Gone back to a DSLR

Recently I sold my Nikon D200 in order to buy a Fuji X-E1. The Nikon was quite an old camera but I loved it as it felt so solid. It felt like a real camera each time I picked it up. I had quite a hard time selling it as compared to most other cameras it was very dated, even had a CCD and not a CMOS like nearly every camera these days.

So, it went for just €250 and I asked my brother to buy a used Fuji X-E1 in Japan where he’s been living for nearly ten years. He was going to be over for a visit so he could bring it with him. I got it for quite a good price, €600 including the 18-55mm kit lens. I planned on  buying the 10-24 mm lens when it got released though it was going to cost more than what I had already spent, about €900. It was going to be a treat for myself.

First impressions of the Fuji were good, it was small and light and I was happy with the results I was getting, see here and here. My biggest worry was just how cheap and frail it felt in my hands. Having used the heavier Nikon for years the Fuji just never sat right with me. Worst of all it isn’t weather sealed in any way, most reports on the internet advise against getting even a few spits of rain on it. Living in Ireland where it does nothing but rain this was not going to be good. I knew it wasn’t the camera for me and it too had to go.

Up on a local classified site it went it I sold it for what I bought it for, I could have got a bit more if I’d have waited but I was keen to get something else, another Nikon DSLR. I already owned the 18-200 VR lens so after doing some proper research this time the D7000 looked like an excellent used bargain. For €650 I managed to find myself a D7000 and Tokina 11-16 F2.8 both in mint condition on ebay. Now I don’t need to spend a fortune on the 10-24mm Fuji lens either. The Tokina is superb.

I headed out early on Saturday morning with the new gear. First impressions were it felt very solid and responsive, the Fuji was painfully slow to process images after taking them, long exposures of over 120 seconds often too 10 minutes to process by the camera. The Nikon was doing that in seconds. Not only that but I had it out in pretty showery conditions and didn’t need to worry.

I don’t see me changing from a Nikon DSLR any time soon. Sure the Fuji looks cool and retro but in the real world it’s not as god a tool for the job as a DSLR. With the wealth of lenses available for Nikon cameras already there are so many bargains out there too. This image won’t win any prizes but on a the Fuji system it would have cost over double than the Nikon.

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Torc Waterfall, Killarney National Park, Co. Kerry









I went back Killarney National Park this morning to have another crack at shooting Torc Waterfall. It’s the same waterfall as in my very first post.

I had to set off early as I didn’t have any filter to reduce the light coming into the lens for those long exposures. I sent my Hitch ND3.0 back last week after finding it had hundreds of black spots inside it. This shot was taken just as the very first light was dawning. Hoping I’ll get my filter replaced this week. Getting up at 6am was no fun. At least I’ll sleep tonight!


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Beach Groynes, Youghal Co.Cork, this time in colour

I posted this image yesterday in Black & White but after re-opening the shot in Photoshop I think it’s better in it’s original colour. It gets it’s purple hue as it was taken just after sunset while the sky was still a mix of reds, yellows, oranges and some very black clouds thrown in too. The HiTech ND3.0 has some pretty bad colour casting too which added a touch of magenta.

I wanted to go back and look at the original colour after reading a post from a very talented photographer, David Patterson who writes the great blog Stories From home.

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Beach Groynes, Youghal Co.Cork

Here’s a shot taken this afternoon in Youghal Co Cork, down the south east of Ireland.

It started off yet another wet and windy day so I knew I wasn’t going anywhere with the camera today. It was really bucketing down so I decided I’d tackle the mess that’s been building up in my office at home. you know things are getting bad when you can hardly see the surface of your desk any more thanks to all the clutter.

The window in the office faces south easterly and after many hours moving junk up to the attic I saw a glimmer off in the horizon. Against all weather forecasts the clouds looked like they might be breaking for the day. Before I knew it, the rain had stopped and the sun was in full wintry glory.

I grabbed the camera bag and tripod and headed off to Youghal not knowing what I’d find. The storms of late would surely provide some spectacular seas so it was worth a shot.

It took just 30 minutes to get there by car. When I got out onto the beach front it was thronged with walkers all snapping the rough seas with their iPhones. I made my way down the sand but the high tide and heavy swells didn’t allow me to stand there for long. As the tide was turning I decided to wait a couple of hours passing the time snapping away but not getting a decent shot.

Finally the groynes started to make an appearance as the tide receded just in time for the sun to dip below the horizon. It was getting dark quick and with 5 minute exposures (plus 8 minutes to “process” by the unbearably slow Fuji X-E1) meant I wasn’t going to get many shots taken.

This is the best of the bunch, the groynes themselves aren’t as sharp as I’d like as a few of the waves came in over the top but overall I was happy. It’s another place I have to come back to re-shoot but at least I got my eye in.

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Toe Head, West Cork

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These were taken out at Toe Head in Skibereen in West Cork just after the rain had stopped but the light was fading.

It was getting so dark no filters were needed to blur the water. I can’t wait to get back there on a decent sunny day. I bet there are some amazing images out there. I was trying to get down to the rocks below but the cliffs didn’t have any safe route down. I’ll get back there soon when the tide is fully out which will open up a route around the rocks.

Baltimore, West Cork. In The Rain

It was one of those days. West Cork (Ireland) is a beautiful place but in the rain it can look pretty miserable.

After a 2 hour drive I could see the skies darkening above me and as soon as I stepped out of the car the heavens opened, and it stayed that way for the rest of the day. I ended up spending most of the day sitting in the car watching for any break in the clouds. None came.

After driving around the coastline for about an hour I found an old house from the time of the Irish famine. I rushed out a few shots of it covering the camera the whole time. Unfortunately the Fuji XE-1 isn’t weather sealed which is making me think whether it’s the right camera for me. I’m very happy with the quality but if it can’t be out in the rain then I’ll probably end up killing it soon.

Having cropped out the flat grey sky I managed to salvage this thanks to a bit of photoshopping.


It’s been raining a lot……

…….In fact, here in Cork (Ireland) we’ve had our 4th weather warning in just 10 days. It’s not often we get warnings about the weather, it’s just accepted that it’ll be rubbish but gusts of 130kph+ every other day could only mean only one thing, time to get the camera back out.

Having dropped my son at the crèche, sorry Adam, it was onwards to Clonakilty in west Cork where I was hoping the rain would hold off just long enough to get a few shots taken, and quite literally that’s just about how I got time for. The rain was one thing, but the spray from the waves was soon going to kill my Fuji XE-1. The filter over the lens was nothing but salty spray so I dropped the aperture down to F5.6 to try to blur it out, with mixed results.

Great day though, you know you love photography when you see a massive wave heading you’re way but that 30 second exposure is only 5 seconds in and you find yourself wondering what to do. I stayed and got wet, well worth it though…..