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Herco last won the day on June 23

Herco had the most liked content!

About Herco

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  • Birthday 05/26/1962

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    Portrait, fashion, fine-art, (urban) landscape

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  1. One addition: I just purchased the compact Lowepro m-trekker bp 150 for a ridiculous low price in Switzerland (CHF 39) and it is amazing for smaller mirrorless sets like my x-pro2 with 3 or 4 lenses and some accessories. Very flexible compartments, back opening, easy accessible top compartment for small items, drink bottle pouches, straps for tripod, integrated rain cover and comfortable straps and padding.
  2. There’s another reason not to depend on Fuji’s X Raw Studio. It only allows you to process raw files captured by the exact same type of camera with which the shot was made. When you upgrade your Fuji camera to a newer model you can’t process the raw files made with the older camera anymore. So moving up from an X-Pro2 to an X-Pro3 and your older files can’t be processed in XRaw Studio...
  3. When you set the camera on automatic exposure and zoom in or out, the view angle changes and with that the balance of lighter and darker elements in your view. That changes the exposure esp. when it is all on Auto and metering is set to multi-segment or average. When you don't want that to happen, you should switch to manual exposure (aperture, shutter speed and ISO). Zoom lenses with variable aperture emphasize the issue. When you zoom in, the aperture becomes smaller and the two effects impact exposure simultaneously.
  4. PS. understanding more about photography in general and Fuji in particular, I can also recommend the website and books of Cambridge in colour (Understanding Photography), several books at Rocky Nook publishing and the Fuji-specific books of Dan Bailey (X Series Unlimited) and Rico Pfirstinger (X-pert tips). All of them also online available in download formats.
  5. While that is certainly true, at ISO 6400 and above you will see some deterioration. Esp. in large prints. Having said that, the X-T4 is definitely the best overall APS-C mirrorless camera on the market today and should be capable of razor sharp images also in less preferable light conditions.
  6. Wow, that is a lot of good and sometimes complex advice for a novice to capture 😉. In general an X-T4 is not more complex to operate than e.g. an X-T30 but there are a few things to be said about the issues you faced. First of all, it strikes me how many times I've read that someone had a 'bad copy' of a Fuji camera or lens. I myself have had two lenses that I had to return for other copies (both red-badge zooms notably). It seems to become a real issue and it should not happen with these increasingly expensive cameras and lenses. Clearly a sign of faulty production tolerances and inadequate quality control at Fuji. Now for the overall 'darkness' of the images, that is typical Fuji. Light meters in cameras read reflective light and they are calibrated using a grey card. Fuji is one of the very few (the only?) that uses 18% grey cards for calibration, as in the days of film. Digital sensors are more sensitive, so most brands switched to a 30% grey card for calibration. The difference is about 2/3 of a stop. It's not that bad, since its easier to boost the shadows, than dim the highlights (as noted earlier). So, if you want comparable shots you need to compensate exposure by +1/3 or +2/3. Buying a separate light meter (for ambient light) will certainly help, but is rather cumbersome to work with and can do more harm than good in case of the wrong usage. AutoISO and multi-metering mode of Fuji generally work very good, so feel free to use those for general shooting. Also keep an eye on the film simulation and high-light and shadow settings of the camera. These have an impact on the overall 'darkness' and will only impact the in-camera jpeg, but Capture One will read these settings and emulate them when displaying the raw file (Curve is set to Auto in C1). That may trick you into thinking that the image is darker. Use neutral (0) setting for High-light and Shadow or switch Curve to Linear in C1 to see your raw as it really is. To boost sharpness there are a few things you can do. Next to a short enough shutter speed (focal length in min. 1/xx of a sec) and a stable position, there are a few settings. First you can relate the shutter speed to the focal length in the AutoISO menu. Simply chose default 160ISO and max. 3200ISO and set the min shutter speed on auto. That way, the camera makes sure the shutter speed is related to the focal length you choose. IBIS and OIS in the lens take care of the rest. Having said that, it can be good to practice with IBIS and OIS switched off to see the impact. Switching them off in case of use of a tripod is also recommended even though Fuji says the camera detects that itself. The next characteristic of Fuji is how they go about with sharpening and noise reduction (NR). In order to 'compete' with full-frame, Fuji uses quite aggressive sharpening and NR. It's usually not enough to set them to zero in the menu: you really have to set them to -2 or -3 unless you're shooting in very low light circumstances. Too extreme sharpening actually leads to the opposite: jagged lines and artefacts that make the image looks less sharp... Thomas Fitzgerald has a very good short manual on how to handle Fuji files in Capture One. Highly recommended. Finally, sorry to say this, but the 16-80 is not the sharpest zoom Fuji has to offer. Though it is very versatile, has nice color rendering and a constant aperture, the sharpness esp. in corners and edges is actually less than e.g. the old 18-55 or the 16-55 zoom. The German Fototest magazine has confirmed this. Esp. when zooming in it hardly reached 85% of the Nyquist-frequency, where the other two mentioned scored above 95%. If you really want to see what the X-T4 has to offer, you might want to buy the great little 35mm f2. It's affordable and so sharp that it doesn't impose a limit to the camera... (for now). Nevertheless, be aware that even the X-T4 is 'still' an APS-C sensor camera and has some limitations compared to a full-frame or medium format. Esp. in high contrasts.
  7. This is indeed a peculiarity of Fujifilm cameras. There are two places that control bracketing. In the menu under SHOOTING SETTINGS you can select which film simulations you choose for bracketing. The bracketing itself should be switched off with the DRIVE button on the top plate of the camera (just in front of the shutter speed dial). Switch that to single and there's no bracketing anymore.
  8. Film simulations only affect the jpegs, not the raw files. However, in the data of the raw file Fuji also stores which film simulation is used (if any). SilkyPix and CaptureOne use that information to display the raw image as per the selected film simulation setting. You can easily switch that off (In C1: Base Characteristics -> Curve). When it is in 'auto' it will pick up the film simulation you've used in the camera. When you put it in 'linear response' it is the flat raw file without film simulation.
  9. I guess your goal is to have the face stand out and the background 'disappear' in the shadows. Spot metering can be tricky since it very much depends on where you aim. There are great differences in luminosity in the face. If you need perfect exposure there are two options: (1) meter on a grey card near the face and fix that reading in manual mode or (2) use a separate light meter for ambient light reading near the face. Both options are a bit cumbersome though. The multi-metering mode of Fuji is quite good and will take the focus point into account. So when you focus on the face and expose, it will know that is the main subject. However, to get the darker shadows, you may want to correct 2/3rds or 1 stop with the exposure compensation. In general make sure you don't overexpose on the left side of the face or on the shoulder, since in post processing it's easier to correct a slightly darker image than an overexposed one.
  10. The main benefit of the 24Mp sensor in the X-E3 vs. the 16Mp sensor in the X-E2s is that the 24Mp gives you more room for cropping your image. The visible difference in (un-cropped) image quality you'll only start to notice in larger prints (larger than about 30x45cm). A main advantage of the X-E3 over the X-E2s is the much faster and decisive AF, although that also depends on the lenses you use. For me the joystick is a real benefit. The cleaner back without the D-Pad gives me a natural resting place for my thumb without the risk of unintentional operating D-Pad buttons. You have to take into account that you have a few less buttons to configure freely though...
  11. Two zoom lenses come to mind: The relative new 16-80 f4 which is a nice all-purpose travel zoom lens and does a bit of everything. From wide-angle (urban) landscape, travel to portraiture. It goes well with the X-T4 (in terms of size and weight). This lens outperforms the somewhat older 18-135. The other one is the more ambitious 16-55 f2.8 which also goes well with the X-T4 (with its IBIS and in terms of size and weight). The 16-55 is a professional grade reporter lens. At 45-55mm it's a great portraiture lens with a relative shallow depth-of-field. At wider view angles it can act as a good landscape lens, however don't expect it to be as good as the 14 f2.8, the 16 f1.4 or the 10-24 f4. I just returned from a mountain trip and this lens was kind of glued to my X-H1. Since the 16-55 f2.8 is rather big and heavy for a Fuji XF lens, the combination with the 23 f2 is nice and gives you an option to carry around. An option for the 16-55 can be the 18-55 f2.8-f4. Much smaller and less pricier, but quite good. You have to remember though that the 55mm end is not the strongest part of the lens and needs some stopping down. Not specifically designed for portraits, but clearly a good standard universal zoom lens. In primes there are a few option I can recommend: for landscapes the 16 f1.4 is stellar, but also the older 14 f2.8 is a great lens. For traditional portraiture focal lengths the 50 f2 or 56 f1.2 are good choices. The 50 combines well with your 23 f2 and is often underestimated. The 90 f2 is a specialist lens for portraits. Although this 90 is stellar in performance, the 50-140 f2.8 is for most people a bit more useful. Finally, you could look at a second-hand 60 f2.4. It's labeled as macro, but it doubles very well as a portraiture lens.
  12. No you don't... You may want to shoot RAW+JPEG to get an in-camera JPEG with your favorite film simulation next to the RAW file. LR allows for Fuji film simulations, but they're not very close to Fuji's in-camera engine. Capture One has very good Fuji film simulations. I've been told Fuji and C1 have worked together on those. You can download a C1 for Fuji Express for free or a C1 Pro as a 30-day trial. Highly recommended, not only for the film simulations.
  13. Hi Mike, this is also my observation. I've had a number of Fujifilm cameras starting with the X-Pro1 and the X-T1. Upgrading to the X-Pro2 and the X-T2 was indeed a big step up in build quality. Esp. the 'solid feel' was greatly improved. I then switched to the X-H1 which was again a big step upwards. This for me was the first Fujifilm with truly professional build quality. I get the same feeling with a GFX. However, when I picked up an X-T3 for a short test run last year and when I held an X-T4 the other day it felt 'worse' than my recollection of the X-T2. Perhaps not coincidentally the X-T3 and the X-T4 are made in China (not Japan, like the X-Pros, the X-H1 and the GFXs). It can't be to keep the cameras affordable as the X-T4 is very close in price to full-frame competitors like the Sony A7iii. I must say that the first iterations of the Sony A7 were not particularly well-made either. However, were Sony seems to pick-up (the A7Riv oozes quality), Fujifilm seems to deteriorate. At least re. the X-Ts. I haven't seen this issue with the X-Pro3 and the X100V vs. their predecessors. Another issue with quality I have is that of lenses. Not so much optically, but mainly mechanically. I've had my fair share of lose aperture rings and over time increasing clearance of focus clutches on the 14, 16 and 23mm. Never enough to break-down, but not exactly suiting a quality product.
  14. The 56mm is notoriously slow in AF mode and and tends to ‘hunt’. On top of that, compared to e.g. the Sony A7 or Nikon Z, eye-AF on all Fuji Xs are poor at best, except for the X-T4 which is ok but still lagging. It’s not so much the speed, but mostly the accuracy and the erratic jumping from eye-to-eye that makes it hard to work with and get consistent results. I use the X-Pro2 and the X-H1 with the 56, the 90 and the 16-55 in studios and I use manual focus. Once proficient, I have a higher hit rate and less frustration. It also slows down your pace which is actually for the better. I sometimes pick up the A7RIV from a collegue and that’s a world of difference (re. eye-AF). By the way, stopping down to f2 or f2.8 makes focusing far less critical and often produces a more pleasing transition from focus to out-of-focus. Esp. frontals and 3/4s where the eye is in focus and the tip of the nose is out-of-focus gives an unpleasing result.
  15. I can recommend the Profoto A1X. It's pricy, but worth every penny once you've start using it. A cheaper alternative is the Godox V1, which is also quite good but can run hot under heavy load (and blocks) and the battery secure mechanism can cause issues after which the battery drops out unexpectedly. The first I experienced myself. The latter I heard on two occasions from reliable sources.
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