Tag Archives: fuji

I still use the Fuji 60mm f/2.4

As you know from my last post, I got the 56mm f/1.2 lens. It’s a sweet lens. It looks beautiful, and it takes beautiful photos. I was going to sell my 60mm lens after I got my 56mm lens. Unfortunately my laziness got to me and never got around to selling it.

I’m happy I didn’t. Sure, the  lens sucks.  It has slow AF, and it only goes to f/2.4 But it does do something better than the 56mm: it is a macro lens. Sure, with Fuji’s new macro tubes, it probably makes the 60mm more obsolete. Until Fuji’s 90mm lens comes out, I think I’ll keep the 60mm longer.

I wanted to do some beauty shots, and I found out I couldn’t do tight face shots with the 56mm. It wouldn’t focus that close. So I busted out my 60mm, and I got some pretty good results:

DSCF3127-Edit

DSCF3094-Edit

The funny thing is that I didn’t like the tight, macro shots of the face. But I like the option to do so. The 60mm will be my go to lens for beauty photographs. It’s smaller, it can focus closer, and that extra 4mm length does make a difference. I can live with it being slow for now.

What Improvements Can Fuji Make After the X-T1?

Since I’m a Fuji fanboy, I’ve been reading a lot of reviews about the X-T1. This camera has got as much hype as the x100s when x100s came out. From all the reviews I’ve read, it sounds like the perfect Fuji X-Camera.

Unfortunately for Fuji, I can control my G.A.S. because I bought the hype of the X100s. When I finally got the X100s, it underwhelmed me. The image quality didn’t look  better. The AF didn’t seem faster, only at the center point in good light. The only good thing was the manual focus. That experienced helped me to save my money and control my G.A.S.

Let’s say the Fuji X-T1 is as good as the hype. Lets say the autofocus is super fast with all lenses and all points. Lets say the EVF is magical. And so on. What more can Fuji do for its future cameras? What would make me want to buy a new Fuji camera even though I have a perfectly good X-E1?

The X-Trans Sensor

I don’t think it can be improved much. Sure, they can increase the megapixels, but why? That’s a worthless improvement. I describe why here. Fuji needs to come out with a sensor breakthrough to get  noticeable improvement.

In the short term, if I was Fuji, I would work with the popular RAW processors like Adobe, Capture One, etc. Fuji should work with them to get the best RAW processing for the X-Trans sensor. I think that can improve the image quality alone for us RAW shooters.

I don’t care about Full Frame. I want Fuji to be the best APSC system. I don’t want them to be distracted by Full Frame before they solidify their APSC lineup. Olympus and Panasonic are committed to their m43. Fuji should be committed to their APSC system and squeeze as much as possible they can from it.

Autofocus

I don’t care if they have the fastest AF with only a particular type of lens at good light with the center point AF. It should have fast AF at all AF points in any light with any lens. In addition, the PDAF pixels only covers the center part of the sensor. They should cover the 100% of the sensor.

Also, if they need to release version 2 of the lenses to get the AF faster, then so be it. If it gives a huge improvement in AF, then I know most people will switch.

For example, I would buy the 60mm f/2.5 if it had faster AF. I don’t need a 1.2 for the 56mm. With that much depth of field, I’ll lose focus every time I breathe.

While I’m on the topic of AF, I would like to have back-button focus for all AF box size. So in the MF mode, I should be able to change the size of the AF to the smallest size.

Also, I would like more AF points. The amount they have now seems pathetic to me.

Camera Meter

Why is Fuji’s  meter is only at the center AF point? It should be at whatever AF point we choose. This is one big thing they should change.

Tethering

I have no idea if the WiFi allows Fuji to tether to Lightroom or Capture One. If it can’t, it should. Or they should allow some sort of tethering using a USB cable.

Fuji did a good job to be more “pro” by offering weather sealing with the X-T1. Now they should allow real tethering.

1/3 or 1/2 Stops on the Shutter Dial

Just make the dial bigger and make it go 1/3 stops (or 1/2 stops) for shutter speed. I don’t know why they made the exposure compensation dial bigger instead of the shutter dial. I hate using a different dial to adjust the shutter speed in 1/3 stops. That makes no sense.

 

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:

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

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?

Photographers, Why Do You Need So Much MegaPixels?

When fujirumors posted their rumor about the Fuji X-T1, people were complaining how it was “only” 16 megapixels. Why do these  photographers care about megapixels? I’m betting 90% of them only show their photos on the web. Heck, even if they print regularly, they don’t need that much megapixels. Do they have wall sized prints for all of their photos or something?

Most photographers need only about 8 megapixels. That would give them plenty of pixels to print, show off on their facebook, and still have enough room to crop the image if needed (okay, if you’re preparing for the 4k monitors, maybe you’ll need about 10-12 megapixels if you’re planning to view all of your photos at full screen).

There are a lot of benefits of lower megapixel cameras. One major advantage would be  smaller RAW files.  You wouldn’t need terabytes of space to keep your photos. With smaller files, the write times to cameras would be faster. The FPS would be faster as well. In fact, everything will be more responsive from loading your RAWs to Lightroom, writing to camera, transferring files back and forth, and so on.

Another advantage would be pixel density. Lower pixel density means better ISO and low light performance. Bigger pixels means better light gathering capability from the sensor.

So Fuji, if you’re listening, keep the X-T1 and your future mirrorless cameras at 16 megapixels. We don’t need anymore.  For future cameras, just keep improving the EVF so it will be clearer and brighter than any OVF can be. Keep improving ways we can manually focus with better focus peaking, split screen, faux prism screen, etc. Keep improving the AF, especially in low light. Give us real tethering capabilities in your cameras. And keep improving your sensors and make them even more awesome.

Fuji’s Rumored Weather sealed X body

According to fujirumors, Fuji is coming out with a SLR-inspired mirrorless camera based on the Fujica ST design. 

First of all, I have no idea why mirrorless camera makers are making cameras that look like SLRs. The point of the hump is to put the pentaprism in it. Mirrorless cameras don’t need the ugly hump, unless the EVF requires a lot of space. 

Many Fuji users agree Fuji should stick with the rangefinder design. I agree. If Fuji wants to do a Fujica ST design, then they should make it with a mirror. They should do what Nikon DF tried to do, but do it right.

Here are the rumored features of the new body:

  • bigger and better EVF
  • APS-C X-Trans II
  • double SD-card slot
  • weather sealed body
  • launch in January (CES)
  • price range between X-E and X-PRO line

All those are fine and dandy, but I don’t care of about any of those except for the better EVF. The EVF can never be too good. But you know what else they should have? An ISO dial. I hate diving into the menus to get to it.

The original Fujica ST has a dial on each side of the camera. The left one should be ISO. The right one should be shutter speed. And where the film advance lever was, put the exposure compensation dial. There you go, nice and minimal and closely matches the design of the Fujica ST. Also, the shutter speed and ISO dial should go 1/3 stops instead of full stops.

Also, they need to have tethering support. Then it can be seen as a real-deal pro camera for fashion and commercial photographers. Sure, the newer X-cameras have WiFi, but it only works with Fuji’s apps. It should be able to tether to Lightroom, Capture One, and other software. 

Honestly, when I saw the glimpses of the Nikon DF, I was ready to dump all my Fuji gear and move to Nikon. I would’ve bought the Nikon DF with the Nikon 58 f/1.4 and be done with it.

Luckily for Fuji, Nikon screwed up. Like I said earlier, Fuji should do what the Nikon DF tried to do. Fuji should just slap a mirror in their new camera and create a big, bright, optical, viewfinder (along with an awesome EVF). But they should make it the same size as the original Fujica ST. Is that possible? 

So would I get this new body? I don’t know, maybe if they did everything I wrote here. Even then, I’m not sure. 

Currently, I’m 95% happy with my X-E1. It’s sluggish though. It feels “old.” But the image quality is nice. The X-Trans II isn’t going to improve my images much. So what’s the point ? I learned to keep my GAS in check after I got buyer’s remorse when I upgraded my X100 to X100s.  

Upgrading to Fuji X100s if You Already Have the Fuji X100

I don’t think it’s worth it.  

I don’t want to give a detailed review of the Fuji X100s. I’m late to that party already. You can probably find a ton of reviews of the Fuji X100s on a ton of sites.

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At first, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to upgrade to the Fuji X100s. The improvements did look tempting: faster AF, better MF, updated X-trans sensor, etc. 

After rave reviews by a lot of people I respect who use the Fuji X100, it seemed like upgrading was the right choice.

Whether you respect me or not, my opinion is: don’t believe the hype. 

Autofocus

The Autofocus isn’t that fast compared to Fuji X100. In broad daylight, I did notice some improvement. If you don’t recompose, you get instantaneous AF lock. Also, if you keep the AF box at the largest size, it seems faster. But I like to keep the AF box the smallest size to be more precise with my focusing. At the smallest size, the AF speed didn’t seem improved.

In low light, I couldn’t tell a difference. The X100s still uses contrast-detect AF in low light and felt no faster than my Fuji X100. Also, the AF wasn’t more accurate since it still failed to lock on in certain conditions. 

So the AF hype? Overrated. Don’t believe it. It’s about the same as the Fuji X100 in its latest firmware except in certain situations. 

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Image Quality

Honestly, unless you pixel-peep, I couldn’t really tell. They look like the same quality pictures to me. And to 99% of the people, the quality will look simliar to Fuji X100. 

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Manual Focus

Now, this is where it gets good. The manual focus has improved a lot. I love it. You can go from infinity to 1 feet in like half a turn of the MF ring. Also, the focus peaking is a lifesaver. 

So when the X100s can’t lock focus, you can now use MF with confidence. 

Other Improvements

Fuji made other small improvements in the UI, the menu, the EVF, and others. They do feel more convenient but not life changing.

Overall Impression

You can say that the improved MF is worth the upgrade. Is it? I’m not sure. I do love the MF improvement. But I’m not sure if that’s enough to shell out the cash for a new Fuji X100s if you already have the Fuji X100.

If you don’t own a Fuji X100, get the Fuji X100s. It is an awesome camera. 

For people that own the Fuji X100 series, I think the main thing is to follow the iPhone upgrade scheme—upgrade after every other iteration. So if you have the Fuji X100, I would wait until the Fuji X200. For me, since I have the X100s, I would probably wait until the Fuji X200s. 

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My Obligatory Fuji X200 Speculation

Everyone has one, and these would be mine on what more Fuji can do to improve the X100 series. As it stands now, I have no idea what Fuji can do. Maybe they can actually make the AF noticeably fast.

Also, they can make MF better by making the split focusing feature better and giving more colors for focus peaking. Right now, the only color available is white. They should add red, blue, and others. 

I’m not sure how much the X-Trans sensor can push the APSC-sized sensor. So for X200, maybe they can move up to the full frame or APS-H sensor. 

They can attach a faster lens—maybe 23mm/1.4 or 1.8. Or they can keep the same 23mm/2.0 but make it sharper at all apertures

Even though I love prime lenses, maybe they can attach a zoom lens. Perhaps a 28mm-50mm/2.0 equivalent zoom. If they can attach a fast zoom lens with the same IQ, that would be incredible. That would remove the need of the WCL-X100.

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