S Daniele Prosciutto by Marco Secchi

In the pre-Roman era, San Daniele del Friuli was an important Celtic settlement, thanks to its special position en route to Northeast Europe. The surrounding area contains the remains of various “castellieri”, the typical Celtic constructions used as watchtowers.

The Celts, a relatively non-migratory people, devoted to agriculture and with minimal warlike tendencies, were the first to use salt to preserve pork, of which they were major consumers. They built the foundations of the extraordinary rural culture which the Romans put to expert use later on.

In the era following that of the Celts, the oldest San Daniele settlement is Roman, from the 1st century AC: a villa positioned right on the summit of the hill.

The Romans were very familiar with ham: evidence of this can be found in the ancient merchants’ road to Rome, the present Via Panisperna, named after “panis” (bread) and “perna” (“perna sicca”: ham), and in a butcher’s memorial stone found in Aquileia (UD), which boasts a Prosciutto di San Daniele complete with trotter.

Fast forwards to the 1920 the first ham factories were established: the domestic cellar was transformed into the centre of a true autonomous production activity. At the end of the 40s, the ham factory had become an industry, and from the 60s its development resulted in some of the production companies contributing to the formation of the national and international prosciutto crudo market.

Leica M (Typ 240) by Marco Secchi

Leica-M-second-picture-680x460
Leica-M-second-picture-680x460

My favorite camera is obviously the Leica, the latest addition to my collection is the M or 240 Type. I shoot most of my portraits, features and reportage using this camera with either the 35 1.4 Summilux or the 50mm 1.5

The Leica M 240 is a digital rangefinder camera with a full-format 24 x 36 mm sensor. As the world’s most compact full-format system camera, the Leica M 240 extends the legendary heritage of the Leica rangefinder M System and unites over 50 years of continuous technical improvements to the system with the best in cutting-edge digital technology.

The Leica M is a digital full-frame 35 mm rangefinder camera. It was introduced by Leica Camera AG in September 2012, and is the successor to the Leica M9 range of cameras. The M uses a 24-megapixel image sensor. The camera is the first M model to feature movie recording, and the first to have Live View—which allows the scene, as seen through the lens, to be composed.The M is compatible with almost all M mount lenses and most R mount lenses (via an adapter). All Leica M cameras are handmade in Portugal and Germany.

The M uses a CMOS 24-megapixel image sensor designed exclusively for Leica by the Belgian company CMOSIS. The sensor contains 6,000 by 4,000 pixels on a 6 x 6 µm² grid, and is made by STMicroelectronics in Grenoble.

The M supports most M-mount lenses, and with an optional R-Adapter, the camera can use almost all Leica R-mount lenses.Live View allows owners of R-lenses to use an optional electronic viewfinder.

The camera uses a MAESTRO image/video processor which is based on the Fujitsu Milbeaut. It has specifically-designed rubber seals (to protect against dust and water spray).

Venice Real Osterie by Marco Secchi

A selection of Venice Osterie where you can get wonderful food for 30Euro or less! La Frasca

This is a small restaurant with just the owner and his chef. Pleasant, no-frills trattoria on a quiet residential square. For a taste of tagliata di calimaro (sliced grilled squid) with arugula or pomodorini tomatoes with strawberries and violet artichokes, wend your way up quintessential calli to La Frasca. Far from the maddening San Marco crowds, this tiny eatery nestled on a remote campiello charms before you even taste the seafood sampler of grilled seppie cuttlefish, canoce mantis shrimp, excellent baccalà mantecato, or sarde in saor. Wines are an important part of the meal here; ask for a recommendation from the ample list of predominantly regional selections. With limited indoor seating, La Frasca encloses and heats their outdoor terrace to accommodate winter diners.

Address: Corte de la Carità, Cannaregio 5176, Venice, 30121 Phone: 041/2412585 Vaporetto: Fondamente Nove No lunch Mon. and Wed.

Dalla Marisa

Signora Marisa is a culinary legend in Venice, with locals calling up days in advance to ask her to prepare ancient recipes such as risotto con le secoe (risotto made with a cut of beef from around the spine). Pasta dishes include the excellent tagliatelle con sugo di masaro (in duck sauce), while secondi range from tripe to roast stuffed pheasant. In summer, tables spill out from the tiny interior on to the fondamenta. Book well ahead - and remember, serving times are rigid: turn up late and you'll go hungry. There's a €15 lunch menu..

Cannaregio 652B, fondamenta San Giobbe Vaporetto Crea or Tre Archi Telephone 041 720 211 Meals served noon-2.30pm Mon, Wed, Sun; noon-2.30pm, 8-9.15pm Tue, Thur-Sat. Closed Aug

Trattoria Ca’ D’Oro

“This picturesque osteria [informal restaurant or tavern] has a well-stocked cicchetti [small plate] counter plus small tables in the back if you order from the menu.”—Michela Scibilia, author, Venice Osterie. One of the oldest wine bars in the city and also known as Alla Vedova; popular with locals and travelers barhopping along Strada Nova; serves Venetian classics and is famous for its polpette (meatballs).

Cannaregio 3912; tel. 39 041 528 5324.

Osteria al Garanghelo

“One of the ever decreasing number of old-time Venetian osterie.”—Ruth Edenbaum, author, Chow Venice: Savoring the Food and Wine of La Serenissima. This simple, casual restaurant is low-key and local; cicchetti (small plates) up front and tables in back; wines by the glass; menu includes a vegetable antipasta platter, seafood starters like sarde in saor (Venetian-style marinated sardines), and pastas.

Close to Rialto market. San Polo 1570; tel. 39 041 721 721.

Dai Tosi (37)

If you're stuck for somewhere to eat after a visit to the Art or Architecture Biennale and are in the mood for cheap and cheerful refuelling, this neighbourhood trattoria-pizzeria, in a residential street that always seems to be festooned with laundry, should fit the bill perfectly. In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice. The pizzas are fine and filling (try the gorgonzola, radicchio and walnut topping), and they also do a good range of Venetian and pan-Italian pasta dishes. This is a good place to come with kids, who can work up an appetite in the play area near the Giardini vaporetto stop. Beware of mixing this up with another nearby namesake restaurant; if you're in any doubt, ask for 'Dai Tosi Piccoli' (Little Dai Tosi).

In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.
In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.

In summer, when they put tables outside in the street, there are few more picturesque dining backdrops in Venice.

Address: Castello 738, Secco Marina, 30122 Getting there: Vaporetto stop Giardini Contact: 00 39 041 523 7102; trattoriadaitosi.comOpening times: Mon, Tue, Thu, midday-2pm; Fri-Sun, midday-2pm, 7pm-9.30pm Prices: pizzas from €5, pasta dishes around €12 Payment type: credit cards accepted Cuisine: Italian, pizza Reservations: not necessary

L'osteria Ai Assassini

15 things +1 (I try) to avoid in Street Photography by Marco Secchi

  ..I have specified I TRY  to avoid .... ....

  1. Using more than one lens per day for street photography.  I prefer a 35mm or occasionally a 50mm
  2. Checking the LCD screen after taking photos on the streets (Chimping)
  3. Letting criticism affect me negatively. Rather, I try to use it to empower me to find weaknesses in my work.
  4. Leaving the house without a camera
  5. Spending a lot of time looking at photos online ; rather I spend more time shooting
  6. Forgetting how lucky I am to be able to go out and take photos everyday
  7. Mixing my digital and film photos in a project
  8. Letting the number “likes” dictate whether a photo is good or not
  9. Taking a photo of someone on the streets without saying “thank you” or smiling at them
  10. Hesitating before taking a street photograph
  11. Shooting to please my critics
  12. Recommending lenses longer than 50mm for street photography
  13. Making excuses when a photo doesn’t work. It is shit end of the story
  14. Taking photos without emotion and without your heart
  15. Uploading photos online until letting it “marinate” for few weeks

+1.  Comparing myself to other photographers

Ponte degli Scalzi - Fismonger - Leica M2 35mm HP5+ 400 Asa
Ponte degli Scalzi - Fismonger - Leica M2 35mm HP5+ 400 Asa

How to Rescue a Wet Camera by Marco Secchi

Scotland, Saltcoats 23rd November 2006 Extreme weather condition with strong gales and rain are battering the West Coast of Scotland NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 19
Scotland, Saltcoats 23rd November 2006 Extreme weather condition with strong gales and rain are battering the West Coast of Scotland NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 19

It has happened to me a couple of times covering bad weather in Scotland, to friends and colleagues, even a couple of days ago to one of my Venetian colleague.

Your precious camera meets the water...either in the form of a big splash or heavy torrential rain.

I have managed to recovered my cameras at least 2 times and I have strictly used the following method

  • As soon as it happen switch off the camera, remove the battery, remove memory card, I would say this is the most important action.
  • Do NOT turn the camera on  ever....you may risk to short circuit important parts
  • As soon as you can, make sure there are no traces of moisture visible on the camera.
  • Find a container big enough to hold the camera and a couple of bags or more of rice (Yes RICE)
  • can be a Tupperware container, half fill it with  rice  and then place the dead camera body on top of the rice with the mirror facing down.
  • pour more rice on top of the camera until it is completely covered with about 1 inch of rice above the top of the camera body
  • placed a tightly fitted lid on the container and place it a dry cupboard for at least  one week.
rice_trick2_small

After about a week of drying out in the hermetically sealed rice box you should be able to switch on the camera and scroll through all the menus..,.. if this is the case I would place the camera again in the rice for 4 or 5 days  or leave it near but not too close to a radiator.

Press photographers by Marco Secchi

newspapers (Tehr?n)
newspapers (Tehr?n)

Former fleet street legendary picture editor Ron Morgans has just posted a quote from the well respected legendary Editor Sir David English. Roy Greenslade take note: Here's what the late, great Sir David English, who created the modern Daily Mail, had to say about newspaper photographers.

" Press photographers are a strange breed. Moody, enthusiastic, temperamental, excitable, humorous, self-deprecating . They are in many ways the most interesting collection of people to be found on any national newspaper. More interesting frequently than the star bylined writers. More interesting than the gossip columnists with their fund of inside chatter. More interesting even than the showbiz kings with their stories of rubbing shoulders with the great and their `all life´s a cocktail party´ philosophy. Photographers are the shock troops of journalism. They cannot muse. They cannot pontificate. They cannot sit in the office and get their stories by telephone. Nor do they pick up their scoops over lunch. They have to be where the action is. They have to be there! "

Related articles

My Fuji X Series Cameras & Lenses by Marco Secchi

little fuji My fav. at present is The Fujifilm XT1After starting at the top-end with its X-Pro1, Fujifilm has been steadily expanding its X-series mirrorless camera to appeal to a broader audience. With its X-T1, Fujifilm has moved back towards the high-end, offering a fully-loaded mirrorless camera in a weather-resistant, SLR-style body. There's plenty more where that came from - the X-T1 has one of the largest EVFs we've ever seen, numerous manual control dials and, for the first time on an X-series camera, an optional battery grip.

The 'guts' of the X-T1 are very much like those found on the recent X-E2. This includes the 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor (with on-chip phase detection), EXR Processor II, built-in Wi-Fi, and full HD video recording. The main differences between the X-T1 and X-E2 are the LCD (tilting vs fixed) and EVF (in terms of magnification), the maximum burst rate (8 vs 7 fps, now with focus tracking at full speed), a flash sync port and, of course, the design.

The Fuji X series walk-around cameras that can be adapted for wedding work, editorial work heck, even commercial work.

With these cameras I feel unstoppable. Invincible. I no longer need to carry  heavy bulky DSLR around all day – with these cameras I am able to carry an entire kit in a shoulder bag and never tire. With these cameras I rarely miss a photo because I have always have a camera with me.

With these cameras I am stealthy, quick, unobtrusive, silent, a rocket for recording the extraordinary in the mundane of the everyday. My photography changed!

The Fujifilm X-Series range of digital cameras consists of the company Fujifilm's high-end digital cameras and is aimed professional and keen enthusiast photographers. It is part of the larger range of Fujifilm's digital cameras. X-Series itself is not unified by a common sensor size, technology or a lens format. Its main differentiating feature is the emphases on the controls needed by an advanced digital camera user.

I have owned or own at present the following Cameras

  • Fujifilm X100: prime lens digital camera that uses a custom APS-C sized CMOS sensor and Hybrid Viewfinder, and fixed 23mm F2.0 Fujinon lens. Announced at Photokina, September 20, 2010, the X100 launched globally in March 2011. Succeeded by Fujifilm X100S. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X10: advanced compact featuring a 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR-CMOS sensor and a high-definition F2.0 wide-angle and F2.8 telephoto Fujinon 4x manual zoom lens (28-112mm). Announced September 1, 2011. Succeeded by Fujifilm X20 SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-Pro1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera that uses the "X-Trans CMOS" sensor and the Fujifilm XF-mount system of lenses. It was announced in January 10, 2012, and launched in March 2012. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-E1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera which is a slimmed-down version of X-Pro1. The modifications include removal of expensive hybrid finder replaced by an upgraded electronic viewfinder. New EVF uses a 2.36M dot OLED unit, out-speccing the X-Pro1's 1.44M dot LCD finder. It was announced on September 6, 2012. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X20: is an the replacement of X10 enthusiast compact camera featuring 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II and a new advanced optical viewfinder. It was announced onn January 7, 2013.
  • Fujifilm X100S: a redesigned version of the X100 with new sensor-based phase detection, same sensor as Fujifilm X-E2. It was announced January 7, 2013. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-E2: successor to the X-E1, featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor, larger (3") screen with higher resolution (1.04 M), Digital Split Image technology, Wi-Fi. Announced on October 18, 2013.
  • 2 Fujifilm XT1 a new camera with a weather-sealed body featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor and tilting LCD screen. It was announced on January 27, 2014. Also the first X-series camera with an optional battery grip, and the first camera from any manufacturer to fully support UHS-II SD cards.

I have the following Lenses

  • Fujinon XF18mm F2 R18mm focal length (27mm equivalent) F2.0-F16 aperture SOLD
  • Fujinon XF35mm F1.4 R35mm focal length (53mm equivalent) F1.4-F16 aperture
  • Fujinon XF60mm F2.4 R Macro 60mm focal length (91mm equivalent) F2.4-F22 aperture SOLD
  • Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS 18-55mm focal length (27-83mm equivalent) (F2.8-F4)-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF14mm F2.8 R14mm focal length (21mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 apertureSOLD
  • Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R OIS55-200mm focal length (83-300mm equivalent)
  • Fujinon XF23mm F2.0 R 23mm focal length (35mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF27mm F2.8 R 23mm focal length (41mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR: A weather-resistant fast telephoto zoom with image stabilization, covering focal lengths equivalent to 75–210mm on full-frame. Officially announced on September 10, 2014.
  • Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5–5.6 R LM OIS WR: A weather-resistant, image-stabilized superzoom, covering focal lengths equivalent to 27–202.5mm on full-frame. Officially announced on June 16, 2014.
  • Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR: An enthusiast-level standard zoom, covering focal lengths equivalent to 24–82.5mm on full-frame, featuring weather-resistant construction. This lens was originally expected to be available in mid-2014, but has been delayed. Officially announced on January 6, 2015 during CES 2015.

Fuji X Custom Settings by Marco Secchi

Today arrived the new firmware for most of the Fuji X series cameras.  When you update all the custom settings are wiped out as well as cache memory and frame number Here are more or less my latest  custom settings.

Name ISO Dynamic Range Film Simulation White Balance Colour Sharpness Highlight  Shadow  Noise 
Standard AUTO DR100 Provia (standard) Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Landscape Normal 200 DR100 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Landscape  High Contrast 400 DR200 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Portrait Neutral 200 DR100 Pro-Neg Standard Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Portrait Neutral Higher Contrast 400 DR200 Pro-Neg High Auto 0 +1 -1 -2 0
B&W Landscape 800 DR100 Mono+Red Auto 0 +1 0 0 0
B&W Portrait 800 DR100 Mono+Green Auto 0 +1 -1 -1 0
  I have set them according to the subjects I tend to shot so I can change a whole group of settings with a push of the "Q" menu button and a quick turn of the dial.   Finer tweaks to color and highlight/shadow tone were done from experience of using the camera and the above are what I  eventually arrived at after some months of use. I tend to play quite a bit with Highlight Tome, Sharpness and Shadow Tone so I change them often. For the ISO thee are times when I like to have in AUTO with Standard 200, Max 3200 and min shutter speed at Focal length I am using x1.8 While I like the more saturated colors and higher contrast in Astia (soft) for landscape generally, I found it tended to clip into the shadows too easily so I somewhat reduced the contrast there by making a -2 adjustment. For portraits the Provia (standard) or Pro-Neg film simulations work well as they are rather neutral and subdued in colour, so render skin tones well.  The Pro-Neg Hi gives the same colours but more contrast.  I reduced the contrast at the shadow end as I found it was clipping to black too readily. The dynamic range settings work really well and allow the camera to record more detail in highlights and shadows than in a normal exposure.  For the higher DR setting (DR200 is all I have needed) the camera needs to be set to ISO 400 but the sensor/processor is so effective that there is no discernible noise penalty.  It isn't an HDR feature....my understanding is that it works like many other similar features and the camera basically underexposes the image then processes in an exposure and tone curve that avoids clipping at each end. The Jpeg output is so good on this camera that I shoot Jpeg almost all the time, whereas I only shoot RAW on my Nikon DSLRs.  Images from the X-E1 print superbly and have amazing pixel level sharpness.  The camera seems to resolve beyond what its 16MP sensor should, probably due to the absence of the anti aliasing filter.  Strangely, when 100% images are viewed on a computer monitor, detail can look somewhat mushy due to the unusual colour filter layout of the X-Trans sensor, but images view nicely at normal sizes and print in a very natural way, giving what I would describe as an organic look to textures that look real enough to touch and bitingly sharp.  

The Toscano Cigars by Marco Secchi

The Toscano cigar is the original Italian cigar, manufactured in Lucca and founded in 1818 by the Grand Duke of Tuscany. The cigar is made with top fermented Kentucky tobacco with some of the top types are still rolled by hand.

 

Fuji X100s for street photography by Marco Secchi

I am often asked what settings I use for street photography. First, let’s make sure you have everything you will need, extra batteries and extra memory cards. A fast memory card is essential when shooting raw. ...do not forget your camera!  (Marco Secchi)

Here are my settings for street shooting: Auto ISO: 200-3200 Min. Shutter speed limit: 1/125 Focus AF-C mode Drive Mode S or C: most of the time I am in s mode, c-mode if the situation really calls for it. While in AF-C mode , always awake/never sleep doesn’t work, keep half pressing the shutter from time to time, especially when you spot a potential shot, make sure the camera is not asleep Shutter priority at 1/250 or higher in regular light Optical Hybrid finder vs EVF: depending on the scene, if it is a context or overview shot, OHVF works, however, I found the EVF preferable for precise positioning of the af point since there is no time to reframe/refocus. Develop a solid grip on your camera, experiment, strap around the neck or wrist strap. Learn to change +- dial with out looking at your camera, the same goes for shutter speed, keep your eyes on the street.

Use your x100s a lot, that’s it!

Fuji X Custom Settings by Marco Secchi

Today arrived the new firmware for most of the Fuji X series cameras.  When you update all the custom settings are wiped out as well as cache memory and frame number Here are more or less my latest  custom settings.

Name ISO Dynamic Range Film Simulation White Balance Colour Sharpness Highlight  Shadow  Noise 
Standard AUTO DR100 Provia (standard) Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Landscape Normal 200 DR100 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Landscape  High Contrast 400 DR200 Astia (soft) Auto -1 +1 -1 -2 0
Portrait Neutral 200 DR100 Pro-Neg Standard Auto 0 0 0 0 0
Portrait Neutral Higher Contrast 400 DR200 Pro-Neg High Auto 0 +1 -1 -2 0
B&W Landscape 800 DR100 Mono+Red Auto 0 +1 0 0 0
B&W Portrait 800 DR100 Mono+Green Auto 0 +1 -1 -1 0

 

I have set them according to the subjects I tend to shot so I can change a whole group of settings with a push of the "Q" menu button and a quick turn of the dial.   Finer tweaks to color and highlight/shadow tone were done from experience of using the camera and the above are what I  eventually arrived at after some months of use.

I tend to play quite a bit with Highlight Tome, Sharpness and Shadow Tone so I change them often. For the ISO thee are times when I like to have in AUTO with Standard 200, Max 3200 and min shutter speed at Focal length I am using x1.8

While I like the more saturated colors and higher contrast in Astia (soft) for landscape generally, I found it tended to clip into the shadows too easily so I somewhat reduced the contrast there by making a -2 adjustment.

For portraits the Provia (standard) or Pro-Neg film simulations work well as they are rather neutral and subdued in colour, so render skin tones well.  The Pro-Neg Hi gives the same colours but more contrast.  I reduced the contrast at the shadow end as I found it was clipping to black too readily.

The dynamic range settings work really well and allow the camera to record more detail in highlights and shadows than in a normal exposure.  For the higher DR setting (DR200 is all I have needed) the camera needs to be set to ISO 400 but the sensor/processor is so effective that there is no discernible noise penalty.  It isn't an HDR feature....my understanding is that it works like many other similar features and the camera basically underexposes the image then processes in an exposure and tone curve that avoids clipping at each end.

The Jpeg output is so good on this camera that I shoot Jpeg almost all the time, whereas I only shoot RAW on my Nikon DSLRs.  Images from the X-E1 print superbly and have amazing pixel level sharpness.  The camera seems to resolve beyond what its 16MP sensor should, probably due to the absence of the anti aliasing filter.  Strangely, when 100% images are viewed on a computer monitor, detail can look somewhat mushy due to the unusual colour filter layout of the X-Trans sensor, but images view nicely at normal sizes and print in a very natural way, giving what I would describe as an organic look to textures that look real enough to touch and bitingly sharp.

 

Nikon by Marco Secchi

I shoot all my breaking news and editorial work using a selection of D4, D3s, and D810 with a wide array of prime lenses all exclusively Nikon F2.8 max. I do not need to say or write anything about these cameras and lenses. While on news jobs I can be seen carrying a huge amount of gear for any situation I am a strong believer of “one camera and one lens”.

Nikon D4_HNC7753

The proponent said that the best way to become more creative in your photography (and less addicted to G.A.S. — gear acquisition syndrome) it to stick often to one camera and one lens. It is one of the worst diseases when it comes to photographers. It causes us photographers to make excuses about our gear – rather than going out and making photographs with what we have. By prescribing to the “one camera and one lens” philosophy I got rid of most of the G.A.S. in my system. Sure, whenever a new camera or a new lens came out I got envious, but I still had an underlying philosophy to stick to.

My favorites are old film cameras and Fuji Mirrorless. Film helps me to relax and concentrate more on composition and creativity

In “Outliers”, the prolific writer/sociologist Malcom Gladwell suggested that the most talented people in the world dedicated at least 10,000 hours to their craft before gaining expertise in their field 10,000 hours is a lot of time. Assuming you practiced something for 2 hours a day, it would take you 5,000 days to master something. 5,000 days is roughly 14 years of daily practice.By constantly switching our equipment and gear, we never really get the time to truly know our camera and focal length. Assuming we are diligent enough as photographers to photograph for 2 hours a day, it would still take us 14 years to master our photography (with a given camera or lens).

I believe when it comes to a “one camera and one lens” philosophy, the way to go is with prime lenses over zoom lenses. Why? Prime lenses force you to see the world in a certain way, and whenever the world doesn’t fit the way you exactly want to, you be more creative. Prime lenses also force you to use “foot zoom”, crouch, and experiment with compositions. Zoom lenses tend to make you lazy, as you can just zoom in and out without making as much of an effort.

Sticking with one focal length forced me to be more creative when it came to my photography. If I wasn’t able to fit a subject in my frame at 35mm, I had to make due. Instead of doing a full-body shot of somebody, I might focus on their hands, their feet, or their facial expressions. If I was too far away from my subject, I would either try to incorporate the background more with my subject— or simply take a few steps closer.

My Fuji X Series Cameras & Lenses by Marco Secchi

little fuji My fav. at present is The Fujifilm XT1After starting at the top-end with its X-Pro1, Fujifilm has been steadily expanding its X-series mirrorless camera to appeal to a broader audience. With its X-T1, Fujifilm has moved back towards the high-end, offering a fully-loaded mirrorless camera in a weather-resistant, SLR-style body. There's plenty more where that came from - the X-T1 has one of the largest EVFs we've ever seen, numerous manual control dials and, for the first time on an X-series camera, an optional battery grip.

The 'guts' of the X-T1 are very much like those found on the recent X-E2. This includes the 16 megapixel X-Trans CMOS II sensor (with on-chip phase detection), EXR Processor II, built-in Wi-Fi, and full HD video recording. The main differences between the X-T1 and X-E2 are the LCD (tilting vs fixed) and EVF (in terms of magnification), the maximum burst rate (8 vs 7 fps, now with focus tracking at full speed), a flash sync port and, of course, the design.

The Fuji X series walk-around cameras that can be adapted for wedding work, editorial work heck, even commercial work.

With these cameras I feel unstoppable. Invincible. I no longer need to carry  heavy bulky DSLR around all day – with these cameras I am able to carry an entire kit in a shoulder bag and never tire. With these cameras I rarely miss a photo because I have always have a camera with me.

With these cameras I am stealthy, quick, unobtrusive, silent, a rocket for recording the extraordinary in the mundane of the everyday. My photography changed!

The Fujifilm X-Series range of digital cameras consists of the company Fujifilm's high-end digital cameras and is aimed professional and keen enthusiast photographers. It is part of the larger range of Fujifilm's digital cameras. X-Series itself is not unified by a common sensor size, technology or a lens format. Its main differentiating feature is the emphases on the controls needed by an advanced digital camera user.

I have owned or own at present the following Cameras

  • Fujifilm X100: prime lens digital camera that uses a custom APS-C sized CMOS sensor and Hybrid Viewfinder, and fixed 23mm F2.0 Fujinon lens. Announced at Photokina, September 20, 2010, the X100 launched globally in March 2011. Succeeded by Fujifilm X100S. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X10: advanced compact featuring a 2/3-inch 12-megapixel EXR-CMOS sensor and a high-definition F2.0 wide-angle and F2.8 telephoto Fujinon 4x manual zoom lens (28-112mm). Announced September 1, 2011. Succeeded by Fujifilm X20 SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-Pro1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera that uses the "X-Trans CMOS" sensor and the Fujifilm XF-mount system of lenses. It was announced in January 10, 2012, and launched in March 2012. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-E1: Mirrorless interchangeable-lens camera which is a slimmed-down version of X-Pro1. The modifications include removal of expensive hybrid finder replaced by an upgraded electronic viewfinder. New EVF uses a 2.36M dot OLED unit, out-speccing the X-Pro1's 1.44M dot LCD finder. It was announced on September 6, 2012. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X20: is an the replacement of X10 enthusiast compact camera featuring 2/3-inch X-Trans CMOS II sensor, EXR Processor II and a new advanced optical viewfinder. It was announced onn January 7, 2013.
  • Fujifilm X100S: a redesigned version of the X100 with new sensor-based phase detection, same sensor as Fujifilm X-E2. It was announced January 7, 2013. SOLD
  • Fujifilm X-E2: successor to the X-E1, featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor, larger (3") screen with higher resolution (1.04 M), Digital Split Image technology, Wi-Fi. Announced on October 18, 2013.
  • 2 Fujifilm XT1 a new camera with a weather-sealed body featuring X-Trans CMOS II sensor and tilting LCD screen. It was announced on January 27, 2014. Also the first X-series camera with an optional battery grip, and the first camera from any manufacturer to fully support UHS-II SD cards.

I have the following Lenses

  • Fujinon XF18mm F2 R18mm focal length (27mm equivalent) F2.0-F16 aperture SOLD
  • Fujinon XF35mm F1.4 R35mm focal length (53mm equivalent) F1.4-F16 aperture
  • Fujinon XF60mm F2.4 R Macro 60mm focal length (91mm equivalent) F2.4-F22 aperture SOLD
  • Fujinon XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS 18-55mm focal length (27-83mm equivalent) (F2.8-F4)-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF14mm F2.8 R14mm focal length (21mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 apertureSOLD
  • Fujinon XF55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R OIS55-200mm focal length (83-300mm equivalent)
  • Fujinon XF23mm F2.0 R 23mm focal length (35mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF27mm F2.8 R 23mm focal length (41mm equivalent) F2.8-F22 aperture
  • Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR: A weather-resistant fast telephoto zoom with image stabilization, covering focal lengths equivalent to 75–210mm on full-frame. Officially announced on September 10, 2014.
  • Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5–5.6 R LM OIS WR: A weather-resistant, image-stabilized superzoom, covering focal lengths equivalent to 27–202.5mm on full-frame. Officially announced on June 16, 2014.
  • Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR: An enthusiast-level standard zoom, covering focal lengths equivalent to 24–82.5mm on full-frame, featuring weather-resistant construction. This lens was originally expected to be available in mid-2014, but has been delayed. Officially announced on January 6, 2015 during CES 2015.

Leica M3 and M2 by Marco Secchi

Dad's Leica M3 Camera The Leica M3 is perhaps the one camera that does not actually require an introduction. Voted by STUFF Magazine and Ebay as the “Top Gadget of All Time”

The epitome of vintage style, the Leica M3?s modern incarnations are still held as pinnacles of camera design and lusted by photographer all over the world.

Just the fact that since the Leica M3?s introduction 1954, the basic design of Leica M cameras has not really changed is a testament to how well conceived the Leica M3 is. In fact, one could argue that Leica built such a great camera that they haven’t really done much else since.

The Leica MP, introduced in 2003, nearly 50 years after the Leica M3, is just an inferior, and far more expensive, modern copy.The Leica M3 is Leica’s greatest achievement and also a stark reminder of it’s glorious past.

The Leica M3 was in production for 13 years. Do you know how many M cameras Leica has released in the last 13 years? Eight! That’s roughly one camera every 18 months. You have the Leica M7, MP, M8, M8.2, M9, M9P, M-E and the Leica M Type 240. Leica have become just like every other camera manufacturer in the digital world, pumping out a new camera every 18 months to two years. That’s not even counting their partnership with Panasonic!

In 1954 the Leica M3 inaugurated a completely new era of 35mm cameras. Though SLRs had started to appear earlier (e.g. the Exakta system from the late 1940s), the multiple-frameline rangefinder by Leica offered

the smoothest, fastest, most robust shooting experience available, coupled with the then-already optically superior Leitz lenses.

These cameras were constructed to the absolute highest standards of quality and maintainability (everything was designed to be adjustable over a long, long lifespan). As such, as long as the rangefinder optics are clean (the balsam glue of the beam splitter have a tendency to fail after about 40 years on some examples of the M3, fading or completely disabling the rangefinder) this is a very 'safe' camera to buy on eBay.

My copy (a late-model, single-stroke) truly looks and functions like a new camera, despite it's age of 52 years. It's quickest, smoothest, quietest camera I own. Rangefinders are, of course,much more limited than their SLR counterparts, and this could not be considered a "general purpose" camera anymore, but for anybody still practicing the art of developing and printing their own photographs in an analogue manner, the Leica M3 offers arguably the best body to obtain the ultimate image quality possible from the 35mm format.

Being the first "M", the collectivity (value) of the M3 is sure to increase with time, and finally, as an object considered in its own right (not as a tool) the M3 has timeless beauty and pureness of design.

Regarding lenses, nothing fits a Leica M3 better than a Summicron 50mm f/2 - it's small, chromed, and likely the highest-performance M-mount lens yet made (according to several tests). With this lens, you can imagine the M3 being a fixed-lens camera, it's so compact and well-matched. If the light is good, shoot some Ilford Pan F, and be prepared for prints of unmatched quality from the 35mm format.

Weston Master III Lightmeter by Marco Secchi

Over many years, professional photographers the world over have user Weston exposure meters. Why? Because they fulfill the professional's needs. Extremely accurate in all lighting situations, rugged, generally no reliance on batteries. IMG_1650

The epitome of the selenium cell meter is the Weston Master, which has a long and complicated history, not least because there were both US-built and UK-built versions: the UK company started as a subsidiary of the US-based company (which was founded by an Englishman) and became 51% UK owned (as Sangamo Weston) in 1936.

The Weston Master Universal was introduced in 1939 and remained in production in the UK until about 1950, though the Weston Master II was introduced in the United States in 1945/6. The Weston Master III appeared in 1956; the Weston Master IV in 1965; the Weston Master V in 1967; and the Euro-Master in 1970. Even after Weston lost interest, the Euro-Master was manufactured by Kilbride Instruments in Scotland from 1980 to 84 and then as the Euro-Master II by Megatron in London from 1984 to 2010.

It works as follows: moving the small tab that sticks out from the silver dial adjusts the film speed setting which can be read though the small opening in the red dial. Then take a reading by aiming the meter cell on the bottom of the meter at the subject. If the light levels are high, leave the perforated cover over the selenium cell in place; if the the light is dim, then open the perforated cover. The meter needle will point to a number on the meter scale. The range of numbers for bright light is 25 to 1600 and for low light it goes from .2 to 50. Use the turned up tabs on the black wheel to aim the large silver arrow at the corresonding number on the outermost part of the dial. You can then read all the correct exposure combinations off the silver (shutter speeds) and black (f stops) dials. In other words, a shutter speed that lines up with an adjacent f stop should provide the right exposure.

Manual is here

Fujifilm X100S settings for Black & White by Marco Secchi

With the X100S I shoot with ISO set to Auto, with a base ISO of 200 and a maximum of 3200. Digital noise really isn’t an issue even this high. Trust me. And the shutter speed limit is mostly set to 1/125 of a second, unless I shoot to get some deliberate motion blur, then I find 1/30 sec is perfect. That gives me some motion and energy that can lift a picture to even greater heights. Well enough about that. I promised you my settings, and these are the settings I have come to love by simply shooting, testing, looking, evaluating and readjusting, over and over again for a couple of months. These settings give me pictures with good contrasts and some punch. And I love punchy b&w!
DSCF9507 copy
So the settings for my custom setting C2 for capturing in both RAW and black & white JPGs are as follows:
Image size: L 3:2
Image quality: F+RAW
Dynamic range: DR100
Film simulation: BR (monochrome + R filter)
Sharpness: +1
Highlight tone: +2
Shadow tone: +2
Noise reduction: 0