR to a mirror less system with fixed lens. Before I switch to X100 series, I have been using X-Pro1 for nearly 2 years which I can consider a period of “transition”. With only 2 lens to use (35mm and 14mm), this is very limited range compared in lenses I can use with my DLSR. But sooner I found that I can live with only 35mm lens. And I accept about fact that the X-pro1 can’t beat all features DSLR can offer such as shutter lag and the AF. It teaches me to slow down my desire to shoot, but to really compose my frame and be discreet about the moment that I really wanted. I became comfortable with its weakness, it wasn’t a big issue for me. The good thing is it produce good image quality. When Fuji released X100T, I was about to buy a fujinon pancake lens (27mm) and I was thinking that maybe I should buy X100T instead. Smaller body, light weight, wifi capability and for the silver version, it look like an antique camera, everybody are afraid of the big black DSLR body nowadays, but the design of X100 series makes people want to know if the camera is still working, now you have the chance to know your subject and it is the chance for you to get nice looking portrait.
When we compare the workflow of a photo let say 5 years ago, things has been changed a lot. When we shoot with camera, we do have an options for our jpeg output like Black and White or Sephia etc. But the latest camera (talking about Fujifilm) nowadays have another option called Film Simulation. My first 4 months of using Fujifilm X-Pro 1, I shoot with “Astia”. I like the effect how it deepen the shadow area and pops out the colour but not too much which suits my taste. This Film Simulation effects will do nothing to your RAW file. With X100T, I think I’m in love with the Classic Chrome, it appear to be a default film simulation in my camera which I use almost all the time except when I shoot in black and white. After the shooting, you need to transfer your images to your computer, do some editing to enhance the photo and share your work in Facebook or other social media.
Then the WIFI feature introduced in most of the camera nowadays. We can now install apps to our phones or tabs and connect to our camera. When connected, we can geotag, browse and fully control a “live” remote shooting with it. The images can be shared straight away after the shooting without transferring images to a computer. It actually cut down the workflow that we used before. The are dozens of photo apps can be downloaded providing amazing photo enhancement. For me, by the time I write this post, I’m using Snapseed, Afterlight and VSCO cam, there are some limitation with these apps, but not a big issue if those images intended just to be share on social media.
I met these gentlemen on our road trip from Kathmandu to Pokhara. It was just near the roadside where people stop for toilet, tea or just to have some fresh air near the Trisuli River. By the time I got out from the car, I knew that I want to photograph them. But I took my time building up some confidence for both of us. He thought I was attracted with the lady who was nearby making local delicacy, the Sel Roti. Made of rice flour, deep fried to make crispy outer but puffy inside.
After spending few minutes photographing the lady and the food, I made my move to communicate with him. Mr. Dhurba, 36, is a lorry driver coming all the way from Kathmandu like us, heading further beyond Pokhara. I took a look at the lorry and quite surprise to find the interior look like you were sitting in our living room. It was well decorated. Accompanying with him is his assistance, Mr Raj, 51, who came to and join our conversation. After gained enough trust between us, I ask permission if I could take their portrait. Without hesitant they agreed to my request.
I was using Fujifilm X100S belong to a friend of mine during this trip. The classic appearance of the body makes other feel this was old camera and nothing serious about it, people feel more comfortable compared to the big black DSLR with its bulky lenses. Nowadays, people thinks that you make big money when you took photo with DSLR. I have been using Fujifim system more than 1 year and never thinking of turning back to other DSLR, this is there camera system that suits me well especially for travel.
The gondola lift transportation has always steal the eyes of its viewer who pass-by Cheres, Chitwan after about 104km journey from Kathmandu – Pokhara route. The Austria imported cable car system connecting between the Base Station (Cheres, Chitwant) to the Top Station (Manakamana, Gorkha). Here is the fees for the cable car.
At the top station, about 1302 above sea level lies the Mañanakamana Temple, a Hindu temple which pilgrimage bring goat to be sacrificed in a pavilion behind the temple. The name Manakamana originates from two words, “mana” meaning heart and “kamana” meaning wish.
As we walk around the village near the temple, we came across an elementary school slightly below the hill. There we found the Manakamana Hill Side Academy
All image are taken with Fujifilm X100S (Silver).
If you planning to go to Nepal Embassy’s office in KL, please note that the no longer operate at Wisma MCA, Jalan Ampang. Nepal Embassy’ Office is now located at the new address below:
SUITE C-15, WISMA GOSHEN (TOWER C)
BANGSAR TRADE CENTRE
NO.5, PERSIARAN PANTAI BARU
OFF JALAN PANTAI BARU
59200 KUALA LUMPUR
For those who wants to submit Visa Application Form, here’s few note for you:
- Bring Original Passport & It’s photocopy
- Passport Sized Photo
- Download Visa Application Form (here) and fill it.
- RM95 for 15 Day Visit. Click here for more info about the rate
- Check their holiday as they will close during Nepal Public Holiday too. Check at their main page
- Operating Hours: (Monday – Friday) from 09:30 to 12:30 hours and collect their passport with visa the second day after 14:00 to 16:30 hours. So for submission, you should come around 0930hrs to 1230hrs.
If you are not familiar with the new address like me, here’s the guide how to get there (I started at KL Sentral)
- Get to KL Sentral
- Take LRT to Kerinchi Station (Kelana Jaya Line). Cost is RM1.60
- Once you reach at Kerinchi Station. Go to the exit.
- You will notice there’s 7 Eleven on your left.
- Go towards it and then turn left (this will lead to food court).
- At the corner, there is a cafe and you can see there is an exit.
- Go to the exit and turn right.
- Look for entrance with “WISMA GOSHEN”. The same building where you exit.
- Take the lift to the 15th Floor
- Say Namaste to everybody.
An Official Receipt will be issued and you should keep it to collect your passport, your visa should be ready on the next day.
On 28-30 March 2014, I joined Photojournalism Workshop organised by Jebat Photography Club featuring Shamshahrin Shamsudin. The workshop was held at Marina Court Resort Condominium, Kota Kinabalu. There are 9 other participant joined the workshop including 3 from Brunei. This was the second workshop by Shamshahrin organised by Jebat Photography Club. Unlike his first volume, the second workshop emphasis on Documentary Photography which to be presented in Photo Essay.
We were given 1 whole day on the second day to get our own stories with given guideline in his note. As for me, I have several stories in my mind for the assignment. As early as 230am, I was shooting at SAFMA market. Every night starting at 1am, SAFMA market is the busiest place in the city, this is the place where the deep sea fisherman dealing with supplier. After shooting for about 2 hours, I found that I need to be on the boat to get different perspective rather than just a lazy snapshot taken from the jetty itself. But none of the fisherman looks approachable, I was thinking about my own safety too as everybody being curious so see me carrying camera. It can mislead the fact that I was immigration authority because earlier on before entering this market, there are rumours about immigration team is coming. The way they look at you is enough tell that they don’t feel comfortable with you. Or maybe it was just my own issue. So I didn’t manage to complete this story. At 630am, I decided to forget about it and go home for some rest.
After jumping from 1 story to another, I finally decided to shoot about the young fellow with Rock attire. After waiting about an hour at the spot I normally see them hanging around, it was disappointing to know that this fellow normally stay there during Sunday. However I managed to find subject but is not in complete attire, but I decided to do it anyway as there was not much time left.
I learnt a lot from this workshop. It has opened my eyes a lot. For the photography enthusiast out there especially around Kota Kinabalu, I highly recommend you to join his workshop when available. You shouldn’t missed it.
This post is related to the previous post.
After having good rest for the night, at 1.30am we get up & ready for the next climbt to the Summit. From Gunting Lagadan, The Low’s Peak is JUST another 2.6km. I was thinking, the distance is no as bad as we had on our first day climb (6km from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rata). Because it was my first time at Laban Rata, i have no idea hows the second day climb looks like. We started at 2.30am after having supper, our mountain guide giving his last advise (that whoever not really fit to go are better not to, and he was looking at me?… Ohh… Come on…I can see clearly his eyes are looking at me! ) before proceeding scaling the mountain.
When we first stepped out from Gunting Lagadan, I can felt the sudden change on the temperature. It was really cold. There was no light along the summit trail this is where your headlamp become your best friend. Just few minutes after passing the gate at Gunting Lagadan, my pace begin to get slower. I stopped more often, I found out that the second day climb is tougher than the first. Not because if the trail, but maybe I’m not fully recovered. I tried to keep my pace with other climber passing me, but only ended with my heart beats really fast. I stopped whenever it get really fast. I need to keep alive here. Our mountain guide was just behind me, he advise me that I can always go back, we must reach Sayat-Sayat (Check point) at 0430hrs. I do thinking of going back, but I keep move forward. When I nearly give up, I take a deep breath, look at the stars & the mountain. No, I’m not turning back. This will be my first and the last time to climb Mt. Kinabalu.
Then I reach at a point where we have to use provided rope to lift up our body. The angle is around 75-80 degree, it is impossible to go up without a rope. I’m not ready for this, I was thinking my body is too weak to do this. At this point, again I was thinking to go back to Laban Rata. I decided to give a try. Surprisingly, climbing with the help of the ropes actually much more pleasing because now not only your legs, but our arms too took part to lift our body.
The trail before reaching Sayat-Sayat Station (until Lows Peak) is totally on granite rock. When I felt tired, I stop and look behind me. It was cold & silent, and I can see clearly the peaks of Mount Kinabalu in front of me (about 180 degree), and further down there behind me, I can see street light probably from Kundasang & Ranau. That view is one of unforgettable sights, I can still clearly remember every details of that very moment. The sound of the wind, the starts, light trails of th climbers, The Korean Group (I don’t really get the point that they need speak almost shouting even the people the talked to is just few feet away).
I reached Sayat-Sayat at 0430am. Refill my drinks and continue, the first 5 minute from Sayat-Sayat is what I call honeymoon because trail is almost flat. But you that wasn’t the end of the story, there are about 1KM left but when we get tired, now this last 1KM is the most toughest among all the trail of The Summit Trail. If you use a helicopter and landed here, I’m sure we can walk easily here, but now is different story. This last 1KM is where I climb with not only my last energy I have, but full of conflict in my mind. I think about AMS, heart attack, stroke, anything related to sudden death. The guide tried to persuade me to stop, but every time he asked me to stop and go down, I get stronger to move forward.
Finally, I made to the body of The Low’s Peak. Only few people left when I reached 8.5KM, the last 150m to the Summit. But because it was too late, I was advised not to go further beyond that point. I was disappointed, however I proud to made it to that point. For people that has climbed to the peak, they know how tough is the last 150m.
“Getting to the top is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” – Ed Viesturs, America’s leading high altitude mountaineer
That morning, I’m among the last person decent from Sayat-Sayat to Laban Rata. It took about 1 and a half hour to reach Laban Rata. I almost missed the breakfast. 11am me and Rade made our way down from Laban Rata to Timpohon Gate. Going down is not tiring, but it puts a lot of pain to my knee. At 1620hrs, we arrive at Timpohon Gate and there was a transport waiting for us to bring us back to Kinabalu National Park HQ & get our climbing certificate.
I went for mountain climb last October together with my fellow friends, Rade, Tokok, Rosli, Hatta and two lovely couple from Labuan. I’ve been working as tour guide for nearly 6 years in which i had explain and educate tourist to come again and climb mount Kinabalu. Its such irony to know that that was my first time climb our state (Sabah) most visited site which as enlisted as World Heritage Site by UNESCO November, 2000.
The decision to scale the mountain is generally not my idea, it comes accross after a good friend of mine, Rade asking me about the room availibility at Laban Rata (a resthouse which every climber should overnight before proceeding to the summit on the next morning, very early morning). Then things happens seems parallel when at the same time my brother announced climbing package with confirmed date. So we grab the package and thats how it began.
I’ve only managed to train physically just a few time in less than a month prior to the climbing date. I wouldn’t be able to have time for training if it wasn’t effort by Rade. For people that knows me well, i’m not physically fit, just imagine yourself carrying 25-30kg of additional weight all the time and that will be me.
We stayed at Rina Ria Lodge on our first night. This lodge locate about 500 metre from Kinabalu National Park. It provides several types of rooms, including dormitory. We were given quad room (4 person in a room). Free Wifi available at the cafe. If you forgotten to bring some of your climbing needs, you can get it here at their mini shops which happens to be their reception counter too.
On the next day, we had our breakfast at the cafe. We went straight to Kinabalu National Park, meet the 2 loving couple before proceeding for mountain climb registration. At Sutera Sanctuary Lodges reception counter, after providing their booking reference number, you will be handed meals coupons and a form which need to be submitted at Sabah Park’s counter located on the next building.
At Sabah Park’s counter is where you will get your climbing permit. Just a quick tips here, the machine that print the climbing permit are not designed for long name, ask the officer if it allowed to put your name as short as possible prior before the permit printed.
At the same counter, located next to the permit counter is the mountain guide counter. For every climber that climb mount Kinabalu, it is mandatory to hire mountain guide to go along with you. One mountain guide for every 7 climber. The porter service, on the other hand is optional. The charges for porter depends on the weight of your stuff with minimum weight of 10kg.
We the proceed to KOKTAS counter to arrange our transport to Timpohon Gate, which is the starting point of the climb. There are 2 starting point you can choose from, Timpohon & Mesilau, which the later longer than the first about 2km. Before we went to the Timpohon Gate, we went to Balsam Restaurant to take our packed meal which consist of Sandwich, Apple and drinking water. Balsam Restaurant located just in front of Sutera Sanctuary Lodges reception building. Well, you can only see the roof if you sanding exactly at the reception building.
It took about 10 minutes drive to reach Timpohon Gate. We were given safety briefing by our guide before we begin our journey scale the Majestic Mount Kinabalu on foot. The distance from Timpohon Gate to Laban Rate is 6km. There are rest hut along the trail almost every kilometre providing untreated water. I hiked every steps slowly as i need to store my energy on the second day climb, i must keep my self from any serious injury during the climb. Just about 1 hour of climbing, it was raining. The trail gets slippery with some trail looks like waterfall especially when reaching Villosa Hut & Paka Hut.
Along the summit trail, we have stopped on almost every resting hut just for 5-10 minute to at least drinks or just relax and keeping ourselves alive. Some of us even utilising this moment by posting an update through social media like facebook & instagram. We decide to have our packed meal at Layang-Layang Hut. Upon reaching at this point, we actually had gone almost 4km of the summit trail. Even the 2km to go seems to be much more nearer, but I’m really exhausted after this point. My leg began to sore, and every steps I took it seems to consume more and more energy, but I have no other choice than to finish what I just started, at least to make it to Laban Rata.
The rain continues until we reached Laban Rata Resthouse. It was 1620hrs now, I took about 7 hours to reach here. I can’t believe my self that i had finaly reach Laban Rata. My pants, socks and shoe were totaly wet, but that is not my main concern as I had another pair in my bag. The cafe will serving lunch at 1630hrs, its a buffet style, we decided to had our meals first before going to our room at Gunting Lagadan which is another 150m from Laban Rata. After the meal (the best lamb with black papper sauce I ever had), We spent about 3 hours at the cafe, endless hot coffee while enjoying beautiful sunset here. Everybody took photos with each other without even knowing who we are, and where we coming from, we have only one thing in common, that we had reached Laban Rata. It was the time of honouring ourselves as the inhabitants of Laban Rata of the day, who dare to go out from our comfort zone and seek for some adventure.
It was dawn and we need to use our headlamp to go to Gunting Lagadan. It took me nearly 20 minutes to reach there. It was cold and my legs start to sore. It was pleasure to know that there will be no more climbing for the day. Time to get good rest and rejuvenate. Like many of us, I didn’t take shower for the night as there were no hot shower. We stayed at quad dormitory bunk beds with sufficient power supply to charge our camera & phone. Well thats pretty long stories about my climbing experience, I will continue part two very soon.
Image above taken with Fujifilm X-Pro1 with YungNuo RF603 triggering Nikon SB600. I didn’t plan to do any shooting that night, but I found a Lastolite Ezybox Hot Shoe Plate belong to a friend in my car boot. It was very light & had a hole just in case you want to use umbrella instead of soft box (someone please confirm me about this). So I decided to give it a try with my 24×24 soft box. My triggers flash sync is 1/125, set aperture to F2.8 and adjust my flash manual until it gets the effect I wanted. I was shooting myself at the beginning, and this baby boy just awaken from his sleep. It ended up me shooting him while my wife holding him to make him stay calm for a while.