Currently I’m putting Fuji’s highly acclaimed X-T1 through its paces. It came with the standard 18-55 zoom but I have managed to borrow a remarkable little pancake, the 27mm f/2.8. I reckon it is just about the bee’s knees when it comes to street photography. My first question, though, is how this combination compares with the lionised X100/S/T, the camera that started Fuji on to X series road in 2010. It seems incredible now that we have seen the X cameras spawn like crazy from such a simple beginning. But, more important, Fuji has launched perhaps the most comprehensive array of pro-quality lenses ever seen in such a short period. The X100 range with its 35mm-equivalent fixed focal length and ingenious hybrid viewfinder has rightly won its place high on the list of streettog desirables. This little Leica M3 lookalike is probably the most popular go-to camera for street enthusiasts……
So what has changed? Well for the most part I think that I have changed. I now appreciate it as a tool to create a certain change in my usual routine. It is a way to challenge myself, and my typical type of street photography. I didn’t see it as such 2 years ago. Back then it was more about object separation and bokeh! ;) Shooting street for me is about people. Everyday people living everyday life, doing everyday things. I don’t seek to portray deeper symbolic meaning in my street shots, I don’t seek ultimate truth in reviewing these shots afterwards. I seek to portray humans. For that reason I look at my street photography more like street portraiture. To me the streets are the backdrops. The elements on which the caracters sit, and emerge from. Of course I like the certain interplay some characters have with the environment. It can make the photo, and give it a sense of story. But most of the time I just want focus to be on the character. For this reason the shallow DOF from a fast standard 35/50mm FOV lens has proven time and time again to be just right for me in my pursuit in capturing this imagery. Wider angles cannot deliver this. What they instead deliver is ALOT of sub-/context into the frame……
As good as X-Trans sensors are in terms of performance, most software makers have had some trouble with demosaicing the slightly unusual RAW files in the past. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom has been noticeably trailing behind in this regard even back when version 5 was introduced, as I found out in the review. That’s not brilliant given that X-Trans has been around for, what, almost three years now? To be completely fair, the paint-like rendering isn’t as much of an issue in most cases as one might think, and yet I can’t help but wish Lightroom was able to render X-Trans RAW files at least as well as Fujifilm does with its in-camera conversion. After all, superior technical image quality is the whole point of RAW, and Lightroom should certainly deliver. So the question is – does it? Since the X-E2 has permanently taken residence in my camera bag and is now my second tool, if not quite the first one yet, I am very curious to see how my favorite RAW converter will perform. Careful, now. I am about to get technical…….
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Continuing my exploration of the Fuji Monochrom and the achromatic capabilities of the X100s, I took the Fuji for a stroll around the southern tip of Manhattan. The city that never sleeps always offers up great images. Lately, however, it seems that midtown and points north are becoming more deserted at night, while downtown all the way to the end of Canal Street is quite busy. Soho, Chinatown, and the East Village were all relatively heavy with pedestrian traffic, providing good chances for street photography. Maybe Midtown has finally gotten expensive enough that the only people who are able to afford to live there are trapped in offices. The majority of these images were shot with the X100s. A few, however, were shot on the XE-1, which I’ve set the same as the X100s. The XE-1 allows me the occasional use of wider angle lenses, so it’s always in the bag. Both cameras use the X-Trans CMOS sensor (though the X100s has version II of that sensor) and the images are of identical quality………
It all started in July 2013 when I bought a Fuji X100s. Apart from being a gorgeous camera, it has amazing image quality and portability. I’ve been babbling on about it on these pages for a while. For what I shoot, when I shoot, it does a fantastic job. I recently printed the final image from this post on fine art paper at 13″ x 19″ and it is gorgeous! So I was reviewing the pictures I’d taken through the last 6 months of the 2013, and I realized that I hardly touched the D800E. It was a rapidly depreciating asset that I almost never used. With the addition of the teleconverters for the X100s, The only thing I needed the Nikon for was long lens work or super wide angle stuff. I also came to realize that 36MP is overkill for my needs. I decided to take to leap and sell the Nikon and most of the glass. Because of my experience with the little Fuji, I wanted to replace it with a small, light CSC that could go super wide and long to cover what I needed the Nikon for, but in a smaller package. I was going to stay with Fuji because I now knew it and was comfortable with the processing workflow, which is a very important consideration. I also want a viewfinder. I will always want a viewfinder. Always. So, given the extensive range of interchangeable compact cameras they do, how do I decide…….
Having owned my X100s for just a little over a week now and more or less taken it everywhere, I thought it would be an idea to talk about my initial impressions of it against my X-Pro1 which through 12 months of ownership I’ve had a bit of a love/hate relationship with. At times I feel the X-Pro1 is the best camera I’ve ever owned and at times I’ve felt I should sell up and start over with a completely different system. Coming from a pretty simple DSLR system of a Canon 5D Mark1 and a couple of primes to the Fuji X-Pro1 was certainly an eye opener for sure. Having always had that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that the X100 was the camera I really should own, I had the option to pick one up recently. I could have added another lens, or maybe even two to my X-Pro1 but felt now was the time to finally buy into the X100. I picked up a soon to be replaced almost new X100s which is perfect for everyday carrying around and with the 23mm fixed focal length is ideal for just about, well everything…….
Sharpening is one of the most taxing aspects of the digital process and consequently many photographers prefer to stick to safe and secure ways, either using presets, plug-ins, exporting to Photoshop or ultimately using JPEGs straight from camera. The X-Trans sensor produces wonderful JPEGs, and all the usual advice about always shooting in Raw doesn’t necessarily hold true anymore. There are now many professional photographers who happily shoot JPEG using X-Series cameras all the time and have no complaints. JPEGs are very convenient, but for a landscape photographer like me, interested in the creative process and using post-processing as part of the digital alchemy, Raw files are so much more versatile. Sharpening Raw files from the X-Trans processor can be challenging for those of us who have grown familiar with more traditional Bayer array sensors; they demand a different approach and even experienced photographers will find there is a learning curve……
A few years ago, my first encounter with the Fuji X100 was actually by a window of a electronic store in a shopping mall. I have never own one; but the impression have left a deep footprint since. Love the whole retro design and the rather compactness of it. All the reviews can’t be wrong; great street camera indeed. Recently I was handed a X100s to test it out. The one feature that impresses me the most is the flash sync of 1/4000! As a commercial photographer this is a big deal to me. My Phase One medium format camera could only achieve a 1/1600 with the used of a leaf shutter lens and high speed sync transmitter. With that in mind I decided to do a big project with this little camera. I was cracking my brain trying to whip out an idea. Almost all the time when it comes to flash duration; one will see a model with water or paint splash on them in a dark studio environment……..
Eigentlich war der Plan super. Wir fahren bis Bao Lac und steigen um in den Bus nach Meo Vac, unserem Ziel. Sieht auf der Karte aus wie ein Katzensprung. Wir kommen so spät an, dass es an diesem Tag nirgendwo mehr hingeht, denn leider gibt es keine Busverbindung zwischen diesen Orten und auch per Anhalter will uns niemand mitnehmen. Wir mieten uns ein Zimmer. Ein sehr, sehr schlechtes, denn nachts beginnt das große Krabbeln, das Fenster lässt sich nicht schließen und das Bett ist älter als wir beide zusammen. Ich schlafe trotzdem gut, aber leider niemand sonst, was nach dem Aufwachen etwas Ärger nach sich zieht. Am nächsten Tag landen wir durch Zufall im Haus einer Bauunternehmer-Familie und nach einigen Runden verhandeln, ignorieren, Schnaps und anschweigen fährt uns ein Jeep nach Meo Vac im äußersten Nordosten Vietnams……