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itchy shutter finger

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itchy shutter finger last won the day on February 28

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  • Birthday 01/24/1954

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  1. This is a good question, but I think it leads down a bit of a rabbit hole. Lens resolutions are expressed as digital quantities of an analog distribution of light. As Herco pointed out, lenses may not exhibit uniform sharpness across its entire area, and I think most, if not all, don't. Therefore, that digital expression of lens resolution may not be accurate when rendered by a sensor of greater resolution, meaning one's perception of the resultant photo might not match the expectation the lens resolution measurement would suggest. What I'm trying to say is be careful what you wish for, because I suspect a 40MP sensor will be happy to expose the weaknesses of any lens one puts in front of it, new or old. And on what medium will one view all this resolution? I'm sure Fujifilm is likely to optimize the new lenses to the new sensor, whether it be by optical or firmware means. I have always suspected Fujifilm enhances the performance of its native branded lenses with a little in-camera processing help, and if that's the case, I think it does a great job. Does anyone here think the existing X-Trans sensors don't render good photos? I know 40MP is going to produce more pixels to peep, but will that equate to better photos? I don't know if one will see it unless large prints are made from the files. Computer monitors are what, 96 dots per inch? Consumer level photo printers are 600, or maybe 1200 dots per inch?
  2. David - I went through a lens evaluation exercise like this a few months ago. I decided to evaluate photos on hi-res internet photo sharing sites, and I studied several thousand photos. One of the main takeaways for me is to not let youtube reviewers pick my lenses for me because my detailed observations aligned with exactly *none* of them. I recommend you develop a list of criteria by which you will select your new lenses, and do a similar exercise studying photos, and note which of them have image quality that you like. I could tell you which lenses impressed me the most, but you are not buying lenses to please me; you need to find the lenses that please you, and fit your other criteria. If you study a large sampling of these photos, you may be surprised at some of these lenses, and you will be absolutely star-struck at some.
  3. I use the EF-X8 flash as a commander since I came to Fujifilm X-system nearly two years ago. I use it with an array of legacy flash units, sometimes as many as five at a time. Most of my photography is flash, even in daylight. I am pleasantly surprised at how well this arrangement works, even in bright sunlight. You will not be able find a straightforward and complete description of operation because the Fuji manual stops with the commander mode of the Fuji flash. They simply cannot provide instructions for the multitude of third party flashes. From there, however, it is very simple. You must use an off camera flash capable of, and set to optical slave mode. That's it! It will fire now. Beyond that, the features of your flash are mostly available, except TTL and perhaps high speed sync. Check your flash manual, and any features it says are available in slave mode will be available to you. Keep in mind the other modes of the EF-X8 will also fire a remote flash, but will interfere with the exposure. There is no interference with exposure in commander mode.
  4. Death, any X body will fill your photographic needs, but in my opinion, the X-Pro 3 is pro-tough and likely your best choice to live a 10 year tough environment pro life. While I never compared, publications say the Fujifilm JPEG's SOOC are a cut above other brands because of Fujifilm's history of film chemistry and color science. I now believe this, as I recently went exploring film simulations and image quality adjustments. The control over a finished image using these features is surprisingly comprehensive and really impressive. If I did pro work, I would shoot JPEG+RAW, but as an amateur, I may never shoot RAW again. I just did a deep dive on lenses, and was really impressed with the 27 mm pancake lens. It was great for literally any purpose. Its versatility is noteworthy. The 35 mm f/1.4 was an awesome lens, but the 35 mm f/2 really wasn't far behind. It's much smaller, lighter, and less expensive than the 1.4. If I didn't already have a 35 mm f/2, I'd buy the 27 mm in a heartbeat. As far as a zoom goes, the choices are many. If you are considering a general purpose zoom for just the occasional shot, I was shocked at how good the lowly (and tiny) XC15-45 is for this purpose. If you are looking for more zoom quality, the XF10-24, XF16-55, and XF16-80 are all great. No compromises in image quality with them. Bigger, heavier, and more expensive, though. I know little of the Laowa except it gets good reviews. I don't think any of these are natively macro, but I use extension tubes with my 35 mm f/2, and the results are more than satisfactory for me - I mean *really* sharp.
  5. Great shots. The colors look exceptional on screen. What lens?
  6. I have used both. I currently own an XC50-230, but I no longer own an XF55-200. I will use the XC50-230 until it no longer produces images that make me gasp. I like the color and contrast of the XC better than the XF, although the XF was sometimes a little sharper. If I ever move up to a better telephoto, it will cost ten times what I paid for my XC50-230, and it will weigh four times as much. And I think it a wise move on your part to consider weight in a travel lens.
  7. The units of measure in both camera exposure and flash exposure are stops of light. In a manual mode, the camera and flash are watching the exposure independently, but since you are in TTL mode, the camera knows what the flash is doing. Hence, +1 in the body plus -1 in the flash = 0. I think if you take the flash out of TTL mode, you will achieve the compensations you are looking for.
  8. I’m a live-and-let-live kinda guy. Very non-judgmental. I have no criticism of whatever you may or may not like. I may not even know what a good photograph is. I may not know good photo gear if it hit me in the head. But I’ve been doing this over forty years, I had formal photo training, and I know what I like, and what gear is good to me. And if your preferences are different, well, that’s OK with me. I decided a few months ago that I was so happy with my pair of Fujifilm camera bodies that will not buy a new one in 2021, but I would look at some new lenses. When I first got into the X System in 2019, I quickly grew quite fond of small and light, especially the light part. Without much thought, and with so little financial risk, I haphazardly started collecting used XC lenses until such time I could select the criteria on which to buy better lenses. About three months ago, I tried to develop a list of lenses to acquire and why. That became much more difficult than I expected, so I decided to look at images on internet photo collection sites, without considering anything other than the photos themselves. While collecting information, I did not consider size, weight, or cost. Image quality only. After spending a few hundred hours studying something over ten thousand images, I was able to define the criteria of a good photograph (to me). They are: Contrast Color saturation Separation of the subject focal plane Sharpness Emotional response (from me) I then started taking note of which lenses satisfied these criteria, and some patterns began to emerge. A certain group of lenses seemed to consistently produce the images I liked the best based on the criteria above. At that point, I found that from an image quality point of view, Fujifilm lenses fall into two categories: really, really good, and drop ya’ to your knees beautiful. While I think some lenses are clearly better than others, none completely miss the mark. I don’t think you can buy a poor Fuji lens unless it is a defective copy. Now I get to the part about my Lyin’ Eyes. In my opinion, the XF16 mm f/2.8 and XF18-135 dominate the field in image quality over a wide range of image types. All the red badge lenses were stellar. The macro primes are all magnificent, as were the red badge zooms. Lenses a little less impressive to me were the XF23 f/2 and the XF 50mm f/2. They lacked focal plane separation and rendered poorer color, in my opinion. The XF35 mm f/2 seemed much better to me. The XC version of the 35 mm f/2 was identical to the XF version. Now, I get to the cheaper lenses; XC’s and those that have been kit lenses. I’m not going to tell you any of these lenses will ever be confused with premium or red badge lenses, but they are decent and perfectly acceptable for my amateur purposes. And they are very light! Among these cheaper lenses, the XC15-45, XC50-230, and especially the XC35 prime hit the mark for me. Did I mention they are all incredibly light? It’s a much different story if I were a pro. In addition to the 16 mm f/2.8 and the 18-135, the XF10-24 and XF50-140 were also in the class of the field, and are must-haves if I were earning my living in photography. Other must-haves would be the XF56 mm for portraits and at least one of the macros; 60 mm, 80 mm, or 90 mm. To summarize so far, the XF16 f/2.8 and XF18-135 are my two favorite lenses. So clearly my eyes are lying to me because the internet says the 18-135 is a bad lens. And we all know the internet has the last word, right? On discovering that I apparently like lenses the internet doesn’t, my advice to lens buyers would be to define what you want, do your due diligence to identify the lenses you think deliver, and buy the lenses you like. And now for a little blasphemy. There are two lenses are my least for a wide range of scenes. XF18-55 and XF55-200. There, I said it. Both ubiquitous and venerable, both of these lenses render beautifully in bright light and low contrast. When contrast becomes challenging, however, these lenses quickly fail the shadows into black, unless the photographer adjusts camera settings for each shot. On seeing this in the hundreds of images shot with these lenses, I reviewed my own images because I never thought these lenses were less than excellent. And indeed, my images with these lenses were all good, but always shot in bright sun or indoors with a flash array, and never in a high contrast composition. Fujifilm simply has better lenses in this range of focal lengths. In my opinion. I know these lenses are both popular and nearly everyone will disagree with me on this. As I said earlier, that’s OK. I respect your opinion and will not challenge it. Photography is deeply subjective. With all this said, I am interested in hearing the lens selection experience of others. I am especially interested in hearing from pro photographers, who, I would imagine, select lenses to a different set of criteria.
  9. I recently went through this exercise, and had a good time doing it. In the end, I decided my existing lenses are just fine. But I did examine over 5,000 images, and correlate image criteria to specific lenses. I can say lenses of nearly every stripe can produce beautiful images - vintage, adapted, Viltrox, Fuji, manual, very cheap, very expensive. Yes, some lenses yielded exceptional image quality, and they were exceptionally expensive, too. Viltrox gets very good reviews across the board. One reviewer noted the 33 mm wasn't quite as good as the 23, 56, or 85. There are also manual lenses coming to the market that are insanely cheap. I would say you need to be clear about how fast a lens you need, and whether you need fast autofocus. Any fast Fuji lens is going to cost an order of magnitude more than 3rd party. If you really need f1.4, the Viltrox lenses will certainly do a good job for a third-ish of the Fuji price. If you want to shoot 33 or 35 mm, and can get away with f2, The Fuji XC35 is a ridiculously good lens for $199 USD. I can't help but believe that Fuji lenses have have some design advantages over third parties, given they can integrate the lens to the the camera bodies better than any third party lens designer. The Lens Modulation Optimizer (fixes diffraction), for example, doesn't work on non-Fuji lenses. As I found out, looking to replace existing lenses, or add to your lens collection for unspecified reasons can get real muddy. If you need to acquire certain focal lengths with decent autofocus, image quality, speed, and build quality at a reasonable price, the Viltrox are a pretty safe place to start. Had I not decided to keep my existing Fuji lenses, I may have given the Viltrox lineup a try. I have a set of Viltrox extension tubes, and the quality far exceeded my expectations.
  10. I think you are closer to success than you think. Based on your sample photo, I would reduce the exposure to darken the background to where it looks like dusk, and place the flash closer to the subject. The rule of thumb is to expose for the background and flash for the subject. When shooting in sunlight, I'll go a step further and say underexpose the sunlit background to gain control over the sun, then introduce the amount of flash necessary to make the subject as bright as you want it. I shot the sample below at three in the afternoon of a very sunny day. The white building in the upper left was so bright I could barely open my eyes. I set the shutter speed to flash sync of 1/180, and the aperture at f8. The flash was about four feet to the right of the subject set to 1/8 power. I apologize for the small size of the sample; I had to crop it to meet the file size limit. The full size image is really quite dramatic. For the stark difference in reality and the image, this technique is pretty easy to do, and for me, composing this type of image is fun and rewarding. Keep trying - you are almost there!
  11. Welcome to the rabbit hole. You mentioned little video. This expands your options, as you won't need the latest, highest power, and most feature laden models. These are also the most expensive models. You mentioned EVF. I have zero issue with the 2.36 million dot EVF found in all models available today except the X-T3, X-T4, and X-Pro3. I also get your point on small and light. It is one of the reasons I went with Fujifilm X, but I didn't realize how important it was until I experienced it. I also get the small body and large lens conundrum. I'm going through that myself. What's the point of a body the size and weight of a deck of cards mounted to a lens the size and weight of a bridge abutment? Something else that strikes me about Fujifilm is the capability and image quality throughout the offerings in the Fujifilm line. You get the same image quality in both the least and most expensive bodies. From here, I would have you ask yourself these questions: do you need 4th gen hardware power? (26.4 megapixels and the highest performance autofocus and tracking. Video?) would you buy used? (lightly used 3rd gen models are available such as X-T20, X-Pro2, X-T2, etc.) which form factor do you prefer? (I like the rangefinder form factor so I can avoid jamming my greasy nose into a touch-screen) do you need pro features? (weather sealing, dual card slots, battery grips, all metal bodies, etc.) Based on what you posted, I'd guess the X-T30 seems to be in your wheelhouse, unless the answers to the questions lead you elsewhere. And when you're done with the body, lenses will be even harder. The good news is I don't think you can make a choice that doesn't work. And you alluded to the magic words - film simulations. A few weeks ago I took a deep dive into them, and I can't believe how powerful they are. Welcome to Fujifilm X and Good Luck!
  12. I've had this lens for a couple of weeks now, and I like it more every time I use it except for the behavior of the coarse zoom ring. I think I just discovered something, and I'm sharing it here if anyone else is having this issue. I use this lens on an X-E3, and the coarse zoom ring sometimes works, sometimes doesn't, and sometimes takes large leaps before the W-T indicator appears on the screen. The fine ring always seemed to work as expected. I noticed today that when I activate the coarse zoom ring, the focus distance part of my screen display disappears before displaying the W-T indicator. I turned off the focus distance display, and the coarse zoom ring now works rock solid, as does the companion W-T indicator. It appears the focus distance display interferes with the W-T indicator, which in turn interferes with coarse zoom operation. I like the focus distance indicator, but I like this lens more, when it's working smooth. I'm curious to know of the experience of others using this lens on other models.
  13. I overlooked your concern about portrait backgrounds, but I can say I shoot a lot of my grandson's LEGO work. I think this qualifies more as product photography, but there some features of these lenses that one could apply to portraits. I shoot the LEGO scenes with the XC's because of the close focus. I shoot at 35 mm from about six inches away at f6.4 or f8, with the background about eighteen inches behind the subject, and use flash from overhead. I was surprised to see the background was beautifully blurry, so I would say when these lenses are in a close focus situation, they do real well with the rule of thumb that the distance from lens to subject and subject to background should be four-to-one to get some blur. This doesn't work as well with the XF18-55 because its minimum focus distance requires too large of a product stage to get the four-to-one ratio. So, I think you can still achieve suitable background blur in a portrait by situating the camera as close as is practical to the subject, and situating the subject at four times that distance to the background. Well, that was just too many words to say I think you can shoot portraits just fine with XC lenses.
  14. I know this question is a couple months old, but I just went through this exercise again myself. I'm afraid my recent experience will just complicate your decision, but perhaps I can offer a little information you may not be aware of. I have the XF18-55, the XC16-50 OIS II, and I recently acquired an XC15-45 PZ. If image quality alone is the deciding criterion, I would go nuts trying to choose a clear winner because all three have very good image quality, and I can't tell them apart on a computer screen. Clearly, the XF18-55 is the 'best' of the three depending on your own definition of 'build quality', and what 'best' means. I say it is best because of the additional controls, the faster speed, and the metal mount ring. I am undecided if its metal body is actually better than the bulletproof plastics of the XC lenses. But the metal XF body is also heavier. I don't think autofocus speed is much of an issue between the three, either. I would not have said this six months ago, but the latest firmware in these lenses makes all of them seem to equally focus faster and quieter without hiccups or hunting. This is especially true of the XC16-50, which had some pretty serious bad behavior with firmware 1.12, but with 1.13 is just as well behaved as the XF18-55. The XC15-45 PZ is a weird little animal. It is very, very small and light; nearly the same size as the XC35 f2 prime. It is the same speed as the XC16-50. It has the same very good image quality and focus speed, but the power zoom just feels weird. I use it on an X-E3, and as of yet, I am not able to tell what the focal length is before I take a shot. But it is super-small, and super-light. If I remember correctly, the XC15-45 can focus a little closer than the XC16-50, and both of them can focus much closer than the XF18-55. In summary, both XC lenses are very light compared to the XF. Both XC lenses are a stop slower than the XF. Both XC lenses are far less expensive than the XF. Note that 15 mm vs. 18 mm on the short end made a more significant difference than I though it would. I consider the XC lenses 'disposable' because of the low cost, and I use those in any outdoor or hazardous environment. I plan to shelve the XC16-50 in favor of the XC15-45 because of its smaller size, and otherwise equal performance. I will never do without an XF18-55. It is just the gold standard, and so very versatile. I use it indoors, and in otherwise safe environments. I consider it a permanent member of my kit. It may not be the very best at anything, but it is real good for nearly everything. You really can't go wrong with any of these lenses, but if you restrict your collection to XC lenses, you may continue to wonder if you're sacrificing anything by not having the XF18-55. IMHO, you would be, especially since you will use it on one of Fujifilm's most capable cameras.
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