Sunday, July 28, 2013

Fujifilm X-pro1 + XF 18-55mm. Norwegian summer

Well, been back in Norway for a couple of weeks after my trip to Thailand. I have tons of pictures from that holiday, many still unprocessed. Some evening shots are also on this blog.

But - It's still more fun to be out shooting. So last evening I was out just driving, admiring the Norwegian summer evening. I came upon this abandoned old barn and farm house. I always have either my Fujifilm X100s or my X-Pro1 with me, so... here's a few pictures.

Fujfilm X-Pro1+XF18-55mm@36mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/950sec.

Fujfilm X-Pro1+XF18-55mm@26mm, ISO 400, F/9, 1/150sec.

Fujfilm X-Pro1+XF18-55mm@18mm, ISO 400, f/9, 1/50sec.
The nature and scenery sure is different than my Thailand pics, but... this is from my home town :) It's not just the winter that makes beautiful scenery in Norway.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fujifilm X100s in Thailand

In my last blogpost from Thailand I wrote about my experiences with both the Fujifilm X100s and X-Pro1 when travelling in Thailand. I mentioned that I would post some pictures later from low light situations. So here they are, a few pictures from Hua Hin and the night market:

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 3200, f/2.8, 1/60sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 2500, f/2.8, 1/60sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 1250, f/4, 1/60sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/60sec.



Fujifilm X100s, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/350sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/30sec.
A picture from Ao Nang, Krabi. The dog is watching a movie while the owner is working:
Fujifilm X100s, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/50sec.

All shots are post processed in Lightroom 5. For some of pictures I had the camera set to Auto Iso with the slowest shutter speed at 1/60sec. I think the auto ISO worked pretty well because the light was varying a lot at the nigh market. Some shops were dark but others were pretty bright. But as you can see, on some of the pictures I just set the ISO to 3200, and the shutter speed varied from 1/30 and up to 1/350 and even 1/800. I could have easily lowered the ISO on those situations and gotten less noise. But really, the noise level at ISO 3200 on the X100s is low! Still, the auto iso is nice to have!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Fujifilm X-Pro1 and X100s in Thailand. Part I

For my holiday in Thailand this year I brought my Fujifilm X-Pro1 with the XF 35mm f/1.4 lens and my Fujifilm X100s. I was curious to see if I'd be satisfied without a zoom lens on this trip. I considered buying the 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 lens for my X-pro, but did not. I also considered buying the 14mm wide angle lens, but I didn't do that eiter. I wish I did - but more about that later. Here's few shots.

Fujifilm X-pro1, ISO 800, f/8, 1/70sec.
The above shot is from Hua Hin, a place I visited many times.

Fujifilm X-pro1, ISO 400, f/8, 1/500sec.
The shot above is from the small town of Khoksamrong, which is near the city of Lopburi located about 250km north of Bangkok. It's a small place, and I've been there many times over the years because my wife's family is from there. I guess the locals are used to me walking around taking pictures now. Usually I carry my big Canon 7D dSLR. Not so this time, and it felt good leaving all that weight at home. I'm probably one of the really really few Europeans that visit the town.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/30sec.
This is from the market in Khoksamrong. I usually go there early in the morning  to get the real good light. But most of the buying and selling from the shops happens in the shade unfortuneatly. That made me somtimes push the ISO up to 3200 and even 6400 to get a decent shutter speed.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/480sec.
Again from Khoksamrong. A black and white conversion done in Nik Silver Effex 2.0.

I was very happy with the perfomance of the X100s in street shooting situations, especially in very crowed areas where the 23mm (35mm FF) lens gave me enough space and distance to my subjects. Also the autofocus was very fast in good light, and good enough even in dimmer light. Often I carried both my X-pro1 with 35mm (53mm FF)  lens and the X100s.

Why I missed a zoom and wide angle lens

Well, being on vacation for four weeks in a country like Thailand, that's full of exiting photograpy opportunities, I was missing a zoom lens simply because just one, or two, focal lenghts just don't cover it all. Sure, if you're only into street photograpy, then a 35mm and 50 mm will do just fine. But, during four weeks there's a lot to do and see! Like going on a speed boat trip with other turists, the captain is not going to get you close enough to whatever you like to take pictures of when the rest of the passengers have their zooms out and admire everything from a distance. Or when the nature, scenery, just begs for a wide angle lens... Here's a shot that I took borrowing my wifes Canon 600D and the EF-S 10-22mm wide angle lens (luckily she brought her gear too for our trip to Thailand...)

Canon 600D+EF-S 10-22mm@10mm, ISO 800, f/11, 1/30sec.
This place is called the Blue Pool, and can be found near the Emerald Pool, in the jungle near Krabi, Thailand. Because of the heavy vegetation, I needed to bump up the ISO to 800 on the Canon to get a decent shutter speed. I didn't have a tripod, and shot hand held. I wish I had a wide angle lens for my Fujifilm X-pro1! Either the10-22mm wide angle zoom which is rumoured to be out later this year, or the XF 14mm f/2.8 which is already out and getting very good reviews.

Fuijfilm x100s

BUT - there's a big but in here... I really really love my Fujifilm X-100s for street photography. I will never sell it. I carry it with me everywhere I go, every day. Here's a few samples, again from the market in Khoksamrong:
Fujifilm X100s, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/60sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 6400, f/8, 1/50sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 6400, f/8, 1/90sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 1600, f/4, 1/125sec.

Fujifilm X100s, ISO 400, f/4, 1/125sec.
As you can see om some of these shots, there's a few tight areas, perfect with the  23mm crop lens, dim lighting - had to push my ISO all the way up to 6400 on some of them. No problem for the Fujifilm X100s! Still, only having a fixed focal lenght also was limiting for me. I could see something interesting happening some meters away, but by the time I was close enough - it was gone. I don't mind cropping my pictures, but --- I will buy a zoom for my X-Pro1 - that's for sure.

It will be interesting how much the autofocus improves with the coming firmware update for the X-pro1, and also if the focus peaking for manual focus will be as good as on the X100s. The update is coming on July 23. You can read about it here on DPReview.com.

Fujifilm X-pro1

Ok, except for the two at the top, that's a lot of Fujifilm X100s pictures... So, how about the X-pro1 - well, here's a few samples, Fujifilm X-pro1 with the XF 35mm:
Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 3200, f/11, 1/900sec.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 1600, f/8, 1/750sec.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 1600, f/8, 1/550sec.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 200, f/8, 1/300sec.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 800, f/4, 1/4000 sec.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 1600, f/11, 1/1100 sec.
A man and his dog... This was a fun picture to take. I saw him from some distance while I was sitting at the back of my wifes motorbike. He passed us before I could get my camera ready, so we followed him and I took a few pictures from the back. But that didn't look any good, so even in broad daylight, I increased the ISO to 1600, set the aperture to f/11 to get a good depth of field to avoid as much focusing error as possible. And like planned, the high ISO gave me enough shutter speed to get this picture pretty sharp while we were passing him, driving at 40km/h. When we passed them, I turned around, and CLICK! "Did you get it?", my wife asked, but I didn't know, but we speeded up and left them alone.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 400, f/8, 1/125sec.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 400, f/4, 1/500sec.
My wife and me saw this guy on the motorbike with the dog at his side, and we followed him on our own motorbike, catching up,  with me taking this picture while my wife tried to match the speed of his bike to keep the same distance for focusing.

Fujifilm X-pro1, 35mm (53mm FF), ISO 800, f/8, 1/450sec.

As you can see, the ISO is pushed up pretty high for some of these shots, even when you might not think it's necessary to have those shutter speeds. But some of these shots are taken with me sitting on the back of a motorbike (my wifes doing the driving) - either while driving - or standing still but with the engine still on - making camera shake.

In good light the X-Pro1 autofocus is just fine. In an earlier post in this blog I said that it's not that big difference between the newer X100s and the X-Pro1 - but working with them for weeks now, I have to say the X100s is much faster. The X-Pro1 is still ok, it just needs to get used if you're coming from a dSLR because it's contrast detecting (and not phase detecting like the dSLR's), and if you're aiming at the edges of your subject like you'd might do with your dSLR, then sometimes it will focus on your background instead if it's more contrast there. So, aim straight at the middle of your subject. Sometimes it will miss or not lock on if there's not enough contrast. If so, then try finding something at the same distance with some patterns/texture/more contrast on it.

In low light and in the night? Well... you'll have to wait for part II for reading about my Fuji's in real low light situations in Thailand. There'll be some pictures from the night market in Hua Hin and some shots from very early in the morning.