Thursday, January 19, 2017

Fuji Medium Format GFX 50S Launch

Today Fuji officially launch the GFX 50 S medium format mirrorless.

  • $6500
  • 43.8mm by 32.9mm Bayer array sensor
  • 51.4 MP (8,256 by 6,192)
  • Base ISO: 100-12,800 (50-102,400 expanded)
  • 256-zone metering
  • Focal plane shutter
  • 1/4,000 s mechanical shutter
  • 1/16,000 s electronic shutter
  • 1/125 s flash sync speed (up to 1/800 s with H mount adapter)
  • 3.0 fps continuous shooting with unlimited JPEGs, 13 lossless compressions raws, or 8 uncompressed raws (1.8 fps when using electronic first curtain shutter)
  • AE bracketing, film simulation bracketing, dynamic range bracketing, ISO bracketing, white balance bracketing
  • Contrast-detect AF with 117 points
  • Built-in interval shooting
  • 0.5-inch 3.69 million-dot OLED viewfinder with 100% coverage and 0.85x magnification
  • Flash sync modes: first curtain, second curtain, auto FP (HSS)
  • 3.2-inch, 2,360K-dot, tilting touchscreen LCD
  • 1.28-inch monochrome sub-LCD monitor
  • Full HD at 29.97p and 36 Mbps
  • Film simulation with optional grain simulation (available on all simulations)
  • Wi-Fi capable
  • Battery life: 400 shots

Press release here

order it here


Images In Light

Fuji announce the X100F, X-T20, XF 50 f/2 R WR

 Another big day for Fuji, with multiple announcements, including the X100F. It gets all the expected updates, including the focus toggle lever and the 24 mp sensor from the XPro and XT-2 cameras. This will be a great upgrade for all current X100 users.

The Fuji X100F

Fuji X100F:
    Press release here

    Buy it here 

    • 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor
    • 23mm f/2 lens
    • Advanced hybrid viewfinder
    • User-adjustable magnification in rangefinder mode for improved focusing accuracy
    • 60 fps electronic viewfinder
    • Realtime parallax correction
    • Improved performance times, including 0.5-second startup time, 0.2-second shooting interval, 0.01-second shutter lag, and AF speed as fast as 0.08 seconds
    • 91 AF points, with 40% of the imaging area covered by phase detection points
    • New ACROS film simulation with optional grain simulation (available on all simulations)
    • Built-in ISO dial
    • Built-in three-stop ND filter
    • Electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000 s
    • Digital teleconverter option with 50mm and 70mm-equivalent angles of view
    • Interval shooting with unlimited frames
    • Wi-Fi control

    And the X-T20 

    Some consider this the poor mans XT-2, however this camera has some pretty high end specs, although it did not get the focus toggle, it did get a touch screen. The touch screen is the future, so get used to it. I love the touch screen on my 5D Mk IV.

      Fuji X-T20:

      Press release here 

      Buy it here
        • 24.3MP X-Trans CMOS III APS-C sensor
        • Tilting touchscreen LCD
        • Base ISO extended to 12,800
        • New ACROS film simulation with optional grain simulation (available on all simulations)
        • 91 AF points, with 40% of the imaging area covered by phase detection points
        • Improved AF algorithm with better accuracy on low-contrast and finely detailed subjects
        • AF speed as fast as 0.06 seconds
        • 2,360K-dot OLED viewfinder
        • 4K video (3,840 by 2,160) at 29.97p, 25p, 24p, 23.98p and 100 Mbps
        • Full HD video at 60 fps
        • Interval shooting with unlimited frames
        • Electronic shutter with speeds up to 1/32,000 s
        • Eye detection AF
        • Wi-Fi control
        • Weather and dust resistant to 32°F

        XF 50mm f/2 R WR Lens

        Another fine lens to add to what I consider the X-Pro series of lenses, these smaller aperture lenses work well with the optical view finder on the X-Pro series.

        Buy it here

          • 10 points of weather-sealing with low-temperature operation down to 14°F
          • 9 elements in 7 groups
          • Aspherical ED element
          • Weight: 200 g (7 oz.)
          • Aperture and focus rings both feature click stops
          • Inner focusing system with stepping motor
          • Super Electron Beam Coating to reduce flare and ghosting


          Monday, January 16, 2017

          Fuji XT-2 and the XF 23mm f/1.4 R

          Pacheco Oak in the Fog
          Fuji XT-2, XF 23mm f/1.4 R, f/7.1, 1/500 sec, ISO 400

          Fuji XT-2, XF 23mm f/1.4 R, f/7.1, 1/600 sec, ISO 400

           Fuji XT-2, XF 23mm f/1.4 R, f/5, 1/550 sec, ISO 400

          I was pleasantly surprised by the XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens on this shoot at Pacheco Pass, in my brief earlier use of this lens with the XT-1, I was not terribly impressed. Perhaps I just had a bad day.  

          The lens is quit sharp and exhibits very good micro contrast. It is fast to focus and a very manageable size, just like the rest of Fuji's prime lenses. It seems Fuji's lens line up is just ridiculously good, I'm not just saying that either, I don't get anything from Fuji to say this and I'm comparing to Canons top glass. Fuji is far from perfect, but in a few years they could be at the top of the heap, if they keep producing great lenses and improving their cameras.

          This lens which is the equivalent of a 35mm lens on a full frame camera is a versatile lens to have in your bag, along with the XF 35 f/1.4 and the XF 56 f1.2 all that's needed is an ultra wide. That lens I think will be the XF 10-24 f/4 R OIS, when shooting ultra wide I much prefer a zoom if a quality one is available. Composition is really important for wide angle shots and feet cant always be used when in crampt quarters.

          Fuji XT-2, XF 23mm f/1.4 R, f/5, 1/480 sec, ISO 400

          Keep it up Fuji, lets see whats next!


          Tuesday, January 10, 2017

          Fuji XT-2 - Fuji filters in Lightroom


          Art at the Allen Institute, Lk Union, Seattle, Wa.
          Fuji XT-2, XF 35 f/1.4, 1/10 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200, ACROS +R

          Lightroom integration with Fuji filters is pretty seamless, just navigate to the Camera Calibration module and select your desired filter, in this case ACROS+R Filter, as seen above.

          Art at the Allen Institute, Lk Union, Seattle, Wa.
          Fuji XT-2, XF 35 f/1.4, .4 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200, Provia


          Art at the Allen Institute, Lk Union, Seattle, Wa.
          Fuji XT-2, XF 35 f/1.4, 1/2 sec, f/7.1, ISO 200, ACROS +R

          Once your desired filter is turned on, you can adjust to your taste. I find this quit helpful for quick adjustments. I'm not a big user of filters in Lightroom, I enjoy the process of getting the images to my desired look, however, for large batches of photos this is very useful and gives you a great place to start.

          Typically I just turn on the B & W in the Adjustments Bar and adjust individual color channels, etc. to achieve my black and white. I must admit though using the Fuji presets can be nice sometimes. However for a more custom look using Lightroom B and W conversion is more flexible.


          Friday, January 6, 2017

          Fuji Landscapes

          Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Salish Dreams

          Salish Dreams
          Fuji XT-2, XF 56 f/1.2, 1/210 sec, f/2.2, ISO 200, hand held.

          I got the Fuji XT-2 as a 2nd camera for events and travel, but I'm keen to try it out on my favorite subject, landscapes. In the past I have used Fuji x-cameras for landscapes, but there has never been enough resolution. Now with 24mp, I should have plenty.  

          The Black and White images I get from Fuji cameras are especially nice, and I'm looking forward to doing a lot of landscapes in this style. The XT-2 also gives me the ability to shoot low to the ground with the tilting LCD. The combination of this with the high quality Fujinon lenses, great Black and White files and the 24mp sensor should produce some fantastic images.

          Another plus for the Fuji system is its auto ISO settings, I don't fear bumping my ISO up, its nice to not worry about ISO. While on a tripod, I'll still shoot at ISO 200, but I have no problem shooting Black and White landscapes at ISO 800.

          Fuji XT-2, XF 56 f/1.2, 1/680 sec, f/2.5, ISO 200, hand held.

          Of course I do love Fuji colors too : )


          Sunday, January 1, 2017

          The Fuji X System

           XT-2 XF 56 f/1.2, 1/280, f/1.2 ISO 200, Acros 

            XT-2 XF 35 f/1.4, 1/60, f/2 ISO 320, Acros

            XT-2 XF 56 f/1.2, 1/40, f/1.2 ISO 800

            XT-2 XF 56 f/1.2, 1/60, f/1.2 ISO 800

            XT-2 XF 35 f/1.2, 1/60, f/1.4 ISO 250, Acros

            XT-2 XF 56 f/1.2, 1/60, f/1.2 ISO 250, Provia

           XT-2 XF 56 f/1.2, 1/60, f/1.2 ISO 400, Acros

           The Fuji X system is on my highly recommended list of camera systems. The main thing that sets Fuji aside from the other manufacturers is, they have developed lenses specifically for the APS-C sensor. Other manufacturers like Nikon and Canon, only give you consumer grade lenses for their APS-C cameras, while giving you Pro grade lenses for their full frame systems. Fuji has made the decision to go with pro grade lenses for their APS-C system, and it is paying off for them. Its also the only way I would buy in to a new system.

          This allows for less expensive and smaller Pro level lenses for the Fuji system. Fuji has been making lenses for manufacturers like Hasselblad for years. They know how to produce good optics and have done so here for the X-system.

          I chose the XT-2 for its versatility over the other offerings from Fuji. Its size with good quality fast prime lenses like the 56 f1.2 and the 35 f/1.4, make for a nice compact fast system that produces excellent image quality.

          The focus system is now fast and on par or better than any mirrorless system. While not on par with a DSLR it is still quit fast. This is my second system, the one I will use for travel and events, family gatherings and any time I want a small light weight system.

          What I like so for about the system:
          • Clean usable 24mp files
          • Great AF system 
          • Cleaned up menu system
          • Customization 
          • Fantastic lens selection
          • Small and lightweight
          • Ergonomics
          A pro level system from Fuji, that will get the job done no matter what it is. Fuji has been building up this system for a few years now and it is ready for prime time. Recently they announced their entry in to medium format mirrorless, we will see more on that in early 2017.


          Images In Light

          Sunday, November 20, 2016

          Lake Tahoe Storm

          Storm over Lake Tahoe
          5D Mk IV, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, Lee 10 stop ND filter, f/11, 24mm, 1.6 sec.

          A quick trip up to Tahoe this weekend. Trying to decide last minute where we wanted to go, we ended up going to Lake Tahoe. This was my first photographic trip to Tahoe, almost all the images I've seen from there are of a calm beautiful lake with azure waters and boulders strewn about as if thrown in to a swimming pool. With a winter storm on its way in we ended up with just one morning shoot ahead of the storm.

          5D Mk IV, EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II, Lee 10 stop ND filter, f/10, 47mm, 1.3 sec.

          With winds blowing and gusting to 15mp or so it was a Challenge just to keep a tripod upright, never mind getting a sharp image with a long exposure, so I had to hold the tripod down against the rocks and try to keep it still while I took my images.


          Images In Light

          Sunday, October 30, 2016

          Exposing for the Mid Tones

          Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Convict Lake
           5D Mk IV, EF 16-35 f/4 L IS, 1.6 sec, 19mm at f/13
          Lee 6 Stop ND filter
          Convict Lake, Eastern Sierra

          I am always trying to expose for the mid tones, while holding back the histogram from clipping the highlights. This was a pretty bright scene late morning at Convict lake, also very windy. I used the Lee six stop ND filter here to hold back some of the light and allow for the longer exposure on the waves, giving a little motion effect and allowing for some blur on the wave caps.  I used the mid tones on the mountain to expose the image in live view, then pressed AE lock and refocused on the foreground. At f/13, this gave me enough depth of field to make this image work. 

           final histogram

          I still needed to pull shadows and highlights in lightroom, but by keeping my histogram in check I was able to pull the needed detail in post and get the most dynamic range out of this scene as I could. Finally I cropped it to a 4:3 aspect ratio, that I like for portrait orientation landscapes.


          Monday, October 24, 2016

          Using a ND filter for long exposure

          Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Owens Valley
           5D Mk IV, EF24-70 f/2.8 L  II, f11, 53mm, 30 sec
          Processed  in Lightroom for monochrome and split toned.

          When imaging a scene with lenticular clouds like this one, I like to use a long exposure to exaggerate their circular rotation. Here I used a Lee 6 stop ND filter to extend the exposure time to 30 sec. Instead of the wispy clouds, I got more of the circular motion of the whole storm system.

          This was predawn light, so my original exposure would have been a couple of seconds at f/11, not long enough to get the full range of motion. The below image was a similar exposure taken after the sun came up and the exposure time difference with the same setup was 27.5 seconds, for a 2.5 sec exposure.

          Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Sunrise before the Storm
          5D Mk IV, EF24-70 f/2.8 L  II, f11, 70mm, 2.5 sec

          Of course its all a matter of personal taste, I happen to like both, I also have a shot at normal exposure speeds without an ND filter and like those as well. This is just one example of the use of an ND filter and why they should be in every landscape photographers bag.


          Thursday, October 20, 2016

          Nikon D810 and AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II

          Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Sierra Sunrise
          Nikon D810 and  AF-S NIKKOR 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II
          170mm, f/5, 1/100 sec, ISO 64

          Friday, October 14, 2016

          Fall Sierra Nevada Trip

          Convict Lake
          5D Mk IV, EF16-35 f/4 L IS, f/16, 24mm, 1 sec, 6 stop ND filter, ISO 100.
          Windy day at Convict Lake 

          Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Sierra Aspen

          5D Mk IV, EF16-35 f/4 L IS, 1/40 sec, f/16, 16mm, ISO 100.
          Aspen near BishopCreek

          Sunday, October 9, 2016

          Fleet Week San Francisco

          Blue Angles
          Number 5 and 6 - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/800, f/5

          After Burners
          F-22 Raptor - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/800, f/5

          Patriots - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/800, f/5

          Fleet Week in San Francisco, when a million people descend on the water front to see the Navy bring its ships in, in general a big party, the culmination being the Blue Angles. It really is a pretty good air show, with multiple acrobatic teams and flybys, a PR show for the military and other sponsers like United Airlines, they did a low and slow 747-400 flyby over the Bay.

          Its been a while since I shot an air show and with a new camera, I was pretty clumsy, when setting up a new custom setting I forgot to set RAW and shot the first third of the show in jpg, I thought wow, that was a big mistake. However the the 5D Mk IV jpg's are quit nice, the F-22 Raptor and Patriot shot above where shot jpg only and I was pleasantly surprised at how well the new camera produces jpg's out of camera. 

                                      Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Angels Race
          Angles Race - 5D Mk IV, 300 f/2.8 L IS, 1/1000, f/5.6

           As usual the Blue Angles put on an incredible show, the sound of their jet engines right over your head is unforgettable. This was my first time shooting the Blue Angles and in the crowd I had to make sure I didn't knock someone out with my big lens as the jets went screaming by and I pivoted to track them.

          More Fleet Week images here

          More aviation here


          Wednesday, October 5, 2016

          New Gitzo Systematic Tripods

          New Systematic tripods from Gitzo.

          New design for my favorite light weight tripod, the Mountaineer series 1, 3 section, this is the one I use for backpacking, It is tall enough, light weight and sturdy, I use a medium ball head by Acratech, although the new heads by Gitzo are now Arca Swiss compatible and may be a good solution at last.

          The GT1542 offers a good light weight yet sturdy solution for those times you need a little less weight, this system will work for a DSLR or ILC with up to a 70-200 f/2.8 lens. I use it without the center column, by utilizing the ground kit.

          I use the Series 3 here for day use and studio with a Kirk BH-1 ball head. The new 3 series now offer the 3/8-16 accessory link system, great for adding a lighting system, video monitor or other accessory. This tripod will hold any lens/camera combination you want.

          Mountaineer spec sheet here 

          Series 3 here

          Buy it here at B and H GT1542

          Buy it here at B and H GT3533S

          Gitzo site here


          Images In Light

          Sunday, September 25, 2016

          Canon 5D Mk IV field trip

          Images In Light: Latest Work &emdash; Little Tahoma
          Canon 5D Mk IV, EF 70-200 f/4 L IS, f/7.1, 135mm, 1/5 sec 

          So far so good with the 5D Mk IV, finally got to take it out for a shoot, even though the conditions weren't ideal, I made the trip down to Mt Rainier. Though the Mountain wasn't in full view I was treated to some nice views of Little Tahoma, clouds swirled around its peak and I tried out the built in intervoltometer, its nice to have that feature built in now, instead of having to dig in to my bag for my remote. The 30 mp is ideal for the extra room to crop and the dynamic range is really exceptional. It renders black and white very nicely, less artifacts in the sky when you push the blue channel. Clouds are rendered especially well with the new sensor, a great subject to test a camera on.

          Images In Light: Seattlescapes &emdash;

          Canon 5D Mk IV, EF 70-200 f/4 L IS, f/11, 121mm, 1/80 sec

          The shot from Kerry park is one of my favorite places to shoot a cityscape and an excellent place to test a camera, I know it so well I can easily judge a cameras IQ when shooting here. Colors are the same Canon colors I've come to love. The detail in these images is quit amazing.

          Lightroom 6.7 was released last week which supports the 5D Mk IV, quick work by Adobe. File sizes are quite large and it does take a bit more time to download from my CF card. However that's not a big issue compared to the whole process.

          For both of these images I used Live View with the touch screen controle. Live view is something Canon is very good with and implementing the touch screen feature makes it almost seamless. Metering is as usual, excellent, especially with live view.

          Shadow noise is what every one wants to know about, so far I'm very pleased, no more color noise or banding in shadows, noise that does appear after pushing shadows is very fine grained and un-obtrusive. Canon  has done a great job on this new sensor and I'm very pleased with the results so far. Further review of the 5D Mk IV will be upcoming. Stay tuned.


          Wednesday, September 21, 2016

          Sony A99 II

          SLR Lounge hands on here

          Sony keeps pushing the technological boundaries in the camera world and the A99 II is next. Will they be able to maintain two lines of full frame cameras? only if they both sell well, that would be my only fear with this system. The camera looks very nice, well specked and will make Sony fans very happy. They are leading the technology race, which is great for all of us, it pushes the other camera makers to make improvements. I don't know what we'd do without the likes of Sony and Fuji, my money is on Fuji though, I prefer their lens line up and ergonomics, something Sony is still lacking.

          Key Specs:
          • 42.4 mp full frame Exmor R CMOS Sensor
          • 79 hybrid cross AF points
          • 12 fps
          • 4D Focus
          • 5 axis stabilization 

          DPReview here


          Images In Light