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Larry Bolch

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Everything posted by Larry Bolch

  1. Absolutely, the 23mm is light and small. However, the 16mm is significantly wider and able to work at half the light-level. It weighs 375 grams while the 23mm is 180 grams. I will happily lug an extra 200 grams for the vastly increased capability the 16mm provides. Both the 35mm and the 16mm are covered by the 10-24mm, but it is an f/4.0 which takes great care to use effectively in low light situations. At f/1.4, the 16mm opens up the darkness. Is 200 grams too heavy for all the great interior shots you will bypass?
  2. The best way to choose a lens is to stop a moment and define the weakness of your current kit. What do you find most frequently frustrates you, presenting a lack of capability that your current kit prevents you from shooting? Just because you can afford another lens, and you have not bought some gear for a while is the WORST possible reason to buy a lens. Do you do architecture and your back is constantly pressing against the wall, then you probably need a highly-corrected wide angle lens. If you have a kid that plays soccer, and you are constantly cropping most of the image away even at the maximum zoom, you need a longer focal length lens and the time to master it. Every purchase of camera gear should solve a definable problem. You don't shop for filters, lenses, tripods and accessories because they are "neat". You shop for solutions that empower your photographic capabilities unless your wallet is just too heavy to carry. Once the problems have been clearly defined, solutions are much more obvious.
  3. With the excellence of the 18-55mm, the Fujinon XF 23mm f2 or Fujinon 35mm F2 are somewhat redundant. The 18-55 is too often called the "kit lens" since it has a zoom range comparable to actual APS-C kit lenses on consumer-level bodies. It is not. Though it shares the zoom range, it is in every way a full-fledged Fujinon. It is lightweight and affordable, but well built and capable of the quality expected of FX lenses. At the most, you gain a bit of aperture, but not as dramatic as the f/1.4 versions of these focal lengths. They really do very little to increase your photographic capability. If you really want primes, the f/2.8 14mm, which is a brilliant lens, will considerably increase your wide-angle capability, while still being a fairly friendly focal length. At the other end of the scale, the f/2.0 90mm could give you a significant boost telephoto-wise. If you can be content with zooms, the 55-200mm or the highly affordable 50-230mm will provide substantially greater versatility at affordable prices, albeit with considerable compromise with apertures.
  4. Exposure at ISO200 in bright sunlight would be approximately 1/200th at f/16. Five whole seconds would cause terminal over-exposure. Try again after sunset or before sunrise. Neutral density filters would also help though they would need to be extremely dense. Debateable if they would be worth the price for such a cliché image.
  5. Both action shots are easily saved in any image processing program. Adjust the brightness so the chutes are white. Then boost the middle tones until you have full detail. A bit of added saturation makes them pop. Even though they are JPEGs—not RAW—the adjustments needed are so small, that quality is really very good. Shutter speed is fine. A bit of motion blur in fact, adds to the drama you captured.
  6. Whatever works at home, Will work the same in Rome.
  7. Might add that it will also use third-party lenses and adapted lenses from other systems—all taking advantage of the new IBIS feature.
  8. Fuji has simplicity well covered with their entry-level cameras. This camera is anything BUT entry-level. It is intended to carve out a spot in the ever more important video/stills field. It is a fully pro-level camera and makes no excuses about it. Any commercial videomaker will feel completely at home in the complexity of the video menus. You may have noticed that they also announced the MK lenses in X-mounts. These are lenses designed for commercial use, with all the necessary bells and whistles. At $4kUS, they are not by any stretch of the imagination entry-level or even for enthusiasts. This is in keeping with Fuji's traditional industrial-level clients. At the moment, B&H lists 87 different pro-video Fujinon lenses ranging in price from $4,000 to $233,490.00. During the film era, their large format lenses were considered state-of-the-art and their medium format SLR—GX680—was the envy of Hasselblad users. With the X-cameras, it is somewhat of a new venture for Fuji entering the retail commercial market. DSLRs will be around for the foreseeable future, but with diminishing sales. Fuji is wisely laying the groundwork for fully pro-level mirrorless cameras with the GFX50S medium-format and the X-H1 in the video field. Working photographers demand fully featured cameras and take the time to learn the complexities. When CaNikon finally builds pro-level mirrorless cameras, Fuji will already be there.
  9. The number of exposures you can expect from a fully charged battery.
  10. That was certainly true of Nickle-Cadmium and NiMH batteries but is of minimal concern with Lithium-ion batteries.
  11. Realize that cameras in the X-Pro2 class generally have at least an expectancy of 150,000 mechanical shutter activations before failure—regardless of brand. Most cameras are abandoned as obsolete long before that level of use is reached. Furthermore, if it is reached repairs to a dSLR are highly affordable and probably a lot more affordable when the flappy mirror is not a consideration. Once a shutter is replaced, the camera is effectively new again.
  12. On Facebook and my website, all images are highly compressed JPEGs of modest resolution. Printed at a common resolution of 300 pixels per inch, would produce just a thumbnail-size image. Printed larger would result in horrid JPEG artefacts. If a viewer likes my image and wants to keep a personal copy on their hard drive, I am fine with that. If an advertiser wants to use one in a brochure, they can contact me and I can provide them with a high-resolution version licensed for their needs at an equitable negotiated price. If they want to use a download, the horrible quality will certainly detract from their product.
  13. As a photojournalist during the film era as well, to get 360 shots required a brick of 10 rolls of 36 exposures or a brick and a half of 24 exposure rolls. At the end of the roll, one stopped shooting, rewound the film back into the cassette, assuming 35mm, opened the back and removed it, then opened the box with the next roll, removed it from its canister, threaded it to the take-up spool, closed the back and advanced to the first frame, watching to make sure the rewind knob turned indicating that the film was properly moving through the camera. Now it takes about 20 seconds to switch to a fresh battery and that only happens about once in 360 shot. Compared to 10 or 15 very bulky rolls of film, it is tiny. Covering sports, if there was a pause one took advantage of it to swap in a fresh roll even if the previous one was not finished. Covering NASCAR I often turned in many short rolls in order to have the maximum exposures available for the big wreck.
  14. I looked up CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) data on mirrorless cameras and made a selection of them. Being tested by an independent body, they should be much relative to one another if not absolute in real-world use. Fujifilm XA3 - 410 Fujifilm X100F - 390 Fujifilm XT-20 - 340 Sony Alpha a6500 - 350 Sony Alpha a7R II -290 Canon EOS M10 - 255 Nikon 1 J5 - 250 Olympus PEN E-PL8 - 350 Panasonic Lumix DC-GH5 - 410 As long as camera makers concentrate on compactness and light-weight, the situation will continue. Battery grips are somewhat of a solution, but large bodies and heavy batteries are pretty much dictated to get dSLR performance.
  15. If you are comfortable with the two zooms, as BobJ says, you are pretty much covered for everything. I would recommend the addition of either the 23mm or 35mm f/1.4 for indoors and night photography. Considering how well the camera handles high-ISO ratings, being able to shoot wide open or just a stop or two down will open up a whole new and fascinating world. I have not shot with the 23mm, but use the 35mm constantly in low light. With an ISO6400, you get a decent shutter speed and the quality of the content more than makes up for the small amount of noise.
  16. Do a test shot for exposure and use the handy Exposure Compensation knob to dial-in perfect exposure. It is one of the most brilliant features of the X-Cameras. If there is a light source in the image, the sensor will try to pick an average exposure, resulting in a dark image. The opposite is also true—photograph a spotlit performer in front of a dark background and the performer will be washed out. The EC knob falls under the thumb and lets you dial-in exposure every time. Having the histogram visible in the viewfinder helps a bunch.
  17. However, the X-Trans colour filter array would need to be removed, just leaving the bare Sony sensor below. However, to get maximum sharpness, it would have to be wired to read from each photosite individually. This would eliminate the need for demosaicing. However, given that there are very sophisticated tools for fine-tuning conversion from colour to monochrome, the gain would probably be mostly nullified. There are no good tools for restoring colour either in camera or in processing. In Photoshop, adjustment layers and masks will do the job, but with considerable effort.
  18. Food photography is all about styling. Photography is simple, use a sturdy tripod since exposures can be on the long side, normal lens for natural perspective, f/8.0 or f/11 for adequate depth of field, base ISO setting. The Toit would do fine. Since the food is not in motion, there is no problem doing a four-second exposure at f/11 at ISO200. Unless you just can not get the whole image in focus, don't go much beyond f/11. Diffraction has already begun at f/11, though it is still not noticeable. Beyond f/11 it increases substantially. Do a test shot. If it is over or under, use the exposure compensation dial to nail it. The food is totally patient, so there is no need to rush while getting it right. Manual exposure works fine as well. Avoid wide apertures. Food really needs to be fully seen and shallow depth of field simply looks out of focus. Consider the background. Unless it carries with it some meaningful information, a bit of softness does not hurt. Of course, this nullifies the prime advantage of the 56mm, which is far more suited to photographing people where shallow DOF can be useful. If I needed the added focal length, I would trade for the brilliantly sharp 60mm f/2.4 which also gives you much more closeup capability. If you have not studied food styling, you will be amazed at the voodoo that goes into it. Most photographed food is inedible. That perfectly done turkey has been varnished the perfect colour and shine! Ice cream melts, so mashed potatoes or lard are used in its place. Ice also melts, so ice cubes and crushed ice is clear plastic. Sparkling vegetables have been sprayed with glycerine. Grapes get their patina via talcum powder. It is well covered on the web. Search for 'food photography tricks of the trade'. If anything the X-T2 is overkill. The images on your page are less than one megapixel. You are throwing away more than 23MP of detail. What could a more expensive camera possibly give you? If you were shooting food professionally, it is fully capable of display prints for use in mall food booths or restaurants, of enormous size and clarity. If you have doubts, don't take my word for it. Rent a dSLR and try using it and the X-T2 on the same setup.
  19. Yes, over the years the few cards that have been reported as corrupted, the common thread was that they were not formatted in the camera. Evidently, cards—like hard-drives—can become fragmented. Formatting them in the camera restores them to what the camera wants to see when it writes.
  20. "If it works, don't fix it." Adapters are simply tubes with no optics. Using two instead of one should make no difference in the operation of the camera or image quality.
  21. While physics is unchanging, technology is not. Using a 60mm f/2.4 on the first X-Pro1 camera required considerable patience. Focusing a contemporary lens on an X-T2 almost matches dSLR auto-focus performance. It is nearly seven years since the X-100 was first announced and in those few years, Fuji has created an impressive system. Processing power has greatly increased as has the sophistication of the firmware. This is clearly illustrated in the performance of contemporary models. And yes, clearly image quality has been Fuji's priority and we have yet to see how they can implement IBIS without compromise. The camera knows what lens is mounted and by the time IBIS is actually on the market, it may well be possible to match the extent of movement to the image circle's requirements. While they were not in favour of software correction back then, acceptable solutions may now be in the works. For adapted lenses, profiles can be applied during processing. ACR has profiles for the Samyang lenses on Fuji cameras for example. All we know is that Fuji is working on IBIS. We have no idea on time span. They know what technology is being developed by their parts-suppliers and can begin planning even if the solutions are still a couple of years away.
  22. Like OIS in our present lenses, it can be toggled off if not desired. Use it as needed. We know that Fuji did not think it mature enough technology to adapt it over the past half-dozen years. However, digital technology is always advancing and finally, a solution is being reached that will meet Fuji's standards. We can not judge in advance what we do not know, based upon the products of other camera manufacturers. We also have no idea when Fuji will be ready to actually market a camera with IBIS. However, I expect when they do, it will be a full generation ahead of what exists at the moment.
  23. Auto white balance does not work for a good reason. Early in the digital era, some engineer decided to make auto white balance full spectrum. It worked well indoors, giving a nice neutral balance. Everyone was happy—that is until someone shot a glorious sunset. Yup—neutral balance as if it was shot at noon. Not everyone was happy then. If one is shooting in mixed lighting or unknown lighting, there is the Custom balance feature that works very well. Select it and point the lens at a known neutral tone. There are grey cards specifically designed for this, but a sheet of white paper will work as well. Just make sure the reading is done at the subject position.
  24. https://www.lensrentals.com/blog/2011/08/the-apocalypse-of-lens-dust/ by Roger Cicala who has probably disassembled and assembled more lenses that we would see in a lifetime.
  25. I expect that they held off on IBIS until the current technology advanced to the point that it fully met their goals. When it arrives, it will likely be state of the art and only get better over time.
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