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

Nov 032013
 
A Lens Test at a Familiar Venue

The Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 lens was eagerly anticipated by many Fujifilm X-Camera users.  Fuji has paid more attention than is typical in developing a line of prime (non-zoom) lenses for this line of mirrorless cameras.  With a wide aperture of f/1.4 photographers will have more options with regard to depth of field — which is a good thing.  This is a very nice lens.

Walkway leading to the entrance of the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center -- Near Dulles International Airport.

Walkway leading to the entrance of the National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy Center — Near Dulles International Airport.  (1/600 sec. @ f/5.6; ISO 200)

(Notes:  (1) Click on the images to see them more clearly — it makes a big difference.  The pictures in the blog body were automatically downsampled to lower resolution to fit the column width.  (2) All the larger images you see after the “click” were down-sampled in PhotoShop to 50% of original cropped size in order to save loading time.  (3) All the photos were shot with the fujinon 23mm f/1.4 lens on a Fujifilm X-Pro1 at the ISO values given in the picture information.)

NASM Udvar-Hazy observation tower viewed from the museum entrance.

NASM Udvar-Hazy observation tower viewed from the museum entrance.  (1/800 sec. @ f/5.6; ISO 200)

Vought

Vought F4U-1D Corsair near entrance.  (1/20 sec. @ f/5.6; ISO 1600)

P-47D

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt.  (1/25 sec. @ f/5.6; ISO 3200)

Concorde front landing gear detail.

Concorde front landing gear detail.  (1/80 @ f/2.8; ISO 1600)

Floor of the museum near the entrance with Japanese

Floor of the museum near the entrance with Japanese Nakajima J1N1-S Gekko “Irving”.  (1/20 sec. @ f/4.0.  ISO 1600)

Curtis

Curtiss 1A “Gulfhawk”.  Notice the blue ceiling — the result of the differences in lighting, and my selecting a black point and white point (the pin striping) on the plane itself (warm light) which let the background go much cooler.  (1/25 sec. @ f/4.0; ISO 1600)

Walkway as airplanes land at Dulles.

Walkway as airplanes land at Dulles.  (1/300 sec. @ f/8.0; ISO 200)

Post Processing (PP):  Raw conversion by PictureCode’s Photo Ninja running inside Adobe Photoshop CS6 — includes Noise Ninja and some adjustment for detail and highlights.  Continued PP in Photoshop including conversion to a PSD file, curves (for a black point and, if available, a white point),  cropping,  color balance, etc.  A final pass with NIK Viveza 2, which gives you a last chance to see how the image looks and adjust lightness, color, saturation, shadows, etc.  Then saving for Web JPEG in PhotoShop.

May 152011
 
My Ride (Retro/Industrial)

Just a little photo-diversion…Checking out a new camera (Fujifilm X100) with the scooter in the lower level of the Metro garage.

Piaggio MP3 500 (Shot with Fujifilm X100)

This started out as a normal color image, but was rendered in B&W in Photoshop using Nik Software’s Silver Efex Pro.  The fill flash also lit up the reflective rim tape and speed tape.

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