FujiXfiles

FujiXfiles blog with tips & tricks and personal experiences with my Fujifilm X-Series cameras. Fuji X10, X100, X100S and X-Pro 1 and Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8, XF 18mm f2, XF 35mm f1.4 and Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye lenses.

Fuji XF 16mm f1.4 lens hood options: LH-X16

Most of my regular followers and readers know that I am a big fan of square shape lens hoods. And while I only attach a lens hood for a specific purpose (protection from rain, external force or stray light), I do like to have options when I do attach one.

Fuji gives us two options for my favorite and most used Fujinon lens, the XF 16mm f1.4. Now we can choose between the standard tulip style plastic hood (that comes with the lens) and the new optional LH-X16 square metal lens hood.

In this short video I compare the two and tell you what are the advantages and disadvantages of each one:

Paris street photography - traveling X-Photographer style

Every time before I pack my travel photo bag, I try to envision what kind of photos I expect to take on location for the job or portfolio work. In my early days of photography I was prepared for every possible photo situation by bringing most of my gear. I recall one time where I lugged 20 kg (40 lb) of DSLR gear in a backpack through Paris. That was an awful experience!

Since my switch to Fuji X cameras 3.5 years ago, thankfully my travel photo bag has become a lot lighter. The night before this trip to Paris I decided on the following gear to bring:

- Fuji X100S

- WCL-X100 (wide conversion lens) for the X100S

- Fuji X-Pro 1

- Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye lens

- Fuji XF 14mm f2.8

That's 2 camera bodies plus 4 fast prime wide angle focal length weighing around 1.6kg (3.5 lb)!!! Add spare batteries and ND filters and you're still well below 2 kg (4lb) in your bag. That is only 10% of the weight of the gear that I took along a few years ago!

Paris streeet photography gear

My Paris streeet photography gear

Everything plus my iPad Air and battery chargers fit comfortably into my ThinkTank Retrospective 10 bag. With the small bag and photo gear there have been no hassles at airport security for me any more. A great way to start my trip quite relaxing despite the early red eye flight.

For my style of street photography I prefer wide angle lenses. I want to be close to the scene while still providing enough space around my subject to explain the situation to the viewer. In terms of 35mm film equivalent field of view I covered 12mm (8mm fisheye),  21mm (XF 14mm), 28mm (WCL-X100) and 35mm (23mm on X100S).

I stepped off the plane at Charles de Gaulle Airport with my X-Pro 1 + XF 14mm and X100S ready for action and right there was already my first frame to be captured. Always be ready is important in street photography!

the lone traveler - Fuji X-Pro 1

The lone traveler - Fuji X-Pro 1

For a street photographer to start the day with a portfolio keeper is equivalent to an athlete who manages to get a great result in his first attempt. Unposed street photography is like a box of chocol... I guess you already heard that analogy too many times ;)

Off to downtown for breakfast and more street photography:

La Cigale Paris - Fuji X-Pro 1

La Cigale Paris - Fuji X-Pro 1

Bulldog roaming the city - Fuji X-Pro 1

Bulldog roaming the city - Fuji X-Pro 1

Comparing the Fuji X-Pro 1 autofocus to the improved AF on the X100S, the X-Pro 1 AF feels a bit long in the tooth now. While you can still get good results - especially when following some of

my AF tips from a previous post

- I really wish for a X100S or X-T1 style performance boost on Fujifilm's top of the line camera carrying the "Pro" in its name.

Industrial Bird Production - Fuji X-Pro 1

Industrial Bird Production - Fuji X-Pro 1

Don't ignore photo art - Fuji X-Pro 1

Don't ignore photo art - Fuji X-Pro 1

Shadow walk and talk - Fuji X100S

Shadow walk and talk - Fuji X100S

"2" - Paris Street Photography - Fuji X-Pro 1

Paris is a giant catwalk - Fuji X-Pro 1

Paris is a giant catwalk - Fuji X-Pro 1

And while the X-Pro 1 AF is slower than the one on the X100S I still used the X-Pro 1 for most of my photos in Paris. The XF 14mm with it's 90° field of view feels very natural to me and it gives me enough surrounding environment of the scene to put my subject into a context - like the girl in the photo above looking at the Eiffel Tower in the background.

Victory anniversary celebrations Paris 2014 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Victory anniversary celebrations Paris 2014 - Fuji X-Pro 1

And the XF 14mm has the wonderful manual focus mechanism that allows me to zone focus the "traditional way" with the focus distance on the lens instead of the "virtual distance scale" in the viewfinder. This is a huge advantage and I really hope that future wide angle lenses (besides the XF 14mm and XF 23mm) and maybe even a future X100 will get this great feature, too.

Cliché Citroën 2CV and Sacré-Cœur photo - Fuji X100S

Cliché Citroën 2CV and Sacré-Cœur photo - Fuji X100S

Spaceship hiding in a Paris metro station - Fuji X-Pro 1

Spaceship hiding in a Paris metro station - Fuji X-Pro 1

Circle of trust - Fuji X100S

Circle of trust - Fuji X100S

I went to Paris with a very light photo bag and only wide angle lenses. If I would go back tomorrow with a street photography assignment, would I pack differently? Not at all! It was very pleasant to move around freely with a light back and small unobtrusive and quiet cameras. And those are important requirements for successful street photography!

If you have any further questions or want to share your Fuji-X experiences just leave a comment below, Twitter me @HamburgCam or visit

my Homepage at www.MarcoLarousse.com

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

I am an official International Fujifilm X-Photographer now :)

I had been contacted by Fujifilm in December 2013 where they invited me to become an official Fujifilm X-Photographer. And now my profile and portfolio have been posted on the official Fujifilm X-Photographer website:

http://fujifilm-x.com/photographers/en/marco_larousse/

My special thanks go out to Fujifilm Middle East and Fujifilm Germany who supported me in the process. I am honored and happy to join the official Fujifilm X-Photographer community. It feels humbling to be part of this awesome group next to highly respected and famous photographers like

Zack Arias

,

Kevin Mullins

and Mr. Strobist himself:

David Hobby

. But there are so many other talented and creative photographers in this group, too. It is certainly worth to browse around and look at what other

photographers worldwide create with Fujifilm X-Cameras

!

What will change about my FujiXfiles blog now?

My FujiXfiles blog has been read by more than half a million readers since I started it in mid-2012. I have gotten a huge amount of positive feedback and got to know so many great photographers from all over the world through it.

My main reason to start this blog was to show what these little Fuji-X mirrorless cameras can do and to post tips and tricks on how to get the most out of them. And I will continue to do it in the future, too! :)

Hamburg Marathon 2014 - Fuji X100S with WCL-X100

Yes, you can get good sport action photos without a big DSLR :) - Fuji X100S

The most read post on my blog so far has been the one about the X system AF focus tips. And while the overall performance of Fuji X-Camera AF has been constantly improved via FW updates

it may still be worth to take a look at it again

to get the best possible results from your X-Camera.

Fuji X100S SOOC B&W JPG look great!

Remember that the

Fuji X-Cameras give you great B&W

images straight out of the camera?

I will continue to write about my experiences with Fuji X-Cameras and show photos that I have taken with them. And I will still speak freely my personal opinion about Fuji-X products. I have no problem to point out things that I feel can improve the products. After all, I want the Fuji X-Cameras to be the best cameras as possible for me. And Fujifilm has shown in the past that they listen to us photographers and customers in order to built a long lasting customer relationship. And that is what inspired me to write this blog post after 3 years of using Fuji X-Cameras:

"Domo Arigato Fujifilm and Ganbatte Kudasai!

"

Hamburg rain street photography - Fuji X100S

Fuji does not let their X customers stand in the rain. I love the  FW feature updates :)

And one more thing! If the X-Photographer status will ever get me to test gear that is not announced, I will naturally not talk about it! 100% certain, so don't even ask! And if I'll ever speculate about future Fuji X products this will be based 100% on my personal opinion without any inside information or knowledge. In that respect my guess is as good as yours :)

With that out of the way, I hope that I can be of help to Fujifilm and all X-Photographers in continuing to make the Fuji X-System the best it can be.

Leica M6 - Ilford Delta 400 captures Fuji X-Pro 1

I am a rangefinder style camera guy - Here my Leica M6 captures my Fuji X-Pro 1 with XF 56mm lens

If you have any further questions or want to share your Fuji-X experiences just leave a comment below, Twitter me @HamburgCam or visit

my Homepage at www.MarcoLarousse.com

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

After 3 years with Fuji X-Cameras I say "Domo Arigato Fujifilm and Ganbatte Kudasai!"

It's now 3 years ago when my camera shop called and told me that they just got a Fuji X100 in and that I could buy it. 30 minutes later I was holding that camera beauty in my hands.

I surprised myself a bit by buying a camera that I had never held in my hands and did not read any usability reviews about before I bought it. On top of that I was pretty sure that I would never buy another camera without a full frame sensor since I switched to a Canon 5D / 5D MK II long before.

But the Canon's were simply too heavy to always have them with me. I recall a photo tour to Paris where my giant back pack full of DSLR bodies and premium lenses completely wore me out. Towards the end of that trip I was down to one camera body with my 35mm f1.4 lens and the rest of the gear locked up in the hotel room.

To go "back" to an APS-C size sensor in order to greatly reduce the bulk of gear I had to lug around with me was all of a sudden very appealing. And a camera that had and optical and electronic viewfinder plus the aperture ring, shutter time and exposure compensation on dedicated wheels and in locations where I used to have them in my trusted analog cameras made the X100 worth a purchase without trying before buying.

The X100 was supposed to be my every day casual shooting camera. I still had the big DSLR rig for "serious" jobs. I took my first photos with the Fuji and loved the image quality and color out of camera so much, that I even threw my principle of "never to photograph anything else but RAW again" over board and set the X100 to JPG only.

eye to eye with a shark

Fuji X100 with initial Firmware at the aquarium at ISO 2000

But as much as I loved the X100 I had quickly written down a fairly long list of things that I found quirky about it. One example was the fairly long minimum focus distance before having to switch to macro. I like to get close to the action and constantly ran into that focus trap. I was especially annoyed by the 4 button pushes it took to engage and disengage the macro mode. Quickly I had a substantial list of things written down that, from my experience, should work differently. I mailed it out to reps and posted it into forums without expecting anything to come out from it..

Alsterdampfer St Georg Hamburg ATG

A walk with the compact X100 and returning with great image quality

But then something strange happened. Fuji responded to many of these points (that other photographers had pointed out as well) and implemented massive changes through (free) firmware updates! This was a completely new experience for me. My previous camera brands only did firmware updates if something was seriously broken. But Fuji listened to us photographers and made the cameras better without forcing us to purchase the next years model that fixed all previous issues - the way I was used to from other camera manufacturers.

Vor Frue Kirke - Copenhagen Cathedral - Fuji X100 Pano

Using the vertical in camera pano mode is my hobby

By that time I was hooked! I was first on the list to get a X-Pro 1 with XF 18mm and XF 35mm lenses and my usage of the DSLR's was reduced drastically! Although the early X100 and X-Pro 1 had some special auto focus "characteristics" I somehow managed to still get most of my images sharp out of those cameras. By that time the X-Cameras had gotten a lot of attention and amateurs as well as pros gave it a try. Some were more happy than others, but switching from a DSLR AF to a CDAF AF takes a bit of a different approach. This motivated me to share my experience of how to get most out of the Fuji X AF via this blog post. By today it has been read a few hundred thousand times and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback.

X-Pro 1 + VSCO Film + Alphabet Soup

Happy getting the X-Pro 1

But Fuji also continued to improved the X-Cameras via FW updates in respect of usability, AF performance and features! And even after introducing the X100S upgrade from the X100 after 2 years of production, they still pushed out a major FW and feature update to the X100 for free! This may have actually hurt the sale of new X100S, but it's probably massively outweighed by future customer loyalty.

...and counting - Fuji X-Pro 1

3 years Fuji-X and counting

Today, 3 years after purchasing my first Fuji X-Camera my annual share of photos taken with Fuji X-Cameras vs. my FF DSLR is about 99% to 1%. I almost always take at least one of my Fuji cameras with me when I leave the door (that's what photographers should always do). Now it is hard for me to justify keeping the DSLR, some jobs are still DSLR territory for me, though. But with each lens that Fuji introduces and that covers my previous exclusive DSLR lens field of view, I can sell yet another part of my DSLR set (like XF 35mm f1.4 replaced my EF 50mm f1.4 and XF 56mm f1.2 replaced my EF 85mm f1.8).

A New Dawn - Happy New Year 2014 - Fuji X100S

X100S - right place, right time, right camera :)

Happy Coffee Bokeh Friday 27.12.2013 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Fast lenses like the XF 35mm f1.4 allow for shallow DOF even with an APS-C camera

B&W Portrait - Fuji X100S

The X100(S) is not a portrait camera - really?

Bird and Prey - Fuji X100S

Bird and Prey - Fuji X100S

Reflect on your 2013 photo portfolio - Fuji X100S

The X100S let's me focus on my composition by allowing me to intuitively operate the settings.

Hamburg U4 Underground Station = Space Station - Fuji X-Pro 1

X-Pro 1 with Samyang 8mm f2.8 lens capturing spaceship underground stations

Happy Music Bokeh Friday 14.02.2024 - Fuji X100S

The X100S even produces nice bokeh for my weekly bokeh friday photos

Happy Bokeh Friday 10.01.2014 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Camera and lens FW updates made precise focusing on the X-Pro 1 much easier

Suspense - Fuji X100S

X100S with perfect timing capturing suspense, action and hope in one frame

25 Hours Design Hotel Hamburg Hafen City

The day I gave RAW on the X-Pro 1 my first try

Lines, Street and Cat content - dedpxl01- Fuji X100S

X100S was my tool  for Zack Arias DEDPXL01 assignment #lines

After tenthousands of images taken with my X-Cameras I hope that Fujifilm continues to innovate the X-System like they have done in the past 3 years. And if they do, my DSLR gear will be obsolete for me one day.

So Fujifilm, Ganbatte Kudasai! :)

If you have any further questions or want to share your Fuji-X

experiences just leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

The Fuji X100S made me a better B&W photographer

So let me share my "secrets" to getting great B&W results from the Fuji X100S with you.

Exploring new directions - Fuji X100S

B&W photography can give your photography a new direction

I started my photography with a cheap plastic camera from a grab bag and a roll of B&W film in the 70's. I must have been 5 or 6 years old at that time. I guess that is where my emotional attachment to B&W photography started.

But when I switched to mainly digital cameras I shot generally in color. This was in big part due to the fact that I did not like the in camera results that the JPG B&W modes produced. And once the color file ended up on my computer, I often just stuck with color.

But since I own the Fuji X100S this has changed! The Fuji X-Cameras create superb color files straight out of the camera. But for the B&W lover in you, Fuji has also created some wonderful B&W filters.

I can see between the lines - Fuji X100S

This reflection would have drowned in a busy color background

My favorite B&W setting on the X100S for most situations are:

- Film simulation: B-R (B&W Red Filter)

- Sharpness: +1

- Highlight Tone: +1

- Shadow Tone: +2

- Noise Reduction: -2

This will give you a fairly contrasty B&W look when exposed correctly.

Late summer day in Copenhagen - Fuji X100S

The lack of color can be visually relaxing

And in case you don't have a lot of experience with B&W photography the Fuji X cameras with EVF or LCD will take you by the hand and guide you to your first successful exposures. When you switch your JPG to B&W you will see a B&W image in the EVF / LCD preview. Now use the exposure compensation dial (in Aperture priority mode) to increase or decrease the exposure and get a more predominant black or white  look.

Remix the World Copenhagen - Fuji X100S

B&W works great for structures and patterns

Through the live preview in the EVF I got this next photo exposed the way I wanted in my first try. It feels like cheating, but the result is what counts! ;)

Shadow mirroring BMX - Fuji X100S

Got this exposed the way I wanted on the first try - and this pose in motion would not have had time for a second try

This is a X100S portrait with my B&W settings plus on board fill flash straight out of the X100S:

Happy Bokeh Friday 11.10.2013 - Fuji X100S

This is a JPG straight out of camera!

If I still want some more contrast in my photo I upload the JPG file to my iPad and do some  quick adjustments - et voilà!

Harbour Landscape B&W - Fuji X100S

The sun flare was visible in the EVF. This way I was able to time it just right when the ship passed underneath it.

Still not sure if you want to deprive your exposures of the color for good? No problem! Set the Fuji X100S to shoot JPG + RAW and the RAW file will contain all of the color information just in case you change your mind later. The EVF will still show the B&W preview. Feels like cheating again? Don't worry! It is all about the images that come out of the camera :)

Happy Hamburg Bokeh Friday 27.09.2013 - Fuji X100S

Be adventurous and try to some B&W photos with your Fuji X-Camera

 I have to admit that I sometimes shoot JPG + RAW and end up using the RAW file to convert it into a B&W JPG in post processing. I will do this when I shoot in very contrasty situations and might need to recover some highlights later. The other occasion is when I shoot close to or at ISO 6400. I have set the Noise Reduction to -2 but at those high ISO the X100S tends to smooth out a bit too much details despite the NR -2 setting.

Night portrait at ISO 6400 and 19mm - Fuji X100S

At ISO 6400 I prefer RAW to keep more details

So, are you ready to give it a try? Then why not just save the B&W settings as one of your custom settings in your X100S for those occasions when you feel like shooting Monochrome :)

Copenhagen - Bike and Run City - Fuji X100S

The Fuji X100S is the perfect B&W camera for me!

If you have any further questions or want to share your Fuji X B&W experiences just leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

Fuji X100S Review - Is it worth to upgrade from the classic X100?

After a 2 year production cycle, Fujifilm upgraded the revolutionary X100 and introduced the X100S. The X100 was the reason I bought my first digital Fuji camera a little over 2 years ago and it has turned me into a loyal customer, also buying the X10 and X-Pro 1. The X100 was also the first camera that I preordered without ever holding it in my hands or reading a single review (there were no reviews at the time I preordered).

The X100S is my daily companion - even in bad weather

The X100S is my daily companion - even in bad weather there are scenes to capture

But now the question for me and countless other classic X100 photographers was: Should I upgrade to the X100S?

Fujifilm introduced the revolutionary hybrid viewfinder with the X100 and gave the camera an external control layout of a classic film camera with aperture, shutter time and exposure compensation that can be controlled blindfolded with your finger tips.

But the X100 was not without flaws. While the image quality was stunningly wonderful even in Firmware 1.0, some of the ergonomics were... hmmm... let's say "challenging".

The original FW was lacking some streamlining in the menu and the minimum focus distance before having to switch to Macro mode was almost a deal breaker for me. Especially since it requited the photographer to push buttons 3 times before the Macro mode was activated or deactivated.

But most of these issues were fixed with continuous FW updates and the AF plus MF quality and speed was improved over time, too.

Is it worth upgrading to the X100S

I'm already owning the X-Pro 1 and classic X100 - so is it worth buying the X100S?

So why should I upgrade if the X100 is a good camera with the current FW? Well, because the X100s is simply better at everything!

There were certain things that Fuji was not able to fix in FW on the classic X100 as they were hardware related. The X100 and the X100S exterior are almost identical but the trained X100 photographer will happily notice the subtle but important changes that Fuji made.

The first thing that I appreciate is the physically raised "menu" and "OK" button. You won't have to operate this important button with your fingernails any more. Secondly, the 3 position focus mode slider now has the most used modes at the easy to slide to top and bottom position (Manual focus and AF-S standard mode) while the least used mode for me (AF-C continuous that can only be used with center focus point) now sits at the fiddly middle position (where formerly the most used AF-S was placed). The AF-Point selection and Drive buttons also swapped places. This enables you to move the AF-Point with one finger while staying glued to the viewfinder. This fantastic improvement was also introduced in the 2.05 X-Pro 1 FW (1.06 on X-E1) update via Fn button.

Lastly, the RAW button turned into the Q-Menu (Quick menu overview) button that is known and loved from the X-Pro 1 / X-E1and X10 but did not make it to the original X100, yet.

Just these ergonomic changes could be reason enough for the enthusiast X100 photographer to upgrade. But wait, there is more! Fuji lists 70 improvements that have been implemented in comparison to the previous version of the X100. OK, let's make it 69 as I find the mere attachment of the "S" badge not to be a real usability enhancement ;)

I will not go through the whole list of remaining improvements but rather tell you what I find extremely helpful from a daily usability point of view:

The single biggest improvement for me is the reduction of the minimum focus distance before having to switch to Macro mode. It has been reduced by 40% down to 50cm (20in) from 80cm (31in) on the previous version. I was constantly in the close range for portraits and having to switch to Macro was annoying and slowed down the AF locking process considerably.

AF with improved close focus distance

The X100S has an improved AF close focus distance before having to switch to Macro mode - high five for that!

Next on the list to mention is the improved AF and MF speed. The contrast AF now gets supported by phase detection pixel on the sensor to speed up the AF in certain well lit situations. And when the phase detection pixel take control the AF locks very, very fast. If the contrast detection takes over, the AF speed feels about as fast as the AF speed on the classic X100 with current FW.

So how can one make the phase detection pixel to always be in charge? Well, Fuji claims that you will need a decent amount of light. Then you need to use the focus points around the center as these PD pixel are only covering 40% of the sensor around the center.

I did as Fuji told me, but I still find it very hard to control if PD or CD AF will be used to lock focus. Even if I aim the focus point at the same subject and try to lock AF repeatedly with half pressed shutter, it will sometimes pump (CD AF) and sometimes be instant (PD AF) to lock focus. This and an improved AF lock rate in backlit situations are two of the few areas where I hope for improvements in future FW updates. When you have a blazing fast PD AF it should be used as often as possible. But aside from this wish I should add that even right now this is the fastest and most reliable AF of the current APS-C size sensor Fuji X-Cameras.

And if you struggle with any of your Fuji X cameras AF,

read this article that I wrote about maximizing your AF results with Fuji X cameras

The improved X100S AF in action

The improved X100S AF in action

And thanks to a higher resolution EVF, focus peaking and the now ambient light independent manual focus system, this is currently also the best manual focus Fuji X-Camera (until the FW 3.0 update for the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 on July 24, 2013 anyway).

Operating Speed:

The X100S also operates faster than the classic X100. There is no noticeable shutter lag and switching settings in menu is instant. If maximum operating speed is important to you, then switch off all energy saving- and switch on all performance improving features. What also helps is when you use the fastest UHS-I SDHC cards. I use the 16GB SanDisk Extreme 95MB/s and I'm very happy with the speed they write my RAW + JPG files.

 No noticeable shutter lag = perfectly timed captures

 No noticeable shutter lag = perfectly timed captures

Power consumption and batteries:

But with all energy saving turned off, I highly recommend that you buy at least one, or better yet, two spare batteries for your X100S. There have been situations where I got less than 350 images out of one charge with lots of reviewing and constant EVF use. And since my first experiences with two off brand batteries were so negative (they would not physically fit into the X100 battery compartment without getting stuck) I now only buy the original Fuji batteries.

Landscape photography with an urban touch

Just a visual reminder to take extra batteries with you for long photo walks with your X100S ;-)

Charging:

Talking about batteries, the charger that comes with the X100S now doesn't have a loose adapter part (to hold the battery in place) any more. After loosing this part on my X100 charger on a trip, I glued the replacement part permanently to the charger. Now Fuji attached this part permanently.

But what also needed improving was the charging time for empty batteries. An empty X100(S) battery will need 3.5 to 4 hours to charge completely! And unfortunately this has not changed with the X100S charger :-(

This becomes really annoying when you are on a photo trip and come back to the hotel at night with 2-3 empty batteries. I end up setting my alarm to wake up after 4 hours to switch batteries in the charger, so that I have at least 2 fully charged batteries for the next day. If anyone knows a faster charger for the X100 battery, please let me know! And no, a second charger is not an option. Traveling light is one of the reasons why I switched from DSLR to mirrorless for the majority of my work.

Raw street photography

Raw street photography

Image Quality

The biggest change concerning the image quality between the X100 and the X100S is the switch from a 12 MPix bayer array sensor to the 16 MPix X-Trans II sensor (this is an updated version of the X-Pro 1 & X-E1 X-Trans sensor.)

The original X100 certainly has an outstanding image quality and color rendition and still performs incredibly well today. But the extra 4 MPix and new sensor technology of the X100S are nice for extra cropping and ISO headroom. From looking at my images EXIF data I would say that the X100S has a 1 stop ISO noise advantage over the X100. This becomes quite visible at ISO 3200 and 6400. But I also have the feeling that the ISO sensitivity on the X100S is about 1/2 of a f-stop less sensitive. This leads to slightly longer shutter times at equal exposure situations. But over all there is still a bit of a gain in favor of the X100S and the "noise" of the X-Trans sensor looks very film grain like.

@ the barbershop - Fuji X100s

I'm 100% satisfied with image and detail quality that I get from the X100S!

The JPG color rendition is also a bit different between these two generations of X100 cameras. I have noticed this when I first started using the X-Pro 1 with the X-Trans sensor compared to the X10 and X100. This difference is mostly visible in yellow and green parts of the image. The X10 and X100 are very similar to each other while the X-Pro1 and X100S are more of a match to each other. Yet, if you don't do a direct A-B comparison, you will not notice this subtle difference in tonal rendition. And the out of camera JPG image look is beautiful from both sensors!

Natural skin colors and an analog  film like look are one of the strength of Fuji X cameras

 Natural skin colors and an analog  film like look are one of the strength of Fuji X cameras

If you enjoy to give your photos a look of other analog film types than what the Fuji X-Cameras already offer internally, take a look at the products from VSCO. They offer their 3 film packs for LR and Aperture now with support for Fuji X100, X100s, X-E1 and X-Pro 1 Raw files.

A little VSCO Film adjustment in LightRoom gave the X100Simage this look

 A little VSCO Film adjustment in LightRoom gave the image this look

The lens picks up some flare and this is identical to the lens on the original X100. Hence, I would buy the lens hood with adapter for two reasons:

1. To control flare.

2. To have a filter thread for the use of filter or simply to plug in a standard lens cap (49mm filter and lens cap for the adapter without the lens hood and a 52mm lens cap for use with the lens hood attached - you can see this on the second photo from the top). And do get the lens caps with the pinch release in the middle of the cap!

Street Portrait - Fuji X100s

 The lens hood saved me from flare in this backlit image

My settings:

The X100S has turned into my every day take along camera. It is my street, portrait and city/landscape tool. And, I use it 95% of the time as a B&W camera! I set the camera to record JPG + RAW and set the JPG to be captured in BW + Red Filter. This way the EVF and the review image in the EVF & OVF will show a B&W image which is closest to the way I would process it. The RAW file still contains the color information and will be rendered as a color image in my LightRoom collection, next to the B&W JPG image.

I find that seeing a scene in B&W is less distracting and lets me focus more intensely on the subject and situation of the scene.

The Brick Wall test

Lens distortion is well controlled in JPG images and easily adjusted on RAW with a +5 setting in LightRoom

These are my preferred every day settings when I'm out with the X100S:

- Fn = ND Filter (heavily used in bright conditions to overcome the f2 & 1/1000s limit)

- RAW + JPG

- ISO: Auto 6400 at 1/100s (I'd rather take a bit more noise than motion blur)

- Film simulation: B-R (B&W Red Filter)

- Sharpness: +1

- Highlight Tone: 0

- Shadow Tone: +1

- Noise Reduction: -2

- MF Assist: Max

- High Performance Mode: On

- Power Saving: Off

- Review Time: 0.5 S

I'd say that even with a fixed 35mm equivalent field of view (to a 35mm film camera) the Fuji X100 and X100S cameras are very versatile:

Reportage photography:

Reportage photography X100S

Reportage photography X100S

Portrait photography:

Portrait photography with X100S

Portrait photography with X100S

Architecture photography:

Architecture photography with X100S

Architecture photography with X100S

Landscape photography (with VSCO Filmpack Filter applied):

Landscape photography with VSCO Filmpack Filter applied

Landscape photography with VSCO Filmpack Filter applied

My Résumé:

The original X100 was a revolutionary camera with great image quality and a few quirks, but most of them were taken care of in FW updates. Still, after using the original X100 for 2 years my first 24h with the X100S convinced me that this is the camera I have been waiting for! And at first I didn't even want to upgrade as the image quality of the X100 is still very, very good.

But it seems like all of my suggestions to improve the usability of the original X100 were implemented. Someone at Fuji must be either reading my mind or reading my blog and forum posts ;-) The X100S is truly a worthy successor with improvements in almost all aspects - making my daily work with this camera a pleasure.

When I'm out with the X100S I don't have to think about how to operate the camera. I can simply concentrate on framing my shot and evaluating the scene. I operate the aperture, shutter time and exposure compensation directly on the dedicated wheels without taking my eye off the viewfinder. And I'm get an instant 0.5 second quick review image to check if I got the shot the way I intended it. If the X100S didn't already exist one would have to invent it! :-)

I think that if Henri Cartier Bresson would still be alive and in the market for a mirrorless camera, he would probably look very closely at the Fujifilm X100S - it's that good of a street photography tool.

Add translates to:

Add translates to: "How to take good photos"

To finally answer the question if the X100s is worth the upgrade from the X100? After using this camera daily for more than 3 month with roughly 5000 photos taken, I can answer this question with a big "YES!" for myself. So if you are still in doubt if this upgrade is worth it for you, go to your camera store and give it a try! This camera might also be an alternative for people who are interested in the Fujinon XF 23mm f1.4 lens for their X-Pro 1 or X-E1. Besides that the XF 23mm f1.4 lens is not released at the time I'm writing this, the X100S can also be seen as a 23mm f2 lens with a fine camera attached. And it would make a nice back up camera, too :)

And it is also worth a second look for people who had operating issues with the classic X100.

But I must also add that this does not make the classic X100 an obsolete camera. If you don't want to spend the new price on a X100S and don't mind the minor operating issues that I had with the classic X100 (mainly close focus distance before having to switch to Macro, MF in low light and two handed AF point selection) it is still a camera with wonderful image quality at a very interesting used price. And take a look at the Fuji X photographers who still use the original X100 and the stunning images that they create with it. Only the difference in image quality from the new sensor would not have been my reason to upgrade...

Probably one of my last Fuji X100 photos

One of my last photos taken with the classic Fuji X100

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

The Fujinon XF 14mm review - the best Leica lens Fuji ever built ;)

I have spent a few weeks with the new Fuji XF 14mm f2.8 R lens. I had heard good things about it, yet it was not love at first sight for me.

Testing the Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 R in the real world

Testing the Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 R in the real world...

And that is not to say that it is not a pretty lens. It is very attractive looking and the markings for the DOF indicator clearly separates it from the rest of the current Fujinon XF lens lineup.

Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - my X-Pro 1's birthday present

Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 R lens

But the timing for getting the XF 14mm was a bit off for me. I had just finished some intense

testing of the Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye

and absolutely loved the 180° field of view and image quality. And my main lens for the X-Pro 1 has been the light and very compact XF 18mm f2 for the past year. Compared to the XF 18mm the XF 14mm is big (41mm/1.6" vs. 58mm/2.28") and heavy (116g/0.26lb vs. 235g/0.52lb).

Fujinon XF 18mm f2 vs. XF 14mm f2.8

Fujinon XF 18mm f2 vs. XF 14mm f2.8

Will I be using the XF 14mm enough to justify the purchase? After all it is currently the most expensive X-Mount lens made by Fuji. And in the end it is only 4mm wider than the XF 18mm and even one stop slower.

Anyway, I now had the lens in my hands and did what I always do when I get new gear – I attached it to the camera, emptied my camera bag and locked all other lenses and camera bodies into my closet. The best way to get familiar with new gear fast is to use it intensely and exclusively.

So I went out on my first stroll with the new lens. But when I stepped out of my door I felt an unfamiliar strong pull on my camera strap (which I lug across my shoulder like a messenger bag). Not only is the XF 14mm heavier, it also sticks out longer to change the weight balance a bit into the “uncomfortable” department. Additionally, I do not like the style of lenshood that the XF 14mm requires. The XF 18mm and 35mm lenses have small and unobtrusive square lens hoods. But this is the Tulip style lens hood that draws much more attention and makes the camera look bigger than it is – not good for a stealthy aspiring street photographer.

Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 vs. XF 18mm f2 with lens hoods

Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 vs. XF 18mm f2 with lens hoods

The 14mm lens will equal the field of view of a 21mm lens on a full frame camera. So the 90° field of view should be perfect for landscape and architecture. And while I have gotten really used to the 27mm full frame equivalent field of view of the XF 18mm lens, I could clearly see the added benefit of a 21mm equivalent field of view of the XF 14mm lens. You can get closer and still get everything in the frame.

Dampfschiff St. Georg Hamburg - Fujinon XF 14mm - Fuji X-Pro 1

Wide angle lenses allow you to get closer to avoid having other photographers / tourists in your picture ;)

Hamburg Telemichel und Messehallen - Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Hamburg Telemichel and Messehallen - Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

A quick check on the MacBook Air brought the first surprise: It does not show distortion - not even on the RAW file! Wow! For a wide angle lens like this, I’m impressed!

I also made myself familiar with the manual focus mechanism of this lens and it works pretty much the way I would have wanted it to. It is pretty comfortable to switch into the MF mode directly when you pull the focus ring back. No need to set the MF switch manually. And it goes right back to AF when you push the focus ring back to the forward position. Very smart! But it comes with one drawback: You can not automatically prefocus with the AF-L button in manual mode. The AF mechanism seems to be completely decoupled from the gears when in MF mode. And when in AF mode you can’t turn the MF focus ring as it is locked.

Elbtunnel - Underneath the Elbe River - Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

 Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 @ f4 ISO 3200

Car Elevator Elbtunnel - Fujinon XF 14mm - Fuji X-Pro 1

Car Elevator Elbtunnel - Fujinon XF 14mm - Fuji X-Pro 1

Zone focusing has worked well for me with the XF 14mm and it raises the question, why many modern lenses don’t get these useful markings any more?

Hamburg Frühlings DOM 2013 - Fujinon XF 14mm - Fuji X-Pro 1

14mm gave the perfect 90° angle to capture this chairoplane

The manual focus is still focus by wire on the XF 14mm but it is the best feel of all the XF lenses I have tried so far.

Flying on the chairoplane - Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

 Zone focus with DOF indicator on the lens worked well

The autofocus feels about as fast as the one in the XF 35mm and not quite as snappy as the XF 18mm

. The 58mm filter thread is a bit unfortunate compared to the 52mm of the XF 18mm and 35mm, but physics has it’s laws about front element size...

Rollercoaster panning - Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Roller coaster panning - Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

The lens handles flare pretty good for a 14mm wide angle lens. It shares the same lens hood with the XF18-55mm zoom lens. That is convenient for people who own both lenses and only want to bring one lens hood. But it also raises the question if the zoom lens gets the maximum sun protection on the wide end if the cover area is enough for an even wider 14mm vs. 18mm lens?

Backlight and flare test with the Fuji XF 14mm lens - Fuji X-Pro 1

Backlight and flare test with the Fuji XF 14mm lens - Fuji X-Pro 1

This brings me to the image quality. As always I do not test my gear in lab conditions. Others who are much better at this already do plenty of these tests. For me it is important to see how the gear behaves in normal shooting situations. And here the lens performs stunningly well! Sharpness and contrast are already very good wide open at f2.8 and gets even better (especially in the corners) at f4 - f5.6 range. I hardly shoot beyond f5.6 if I don’t have to. But I tried some daytime long exposures with a ND1000 filter and aperture up to f16 to get a slow shutter time. IQ is still good but you loose some sharpness due to diffraction beyond f11 – like with most other lenses, too.

Hamburg Alster Architecture - Fujinon XF 14mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

 XF 14mm long exposure: 15s - f16

Space Odyssey 2013 - Fujinon XF 14mm - Fuji X-Pro 1

XF 14mm long exposure: 15s - f16

There is a bit of vignetting wide open at f2.8 (corrected on the JPG files, visible on RAW) and it decreases slowly when you stop down. Nothing out of the ordinary for a wide angle lens, though. But the vignetting has not spoiled any of my images so far.

Hamburg Alster Fountain Rainbow - Fujinon XF 14mm - Fuji X-Pro 1

Hamburg Alster Fountain Rainbow - I even added some extra vignetting on the top of this image!

If you have followed my blog, Flickr stream and Twitter feed long enough, you know how important bokeh is to me. So how does the XF 14mm handle the out of focus blur?

Take Courage! - Fujinon XF 14mm - Fuji X-Pro 1

 Take Courage! Get closer than you normally would to get a smooth bokeh

Hamburg Bokeh Sightseeing with the giraffe, Fuji XF 14mm and Fuji X-Pro 1

My

Hamburg Bokeh Sightsseing series

benefits from the XF 14mm wide angle lens

After tons of photos in all different lighting situations I am nothing short of impressed. I hear a few complaints about the price of this lens. And at a MSRP of EUR 899,- / USD 899,- it does not generally appear to be a bargain for a Fujinon XF lens at first sight. But imagine you could buy a Leica 14mm f2.8 lens for this price – you would not think twice. And from my image quality point of view I would say that the XF 14mm is the most Leica like wide angle lens I have tried so far.

If you take a look at it from this point of view the lens is almost a bargain! :)

Positive:

+ Great image quality, color and contrast

+ DOF scale on the lens

+ Handles flare well

+ Value for money!

Neutral:

o Normal wide angle vignetting

o 58mm filter thread vs. 52mm on XF18 and 35mm

o 1 f-stop slower than the XF 18mm lens

Negative:

- Bulky lens hood (also obstructs OVF on X-Pro 1 quite a bit)

- A bit too big and heavy for my taste

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam 

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Ultra Wide Angle Fisheye Lens on the Fuji X-Pro 1 - Samyang 8mm f2.8 XF

APS-C cameras used to have a few drawbacks compared to full frame cameras:

1. The smaller sensor produced noisier photos at high ISO and lacked dynamic range.

2. It is more difficult to produce a photo with shallow depth of field.

3. Due to the crop factor it was difficult to get a good quality ultra wide angle lens with a larger field of view than 120°

The introduction of the Fuji X-Pro 1 solved No. 1. for me right away. And while No. 2 is based on a law of optics I have found my way of dealing with it by changing my approach on taking those kind of images.

That left No. 3 still to be desired.

I have a Canon EF 15mm fisheye lens for my full frame camera, but when I connect it with an EOS-XF adapter to my X-Pro 1 the APS-C sensor size reduces the effective field of view to about 85° - or the equivalent FOV of a 23mm lens on a full frame camera.  Fuji’s currently widest XF lens is the XF 14mm f2.8 with an effective field of view of 90° (equivalent FOV of a 21mm lens on a full frame camera) - and while this lens seems to be very impressive (it is my next review on the list), I had to look elsewhere to go much wider than 90°. My research led me to the Samyang 8mm f2.8 fisheye lens for the Fuji XF mount. The lens promises an effective field of view of 180°! Samyang is a Korean manufacturer and this particular lens is also branded as Rokinon, Bower and Walimex 8mm f2.8 lens and also available for different camera manufacturer mounts.

Throughout my photography career I have had mixed results with 3rd party lenses and ended up staying with the known “big” brands from the respective camera manufacturer. But due to the lack of alternatives and a reasonable street price of around EUR 300 in Europe or USD 300 in the US, I wanted to give the Samyang a try.

Samyang 8mm f2.8 XF for Fuji X-Pro 1

Samyang 8mm f2.8 XF attached to my Fuji X-Pro 1

After all, a fisheye lens is a specialty lens that should not be overused or you (and your audience) will soon get bored/annoyed by the effect it produces. And I can almost promise you that you will get tired of it after you see all the images in this post, too - so always use a fisheye lens wisely ;)

When the Samyang 8mm f2.8 lens arrived I was surprised! It is small yet very heavy. Compared to the Fuji XF 18mm f2 the Samyang is about the same size but a bit over twice as heavy (116g/4.1oz to 260g/9.2oz)! What did they use to build it – depleted uranium? But Fuji’s XF lenses are exceptionally well and light build and compared to the Canon EF 15mm f2.8 fisheye the Samyang is actually a bit lighter.

The Samyang’s aperture and focus rings are rather stiff even when compared to my legacy Olympus OM lenses. But this also gives me the feeling that this lens has a solid build quality and I will most likely get used to it over time. The lens is all manual and has no electronic intelligence that get’s passed on to the camera body. That has the big disadvantage that your Exif files will not contain any info about the lens and aperture. Luckily you can add a 8mm custom profile to the Fuji X-Pro 1 and if you activate it before you use the Samyang lens, the Exif will at least show 8mm. But the aperture will always read “f1”. And while you're in the Fuji's menus make sure that you activate the "shoot without lens" option, as the Fuji will not know that a lens is attached without electronic feedback from the lens.

Enough talk about the specs and feel, let’s see what this lens can do! I went out a few times and used this lens in situations where I think that a fisheye can work its magic.

All images were captured in RAW and processed and converted in LightRoom 4.3 with the "old" Adobe RAW converter. The new converter in version 4.4 could improve the image quality.

And as always click on the image to get the option for a bigger version in my Flickr stream.

Bad weather forced my to do most of my tests indoors so I started with some composition tests at the "Wandelhalle" in Hamburg's central station. On the first image I chose a vertical pano orientation as I wanted the clock as an eye catcher in the frame while giving the viewer an idea how the whole structure looked like:

Hamburg Hauptbahnhof Wandelhalle 8mm Fisheye - Fuji X-Pro 1

Vertical worked well here - 180° cramed in one photo :)

Just a few steps from the previous location I took this picture by pointing the camera up and aiming in horizontal orientation at the ceiling. Adding a stronger tone curve gives this image an even more dramatic look - looks a bit like an old factory:

Wandelhalle Hamburg Hauptbahnhof 8mm Fisheye - Fuji X-Pro 1

This angle of view created a totally different look of the same location

And finally I took an image of the station entrance pointing the lens straight up at the ceiling:

Wandelhalle Hamburg Hauptbahnhof with 8mm Fisheye - Fuji X-Pro 1

You need to take your time to align the framing carefully

After testing the versatility of this lens to create different looks in the same location, let's have a brief look at the sharpness in the next sample. I took this image in low light at f2.8 in a subway station and cut it close to a 2:1 aspect ratio to give it a panorama look. This is another advantage of having a 180° field of view - you get an instant one shot panorama :)

U-Bahn Station Jungfernstieg U4 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Cutting off some of the top and bottom of this frame creates a panorama look

 Let's get closer to the center of the frame. Remember this is at f2.8 and ISO 800 and 1/30s exposure. There may be slight motion blur in people but overall this is pretty good:

U-Bahn Station Jungfernstieg U4 - Crop - Fuji X-Pro 1

I am really happy with the results at f2.8 in this low light situation

Not wanting to turn this blog post into a pixel peeping competition let me just say this about sharpness, contrast and color rendition from my experience so far. Considering that it's a fisheye lens for a reasonable price I am astonished how well this lens does! At f2.8 it is perfectly usable and at f4-5.6 it leaves nothing for me to be desired in a fisheye lens. The edges are a bit softer the further you get towards the corners and there is some vignetting when shooting this lens wide open, but this should not be a surprise to anyone who has some experience with wide and ultra wide angle lenses.

U-Bahn Überseequartier with 8mm Fisheye - Fuji X-Pro 1

At 180° you get more info into your images than the human eyes can normally see (about 120° with peripheral vision)

At f5.6 the corners are very sharp for a fisheye lens. And if you set it to f5.6 and a focus distance of 2m (6ft) you get a sharp focus zone from about 0,5m (2ft) to infinity.

Time Tunnel - Samyang 8mm f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

This is one of my favorite wide angle subjects shot at f5.6

At 180° field of view you will often have light sources, like the sun, shining directly into the lens. The Samyang 8mm f2.8 has a permanent lenshood. But that is just large enough not to show up in the frame. And the convex outward pointing front element of the lens is easily exposed directly into a light source. So inevitably flare becomes an issue. And as for most wide angle lenses the Samyang 8mm is not immune to flare. Depending on the angle the light enters and the aperture chosen (the higher the f-stop the stronger the flare and aperture blade diamonds can show up) the stronger the flare will be visible. Yet, in this sample image I only had to stamp out two spots to get rid of the most visible (unwanted) flare:

IBA_Hamburg Komm_Rüber Sprung - 8mm fisheye - Fuji X-Pro 1

Shooting into the sun at f5.6 - I added a vignette in post

And it is a very similar situation with chromatic aberrations - only that they tend to be stronger when shooting at wide open aperture. The Samyang shows some chromatic aberrations in back light situations around fine structures, but it is very low and very easy to fix in LightRoom 4. The Canon EF 15mm fisheye on the other hand is a CA nightmare on my full frame DSLR!

X-Pro 1 with Samyang 8mm f2.8 XF Fisheye side view

The Samyang lacks DOF markings on the lens and its shortness introduces problems

So far I am very positive about this lens. But there are also a few problems that I encountered during the past week of intensive use. For one this is a fully manual lens like we used to have them before AF was invented. And during that time it was common to add a depth of field scale to the lens. This way you could easily prefocus to a distance and an f-stop that would deliver a sufficiently large DOF for your intended use. The Samyang does not have such a DOF scale and IMHO the person responsible for this omission should not get any dessert in the Samyang cafeteria for at least one year ;)

Secondly, and this really turned into a challenge for me, the lens is too short. How can that be a bad thing? Well, when packing and transporting your gear it is a big advantage. But when you hold your camera in one hand and use the other hand to support the lens while operating the focus ring, you will most likely end up unintentionally capturing your fingers very often! For me as a right handed person the fingers from my left hand (holding the lens) appeared many times in the bottom right corner of the images!

I will have to find a different grip when using this lens on the Fuji X-Pro 1. Shooting and aligning a fisheye lens correctly is challenging enough that I don't have time to check the corners of the frame all the time and it might mess up my carefully composed framing...

Sprinkenhof Fisheye view 8mm Samyang f2.8 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Perfect framing is essential for these kind of photos - better activate the "grid view" in the EVF

This brings me to my last and one of my favorite Samyang 8mm f2.8 image for this post - the new U4 Überseequartier subway station in the Hamburg HafenCity:

U4 Station Überseequartier -  8mm Samyang Fisheye - Fuji X-Pro 1

An 8mm fisheye lens is made for this location - U4 Überseequartier Hamburg

My conclusion:

Positive:

+ It's sharp at f2.8 and gets better up to f5.6 (especially corners)

+ It produces good color and contrast

+ It's solid build and small

+ Chromatic aberrations and flare are very controllable for a fisheye lens

+ Very reasonable price for what you get

Neutral:

o The aperture and focus ring are a bit stiff

o The lens is quite heavy for its size

o The amount of Vignetting appears to be normal for a fisheye lens

o Aperture is changed in 1/2 f-stops instead of 1/3 f-stops

Negative:

- There are no depth of field markings on the lens! Why not???

-  No lens information (lens type, f-stop) is passed on to the camera (custom set it to 8mm in camera!)

- Attached to the X-Pro 1 the lens is very short and it is hard to hold (support) the lens without capturing part of your fingers in the corner of the frame.

- The minimum focus distance starts at 0.3m (1ft). At that distance a 8mm lens closeup shots doesn't look very close at all and it can't produce this special funny perspective that is unique to some UWA lenses.

At first I was a bit sceptical about buying a "new" third party lens for my Fuji X-Pro 1. But the fairly low price, lack of a Fuji equivalent focal length and the fact that this is not an every day lens made the risk of ordering it a bit more manageable.

After a week of intensive testing I am nothing short of impressed with the value that this lens offers and if you have been wanting a fisheye lens for your Fuji X-Mount camera, the Samyang 8mm f2.8 is certainly worth a closer look.

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

How good is the Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 R lens?

It seems that the Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R is the most popular lens for the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 in the current XF lens lineup. That may have two reasons:

1. The 35mm focal length on an APS-C camera equals the field of view (angle of view) of a 52.5mm lens on a regular 35mm full frame camera. And that is very close to the 50mm standard focal length that has been very popular for the past decades.

2. The XF 35mm is very sharp even at f1.4

Reason No. 1: The general popularity of a 50mm field of view lens does not apply to me personally. I consider a 35mm field of view to be my personal favorite "standard" focal length while a 50mm equivalent is a bit too long for my style of shooting. That is why I am pretty excited about the upcoming Fujinon XF 23mm f1.4 lens (mid 2013?) that will equal a field of view of a 35mm lens on a full frame camera – just like my Fuji X100.

Reason No. 2: Is something I do agree with. The lens creates sharp images, but it is hard to compare the Fuji 35mm to other 35mm lenses if those are attached to a different camera body. There would be too many variables introduced by different sensors and in camera processing that makes it hard to judge the lenses directly.

So I needed to find another lens that can be attached to the X-Pro 1 for direct comparison. Thanks to the Kipon EOS-XF adapter (

I wrote a detailed review about it in this post

) I was able to test the popular and highly regarded Canon EF 35mm f1.4 L lens and see how good the Fuji XF 35mm compares to it. BTW, the Canon EF 35mm f1.4 is also my favorite and most used lens on my full frame Canon camera.

Fuji XF 35mm vs Canon EF 35mm f1.4 comparison No.1

The Canon EF 35mm f1.4 L on the left and the Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 R on the right.

 Please note that this blog is not about endless test chart comparisons and pixel peeping into sub atomic levels. There are other websites who do these kind of tests. I want to see how things work out in real life the way I would use my gear.

While the main specs of the two lenses are similar (35mm f1.4) pretty much everything else is different! The Canon EF is a full frame sensor lens and therefore it is a lot bigger and heavier (about 3 times heavier than the Fuji XF 35mm). And it is also a lot more (about twice as) expensive:

                                      Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4

Canon EF 35mm f1.4 L

Max Format size:.............APS-C.............................................FF

Weight:...........................187g (0.41 lb)..................................580g (1.28 lb)

Min. focus:.......................0.28m (11.02”)................................0.3m (11.81”)

Elements:........................8.....................................................11

Length:............................55mm (2.17”)..................................86mm (3.39”)

Diameter:.........................65mm (2.56”)..................................79mm (3.11”)

Approx. Price:..................550 EUR (599 USD)........................1,300 EUR (1,400 USD)

In order to compare these two lenses I attached them to the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 camera. Since the Canon lens mount is different from the XF mount, I attached the Canon lens to the Kipon EOS-XF adapter. And while the Fuji lens seems to attach to the X-Pro 1 it rather feels like that the X-Pro 1 attaches to the Canon lens. Looking at the specs the X-Pro 1 only weighs 450g (0.99 lb) and is about 1/3 lighter than the Canon lens. In fact, the Canon lens is almost as heavy as the X-Pro 1 with the XF 35mm lens attached!

Fuji XF 35mm vs Canon EF 35mm f1.4 comparison No.2

Side view of the Fuji X-Pro 1 with Fuji XF 35mm lens attached. (

here is my blog post on the leather strap and thumbs grip I use

)

Fuji XF 35mm vs Canon EF 35mm f1.4 comparison No.3

Side view of Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 35mm f1.4 L lens with adapter attached.

So much for the specs, let’s see how they compare in image quality.

I attached the X-Pro 1 to a sturdy tripod and set the X-Pro 1 to manual focus, ISO 200, shutter time 1/15s, fixed manual white balance (K) and 10 second timer to eliminate for camera shake. The photos were taken under controlled lighting.

I manually focused on the mittle of the “Rolleiflex” letters. The Canon lens does not auto focus when attached to the X-Pro 1 so I used manual focus for both lenses.

Here are the results:

Click on an image to be linked to a 100% full size view!

Happy Bokeh Friday 04.01.2013 - Fuji X-Pro 1

This is the result from the Fuji XF 35mm f1.4 R.

Canon EF 35mm f1.4 L - Test

And this is the result from the Canon EF 35mm f1.4 L.

I redid this shot a few times for each lens as I noticed the difference in brigtness right away. But all variables stayed the same for both lenses - so the Canon lens seems to return about 2/3 of a f-stop darker results compared to the Fuji. So far I came up with two potential reasons for this difference:

1. The Canon lens has 11 glass elements versus the Fuji with only 8 elements. I have no idea how big of an impact this can make but it seems plausible that less glass elements between the light and the sensor will allow for more light to reach its destination. The f-stop value of a lens does not take this factor into account.

2. When the Fuji lens is attached to the camera the distance from X-mount surface to the sensor is only 1.8cm (0.7"). The light hits the sensor right after the last lens element. On the Canon EF with the Kipon EOS-XF lens adapter attached the distance is around 6cm (2.5").

I decided not to compensate the exposure on the camera to equal out the result in brightness. After all, I wanted a direct comparison between these two lenses with all factors that I can controll to be equal.

Now let's continue to image details:

Fuji XF 35mm vs Canon EF 35mm f1.4 No.1

The left side of the photo shows the head of the wooden elk. This one is a bit hard to compare as the difference in luminance takes away some of the detail on the elk's nose and forehead on the Fuji lens image. But looking at the region between mouth and eye, the Fuji seems to be a bit sharper.

Fuji XF 35mm vs Canon EF 35mm f1.4 No.2

The "Rolleiflex" letters were the focus target close to the center. Here both lenses have their sweetspot but the Fuji clearly is sharper and shows less color fringing.

Fuji XF 35mm vs Canon EF 35mm f1.4 No.3

Moving a bit lower in the center of the frame the difference becomes even more apperant. The Fuji shows more detail and is sharper with a lot less color fringing. Even extra sharpening on the Canon lens image would not bring the photo up to the quality and detail of the Fuji lens.

Fuji XF 35mm vs Canon EF 35mm f1.4 No.4

And the last sample is from the christmas tree on the top right of the image to compare the bokeh quality of both lenses. And while the Fuji's bokeh is good (

here is my intensive test on the XF lenses bokeh

), the Canon's bokeh is just that bit more smooth and creamy. This point goes to the Canon.

A few observations that I made during the test:

- While focusing I noticed that the Canon lens tended to show more color fringing from green to red while I was fine tuning the manual focus.

- The Canon was also more difficult to fine tune since the manual focus reacted rather fast and direct to small movements.

- The Fujinon on the other hand actually benefited from the fine graduation of the “focus by wire” setting in this situation at close focusing distances. This was the first time that I actually saw the benefit of this technology.

- The Fuji seemed to have a larger sweet spot of the sharp focus area depth compared to the Canon – even though both were set to f/1.4

I was surprised that the Fuji lens did this good in direct comparison to my favorite Canon lens!

But there is one factor in favor of the Fuji lens that also needs to be mentioned:

The X-Pro 1 recognizes the Fuji lens and applies some lens correction inside the JPG engine. The Canon lens does not get this special treatment and shows an uncorrected result from the lens. I could have partially avoided this by shooting in RAW but then the RAW converter of i.e. Adobe Camera RAW could have recognized the Fuji lens as well and add some auto correction. But in the end I wanted to see how the Canon lens compared when I use it on the X-Pro 1 in my normal use and this is what I got. The X-Pro 1 will not internally compensate for the Canon lens no matter what I do.

But if you happen to own some Leica M lenses and purchased the Fuji X-Mount to Leica M-adapter, then the Fuji will internally apply corrections to some of the Leica M lenses (i.e. the SUMMICRON-M 35mmF2 ASPH)

My resume:

The Canon EF 35mm f1.4 is a fantastic lens on my Canon FF DSLR camera. It has a fast Ultrasonic AF motor and the weight and size match the bigger camera body well. The Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 R is a fantastic AF lens for the Fuji X-Pro 1 / X-E1 cameras. This comparison has solved the question for me if I could improve the image quality by using the Canon EF 35mm f1.4 instead of the XF 35mm f1.4 for special occasions. The answer for me is “No!” and I can now comfortably leave the bigger Canon 35mm lens attached to my Canon camera.“Bigger is not always better” :)

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Fuji X10 and Firmware 2.0 Review and Samples

One thing I really enjoy since I started using Fuji X cameras is that Fuji listens to us users and pushes out Firmware updates over time that don’t only improve speed and reliability, but also add features.

I have been enjoying the use of my Fujifilm X10 as my most compact “serious“ camera. I always take it along when I only have a coat pocket of space for a camera and I’m always amazed by the quality images I get from this small sensor camera. The awesome fast lens does work perfectly together with the EXR sensor. But the fast zoom lens comes at the price of a little bit bigger size. Unlike a Canon s95/S100 who’s lens retracts 100% into the body to give a small package that fits in your shirt pocket, the lens of the X10 sticks out too much for any shirt pocket that I own. But my coat pockets will hold the X10 comfortably.

I just returned from a 1 day business trip to Munich. I only had a little extra room in my bag and it was easily filled with the X10. Here are three quick photos that I snapped on the way:

As always, click on the image for a larger version

A cool looking subway station that is hidden in the south of Munich:

Spaceport Munich - Fuji X10 sample

And the very famous Marienplatz station that most Munich visitors come across:

Munich Marienplatz Station - Fuji X10 sample

The X10 has a great auto white balance even in this tricky yellowish airfield lighting and very good ISO 1600 quality for a small sensor camera

Fuji X10 ISO 1600 AWB sample

Fuji X10 ISO 1600 AWB sample

___________

Firmware 2.0

Last Friday my almost one year old Fuji X10 received a 2.0 firmware update from Fuji. Two things were mentioned as changes in the release notes:

1. The “Q“ (Quick) Menu that I love so much on my X-Pro 1 was added to the X10 “RAW“ button. You now have the camera’s most important functions all on one detailed screen to quickly change them.

2. An “Advanced Filter” function has been added. Those filters can be activated in the Advanced Mode and give you the choice of 5 special filter effects (Toy Camera, Miniature, Pop Color, High-Key, Dynamic Tone and 6 individual color key (partial color) filters.

I have spend some time over the weekend to play with the new firmware functions. The added “Q“ Menu alone made the upgrade worth it for me. Although you need to be aware that you loose the option to program the “RAW“ key with a custom function. The Fn key can still be programmed with you favorite function, though.

The color filters are a nice add on, too. But to be honest, I’m not a big fan of these filters in general. I do, however, see why Fuji added them to the prosumer targeted X10 compact. The X10 is a very capable compact camera. And I enjoy the excellent image quality and natural color rendition of the original files straight out of the camera. But there are users who prefer a different style of look to their images that had to be applied outside the camera in a photo editor, untill now.

But now you can choose the filter style you like in the Advanced menu and preview the effect the filter will create live on the LCD. One click and the image has been captured in that style and is ready for upload via USB, SD-Card reader or Eye-Fi card.

Here are some examples of what some of the filters look like (out of camera):

The Miniature filter:

Fuji X10 Miniature filter sample

Fuji X10 Miniature filter sample

The Dynamic Tone filter:

Fuji X10 Dynamic Tone filter sample

Fuji X10 Dynamic Tone filter sample

The Partial Color Blue filter:

Fuji X10 Partial Color Blue filter sample

Fuji X10 Partial Color Blue filter sample

And the High-Key filter:

Fuji X10 High-Key filter sample

Fuji X10 High-Key filter sample

While it is convenient to have the camera bake the filter style automatically into your photo there is a drawback. Once the JPG is created, there is no turning back! The effects only work in JPG and don't work on your RAW files. So there is no way to neutralize your image file after the filter style has been applied. Therefore use the filter effects wisely!

While I tested the filter effects, I started to wonder if their use could be improved. I came up with the following suggestions/questions:

1. Why can't the filter effects be created from a RAW file inside the camera's RAW converter like the film simulations?

2. Why can't the filter effects be incorporated into the "Drive" function "Film Simulation Series"? This way I could choose one or two effects and still have the original Provia file.

3. Why can't the filter effects be accesed in the "Q" menu for quick changing?Maybe Fuji listens once again to our suggestions - and please Fuji, add the "Q" menu to the X100's Raw button, too ;-)

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Fuji X-Pro 1 AF (Autofocus) speed and accuracy - Review and tips

It seems to me that speed and quality of the Fujifim X-Pro 1 autofocus is one of the hottest topics about this camera on the web. "Is it as fast as...?" "Is it capable of sports, action, etc...?"

I will focus (no pun intended) on this topic for todays post and give you my experiences and tips on how to get the most out of the X-Pro 1 in terms of focusing. As of today, I took more than 10,000 images with the X-Pro 1 in the past 4 month. That gives me a pretty good idea of what the AF can and what it can't do.

The X-Pro 1 AF will not rival the speed of the Nikon D4 or Canon 1D X - that should not be a surprise to anyone. But there are ways to make the AF of the X-Pro 1 perform fast enough for most situations.

Future Dirk Nowitzki? Fuji X-Pro 1

No, you don't have to fake it like this in order to take photos of moving subject with the X-Pro 1 ;)

The X-Pro 1 uses contrast detection autofocus (CDAF) compared to phase detection autofocus that is usually found in DSLR cameras. As I have

shown in an earlyer post

, I like to photograph at minimum aperture to create a shallow depth of field. And in those situations perfect AF lock is essential for good results. The advantage of contrast detection is, that it is very accurate when it locks onto the target. On my phase detection  DSLR camera I have gotten used to pushing the shutter half way for 2-3 times before I trust that the AF locked correctly onto the subject.

You can give this a try for yourself. Take your DSLR and your fastest lens - a 50mm lens with f/1.8 or faster would work great. Then open the aperture all the way and look for a subject  about 1 m (3ft) away. Now press you shutter (or designated AF button) once untill you get the focus lock feedback. Now do it again. Did you hear the AF in the lens moving (pumping)? And give it a third try. Still hear movement? If so you are hearing the lens readjusting every time.

I found that in those situations the contrast autofocus is usually spot on the first time while the phase detection AF needs a few pushes and a series of images to get a perfect result.

The advantage of phase detection AF is, that it is better at tracking subjects, especially if they move towards or away from you. The continious contrast detection AF on the X-Pro 1 did not yield good results for me when set to AF-C (continuous) mode.

So is the X-Pro 1 useless for moving subjects? Not at all! You just have to approach things differently to get good results! Here are my tips to get the best results from the X-Pro 1:

1. Learn what the X-Pro 1 AF needs:

Although the X-Pro 1 will generally focus without a problem in good light, there are situations where you need to aid the AF to lock onto your subject. These situations could be a very low contrast object like a plain wall, low light or backlight behind your subject.

In those situations you need to remember that the contrast autofocus of the X-Pro 1 does not focus like a cross type sensor. Think of the AF to work like a split screen focusing screen on a classic SLR camera. Therefore you should aid the X-Pro in horizontal orientation (landscape orientation) to find a vertical line on the subject for your AF point to focus on. In vertical orientation (portrait orientation) look for a horizontal line to focus on. It took me some time to figure this out, but you can give it a try on your white bathroom tiles as a hands on exercise to remember this.

There are situations where you might not find the edge or line in the correct orientation for the focus frame to aim at. In those situations I keep the viewfinder on my eye, tilt the camera slightly (maybe 25° clockwise or counterclockwise) an half press the shutter untill I get the focus lock confirmation. I keep the shutter half pressed, turn the camera back into the orientation that I desire, reframe and click!

Drive by Tourism - Fuji X-Pro 1

This car was driving parallel to me and the AF of the X-Pro 1 did not have any problems to lock focus on the first try

2. Focus points are your friends:

Choosing you focus point is critical. In electronic viewfinder mode (EVF) I set my focus point (focus frame) to its smallest size (push the AF button and turn command dial to the right). This way I reduce the potential for focus error in situations where the focus point covers too much of a subject. How annoying would it be if you focus at an eye, but the AF chooses the nose as it happens to be in your focus area, too?

A larger focus point will however increase the chance that it can focus on something in critical focus situations as described in 1. above. So there might be situations where it can be helpful to increase the size of your focus point.

You should also get very comfortable to use focus point selection. I get far better results when I select the focus point to be on the correct spot in the frame compared to focus and recompose - especially with the XF 18mm lens. I tend to get really close to my subject with the 18mm lens to get a shallow depth of field. And during the focus and recompose process a few centimeters movement can ruin the focus. So get that muscle memory in your fingers trained to press the AF button once and then select the focus area on the arrow buttons. When you want to quickly recenter the AF point afterwards, just push the AF button once and then click the "OK" button in the mittle of the arrow keys - voilá :)

Fuji X-Pro 1 - XF 18mm f/2

The best way to get this sharp result was to set the focus point to the top right of the frame onto the keyhole

3. Focus speed - Yes, it can!

Like I said in my introduction, the X-Pro 1 AF will not be your best choice if you want to use AF-Traking for fast action photography. However, I found the focus speed to be much better than I expected. But once again, you'll probably have to operate the AF differently to what you are used to.

To archieve the fastest AF speed on the X-Pro 1 set the AF to AF-S (single) and turn the power save mode off. Then adjust your focus point to be on the area of the frame where you want to lock focus on (if you constatntly don't get good results try to increase the AF point size for that situation). Now aim at your subject and quickly press the shutter all the way. Yes, you press it all the way without waiting for half press focus confirmation! It took me some time to learn this approach as I have done it

properly

differently for the past 8 years. But change is good if the results improve. Give it a try, you will probably be surprised :)

Decisive moment for a soccer striker - Fuji X-Pro 1

Contrary to

Zack Arias review

I found that the X-Pro 1 is suitable for kids soccer photography ;)

4. Fast action sports - Yes, you can!

There are however limits to what the X-Pro 1 AF can handle. Once you are getting into really fast or close action it is up to you! Kind of "Don't ask what your camera can do for you. Ask instead what you....." you get the idea ;)

Once you reach the limit of AF speed, and that is the case for any camera, you will have to rely on your own skill to capture the action. Believe it or not, before AF was invented photographers took fantastic action photos, too. The secret for good results is to lern how to manual zone focus.

First, you will need to anticipate the area of the scene where the action will take place and switch the focus mode to Manual. Secondly,  prefocus to the spot where you want to capture the action and stop the lens down to an f-stop that allows for enought depth of field (zone) where the subject will be in focus. The manual focus distance scale indicator in the viewfinder will show this depth of field zone (white line) in front and behind your focus distance indicator (red line).

Finally, you only need to set your minimum shutter speed to either freeze the action or to leave a bit of motion blur. Now let the subject walk (or run) into your zone of focus.

Hamburg Marathon 2012 Impressionen - Fuji X-Pro 1

Zone focusing the X-Pro 1 with 35mm at f/2.8 was the only way to get a good image this close to the action

5. EVF or OVF for best results?

To get the most accurat framing and focus spot you are best off by using the EVF. And for manual focus and macro photography the EVF is pretty much your only choice. I also prefer the EVF in dark situations as it amplifies the scene and makes it much brighter than in the OVF! Yet, some people don't like to use EVF as there is a bit of lag and the refreshrate can be too slow for some situations. But as you have probably guessed by now, there is also a trick to overcome the EVF display lag in critical timing situations.This will work best if you are photographing with your right eye on the viewfinder. We can take advantage of the X-Pro 1 rangefinder style layout by framing and pre focusing our shot with the right eye on the EVF and then opening the left eye, too in order to look "live" at your subject. Now you see the live "feed" of the scene with your left eye a bit faster than the scene through the EVF. And this can give you the critical edge in timing that smile you want to capture or simply avoiding closed eyes due to blinking of your subject. It takes a bit of practice to get used to it, but it works really well for me. For people who look through the viewfinder with their left eye this trick will only work in portrait orientation.

Naturally, you don't have the lag issue with the OVF. Due to the bigger field of view compared to the actual frame lines the lens/sensor combination captures, you can also better anticipate a subject before it walks into your capture frame. The drawback of the OVF is parallax error. As you are not looking through your lens like you would in a (D)SLR or EVF style camera, you need to compensate for the difference in position from your eye to your lens. This parallax error gets bigger, the closer you are to the subject!

The X-Pro 1 offers a setting in the menu (switch Corrected AF Frame to "ON") to show an estimation of the focus point and framelines shift according to the distance the AF measured. The adjusted focus point and framelines will appear after you half press the shutter to focus and then recompose to adjust the framing. Note that you can't reduce the size of the AF point in OVF mode (it would not be accurate enough). You can however move the focus point around.

Hamburg Marathon 2012 Impressionen - Fuji X-Pro 1

I looked with my left eye past the camera to time this photo and with my right eye through the EVF for general framing. If I would have relied only on the EVF for timing, the lag would have caused me to push the shutter a fraction of a second too late.

Conclusion:

There are certainly limits to what the X-Pro 1 AF can do, but I find the performance of the AF and MF to be very usable. I sometimes read that people (probably not so experienced photographers) are unhappy with the AF performance of the X-Pro 1. But you'll have to do some things differently than what you might be used to in order to get the best results with this camera. There is no face detection or object tracking on the X-Pro 1 - so if this is what you have been used to in your previous camera you now have the perfect opportunity to learn more photography techniques that will put

you

in charge of the results. Try it, it can be very rewarding. After all, who likes to be only on the passenger seat all the time? ;-)

DSCF5670

A friendly Sony NEX-5n photographer wanted to return the favor and take a photo of me with my X-Pro 1. I guess he never photographed without face detection AF before ;)

Click on the image to read the whole story on this unsharp photo.

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

p.s. Most of these tipps will also work on the Fuji X100 and Fuji X-E1

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Fuji X-Pro 1 and Olympus OM Zuiko lenses

After my

review on the Kipon Canon EOS to Fuji XF adapter

, I am going to write about how the Kipon Olympus OM-XF adapter performs on the Fuji X-Pro 1.

Fuji offers their own intelligent adapter for Leica M lenses. And if I were fortunate enough to own Leica M glass, I would buy the Fuji adapter in a heartbeat.

But I still own some Olympus OM Zuiko lenses from my old analog OM-4 Ti. Therefore another Kipon adapter was ordered and I had it connected to the X-Pro 1 quite often in the past month.

Unfortunately, my OM lens collection on the wide side overlaps with my current Fujinon XF lenses in terms of effective focal length. This leaves me with the Olympus OM Zuiko 50mm f/1.8 Auto-S and OM Zuiko 100mm f/2.8 Auto-T as useful additions to my current X-Pro 1 lens lineup. Great thing about those two lenses is that they are rather compact (compaed to the Olympus 50mm f/1.4 and 100mm f/2). And with the additional lengt of the Kipon OM-XF adapter, you'll want as short of a lens as you can get - unless you want to end up with an odd looking drainpipe sticking out from your slim X-Pro 1 body ;)

The biggest advantage of the OM lenses vs. the Canon EOS EF lenses is that you can select the aperture right on the lens itself. No aperture "hack" required :)

And how do they perform? The image quality is great! I mainly use the 100mm as this effective field of view equals 150mm on a full frame body. Somehow I did not find much use for the 50mm (75mm equivalent FOV), yet.

Both performe really well wide open. But in order to use them wide open your focus has to be spot on. And that is quite difficult to manage with the current stage of the EVF refresh and magnification rate offered by the X-Pro 1. Did I mention before that I wish for a second MF magnification level of 5X in addition to the 10X we already got? And focus peaking would make focusing long MF lenses so much easier...

But the way it is right now (X-Pro 1 with FW 1.10) I usually stop down on moving subjects to f/5.6 in order to get enough depth of field to compensate for focus inaccuracy. It works but it takes a bit potential away from this great combo.

So if you want to use your OM (or any other manual focus) lens wide open on the X-Pro 1 make sure you aim at static objects - possibly even with the camera set on a tripod.

Here are some sample images - as always click on the image to see a larger version:

Last one standing - Fuji X-Pro 1

"Last one standing" - X-Pro 1 with Olympus OM 100mm f/2.8 Zuiko at f/8

Happy Bokeh Friday 08.06.2012 - Fuji X-Pro 1

As they were posing for their own photo I was able to nail focus with the OM 100mm wide open at f/2.8 - nice bokeh, too

First contact - Fuji X-Pro 1

Architecture works also well with the OM 100mm at f/5.6 as there is virtually no distortion!

Analogman @ work in Paris! Fuji X-Pro 1

Another lucky shot with the 100mm at f/2.8 - I wished focusing this long lens would be more reliable with the EVF in scenes with moving subjects

Hiding - Shrouded in a scarf - Fuji X-Pro 1

This was shot in a crowded place but I was able to single out this undercover lady with the 100mm lens at f/5.6

Olympus OM 50mm f/1.8 auf Fuji X-Pro 1

This is an example of how well the OM 50mm f/1.8 looks on the X-Pro 1

Getting close - Fuji X-Pro 1 with OM 100mm

And just in case if you are interested in how the OM 100mm handles color images... Looks very natural to me :)

DSCF5813

The OM 100mm f/2.8 isn't a dedicated macro lens - but look at the details on the focus point on the "C" from Cycle in the full size image at f/2.8!!! (click the image)

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Kipon OM-XF adapter and Olympus OM 100mm f/2.8 Zuiko lens

And now you probably want to see how the adapter and lens combo looks like when attached to the X-Pro 1. Notice that the Kipon OM-XF adapter itself is about half as long as the 100mm lens.

To sum it up:

The Olympus OM lenses were good lenses back in the analog days. And the once I tested perform really well on the X-Pro 1, too. So if you still have some OM lenses in the drawer, think about getting an OM-XF adapter for your X-Pro 1. And if you don't have any old lenses, check for used OM lenses on the web or at you used camera store.

Against my usual believe to go for the "faster, bigger and more expensive lenses" I would suggest to go for the smaller, lighter, cheaper ones when it comes to OM 50mm f/1.4 vs. f/1.8 and OM 100mm f/2 vs. f/2.8. The "slower" lenses perform really good and due to the challenging EVF focusing on the X-Pro 1 you might end up stopping the lenses down anyway.

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

How Bokehlicious is the Fuji X-Pro 1?

Tests have shown that the Fuji X-Pro 1 is able to challenge full frame sensor cameras in resolution, dynamic range and ISO performance.

But there is one physical limitation where even the best APS-C size sensor can't challenge a full frame camera - and that is shallow depth of field control.

Any sensor smaller than full frame will have a greater depth of field at comparable lens and f-stop settings. Now that does not automatically imply that this is a bad thing. Many wildlife, sports and macro photographers actually appreciate this characteristic for their work.

But I am a shallow depth of field and bokeh lover! I have used full frame DSLR's for 6 years and really make use of shallow depth of field to separate my subject from the background. So how can I create this effect with the X-Pro 1?

Well, the underlying physics of the X-Pro 1 APS-C sensor can't be changed. You have to a) shoot as wide open as possible and b) get as close as possible to your subject and c) use the longest focal length possible in order to increase the shallow depth of field.

The bokeh quality is a matter of the lens used. So how do the XF 18mm and XF 35mm that I own do in the bokeh department? See and decide for yourself:

Small but at the Top - Fuji X-Pro 1 macro

The Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 is capable of producing a nice bokeh and lots of details even at f/2.8!

Happy Bokeh Friday 11.05.2012 - Fuji X-Pro 1

The Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 does produce a very pleasing bokeh, too.

Happy Bokeh Friday 30.03.2012

XF 35mm @ f/1.4 with sunlight coming in through the window behind the chair.

And let our grammar better get always ;) - Fuji X-Pro 1

This was a high contrast scene facing towards the sun with the XF 18mm lens. Blown highlights but nice bokeh.

Happy Bokeh Friday 20.04.2012

Detail of a classic Citroen DS taken with the XF 35mm f/1.4

Happy Bokeh Friday 13.04.2012

The wide angle XF 18mm f/2 allows for a good angle of view even if you want to get close to the subject in order to create background blurr

Happy Bokeh Friday 22.06.2012 - Fuji X-Pro 1

XF 35mm at f/1.4 - I use shallow depth of field to focus the viewers attention to the part of the picture that I want to highlight. The Lytro camera shown in this image lets the viewer decide where to focus on after the picture was taken...

The right one is somewhere out there... - Happy Bokeh Friday!

XF 35mm at f/1.4 - If everything would have been in focus, the background would have distracted from the subject and the story this picture was supposed to tell would have been less intense

Portrait in the rain - Fuji X-Pro 1

I am always amazed about how well the XF 35mm on the X-Pro 1 resolves details. Even wide open at f/1.4 you can clearly see individual hairs (click on the image to go to a bigger version)

Both the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 and 35mm f/1.4 are great compact lenses that can be used with wide open aperture and still resolve lots of detail.

Remember, the smaller the sensor gets, the tougher it is to separate your subject from the background! Therefore a smaller m4/3 sensor needs an even faster lens to create a similar shallow depth of field at a comparable field of view that you get from an APS-C sensor camera.

Looking at Fujis XF lens roadmap, the XF 23mm f/1.4 and XF 56mm f/1.4 (both in 2013) are two lenses that look interesting for the shallow depth of field style photographer :)

And as the Fuji X-E1 hast the same mount and sensor as the X-Pro 1, the results will be the same.

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Pimp my Fuji X-Pro 1

Don't worry! By pimping I don't mean that you need to add neon or a subwoofer to the X-Pro 1 ;)

When I say pimping I'm talking about what I did to increase speed and usability of my X-Pro 1.

1. Strap

The day I preordered my X-Pro 1 was also the day that I ordered a thin leather strap from

Gordy's Camera Straps

. I have used Gordy's straps on all of my old analog cameras for years. A beautiful camera like the X10, X100 or the X-Pro 1 deserves a beautiful strap. The strap is perfect for the weight of the camera and you can customized the length, color of leather and color of the wrapping cord to individulize your strap.

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Gordy's strap and soft release

2. Thumbs Up grip

Compared to an entry level camera body the X-Pro 1 is not that much smaller in width and height. But it's much thinner. That's great for portability but not ideal for ergonomics.

I have rather large hands and the X-Pro 1 is too thin to sit perfectly in my hand. Fuji was aware of this potential issue and offers a X-Pro 1 hand grip. The Fuji hand grip is screwed into the tripod mount of the X-Pro 1. It offers a centered tripod mount on the bottom (the X-Pro 1 comes with an off center tripod mount). I almost ordered the hand grip, but unfortunately it lacks the hole to access the battery and SD card compartment when attached. So you'll have to detach the hand grip every time you need to access the SD card or battery...

Then I read somewhere that a Thumbs Up grip for the Leica X1 fits the

Fuji X-Pro 1 (Thumbs Up CSEP-2) and the X100

. It was about 50% more expensive than the Fuji Hand Grip, but you still have easy access to the battery/SD door.

My black Thumbs Up grip arrived and has stayed on the X-Pro 1 since then. It is well made (as one can expect for this price) and fits ergonomically perfect for me. The camera is well balanced even when holding it in one hand. They now even make another

Thumbs Up (EP-7S)

grip especially for the X-Pro 1 that is a bit cheaper, but I have not tried that one.

If you opt for a Thumbs Up grip you should be aware of the following issues:

You loose the flash ability via hot shoe (I have not used a flash on the X-Pro 1 so far). And the paint of the grip will wear off quite easily and expose the brass underneath (see photo).

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Thumbs Up Grip CSEP-2 and soft release button

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Thumbs Up Grip CSEP-2 and soft release button

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Thumbs Up Grip CSEP-2 and soft release button

3. Soft release:

I found the X-Pro 1 trigger to be a bit small for my liking and I ordered a soft release online. There are cheap soft releases on ebay so give it a try. And maybe order a few extra ones as I have managed to loose one already. (I did not dare to add LocTite)

4. Extra battery:

 I ordered two original spare batteries for my X-Pro 1. I get around 300-400 images on one charge under my normal use conditions. So the extra juice can come in handy...

5

. SD-Card

If you want to speed up the operations on your X-Pro 1 invest in fast UHS-I SDHC cards! Fortunately Fuji supports the new UHS-I standard and the X10, X100 and X-Pro 1 make use of it. I am using 16GB SanDisk Extreme Pro cards rated at 95 MB/s and have never felt that the cameras operate slowly. The speed will most likely improve noticably even compared to a normal Class 10 card.

SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I

SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I

SanDisk Extreme Pro SDHC UHS-I

6. SD-Card maintanance

No matter what SD card you use there is some precaution that you should take with the cards used on Fuji X-Cameras!

First of all always format the card inside the camera.

Secondly, SD cards come with a little "Lock" slider on the side. Do make it a habbit to switch the slider to "Lock" as soon as you take the card out of the camera and unlock it only right before you put it back into the camera! (unless you want to load a firmware update onto the card).

If you don't lock the card and stick it into a Mac or iPad (I don't know about Windows), the OS will add a little file onto the card that gives your Fuji camera the hiccups. The camera will feel totally unrespondsive and takes forever to start. Only cure is to format the card in camera and remeber to lock it next time you take it out.

7. Lens adapter:

If you still have some old lenses from a different camera system why not check out if they have an adapter for the XF mount? I recently wrote about my experience with the

Canon EOS EF to Fuji XF adapter on my X-Pro 1

and will soon post about my experience with the Olympus OM Zuiko to XF adapter.

Give your lens a second life and your X-Pro 1 some extra focal lenght to play with :)

Fuji X-Pro 1 with EF 135mm f2 L

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Kipon EOS-XF adapter and Canon EF 135mm f/2 L lens attached

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Fuji X-Pro 1 and Architecture photography

Any camera is capable of taking photos of architecture! But some do it better than others...

The field of view of the lens/camera combination and distance/point of view to the subject have to match in order to get the photo you want. Most of the time I end up shooting architecture from the ground-level up and a Tilt-Shift lens is most useful in those situations.

But Fuji does not make a Tilt-Shift lens for the XF camera mount so I have to work with what I've got. The XF 18mm and 35mm lenses do make decent architecture lenses on the X-Pro 1, though.

First of all they have a lot of resolving power and the X-Trans sensor delivers a lot of detail and sharpness thanks to the lack of a AA filter.

Secondly, the X-Pro 1 corrects the distortion for the lenses. THis way you get straight lines from your "out of camera" jpg image. This helps a lot in making the image look good even if you have to apply a bit of perspective correction in post processin.

Here are a few architecture shots I have taken with the X-Pro 1 recently:

Spaceship Egg Pano -Fuji X-Pro 1 @ Europapassage

No surprized that I start with an "in camera Pano" from the X-Pro 1 with XF 18mm lens -

This Fuji X-Camera function has served me very well in Paris, too :)

Eye puzzler - Fuji X-Pro 1

Quite an eye puzzler due to the perspective and reflection of the XF 35mm shot - no HDR!

Decision Time - Architecture - Fuji X-Pro 1

Left or right? X-Pro 1 with XF 18mm lens

Hafen City View Point - Fuji X-Pro 1

Plenty of negative space in this X-Pro 1 "in camera 180° panorama" taken with the XF 35mm lens

Fuji X-Pro 1 - Architecture

X-Pro 1 with XF 35mm lens and pretty much no distortion!

HafenCity Architektur Hamburg - Fuji X-Pro 1

I did not apply perspective correction to this XF 18mm photo - I liked it this way

HafenCity View Point - Fuji X-Pro 1

View Point - Taken with X-Pro 1 and XF 35mm lens

Disconnect - Fuji X-Pro 1

Visualization of the word "Disconnect" - Fuji X-Pro 1 with XF 35mm lens

Urban Oasis - Fuji X-Pro 1

Urban Oasis taken with the XF 18mm lens

III down II up III - Fuji X-Pro 1

Down & Up - Fuji X-Pro 1 with XF 18mm lens

25% Stone vs. 75% Air - Fuji X-Pro 1

25% stone vs. 75% air - Fuji X-Pro 1 with XF 18mm lens

For me the X-Pro 1 with the XF 18mm and XF 35mm work well for the kind of architecture photography that I mostly do. And the build in Panorama mode allows for some extra cool images. What are your experiences?

Leave a comment below or tweet me @hamburgcam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Is the Fuji X100 enough camera for traveling? My Copenhagen experiment

I have used the Fujifilm X100 for well over a year now. It was my first serious mirrorless camera as I mainly relied on fullframe DSLR before.

There have been loads and loads of technical reviews posted about the X100 and the fantastic image quality, so let me focus on the question that I read so often in blogposts: Can I travel with only the X100 on my side? Here is my real life travel experience:

 I planned a photo trip to Copemhagen last year and wanted to start an experiment by only bringing the Fuji X100 as my digital camera. As reported in a previous post about my recent trip to Paris with the X-Pro 1 (

Traveling light to Paris with Fuji X-Pro 1 and X10

) I used to carry way too much heavy gear with me when I travelled. The fear of missing a shot because I did not have the right lens or flash with me was always present when packing the gear. But this time it was different.

Only the X100 - and I did not even have a spare battery at that time. And there was actually some room left in the smallest photobag that I owned! In a last second decision I grabbed my 1953 Rolleiflex analog medium format camera and a few rolls of film to fill that gap - something that I never had space for on previous trips :)

It was a funny feeling when I boarded the train early that Friday morning - kind of scared and reliefed at the same time with the light gear on my shoulder...

Rolleiflex Automat 1953 - on the morning train

The X100 taking a photo of this friendly Rolleiflex Alien on the train to Copenhagen ;)

The trip was planned to mainly visit the Copenhagen Jazz festival and to stroll around the city. But visiting a city without a wider lens than a 35mm field of view? What if I want to photograph architecture? 24mm or 17mm was usually my widest focal length for those trips. Sometimes I even brought the 15mm fisheye...

I arrived in Copenhagen central station and my friends picked me up and took me to the first photographic "must see" location: The famous "Vor Frue Kirke" - the Copenhagen Cathedral. This is one of those locations that screams for a wide angle lens to capture its full beauty. The gear remorse kicked in right away! Great, this isn't going to work with 35mm! Why didn't I bring a different camera and more lenses?

But then I remebered that the X100 has a build in pano stiching program. This is something that I had not really used as it seemed to be more of a point & shoot gimmick to me. But maybe it could get me a decent shot here? The best way to capture the cathederal hallway and ceiling would be in vertical orientation but I had not seen this "vertical panorama" option documented in the owners manual. So here goes the first try:

Vor Frue Kirke - Copenhagen Cathedral - Fuji X100 Pano

Vor Frue Kirke - Copenhagen Cathedral taken with Fuji X100 in pano stiching mode

It did work surprisingly well! This was the moment that would introduce a new style of photography to me :)

Take a look at this post to see really cool panos from Paris taken with a Fuji X-Camera:

Cool Panos from Paris

Off to the next challenge - capturing the spirit of the Jazz musicians. I knew that I had to get close to the action in order to get strong images. A 35mm field of view is a first row shooting lens and 12 MPix sensor resolution won't let you crop forever. But the Copenhagen Jazz Festival is a really open and easy going event that allowed me to get almost as close as I wanted:

Passion for Guitar

The facial expression tells it all :)

The outdoor venues were a breeze with the X100. But focusing did get a lot tougher inside the dimly lit Jazz clubs. At the time of this trip the X100 was still in its early stages of Firmware updates. And the contrast auto focus and manual focus was not really up to speed in low light back then. So I did have to do a lot of trial and error, but ended up getting some nice shots:

Happy Bokeh Friday 08.07.2011

Play louder, I can't hear you! ISO 3200

Passion for Saxophone

Lost in music

If James Bond would drive a Volvo it would be the P1800

While moving from club to club I came across this cool looking vintage Volvo.

If James Bond would drive a Volvo it would be the P1800

Nyhavn Copenhagen - Fuji X100 Pano

When I reached the famous Nyhavn canal it was time to try if the pano mode also worked in "traditional" horizontal panorama orientation

Vertical Pano Tower - Fuji X100

Another opportunity to use the pano function in vertical orientation was close by, though :)

And just in case you care to see one of my Rolleiflex photos, this is what I made out of 2 photos (6x6) from my Rolleiflex at the Axelborg staircase:

Copenhagen Eyes

Copenhagen Eyes at Axelborg building - 1953 Rolleiflex with Kodak Portra 160 VC

My resume about the X100 as main travel camera on trips:

I would not hesitate to only take the X100 along when going on a trip - as long as I can live without more zoom than the 35mm field of view that the X100 offers. Croping a 12 MPix image on a good resolving lens gives you some room to enlarge a subject but it is not an endless option.

On the wide side I think that the panorama function on the X100 can easily minimize the need for a wider angle lens.

If you feel that you do need more zoom or a wider angle at times, I would opt for an additional small camera companion like the Fujifilm X10 or a Canon S95/S100 instead of taking a big DSLR with lens(es). This way I have the option to leave one of the two "smaller" cameras (X100 or the compact camera) in the hotel room - but you can't really reduce the basic size of your DSLR camera body.

The X100 is today a much better camera than it was when I traveled to Copenhagen. Fuji has constantly listened to us photographers and implemented improvements in each firmware upgrade. Kudos to Fuji for constantly improving the X100 :-)

Leave a comment below or tweet me @hamburgcam if you have questions

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-) 

Fuji X-Pro 1 and Canon EF lenses

I was very excited when I found out that there will be an adapter to connect Canon EOS EF lenses to the Fujifim X-Pro 1 mount, and ordered it right away. I currently own the Fujinon XF 18mm and 35mm lenses that cover my mainly used focal length. But I have some nice Canon EOS EF lenses that I want to use when I need a bit more focal reach.

Obviously there are two caveat when using Canon EOS EF lenses on a X-Pro 1

1. You loose the AF and IS on the Canon lens and some of the EF lenses are not that comfortable to manual focus as these lenses are mainly built for auto focus use.

2. This is the big bummer! Let me put it in a Henry Ford style sentence: You have full control over the aperture setting on EF lenses as long as it is "wide open" ;)

The lens will only work at its open aperture - i.e. the 50mm f/1.4 will be at 1.4 when attached to the X-Pro 1 via the adapter.

But there is a hack for that! I have been using it and it has been working for me. You can set the aperture on an EF lens to stay/rest at your desired apperture when you follow these steps (at your own risk):

- I attach the desired lens (i.e. 50mm f/1.4) to my Canon DSLR camera and turn it on

- Then I choose the aperture that I would like the lens to stay at (i.e. f/4)

- Next I rest the camera on a steady safe surface such as a table

- Now I push the DOF preview button on the Canon DSLR (the aperture blades close to f/4)

- And while the DOF preview button is pushed I disconnect the lens from the DSLR

- Finally I switch off the DSLR and put the camera mount cap on it

If you now look into the front of the lens you can see that the aperture blades are still in the f/4 position - or whatever aperture you chose.

That's quite a finger acrobatics hack, isn't it?

Carrying a DSLR around with you and performing this hack every time you want to switch the aperture on your EF lens is not very practical in the field. Therefore you should choose the best "compromise" aperture for your DOF liking and use ND filters to allow you to still work at wide open apertures even in bright light situations.

I mainly shoot with the Fujinon XF lenses, but occasionaly I attach the Kipon EOS-XF adapter and a Canon EF tele lens for those situations that would not work well with my current Fuji lenses:

Fuji X-Pro 1 with EF 70-200m f4 L + 1.4x TC

The Canon EF 70-200 f/4 IS L plus 1.4x TC was the crazyest combo I came up with. The FOV 35mm equivalent is 420mm and the optical quality is pretty good!

Pink in the Rain - Fuji X-Pro 1

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 @f/2.2

Bicycle chained to fence No. 6 / Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm lens

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 @f/2.2 creates a nice creamy bokeh

Nautical bitt - Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 @f/2.2

EF 135mm L test @ f/2 - Lost Toy

Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 135mm f/2 L @f/2 this creates an even better bokeh

Tonights Moon over Hamburg - Fuji X-Pro 1

And finally the mother of all tele test: The Moon! Fuji X-Pro 1 with Canon EF 70-200 f/4 IS L plus 1.4x TC @f/7.1 ISO 400 and 1/500s on a tripod in standard JPG mode

The three Canon lenses I tested worked well with the Fuji X-Pro 1 and the Kipon EOS-XF adapter. Here are the settings that I prefer and thoughts about the lens combination with the X-Pro 1:

- Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 makes the most sense in terms of focal length (around 130mm FOV on the X-Pro 1), size and weight for me. The optical quality is great but there is some color fringing wide open (just like on the Canon 5D MK II). Stopped down to f/2.8 I think this is a great combo!

- Canon EF 135 f/2 L is one of the sharpest Canon lenses with a beautiful creamy bokeh. It performs very well on the X-Pro 1 shows lots of detail resolution and has a nice size focus ring to work with. But it is heavy and difficult to focus on moving subjects. The equivalent FOV of 200mm on the X-Pro 1 is more than the EVF refresh rate and 10x zoom function can cope with. It is best used with a tripod on still objects.

- Canon EF 70-200 f/4 IS L with and without 1.4x TC. I was pleasently surprised how good the optical quality was on the X-Pro 1. Especially with the 1.4x TC I get quite a bit of color fringing on my Canon 5D MK II, but I hardly got any on the X-Pro 1. I also got a much better moon shot with the lens attached to the X-Pro 1 in jpg than I ever got on my 5D MK II in RAW. The X-Pro 1 does have a 1.5 crop advantage, but the Canon also has 5 MPix more resolution...

This combo is almost a telescope at 420mm equivalent FOV and not very practical to focus. You need lots of light, a still subject and shutter time of 1/1000s or a tripod to get a usable shot.

My resume:

The three Canon EF lenses that I tried so far did resolve details very well and gave pleasing and consistent color results. In terms of size, weight and focal length the EF 85mm f/1.8 works best for me. I got very good results with the longer focal length, too. But in order to focus these lenses correctly you need to switch to EVF, use the 10x magnifier and try not to get dizzy with all the motion blurr you get at those zoom focal length. Fuji did improve the EVF refreshrate in their last FW update 1.10 and that really helped. But an even bigger improvement woul be a second, reduced zoom factor option of 5x, an even faster refresh rate or (even better) focus peaking.

But even then the hack to change the aperture on EF lenses is less than perfect. The old Canon FD mount lenses did still have an aperture ring and might be your better alternative if you still own some of them or find one cheap on ebay. Although the optical quality might not be as good as on the majority of the newer EF lenses it might be worth looking at the FD-XF adapter, too.

Let me know what you think of alternative lenses on the XF Mount in the comments or tweet me @hamburgcam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

Fuji X10 goes to Paris, too - and does cool panos

When deciding what gear to take to Paris this year my prime mission was to go light without sacrificing the image quality that I am used to from my DSLR cameras. My second companion camera to the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 was the compact Fujifilm X10!

A compact? Why? After owning the X100 for 6 month I eagerly awaited the X10 to hit the stores towards the end of last year. Just like I did with the X100, I ordered the X10 without ever phisically holding it in my hand. Buying without trying is a very untypical thing for me to do, but I was pretty certain that the X10 would be the compact camera that I would feel least limited with - compared to a bigger camera.

My main reasons for choosing the X10 were the fast high quality lens with f/2-2.8 at 28-112mm (35mm equivalent field of view), relatively large sensor, Fuji color JPG engine, in camera pano mode and an optical view finder for extreme bright situations.

The great lens comes with the draw back that it sticks out quite a bit compared to other compact cameras. But photography and image quality are about compromises and the size of the lens was the compromise I was willing to take.

I took the X10 along to Paris as a safety net for those situations where I wanted more zoom than the X-Pro 1 XF lens lineup currently offers. But the primary reason was the in camera panorama stiching program.

To me, this is one of the most overlooked quality features of this camera! At first it seemed like a consumer gimmick to me. But after using it for many month it gives me capabilities of a Hasselblad X-Pan panorama camera, just digital, smaller, cheaper and more versatile (BTW, the Hasselblad X-Pan was a rebranded Fuji TX-1 build by Fuji)

The X10 is capable of 120°, 180°, 360° sweep panoramas that are stiched in camera and saved as jpg. You will need some practice to max this feature out, but this is what it is capable of:

Not your typical l'Arc de Triomphe postcard photo - Fuji X10 vertical pano

Since I found out that vertical panos also work, this has been my main style I use this feature for. Not your typical Arc de Triomphe postcard photo, eh? ;)

The lone photographer above Paris - Fuji X10 panorama

And this is a traditional 120° horizontal pano sweep from to of the Arc de Triomphe

Not your typical Eiffel Tower postcard photo - Fuji X10 vertical pano

Still, the vertical panos are so much more fun and give a new perspective of the Eiffel Tower :)

Spaceship launch pad Paris - Fuji X10 panorama

I would have needed a wide fishe eye lens to get this 180° field of view without the pano mode

Rue Chappe stairs - Paris panorama - Fuji X10

The 180° vertical pano worked pretty well on the famous "Rue Chappe stairs", too

Bibliothèque nationale de France - Fuji X10 Pano

Without the pano mode I could not have captured the impression I got when standing in front of the huge Bibliothèque nationale de France

If you already own a Fuji X10 / X100 / X-Pro 1 take this post as an inspiration to play around with the pano functions, too. Don't get frustrated if your results aren't perfect on the first few tries. It'll take some trial and error to understand what works and what doesn't.

Post a comment below or tweet me @hamburgcam if you want me to write more on my experiences with the pano mode of the three Fuji X-Cameras that I use...

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

Fuji X-Pro 1 goes to Paris

Every year I try to go on a weeken trip with photographer friends. This year we decided on going to Paris. This wasn't our first trip to Paris so I have a pretty good comparison on my experiences from previous photo visits.

In the past I used to take a heavy full frame DSLR with a bunch of good lenses with me. It seems to me that the burden of owning great lenses is that you have to decide which lens to leave at home and what kind of graeat photo opportunities you might miss due to that.

Once I did lug most of my gear with me through the city all day long that I did realize that I missed more photo opportunities while changing lenses or due to the intimidation factor of the big camera and lens. So this year was the year to go light on gear and still bring back good photos!

This was the lens line up I took along on my last trip to Paris:

Happy Bokeh Friday 17.07.09

And this was my gear I took along this time: Fujifilm X10 and X-Pro 1 (plus the Fujinon XF 35mm lens that was already packed in my jacket's pocket at the time I took this photo :-)

Happy Bokeh Friday 15.06.2012

My photographic mission on this trip was to use the X-Pro 1 for raw street photography. Henri Cartier-Bresson took many of his photos in Paris so this seemed like the perfect spot for me to give it a try. I converted most of these images from color into black & white in Adobe LightRoom 4.1

Paris Street Photography No.1 - Fuji X-Pro 1

It was really easy to go around take photos almost unnoticed with the small and unobtrusive X-Pro 1

Paris Street Photography No.2 - Fuji X-Pro 1

Framing and timing shots was really easy as I saw people walking into the scene before they were in the frame - thanks to the rangefinder style viewfinder of the X-Pro 1

Paris Street Photography No.4 - Fuji X-Pro 1

I also found the color to black and white conversion to be quite eays in LR4

Paris Photographer Reflections - Fuji X-Pro 1

And just in case you are wondering, the X-Pro 1 is capable of color photos, too ;)

Paris from a tourists point of view - Fuji X-Pro 1

Over all the city travel and street photography experience with the X-Pro 1 was very pleasing. The weather ranged from rainy to sunny and hot and I only had a small and relatively light ThinkTank Retrospective bag with me all day. There were few occasions where I would have wished for a bit longer focal length, but on those occasions I pulled out the X10.

There's more to come from my Paris trip and I'll post some really cool Fujifilm X10 shots later...

If you have any further questions leave a comment below or Twitter me @HamburgCam

And if you liked my post I am always happy if you spread the word and retweet, like or google +1 it :-)

Time to write about my experiences with Fuji X cameras

In April 2011 I bought the Fuji X100. In November I added the the Fuji X10 and the Fuji X-Pro 1 followed in March 2012.

There is something about those Fujifilm X cameras that works for me. That does not mean that those cameras are flawless, but they do support my style of photography.

I'll blog about my experiences with these cameras in the "Fuji X-Files" blog and will show lot's of photos.

Enjoy!

:-)