09 January 2014

Some Photo Fun

It has been a while since my last post. I've gotten lazy with the blog, but there is just too much work and if I'm not at work I enjoy my new R1200GS and the new Fuji X-E2 camera.

Since I got the Fuji X-E1 that I took with me to Germany and later the X-E2 (I sold the X-E1) it has been quite a lot of fun. We've been to San Francisco for a Saturday, just walking around and taking photos, we've been to to Germany for a family visit, I have ridden my GS in the area, sometimes alone, sometimes with Andrea, and over Christmas we flew down to San Diego for some time away from home.

I got the Fuji X-E2 with the 18-55mm f2.8-4 zoom "kit lens". Some might say that this zoom isn't really a kit lens, it's way too good for that, and I might agree if I would actually use it ... Only the photos of Andrea on the beach in her new motorcycle gear were taken with that lens though. As I also have a Fuji 35mm f1.4 prime lens (53mm equivalent), I'm using mainly that one. Also, I found a nice Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4 lens for Leica M mount which I'm using on the Fuji with an adaptor. I haven't used the other Minolta lenses much since I got the 35 and the 90mm as these two are just too good to not use.

This is from our trip to San Francisco:

We shot a lot more photos that day, but the above are the best ones from me. All shot with the Fuji X-E2 and the 35mm Fuji prime lens.

Now, some photos from Germany ...

Inside the Cathedral in Bonn

The Cathedral in Cologne

Inside the Cathedral in Cologne

Now, as you might know, one of the goals we set ourselves when flying to Germany was to find motorcycle gear that actually fits us. Not that easy as a lot of motorcycle riders (the men, not so much the women as it seem) have a slightly different shape than we do. Tall and slim sizes don't seem too common here, narrow hips and waist the same. But okay, while we were in Germany we drove around quite a lot and stopped at some motorcycle gear shops. Compared to the US these are a total paradise! Awesome selection, a lot of sizes actually available, at least for the more common gear, more high quality brands, and all still for halfway reasonable prices.

In the end even I found something that fits like it's tailored for me. I don't have it yet, but it's now ordered and will get sent here soon. Andrea on the other hand didn't find all too much. She looked at similar brands as I did but the gear didn't fit her all too well or was not what she was looking for. Jackets were often flared out way too much around the hips, the trousers too wide and too short (go figure ...), or the gear was plain not available in her sizes.

But back here, we were lucky - when we got back to the US we looked around here again and she found gear that fits her great, again from BMW, just as the summer gear she already has. This time it's wind- and waterproof gear for colder times. And yes, we do have colder weather here, too ...

BMW TourShell Suit

Andrea with her new gear and her BMW R1200R

The photos above look a little bit like out of a gear catalogue, but were actually shot along CA1 here at the coast. And so far, Andrea loves the suit. Warm and comfortable.

Over Christmas we headed South to San Diego to have some time away from home, something that feels like vacation, even though I had to work from time to time, watch services and attend phone conferences. But it was pretty much only the 25th and 26th, and even on these days I was free most of the time.

Here we are near the San Diego Convention Center, Andrea showing off that size sometimes does matter ...

Size Matters - Andrea with her Canon and the huge tele zoom

The city does have good public transport - at least it worked well for us

And if not, you can "simply" rent a bicycle.
Although it costs an arm and a leg.

The USS Midway Aircraft Carrier, now a museum

Our hotel was in the gaslamp quarter.

Now, the only two photos in this collection that I shot with the Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4 (manual focus) lens:

A musician in Balboa Park

It's a great portrait lens, even though it is a little bit slow at f4, but I appreciate that most of the facial and head features are in focus. On my Fuji it has a field of view like a 135mm lens, shows great out of focus blur, and is really, really tiny. At some point I'll also post photos of my current camera setup that I'm very happy with.

Now, for some trivia, a few of you might remember the movie "Top Gun". Did you know that part of the set was filmed in San Diego? Most of it on the Naval Base, but two scenes at a local pub, the "Kansas City Barbecue". Could we pass on this opportunity? No, of course not. We had dinner there one night:

Inside the Kansas City Barbecue in San Diego

The Kansas City Barbecue

And last but not least, a rare photo of your's truly. Also still from San Diego.


  1. Stunning photos, as always. You really do have an eye for photography Guido.

    Good to hear you two are doing well and keeping busy.

    I, like Andrea, have always had trouble finding gear with the legs or arms long enough. Manufacturers seem to think when you need them longer the girth needs to be larger too, when it doesn't.

    Rev'it is all I've found and even then had to go with mens pants as they are longer. Might have to look into BMW gear.

    What brand gear did you finally pick?

  2. Thank you! I think I'm getting better and more considerate with my photos. It's a bit weird, for me it's quite a bit about the gear - which it of course shouldn't be, but my brain is wired a certain way.

    If you hand me a point and shoot camera, I make point and shoot photos, if I have a zoom, I make slightly better point and shoot photos. With the new Fuji I got back into using prime lenses (I have used the zoom I got with it only one time, even though it is really good) and this helped me settling down, walking around and evaluating more, taking more considerate photos.

    The pants on Andrea's new suit could be a bit longer (like 2 inches or so), but as she is wearing very high boots with the Sidi Adventure, this isn't an issue. The armor is adjusted in the lowest position and that seems to fit quite well.

    I ended up ordering a Force Pro from Stadler in Germany. I will have photos when this arrives. The good thing with this suit is that it is cut more like a sporty leather suit, which fits me better than the baggy adventure style suits. And I was able to get pants in EU98 size (EU48 in long) and a jacket in 50, which fits surprisingly well. We'll see when this all gets here. Probably two to three weeks from now.

  3. Gear shopping in Germany… we are loving it, what a selection! It's just fun browsing, since we don't need anything right now…

    Brilliant pictures. You should send the one with Andrea in full gear to BMW for their next issue ;-)

    I wasn't aware that Top Gun was filmed around san Diego, but one gotta love some movie trivia.

    Don't work too hard. Life is short.

    1. Was thinking about the BMW picture, too ... ;-) Need to go back to Germany for more shopping at some point.