Tag Archives: fuji x-e1

The Fuji 60mm 2.4 in Real World Situations

I’m a cheap frugal photographer. I don’t do this as a day job. I do it for fun, as a hobby. So when I buy something, it comes out of my pocket. I can’t write it off or anything. Therefore, I have to watch what I spend on gear.

I was chomping at the bit for a good portrait lens for the Fuji X series. I waited for the 56mm f/1.2, but when I saw how expensive it was, I looked for a cheaper alternative.

There was the 60mm f/2.4. I heard horror stories about the slow autofocus. However, when Fuji gave the discount for their lenses, the 60mm looked too cheap to pass up. So I decided to get it. But first, here are some photos I did with the 60mm:

 

Image

 

Image

 

Image

So do I like this lens? Yes and no. But first, let’s talk about lens and perspective in general.

As you know, you don’t buy the lens to “zoom in” or to “get more reach.” You buy lens for their perspective. As of right now, for fashion or portraits, the 35mm focal length on an APSC sensor is my favorite focal length (50mm on a full frame sensor). If I go any wider, the person starts to look too distorted for me. If I go longer, the person may look too compressed in certain poses.

I have shot with a 23mm (APSC) lens before with my Fuji X100s. I did a lot of full body and environmental shots. The closest I got was half body. I have done head shots with that lens, but the distortion looked too noticeable. So I usually did a half body and cropped. But that was a lot of wasted pixels.

With my 35mm (APSC) lens, head shots looked better. But I felt I needed a longer focal length. So I got the 60mm.

I got the 60mm not just for head shots. I also got it to separate the subject from the background. I shoot it wide open and try to bokeh out the background. Also, the longer perspective helps to remove more of the background.

I bring my 60mm with my gear now. So, how did it work during photo shoots with models when they won’t hold still? It was quite frustrating. With my Fuji X-E1, the 35mm felt a lot snappier compared to the 60mm. I actually needed the models to slow down or hold their positions longer with my 60mm. If the subject holds still, it’s not bad. But when you try to keep up with a moving target, the 60mm breaks down.

I do love the quality that comes out of the 60mm. It is freaking sharp. It is a nice lens.

If you shoot stationary objects, the 60mm is a great, cheap, mid-telephoto lens. If you need to chase something or shoot something that moves, this will frustrate you. It is possible, but you will say some cuss words trying to get it to work.

Right now, I’m not sure if I’ll buy the 56mm, even though that might make my life easier if I need the longer perspective. Since I rarely use the 60mm, I’m not sure if I want to spend $1000 for a lens I might not use too much.

Advertisements

Photo Shoot With My 27mm and Fuji X-E1

I just finished a photoshoot with my 27mm. Wow, I like this lens. Now I’m tempted to sell my 35mm and get the 60mm or the super-expensive 56mm. Those are probably only two lenses I need for portrait work.

Here are some pics:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

My Journey Of Post Processing

I talked about using Capture One to process my photos. I’m still on my 60 day trial license. I don’t know if I want to buy it yet. I already have Lightroom, and I’m wondering if it’s good enough. Granted, there are a lot of stuff I like about Capture One like sessions and their keystone tool. But I’m sure Lightroom will copy a few features over in later versions. Besides, rumor has it Lightroom will have better X-trans support. Maybe I’ll wait until then.

Sure, I found out that through my experience, Lightroom is one of the worst Fuji RAF RAW processors. I’ve been messing around my new shoots and decided to use Photoshop for most of my processing. I used to do a majority of my processing in the RAW converter itself (Capture One or Lightroom). Now, I just tweak the exposure a bit and just pass it off to Photoshop.

How do I like that method? I think I like it. This frees me up to use Iridient or Photo Ninja as my RAW converter, Capture One or Lightroom as an expensive photo catalogue, and Photoshop as my post-processor. It doesn’t kill my workflow much either. I’m fast in Photoshop. To copy the settings, I drag the layers I created to the other pictures, and it’s copied over.

So, here are some images I’ve created using Capture One to tweak and convert the RAWs and Photoshop to do the rest of the post-processing.

DSCF2599

DSCF2590

DSCF2567

DSCF2496

DSCF2406

For Beginners: What Camera Do You Need? What Lenses Do You Need?

As a beginner, you get caught up in figuring out what gear to get. People usually say to get the best glass available. That is true. So one common thing I see in forums is beginners getting caught up in which set of lenses to get. They end up getting a couple of primes or a few zooms. That’s a lot of lenses just to get pictures of their kids, cats, and flowers.

What do they really need? Just one lens. Just pick one. I would recommend a something in between a 23mm and 50mm and stick with that for a year or so.

As for the body, it doesn’t matter. Anything that is at least a micro 4/3 or higher will do fine. 90% of the people won’t be able to tell the difference if it’s shot with a m43, APSC, or Full Frame sensor. Seriously, they can’t, unless you’re planning to print huge prints and paste them on your wall.

For camera bodies, it more about how it fits, the usability, and the style points. As long as it’s a modern camera, the IQ won’t matter much. They will all look similar.

Once you shoot in one focal length for about a year, you begin to realize what you need. I shot my X100 and X100s (the same camera basically) for a whole year. I realized I’m more into portraiture. So I wanted a longer lens. So I got the X-E1 and got the 35mm lens. Now I’m 90% content.

When the 56mm f/1.2 lens came out, I pre-ordered it. But I’m wondering if I really needed that  lens. I’m so happy with the 35mm, I wonder if I made the mistake getting the 56mm. Sure, it’s probably good for closeup face shots, but I do that anyway with the 35mm since the distortion doesn’t seem bad.  I’ll probably get it and see if it’s something I would want to keep. If not, I’ll just sell it.

Now, my X100s is my snapshot, food, travel, and do everything camera. My X-E1 is my portraiture camera. That’s all I shoot these days so I don’t need anything else.

Will I be able to shoot sports or wildlife? No, but it’s nothing something I need to do or interested in. So I have my gear set.

Here are some stuff I did with my year with the X100s:

DSCF2598-Edit

So as you can see, you can do a lot of stuff with just one body and lens.

My First Fuji Images Processed By Capture One

I  had a recent photo shoot. I decided to use Capture One to process it.  When I was testing out various RAW converters for my Fuji cameras, I mentioned I loved Capture One’s skin tones. Funnily, for my first Capture One session, I decided to do the set in black and white.

I love black and white photos but have rarely processed my portraiture in black and white. So for this shoot, I put my camera in black and white mode and decided my set should be in black and white. Of course, the RAW would come out in color, but at least in my camera, I would know what the black and white photos will look like.

DSCF1636 DSCF1659 DSCF1671 DSCF1731 DSCF1792 DSCF1802 DSCF1864

The models were Haley J, Kimberly P, and Madison L.

My Thoughts

I think they look  underexposed. But I wanted to give it a darker feel. If I were to do these again, I would try upping the exposure or brightness setting in Capture One and seeing how it would turn out.

Also, I could’ve used the levels slider in Capture One to make the blacks darker. I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I’m used to Lightroom’s black slider.

How Did I Process These?

If you’re interested in how I processed these, I used a “complicated” method: I just put the saturation slider to 0.  Yeah, it’s probably not the best way to do it, but I have seen  professionals who I respect use that method.

I guess I have more control if I used the black and white setting such as filtering certain colors. But this is my lazy, quick, and easy method. Also, I can put a slight blue tint to the shadows when I have the saturation at 0. I don’t know if I can do that if I use the black and white setting in Capture One.

If Lightroom does come out with the film simulations for the Fuji cameras,  hopefully, I can just use that. I love how Fuji’s black and white film simulation looks.

Capture One vs Lightroom vs PhotoNinja vs Iridient for Fuji X-Trans Portraitures

We know that everyone complains about how Adobe handles Fuji RAF files. There has been alternatives such as PhotoNinja, Iridient, and Capture One. So I decided to try them and see how they handle RAF files for portraiture. Why portraiture? Because that’s the style of photography I do. I want the best RAW processor to get the best out of the X-Trans sensor. 

This isn’t just a pixel peeping exercise. Sure, certain software can bring out details better. They also render colors differently. So you have to figure out what gives you the best possible look that you’re going for.

Sample Images 1

The samples are straight out of the camera with no adjustments. These are at its default settings. Sure, maybe if we fiddle with stuff, we can get almost identical outputs. But I want to see what gives me the best starting point.

Since my trial license for PhotoNinja expired, I had to take a screen shot. So keep that in mind.

The following images are shot at f/4.0, 1/125 sec, at 200 ISO with my Fuji X-E1.

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
PhotoNinja
PhotoNinja
LightRoom
LightRoom

Right away, you can tell these are different.  They all have different tones to the image.

Let’s See These at 100%

These are screen grabs from each software. You can click on them to get a bigger size. For PhotoNinja, I had to take a screen shot again. Hopefully, you can still tell the difference.

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
PhotoNinja
PhotoNinja
Lightroom
Lightroom

It looks like Iridient captures the details better. The other three are about the same at its default settings. I  can’t get over PhotoNinja’s weird colors though.

Sample #2

The settings for these are f/4.0, 1/250 sec at 800 ISO using my Fuji X100s. This is lit using a flash. Once again, these are straight out of the camera using the software’s default settings. 

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
PhotoNinja
PhotoNinja
Lightroom
Lightroom

At 100% 

Once again, you can click on them to get a better view.

Capture One
Capture One
Iridient
Iridient
Photo Ninja
Photo Ninja
Lightroom
Lightroom

Wow, for these images, Iridient looks the worst. It looks weird. Is it the noise reduction that Iridient tried to give? I like Capture One’s output the best. It looks the most natural.

PhotoNinja’s version looks pretty good too. But I still can’t get over that weird tint the image has.

What Is My Favorite?

Capture One wins. The skin tone looks better compared to the other software. Detail wise, Iridient seem to pull more out. But Capture One does a great job. 

I like the look of Lightroom as well. But I think that’s because I’m so used to seeing Lightroom’s renderings. It looks  “normal” to me.

PhotoNinja’s output looks okay. The screen-grabs are accurate. There is no funny business going on. I just don’t like the weird tint in the images, especially in the first image.

Iridient is funny. For the first set of images, Irident seems to have the best output. For the second set, it gave the worst output. I’m thinking it’s the noise reduction since the second image is at ISO 800. I can’t believe it makes that much difference. Or maybe Iridient can’t handle the X-Trans II sensor of the X100s.

In the end, Capture One is my choice. It’s better than Lightroom for sure. Too bad it’s so expensive though.

It’s all personal preference. For Web viewing, all four softwares can give you a decent image. You need to do your own investigation on which look you like better.

What do you guys think? Which software gives the best look for your Fuji cameras?

Fuji X-T1 Image Leaks

Fujirumors just posted leaked pictures of the X-T1 and its probable price. Wow, what a sexy looking camera. I am a fan of the rangefinder design, but I must admit, the camera looks sweet. I love the ISO dial on the right, which I suggested in my previous blog post. I’m sure Fujifilms listened to me. 😉 Now, if the shutter dial is in 1/3 stops, this camera will be the best camera with traditional manual controls.

Of course, I won’t get the camera. There’s nothing wrong with it. It even has some of the features I would love to have in my X-E1: better EVF, better AF, better LCD, faster responsiveness, WiFi, and so on (I don’t care about the weather sealing). But it still won’t let me take better pictures.

The only reason I would need to buy a new camera is if my current camera breaks, or when I want a new vanity item. Besides, the $1800 price is pretty hefty.  But man, my G.A.S. is raging from looking at the photos.