Sunrise #35

I think this one’s my favourite from Bundaberg – love how it looks like an oil painting

Sunrise #35 11.04.15

Sunrise #35


From Russia With Love

cute puppies

After a very patient 4 week wait (I was only checking the mailbox once or twice…ok, maybe three times once…a day) I received my first prime lens – a helios 44-2 f/2/58mm. Here’s how it looks on the X-e1 – a bit clunky with the adapter – i think I saw it quoted as being ‘a bit steampunk’ on one review.

X-e1 and helios m2

Ok, so technically it’s not from Russia, it’s from Belarus (a country I didn’t even know existed until a few weeks ago) which is right next to Russia.

Why this lens? Because of the swirlies mainly – this lens has a ‘defect’ that makes the bokeh blobs look ovoid, creating a circular pattern in the background. It’s also reasonably sharp and INCREDIBLY cheap as these lenses were mass produced from the late 60’s. I could write a bit of background on the lens, but others have already done a much better job than me, so here’s some of the sites I looked at while deciding which lens to buy:

All the stats and facts as well as some great examples showing results with different versions

Short discussion on different versions

A fantastic blog comparing 3 vintage lenses

A review and some beautiful images by Meng Yeap

Luckily enough the day after I received it I had a shoot booked – even better the shoot involved two of my favourite things…puppies! I has my trusty 18-55mm with me in case the manual focusing became a bit too difficult, but I ended up using the helios for the whole shoot, with some beautiful results. Oh, that swirly bokeh ❤

girl with flowergirl with puppiesgirl with dandelion

The manual focusing could get a bit frustrating, especially with capturing movement and the aperture ring was a bit slippy but I’m possibly just used to the slightly stiffer ring on my 18-55mm. Of course, these lenses are always second hand so it pays to check the description on ebay to ensure the wear and tear won’t effect your photos. All together I’m very happy with my purchase and I can’t wait to add a few more vintage lenses to my collection.

Thanks for reading,

Clever Fox

The New Addition – Fujifilm X-E1: A review (of sorts) from someone who barely knows what they’re doing.


Moonrise over Botany Bay – from my first set of photos with the X-E1


I’m quite happy to announce that I finally have my first ‘proper’ camera – but it’s not an SLR. After having a play with my mum’s Nikon 5200 I was set on buying that model as I liked the images I was getting out of it..then I followed fujifilm’s blog, hoping for some instax updates. At first I ignored the X-series – I’d heard of mirrorless cameras and assumed they were a passing fad. Sure they looked pretty, but looks are normally compensating for a lack of technical prowess, right? As more (surprisingly good) images popped up on my reader, I did some investigating looking at reviews from some less bais sources. I was impressed with what I saw. In many respects other than megapixels the X series cameras seemed to equal entry level SLRs – many a reviewer even hinted they might be ‘a little better’ (I’ll put a list of reviews I looked at at the bottom of this blog). I started to think about the implications of a smaller camera – easier to carry around all day, less conspicuous, and I’ll be honest I’m a bit vain…and these cameras just look nice.


Ok, but which one? I’m new to the concept of manual cameras and though I wanted one I could grow into, rather than learn on and then upgrade I also didn’t want to spend bucketloads of money – I wanted to save that for the lenses. The X-E1 had recently received an upgrade in the form of the X-E2 resulting in some slight improvements in the newer model and a steep price drop in the former – it also seemed like good compromise between price and quality.

As for the kit XF 18-55mm lens, it received some gushing reviews everywhere I looked – except from two people on amazon (shush guys, you’re killing my buzz). As I said my experience is limited so I couldn’t tell you how it compares with others, but the images that I’ve taken have come out beautifully sharp when the stars have aligned and I miraculously have everything set right.

So what else can I say? I’m thrilled with my purchase and encourage anyone who’s looking at the X-series to go for it. Here’s one more photo from my first day with the X-E1


Sydney city from Brighton-Le-Sands


Thanks for reading,

Clever Fox

review 1 

review 2

review 3

review 4


Review 1

Review 2

Review 3

Review 4