Month: March 2016

Fuji X-Pro2 | Making Me Smile

O.K., many of you know I shot Nikon, both amateur and professionally, from 1967 to 2013.  But, I made the switch to Fuji after using an X-Pro1, and retiring my photography business.  I initially wanted smaller, lighter, and cheaper camera gear for my now, casual photography.

I first bought an X-E2 and then the new X-T1.  I had only borrowed the X-Pro1 to test the waters.  I love the form factor of the X-E2, and I love the huge EVF of the X-T1.  And, I missed the size of the X-Pro1.  You often don’t hear that from all the reviewers out there, but I really liked the size.  It was kind of the “Goldilocks” size and form factor for me.

Along came the X-Pro2, (Finally)!  I read every review I could find on the pre-production model; most good, a few good but with caveats attached.  I had to have one, so, I pre-ordered one with my fingers crossed.

I don’t “review” cameras.  I’m not a techie type of guy.  This is not a review.  All I can say is that this camera, X-Pro2, just makes me smile.

My big likes are the stunning Jpegs, the “joystick” used for focus point changes, the high ISO capabilities, and the control layout.  My only dislike is the new way to adjust ISO.  I much preferred that in the Q menu.  In my older age, it is just too difficult to see in that tiny window, especially in low light.  But that’s the only negative I’ve found.

I got a chance to shoot part of the Alabama High School Rodeo held in Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery Alabama.  It was the worst light I have shot in.  It was so bad (low) I had to shoot between 8,000 and 12,800 ISO at 1/500th – 1/800th sec, using my 60mm f2.4, wide open.  There was just no way to get to an appropriate shutter speed for the action.  Most of what I shot was at 12,800 ISO with a few at 8,000 or 10,000 ISO.

For the first time ever I shot action with a Fuji.  My X-Pro2 was set to continuous zone focus and the shutter to high continuous (8fps).  I would switch back to single point for the non action shots.  It was so easy and fast with the way Fuji designed the 4-way controller. I could not believe how well it performed using the very slow to focus 60mm f2.4 lens.

The images below were shot either in Acros G, or Classic Chrome simulation, Jpegs.  I only tweaked the contrast on the images.  My settings were: NR -4, S Tone -2, H Tone 0, Color +2 (for Classic Chrome), and Sharpness +1.

One last comment.  Take these images for what they are.  I realize you would not be able to print them 30″x20″ or whatever.  They would certainly be good enough for any print newspaper and anyones photo album or website.  My take away is that the new Fuji X-Pro2, (and the new X-T2 expected soon), is an awesome camera in a very small package!  It puts a smile on my face!!  All of these images will be up on My Flickr Page within the week for larger versions.

Cowgirls Waiting to Ride
60mm, f2.4, 1/3000, 400 ISO – © 2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/200, 800 ISO - ©2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/200, 800 ISO – ©2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/800, 12,800 ISO, +¾ EV - © 2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/800, 12,800 ISO, +¾ EV – © 2016 Rick Lewis
Who is winning this battle?
60mm, f2.4, 1/800, 8,000 ISO, +¾ EV – ©2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/800, 12,800 ISO - © 2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/800, 12,800 ISO – © 2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/800, 12,800 ISO - © 2016 Rick Lewis
60mm, f2.4, 1/800, 12,800 ISO – © 2016 Rick Lewis
55-200mm f3.5-4.8 OIS, 164mm, f4.6, 1/500, 12,800 ISO - © 2016 Rick Lewis
55-200mm f3.5-4.8 OIS, 164mm, f4.6, 1/500, 12,800 ISO – © 2016 Rick Lewis
55-200mm f3.5-4.8 OIS, 164mm, f4.6, 1/500, 12,800 ISO - © 2016 Rick Lewis
55-200mm f3.5-4.8 OIS, 164mm, f4.6, 1/500, 12,800 ISO – © 2016 Rick Lewis
X-E2 - 60mm, f2.4, 1/180, 6,400 ISO - © Rick Lewis
X-E2 – 60mm, f2.4, 1/180, 6,400 ISO – © Rick Lewis

 

 

Fuji X Cameras | JPEG or RAW ?

This post is mostly for amateurs / enthusiasts that continue to struggle with post processing or simply don’t like it.  This is not about whether it is better to shoot in RAW or Jpeg.  That’s like asking which camera is better, Nikon or Canon?  And, we all know the answer is Fuji. 😉

But, I think there is a big misconception out there that the only way to get a good picture is to shoot in RAW and then spend the afternoon in front of the computer fiddling with the tremendous latitude a RAW file affords one.  I have found that with Fuji X Jpegs, most of the time that is just not necessary.

I shoot in RAW + Jpeg (Fine) mode.  That way I get the best of both worlds, if needed. There are, of course, some draw backs with Jpegs, i.e., a little less dynamic range, unable to change White Balance, a little more noise, and generally less information in the file to manipulate.  There are some compelling reasons to shoot Jpeg though.  Fuji X cameras correct for lens distortions such as chromatic aberrations (purple fringing), lens diffraction at small apertures through the Lens Modulation Optimizer option, oh, and no mushy OOF foliage issues with Lightroom;  🙂  not to mention great Fuji colors SOOC!

Of course one has to understand the limitations of shooting / using Jpegs.  Single images with high dynamic range values are usually best left for RAW.  But know how to best shoot / use a Jpeg and wonderful images can happen.  In other words, watch that live view histogram!

Below are four images all shot with the Fujifilm X-E2 and the 18-55mm f2.8-4 OIS Fujinon lens, from a recent trip to the Florida panhandle.  This is my go to combination for travel until my X-Pro2 arrives.  All four Jpeg images have been processed in Adobe Lightroom CC using VSCO presets.  You should know VSCO says it is best to use their software on RAW images not Jpegs!  Tweaks have been made to each image to suit my taste.  In other words, the images have been majorly manipulated, but with minimal effort thanks to VSCO!  One of them was even shot at 5000 ISO!

Bottom line, watch your light, shoot within Jpeg boundaries and enjoy your photography more.  You don’t have to shoot in RAW to get nice pictures.  It’s always there, if you need it, but, if not, no worries.  Trust me.  Each image is printable.  I hate posting 100% crops!

To view more images go to my Flickr Page or my Website.

X-E2, f8, 1/1000, 400 ISO, -1/3EV ©2015 Rick Lewis
X-E2, f8, 1/1000, 400 ISO, -1/3EV ©2015 Rick Lewis
X-E2 f5.6, 1/200, 5000 ISO ©2015 Rick Lewis
X-E2, f5.6, 1/200, 5000 ISO ©2015 Rick Lewis
X-E2, f7.1, 1/250, 400 ISO, ©2015 Rick Lewis
X-E2, f7.1, 1/250, 400 ISO, -2/3EV  ©2015 Rick Lewis
X-E2, f8, 1/250, 400 ISO, ©2015 Rick Lewis
X-E2, f8, 1/250, 400 ISO, ©2015 Rick Lewis