Jan 17, 2014

and even more sun - day 5

What a week!   Finally made it home with over an hour of sunshine before sunset and didn't feel as rushed.   Put some new settings on the camera and went out on the daily dog walk.   Poor Jackson is going to be traumatized with all the sitting I make him do on "his" walk.   But learning lots of things about this camera.

(click the images for larger view)

I'm typically not a selfie kind of guy but I really wanted to try out the colour with my jacket, the blue skies and skin tones.   I set the camera to take a jpg in Black and White with red filter and normal RAW.  So JPG+RAW.  I also turned off the Velvia and went to the Provia.   The Velvia has just has too much saturation for this time of year, but still not rejecting it.    The colour pic (left) is raw with just a crop and some minor levels and the monochrome (right) is the jpg from the camera, also just a crop and minor levels.   I'm very impressed.

Shooting into the sun is always a challenge so had to play with a few settings.   Basically, F5.6, auto ISO, auto Shutter and dialed in -1ev.   monochrome with red filter.    Small levels adjustment and vignette put on.

Jackson decided to walk into the scene (left) which gave me the idea of trying out backlighting (right).   Put the flash to forced, but it really didn't light Jackson up as much as I would have liked.   Didn't use the raw, but was able to bring the levels up on the jpg to get some detail on him and retain the shininess of the ice and capture the sky.   The camera is very forgiving.

More backlight playing.  This time processed the raw.

This is a jpg almost straight out of the camera.   Just a touch of levels and crop.  The colours from this X100s are very very good and the auto exposure works great.

We went out for wing night and much to Jen's horror I brought the camera.   Apparently it embarrasses her :-)  If I'm going to try street work this year I need to get used to it.   Anyhow the point is that I wanted to see what the low light is like.   I put the ISO to auto 6400 so I could get a taste.   On the left, I was under exposed and had to raise the levels in LR.   I did not put on any noise reduction (on the camera or post) and you can see the noise that was introduced to raising the levels.   But still very usable.   On the right is a neon sign outside the restaurant.  I missed the focus a bit but again 6400 and almost no noise.  No levels on this, just a crop.

Jen needed a few things so decided to play.   Straight out of the camera - jpg - no processing.

Watson's Mill in Manotick.   I thought I could get closer but they don't have the paths plowed to had to go up on the bridge.   A bit limiting with the 23mm lens.   Anyhow, the point is, a handheld shot at 6400 ISO.   This is the raw image with a bit of levels as I overexposed the building a bit, and that was with -1ev dialed in.   Bumped up the levels of the ice in the river a bit but spent no more then 1 minute in post.

Taking another 6400 ISO image I zoomed in and cropped.   Lost a bit of detail and you can start to see the noise creeping in, but not bad for handshot from a considerable ways away.

So, after 5 days my thoughts and comments?

- For me, I've had a double whammy of having to learn LR5 (and make sure your LR 5.2 and up so you have the best raw converter for the X100s) and the camera.   My old flow was with Nikon NX2 and PS CS5.   Well turns out that CS5 does not support the Fuji raw format and there is no upgrade for the raw converter plugin unless you go to CS6 and that is just not in my budget.   Naturally the Nikon software won't support it so I was pretty much forced to go with LR5.   After a few nights of playing I have to say I'm much more comfortable with it and starting to enjoy it's flow now that I understand what it's doing.  Still miss a few things from PS so I need to save stuff off as a tiff or psd and then go to CS5, which is a pain but we're getting there.

- As for the camera, overall very happy now that I'm finding settings that work for me.   I'm sure I'll be tweaking them as I go along.   I'm having problems with moving the AF focus points around thanks to smaller buttons and the fact that I have a partially amputated right thumb.   The buttons on my D200 were big enough that this was not an issue but the X100s buttons I find I'm hitting multiple things all at once.  Might try mapping it to the fn button.

- Velvia is too colour saturated for me right now.   Going to learn the other settings and then go back and take another look.

- The monochrome with red filter is AMAZING!  I could put this camera in monochome and never take it out.

- I find the EVF with the ability to switch easily to optical very handy.   Knowing what the pictures is going to look like before taking the shot is new to me.   I know it's on the newer cameras but not one that I have played with.

-  Trying to get the hang of back focusing.   After getting frustrated with the AF a few times I decided to try using AFL button for autofocus and then manual with the ring.   This is going to take some getting used to but I think it's the way to go.  Again my stubby thumb has a few issues with it.   Practice practice I guess.  Love the built in MF features that zoom up and B&W to really see the focus.

- Being able to spin dials for speed, aperture and ev is SOOOOOOO much better then electronic menus.   The only downside, my close up eyesight sucks in low light I am struggling to see the values.   But a tiny complaint.

- The kicker for me is the ease of the carry.  Fits under my coat and I never feel that it's there.  When I need it, there it is.   This truly is a camera that you can carry anywhere at anytime.

One last comment, I have been picking up a few accessories along the way off e-bay and amazon.  Will review them as I get them as most are very cheap (price wise) and are coming from China (I know....) but we'll see if they are any good or not.   Ordered a replacement battery from Amazon, a 49mm - 77mm step ring from China for my ND filter, still need to order another for my polarizer, another aluminum lens cap from China (the only 1 I could find like the Fuji one and I got the last one so finding a cheap supply of replacements is in order) and two cable releases.  Ordered two of these as the price was a couple of bucks each and who knows how long they will last, so have two too destroy :-)  

I thought about it but not interested in the lens hood at all, adds too much to the front of the camera, I want to keep it slim.  But this does mean that I need to be careful to protect the lens front.   I do plan to pick up the Fuji leather case.   It is pricey but looking around I think it's the best product for the buck that's out there.

That's my thoughts and comments up until today.   Off to the tattoo shop later today for some touch-ups to my last big tattoo so hoping to get some shots of all the colours of ink and stuff in the store.   We'll see how the Fuji colour palette works with all the inks :-)

1 comment:

  1. Wow. I'm impressed ... those jpegs and SOOC shots are fantastic. The colours all look fantastic. So excited for you!