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kayakjunkie

New X-T2: Now what?

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So I've finally relegated my X-E2 to back-up status and purchased an X-T2, 10-24mm and 18-135mm.

 

I'm using Lightroom 5.7.1, Camera RAW 8.7.1 and Perfectly Clear 3.5.2 and the Photomatix add-on for LR (which I use to combine multiple images taken at a range of exposures).

 

Over the last several years I have accumulated the following lenses:

 

10-24mm, 18-55mm, 18-135mm WR, 55-200mm, 14mm, 27mm, 60mm and someday, when my checkbook recovers, I'd like to get the standard 55mm 1.2 for portraiture.

 

I have several filters, clear protective, polarizer, neutral density. My flash is a Fujifilm EF-42. It seems that it would be quite expensive to get a complete set of filters for each lens filter size.

 

Due to a hand tremor, I generally need to use faster speeds or a tripod rather than depend solely on OIS.

 

I'm far, far, far away from being an expert, but I enjoy learning and there is a LOT for me to learn!

 

Historically, I've shot mostly in RAW with the understanding that this would allow me to retain the maximum amount of information for post processing. It is my understanding that every time a jpeg file is saved that the compression algorithms cause a loss of detail. True? Does it really matter in terms of final results?

 

I enjoy working with a range of subjects. Nature, landscapes, whitewater kayaking, competitive fencing, portraits, street photography, grandchildren, etc. I'd like to learn how to work with night ... Light painting, milky way shots, cityscapes, etc.

 

I'm headed to China and Japan next year and am very motivated to learn and become proficient.

 

I'm looking for some advice and counsel to get the best results. So here are my questions.

 

1) In order to take advantage of the 4K video recording capability, what kind of memory card should I use? Is there a difference between brands? What card speed is necessary? How large does a card need to be in order to record 30 minutes?

 

2) I've read that Adobe's Camera RAW leaves much to be desired when it comes to resolving Fuji's RAW files. I'm very open to changing my software tools. I'd like to maintain the maximum possible detail from RAW files, however I perceive that at my skill level a tool like Perfectly Clear or Luminar would really help with the heavy lifting.

 

Specifically, I've been interested in Capture One v. 11, I've also read recently that some X-series experts have really liked the new Luminar 2018.

 

If I were to use Capture One to do the RAW conversion, should I just use CO for all of the post processing or would it make sense to use Luminar or Perfectly Clear to simplify the process? Does Luminar do as good a job at RAW conversion as CO? I believe Perfectly Clear just works on jpeg files. Does Luminar have the ability to work on RAW files converted by CO or only on files converted by Luminar's native processing?

 

3) I've read that one of the greatest things about the X-series is the film emulation that is built-in. I normally have used Velvia with boosted color saturation and recorded in either RAW or RAW plus JPEG. LR, Perfectly Clear, Luminar and I assume CO, have a wide range of film emulations, styles, filters, etc.

 

So is it generally better to use the various built-in film emulations or to use the options available in software for post-processing? Do the RAW files include the selected film emulation or do those only effect jpeg files?

 

4) Batteries. Fuji or generic? Has anyone seen any difference in performance, charge duration, charging time, longevity, etc.?

 

5) What type of equipment do I need to get into portraiture (lighting, backgrounds) using my living room as a studio area?

 

Finally, there are so many resources out there, what sites, books or other resources have you found to be valuable in learning the art of photography and mastering the X-T2?

 

Thanks in advance for any guidance y'all might provide.

 

Jesse

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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Hi Kayakjunkie

about your question : 4) Batteries. Fuji or generic? Has anyone seen any difference in performance, charge duration, charging time, longevity, etc.?

 

I use Patona batteries. You've got the yellow ones and the new green ones, which are more powerfull.

 

I noticed a difference in the charge indicator you can display in the EVF, which indicates the remaining power of your battery : with my Patonas, the level jumps from 2 remaining bars to nothing abruptly. 

But knowing this, they are great.

 

Hope this helps !

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Hi Jesse

 

Congrats on the move to X-T2 - I did a similar thing in that I traded in my X-E2 and bought the X-T2 to add to my X-T1. I like to have 2 cameras, not as a back up, but because it is so easy to get dust on the sensor of mirrorless cameras I keep my 18-55mm on the X-T2 and my 10-24mm on the X-T1. That way I have access to either camera quickly without changing lenses. 

 

I can answer a few of your questions:

  1. 4K video - I use SanDisk Ultra 64GB UHS-1 Class 10 cards. These will be fine for your video although I have to say that I am not into video. 
  2. Adobe Lightroom - I really like Lightroom but I would recommend upgrading to Lightroom CC from your existing 5.7.1 as there are many new features and the latest version supports all the film simulations from Fuji. 
  3. I always shoot in RAW+JPEG so that I can more easily push and pull exposures. I am really impressed as to how much detail can be got from a way underexposed shot. If I'm honest the JPEG is often superfluous but it's a nice safety copy to keep. 
  4. I only use the simulations in post-processing and never use them within the camera. 
  5. I have Luminar 2018 (but rarely use it) and very soon it will have image management built in and a feature which allows it to read Lightroom catalogs. Watch this space!
  6. One program I do like is Intensify CK from MacPhun which I use as a plug-in for Lightroom. 
  7. Have a look at Jeffrey Friedl's plug-ins for Lightroom - some really nice ones there. 
  8.  Batteries - I use Chillipower NP-W126 batteries and they are fine - no problems at all. And as you will already know Fuji X cameras do need a LOT of batteries. 
  9. Books I would recommend:
  • Rico Pfirstinger "Fujifilm X-T2 120 X-Pert Tips"
  • Tony Philips Fujifilm_X-T2_v1.2

Have fun! 

 

 

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I am new here (aside from lurking)... but I wanted to chime in!

 

Regarding the batteries first-

I have owned an X100T, I now own an X-T2 and an X100F. I have, in the past, used third party batteries quite a bit. Honestly, the performance/cost was always very acceptable to me. When I am out shooting a lot (or traveling) I tend to pack a few of my third party batteries as emergency backups. All of the third party batteries that I have used have had a habit of not accurately reporting the battery level; they would go from near-full to empty inside of 5 minutes.

All of that said, be very careful using third party batteries, especially if you plan on shooting 4k video.

 

A few months back, my camera went completely haywire, it was like the shutter was stuck between open and shut and couldn't make up its mind on where to go. I couldn't power the camera off. I went to pull the battery (a well reviewed third party brand) only to find that the battery had swelled significantly in the camera. It took a pair of butter knives to pry the battery out. Thankfully, there haven't appeared to be any lasting effects.

 

It is my understanding that the new NP-W126S batteries are designed with heat management and provisions for rapid charge/discharge. The X-T2 does generate a lot of heat when shooting, especially when shooting 4K. I think my problem was compounded by using the battery grip which charges the batteries at a much faster rate than the standard charger. I still occasionally use the third party batteries, but never for video and never in the battery grip.

 

Now for the rest of your questions...

 

1. I have Lexar class 10 UHS II card that works fine. I have managed to store quite a bit of 4K footage. As far as the 30-minute 4k recording time goes, I believe that you still need the battery grip (in addition to a good memory card) in order to record a full 30 minutes of 4K in one go. Also, be aware the camera does warm up quite a bit in that time.

 

2. Lightroom and ACR work OK. The way that Adobe handles fuji raw definitely leaves a bit to be desired. I recently migrated away from adobe and I have not 100% found a workflow to replace it. I honestly run with my near-sooc jpegs more often than not. Capture One is pricey but is so far the best contender to replace LR in my book. No Fuji profiles - but the color handling is awesome and the IQ seems really good overall. I have also heard a lot of good things about Iridient Developer+Lightroom for the best IQ. From what I have seen, the IQ is great, but the time, extra steps required and file size have turned me off to iridient I haven't played much with Luminar.

 

3. The Fujifilm simulations are pretty magical. I use the sooc jpegs a lot. They do sometimes need a bit of massaging to get them where I want them but overall they have something special about them that i have never been able to replicate elsewhere. The LR fuji film simulations come close enough to use a starting point, but don't really measure up in my book; they offer a good starting point for deeper raw processing. Basically - if I nail it in camera -> fuji jpeg+a few minor edits works really really well.

 

Sorry for the long-winded reply. And congrats on the X-T2!

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Hi Kayakjunkie

about your question : 4) Batteries. Fuji or generic? Has anyone seen any difference in performance, charge duration, charging time, longevity, etc.?

 

I use Patona batteries. You've got the yellow ones and the new green ones, which are more powerfull.

 

I noticed a difference in the charge indicator you can display in the EVF, which indicates the remaining power of your battery : with my Patonas, the level jumps from 2 remaining bars to nothing abruptly.

But knowing this, they are great.

 

Hope this helps !

 

Thank you!

 

Jesse

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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I'm guessing LR 5.7.1 won't open your X-T2 RAW files directly? Are you converting to DNG first?

Photos I've taken in the past on my X-E2 were converted into DNG. My Mac Pro (not MacBook Pro) has an external 10 TB drive so I'm not too worried about disk space.

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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I've sold my other gear and have a X-T2 and new a GFX 50S. I somehoe got the Fujibug, I just like these cameras very much. I am so so happy with the resulting images.

 

I use Pictorial with the X-Pack and actually this handles both GFX 50S and X-T2 files very well, Capture 1 11 handles the files also but not yet with Fujifilm Simulations. Luminar 2018 sounds promising if it can read Lightroom files, I can then dump adobe completely.

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Regarding the raw conversion question. From what I have read about Luminar, it has a different and simpler approach to Adobe Camera Raw as used in Lightroom and as yet does not have any cataloguing tool. Capture One Pro 10 is said to be one of the best but is considerably more expensive than Luminar. I use Lightroom and for some images X-Transformer for conversion. I also use Photoshop which is why the Adobe subscription model is ok for me. Use the jpegs for now or convert the raw to DNG with adobe's free tool, or even better, X -Transformer. Then you can use your existing version of Lightroom.

 

Portraiture can be surprisngly challenging in a living room. Whether you decide to go with flash or continuous light don't buy more than two lights and a reflector and learn to light with one light at first. You will need a light modifier such as a softbox. It is quite feasable to use small strobes but the lack of a modelling light means that you will,find it difficult to learn about light. Don't underestimate window light. It is can be very beautiful. If you feel that you need a plain background there are pop-ones that can be packed away.

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Regarding the raw conversion question. From what I have read about Luminar, it has a different and simpler approach to Adobe Camera Raw as used in Lightroom and as yet does not have any cataloguing tool. Capture One Pro 10 is said to be one of the best but is considerably more expensive than Luminar. I use Lightroom and for some images X-Transformer for conversion. I also use Photoshop which is why the Adobe subscription model is ok for me. Use the jpegs for now or convert the raw to DNG with adobe's free tool, or even better, X -Transformer. Then you can use your existing version of Lightroom.

 

Portraiture can be surprisngly challenging in a living room. Whether you decide to go with flash or continuous light don't buy more than two lights and a reflector and learn to light with one light at first. You will need a light modifier such as a softbox. It is quite feasable to use small strobes but the lack of a modelling light means that you will,find it difficult to learn about light. Don't underestimate window light. It is can be very beautiful. If you feel that you need a plain background there are pop-ones that can be packed away.

 

 

 

Thank you!

 

 

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

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I just want to comment on a few issues  First batteries : I purchased cheap Bonacell batteries on e-bay for about $7 each they work ok with about 2/3 at best the life of the OEM Fujifilm supplied with my X-T2. So I bought a few.

 

Raw conversion: I have been shooting Digital since 93 and have shot in Adobe DNG with my Pentax system from day one. So when I got my X-T2 I decided to convert my files to DNG so I could open them in CS-6. I do most of my editing in Camera Raw .

Reading these post I see many references to other raw processing and I admit I am not familiar with them.  I have had no trouble getting exceptional images processing them this way . The X-T2 is a real jump from my 24 MPXL Pentax K3 so in more instances than ever before the JPEG is very good and for most purposes I use it.

Digital photography is technically so far ahead of what you could achieve with film, consider spending your effort on your photo technique, and you can go back and reprocess your files as the miracle software is created. 

Enjoy and have a happy New Year .....Bob

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2) I've read that Adobe's Camera RAW leaves much to be desired when it comes to resolving Fuji's RAW files. I'm very open to changing my software tools. I'd like to maintain the maximum possible detail from RAW files, however I perceive that at my skill level a tool like Perfectly Clear or Luminar would really help with the heavy lifting.

I believe that ACR has gotten better with  converting RAW Fuji files and much of the hubbub was from some time ago.  It seems the problems were mostly with foliage in landscapes.  Iridient Developer was the gold standard and might still be.  It would also be worth checking out FUJIFILM X RAW STUDIO

3) I've read that one of the greatest things about the X-series is the film emulation that is built-in. I normally have used Velvia with boosted color saturation and recorded in either RAW or RAW plus JPEG. LR, Perfectly Clear, Luminar and I assume CO, have a wide range of film emulations, styles, filters, etc.

So is it generally better to use the various built-in film emulations or to use the options available in software for post-processing? Do the RAW files include the selected film emulation or do those only effect jpeg files?

 

If you use Lightroom you can apply the Fuji film emulations in post processing.  I think it is under the Camera Calibration menu.  I shoot RAW plus Jpeg when using these so i can preview the result.  

4) Batteries. Fuji or generic? Has anyone seen any difference in performance, charge duration, charging time, longevity, etc.?

 

I had Wasabi brand batteries get stuck in my X-Pro 1 from warping.  And they were brand new.  There is a huge debate on this...some would never even consider off brands while others use off brand exclusively.  It's a money issue.

5) What type of equipment do I need to get into portraiture (lighting, backgrounds) using my living room as a studio area?

check out www.strobist.com for everything you need to know.  Short answer is a couple of light stands, umbrellas, flash units and radio triggers.  Seamless paper backgrounds and a background stand.  

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I just want to comment on a few issues  First batteries : I purchased cheap Bonacell batteries on e-bay for about $7 each they work ok with about 2/3 at best the life of the OEM Fujifilm supplied with my X-T2. So I bought a few.

 

Raw conversion: I have been shooting Digital since 93 and have shot in Adobe DNG with my Pentax system from day one. So when I got my X-T2 I decided to convert my files to DNG so I could open them in CS-6. I do most of my editing in Camera Raw .

Reading these post I see many references to other raw processing and I admit I am not familiar with them.  I have had no trouble getting exceptional images processing them this way . The X-T2 is a real jump from my 24 MPXL Pentax K3 so in more instances than ever before the JPEG is very good and for most purposes I use it.

Digital photography is technically so far ahead of what you could achieve with film, consider spending your effort on your photo technique, and you can go back and reprocess your files as the miracle software is created. 

Enjoy and have a happy New Year .....Bob

 

I responded to one of your other posts, but I see the cheap batteries you are using.  I use WASABI.  I've used them since 2013 in my X-E1, X-T1 and X-T2 with NO ISSUES.  What I love is they come as a set:  2 batteries plus a charger.  Super sweet.  

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