Apr 272014
 
Fujifilm X-Series Cameras

Normally I try not to focus too much on the nuts, bolts, and gear head aspects of photography.  But over the past year I’ve been transitioning into the Fujifilm X-series cameras.  The Fuji interchangeable lens bodies are “mirrorless”, which means that the sensor the captures the final image is also drives the electronic viewfinder and/or LCD display.  These bodies were designed from the ground up to use APS-C sensors (23.6 x 15.6 mm for Fuji) .  That’s not unique — Many digital single lens reflex cameras also use the APS-C sensor.  However, since almost all of them come from companies with legacies in 35mm photography (24 x 36mm) they have to accommodate larger lenses and a fairly large mirror box (behind the lens and containing a mirror for the optical viewfinder light path that swings up out of the way every time a picture is snapped).

Being designed from the start for APS-C, using an electronic viewfinder path (no mirror box), and not having to worry about decades of legacy 35mm full frame lenses, Fujifilm was free to start with a fairly clean slate.

Notes: (1)The blog software downsamples the images in a way that reduces the sharpness.  To see the photos more clearly click the image once with your mouse to fit it to the screen and a second time to bring it up to 100%. (2)All images were processed from in-camera JPEG files — which I normally don’t do but wanted to try out for this session.  The final images were “saved for web” to 50% of their original size in Photoshop.

Cameras and Lenses

This photo shows the X-T1 (the latest camera in the line, emulating in appearance a classic SLR and with direct physical control of major functions) with the new 10-24mm f/4 mounted, the X-Pro1 (the flagship model which was a groundbreaking* entry into the mirrorless camera world) with the 35mm f/1.4 lens mounted (one of the original three Fujifilm XF lenses), and the new 56mm f/1.2 lens.  I’ve had the X-Pro1 for a little over a year but the X-T1, 10-24mm, and 56mm are all very recent purchases.  To get a feel for the new equipment I made one of my Sunday morning trips to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy facility at Dulles airport.  To round out the kit, I also took the 35mm.

Fujifilm X-T1 with 10-24mm f/4; Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 35mm f/1.4; and 56mm f/1.2 lens.

Fujifilm X-T1 with 10-24mm f/4; Fujifilm X-Pro1 with 35mm f/1.4; and 56mm f/1.2 lens.

(* The groundbreaking X-Pro1 feature is the selectable optical/electronic viewfinder in addition to the LCD display.)

To The Museum…10-24mm f/4 Lens…

This was shot for Robert, a moderator on the Fuji-X Forum.  The camera is just a few inches away from the panel so the background just won’t make it into focus (see last photo in this post).  Lighting is difficult since the walkway runs east-west (we’re facing west) so almost as soon as the sun is up, the panels on the left are in shadow:

10-24mm lens @ 10mm; 1/1600 sec. @ f/8; ISO 400

10-24mm lens @ 10mm; 1/1600 sec. @ f/8; ISO 400

View from the observation tower facing north (right side of the tower in the photo above).  Extreme depth of field:

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/170 sec. @ f/8.0 | ISO 400

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/170 sec. @ f/8.0 | ISO 400

From the walkway along the east wall of the museum:

10-24mm @ 14.5mm | 1/40 sec. @ f/5.6 | ISO 1600

10-24mm @ 14.5mm | 1/40 sec. @ f/5.6 | ISO 1600

Under the east walkway/ramp…A gallery of engines that were never able to be displayed  before this facility was built:

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/15 sec. @ f/8.0 | ISO 1600

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/15 sec. @ f/8.0 | ISO 1600

From a point just to the left of the previous photo, looking across the facility:

10-24mm @ 13.2 mm | 1/10 sec. @ f/8.0 | ISO 1600

10-24mm @ 13.2 mm | 1/10 sec. @ f/8.0 | ISO 1600

From the floor of the museum with the Boeing 307 Stratoliner as centerpiece:

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/30 sec. @ f/6.4 | ISO 1600

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/30 sec. @ f/6.4 | ISO 1600

So the trick is to get the entire Concorde into a single frame:

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/13 sec. @ f/5.6 | ISO 800

10-24mm @ 10mm | 1/13 sec. @ f/5.6 | ISO 800

An array of small satellites in the space hangar:

10-24mm @ 13.8mm | 1/18 sec. @ f/f/4.0 | ISO 1600

10-24mm @ 13.8mm | 1/18 sec. @ f/f/4.0 | ISO 1600

…56mm f/1.2 Lens…

Shallow depth of field for the jet engine in the “under walkway” shot above:

56mm | 1/90 sec. @ f/1.4 | ISO 800

56mm | 1/90 sec. @ f/1.4 | ISO 800

Detail of the Curtiss Helldiver (newly on the floor) using shallow depth of field for “subject isolation” — blurring the background:

56mm | 1/80 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 800

56mm | 1/80 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 800

The tailhook of the Helldiver.  You can see how narrow the in-focus zone is at this f-stop and distance:

56mm | 1/140 sec. @ f/1.4 | ISO 400

56mm | 1/140 sec. @ f/1.4 | ISO 400

…the Venerable 35mm f/1.4 Lens…

An overhead shot of a P-47:

35mm | 1/105 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 1600

35mm | 1/105 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 1600

Museum visitors:

 

35mm | 1/160 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 1600

35mm | 1/160 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 1600

The Helldiver from across the museum (cropped a little):

35mm | 1/105 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 800

35mm | 1/105 sec. @ f/2.0 | ISO 800

…And the Nokia Smart Phone…

The setup for the first of the museum photos.  That’s a Benbo Mini-Trekker tripod — perfect for odd shots like this:

Nokia Windows Phone | 1/1050 sec. @ f/2.2 | ISO 100

Nokia Windows Phone | 1/1050 sec. @ f/2.2 | ISO 100

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