Tips and Tricks

A hack/tip for Fuji X100(s) users who zone focus | NoSugar on
Digital Photography Review

I’ve owned a Fuji X100 and now a X100s. I shoot street and usually shoot very close to my subjects , So F8 (sunny), Shutter at 500, ISO Auto (6400), manual focus at 7 feet and I am ready for some street photography. So out I go to the streets and I see an interesting subject, whip out my x100s , frame > shoot (sometimes from the hip) in a matter of seconds ! Sometime later, I retire to a nice cafe, order a ice mocha … and settle down to browse thru my shots. Arrrrggh !!!  Fully half of my shots are not in focus. Only now I’ve noticed that my manual focus distance has shifted from 7 feet to 15feet instead !!!

So the issue here to me is, the manual focus ring is so damn smooth that it is very easy for me to unintentionally touch it and shift focus distances. It is very irritating when you are zone focused and need too check the evf/lcd every now and then to make sure your distance scale is correct.
So I brainstormed a bit and came out with a small (maybe inelegant) solution. I dug out an old inner tube for my mountain bike, cut out a strip that is about the width of the focus rings and wrapped over it. The little bit of friction from the rubber prevents the focusing ring from moving from the lightest of touches but it does not affect anything else and I still can adjust aperture/manual focus (turning the ring or AEL/AFL method) as per normal.
I’ve attached a pic here …

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Fuji x100s Flash Sync Tests | Kevin Housen

The previous post looked at how the Fuji x100s shutter syncs with an external flash. The bottom line was that the shutter takes about 1/600 of a second to close. So any shutter speeds faster than that can’t have a fully open aperture, because the shutter is already partially closed when the exposure starts. This means some light can be lost while using a flash at high shutter speeds.

Here’s an example. Suppose you set the Fuji to a wide open aperture of f/2, and its max shutter speed of 1/4000 of a second. You have a flash connected, set to manual, at some power level. If the t.1 time of the flash is longer than 1/4000 of a second, you’re gonna lose light. A Canon 430EXII flash has a t.1 time of 1/4000 of a second when its set to 1/8 power. So as long as you’re set to 1/8 power of less, you shouldn’t lose too much light.

I decided to test this idea. At the same time, I was curious how well the Fuji would sync with the flash if I used my Pocket Wizard remotes, instead of a hard-wired connection between the camera and flash.

To test this, I put the Fuji on a tripod and pointed it at a couple of white doors. Boring, but it worked. The 430EXII flash was also on a stand, with no modifiers, other than the 1/4 cut of CTO gel I always have on this flash. The camera was set to 100 ISO. The room was dark enough that ambient light was insignificant.

The image below shows some results. The left most column of images were taken with the Pocket Wizards (Flex TT5 and Mini TT1). The flash was set to manual, 1/64 power. Going down in the column of images corresponds to increases in the shutter speed, from 1/125 up to 1/4000. By the way, the only way I could get the Pocket Wizards to work at all was to set them to basic trigger mode, which eliminates any possibility of adjusting the triggering time delays. It just a dumb, basic trigger. You can see that the camera was able to sync with the flash at shutter speeds of 1/500 and slower. Above that value, not so much….

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Fuji X100s: Synching, Shutter Speed, and the Like | Kevin Housen

After reading the great reviews of the Fuji x100s, I decided to take the leap and buy one. I’ve been getting more interested in street photography lately, and this camera seemed like a good fit. Plus, its supposed to sync at all shutter speeds, which is great for flash photography outside in bright sun. David Hobby and Zack Arias both have nice in-depth reviews.

But, things are rarely perfect. It turns out that the x100s can’t sync at f/2 unless you’re at around 1/1000 or slower on the shutter. Nice but, still, I was curious why that is. So I decided to run some tests to figure it out.

Phantom to the rescue

I used a high-speed video camera to watch the action of the shutter in relation to when the flash was fired. The setup is shown in the sketch below. The x100s sat on a table looking into the lens of a Phantom v1610 high-speed video camera, which was set to record at 40,000 frames/sec. A Cannon 430EXII flash was connected to the x100s via an OCF cord. The flash was set to manual, and aimed such that a little of its light could be seen in the video. The main purpose of the flash was just to add a timing mark to the video. Most of the light for the Phantom came from two LED flashlights (it has a really sensitive sensor). I know, a real strobist would have done a better job on the lighting, but I didn’t have a lot of time to play with it.

The video camera was set to trigger when the flash fired. So, when the shutter release was pressed on the Fuji, the flash fired, and the Phantom recorded the Fuji shutter motion. I made several recordings at various shutter speeds on the Fuji, all at f/2, no ND filter active. ……

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Fujifilm X100S Hints & Tips | Matthew Maddock

I’ve just picked up an X100S so I thought I’d  go through the manual carefully and see what’s new.  Whilst reading the manual I realised there were a few things I’d never actually known about my X100!  Many of these hints and tips can be applied to the X100 as well, but bear in mind I’m writing this primarily for the X100S. I’ve done a little write-up of some of the options that aren’t all that obvious unless you’ve read the manual (as many of us don’t!) and include some hints and tips of how I use my X100S that might help you get the best out of your camera. Before I begin I’m going to include an image that shows you two important dials.  The naming of these is a little confusing until you’re familiar with it, so to clear up any confusion between the Command dial and the Command control, here is a graphic that shows what each one looks like.
Shutter Speed Adjustments

Where it might be obvious that you can change the aperture in 1/3rd stops by using the Command control (the small ‘toggle/push’ control below exposure compensation)  What isn’t as obvious is that in manual or shutter priority modes, rotating the Command dial (the big round one!) selects the 1/3rd stop shutter speeds.  So for example if you choose 1/250th on the top dial, by rotating the command wheel you can select down to 1/200th … 1/160th and up to 1/320th … 1/400th before then choosing 1/125th or 1/500th from the main shutter speed dial. If you want to know more see P39 in the manual.
Function Button

The Fn button can be assigned to a variety of quick selection options as we know.  It does have a secondary function though - press and hold it to change the Fn function!  This is particularly useful with the X100S as I used to have the RAW button assigned to ND on my X100, but now this is the Q button on the X100S I no longer have that option of having two assigned buttons. This is useful if you often want access to two (or more) different options quickly.  I use this to change it to something more appropriate to what I’m shooting – for example indoors and at night I’ll have it set to ISO, but if I’m shooting daytime landscapes I’ll change it to ND on/off as I’m more likely to use that.  Using the press-and-hold technique I can do this without going through the menu system.

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Fujifilm X-Pro1 Best Settings & One Year Update | Kevin Mullins

I apologise to any brides who may stumble upon this blog post.  It’s going to contain some (hopefully) lovely wedding photography but it will also be quite a technical article based on my Fujifilm X-Pro1 Best Settings and also a one year of use review of the camera. So, a little under a year ago I lucky enough to be given a review copy of the (then new) Fujifilm X-Pro1 by the kind folks at Professional Photographer Magazine.  I used it for a couple of weeks, took it to a couple of weddings and totally fell in love with the camera. Like the X100 before it, the X-Pro1 wasn’t perfect, and the auto-focus was a little hit and miss at first glance.  However, just like the X100 Fujifilm have diligently updated the firmware for the camera, and that, coupled with a different mindset to using it compared to using a DSLR has allowed the X-Pro1 to become my favourite camera, probably of all time.  At the time of writing we are on firmware v 2.03 and really the version 2 update affected the AF substantially so I really would ensure you have the latest firmware to get the most out of the cameras. I’ve been using the camera now for a year, and I have been asked so many times “how I use it”, “why I use it” and “what settings I use” so I’m hoping to answer all those questions in this blog post.  Bear with me, if could be a long one……

I was recently lucky enough to have a quick use of the new X100S and I could immediately see how quick the autofocus was and how much smoother and accurate the manual focus was (especially using focus peek).  I have no idea what is in line for the future of the X-Pro1 range but I would hope that Fujifilm continue their fine work with this model and if it inherits the improvements that the X100S has received then it will already be on the right tracks.  As it happens, I’ve not used the X100S in anger yet but I hope to be shooting with one very soon.  I will, of course, update this section of my blog as soon as I can when I start using it…..

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Lerne deinen X-Pro 1 Optical-View-Finder (OVF) kennen | Harald Lembke

Viele kaufen die X-Pro 1 wegen ihres optischen View-Finders. Auch für mich war das ein wichtiger Grund für die Entscheidung für die XP1. Wer jedoch den OVF, womöglich mit den Hilfslinien, benutzt, zweifelt schnell an seiner Fähigkeit, die Kamera gerade zu halten.  Weder der eingeblendete Rahmen noch die Linien scheinen eine wirkliche Hilfe, wenn es um genaue vertikale oder horizontale Ausrichtung des Bildes geht. Der Horizont oder Gebäude werden immer schief, wenn man sie an den elektronisch eingeblendeten Hilfslinien ausrichtet. Als Ingenieur hat es mich nicht ruhen lassen, mal rauszukriegen, was ich eigentlich wirklich durch den OVF sehe. Hierfür habe ich eine Messung durchgeführt, bei der ich die XP1 mit dem 18 mm und 35 mm Objektiv aufs Stativ gesetzt und durch dem OVF auf eine ca. 2,5 m entfernte Wand geschaut habe. Dann habe ich mit einem Laserpointer den Rahmen und die Hilfslinien auf die Wand markiert und abfotografiert. Die so aufgenommenen Punkte habe ich anschließend interpoliert. Das ganze habe ich auf 2,5 m und unendlich fokussiert. Hier nun die Ergebnisse: Der blaue Rahmen zeigt an, wie der OVF-Rahmen sich in die reale Welt projiziert, der orangefarbene das tatsächlich aufgenommene Bild.

Bewertung und Konsequenz
Man sieht sofort, dass der OVF das Bild verzerrt. Darüber hinaus stimmen die Hilfslinien überhaupt nicht überein. Daher ist eine präzise Ausrichtung des Bildes mit dem OVF nicht ohne weiteres möglich. Aber: Die linke Seite stimmt ziemlich gut. Zusammen mit dem künstlichen Horizont kann man damit die Kamera gut ausrichten und das Bild hinreichend genau einschätzen…..
Was hilft die Erkenntnis? Der OVF kann auch genutzt werden, wenn es auf gerade Horizonte oder vertikale Linien ankommt. Man muss nur wissen, wie!

Google Translater

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The X-Pro1 OVF proves it self | Jimmy Dovholt

Once a year, in early march, the sun puts up a fantastic lightshow during sun set in one specific stockholm crossing. I discovered this last year and decided to go back sunday weekend when the sun showed up. The plan was to try to evolve the paning shots I did in 2012, but instead I found myself shooting a jumping dog. You got to love the unpredictability of the streets! And I’m really happy for the X-Pro1 OVF. The strong light makes it more or less impossible to shoot into the sun with the EVF. That was my main argument for chosing the X-Pro1 over the X-E1, and I have been proven right more than one time.

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How to get the most from the Fuji X-Pro1: Using Capture One and
Photoshop | Paul Archer

So as day 50 feels like an achievement I thought I would use a couple of photos I took today and discuss my process, from taking the photo to uploading it on my blog! I am by no means an accomplished street photographer having only done it since I started this blog, but I thought some people may like an insight into the way I work my images. I will start by posting today’s two images as they were SOOC (straight out of camera) with no adjustments at all. So here they are!

As you can see from the movement between the two images I saw my subject from across the street and approached. I snapped the first shot and incorrectly guessed my range, I could have been closer, the 18mm lens does give you a lot of space, I think sometimes the 35mm would yield me more shots as you can stay further away. As I rounded the corner I fired off another shot. Here I will highlight a mistake, I failed to change my shutter speed from my previous shots in my rush to capture this. This is why they are so dark, although I will say that this high speed shutter helped as I was walking and shooting from the hip. I now shoot all my street photography with the X-Pro1 set to manual focus, effectively setting a focus trap, its usually between 3-4ft. I have found this distance gives the greatest results, especially if I can get my f-stop around 5.6. Another bonus of the X-Pro1 great photos from the ISO range enabling faster shutters and better f-stops. After I was a safe distance from the subject I had a look at the spoils on my screen, I knew instantly i had some images for today’s post. At first glance they may not seem great, especially the first one, but i could see something in there I could pull out! This is where the Fuji X-Pro1 file quality really helps. You need the right tools for the job and I always use Capture One Pro, it has its frustrations and yes it does crash a lot but its worth your patience. The process engine is superior to that of Adobe Lightroom in my opinion. I have worked for the last 6/7 years retouching and assisting on the sets of huge advertising campaigns and have never seen or heard of anyone using LR, Capture One would appear to be the industry standard alongside Apple and Eizo products. So from here I get my RAW files into Capture One and begin to see where they want to go and how far I can push and pull them. I would usually process out a file really flat and neutrally balanced and I always disable sharpening too as find it damages the file quality. I will share with you the settings I applied to the shots, I took them in the direction I wanted to go, nothing complicated at all, just exposure adjustment, contrast and desaturation. Keeping it simple seems to work for me! ….

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General photographic workflow tips | Ming Thein

Whilst it would be impossible to cover absolutely everything you need to know to be proficient in photography in a single article, the aim of today’s piece is to provide the amateur to hobbyist an idea of the things to keep in mind in order to be able to focus on producing images. It’s something that’s been quite frequently requested in the past few weeks – perhaps a sign that my reader base may be shifting somewhat – so I’ve decided to take a crack at it in a way that makes it both accessible yet still somewhat relevant for the more advanced photographer. Where applicable, the section header links to a more detailed article. I’ll approach this from a in the same sequence as I’d normally deal with my own photographic workflow, in a sort of annotated checklist format.

Planning the shoot

  • Reconnaissance matters: although you can shoot anything with any lens and camera, it’s not going to help you if you’re going birding with a fisheye. Sometimes it’s worth checking flickr or other communal image sources to see what other people have shot in the same location. I’ll do this but not spend a lot of time on it because I don’t want my perception to be pre-influenced by what I’ve seen in others’ work; however it does give me a good idea of what to expect.
  • Ensure you have enough supplies and spares: fully charged batteries, empty memory cards, cleaning cloths etc.
  • If it’s outdoors, time of day matters. Whilst it’s perfectly possible for you to just go and see what’s there, I’d recommend at least finding out which direction the sun is going to be shining in (or how much artificial light there is). No point going if the attraction you want to see is going to be completely in shade…….

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Ultra Long Fuji X-E1 Exposure Tutorial | Mark Hilliard

Ultra long exposure photography can be a very fulfilling pursuit and generate etherial images that draw your viewer into them leaving them week in the knees! As a photography master generalist I can tell you that there are a few speciality areas that can really excite me and force my juices to flow!

Specifically they are:

  • Ultra High Speed photography: Water Drop Collision Photography, Daytime Lightning Photography & Hummingbird Photography
  • Infrared Photography
  • Grist Mill Photography
  • Ultra Long Exposure Photography.

This post is a tutorial on Ultra Long Exposure photography using the Fuji X-E1 camera with its 18-55mm lens, a 6 stop B+W ND filter and a Sekonic L758DR spot meter.

Fuji X-E1 with its 18-55mm lens
The Fuji X-E1 is my 3rd in the Fuji line. I started with the X100 and moved to the X Pro 1 in order to have interchangeable lenses, then to the X-E1 to take advantage of its Electronic Shutter Release. I have always been a Canon shooter with closets full of L lenses.  But due to a spinal operation that went dreadfully wrong I lost 80% use of both hands and arms.  No longer able to hold heavy camera equipment I started on a long journey searching for high quality camera system that was small and light weight and produce world class images.  A long story shortened, I settled on the Fuji X lineup and their fine quality lenses along with a few CV and Leica M mount lenses.

Now, the Fuji X-E1 with its electronic shutter allows me to hook it up to my water drop machine, Lightning Trigger and Hummingbird control system!
The only lacking item is its short lens lineup.  With the introduction of the new 55-210mm lens this spring even that will no longer be a problem for me!

Long exposure has several issues that you must overcome to successfully create the etherial, emotionally charged image.

  • Long Shutter Speed: Even in low light you will find it difficult to get a shutter speed at f/8 (sharpest).
  • Difficulty Focusing:  Darkness you know…
  • Unreliable Metering: Especially with an installed ND filter.
  • Camera Shake:  Requires a STURDY tripod and REMOTE SHUTTER RELEASE.

The Long shutter speeds generally can range from 15 seconds to 20 minutes. These are difficult to reach unless you shoot at night with light from the moon.  What I find that I do is shoot at dusk on or just before sunrise to overcome this issue.  Usually I will add a Neutral Density Filter (ND) to reduce the total amount of light reaching the image sensor. This will allow you to shoot with more ambient light and generally make this style of photography easier……

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