Just a short video introducing you to the Contax Zeiss 85mm 1.4 Ill have a full blog review soon. Enjoy. Thanks again and please subscribe to be notified of more videos.
After what seems like endless photo gigs with all my digital gear I needed to slow down a bit. I was missing film again. I had stacks of 120 roll film as well as 35mm sitting around but no time to shoot it. I promised myself to pause for a while and get back to film. Im so glad I did. I took out the beast a Mamiya RZ67 and some lenses. I have the 150, 110, and 50mm. Most of these were with the 110mm as that is considered "normal" on the huge 6x7 negative. I used a Sekonic L-758DR to help meter with the Mamiya. Parallel to he Mamiya I used my beloved Canon F1 New and the 55mm f/1.2 SSC. How could I lose with two amazing systems.
I'm in love with my F1. It is starting to show its battle scars over the years exhibiting the prized brass rubs marks every vintage camera shooter loves.....well I know I do. The Canon F1 is a tank of a camera. My wife picked it up the other day to move it from the counter top and let out a "Geez, that thing is heavy". I replied, "yeah thats a REAL camera", to which she replied "thats stupid". SMH....some people won't get it not that I would expect her to as she's not a photographer. When my F1 first arrived it needed a CLA so off it went and within a few short weeks it was back in my hands and never left again. A true workhorse from another era but still every bit capable and relevant in todays over crowded world of technologically advanced systems that are pumped out and forced onto us every year. In todays world you buy the best camera out, take your photographs which you will probably see before even pressing the shutter button, come home and slip in your memory card. Pull up your subscription based editing software and fix your mistakes. Post your final result and wait for everyone to Ohhh and Ahhh over your work. You feel accomplished and are given instant gratification. Trust me, Im just as guilty of all this as well. If you shoot film, this isn't going to happen for you.
Shooting film for me is a very personal experience. You slow down and put your skills to the test. Every frame is money spent. You carefully compose your shots and judge your lighting. Crunch the data in your head and formulate the exposure your after. You carefully activate the shutter button.....Did it come out? Hope so because you won't find out until much later and only after you finish your roll. I'm going to go out and say it, shooting film makes you a better photographer. Now I'm not saying if you shoot film your a better photographer then those that only shoot digital. Im simply saying that film will test your skill and make you think more. You will study your highlights and shadows making sure not to blow it. You will take care in your framing. You will judge your ISO settings and film choice before your day of shooting even begins and understand the environment you will be working in. You will learn how to trust yourself and your decisions as an artist. Everything you do is an important step towards creating a successful image.
I shot three rolls recently. Two rolls on the Mamiya RZ67. Kodak Tri-x 400 pushed to 800 and a roll of Fuji 160ns which I rated at 100. The third roll was in my Canon F1 and was Ilford HP5 pushed to 800. I sent the rolls out to Richard Photo Lab for development. They were amazing and had a fast turn around time of 2 days once film arrived. The scans were emailed back and I quickly downloaded them. Its hard to describe the feeling of accomplishment when your scans comeback and your images appear. You have all the questions of doubt in your head. Did I nail exposure? Did I miss focus? Was the composure correct? Did I double expose a frame? Film photography will give you the hard truth every time whether it makes you feel good or not. Once I opened up my scans and saw the images of my wife and daughter on organic film, I have to be honest and tell you I find the connection and emotional response so much greater then any other images I produce. I don't know what it is about film that does this to me. Is it the unknown? Is it the anticipation? Is it the organic look of film and the grain? Is it knowing that I nailed it and know what I'm doing....lol? Im not going to lie and tell you everything is amazing. Hell, I messed up and butchered some frames too. Im going to show you the entire rolls. The following are not particularly groundbreaking imagery as the two Mamiya Rolls were to test the system for functionality. Regardless here they are. The GOOD, BAD & UGLY. When you shoot film remember there is no hiding your mistakes.
As you can see a few mess ups to say the least. To be honest when I was shooting the Mamiya with the black and white Tri-x roll my film back stuck on frame 8 for about three exposures. I had to work with it a bit to correct the issue and thats probably the grey frame you see above. I also had a double exposure mistake on the Fuji 160ns roll. That was not intentional.
Now for the Canon F1 Images...............
Taking selfies with a manual focus film camera ain't easy...just sayin!!
Get out there and shoot some film. Test your skills and learn how to trust yourself. Buy a film camera if you don't have one. Their cheap nowadays. As always don't be afraid to fail and make mistakes. It will help you grow and hone your skill. Thanks again for checking in and keep looking for more blog posts from me in the future. Also check out the instagram page for daily pics. The link is on the website. I also have an youtube page which I will start adding to so please subscribe. Lastly as always please feel free to comment or ask questions. I'm also ways here to share what I know. If you have some time check out the accompanying Vlog post below!!!
I wanted to post a short video here about my initial impressions on the HandeVision Iberit Lens line up.....WOW!!! Impressive to say the least. As always check out and like my instagram page (link at the bottom) and follow me to see more examples. Subscribe to my youtube channel as well because I will be kicking out more content in the future. Thanks all and enjoy.
I'm very happy to have my review and work published at Fuji X Passion magazine. Maurício & Hugo reached out to me the other day and asked to post my review of the FujiFilm X100F. Yes was the obvious answer. I'm looking forward to the interview we have scheduled for May as well.
The Review can be read here on my blog as well as at Fuji X Passion. Check it out as well as all the other amazing photographers and information on this great website.
I’ve only had this camera for a short amount of time and I debated whether or not to post a blog entry about it. Did I shoot enough with it? Did I put it through its paces? Did I feel informed enough? Did I return it like I did my X100T in less then two weeks?
The Fujifilm X100F or Fourth (IV) is Fuji’s 4th edition of this popular system. Having owned the X100T I knew what to expect. Or did I?
I had purchased the X100T and owned it for about 2 weeks and to be honest it never really impressed me much. I don’t know what about it really didn’t do it for me. I quickly sold it.
After that I gave up on the X100 series and gravitated all my cash and efforts towards the Fujifilm GFX Medium Format Monster.
See more on that rig here https://www.josephdagostinophotography.com/blog/
My passion for shooting everyday overpowered my will to stream line my gear and I soon found myself purchasing and XT2 then an XPro1. This led the way to an XPro2 which in turn brought me full circle back to.....you guessed it the X100F. I was a bit hesitant at first. Loving my XPro series cameras I was skeptical about having a fixed lens limiting my options. I only own 3 zoom lenses and they are all from Nikon so I’m primarily a prime shooter. The more I shot everyday with the XPro cameras the more I noticed the Fujinon 23mm 1.4 mounted to the front of my cameras. The 35mm effective view due to the APS-C sensor has been the perfect focal length for my taste.
A perfect story telling lens. Wide enough for landscapes and perfect for tighter areas as well.
So......my argument for having a 23mm fixed lens was all but diminishing. Then I remembered the softness of the 23mm at f/2 in the X100T when using close focus. Well that’s all my fault. I’ve learned from my mistakes and f/4 for close ups reveals tack sharp images on the X100F. The other wonderful specification the X100F has adopted was the newer 24mpix X-Trans CMOS III sensors found in the XPro2 and XT2. If you haven’t had the change to shoot with this sensor you owe it to yourself to take one for a spin. Gorgeous colors and amazing dynamic range. Beautiful high ISO.
This sensor impressed me every time I start messing around with my RAW files. If you don’t like RAW files not to worry because Fuji has some of the best JPEG color profiles in the business. Plus just like the XPro2 the X100F has the RAW converter and WiFi implementation so you can send your baked files straight to your phone for posting on social media. This way you can become a famous photographer and have Fujifilm invite you to become their newest celebrated X Ambassador.....well it’s probably a lot harder then that. I’ve been trying for sometime now.....haha.
If you haven’t guessed by now then I’ll fill you in. NO I WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT BE SELLING OR RETURNING THE X100F......I LOVE IT.
Man what a beautiful and refined camera Fuji has delivered to us. I don’t care who is offended by this next statement but I need to go out and say it. The X100F is as gorgeous as the Leica M series....GASP. How dare you sir!!!!
I opted for the silver version myself and couldn’t be happier. The black rubberized leatherette sings in your hand and the newest X100 has a real solid heft to it. There is nothing that says plastic fantastic here. It’s made in Japan, cause it even says so on the back. The camera body is cold to the touch letting you know it’s made from Magnesium. The graceful lines and knurled shutter speed, EV comp and focus ring are such a sweet sight and add to the richness of this new 100. Speaking of knurled knobs the shutter speed knob now encompasses the ISO as well just like the larger XPro2 and gives a real throw back to the days of film. You either love it or hate it but you still have the option of using a command dial to ride your ISO should you choose to.
If you haven't guessed by now the Black & White files coming from the X100F are simply amazing.
This X100F was a camera that I wanted for a specific reason. To allow me to have a camera on me at all times and it has filled that role wonderfully and then some. For me to capture everyday moments there isn’t a better tool for me to use. Fast, accurate, small but solid. The X100F is a pure winner. Plus it looks like a million bucks but unassuming at the same time. This camera has so many features but at the same time can be so grounded and simple. It’s really up to you and how you wish to create imagery.
I’m not going to bore you with specs. They can be seen right here.
The specification that isn’t listed on any site but I’m sure that every X100F user by now already knows is the feeling that this camera will give you when you have it in your hand. It is begging for your creative input. It’s offering you photographic brilliance at the most basic level. It is just so damn intuitive and fun to use with its quite Leaf shutter f/2 lens. The addition of an internal 3-Stop ND filter and electric shutters speeds up to 1/32000th. All in the size of something a little shorter then an Apple iPhone 6plus. This is a street photography dream but more then that this Fujifilm X100F is a camera to capture life. Add your favorite accessories like a thumb grip, B&W F-Pro UV Filter to protect that lens, the JJC Lens hood and a nice simplistic strap from Hyperion and your off.
Thank you for taking the time to check out
my work and please check out some of my other postings. Also please stop by my instagram page to see more or my work with other set ups.
I’ve been holding off on writing this blog post for quite some time now but I feel confident that now is the time. I’ve had some considerable time with the Fuji GFX50s as well as the Pentax67 105mm 2.4 having used it religiously on almost every job I’ve had. I’ve chosen the Kipon Baveyes 0.7 focal reducer adapter to mount the massive Pentax67 glass onto the GFX. This combination feels as substantial as a full frame DSLR with a 70-200mm lens attached however the results are unlike anything else out there.
If your reading this blog post then I’m pretty confident that you know about the Fujifilm GFX50S Digital Medium Format Mirrorless camera. You are probably also aware of the many benefits of using adapted lenses on mirrorless systems. What your probably wondering is how well the Pentax67 105mm 2.4 lens works on the GFX. I like most of us out here are constantly trying to navigate through the vast world of modern and vintage glass to adapt to this amazing system. I’ve definitely tried a few and while some are certainly better then others it also comes down to what look your after in the first place. Figuring out the focal lengths can be confusing but you have to understand the size of the sensor in order to figure out what each focal length will yield in 35mm terms. In order to do that the formula is FOCAL LENGTH X .79 = Percieved Focal Length on GFX.
So 105mm x .79 = 82.95mm.
However when adding a focal reducer like the Kipon Baveyes 0.7 you have to adjust this formula. This would new formula would be FOCAL LENGTH X 0.7 X .79 = Focal Length.
So 105mm x 0.7 x .79 = 58mm.
Which means the Pentax67 105mm 2.4 with Baveyes focal reducer gives you a normal prime lens for the GFX. This was great for me because I’m in love with my Nikon 58mm 1.4G. In fact my go to camera configurations have been a Nikon D5 on one side usually with the 58mm and the GFX on the other with the 105mm attached to a Moneymaker Strap. Below are two images one from the Nikon 58mm 1.4g on a Nikon D5 (Left) and the second the Pentax 105mm on the Fujifilm GFX50s (Right).
Again, here is another set below. 58mm Nikon on left and 105mm Pentax on the right.
I know it may seem odd to shoot two cameras with a similar perceived focal length but I feel the two rendered are much different. The GFX Medium Format image give you a different compression as you can see in the side by side images above. Now this is in no way meant to be a side by side comparison between two cameras or even two camera lenses for that matter. I’m simply using a 35mm equivalent focal length that is similar to the combination I’m using in the GFX. For close up head shots the two are very different. Besides the obvious crop difference between both formats I can also see a huge different in the depth of the image. This is not a very easy thing to describe but you know it when you see it. Whatever you focus on will definitely stand out in the image and everything else simply melts away with a sense of depth and three dimensional look only a larger format can provide. When capturing a full body portrait image your rewarded with the same depth and fullness as before. Again critical areas are sharp and the transition in the foreground and background are rendered in such a perfectly even flow. The Pentax 105mm seems to be especially good for this large format look due to the normal focal length but extremely shallow depth of field for a larger sensor. On a Pentax 67 Camera body the 105mm lens has a 35mm equivalent of a 52.5mm f/1.15. That’s some serious DOF.
Above left is my Daughter taken with the GFX and Pentax 67 105mm and on the right the same location a few months apart with the Pentax67 Film Camera using the 105mm lens.
A lot of Medium Format shooters are big fans of the Contax 80mm f/2 and for good reason. I was a huge fan of this lens on my Phase One. The problem with using this lens on the Fuji is:
A. The focal reducer for this lens actually reduces the focal length too much and you end up getting a very distracting Bokeh/Swirl effect on the edges and you end up with an image that looks like you’ve captured it inside a bubble.
B. The lens will cost you upwards of $1500 or more.
C. You can use and AF Adapter which is a positive however again your not getting the true focal length and not using the entirety of the lens.
D. The 80mm f/2 uses a very delicate focusing motor and from my understanding can be knocked loose easily causing focusing problems.
With the Pentax67 105mm 2.4 you can find great examples from $400 upwards. I would stick with either the Super Takumar Multi-coated version or the newest Pentax SMC version. These example will undoubtedly give you a better lens coating to handle flare and contrast. Focus is extremely smooth and you can still find the square style lens hoods but they can be costly.
For me the 105mm is perfect for my wedding work. I’m able to tell a story with this lens because it allows for so much of the surroundings to play a part. It renders an image that can be similar to a Large Format look whereas it’s just wide enough but the shallow DOF really allows your subject to pop and have considerable isolation. Single person portraiture is a must with this lens. The ability to capture razor sharp eyes and the rest of the subject features melt away are incredible. Again, a real large format look that is very difficult to achieve with full frame 35mm cameras and even some medium format lenses. The Pentax67 105mm makes easy work of this task. I’ve also noticed that the 105mm has a minimum focus distance of about 2 1/2 feet.
At the end of the day this fantastic lens has earned a premium spot on my Fuji. This set up will make you work a little bit to nail focus but the results are truly rewarding. Just punch in like I do to confirm focus or like others prefer and use the focus peaking feature and your sure to learn where the sweet spot is in no time. Portrait work is amazing with this lens.
Just a few more examples below with the 105mm 2.4 Pentax 67 lens.
At the end of the day its about what works for you. I love the fact that the Fujifilm GFX allows for so much exploration in this area. It is so much fun to look for interesting glass both modern and vintage and find different results. Im a huge fan of this combo and the 105mm probably lives on my GFX 90% of the time. I've tried a lot of other lenses with great success and I will be coving those as well in the future. Thanks for stopping by and hopefully some of the information I gave you helped you out. To see more of my everyday work please visit my Instagram page JosephDagostinophoto or you can find the link on this website. Subscribe or check in regularly to see more of my blog postings.
WOW....Impressive to say the least. All these shots were at 10,000 ISO on the Fujifilm XPRO2 with the Fuji 35mm f/2. I only had a second to grab the camera as Santa was already down one side of our street and I didn't want to miss him. I will be going in to depth later on but I wanted to post these for anyone looking for examples.
A little you tube video I posted about not being afraid to fail in photography. When It comes to video I still have a ton to learn but I'll keep trying.
I've been going back and forth for sometime now constantly changing up my black and white editing style. If you look around on the various forums black and white editing styles are just as diverse as color edits. Each one has its own style and there really isn't a right or wrong way to do it. Its subjective right? You should edit the way your style dictates because in the end thats what will set you apart and hopefully drive business your way.
When I started my photography I had no idea what my look was or where it was going to go. Thats ok and to be honest I'm not sure if I'll ever completely know where its going to end up. I just know at the present time I'm happy with my results and my clients seem to be as well. Back when I started I did what most do once they learn photoshop. Layer upon layer of ridiculous filters and fake flares. Anyone with any knowledge can spot it a mile away. Clients go OHHH and AHHH but thats not the point. I wasn't content with my look. I'm not sure a style like that can pass the test of time. What has seemed to pass the test of time is FILM. While I'm not shooting as much film as I used to in the past we can still try to mimic it as much as possible with the like of presets such as Mastin Labs as well as VSCO just to name a few. I use both for a base but I definitely change it up a little to create my own style. I think this is important to do as to not look like everyone else.
I was using a lot of Ilford Pan F to start my black and whites. I also tend to gravitate towards a warm rendering. I love the the lford Pan F but it is very contrasty and often times renders out a harder image. That works for a lot of subjects but when I capturing people especially brides I want to portray a softer romantic image. For this I lean towards the KodakBW400CN preset through VSCO. After I add my adjustments Im left with a beautiful black and white that is inviting and warm. For me its the perfect fit for a romantic soft look. The image retains details but with a nice fade which takes some of the crunch out of a contrasty film stock. If you want more of a film look add some grain to the images. The images below are taken with various systems which include the Fuji GFX50s, Nikon D5, Fuji XT-2 and Xpro1. Enjoy and if you have questions drop me a line.
I have been lucky enough to own the Fuji GFX for quite some time now and I find it to be an amazing camera. I have spoke about it in depth on my Video Vlog post which can be found on my blog. I have used it for personal work, a travel camera and weddings. I enjoyed the GFX so much and the simplistic nature of such an outstanding professional camera I've decided to add it's little brother, the Fuji XT-2 to the family. I can say this, I don't regret that decision one bit.
The XT-2 constantly amazes me with what it can pull off. We are talking about a crop sensor camera here folks. All be it an X-Trans crop sensor but a crop sensor none the less. I stacked it up against its largerr sibling the medium format Fuji GFX. A 52 megapixel beast. We skipped right over full frame and I'm impressed. I plan on doing a full blog right up of the XT-2 in the future but for this post I just wanted to throw up a few images. Let me lay out the scene for you here. A wedding a few nights ago under serious failing light. We were getting dark fast and a lot of the images were over under exposed towards the end of our session. We lucked out earlier with nice lighting and you will see those as well. One thing I noticed right off was how well both camera rendered colors pretty much in sync with each other. This made editing a breeze without any color shift from image to image. Even black and white rendered beautifully. I also added a few images from last months wedding were I shot both systems as well.
On the XT-2 I shot with the Fujinon 56mm f/1.2 & Fujinon 35mm f/2
The GFX50s was used with a Kipon Baveyes Adapted Pentax 105mm f/2.4
Take a look at how well the XT-2 did against its larger and much more expensive sibling. Can you spot which is medium format and which is crop sensor? Don't worry there will NOT be a test at the end.