A major impediment most new photographers face is that color is the default mode of expression. Not only are we inundated by color images in every possible medium, but digital cameras presume color as the chosen palette. The tragic fact of these defaults is that it interferes with the development of seeing subjects and places emphasis on the impossible task of trying to capture a color reality which makes little natural sense in two dimensions. The result is a great deal of frustration when the captured image doesn’t match the experience of color. Few cameras are available that address this problem. The Leica Monochrom is one of few. The Monochrom only records in black and white, and only displays its menus and previews in black and white. It’s the gold standard for capturing black and white—after film. However, the Monochrom body alone costs about $8k. That’s a lot of money to get rid of color. There are cheaper ways. The cheapest way to shoot black and white, of course, is to switch to film. Using a film rangefinder is one of the fastest routes to improving the composition and content of your images, and you don’t even need a darkroom…….
We’re almost there: tomorrow at 18h55 we fly to Frankfurt. Then it’s a train to Cologne and the adventure begins. I’d love to say everything’s packed and ready…. Sure… Like that’s how life works with three young kids in the house. But we’re getting there. Below is THE KIT: X100S with the wide and tele converters. I debated taking the X-T1 for a few hours, just enough time to realize I was reverting to exactly the same reflexes the X100 had liberated me from three years ago. Which lens do I take? This? No, that? No. Way. The reason I have the converters is because Fujifilm Canada is loaning them to me along with the X100S itself — I still have the X100 and they were nice enough to let me borrow this one for the duration of our trip. As much as I still love the original X100 there’s been quite a jump in performance since its release and I’m rather used to this by now. The X-T1 does tend to spoil a guy. The old X100 is fine for quick outings but Cologne, Venice and Rome? I might’ve regretted my choice along the way (even though I know the images would’ve been great)…….
It’s hot and humid here in the city this weekend–the summer’s last hard push before giving way to cooler, drier fall weather. The closeness of the buildings, the wide swaths of concrete, the subway–they all concentrate and hold the heat and humidity close to you, like a warm damp blanket wrapped around you. All images were taken with the Fuji X100s and the X-T1. Enjoy……
I’m not sure I need too many reminders about why I have enjoyed the switch to a Fuji system so much. I have outlined many of the reasons in previous posts, and now I find myself in Brooklyn to shoot a wedding, and I am reminded once again of why I wax so poetic about these little guys. It’s hot and humid here in the city this weekend–the summer’s last hard push before giving way to cooler, drier fall weather. The closeness of the buildings, the wide swaths of concrete, the subway–they all concentrate and hold the heat and humidity close to you, like a warm damp blanket wrapped around you…….
I think it’s pretty safe to say that “out of the can,” Irident Developer produces the sharpest, most detail-rich images from X-Trans sensors. It’s actually pretty astounding. The developer seems to have figured out just the right amount of sharpening to apply to his demosaicing algorithms. I can’t believe this is one guy (with a little help from the open source RAW decoding program, dcraw). If you’re a Photo Mechanic or Bridge user on OS X, and you want the most acuity form your images with essentially zero effort, you’d be crazy not to take a long hard look at Iridient Developer. It’s fast, delivers excellent image quality, has the right controls, and the right level of fine-tuning. It could use a few usability tweaks and maybe a visual upgrade here and there, but the software is in very active development so perhaps those tweaks aren’t too far off. PhotoNinja is the runner up as an out of the box solution in terms of detail. I think I prefer the default colour rendering of PhotoNinja as well. There’s a richness and depth to it that’s only exceeded by Capture One, in my opinion. PhotoNinja is also $54 more expensive than Iridient Developer, is a pixelated mess on retina displays, and while it looks like a bit more detail can be pulled out of images with minimal editing, it also does some weird things to more delicate details like clouds. I’m also not convinced that the same results couldn’t be achieved with Iridient Developer with a bit more fine tuning. We’ll soon find out…….
I really can’t give this camera enough credit for the impact it has had on my photographic life. It has made photography fun again, and the one thing I thought would be the biggest barrier (a single, fixed, 35mm lens) has turned out to be one of its greatest assets. The fixed lens has done two things for me: It has removed one variable from the process of making an image (focal length), and it has forced me to slow down and THINK about my photography more. I think my images are better for it. I also need to thank those who take the time to educate budding photographers like myself. We stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before us, and I am eternally grateful…..
I’ve been using the Fuji X100S for about 16 months now, and I believe it’s one of the greatest digital cameras ever made! Obviously not everyone is going to agree with me on that, but here’s why I think so highly of this little camera: Firstly, I’m a die-hard film shooter, and lover of traditional manual cameras. I learnt the ropes on great 1980’s era SLR cameras like the Olympus OM1 and Nikon FM2, and I still find the direct manual controls and simplicity of these kind of cameras such a joy to use, not to mention the wonderful tones and colours I get from film. So I was never quick to jump into the digital camera market. I got some very nice results from Nikon DSLR’s like the D200 and D3; both were and still are great cameras, but were a very different beast to the old film cameras that I loved……
Third post in the series ‘the right instrument for the right job’. First we had the x100s for macro photography, then the a7r with a sigma macro lens for action sports. Now of course if I am about to embark in a caving trip in the Frasassi caves, during which I will be expected to get soaking wet and crawl through muddy tunnels, I will not choose a weather sealed body with a small weather sealed lens say like the A7R with the Zeiss 35mm. No. I want to go there with the Fuji x100s……
It’s about time I had a re-vamp of the ‘My Gear’ blog on the website, seeing as over the last year I’ve gone into a pure Fuji X system of X100, XE1 and XE2 plus lenses, it’s time for one of those awesome shots of lots of lovely looking gear laid out over a wooden background. If you are interested in seeing what I used to shoot then head to my original gear. Coming from a DSLR system to Fuji has been a great journey and one which has allowed me to expand creatively and focus on a system that brings me great joy to use and to talk about, I now feel my kit is ‘complete’ and I’m happy to take on any assignment with the above. I’d still like to try the 56mm and see how I get on with that but whats here is so enjoyable and can produce incredible images……
Exactly one year ago, I reviewed the Rebecca Lily Pro Set II for Lightroom. I became interested in these presets because some of them were specifically designed for the Fujifilm X-Trans sensor and at the time, the Adobe software hadn’t yet added the Film Simulation Modes for Fuji RAF files. While completely different from Fuji X camera colour rendering, Rebecca’s set proved a very interesting alternative that gave a nice and delicate filmic look to digital images…….