Sep 252014
 

Country visions

By Doug Barry-Martin

Hi Steve,

Having followed your blog for some time now it is interesting to see its influence on my photography . I now shoot some landscape subjects with a narrow depth of field to focus more on the subject whereas before I probably may not have considered it.

I recently had the opportunity to stay at a farm in a rugged valley near Nelson, New Zealand.  It had been raining for a few days and the morning was cold and dark and a bit misty so I took the opportunity to get out my old faithful combo of 5D Mk1 and 24-105 L lens. It is still my best camera and I enjoy using it despite its primitive menu and hard to read viewfinder info. Yes the 7D is a much better camera to use but I enjoy the slower 5D more (and the image quality eats the 7D). My Fuji X100 is a great companion to the 5D and a useful hiking camera but again the 5D has better IQ. I have recently also bought a Panasonic LF1 and it is a very handy and fun pocket cam but not for serious photography.

The 5D handled the gloom admirably and gave me some nice moody images.

The shot of the shed is two images combined.

You can see more on my Flickr site. www.flickr.com/photos/dougbm/

Keep up the good work. It is great to have a photo site like this where we can get inspiration from many different photographers.

Regards

Doug

Your holiday accommodation awaits…

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Beautiful girl…

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140 year old walnut trees and happy chooks

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Lovely views from the farm

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The old shed

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I am lichen this fence post. : )

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Deep in the woods…

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Aug 052014
 

USER REPORT: Shooting the Sigma Dp2 Quattro and Fuji X100

By Michal Adamczak

Hi Steve and all,

I wanted to share my experience with Fujifilm X100 and Sigma DP2 Quattro. Attached are the pictures I took during my last trip with X100 as well as during my first trip with DP2Q. Note that the X100 pictures were developed from RAWs, while in case of Sigma they all are out of camera JPEGs (except for the balloon picture which I developed from RAW with corrected exposure). That may be not a fair comparison but I don’t really mean to compare them against each other. While I have been shooting RAWs only with X100, for practical reasons I plan to change my workflow with my new camera and use the OOC JPEGs most of the time. The size of the Sigma RAW files and the speed of their PhotoPro, the only software supporting the camera, make working with the DP2Q RAW files quite troublesome.

Back in 2011 I decided I would not carry a DSLR during my next trip. I though I would buy the best P&S I could find, one with a fairly big sensor and ideally with a bright prime lens – if there was such a camera. I had not been really following the market and was happy to found out that Fuji just released X100 – the camera I dreamed up and it was just a few clicks away from being mine! (Obviously the Fuji product managers must have dreamt about it a year or so before I did.) The camera looked great and felt good; even more so with the leather case which covered some of the plastic parts. Nothing is perfect but the camera was very close it to. I was happy with the image quality; the ergonomics and controls were great too – no need to enter menu while shooting. If I could change anything that would be the Manual Focus which I found out not really useable. I would love to have a mechanical focus ring in a “street” camera.

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Fujifilm X100 felt great and I love shooting with 35mm yet I found it limiting at times and wanted to change perspective. If the tele conversion lens for X100 was available a few months ago – I might have ended up buying just it. But it was not. I was in Japan when Fujifilm XT1 was released and if it was available in a small photo shop in Okinawa I visited – I would probably have bought it. But it was not. Then I found some pictures from Sigma DP Merrill cameras and knew what would be my next camera. And it turned out an updated version was about to be released!

Sigma DP2 Quattro is very well made. I like the futuristic design though I would still prefer they kept it shorter, even if thicker and taller, to make it more pocketable (which it is not). The camera feels a bit weird to hold at first but personally I find the ergonomics good *if* using both hands; it is not comfortable to use with one hand only. The menu and buttons are well organised, LCD is good except.. that in no way it is a substitute for a viewfinder. I was using EVF 90% of the time on X100 and that is probably what I miss most in DP2Q. I have read a lot about how slow Sigma Merrill was. I cannot compare it with Merrill, Quattro is not a speed demon but I don’t find its speed a huge problem either. Autofocus is fairly fast in good light (similar to X100) but can be very slow in low light (then again – it is not a low light camera). It takes about 8 seconds to write a single photo and there is a buffer for 7 pictures. Depending on shooting style it can very little or just enough. Personally I don’t remember filling the buffer while shooting. I find it very annoying, however, that the camera is not useable 2 seconds after taking a shot.

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Sigma DP Quattro offers quite a few usability improvements over Merrill but at the same time have somehow compromised Foveon sensor with low resolution Red and Green layers. It was a hard choice to make , but eventually I could not resist and decided to take the blow and test DP2Q myself. One of the reasons was supposedly improved JPEG engine (especially considering that the Sigma RAW files can be process only with Sigma’s own software). So how the image quality live up to the hype? Well, see for yourself. Overall I like the rendering, it’s smooth and have somehow painting like feeling. While I find the default sharpening too aggressive, there is definitely a lot of details there – just check the people on the beach or next to the balloons. Disappointingly there is a noticeable smearing in some parts of the pictures – check the grass in the shadow on the balloons picture. The camera gets very noisy starting from ISO 800 – check the incense picture; I find the B&W part very nice, however the red colour is washed away. (For a comparison ISO 3200 picture from X100.)

International Balloon Fiesta

Incense

Retro X100 and futuristic DP2Q – the cameras are quite different to use and have different strengths. I find it a good opportunity to “change a perspective” which after all was the reason to change my camera. I am still learning about DP2Q. I have a bit mixed opinion regarding the image quality – there is a lot of “good” there but some “bad” as well. I was considering using the low resolution JPEGs (without extrapolation) but while 19MP is more than I need, 6MP is a bit too little. The camera feels good though and I am looking forward to using it during my next trips. I will probably buy an optical viewfinder which shall solve its biggest, usability wise, problem.

Michal Adamczak

A few from the X100…

Super nanny / Super niania

Najlepsza knajpa na Tokashiki.

House with a view / Domek z widokiem

Bramy nocą

Japanese wedding

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and a few from the Dp2 Quattro

Nephila pilipes

Emerald Valley

Youzihhu

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Jul 072014
 

Fuji X100 Full User Report

By Matt Cole

Hi Steve,

I am a 21-year-old film student from Canada who has always had a passion for cameras and photography. Like many photographers I struggled to find a subject that I liked to shoot and a camera that I loved. I started off with the Fuji X10 several years ago and moved on from there. Over the past 3 years I have gone through more cameras than you would imagine; I have owned a Canon Rebel T2I, Sony NEX-3,6&7, Fuji X-E2, Olympus E-M5, Panasonic GX7, and a Leica M8&9. But to me, none of these cameras could hold a candle to my beloved Fuji X100. There was something special about the X100 that just made me want to go out and shoot and my problems of finding what I liked to shoot slowly melted away as I fell more and more in love with this magical little camera.

Recently I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to travel through Europe for 2 weeks by myself and 2 weeks with my girlfriend and when it came time to choose what camera came with me on the trip there was not even a question; without a single hesitation I packed up my camera bag with my X100, 2 extra batteries and a lens hood, and that’s it! This camera is the do-it-all wonder; it is small, well-built, and the 35mm equivalent lens is the perfect all around lens for landscapes, street, and portraits. Not to mention the lens is extremely sharp and renders images in a spectacular way!

I know this has been said so many times, but one of the things I love most about this camera is its retro look. As a new photographer that is what originally attracted me to the camera before I knew much about it. Now, as with everything in life, nothing is perfect; as many have stated before the autofocus is not the fastest and the menus are not the most intuitive, but this camera is so amazing that it allows me to look past its flaws and see it for what it truly is. One remarkable camera that will be remembered for years to come!

Although the X100 is quite old (in the digital era), it has dazzling low-light performance and the ooc jpg’s have great color! During my whole month spent in Europe I did not encounter a single situation this camera could not handle. I brought the camera everywhere with me from walking on the beach to late night adventures on the streets of Cannes with some new friends. The X100 powered through it all, and with great ease. Not to mention, the hybrid optical viewfinder was an absolute joy to use late at night when the evf would lag slightly due to the low lighting conditions!

On the whole, this camera is the best camera I have owned; not to say that the others I have owned were not fantastic. I found that this was the best camera for me, for others there will probably be a better camera it really just depends on who you are and how you like to shoot. I find that the best camera is the one that makes you want to go out and shoot and for me that is the Fuji X100.

Here is a link to my Flickr page: https://www.flickr.com/photos/123579812@N06/

Cables

Cannes

London

Map

Metro

Paris

Tower

Tunnel

View

Jun 262014
 

Shimmering Light in Venice with the Fuji X100

By Drew Raitt

Hey Steve!

Maybe your readers would be interested in my recent trip to Venice.  The shimmering light of Venice is extraordinary! I live in North Devon U.K. overlooking the Atlantic ocean and here the sea is normally cool grey or blue. But in Venice, in April, the water is a translucent green, reflected, subsumed and suffused into every nook and cranny of this lovely city.

As a landscape photographer it took a while to adjust to shooting buildings and canals where there is no horizon. Sure I took loads of shots across the lagoon but the inner alleys and waterways are where the best images are found. Here the light works magic, although colours are subdued every building seems to glow , faded paint and pastel shades come alive, in every shadow there is a glimmering, a warmth that feels unique to me. I carried only my brilliant Fuji X100 (purchased thanks to great earlier reviews by Steve and others on this site). I know things have moved on in the Fuji World and now I am hankering for maybe the XT1 with a 56mm lens but for Venice the 23mm on the X100/s is superb.

I shot pretty much in programme mode and even in the deepest dusk managed to grab the image I wanted. I felt I needed to take time over each shot, savour the light and the atmosphere. In the early morning and late evening Venice is subdued, like the light, calm and quiet and around every corner is a painting waiting to be explored. I only use the electronic viewfinder which to me seems clear and precise whatever I throw at it. With the back screen off I avoided the temptation to ‘chimp’. The exposure compensation dial is incredible, easy to access without taking your eye away from the camera and instantly responsive in the viewfinder. So plus or minus two stops enabled me to fine tune the image I wanted to take. Using Astia mode for a more natural look, plus raw mode, I shot 260 images in four days and still had plenty of battery power left. The enclosed shots are all Jpgs with shadows,highlights and tone curve adjusted very slightly in Lightroom 4. I suppose it is obligatory to visit St Mark’s Square where there are a thousand others making their images. I have never seen so much camera gear slung around, it seems, every neck and in every hand a smart phone. I am no street shooter, the concept is alien to a rural photographer, but I felt so inconspicuous with the tiny X100 every thing became possible. In this shot five Policemen walked across the square which seemed to empty for a second, one of them stopped for a moment so I took the opportunity to photograph him. The other images I enclose I believe speak for themselves about the wonderful beauty of this place. many regards and thanks for such a great website.

Drew Raitt

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May 072014
 

Memories of New Zealand…and Julia

By Doug Barry-Martin

Once upon a time in a land far away there was a Pōwhiri…
and a tall man turned to a beautiful stranger.

I met Julia at the Waitangi Day Pōwhiri (greeting) at the local Maori Marae (meeting-house) in Nelson, New Zealand on
Waitangi Day. This commemorates a significant day in the history of New Zealand. It is a public holiday held each year on 6 February to celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, New Zealand’s founding document, on that date in 1840.

The crowd was waiting outside and were asked to turn to the nearest stranger and to give them (or share with them) a Hongi (nose to nose Maori greeting). I turned and saw an attractive women and thought ‘yes’ and so it went. We spent a half day together and continued to see each other over the next few days. Julia is a German woman in her thirties on a return visit to New Zealand in order to see if she would relocate here. Anyway she continued her travels a little but we arranged to go in a camping holiday on the West Coast of the South Island together about two months ago. I took my trusty Canon 5D MK1 and 24-105mm f4 lens and my ever-present companion the Fuji X100 I bought new 3 years ago when it first burst onto the scene.

The first stop was actually in Nelson at Tahunanui beach where we had a nice kebab. “We are not going to get far at this rate” we thought. Next stop an hour or so south was the beautiful Nelson Lakes. A popular scenic spot but noted for its sandflies. After a lovely walk on the shores of Lake Rotoiti we drove to the adjacent Lake Rotoroa in order to set up camp. Having chosen a spot near some bush, and as we were setting up at dusk, we were over run by hungry sandfles. Fortunately Julia was clever enough to buy some really good sandfly repellent from the Nelson markets the day before. Thank God for that!

So we discovered that camping in early Autumn in the South Island is cold but was rewarded the next morning with beautiful scenery as the sunrise caused the lake to steam off it’s water as vapors.

The Pōwhiri – X100

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Julia – X100

Point and Shoot – easy Scenic shots at Nelson lakes (Lake Rotoiti) – X100

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A clear evening at the lake (Lake Rotoroa) -5D

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A cold but moody morning at Nelson lakes (Lake Rotoroa). – 5D

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A cold start but a sublime view at Nelson lakes (Lake Rotoroa). – 5D

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So after camping at the Nelson Lakes we aimed to make it to Karamea at the top of the West Coast (as we had the day before too!).

It was not to be as we both seem to be ‘side track’ artists.

We had hardly driven 50km when we stopped at the Buller Gorge Swing bridge and spent a few hours there.
Julia was drawn to the water – and to the derelict machines and we even created a bit of rock art and saw a jet boat.
At the time it appeared Julia had the 5D (how trusting am I??) and I grabbed it of her and just managed to get a shot. They are damn fast!

The Buller Gorge really is a lovely drive and the swing bridge (New Zealand’s longest) is worth a visit.

Swing… – 5D

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Don’t look down! – 5D

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She started it!! The rock art. I went for gold with the third smallest and the smallest piece. Buller gorge. – 5D

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We did have to abandon the idea of camping a) because we, as was becoming our pattern, arrived in Westport late (6pm) and b) it was obviously going to be a typically wet West Coast night. We got a cabin in a holiday park which was hardly our idea of camping but it was OK and there were some interesting folks. Not least the old fellow without a leg who was touring the South Island.

A friendly local (and there were a few of those in Westport) recommended a walk for us the next day. About 45 min north of Westport there is a small mining operation and beside it runs a creek along a disused coal mining railway. Charming Creek certainly lived up to its name – especially after so much rain. The hours walk to the booming waterfall was well worth it and all the better for being so wet and green. It was more raging river than creek and a great dose of the West coast environment. Of course the wild beaches really define the coast as much as the damp green hills. I recently read New Zealander Elanor Catton’s 2013 Man Booker Prize winner The Luminaries set in Hokitka. Recommend as a masterclass in writing and a damn good yarn although maybe slightly too clever for its own good and at 800 pages requiring a good deal of dedcation from the reader.

After this we again heading towards our destination of Karamea – as far as you can go almost over the ranges via a long winding road to the semi-tropical north. Hangout of eccentrics and dropouts, entrepreneurs and lovers of nature. And near the beginning of the Heaphy track – a popular 4-5 day walk in Kahurangi National Park

A walk along a disused coal mine railway – a green tunnel – X100

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A walk along a disused coal mine railway – a rock tunnel- X100

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The Bridge to …..??- X100

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The thundering falls of Charming Creek after the rain – I needed a person for scale. They would be about as tall as the smallest rock in the middle! – X100

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Charming Creek froths after the rain (still raining as you can see) – X100

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After a night in Westport and a fantastic walk up Charming Creek we finally set our sights on the far north over the ranges.
A beautiful winding road through super lush native forest eventually drops us into the plains not far from Karamea. On the way we deviate to a small idyllic lake and just generally soak in all the greenery.

We blow right through Karamea after fortuitously making it to the store 2 minutes before it closes. God we nearly missed out on buying beer and wine!! What sort of camping would that be? About 16km north of the small sleepy hamlet of Karamea is the DOC (Department of Conservation) campsite at the beginning of the Heaphy track. We set up camp just before dark (as usual) trying not to get too much of the view-blocking white camper van in our sights and cook our dinner. Usually we take turns each night and the fare is not too bad.

We awake to a lovely morning and I arise first in time to get some of that magic early morning light. It’s a bit nippy though folks! The sun soon warms us up and after driving back into town to check things out we finally set off on the track for a walk up to Scotts beach. We had thought of going to a DOC hut on the track but you have to book and pay online beforehand. Too much bother so we enjoyed what we did anyway.

The Scotts Beach/Heaphy track climbs steadily through beautiful bush studded with nikau palms, karaka and rata.

After a stunning sunset we have yet another cool night in the tent and the next morning we set of early (for us – 9am!). Prior to setting off I bump into Courtney and Brian whom I was sharing a house/community dwelling with recently in Nelson. A lovely young American couple they had descended from a hut during the night and were rewarded with several Kiwi sightings but had the misfortune to have their tent nearly taken out at full tide by a big wave as they were camped on the beach. They were shaken but not stirred and their usual chipper selves the next day when I encountered them.

After this we called in at the famous Rongo backpackers – mainly to see Paul. I was lucky to meet with him and he was his usual affable, larger than life self. The place itself is well worth a look with lots of eccentric artworks and a graffiti wall in the hall. Nowadays backpackers seem overrun with quiet iPad scrolling young people making them seem somewhat like a digital library.

A mans work is never done…gidday mate!! – X100

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Alone in paradise (almost!). Scotts beach. – X100

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The beautiful wild West Coast – 5D All 5D from here on except the very last.

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Morning has broken…

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And evening falls golden upon us…

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See how small we are…

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And the fire of the sun’s last gasp lights the land…

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As the poetic moon rises in the sky…

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So we departed Karamea and headed south towards the popular Punakaiki (or pancake ) Rocks about 40 min south of Westport.
The lookout walkway forms a circle and was populated with asian tourists prompting Julia to comment that it looked like the great wall of China!

As usual we had no real plans for where to stay. However fortuitously I had asked a local in the car park of a supermarket a few days previously where we could camp up north of Westport etc. When we arrived at Punakaiki we went to the tourist information office to see about potential camping spots. The fellow I approached recognised me and declared ” I know you, you are looking for freedom camping!”. I was rather perplexed by this. He, it turned out, was the fellow I had talked to in that car park! He (ahem) quietly recommended an ‘unofficial’ spot to camp not too far from Punakaiki. Other than that he said the local camp grounds were good (we soon ascertained that they were not to our taste but were a good source of clean water (ahem).

So we proceeded up a long and twisty and somewhat rough gravel road with the most beautiful scenery. It was a lush gorge lined with sheer rock cliffs and covered in greenery.

At the end we found a lone tree and a beautiful mountain range vista painted by the setting sun. We quickly found a flat spot to set up camp in the long grass. However the car was parked some distance from where we wanted to erect the tent and couldn’t be driven closer due to some rough ground. We needed to use the car to pump up the king sized mattress with the electric charger. Julia had the bright idea of assembling the tent with the mattress inside near the car and then carrying the whole thing with inflated mattress to the site. Brilliant!! As usual we just managed to have beers and scrape together a meal and soak up the scene before it got dark and spent another cool night ‘roughing it ‘ on a comfy mattress! What was wonderful was we had the whole place to ourselves which was a lovely change from the white camper van posse of the Heaphy track’s DOC campground.

The power of the West Coast lies as much in its rugged beauty as its rugged weather…

Even the well-known is still sublime… Punakaiki.

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But there are still secret spots…

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Idyllic camp site

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Sleeping beauty

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We set off the next day to head back to Nelson. After a couple of nights in Nelson I drove Julia to Picton to catch the Ferry to the North Island.
After we said our goodbyes that was the last time I saw her in person. She would like to return soon but doesn’t know when she can.
All I know is that my holiday with Julia was special and I have some wonderful memories (and photos) of it.

Thanks Julia!!

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THE END

Many more images from this holiday can be seen on my Flickr stream

Regards from New Zealand

Doug Barry-Martin
http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbm/

Mar 262014
 

A Month on the Road with the Fuji x100/Why It Is Still My Soulmate

By Andy Eclov

Hi Steve, thanks for the opportunity to share my story!

My name is Andy, I’m a 21-year-old musician from Chicago. I spend about 3-5 months out of the year touring with my band and, for a while, I would bring my 1D with several lenses and two-speed lights on tour, but that was ultimately too much to lug around and too much to risk losing.

I then spent about a year shooting photos only with my shiny new iPhone 5 so that I would be forced to compose with the provided lens, and have to work to get nice lighting situations. Just like Steve said in his recent article, I sometimes focus too much on the beauty and acquisition of photography gear and not enough on the process.

iPhone

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The convenience was obviously there with the iPhone, but the quality was suffering, and so was my interest in taking photos. Being able to shoot a photo, edit it in-hand, and upload it to my blog in less than 5 minutes was an undeniable benefit that I didn’t want to go without by going back to the Canon gear. So I spent my countless hours of research and review-reading focused on the mirrorless systems. The Fuji x100 was an easy choice. It stood out to me physically, the viewfinder is attractive, and the photos have a certain sparkle to them when compared to similar cameras’ photos. Being a collector of 35mm rangefinders and SLRs made the Fuji impossible to pass up.

Iphone

Processed with VSCOcam with f1 preset

I spent a couple of months carrying the x100 with me everywhere, spending as much time as possible getting to know it and it’s quirks. I scoured the internet in search of every accessory I could justify (or afford).

Fuji

Austin TX Fuji

But before too long, the snowy and freezing Chicago suburbs got in the way of any motivation to go out and take photos every day. Besides the studio project from time to time, my x100 was bound to taking photos of my puppy in the kitchen for a while.

Finally the time came to head out on another tour, and I was delighted to finally have an opportunity to shoot with the Fuji. I appreciate that I was able to spend so much time getting the camera set up just right for my exact specifications, it seems like a very customizable interface – once you get the hang of it.

Fuji

Broken Arrow OK Fuji

Kansas City Fuji

The camera came out every time I got out of our van. No matter what the scenario, it was beautiful to see it through that viewfinder. It gave me a reason to be the first one awake every day. I’d try to get an idea of what the city we were in each night was like, and then the next morning I’d walk and snap photos for a while before we moved on to the next place.

I used my wifi SD card to send my images from my camera to my phone, where I would edit them with VSCO cam and some other apps, and then post them to my blog right away. Before long I couldn’t stand the quality I was losing by compressing the original files through my iPhone anymore and decided to take the time to shoot RAW and edit more carefully and selectively.

Fuji

St Louis Fuji

Brookyln NY Fuji

I think shooting with the Fuji x100 has made me a better photographer and I think it will continue to do so. More than anything, it keeps me in love with my photography. Though it may be nearly outdated already by some’s standards, I think this camera will stay with me for a long, long time.

I keep a detailed blog of my travels here: noctevolant.tumblr.com

 

Mar 072014
 

Faces of Malaysia

By Wijnand Schouten

I went with my family to Malaysia.

My wife is half Malaysian so I met a lot of relatives whom made it possible to stay far away from the tourism roads..Which is a good thing at my opinion. I love faces of people and met a lot of them. Trying to get them out of a pose and get the moment of them they are in at that time. Nothing can be taken…all is there to be received. With all the beautiful colours in Malaysia i still prefer black/white processing though.:).

All shots were made with my Fuji X100s and worked on it in Lightroom.

Greetings from Wijnand Schouten

www.wijnandschouten.com

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wijnandschouten

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Feb 202014
 

Shooting with Fuji

By Olaf Sztaba

It is not common in the days of big egos and anonymous message boards that a great photographer and hugely popular blogger stands back and allows other photographers to share their work on his own website. I applaud you for such a generous approach.

This is our first submission to your website, so a few words about our philosophy. We believe that as we have all been taking photographs for over 100 years, we are experienced enough to go beyond portraits and landscapes to take photography into the artistic realm. Capturing the emotions you feel as you look at people and landscapes is another level of photography, as is capturing the essence of a person or landscape.

Having said that, we put a lot of effort into the visual and emotional quality of the photograph; only after that do we strive for technical perfection. Our photo trips usually take us into unknown and forgotten places, some of which may seem obscure and rusty at first sight but somehow they interest us more than what’s new and pretty. I had my first camera at the age of four and ever since my eyes have been searching for the perfect composition, light and subject. My wife Kasia and I are based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

We are currently shooting with the Fuji X-Pro1, Fuji X100S cameras and Fujinon XF lenses, which fit our style of photography well. With the basic gauges at our fingers, we can focus on what’s important: our subject, emotions, visuals and light. We believe that every photographer has special needs and preferences, so I don’t want this post to be about equipment.

After all, a strong, artistically beautiful image, even if it is technically imperfect, will always triumph over a technically perfect but dull image.

Thank you for the opportunity.

Olaf & Kasia Sztaba

www.olafphotoblog.com

www.olafphoto.squarespace.com

 

Image #1: Fuji X100S

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Image #2: Fuji X100

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Image #3: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8

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Image #4: Fuji X100S

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Image #5: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8

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Image #6: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8

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Image #7: Fuji X-Pro1 & XF 14mm F2.8

©osztaba_7

 

 

Jan 252014
 

Fuji’s X100(s) series, What else?

By Renaud Perez

Hello Steve,

A while ago, I’ve already sent some posts to Steve about the Fuji’s X100 and X100s. I took some time to write a bit more and share, on this fabulous website, more of my thoughts on this camera series, as I’m using it exclusively for 2 years already. I’m not going to talk about camera’s performance but more about how I’m using this system and try to explain why I don’t see the point right now to have anything else. Actually I’m going to speak as an “X100s” since I did the upgrade 8 months ago and this is the only camera I own right now (+ the wide angle converter WCL-X100).

 1/70 f8.0 ISO-400. WCL-X100. Converted from RAW.

Sun set, south west of Koh Kood island, Thailand,

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After two years shooting with this series (both camera are more less the same on the outside) I can say that I feel it has the perfect from factor, body + lens. It’s small of course but not too small and I they fit 100% right in my hands. In term of from factor, it has something a lot of people forget while comparing camera size… the thinness. I can strap my X100s on my shoulder, have it under a very light jacket, nobody will never ever figure out that I have a camera one me. Only the pana 20f1.7 on a small m43 body could give you the equivalent, for the rest of the lenses, I mean prime’s people are often talking about, just forget about it. That’s the fixed lens advantage (other X-mount do not offer this either!).

I consider the source of both X100/X100s mojo’s to exist due to 3 reasons;

 #1) The Hybrid viewfinder. What did Fuji here is magic, it gives you both of the 2 worlds. EVF is a great technology improvement over the past years, it gives you the possibility to manual focus more accurately than you could through an OVF. It’s also better for a perfect framing and gives you a good overview of your real exposure, WB and color rendition. On the other side it’s a lot of tech’ adding “filters” between you and the real scene. If you shoot RAW, you do not really care about your color rendition, WB or exposure since all this can be adjusted during later on post processing. One remark on focusing, for those who never used an X100/X100s, since it’s not a ranger finder, you cannot manual focus using the OVF. Then comes the OVF, and that for me is a very very very important part of the photography experience. When I’m using an OVF, I’m slowing down. I take time to look around and concentrate on the instant trying to catch interesting things and just simply enjoy! Add to this the LCD screen of the X100/X100s that you can just leave displaying the most important info, focus point, metering, AF-mode etc… No live view and go out for a RAW shooting session, never reviewing any of your photos during it and you will enjoy a classic photography session!

 1/30 f2.8 ISO-2500. Converted from RAW.

Self-portrait at Bangkok airport,

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By the way, I keep wondering how Nikon missed this one on the Df? If this Df would had integrated such an hybrid system, it would have been a real killer! Come on, the designing and engineering team could not manage to insert an additional mirror switch mechanism to give you a great EVF in the viewfinder, allowing you to manual focus old school lenses perfectly? This would have been a real statement from Nikon that compact Full Frame DSLR are here to compete with the mirrorless FF offer (A7/A7r).

#2) The controls. Controls as they are designed today are nearly perfect to me, giving you access to the shutter speed, aperture (on the lens) and exposure compensation in a very intuitive way or I would say and old school way, back to basics! The only thing I wish is to see coming in next version(s) is an ISO dial, giving you direct control over the 3 mains photography parameters, Speed / Aperture / ISO. I also would like to see one more Fn button in the right bottom side of the camera front, close to the lens. For me this one would be fully dedicated to the ND filter, leaving the Fn button next to the exposure dial for other things. I think it would be a much better ergonomic in this way since you could with your left hand control the aperture + ND filter without having to go back to the rear part of the camera, leaving your right hand dealing with shutter and exposure compensation while holding the camera.

 1/2000 f4.0 ISO-200. Converted from RAW.

Phra-Si-Rattana-Chedi, Grand palace Bangkok.

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Holding the camera is also leading to the debate, is inner camera stabilization necessary? In the X100/X100s concept I would clearly answer NO! But of course if cameras maker’s competition is bringing this inside, I would not refuse it ;-) No, simply for the reason that you do not need it during day time, due to the X100/X100s 35mm eq fixed focal, no telephoto super zoom here! And for night time shooting, using the auto ISO between 200 and 6400 paired with a minimum shutter speed of 1/30 (for those who don’t know, a good rule of thumb is to choose a shutter speed that is one over your focal length to ensure no camera shake due to hand’s movements), is sufficient for you to get crisp looking photos. The only situation where it would be useful is for a night scene without any moving subjects (important), and where you would need to keep ISO 200 for later on post processing, so having to use a long exposure. But for that very kind of shots, It’s possible to plan them a bit in advance bringing a tripod and if not, you can still use other elements around you to set-up a support for the camera (since night scene + long exposure does not require any “instant” capture and rush). Finally, do not forget that there is no mechanical vibrations issue with the X100/X100s. Which brings me to the last part of the X100/X100s magic.

 1/750 f2.0 ISO-200. Converted from RAW.

Golden portrait, Grand palace, Bangkok.

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#3) The leaf shutter. What is a leaf shutter? It consists of a mechanism with a metal leave which pivots to let the light going on the imaging element (film or sensor). It offers lot of advantages, no any noticeable inner vibrations (camera shake due to the focal plane shutter curtains impact) and is dead silent (i.e. some complain about these issues on the A7/A7r). It is so quiet that you can discretely shoot a guy you are talking with and he will not even notice it. This added to the camera size, and you get a system which is not intrusive at all, so it does not interfere in people’s interaction. Usually when you talk to guy, furtively give a try to a “lucky” shot and the camera gives you a loud click-clack, you interlocutor will pause with the kind of expression in his eyes saying “hey, what are you doing here?”. You camera will simply have broken the moment and that’s not what we want! There are of course hundreds of other situations where having a silent camera is a golden gift. Of course the sexy retro compact look helps a lot, the camera not being intrusive, even giving interrogation to people and being a discussion starter, I’m not going to say more on this since everybody know how beautiful are looking these cameras.

 1/60 f4.0 ISO-3200. OOC Jpegs, B&W+Green filter, Highlight & Shadow tones +2.

My mother’s emotion after the birth of our baby girl, furtive catch

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Finally I will end with things I discovered using the X100s.

About the X100/X100s sensor rendering, as Steve and others mentioned I also found that OOC jpegs can be flat, it mostly appear when the light is not there but IMO that’s just internal jpegs processing, since the RAW files of the X100s are very rich and with a RAW you can pimp your picture as you want.

If you are shooting RAW with the X100s, I strongly advise you to set your DR to 100%, do not use the auto DR. The principle of this DR feature is to upper the ISO to get more details out from the shadows. So basically if you are in auto DR and that the camera says you need a 400% DR (which is the maximum), you will have to be at least at ISO 800. It‘s well known that Fuji X-Trans is great at high ISO but if you are working on extracting details from a RAW, you’d better stay at ISO 200. If you go for a jpeg session, just leave the DR in auto, it’s doing the job very well.

 1/2500 f5.6 ISO-200. Converted from RAW.

Temple of dawn, Bangkok

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If you are in a light situation where the output goes flat, and do not want to bother with post processing, what I usually do is I quickly tune the highlight and shadow tones levels to +1 or even +2 (both) and then I get the punch back.

I found that the internal B&W filters are working quite well. I’ve started to use it a lot recently, using the B&W+Green filter and setting the highlight and shadow tones to +2 since I like a lot punchy and contrasty B&W images.

 1/240 f4.0 ISO-400. OOC Jpegs, B&W+Green filter, Highlight & Shadow tones +2.

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 1/30 f2.0 ISO-250. OOC Jpegs, B&W+Green filter, Highlight & Shadow tones +2.

Fail to catch her – baby pics are a real challenge

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 1/60 f2.0 ISO-640. OOC Jpegs, B&W+Green filter, Highlight & Shadow tones +2.

Jeanne

image009

Jeanne,

Finally, the WCL-X100 is really the best convert I ever used. Actually I did not notice any loss of image quality compared to the original lens, I get wider and still keep the max f2 aperture. So IMO it’s just like changing the lens on the X100/X100s. It gives you a 28mm eq perfect for landscape (I found the 24mm to be difficult to fill). Just keep in mind the WCL-X100 is huge and the camera loses one of its advantages, as I mentioned previously, using it. When I say huge, I mean the camera cannot go under your sweater anymore, but it’s not bigger than the Pana 25f1.4 (to give you a better reference).

 1/350 f4.0 ISO-200. WCL-X100. Converted from RAW.

From my office, Beijing

image010

 

My wish list for Fuji. Through firmware upgrade;

– AF performance and the OVF framing lines, to me there is still some improvement to be done here.

– I would like also to see the ability to configure the AE/AF-L button to a Macro mode selection quick switch. Press it, you go Macro, re-press it, back to normal mode. When you are shooting during weddings, anniversaries, parties and so on… You are all the time in situations where shots need to be taken at distances varying from 3m to 0.5m this changing randomly at a high rate. I’m struggling and losing too much time with the current Macro mode selection, it should be faster to give time to the AF to re-adjust.

– In AF mode, the ability to use the manual focus ring to parse the AF points and select the one you need. Turning the ring, you can parse AF points from the upper left to the bottom right in line order.

 1/180 f4.5 ISO-200. Converted from RAW.

Street shooting, the spring roll factory, Bangkok’s China town

image011

 

For future version(s), I will not talk about sensor size here (even if nice rumors are talking about FF), but IMO it should be a least;

– Weather sealed. This camera concept as it is should be a life time camera. In a recent trip to Thailand, using it at the beach, I had the feeling that it would not last so long if I were staying there for some months. This camera should be rugged to support anything, having it with you all the time, everywhere.

– Battery life. This is a joke on both X100/X100s. Using it in real conditions, with performance mode set on maximum, reviewing some pictures with my wife or friends, I only manage to take a hundred shots, no more, on one battery charge (I always take two to swap but still… it’s not acceptable).

– On the rear part Fuji should add a rubber element for your thumb, like on the X20.

And after, of course, keep what makes this series so unique and improve the hybrid viewfinder, sensor, lens etc…

 1/18 f2.8 ISO-6400. OOC Jpegs, B&W+Green filter, Highlight & Shadow tones +2, NR to -1.

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At the end, I do not see any camera / camera system, which could give me more than what the X100s does end of 2013. I’m limited to wide angle (WCL-X100, 28mm eq) and the 35mm eq focal which is, anyway, what I would own if I had an interchangeable lens system. The only thing which is missing is an 85mm eq for portrait, here the X100/X100s have to admit, it’s out of their capabilities. Apart from this, what else?

 1/125 f5.6 ISO-200. Converted from Jpeg.

My wife & me, shot by our tour guide at the Grand palace Bangkok

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I wish to you and everybody all the best for the coming year and I’m sure that you guys will have a lot to do with all new stuff coming from camera makers ;-)

Enjoy, thx for the website and all the efforts and energy you guys put inside.

1/40 f2.0 ISO-400. Converted from Jpeg.

The Lying Buhdda, Bangkok

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Renaud.

Jan 182014
 

Monochromatic with the Fuji X100

By Renan Luna

Like many others, I’m a hobbyist photographer and I visit your site daily. I have been shooting for at least 10 years, mostly part-time with my old – and now semi-retired – Canon Rebel XS. I love this camera, but its weight and size hardly go unnoticed by the subjects.

In São Paulo, where I live, the people are not so open-minded to be photographed. In fact, they hate it! So, I needed to upgrade my equipment or lose one shoot after another. I decided…the Fuji x100 looks nice to me!

The camera is amazing (the Steve wrote a great review of that). The grip, lenses, size and everything fit with my needs perfectly! I’m back to action days, sneaking in the shadows and hunting for the photos without being discovered.

I’m a color-blind person and monochromatic photos is true passion to me. And again, the Fuji x100 supports me very well in this case with some interesting options of film simulations, especially the black and white ones, that do not need a lot of processing to get images with the results that I want.

After I bought the x100, my style changed a little bit. The fixed lens of 23mm has no zoom of course, but yet it is so versatile you can shoot in open areas and in a living room without losing quality or details. It’s a unique experience!

My intention with this text is just to show that a good camera is just a tool, what counts is the person who controls it. I hope this will inspire someone to do something special!

Thank you for the opportunity to write.

Wishing you well and good photos for us all!

My contacts:

http://www.flickr.com/renanluna

http://www.facebook.com/renanlunas 

Thank you again,

Renan Luna

A cat in the dark

Alone in the dark

Boys on the docks

Buddies

Ciborg

Danger

Faith

From old times

In doubt on shop

Serenity

Spray and push

Looking the ocean

Oct 182013
 

Fujifilm-X100-black-0

Fuji X100 Owners, get Firmware Version 2 for a speed boost!

DOWNLOAD THE NEW FIRMWARE HERE

YES! Fuji did it again and proves at least that they are the best in Firmware updates. They have released the firmware Version 2 for the Fuji X100 and below is what you get, so it is WELL worth it to do the upgrade!

Improvement of AF speed

Approximately 20% faster AF speed is achieved in various conditions such as bright scenes, dark scenes and changed focus distance compared to the previous firmware version.

2.Improvement of close-up focus performance

The focus distance from the lens surface without switching to macro mode is approximately 30% shorter compared to previous firmware version.

3.”Focus Peak Highlight” function for manual focusing is added.

The function, which features on FUJIFILM X100S and X20, is added and assists accurate and sensitive manual focusing by enhancing the outline of your subject in high contrast.

* With this update, “Focus Peak Highlight” function is selected as a default setting. Pressing the center of the command dial for a while enables you to switch the setting of “Focus Peak Highlight” and “STANDARD” (off of “Focus Peak Highlight”). And “MF ASSIST” is added in SHOOTING MENU where you can select “HIGH” and “LOW” in “Focus Peak Highlight” and “STANDARD”.

4.Improved manual focus operation

This makes it easier to capture the peak of the focus by displaying the image with shallow depth of field, using open aperture, when adjusting the focus with the electronic view finder or the LCD.

5.Faster start-up time

The camera start-up time is shortened by approximately 0.2 second with QUICK START mode OFF.

6.Improved operability of selecting focus area

Previously, the focus area was selected while holding the AF button on the back. With the upgraded firmware, pressing the AF button will switch to the focus area selection screen and the area of your choice can then be selected.

7.The phenomenon is fixed that a camera will automatically turn off during “Bulb (B)” shooting with the “CONTINUOUS” setting in “IMAGE DISP.”

Your feedback wanted!

Early reports are fantastic from X100 owners. If you own an X100 and did the upgrade, how is it? Is the AF slightly faster or much faster? Inquiring minds want to know! Sure makes the black X100 look extra good right now :) In fact, with this update, I would buy the black X100 at $1080 over buying an X100s as I prefer the older sensor. :)

DOWNLOAD THE NEW FIRMWARE HERE

Jul 012013
 

User Report: My Journey to the Fuji X-Pro 1 by Christina Davis

Hi Steve,

I’ve been a reader for a little over a year now and have found your site to be a wonderful resource as well as a bad, bad enabler! I guess I’d fall under the category of MWAC: two kids (15 and 12) and camera as traveling companions – even to the grocery store. The problem is, my dslr was just too big. I have attempted to simplify in the past couple of years. When I upgraded to the 5DMIII, I did not upgrade my PS or LR. I went back to editing jpeg files and discovered no difference in the results. I even picked up a 40mm pancake lens in an effort to lighten the load; however, that dslr is just too much camera to carry around in my bag and to take on outings and trips.

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I have been challenging myself to spend each summer with a small camera. Last summer, thanks to your blog, it was the Sony RX100. It was OK, but obviously didn’t come close to the dslr in quality. Last fall I read on your blog about the Fuji X100. I picked one up and took one step closer to finding the right fit and the image quality was more on par with what I was after. I should admit right here at I have some level of GAS. I just love cameras, handling cameras and making photographs, ever since I was a kid and my mom was constantly yelling at me, “Don’t waste the film!”

Well, that Fuji X100 is quite a camera, but then I read Amy Medina’s contribution on your site about how she picked up the Fuji X-E1. I was sold. I got the kit with the zoom lens. Only…I didn’t mesh with that camera or the lens. Both were great, don’t get me wrong, but that “feel” wasn’t there and I have to say I really was bothered with not having an OVF.

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After a couple of months and more reading on your site, and with summer getting closer and the kids being out of school soon, I caved to the camera which had been calling to me for months. I tried to ignore it. I told myself it was too expensive and I shouldn’t spend the money. I told myself it will be replaced pretty soon with a newer model. I just couldn’t resist any longer. I now have a Fuji XPro1. I paired it with the 18mm lens in the hopes of getting a do-it-all combination which is light and flexible. I have to say, I haven’t been disappointed.

A couple of weeks back I took the kids on a little mini vacation to San Diego. This was the first time I was able to really play with the camera, using it in all types of settings and situations. I really enjoy how it handles, I like the light weight of it and the image quality is closest to my dslr of any of the small cameras I have used. It’s a perfect “throw-and-go” camera for my purposes.

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What I found particularly pleasing is the image quality straight out of the camera. I shoot in jpeg on this camera as well and find that these files need so much less editing than those from the 5DMIII; maybe just a little crop here and there, maybe a very slight adjustment to add tone when necessary and some very light sharpening and that’s it! The only thing I do with any detail in PS would be B&W conversions. I just don’t care too much for the B&W files from the camera. I probably just need more practice.

Since I do really love the Canon 40mm pancake lens and find it to be the perfect focal length, I am anxiously awaiting Fuji’s 27mm pancake lens. I would like to see it out before summer is over, so I can use it, as well as the 18mm, on our outings.

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Thanks for letting me share and thank you for providing such an interesting and fun resource which really demonstrates what these little cameras can offer. I think that these days there is too much emphasis on dslrs and the “big brands”. The cameras you discuss on your site are really fantastic and offer up such versatility which was really enjoyed by people (and those masters of photography) in years gone by.

Christina Davis

May 292013
 

Three Months in South East Asia with a Leica M6 and the Fuji X100

By Brendan Gara

Hi Steve,

I’ve been following your website for quite a while now. We (my wife and I) recently got back from a three-month trip traveling through Vietnam, Laos and Thailand where I used my M6 and a Fuji X100. I thought your readers might appreciate my thoughts and experiences traveling with both film and digital.

I prefer film cameras (Mamiya 7ii, MPP 5×4 camera and a M6) but I decided I should take some form of digital camera and chose the Fuji X100 a couple of months before leaving. I did think about the M8/M9, but I couldn’t justify the cost so close to going away.

I took two lenses, the 28mm Elmarit f2.8 ASPH (I’ve always liked 28mm as a focal length and thought this would be good for narrow, busy streets) and the Voigtlander 40mm f1.4 Nokton SC (I like the way this looks wide open and that wide aperture is useful in low light). I had already filed the rangefinder tab down on this lens to bring up the 35mm framelines, so with the Fuji’s fixed 35mm field of view, I had only two views to think about.

I took 80 rolls of Tri X and 20 rolls of Portra 400, carried in a fold down waterproof drybag. I carried this attached to my camera bag when going through X Ray machines. We went through 13 X –Ray checks whilst away and I can’t see any fogging. I developed the B&W films and sent the color film to Peak Processing. Negatives were scanned, adjusted, cleaned etc in Photoshop then imported to Lightroom for selection. Fuji files were brought into LR and any B&W conversions done in PS.

Thoughts on the M6:

Bangkok High Rise Leica M6 Elmarit Tri-X ISO250

I like shooting with rangefinders; it fits my way of seeing things. I like the fact that you are limited in having 36 shots before stopping and changing. The extra couple of stops of the Nokton were useful, but I still had to push tri-X to 800, 1600 and even 6400 ISO regularly (maybe related to the places we hung out). Light in Asia is really bright, then fades away super quick so you can go from shooting at 250 ISO to needing 1600 ISO on one roll. That’s just about doable, but I didn’t risk pushing to 3200 or higher without changing to a new roll. I tended to use the 28mm lens more and just push film a stop or two rather than use the f1.4 on the 40mm as the extra depth of field was important. The only other places where I saw people shooting film cameras were in Hanoi around Hoan Kiem Lake (all Nikons) and in Dalat (a lubitel TLR). People were very surprised to see a film camera.

Bangkok Leica M6 Elmarit f2 Portra ISO400

Bike Luang Prabang Leica M6 Nokton Tri-X ISO800

Market Luang Prabang Leica M6 Nokton Tri-X ISO 6400

Mekong Luang Prabang Leica M6 Elmarit Tri-X ISO250

Monks Luang Prabang Leica M6 Nokton Tri-X ISO250

Pho Hanoi Leica M6 Nokton Tri-X ISO250

Phu Quoc Leica M6 Elmarit Tri-X ISO250

Thoughts on the Fuji:

AK47 Cartridge Ho Chi Minh City Fuji X100 ISO200 f2 125th sec

What a camera, seriously a joy to use. Yes, the autofocus is a bit slow, but seriously think about it-it’s autofocus and I probably missed about the same number as I missed with the M6. The viewfinder information is great and easy to see and understand. I have the camera set to no shutter sound, but not the silent mode. I didn’t use auto- ISO, but have started to since getting back. The file quality is really nice, and no dust. I shot the Fuji in a similar way to film- I shot RAW files, didn’t look at the files on the LCD screen, and downloaded them to a laptop every few days, where I then left them, until we got home. Downsides; the camera does feel better in the hand when you use a “thumbs up” grip and the battery life is rubbish. I ended up carrying two spares and would get maybe one or two days from each charge. I also only saw one other X100, in the hands of a lady in Dalat on New Years Eve, who also had the lubitel.

Cricket Farmer Dalat Fuji X100 ISO1000 f4 180th sec

Gold Fish Imperial Palace Hue FujiX100 ISO200 f11 1.2 sec

Patpong Bangkok Fuji X100 ISO6400 f2.8 280th sec

Phu Quoc Fuji X100 ISO800 f8 1700th sec

Tuk Tuk Bangkok Fuji X100 ISO200 f2.8 200th sec

Overall then both cameras are more than capable of the mixed light, high humidity conditions you will meet in South East Asia. They won’t let you down and are subtle enough to get you into situations that a bigger camera may not. Vietnam is a wonderful place to visit; the people and the food are amazing. Carrying film around isn’t a major deal and you can develop and scan B&W yourself.

So would I consider the M8/9/M option now? I’m not sure, yes it makes sense when you weigh up the costs of film D&P, but the Fuji is so close. It’s going to stay in the too hard to decide box for a while longer as I still love the film process too much.

You can see more photographs and read more about our trip on my blog (http://brendangaraphotography.wordpress.com), and more of my other photography on Flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/brendangara).

Thanks

Brendan Gara

 

Apr 082013
 

USER REPORT: Two years with the Fuji X100 by Doug Barry-Martin

 NEW TOY – DAY ONE. Lets try black and white, high ISO and wide aperture.  f2.8 1/90 sec EV -0.33 ISO 1600. 

image1

Hi Steve,

It is hard to believe that so long has passed since I first looked through the viewfinder of the then brand new and exciting Fuji X100 and went wow! I pretty much bought the camera based on the super clear viewfinder. The price was a lot more than expected – especially as I opted for the leather case (about US $1600 all up). The case incidentally makes the camera as it really improves the handling. I did replace the overly grippy and uncomfortable strap with a softer smoother one. I have never had a lens cap on as it is not required with the case which you can quickly unfold and shoot. The real surprise was the high ISO performance. In fact the jpg output was so nice I have never shot RAW (which I usually do) except as a test. Good job Fuji. Whilst my Canon SLRs were more efficient in terms of handling and af the Fuji charmed with its size and unique handling and looks, not to mention output. I did take time getting used to reaching under the lens to find the aperture lugs and wish Fuji had just made this a knurled ring without the lugs as per a Sony RX 100 etc. 99% of the time I keep the camera in auto ISO with a low limit of 1/30 sec and have assigned the fn button to ISO. The RAW button is assigned to the ND filter and is very handy when shooting at wide apertures in bright light. I have the EVF set to show a review of the image after taking the shot or, if I pull my eye away it appears on the LCD. This is a great feature as is the ability to scroll through the menus on the EVF when it is difficult to see the LCD.

THE ALLEY OF LIFE
Lets try street shooting. Wow this is fun! (See my flickr site for more about this shot).
f11 1/250sec +0.67 ISO 200 

image2

Yes there were a few niggles to start with but the camera got better with each firmware update. It sure kept up your interest in the camera seeing how it had improved with each update. I did eventually encounter the dreaded sticky aperture problem but Fuji replaced the lens no problem.

I am sending 21 of my best shots over the 2 years that I think show a variety of shooting styles, processing and subject matter. I have also have posted 200 plus shots to my Flickr account for your readers to view (see link below).

Sounds a lot, but not when you consider I have shot nearly 10,000 images.

MODERN LOVE. For the Fuji that is. Loved this clean rendering. f4.0 1/2000 -0.67 ISO 200

image3

I went through a few phases such as delighting in handheld night photography (I have never used a tripod and only once or twice used a fence or some support) or, due to being inspired by your site’s images, trying black and white or shallow depth of field. Although the Fuji does not excel at macro or even landscapes I managed to pull of a few of those too. I also tried it out for action photography. In all instances it worked fine and generally is a joy to use. Yes it has it limitations but so do all cameras. Hopefully you will enjoy the images I have posted. Amazing to think that this groundbreaking camera is now superseded. I will hang on to mine for a while yet as for most purposes it is the best compact camera I have owned. Only thing I wish for is a small built-in zoom or at least an add on telephoto lens.

HOT WHEELS. Retro style derby cart. Accidentally bumped white balance to a cooler setting and added a warming filter in Photoshop. Voila – retro look.

f2.8 1/1100 ISO 400

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Some of the images I have shot have found their way into calendars or Diaries (I shoot for a company producing these for Nelson and Christchurch).

Mostly I shoot with the X100 for my own pleasure but it has been great at parties too due to its low light ability.

You can be sure as long as you have the X100 with you probably won’t miss a shot (unless you need to zoom in or the action is just too fast – but more the former than later). And for those who think the af is slow at night just switch to af-c. Works a treat.

FRESH AS!   Candid shot at the market proving that timing is as important as fast af.
f8.0 1/250 -0.67 ISO 400 

image5

I thought about replacing it with the OMD E5 and although I like the IQ and versatility etc of the Olympus I do not like the tiny buttons and small hard – to read on-screen type and muddled menus. The Fuji is a paragon of simplicity and clarity compared to the Oly.

The twist in this tale is that I have just bought another compact camera, second-hand. An Olympus XZ-1 (apparently it is no good unless it has an X in the name these days since Fuji started the trend). I bought it in “as new” condition for about US $200! So far I am finding it hard to see the screen in sunlight (impossible sometimes) but that aside it is pretty good. I have quickly discovered the need to shoot RAW, mainly due to the strong NR that is applied to jpgs. As Steve would know having a new camera can reignite that enthusiasm to “see what she will do”. Will it replace the X100. Highly unlikely but it will be an interesting addition.

CHAINED. An evening shot with warm filter applied in Photoshop.
f8 1/30 -1.0 ISO 3200

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BANG! War re-enactment as part of our war memorial day (ANZAC Day).
f8 1/80 ISO 400

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Anyway hopefully the images tell the story of my 2 year journey with this wonderful camera.

All images have some PP in Photoshop.

I almost always shoot in aperture priority mode with auto ISO (max 3200 and low shutter speed 1/30).

Also I usually have at least EV -0.33 on all my digital cameras (rather blocked shadows than blown highlights).

MAGIC. Shot from my car resting the camera on the open window ledge.
f4.0 1/10 ISO 3200

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SIKA (his name) – musician/shaman/market seller. How close can we get?

f2.8 1/1250 -1.33 ISO 200 (the -1.33 EV must have been an accident – no reason for it).

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Here is the Flickr link.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/dougbm/

 

Thanks for reading.

Doug Barry-Martin

Nelson

New Zealand

Mar 142013
 

This group of photos was shot with my Fuji x100, ISO 800, raw editing done in Aperture, and black and white conversion performed in Silver Efex Pro. Thank you Steve, visiting your website has been a daily ritual of mine for over a year now, your opinions and real world tests has been refreshing and tremendously influential. I am early in my photography and could not appreciate this opportunity any more.

Alright.

These photographs portray the apprehension and sexual tension that exists between two platonic individuals whose relationship stumbles along the line of intimacy and ultimately, vulnerability. A conflict between multiple states of mind exist. Experiences and scars from one’s past struggle to outweigh the ethereal nature of new love. These photographs reveal a level of human intimacy that I hope the viewer finds genuine.

I am incredibly grateful to have met such a wonderful person, model, and photographer who continues to challenge and inspire my artistic contribution.

Sean

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