F.U.N. Photographer of the Month – July 2010

[written by KopiOkaya, edited by Bluffname]

Salnts finally sold his Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro a few weeks ago. Actually, this is no surprise to many of us who know him well. Salnts was in a love-hate relationship with the S5 Pro since day one. In fact, he tried to sell the S5 Pro several times in the past but decided to keep it. So, why do I confer this honorary title on somebody who sold his Fujifilm camera for another brand? Simple. Because some of Salnts’ best works came from the S5 Pro. Several of his S5 Pro pictures were exhibited publicly even though they did not win any awards.

In a recent discussion on SgShoot Photography Forum, Salnts wrote: “KopiOkaya, you seen me start out till now so maybe you are the best judge… I would like to thank KopiOkaya for his guidance shortening my learning curve since day one.”

I will always remember the day I met Salnts (known as “Bigbird17” then). It was quite an adventure…

Salnts and I first “met” on Clubsnap Photography Forum in 2008. He was using a Nikon D80 then. Not completely sure about photography, he posted many questions on the forum and one of his questions which caught my attention was about obtaining the right skin tone colors.

Click image to enlarge.

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

He shot mainly portraits and weddings at that time. I was already using the S5 Pro, so I prompted him to give Fujifilm FinePix DSLR camera a try. Salnts eventually sold his Nikon D80 and bought a used S5 Pro in mid November 2008. He took over a copy which was previously owned by a radiologist who bought the camera in UK. Since the camera was less than a year old, he was unsure if the local Fujifilm Service Centre (FSC) would honor the UK warranty. Several emails to FSC later, he had no problems getting it covered under local warranty.

After he bought the S5 Pro, he participated in several paid model shoots. From these shoots, he slowly discovered the true beauty of FinePix cameras –  pleasing skin tones and natural colors.

Then Salnt’s family went to Cambodia on a vacation. His sister and he were the “official” family photographers. He was using the S5 Pro and his sister brought along a Nikon D40. This was when he truly appreciated the colors of FinePix cameras. The pictures were later compiled into a photobook which he proudly showed to me.

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

Throughout his S5 Pro journey, Salnts has been using several camera systems, both digital and film. He has always been enticed by the “film-like” look. So to him, pictures should possess some grain to look “natural”. As technology advances, digital cameras have become “quieter”. However, Salnts showed no interest in this. Rather, he would go for cameras which can give him “film-like” images. And the S5 Pro fits his criteria nicely. He decided to hang on to it, together with his Nikon FM SLR film camera, a Seagull TLR film camera and a Ricoh GR Digital.

The peeling rubber grip is one of the problems that plagues the S5 Pro. Salnts’ camera was not spared.  In October 2009, Salnts decided to bring his S5 Pro to FSC to have the rubber grip replaced. He called FSC beforehand and was quoted about S$80 for the repair cost, but he was told another price while at the service centre. Apparently, there was a miscommunication between Fujifilm service staff. Well, it turned out that his misfortune became a fortune for the rest of the FinePix users. FSC decided to implement a uniform price list for all its services.

Earlier this year, Salnts decided to participate in the 5th Ngee Ann Photography Exhibition. By now, he already had a wide collection of images taken with the S5 Pro. Two of his works were selected.

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

Salnts is one of F.U.N’s. earliest members. He has made many contributions to F.U.N. in the past 21 months. He designed the F.U.N. polo shirt (read about it HERE). He contributed an article to our website (read about it HERE). His feedbacks on customer service at FSC helped all Fujifilm customers gain even better service quality. He participated and contributed his photographs to the Fujifilm Photo Gallery at IT Show 2010 (read about it HERE).

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

[photo: Salnts] Fujifilm FinePix S5 Pro

Even though Salnts has sold his S5 Pro and is no longer a FinePix camera user, we still welcome him to join us in all F.U.N. activities. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.

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