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Shawn Clover
Lives in San Francisco, CA
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Shawn Clover

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My mini review of the Sony a7R + Metabones adapter + Canon Lenses.
Review of the Sony a7R full frame digital camera with Canon lenses attached with a Metabones adapter.
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Goodbye SLR, Hello Little Rangefinder: The Fujifilm X100s

Well I’m not exactly getting rid of my SLRs and my army of lenses, but all that gear has been locked away for the past week. A little rangefinder camera has hit the market that scratches me right where I itch. Since the advent of digital cameras, I’ve been waiting and waiting for the killer small camera to hit the scene and that day has finally arrived. While the original Fujifilm X100 was off to a good start, it was plagued with a long list of shortcomings, and these weaknesses have been addressed in the new X100s. This baby is hands-down the best camera around for its size. I’m talking to you, Leica.

Design

The X100s is modeled after the beautiful classic 1954 Leica M3 and does a great job recreating the retro look. She’s packed with many of the same classic dials and switches of yesteryear, but upon closer inspection, not everything what it appears. For one, the timer lever is really just a toggle to switch between optical and digital viewfinder while the timer functions are handled via digital display. But other controls like the shutter and aperture dials remain true to their functional origins, completing that nice analog feel.

This is little camera just begs to be slung over the shoulder on the way out the door. No choosing lenses or strapping on a backpack full of gear. Since there are no changeable lenses, you’re locked in with the built-in (and very capable) 23mm lens. This gives you a 35mm full-frame SLR equivalent focal length. No zooming in and out, just shoot things the way you see them. A refreshing benefit to having a fixed lens is you can kiss sensor dust spots goodbye–the camera’s innards stay nice and clean. Of course, not being able to zoom is a limitation in itself, but this focal length is really photography in its purest form.

The Controls

All the switches, dials, and menus take some getting used to. You have an option of composing photos using the electronic viewfinder, the lcd back display, or the optical viewfinder. I prefer the latter because it just feels more natural (not to mention kinder to the battery life). I found using the optical viewfinder in combination with the informational display on the lcd back worked best for me.

I love the old-fashioned hardware ring dials for aperture and shutter speed, but that also adds to one of my biggest frustrations: it really limits what you can store in the custom functions presets. In fact I have not found a single use for the three custom presets. They can’t store shutter speed, aperture, drive mode, or focus mode. The only useful thing you can store is your ISO setting. If you’re using all the photo effects features (like toy camera, etc.), then maybe you’ll have a use for it, but I haven’t played around with all those things. I just shoot RAW and add effects later in Lightroom. Since there’s no sense in making custom presets with just ISO presents, I reprogrammed the Fn button to simply pull up the ISO menu so I can just dial in any ISO I want. My three presets remain empty.

Unless I’m shooting from the hip, I stay locked in with the manual focus mode. In the X100s’s case, manual focus is a misnomer because manual focus really means autofocus, it just gives you the ability to lock in your focus point before you hit the shutter. I like having the AFL/AEL button where your thumb sits do the focusing, just like on my trusty Canon.

One nice little touch is the 3-stop ND filter that mechanically pops between the lens and the sensor when you want it. I tried some test shots of water flowing through fountains in bright light, but even at f/16 and the minimum ISO 200, I wasn’t able to get much of that nice blurred water effect. I would have rather had something closer to a 5-stop filter. It would also be really nice to go down to ISO 100, but Fuji inexplicably decided to make ISO 200 the minimum ISO when you shoot RAW, while you can go down to 100 if you shoot JPG. That one still has me scratching my head. It would also be nice to be able to get to the ND filter faster than digging through the full menu to toggle it into place.

Accessorizing

It seems that every new Canon SLR I buy means automatically dropping another grand on accessories. I couldn’t believe how kind to my wallet the X100s was: a nice leather case, leather strap, UV filter, filter adapter, lens hood, and two spare batteries totaled less than $100.

Here’s what I added to protect the body and lens while staying true to the retro styling of the X100s. You can see all this stuff in my cover photo of the X100s dangling over the old pay phone above.

Shooting

Here are a few test photos I took over the past few days in San Francisco. I am blown away by this baby’s high ISO performance. It shoots cleaner at ISO 3200 or 6400 than the Canon 5d Mark III. And the true f/2 lens shoots nice razor-thin depth of field wide open with some not-too-shabby bokeh. Not Canon f/1.2L-caliber bokeh, but very nice and buttery nonetheless.

I’ve found the camera tends to overexpose things. Maybe it’s just what I shoot, who knows. But I usually keep the exposure compensation (again a nice analog dial) set down to -1/3 or sometimes even -2/3.

And its tripod mount is still virgin–this is my new handheld camera and I have no intention of dragging around a tripod to pair it with.

ON THE STREET

I love shooting from the hip, and with a little experimenting over a day or two, I’m happy with what you can do with this little marvel. With my Canon SLR, I have a custom program that I can quickly get to for this purpose, but as I mentioned above, there’s a lot of dialing and button-pushing involved to get the camera set up for quick incognito street photos. What works well for me is setting ISO 1600, dialing in f/4, setting continuous drive 3fps burst, and AF-C focus mode. Each one of these needs to be dialed in separately because the custom functions cannot store anything but ISO.

Here are a few shots. No one ever even noticed I was shooting except the guy in the Busted photo below:

the rest at
http://shawnclover.com/2013/07/11/goodbye-slr-hello-little-rangefinder-the-fujifilm-x100s/
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You Can't Run
California Highway Patrol Porsche 997 Turbo

The Automobile: A Photo Gallery http://shawnclover.com/galleries/the-automobile/
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That's my #GooglePinball  tournament competitor Brian tearing up the Medieval Madness machine at tonight's Google Local Power Users party in the Haight.

Thank you +Shannon Sweetser and Free Gold Watch for the good times!

Didn't bring my SLR... my photos are  #throughglass  
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In the O
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Google Glass got an update today that shoots all photos HDR. It's a nice improvement. Planning to get more glasswalking in over the next few days to really test it out.

Ok Glass, take a picture...   #throughglass  
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Enjoying the live stream of the Google+ photowalk tonight from the Chieftain a block up the street from all the action. (We just couldn't pass up beer + food + Giants + Warriors.)
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Shawn Clover

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Why are dozens of my #googlelocal  reviews removed because they don't "adhere to our content policies"? I read the policy and I don't see the problem.

For example, here's a review I wrote on my favorite French restaurant in SF. Why was this censored?
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+Shawn Clover: Thank you for bringing this to our attention. Our CM +Shannon Sweetser is going to look into it , file an appeal and get back to you.  Please let us know if you have any questions.

Also: We'd recommend signing up for #GoogleCityExperts  as well since you have quite a few local reviews and already qualify (g.co/cityexpert) We have a private Google+ community exclusive to these top contributors where they can can share product feedback and raise issues like you've done so helpfully here. 
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I Thought I Knew You, What Did I Know?
A simple-looking photo, but one of the most difficult I've ever taken, just because of the set up. It all started with finding an old 1950s British record player abandoned in a San Francisco alley. After coming back to retrieve it with the car, I took it home, rewired it, repaired the gears, and got it working again. After a few test records, I trusted it enough to throw on Rubber Soul and set up the tripod and lights.
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All These Scattered Dreams

San Francisco, CA.
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Wrapped Up In Confusion
A Muni L-Taravel arrives in the West Portal Station.
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Nice....nice...
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In his circles
1,744 people
Have him in circles
13,983 people
Arcangelo Liso's profile photo
Aldicks Dhen Oababi's profile photo
Ron Verbrugge's profile photo
Ben Ransom's profile photo
Mustard Mister's profile photo
William Wicker's profile photo
Aaron Barlow's profile photo
Karsten Siegl's profile photo
Lucus Li's profile photo
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Web App Development and Photography
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I make pictures, trot globe, soar sky, explore abandonment, march mountains, and pedal two-wheelers.
Introduction

shawnclover.com/fadeto1906: my 1906 earthquake + today photoblend project

clockograph.com: my 1/2 built working photographic timepiece project

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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
San Francisco, CA
Come here on occasion, I must, to spend a moment of quiet reflection and unlearn what I have learned. Judge him by his size, I do not, for the great Jedi Master reminds me to "Do, or do not. There is no try."
Public - 4 weeks ago
reviewed 4 weeks ago
The Presidio is a big chunk of San Francisco and is oozing with history throughout. Every time I think I've explored every square foot of the Presidio, I end up finding even more. The Presidio's got forts, military batteries, and even a semi-hidden old Nike missile silo to explore. A day exploring the Presidio is one of my favorite staycation getaways right in the city.
Public - 4 weeks ago
reviewed 4 weeks ago
Fort Funston was a WWI-era defense installation to protect San Francisco Bay in the early 1900s. Today it is a National Park. It's a great place for scenic trail walks along the coast and exploring the old defense batteries. Fort Funston is also the best place in the Bay Area to watch hang gliders up close. You can hear the whooosh when they fly over close above. I haven't gotten into hang gliding yet, but this is the place I'll go when I'm looking to get started.
Public - 4 weeks ago
reviewed 4 weeks ago
No need to go to the Mission District if you're in the East Bay when you've got Los Pericos. Delicious, huge Mission-style burritos good to the last bite. The make some mean fish tacos too, not that I would pass up a burrito for tacos.
Public - 4 weeks ago
reviewed 4 weeks ago
212 reviews
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The trail around Lake Merritt has a perfect circumference for a good run (5.5 km). For a bonus killer workout, hit the Cleveland Cascade stairs at the end of the run for a stair sprint. For non-running, the lake is great for a walk. I've been out rowing and sailing a few times which is always fun.
Public - 4 weeks ago
reviewed 4 weeks ago
The cable car powerhouse draws us in like a magnet whenever we're within a few blocks. The sights, sounds, and smells of the workings of the world's greatest transportation system make for an ever-intriguing nostalgic journey back in time. Don't miss the downstairs windows where you can peer under the streets at the turning pulleys.
Public - 4 weeks ago
reviewed 4 weeks ago
When I was a lad, this seemed to be the default destination for the YMCA summer camp when they couldn't come up with anywhere else to go. We spent so many days fishing on the lake, rowing, and playing capture the flag in the poison oak-infested hills. I lost count of how many times the camp counselors had to dig fishing hooks out of kids' arms from wild-casting. We'd camp for the night every once in a while, with plenty of Kumbaya to go around. I usually head up here now for a change-of-pace jog around the lake.
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Public - 4 weeks ago
reviewed 4 weeks ago