• Axel Melkonian

I've realized that my blog writing is sporadic.


I always have this dreamy association with writing a blog, I love the idea of it but at the same time I never really seem to take the time to sit down and write.


It might be because I feel this need to have a concise and planned list of what I should be writing about rather than just sitting down and writing. I guess that this then leads me to procrastinate and try and think of things to write rather than actually writing anything.


I've recently had my birthday. I was very fortunate to get a great gift from my wife and and a lovely one from my Dad.


They happen to go very well together, a Fujifilm X-H1 and the Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4


I already own an Fujifilm X-T3. It's a camera that I purchased about a year or so ago when we went for a trip to Bali and I wanted a lighter more compact camera system to compliment my Nikon D850.


I really love the Fuji mirror-less system and the amazing colors that Fujifilm produces in it's JPG's. When I heard that there was a sale on the discontinued X-H1 and more importantly that my local authorized dealer actually had one brand new in box, I had to grab it.


I'm lucky enough to have picked up the last piece in the region. It's one of the last pieces manufactured by Fujifilm as well and came complete with the grip and extra batteries.


It's nice to have to compliment the X-T3. The build of the X-H1 is a step above the X-T3 and it's in body stabilization really comes in handy. Plus that leaf shutter...omg, what a shutter and what a sound.


I've started to use the X-H1 as my everyday, go anywhere camera. It's tough enough to take abuse and paired with either the 23mm wr f2, or the 50mm wr f2, it makes a great weather sealed body and lens setup.


Living in the middle of a desert where humidity is super high most of the year round and sand is everywhere, this really comes in handy.


Well, those are some thoughts for today, some things that have been going on with me recently and my latest gear news.


Until next time.



Here are some shots taken with the X-H1.






  • Axel Melkonian

Updated: Apr 20

We all like gear. We all like buying new gear. But do we all store our gear correctly?


In this blog I'd like to run through how I store my camera gear and lenses.



This is my method, It's not the only way to do it, nor am I saying it's the way you should do it. I just thought I'd share some of my best practices with you.


EDIT: * April 2020 *


A little after writing this post in December 2019, I actually decided to upgrade my camera/lens storage solution.


As I live in a very hot and humid country, and given the investment in gear that I have made...I thought it only logical to properly invest in keeping it well kept.


So with that said I upgraded to a dry cabinet. I did a lot of research and after quite a bit of reading, decided to go with a brand called 'Ruggard'. They make different size dry cabinets for different gear storage requirements.


A dry cabinet is a humidity controlled cabinet where you are able to regulate and control the humidity level inside it. Mine is set to 38% humidity most of the time.


You can see a picture below.





Original Post: How you store your gear will vary depending predominantly on the climate and environment you keep it in.


As a basic rule of thumb though, always try to keep your gear in a dry, not too cold or not too hot climate away from direct sunlight. A cool, dry cupboard does the trick well enough.



When storing gear for longer periods of time, it's always a good idea to take batteries out of your camera bodies and store them separately.


Keeping your gear clean is something that should be done regularly after each shoot/use so that harmful elements such as dirt/sand and fungus don't accumulate on your precious lenses and cameras.


One of the main things to avoid when storing your gear, is exposing them to high humidity as this can encourage growth of bacteria and fungus inside your lenses and camera bodies. In worst case scenarios this could seriously damage your gear and cause you to loose a lot of money.


If you know you'll be storing your items for a while, it's best to keep them inside a de-humidifying cabinet if your able to afford and buy one but if not, you can make your own DIY home-made versions too.


Below I'll show you how I've made mine with some basic items like air tight sealed plastic containers and some silica gel (moisture absorbent sachets).


First of all, order some Silica Gel Sachets from somewhere like Amazon. I bought two bags of 100 pieces for about $20.00.



Next, take an air tight (this is important) seal-able food container which is the right size for your needs, and line it with some anti-slip foam.



Then underneath this foam, place load of the Silica Gel Sachets. The foam has holes in it to allow the silica gel to be effective.


In each of your lens bags, please 1-2 silica gel sachets and then place the lenses face down into the container.



Throw in a few more sachets for good measure and close the lid. Make sure the lid is on properly so that the contents are air-tight.



You can also add silica gel sachets to your camera bags and storage pouches. This will help keep your items dry and moisture free when traveling and during shoots.


I hope this helps guide a few more people in the right direction when it comes to storing camera gear.


We tend to spend a lot of money on our cameras and lenses, if we don't look after them properly though and get damaged or fall foul of mold and mildew it would be a real shame.


If you have any questions on gear care, please just send me a DM on Instagram (@axel.melkonian) or via the contact form or comments section on this site and I'd be happy to get back to you.


Until next time!


-Axel.


  • Axel Melkonian

Updated: Oct 7, 2019

GAS. We all have it, but how do YOU handle it?


Now, when I say GAS, I don't mean the type that your probably thinking of!


What I'm talking about is 'Gear Acquisition Syndrome'.



Lot's of lovely images of gear by a myriad of photographers. We all collect gear, we all have GAS.


Let's face it, everyone loves to purchase new gear. Whether it's a new lens, a new camera body, or studio lights and strobes - the feeling of spending money and buying new stuff is always great.


The question I want to ask though, is how often do we really need to do it?


So many of these purchases are done purely from a consumer society compulsion of feeling like we NEED that new item when in reality we probably don't...


Do we really use all of our gear to it's max potential, or do we just like that rush of excitement when we go out and buy something?


I have a lovely D850. It's a fantastic piece of gear and one that I don't use to it's max. Yet I have this strong urge to go out and buy a Nikon Z6.


I'd love to have a second camera body but I don't think I can really justify it or even really need it for what I do. It's an insane feeling but given consumerism it's still there.


Let me know your thoughts on GAS. How do you handle it, what was your last purchase?