Previously I mentioned that I have sold off the Fuji X100F because of two reasons - slow AF which was not usable for my street shooting, and mediocre lens that is soft wide open and poor close up performance. I have replaced my 35mm street shooting needs with Canon 35mm F2 EF lens on my Canon 5D original. The Canon 35mm EF was an old, classic lens released in the year 1990, and was not even designed for use in digital cameras. Nevertheless, I find the lens to perform satisfactorily, rendering sharp, detailed images with realistic contrast, and good flaw controls, and no issues being too severe. I particularly love the fast AF and compact, lightweight design, when used with the 5D DSLR, it was quite a manageable combo. I did a street POV video in Kuala Lumpur, you can find my video here (click), and in this blog I share all images taken with that dinosaur Canon 35mm lens.

When I started photography many of my seniors and "gurus" advised me strongly against using Auto mode when shooting with my camera. They claimed that by going full manual and jumping into the deep end immediately will benefit me greatly as a learning photographer. I think that was completely bogus and we should not dismiss the Auto mode too quickly. I think it is the perfect tool for beginners to start learning about how the camera works, without feeling completely drowned by millions of variables and settings on the camera. I think Auto mode is also useful for seasoned photographers as a tool in non-critical shooting situations, and achieving technical perfection in photographs is not everything. I explored this and more in my latest video here (click). Also, I went out for several shutter therapy sessions shooting with my newly acquired Nikkor 10mm F2.8 (for 1 system) mounted on my Nikon J1, all in Auto mode of course! 

I made a short trip to my hometown, Kuching in Borneo recently with a group of friends. Our main agenda was to eat as much good food as we can, see some interesting places and have a fun, relaxing holiday away from the busy-ness of city life in Kuala Lumpur. We all needed that short break. Photography was not part of the plan, but I wanted to bring along a camera anyway just in case I saw something I wanted to capture. Therefore, I carried a minimalist setup of the tiny Panasonic GM1 with Lumix 12-32mm kit lens mounted on it. I thought the Lumix 12-32mm did a splendid job being versatile enough to capture a variety of shots in different situations, and I appreciate the super compact form factor. The image quality from the lens is also nothing to scoff at. I shared my thoughts about why I think the Lumix 12-32mm is a great lens for casual travel snapshots, you can find the video here (click). 

I recently purchased a Yongnno 40mm F2.8 for Nikon F-Mount. For a budget lens, which only costs about RM350 (bought locally from Shopee, Malaysia), I thought the lens performed decently. I did not expect Pro grade image quality, but the sharpness at the center of the frame was very good wide open, and the sharpness improved as the lens was stopped down, all the way to the corners. The AF was fine, the lens flaws such as flare, chromatic aberration and distortion were present, but nothing too severe and can be considered well managed at this super low price point. The lens also features a USB port for direct firmware upgrade, with the latest firmware 1.02 (released December 2017) drastically improved AF efficiency. I did a video to explore this lens in more detail (you can find it here). In short, not a bad 40mm lens if you want to use one for Nikon DSLR!

I have been shooting with wide angle more and more for my street photography recently and I found myself loving the Panasonic 15mm F1.7. I made a video to talk about the reasons why I love the Panasonic 15mm (you can find the video here). I have had the lens for a while, I used the Panasonic 15mm mainly for video making, one of the main lenses to create content for my YouTube channel, as I use it alongside the Olympus 45mm F1.8. The two lenses setup works very well, compact and easy to carry around. The other reason I got the Panasonic 15mm a while ago was to use it as a wide angle prime for my street shooting, which I have been doing more lately. 

All images in this blog entry were shot with Panasonic 15mm F1.7 on Olympus OM-D E-M10
My friend Azul Adnan, whom has just published his book JALAN, had just given a talk representing Riwayat (bookstore) at Merdeka Boleh event, happening inside KLOE Hotel, Kuala Lumpur. The talk was earlier this afternoon, and I was present to give my support. I brought along an unconventional setup to grab some quick images - the Panasonic GM1 and a few small-ish Micro Four Thirds lenses. The GM1 was not built for such a shoot, but I did not want to bring my workhorse Olympus E-M1 Mark II, and wanted to be stealthier, so I had a much smaller footprint with the Panasonic. Not the best camera to do the job, as the AF was not the quickest, and the older 16MP image sensor is showing its age handling strong backlit and low light shooting, but I powered through and got some images for Azul. I am sharing all the images here. 

All images were shot with Panasonic GM1, Lumix 12-32mm kit lens, M.Zuiko 45mm F1.8 and 40-150mm R lens. 

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