Travelling with Fujifilm X-Pro 2, Thailand part 2: Becoming buddhist monk

Becoming a buddhist monk is a tradition for young men i Thailand that most do. It is considered a rite of passage, an essential part of maturity. Many do it around the age of 20, but one can do it at any age older than 20. A man can stay a monk for some days, some weeks - or even for the rest of their lives. The old tradition was to be a monk for 3 months, but a modern way of living doesn't allow that for most men, so many stay for just a few days or weeks.

This is an important tradition for a Thai family, and it's not looked upon lightly. This is serious. But it's also important to have a big party and celebrate. I've been so lucky to take part in such a ordination and celebration from beginning to end over ten years ago, but I didn't have a proper camera back then. This year I had a proper camera, but didn't participate in it for more than just a few hours. But here's a few pictures from a ceremony and celebration, what I managed to get this time. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/2, 1/1250 sec

I didn't get to see the start of this ordination, but here they are driving with the young man on the back of a pick up truck, with his family beside him. They are driving around the small town, heading for the temple. Before this his head and eyebrows are shaved.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/4, 1/600 sec

Dancing in the street. These people are genuinely this happy! They are marching and dancing in front of the man who's to become a monk, around town, heading for the temple. And the amount of noise (music) is incredible. So here's a few pictures of the band:

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 14mm f/2.8, ISO 640, f/8, 1/250 sec

Above - I love the XF 14mm for my Fujifilm X-Pro 2 camera. I was real up close to get this shot.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2WR, ISO 320, f/5.6, 1/250sec

Above - when you see these speakers you understand that it was loud, and not very pure sound either. And that's hard for the ears. They were really ringing afterwards after following these guys for a while. It's been a few weeks now, but I'm pretty sure I had my camera set to auto ISO with minimum shutter speed at 1/250 sec to freeze any action. In Lightroom I see most of my pics have different aperture and ISO's, but the shutter speed stay above 1/250 so that means I probably had it at that setting. I usually don't use auto ISO setting, but with the light changing from dark shadow to very bright sunlight, and things happening fast, I think it was a smart move. As you can see from the shadows, it's right in the middle of the day! More pictures of the band:

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/1100 sec

Above - the local guitar hero. :) These were all nice folks, and they didn't mind me taking their pictures at all. This trip to Thailand was the first time I used to XF90mm f/2WR lens. And boy, it focuses fast on the X-pro 2, and it is very sharp. But I'm not used to this long focal lenght yet, most of my X-Pro1, X-T1 and now X-Pro 2 shots have been at 14 to 56mm. But I think I got his whole face sharp at f/2.8. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/4, 1/400 sec

Very harsh light, in the middle of the day. I shot in RAW format, and post processed in Lightroom CC. That helped me bring back some shadows. Also I went for a rather colorful processing this time. Many times I like the more desaturated nostalgic look, and even more often black and white. The Acros simulation in the X-pro 2 is fantastic. But - I decided when I saw all these strong colors that it had to be in color this time.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/2, 1/200 sec

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 14mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/8, 1/250 sec

Above - one picture at 90mm, one at 14mm... I think both shots are nice - but they give a different feeling. The lowest one was very typical from that day. These people were so happy and loved to make eye contact with me and make me take their picture. So I did. I certainly don't think that street photography is all about those candid moments, not all the time. Sometimes the interaction between the photographer (me) and the subject makes a fun picture. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 14mm f/2.8, ISO 320, f/8, 1/250 sec

Once again, these people were happy to see me, and this time this lady offers me whiskey as she is passing by. She is perhaps slightly out of focus, but I was looking the other way and when I turned around she was there and practically holding the glass to my mouth. I managed to quickly take this shot. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 overheating issues...

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 14mm f/2.8, ISO 250, f/8, 1/250 sec

Above - once again at 14mm... As you can see from the shadows, the sun was directly over my head, it's some time between 12am and 13pm I think. And it was hot! And it was direct sunlight. And so, my X-pro 2 actually shut down a couple of times because of overheating. I know this has been asked in forums, if the camera can overheat. And yes, it can. In Thailand, in the middle of the day, staying in direct sunlight for over an hour, taking a series of shots at 8 fps - it happened two times. Did I miss any shots because of this. No. I never ever - almost ;)  shoot series of shots at 8 fps - unless I shoot sports. But I had to try it in the heat and see what happened. 

Bear in mind that it didn't happen any other time, even when trying out 8 fps series of shots again. So it could be that a firmware could fix this later on.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/4, 1/850 sec

Above - dancing and dancing. If I had stayed with using just the XF35mm f/2 and the XF14mm f/2.8 it would have been hard to get pictures without these people smiling, looking at me, and trying to talk to me. So, I was happy I brought along my XF90mm f/2WR - it opened the oportunity to get shots like this.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/2, 1/400 sec

Also this picture above is taken with the 90mm. And for all you full frame shooters out there, that equals to about 135mm. I fell in love with that lens on this trip to Thailand. I bought it just a few days before the trip. It's not just for "portraits and head shots" as I read on some forums before I bought it.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/2, 1/800 sec

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2WR, ISO 500, f/7.1, 1/250 sec

Above - The monk to be is throwing coins wrapped in paper. These coins bring good luck or something. I'm not totally sure of the meaning of wrapping these coins in paper, so leave a comment below if you know more about this. Anyway, the crowd went crazy.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2WR, ISO 200, f/2, 1/350 sec

I was told that it was important and a tradition for the man to touch the top of the door frame before he is carried into the temple. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2WR, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/250 sec

Now the ceremony is soon finished. The man has changed into the traditionally orange robe, and doing his wows. This was not an easy shot. I was outside the temple, with my 90mm, but couldn't so close I wanted. It's cropped quite a bit, and it's at ISO 3200. So it's a bit noisy. I had to increase the exposure even more in post, and the white balance was way off. Shot in RAW. A Jpeg from the camera would had made a even worse result. I was thinking about lowering the ISO to 1600, and get a shutter speed of 1/125 as this was going on. Less noise. And the movements inside the temple was slow enough for that. But, I was not used the 90mm yet, it's a bit heavy, and there is no image stabilization so I was afraid of camera shake. So, I kept 1/250 sec as my shutter speed, and that gave me 3200 ISO. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2WR, ISO 400, f/3.6, 1/250 sec

Exiting the temple, and now a monk. This picture is actually taken at another man's ceremony as I never got to see the man at the beginning of this blog post finish his ceremony. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2WR, ISO 500, f/3.6, 1/250 sec

Receiving gifts from the family. To the right is the monks mother, I was told.

 

Some thoughts about photographing this event

First off, if anyone of you wonder if the auto focusing system on the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 i fast enough for this kind of photography, with lots of things going on and sometimes less than a second to see, understand and capture the moment- it sure is! Especially with the XF 35mm f/2WR lens. Also the XF90mm f/2WR lens was very fast too. After a few shots and checking the focus, I never worried about the auto focus again. Will you get focusing errors? Sure. I got some. But that was rare. And most of the times it was user error. 

What focal lenghts did I like the most? Well, they were all useful! I knew I wanted to use the 14mm and get up close, but I was surprised how useful I found the 90mm too. But that lens is heavy, and it's super sharp. And if you have too slow shutter speed you will see camera shake. I tried to shoot over 1/250 sec with the 90mm and 1/125 sec with the XF35. BUT - that doesn't reduce motion blur, so most of the time I was faster than 1/250 sec anyway. And to help me with that in changing light, harsh sun light, but with clouds sometimes covering it (rainy season in Thailand) and sometimes in the shadows... the auto ISO was very useful for me. 

I am a bit shy when it comes to photographing people I don't know. So I'm not a big street photographer, though I sometimes get a few nice shots. But on a day like this, with all these smiling people dancing, and trying to get me to dance and drink too, it was way easier. And it was fun!

Travelling with Fujifilm X-Pro 2, Thailand part 1: Hua Hin Pier.

Recently I spend three weeks in Thailand. About two of them in Hua Hin. This trip to Thailand was the first time I would really try out my new Fujifilm X-Pro 2. As some might remember I wrote a X-Pro 2 first impression review which you can read HERE. But this three week trip really gave me a chance to get to know the camera's strenght ... and weakness. And the lenses. I think it will be too long a post to write about the whole Thailand trip in one go. So I will split it up. 

The Hua Hin pier

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0 WR at ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1400 sec. Classic Chrome simulation

The Hua Hin Pier is a place where fishing boats come in to unload their cargo, and many people, both locals and tourists go there for a relaxing morning or afternoon walk. And some locals go there for fishing, either with a fishing rod or a net.

Above the pier is seen from the south, with your back to the Hua Hin Hilton hotel. I used the XF 35mm f/2 lens. It's weather resistant, which is a good thing. It's rainy season now in Thailand, and an occasional shower during the day was not uncommon. Also, because I spend some time on the beach taking photos, I was afraid of sand and dust too. The 35mm f/2 was on my camera much of the time in Thailand.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35 f/2.0WR at ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/250sec. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/350sec

One of the local boys out with his fishing net. I love the new black and white Acros film simulation on the X-Pro 2. I shoot in raw and I use Lightroom and the Acros camera calibraton to get the result I want. Why not black and white Jpeg straight from the camera? Well, I liked the above picture better in color actually, but I didn't know until I tried it in Lightroom. So... I like having that freedom in post production, and the Lightroom version of Acros gives me what I want. With more raw data to work with.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200 f/5.6, 1/125 sec

Sorting and checking the catch. On a picture like this above I hung around long enough to make them stop noticing me. When I first stopped there, everybody turned and looked at me and my camera, put up nice smiles and all. But that was not what I wanted. So I stayed around for about 5-7 minutes or so. And then they didn't care any more about me. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200 f/4.0, 1/125 sec

This lady didn't care at all, not about me, not about my camera, not about anything I guess...  :) I never tried smiling at her, for some reason....  

I found that the X-Pro 2 and the new XF 35m f/2.0WR was a perfect combo! The autofocus on the X-Pro 2 seems very fast, and it's fastest with the newest lenses, with the 35mm f/2.0 being the fastest one. It seems pretty much instant. Also, the face recognition focus worked very well most of the time. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200 f/4.0, 1/420 sec

I had other lenses with me as well. Just before I went on my trip I bought the XF 90mm f/2.0WR lens, which I used for the shot above. Not the kind of lens anyone would think of street photography lens, but wow - this lens is so sharp! It focuses very fast too. I used more than I had thought originally.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 90mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200 f/2.0, 1/400 sec

A local lady fishing. I wasn't really sure if I would bring the XF 90mm f/2.0WR at all on this trip. But I'm glad I did. I didn't use it all that much, but it had its use.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0WR, ISO 800, f/2,8, 1/950 sec.

Well, not exactly from the Hua Hin pier, but outside a restaurant close by. It seemed most people in Hua Hin didn't mind being photographed. And if I gave them a smile, and pointed at my camera most people gave a smile back. But it was hard to take candid photographs, it seemed like the Thai people could spot you with your camera from a km away... 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200, f/4, 1/640 sec

I guess the 90mm gave me a chance to take photos of people without being noticed - except by the dog...

I guess this is all for now. I will post more in the days and weeks to come from Thailand. Some night shots, some shots from a local market in small town a long way from any tourists, some shots from a temple, and... well lots of stuff. Stay tuned!

Nikon D810 or Sony A7r II for landscape shots?

I think I've mentioned it before, that I'm trying out other camera systems than Fuji X for my landscape shots. I'm not a professional so you might ask if I really need that -isn't Fuji X good enough? Well, yes, I've taken some really memorable shots with that system. The Fuji X-T1, and now my X-Pro 2, with the XF 14mm f/2.8 lens is very lightweight compared to a full frame Nikon D810 with a 21mm lens. I am a Lightroom user, it's so important in my workflow.  But sadly Lightroom still handles the Fuji X rawfiles badly when it comes to foilage, like grass and leaves, especially in green. And you know landscape shots, well... they contain lots of that actually.  I think it has become better it the latest versions of Lightroom, and even better with X-Pro2 and its 24 megapixels. Still, there is an issue. But I love my Fuji X for everything else.

After playing with some Nikon RAW files I downloaded I headed to that direction - full frame, lots of megapixels and exceptional dynamic range.  No problems with grass, leaves in Lightroom. I made a post about that back in august last year. But here's a shot from this spring:

Nikon D810 +Sigma 50mm ART f/1.4, ISO 64, f/8, 1/125 sec.

I still love what I can get from these files. Yes, Nikon D810 is heavy. The lenses are heavy. But the camera body is well thought out, easy to use. Buttons are easy to press, well laid out. Menus are logical. And this is to be expected - after all we are talking about Nikon here. 

But, I have Sony A7R II as well. 42 megapixels vs Nikons 36 megapixels. That's not important at all. The dynamic range seems about the same, and that's the main thing for me when it comes to the sensor. Still, Nikon D810 have ISO 64 as lowest native value, while A7R II stops at 100. Not a huge deal, but that extra low value can be nice when a want the lowest shutter speed possible without using ND filters.  Lately I have let the Nikon stay home and tried to use the Sony more. Just to try it out, get used to it, maybe make a descision about which one to keep...

So here's a few from Sony A7R II:

Sony A7R II + FE 16-35mm f/4 lens at 16mm . Late evening, Lee filters, ISO 100, f/11, 2 minutes exposure.

Sony A7R II + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MK II at 190mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/200 sec.

Sony A7R II + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MK II at 110mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/400 sec.

The are way more native lenses for the Nikon system than for Sony. The very first lens I bought for the Nikon D810 was the Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm f/2.8. I really really LOVE that lens! The build quality is incredible. And the files I get from it is so beautiful. 

Nikon D810 + Zeiss Distagon T 21mm ZF.2 f/2.8. ISO 64, f/16, 1/40 sec.

Now, I do have an adapter for my Nikon lenses so that I can use them on my Sony A7R II. With that adapter I will lose auto focus, but the Zeiss is all manual focusing anyway. And the A7R II focus peaking makes it so easy to manually focus my landscape shots. Easier than on the Nikon D810.  And yes, I've tried the Zeiss Distagon T*21 mm f/2.8 with the Novoflex adapter on my Sony:

Sony A7R II + Zeiss Distagon T* 21mm ZF.2  f/2.8. ISO 100, f/?, 1/160 sec.

Well, there's one problem. There is no electronic contact between the adapter, camera and lens so it's all manual, and the aperture doesn't get recorded. But the files look beautiful! With a 21mm lens it's pretty easy to get everything sharp. But with focus peaking it's fairly easy to do with my Sigma ART 35mm and 50mm lenses too. That means, I can actually sell my Nikon D810 body. Right? Well, yeah, but it hasn't been that easy. 

The Sony menu system is total mess! There's almost no logic in the menu system. And the rest of the camera feels like a toy camera. Small buttons, no joystick or keypad for moving the focusing point around, like my D810 and Fuji X-Pro2 has. The sony can use some of the best lenses ever made. Like the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MK II (see below), but... it's a mess. The whole camera.

Sony A7R II + Metabones adapter + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MK II lens.

Rudolf. So this is outside. What about inside, can I get the Sony + adapter + canon lens to auto focus?

Sony A7R II + metabones apapter + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MK II, at 190mm, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/250 sec.

Sony A7R II + metabones apapter + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MK II, at 140mm, ISO 6400, f/2.8, 1/250 sec.

Well, it can autofocus inside too. But really, in my descision between Nikon D810 and Sony A7R II it's all about landscapes, and I don't need autofocus for that. The files from the Sony are beautiful, and I really can't see the difference between the Nikon and the Sony. So it's all about handling now. Which one? Nikon - a heavier body. More native lenses. Better buttons and layout, way better menu system. ISO 64. Well built body. 

The Sony, lighter - but with adapted lenses not really that different from the Nikon. Easier to manual focus because of focus peaking. Way more lenses available though through adapters, and autofocus is not important for landscapes anyway. More important - it has an articulated screen. it can tilt up and down, very nice on a tripod high or very low! I love that. Build quality not as good as Nikon. And a mess both when it comes to buttons and menus.

What do you guys think? Anyone of you done the same descesion? Feel free to leave a comment below. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 first impressions!

Well, I was pretty sure I wasn't going to buy this camera. I mean, what could 8 more megapixels offer me? Going from Fujfilm X-T1 (16mpx) to X-Pro 2 (24mpx)... And not that much improved low light/ISO capabilities either (depending on which technical reviews you read). And a smaller viewfinder than the X-T1... No tiltable LCD screen.

But hey, I bought it anyway on April 1, 2016. Not really sure what to expect.  But I did know this - when I sold the X-Pro 1 and bought the X-T1 I was impressed by the faster handling, the faster autofocus and the big EVF with higher resolution, of the X-T1. But I missed the design of the X-Pro 1. The Viewfinder placed all the way to left on the camera on the X-Pro1 was better for me. The bigger size, the way it fitted in my hands... It just felt more solid, better build. There was just something magical about the X-Pro 1 that made me want to just hold it in my hands, even when I wasn't out shooting pictures! (There's probably a psychiatric diagnosis for this, but who cares...) 

The autofocus sucked on X-Pro 1. Big time. It got better after some firmware updates, but still... Anyway, when I got the X-T1 I started to dream of a camera with X-Pro 1 design and X-T1 handling and speed. The X-Pro 1 inspired me to go out and take pictures. The X-T1 did too, but not in such a way the X-Pro 1 did. But, I have enjoyed my X-T1. It's a really great camera.

When I first read about the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 I was sure it was going to replace my X-T1. It was faster, had at least one stop better ISO and so on. But then, after the initial hype settled, the "negatives" from other reviews started ticking in. The ISO noise was not better, about the same. The viewfinder was smaller than the X-T1's. The ISO wheel not so practical. And 16mpx is more than enough, right? And I agreed, actually. Before I tried it that is.

Osensjøen, Norway:

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0 @ f/5.6, 1/250, ISO 200. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2, XF 14mm f/2.8, ISO 200, f/8 1/125sec

I think there's a misconception out there on the web that the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 (and 1) is primarily a camera for those who need or want an optical viewfinder (OVF), use short prime lenses, and want to pay for the extra cost of the OVF. The rest can buy the X-T1.... "The X-Pro series is for shooting street photography, for photo journalism, where the OVF is useful . The X-T1 has a bigger EVF and an articulated LCD screen..." And that kind of statements. Well, the OVF on the X-Pro 2 makes the camera more expensive, yes. And the X-T1 has a bigger EVF. And a tiltable LCD on the back. But - the EVF on the X-Pro 2 is better! Smaller, yes, a little bit. But the much improved framerate on the Pro 2makes the EVF of the X-T1 seem sluggish in comparison. 

I'd go for the X-PRO 2 even without the OVF, I'd go for the X-PRO 2 because of its better electronic viewfinder! The tiltable LCD on the X-T1, yes it's nice. Am i missing it? Sometimes, it can be nice if you keep your camera high or very low on a tripod. And sometimes I do that for my landscape shots. But it's hard to go back to the refresh rate of the X-T1 for the rest of my shooting. 

Autofocus and handling

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0 WR, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/1000 sec. 

Boxing? Well, why not? If you're professional sports shooter you are probably using a Canon 1DX or Nikon D4s/D5. But, since I'm a amateur photographer I'm quite happy with the results I got from X-Pro 2. I could shoot rather long series of RAW files with 8 fps without slowdown. And more importantly, the EVF didn't black out in between the frames the way the X-T1 does! So it's much easier to follow your subject as it moves around, and keep shooting. All of the boxing pictures are shot in RAW and post processed in Lightroom CC. There I choose the Acros + Ye film simulation - which is quite close to what you get from the in camera Acros JPEGs. 

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0 WR, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/1000 sec.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0 WR, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/1000 sec

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0 WR, ISO 3200, f/4, 1/1000 sec

The only lens I brought for my X-Pro 2 to the boxing matches was my Fuji XF 35mm f/2.0WR. It focuses fast, for a mirrorless system anyway, and is very sharp. Being a prime lens, I had to do some cropping in post to improve on the composition somewhat. The Fuji XF 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom would have been better for this kind of shooting since I really can't plan or decide the distance to the action. But the 24 megapixels gave me more to crop from without losing too much quality. One thing is sure, the X-Pro 2 feels faster in hand than the X-T1. Not only the autofocusing, but everything! Less lag. And the buttons are way easier to press. The joystick makes it so much easier to pick the right autofocusing point fast. And the number of autofocusing points have increased from 77 to 273 with a bigger coverage. Almost like a sports camera... or perhaps not quite:

Cause I did bring my Canon 7D Mk II with the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 - which is a fast focusing and sharp lens for the Canon crop cameras. And I took a lot of pictures with that combo. And of course, it is better suited for this style of shooting. Still, I was surprised to see how many keepers I got from my Fuji. The thing is, for me the Fuji X-PRO 2 is a better overall camera than Canon 7D Mk II. The canon is too big for me to do street shooting, the dynamic range makes me keep it at home when I'm out taking landscape shots. 

The X-Pro 2 goes with me everywhere. The Canon 7D Mk II does not. Like in this instance, when visiting some friends, capturing my 21 month old son as he is chasing soap bubbles:

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 23mm f/1.4, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 23mm f/1.4, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 23mm f/1.4, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/1000 sec.

Well, maybe not the sports camera Canon 7D Mk II is, but still fast enough to capture this little fellow, running around, playing. And that's good enough for me. And because the whole system is faster and more responsive than the X-T1, these kind of shots were easier for me to capture. Since I use the EVF a lot the faster framerate in the EVF, and almost no blackout in between pictures in long series, really made a big difference to my old X-T1. The pictures above are shot in RAW, post processed in Lightroom CC, using Camera Astia/Soft profile - fairly close to what you get from in camera Astia JPEG's.

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200, f/8, 1/240 sec.

And it's a camera that goes with me everywhere, in the streets, or out in the woods:

Fujifilm X-Pro 2 + XF 35mm f/2.0WR, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/1000 sec.

I used my old X-Pro 1 in minus 20 degrees Celsius with no problems. That's way below the specified operating temperature! But it wasn't weather sealed so I never dared to bring it out in the rain. The X-T1 is weather sealed, and thankfully the new X-Pro 2 is too. I am looking forward to bring this camera to Thailand this summer. Also, I like the idea of two SD card slots. I'm not a professional, so it's not like I ever missed it a lot. But still, nice. Have I ever experienced a SD card failure? Yes. One time. No big deal at the time. But I'd hate it if it happens to me this coming summer when I'm travelling in Thailand.

One other thing I like with the X-Pro 2 is that the tripod mounting hole now is located so it's possible for me to change batteries when I have the camera on a tripod. On the X-T1 I had to remove the mounting bracket from the bottom of the camera first. Oh, and for you JPEG shootes, I am happy to announce that the waxy skin effect of high ISO JPEG's from X-E2,  X100-T and X-T1 are gone! If you don't know what I mean, don't worry about it...google it if you want. But for those who have noticed this irritating artifact, problem solved with the X-Pro 2. Also, my first impression is that the dynamic range of this new sensor is improved upon the X-T1. But I have to do more testing to say it for sure. High ISO noise is about the same as X-T1 - and that with more megapixels! So that's good I think. And the noise is... pleasant actually. Max ISO for RAW files has increased to 12.800, while the X-T1 stopped at 6400. But really, I would rather have a lower base ISO and increased dynamic range, down to 100 instead of 200 which is the lowest of the Fuji sensors. But that's the landscape shooter in me talking. I love the low native base ISO of 64 on my Nikon D810 - (but that camera is another story when it comes to dynamic range and resolution of course).

So, goodbye to Fuji X-T1. But, would I be buying an X-Pro 2 if there was a X-T2 available? With its bigger EVF but the same new refresh rate as X-Pro 2, same 24mpx sensor, same or better autofocusing system than X-Pro 2, tiltable LCD, cheaper... and so on? Nope. Last night, as I was watching TV, I found myself just holding my X-Pro 2 in my hands - for no other reason than I liked it. I never did that with my X-T1. This is love. (Do you know a good psychiatrist? )

Børtevann, near Sarpsborg - Norway. Winter - Spring time

Here's a few from a few weeks ago. I'm still not finished with my easter holiday or ready with some pictures (see my last post a few days ago). 

Anyway, here's a few taken with the Sony A7r II. There's a small lake near Sarpsborg called Børtevann. And there's a small river flowing down from that lake. In summertime some people come here to take a bath- or use canoe on the lake itself. But that's months away. 

Sony A7r II, Sony FE 16-35mm @28mm, ISO 100, f/11, 1/2 sec. Lee filters, ND soft grad. 

Sony A7r II, Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2, ISO 100, f ?, 1 sec. Lee filters (little stopper or big stopper, don't rembember. Probably little stopper)

I used the Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 for Nikon full frame cameras on the picture above with an adapter for my Sony A7r II camera. Since there's no electronic contact between the lens, Novoflex Nikon to Sony adapter, and the camera, the aperture is not recorded in the exif data. And don't remember the aperture I used. Still, probably somewhere between f/8 and f/16 to get that 1 sec exposure and depth of field.

My Sony A7r II, with Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 for Nikon, with Novoflex all manual adapter, Lee filters, polarizer, ND grads and Little stopper. 

I'm getting used to handling the Sony A7r II now. But I still don't like it very much, but I love the files. Everytime I go out with my Sony I always bring my Fujifilm X-T1 or X-100T with me as well.

Fujifilm X-T1, XF 35mm f/2.0 WR, ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/60 sec. No filters.

It's a (almost) black and white world...kinda.

I got the 42mpx full frame Sony A7r II. I got the 36mpx full frame Nikon D810. I got the Zeiss Distagon, the Sigma ART... Still... Fujifilm X-T1 is way more fun to shoot with. Just 16Mpx and crop. APS-C.  I have noticed difference in the way I use and think about my cameras. When I got a clear idea what I want or when I want to shoot some landscape, I pick up my Sony A7r  II. When I want to have a camera with me for my personal shots of my family - it's Fujifilm X-T1. 

Some days I just want to get out of my house. No clear idea what I want to do. The Fujifilm X-T1 is my safest bet. Today I went out with my new XF 35mm f/2.0 WR and XF 14mm f/2.8 R. 


Getting to know the Sony A7R II

Well, I've been playing a bit with the Sony A7R II this autumn and winter. I both like it and don't like it. I like the files. They're incredible. It's not just the 42mpx sensor, but what I can restore from the shadows and highlight. Amazing. And the high ISO quality is amazing too. But I sure don't like the ergonomics. The buttons, menus and all that. Get this sensor in a Fuji X body, please!!!

Sony A7R II with Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS MK2 lens at 90mm  +metabones adapter. ISO 200, f/6.3, 1/200sec.

What's really cool about the Sony A7R II (and all Sony A7 cameras, and even the a6000/a6300) is that there are plenty of adapters to it. I got a Nikon adapter and a Canon adapter. The only native Sony lens I have is the 16-35mm f/4 lens.The above shot is taken with the really incredible Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS Mk2 lens mounted with the Metabones adapter to the Sony A7R UU. That's probably the best lens I have, even with all my cameras and lenses considered. There's full electronic contact between lens, adapter and camera. The autofocus with this adapter is good. And I can use it like any other Sony lens, adjusting the aperture and all from the camera. When I use my Nikon lenses with a adapter, it's very different. Everything is manual, focusing, aperture, and remembering the shooting information (aperture and lens information not stored in the files because of no electronic contact between the lens, adapter and the camera).

Sony A7R II + FE 16-35mm f/4 lens at 16mm, ISO 100, f/8, 1/125 sec. 

Sony A7R II + Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 IS Mk2 lens at 200mm, ISO 500, f/6.3, 1/500 sec. Metabones adapter. 

Sony A7R II + Carl Zeiss Distagon 21mm ZF.2  f/2.8 lens - Nikon mount and Novoflex adapter Nikon to Sony, ISO 100, 1/160 sec. 

The above picture- a Nikon all manual lens. The incredible Carl Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2 for Nikon.  I already said that my Canon EF 70-20mm f/2.8 IS Mk2 is the best lens that I have. Not really sure. The Distagon 21mm... wow. :)

The Sony A7R II is, like all my cameras, a much better camera than I am a photographer. It's not the equipment holding me down. The files from this camera is really, really incredible. But the handling, people.... I feel just as home when I am shooting with my wife's iPad... I don't like it. Still, there are things to like with this camera besides the sensor. The adapters and ability to use just about any brand of lenses you want. The size! The tilting LCD screen - perfect for any landscape photographer! 

So, it's still Fuji X-T1 and X100T for all my everyday use, my street- and travels shots, my  portraits. Fuji X all the way for my personal photos from my home, of my son, my wife, my friends...

But, for my landscape shots... I have to decide between the Nikon D810 (see an earlier post) or Sony A7R II... Well, I guess it will be the Sony from now on. Not because of the few extra megapixels (Nikon 36 vs Sony 42), but the LCD tilting screen, the adapters allowing me to use Canon, Nikon and Sony lenses, and it's not that heavy. The dynamic range seems just about the same. The Nikon might have faster autofocus. But that doesn't matter for my landscape shots. My dream? A Sony medium format sensor (like in the Pentax 645z) in a Fuji body with Fuji lenses - Fuji already makes lenses for Hasselblad MF. 

First impresson of the Fuji XF 35mm f/2.0 WR

Oh my, my last post was in august! About Nikon. Nothing wrong about that camera, I will still be using a high pixel count full frame camera for most of my landscape shots. But as I wrote in my posts about Nikon, I will still be shooting Fuji for my other stuff. But, to get to know and get familiar with the camera, I have been shooting the Nikon (and a Sony A7r MkII too) for most of my stuff during last autumn. And, even though I like them for landscapes, I find the uninspiring to use on a daily basis. I'm still in love with my Fuji's...

Today I bought the Fuji XF 35mm f/2.0 weather resistant lens for my X-T1. I already have the XF 35mm f/1.4 lens. So why the heck buy a another lens at that focal lenght? Well, the XF 35mm f/2.0 is somewhat smaller and lighter, but not much. But it is weather resistant. And that is important as Fuji will still be my "travel everywhere" camera. I'm planning a trip to Thailand this coming summer - and there will be heat, lots of dust and sand, waterfalls, and occasional rain as it will be at start of the rainy season.

After getting the 35mm f/2.0WR today I noticed a few nice features about it. The aperture ring is not so easy to knock out of it's position as the 35mm f/1.4 aperture ring is. And the manual focusing ring is also much better. And - it focuses much faster. That's my first impression anyway. 

Here's one of my first shots from today, my son eating yoghurt.

Fujifilm X-T1 with XF 35mm f/2.0WR lens, ISO 800, f/2.8, 1/210 sec. Lightroom with Fuji Classic Chrome profile. 

From Fuji X-T1 16mpx APS-C to Nikon D810 36mpx Full Frame..

The quest for the best image quality

Like I said in my previous post, I'm not selling my Fuji X cameras. They still have their place, and I use them a lot. But since photography is my main hobby, and shooting landscapes is what I do most, I one day asked myself this question: "Why not try the 'best' camera out there in terms of resolution and dynamic range - that also got plenty of superb quality lenses?"

So, I googled the web, and found out that a medium format camera would be excellent, like the Pentax 645Z. But unfortuneatly, It was way too expensive. So what was the second best out there? Well, Canon just recently launched it 5Ds and 5Dsr models, 50 megapixels cameras. An obvious choice then, and really, Canon has plenty of good glass! 

Moon over Hvaler Islands, Oslo fjord, Norway. ;)

Nikon D810 + Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2, ISO 125, f/11, 30 second exposure. Lee filters. Benro tripod.

At the time I had to make my descision, the Canon 5Dsr wasn't out in Norway. And there were very few tests on the net. I wanted to have the new camera before the end of my summer holiday. Also, I like sensors with plenty of dynamic range since shooting landscapes is my main thing these days.

My Fuji X cameras have rather good dynamic range, but the Canons I've tried through the years, less so. So then another competitor came up, the Sony A7r (mk I that is, the mark II isn't out where I live just yet). But then I read about the shutter sometimes being problematic with causing vibration on the A7r, also issues with the raw files being lossy compressed worried me a bit too, though I knew these things often was blown way out of proportion on the forums. The lack of fast native lenses also made this a "no go".

A Lighthouse at Hvaler Islands, Oslofjord, Norway.

Nikon D810, Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2. ISO 100, f/8, 10 seconds. Lee filters, benro tripod.

The descision

So then what? The obvious choice was the Nikon D810. Largest sensor on the market (along with the Sony that I didn't want), best dynamic range of them all, full frame, no issues with the raw files (like Fuji X in Lightroom, and Sony's lossy compression), huge amount of lenses and with some of the best on the market to choose among, and ISO 64(!) was a biggie for me, execellent auto focusing system, and not too bad frames per second (5 fps - though that was very low on my priority list). Also, being on the market for a year, I figured it had matured and gotten any needed important updates already.

So off to the camera store, I got myself a Nikon D810 and three lenses, the great Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART, and a Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T ZF.2. The reasoning behind these three lenses is that my favorite landscape lens on my Fujifilm X-T1 is the XF 14mm f/2.8. And the Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 on a full frame camera gives the same framing/angle as the XF14mm on the Fuji crop body.

I also love the angle I get from the XF 23mm f/1.4 on the X-T1, so a good 35mm on the full frame Nikon body was a no brainer - the Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART. And what is a camera system with prime lenses without a good 50mm, right? So, I got the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART as well. All these lenses have been given excellent reviews all over the internet, so I figured they would do justice to the Nikon D810's 36 megapixel sensor.  

Somewhere in Jotunheimen, Norway.

Nikon D810 + Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8 ZF.2. ISO 64, f/8, 125 sec. Handheld. 

New challenges

So all is good now, right? I got an incredible full frame camera with primes that cover the angles of my most used primes of my Fuji-X system. There are some challenges with switching systems itself. Like getting to know the menus and the buttons ans such. Also, the Nikon D810 strenght is almost its weakness too. This might sound strange, and you might be right about that. But the incredible sharpness you get in your files from these lenses and 36 megapixels will show you all your mistakes, from camera shake to slight misfocus easier than on a APS-C 16 megapixel sensor.

And, given the larger sensor, you get a shallower depth of field at the same aperture as APS-C cameras. This is probably well known for many considering the switch to a full frame camera, and it was for me too before I got the D810. So it's just something you have to get used to, where you before would get front to back sharpness with an up close object and mountains in the distance at for example f/11, you now must close it down further to perhaps f/16. These numbers might not be mathematicly 100% correct, but gives you an idea about how you must think when you're used to an APS-C sensor like the Fuji X cameras have. And by closing down the aperture further you need longer shutter time or higher ISO to get the same exposure.  

Somewhere not too far from Vinstra, Norway.

Nikon D810 + Zeiss Distagon 21mm f/2.8. ISO 64, f/8, 1/60 sec. Handheld.

Changes in my work flow

And this leads to - tripod, and some other tricks too... With (sometimes) a longer shuttertime, sharp prime lenses, 36 megapixels - camera vibration might still be visible even with the camera on a tripod because of the movement of the mirror and the shutter. These problems are easily solveable by using 2 features: 

1. The mirror up function, which locks the mirror up at the first shutter release press, and fires the shutter after you press it a second time  - at a chosen time by you, enough to make the vibration end. Let's say a couple of seconds. So that removes the mirror movement vibration. To not move the camera, you use either a remote control or set a delay in the camera. 

And 2. By using the electronic first curtain function that solves the problem with the shutter causing vibration since it's already up when the exposure is taken.

Now, how big problems are these vibrations, are they really visible? I guess it comes down to how big you print your files, or how much you crop your files in post, and the shutter time of course. And how much you pixel peep. I have not done any A/B tests myself, at several shuttertimes and so on, but, I tend to use these functions on my landscape shots since I most likely are using a tripod anyway. And then I also want the best I can get out of this system. But when I shoot handheld, I turn it off. Still, I tend to use tripod at faster shutterspeeds than I would with the Fuji X-T1/X100T.

Nikon D810 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART. ISO 200, f/8, 1/100 sec. Handheld.

 

 

Missing the X-T1 EVF and focus peaking

Another thing that was strange for me was to not being able to see the effect of my exposure settings directly in the viewfiender. On my Fuji X I would instantly see how the exposure would end up just by looking in the viewfinder. But that's not possible on the D810, being a dSLR. Unless I use the back LCD and Liveview of course. But that's not the same as looking through the viewfinder. And when I use the LCD, I miss my tiltable screen from my X-T1. And I miss focus peaking for manual focus both in the EVF and on the LCD screen! I tend to manual focus my lenses for my landscape shots on my Fujis. And focus peaking is a great tool to see if I have everything in focus. 

And I miss the manual controls on the camera body sometimes. Checking the exposure settings at a small LCD on the top of the camera isn't as easy as just looking at the camera body itself. In aperture mode on the Nikon D810 it has happened to me a few times that I have forgotten that I had some exposure compensation set. 

 

Vøringsfossen, Norway.

Nikon D810 + Zeiss Distagon f/2,8 ZF.2. ISO 125, f/5.6, 1/160 sec. Handheld.

Autofocus isn't always perfect with a dSLR either!

Both my Sigma lenses had to be focus adjustet because they misfocus on my D810 body. So, yes I got focus confirmation very fast, but the pictures were all slightly out of focus. And adjusting autofocus is a tedious thing to do. It's better now, but I end up with a few out of focus pictures still. Actually it was easier for me to get things in focus on my Fuji X-T1. And adjusting focus for each lens is something that one never would have to do on the Fuji system since the phase and contrast focus detection system is on the sensor itself.

Somewhere in Jotunheimen, Norway.

Nikon D810 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART, ISO 64, f/8, 1/125 sec. Handheld.

Am I happy now?

So, switching from the mirrorless Fuji X and its old style camera body and lens system, and its fantastic EVF, to a modern dSLR like the Nikon D810 isn't without its challenges. But the result I get from the D810 when everything is set up right is fantastic! It all comes down to practise, and to getting to know my new gear. I know that. I know one thing for sure, most of my street shots will still be taken with a Fuji X camera, my "doing things with family and friends" camera will be one of my Fuji X cameras. But - my landscape shots and my planned photosessions will be with my Nikon D810. But, man, I would love a Fujifilm full frame, or even medium format, camera!

Nikon D810 + Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART. ISO 200, f/8, 1/60 sec.

Should YOU change from mirrorless APS-C Fuji to 36+ megapixel fullformat dSLR?

Only you can tell. But you must know what you are getting into. It's way more expensive. It's heavier. You will miss features you took for granted on the Fuji X. Like the Wifi, like the in-camera raw conversion. Like the EVF, like knowing your camera settings even before you picked it up and turned it on. Like focus peaking. The tiltable LCD. 

If you can live without these things, and you want the best image quality in terms of dynamic range and sharpness, then... well - if you feel like spending money  - then why not... But you will be challenged... And get a tripod. But if you are into landscape photography I guess you have taht already.

 Still, the files, when I look at them, make me drool. You have so much to work with! So sharp, and so much dynamic range. You can recover A LOT from the shadows - if needed. Or from the hightlights. And if you like using long shutter times for silky smooth water or waterfalls, the native ISO 64 come in handy. 

Hvitsten brygge, Oslofjord, Norway.

Nikon D810 + Zeiss Distagon f/2.8 ZF.2. ISO 64, f/16, 10 sec. Benro tripod.

Another - and better solution?

In many countries now, the mirrorless Sony A7r II is out. The shutter vibration problems from Mark I is gone, or so they claim. It has 42 megapixels, and maybe just as good as - if not better, dynamic range as the Nikon D810. It is lightweight, compared to D810. You can see your exposure in the EVF like on the Fuji X cameras. It has Wifi. Better implemented than in the Fuji X. It has a tiltable LCD sceen, just like the Fuji X-T1. The autofocus is probably way better than the X-T1.

Oh, and it as execellent 4K video recording! (which I don't need). 

But reports on the forums and in some reviews say that it has problems with hot pixels on long exposures - which is something that I do quite often. And it doens't have the lens selection like Nikon and Canon - yet. And Sony still use lossy compression. These three things, hot pixels on long exposures, lack of native lenses and lossy compression made me chose the Nikon D810 and not wait for the Sony A7r II.  Maybe I was wrong in my descision to go for the Nikon, but I will wait a firmware or two and see what Sony does with the hot pixel issue - and raw files, before I get any regrets :)

Adding Nikon D810 to my inventory!

Well, I'm NOT selling my Fujifilm cameras, X100T and X-T1 with various lenses. Not at all. But for several reasons, which I will come back to in a later post, I've been thinking about getting a Nikon D810 for a while. And when I came in a finacial situation where it became possible... it jumped in. I also bought three lenses. The great Sigma 35mm f/1.4 ART and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART, and a Zeiss 21mm f/2.8 Distagon T ZF.2.  The Zeiss 21mm is manual focusing only, but man oh man - it's sharp, and well built. 

Like I said, I will come back with more in later post, but for now, here's two shots taken in the Norwegian mountains, in Jotunheimen a couple of weeks ago. Both are taken with the Sigma 50mm f/1.4 lens.

Nikon D810 + Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART, ISO 64, f/8, 1/8 sec. 

My friend and me were driving over the mountains, from the fjords in the western Norway, and heading east towards Vinstra. At the highest point we drove actually through a thick layer of clouds. As we got lower and got out of it, it was not long before sunset - which of course we couldn't see with this kind of weather. But suddenly the clouds opened up for a short while, lighting up this scenere in the picture above. I stopped the car, rushed out with my Nikon and Benro tripod, and managed to that the above picture, and as the light shiftet more to the left, the picture below to. Then the show was over. It lasted about two minutes. The clouds bloced all light again, and it got dark. The was a soft rain showering over me and my Nikon, and my lens was not weather sealed, so I tried to hold an umbrella with one hand and operate the camera with the other.

Nikon D810 + Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART, ISO 64, f/8, 1/8 sec.

Hope you liked them. The experience was way more magic than these pictures can express. 

I will come back with more Nikon stuff later, and of course, more Fuji X stuff to.

Sony a6000 with the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM + Metabones

So, I'm a Fujifilm shooter. X-Pro1 since 2012, which I later sold and got the X-T1 + various lenses. I also got the Fujifilm X-100T. My first real system camera though was a Canon 7D. I had a Nikon D50 before that, but never used it much. So Canon 7D was the first system I actually spend time with and bought several lenses for. This must have been back in 2009. I liked the auto focus and the frames per second I could get. I bought the very nice EF-S 17-55mm USM f/2.8 and the incredibly good Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM Mk II lens. And for wide angle I bought the EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM.  All good lenses. But I don't use my Canon system very much I have to admit. For landscapes I prefer Fuji's better dynamic range and less noise.  Why not sell it? Well, I still go to boxing mathces and like to shoot that. And some wildlife. Though not very often. 

Recently my wife wanted a camera to carry in her purse. Something small, but still with interchangeable lenses. See, we got a son in august. I use my Fuji system myself most of the time, and she really doesn't like the Fuji that much anyway. She wanted something that did things better automaticly, but with the possibility to override it if she wanted to. So, after some research we ended up with the Sony a6000 with the 16-50mm kit lens.  I considered the Samsung NX500 too, but my wife didn't the like the idea of the lack of viewfinder on that one. She prefers a viewfinder.  Also, at the same time Sony announced the Sony A7r II. I've been longing for 4K video for some time, and wouldn't mind higher resolution full frame camera for my landscape shots. And being able to use the A7r II lenses on the a6000 sounded nice too.

A shot taken with the Sony a6000 + 16-50mm kit lens, by my wife, of our 11 month old son. This camera and the kit lens fits my wifes use very well. She takes good pictures with it, and the quality of the files with this lens is better than expected. Here at 50mm, ISO 100, f/5.6, 1/160 sec exposure. 

We went on our summer vacation to southern Norway in July, me with my Fuji system. She with her Sony. The day before we left I read about the Metabones Canon EF to Sony E mount smart adapter Mark IV that would let me use my Canon EF lenses on the coming Sony A7r II. It would also work on the a6000. So I went and bought it. And I mounted the adapter to the Canon EF-S 10-22mm I had, and put that in the "Sony bag" we had. I wanted to try out this system for my landscape shots! I didn't have much faith in the Sony 16-50mm kit lens for the a6000. It wasn't wide enough, I like shooting at 12-14mm on APS-C. (But the Sony kit lens performed actually better than expected for its use).

Sony a6000 with the Metabones EF-E IV adapter + the Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM

The Sony a6000 with this system mounted is pretty large and heavy compared to with the kit lens. Now, for this kind of shooting I don't mind. I carry a lot of stuff anyway, several other lenses usually, the Lee filter system, and a Benro tripod. I wish Sony would make a 14mm f/2.8 prime lens like Fuji's XF 14mm. The Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 is small, thanks to being a prime, but is easy to manual focus with and is execellent optically. But hey - the a6000 is my wife's camera, right? She won't buy that anyway...

Sony a6000 with the Metabones EF - E IV adapter with Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens.

Features of the adapter (from Metabones homepage)

  • True electronic integration of aperture diaphragm - let camera automatically choose aperture in P or S exposure modes, or dial in yourself on the camera body in A or M modes.
  • Powered by camera body. No external power source required.
  • Wide open button (opposite of depth-of-field preview function) makes manual focusing easy.
  • The tripod foot is detachable and compatible with Arca Swiss, Markins, Photo cam ball heads.
  • High performance 32-bit processor and efficient switched-mode power supply.
  • Flocking material coating inside the inner hole to reduce the internal reflection.

Performance

So, above you have what Metabones claims. But how did this system perform in real life? Well, autofocus is supposed to work. And it does, kinda. It's just that I manage to manually focus faster than that. So forget about the autofocus with the Metabones on the Sony a6000. I tried with the EF-S 17-55mm f/2.8 too, same story there. Autofocus suck. It hunts back and forth so much that I didn't bother, and switched to manual focusing. 

Thankfully the Sony a6000 has a rather nice focus peaking system that helped me get the right focus quick. Though quickly setting the focus for my landscapes isn't that critical. But focus peaking system is nice, and it is customizable too with various intensity and colors.  Now compared to focus peaking on the Fujifilm X-T1 I find it easier to manual focus on the Fuji. That's because of a much better viewfinder with larger magnification and higher resolution. Also the LCD on the back is of higher quality on the Fujifilm X-T1. But, the X-T1 is much more expensive too. But hey, the a6000 focus peaking works. It just takes some time getting used to the lower resolution when coming from Fuji. 

The electronic contact between the lens, adaptor and camera makes sure that all EXIF data is recorded correctly into the files. Nice! As for the pictures I took? Well, they look sharp and nice with good colors. You won't find any test charts or pictures here. Just a few from real life shooting that I took with this system:

Lindesnes Lighthouse, southernmost place on mainland Norway. Taken with Sony a6000 with Metabones EF-E IV adapter and Canon EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM. This is at 22mm focal lenght, ISO 100, f/16, 1/6 second exposure. On a Benro tripod.

The above picture is at 22mm, so I could have tried the kit lens at that focal lenght too and compared. But I wanted to see how it was to do a full shooting with this system since I plan to use this adapter on the coming Sony A7r II. So I didn't bother to change lenses. The system becomes rather front heavy, but luckily the Metabones adapter comes with its own tripod mount under the adapter. 

My favorite wide angle focal length on my Fuji sysem is 14mm. That is same angle/fram as 21mm on a full frame cameras like the Sony A7 system. So, here's a shot at 14mm, that's wider than the kit lens can do anyway.

Sony a6000 w/Metabones adapter + Canon EF-S 10-22mm, at 14mm. ISO 100, f/8, 1/80 second exposure. 

I think it works pretty well. When studied on my monitor the files are sharp. The adapter doesn't seem to reduce quality. Let's go wider, to 12mm:

Sony a6000 w/Metabones adapter + Canon EF-S 10-22mm, 12mm focal length, ISO 100, f/11, 1/60 second exposure.

Well that looks "nice". How about a long exposure, let's make the ocean smooth... So, with the Lee filter system fitted on the lens, + Lee Big Stopper (10 stops longer exposure) I got this:

Sony a6000+Metabones+Canon EF-S 10-22mm, + Lee Big Stopper. Taken at 12mm, ISO 100, f/11, 30 second exposure. 

Now first you see that the white balance is different. The Lee filter changes that. And it's easy to adjust in Lightroom. But I never bothered doing anything special to this file. Take a look at the right part of the picture. From the top you can see an artifact, a rather long purple thick line arching downwards. Now what is this? It showed up on all my long exposures with the metabones adapter. It was not dirt on my Lee Big stopper filter cause I used it on my Fuji system the same evening. I guess it must be some kind of light leakage with the adapter mounted. Ok, so I can't do long exposures then - not with my copy of this adapter anyway. Too bad. But hey, I'm saving money for my Sony A7r II, right? Yep. Still, it's something to keep in mind for those who want to do long exposures with the Metabones EF-E Mark IV adapter. It could be just my copy though. 

 

Conclusion

So, my conclusion for Sony a6000 + the Metabones EF-E Mark IV adapter - and the Canon EF-10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM lens is that it works. I got good results! The system becomes front heavy because both adapter and this lens is rather big compared to the Sony a6000. But it is manual focusing system only, though autofocus is possible. There's electronic contacts that makes it possible to control aperture from the camera body. Exif data is correctly recorded into files. The adapter itself seems well built and attaches easily and sits firm on the a6000 camerabody. The light leakage on very long exposures surprised me - if that is what it is then. Please post a comment below of you have other suggestions. I plan to use this adapter when I get the Sony A7r II, and then use it with my full frame Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8 IS USM mkII lens. And maybe my FF Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 too. 

Who is the Metabones adapter for? Would I recommend it for people who doesn't own Canon glass already who wants to buy a particular Canon lens and then use it on the a6000 or other Sony E mount cameras? No. My opinion is that this adapter only has its value as something nice for those who already own Canon lenses, and wants to use them with their Sony E mount camera. The autofocus is so bad that it is useless on the a6000. There are rumours, and even videos on youtube, that tell us that with the coming Sony A7r II the autofocus has been improved a lot. And will be quite useable. 

Also keep in mind that while any Canon EF-S (for crop bodies) glass, like my EF-S 10-22mm in this test, probably can be mounted on full frame Sony A7 cameras with this adapter, you will not be able to use the whole sensor, only the middle of it.

Lindesnes Lighthouse, the southernmost point in Norway

Well, more precisely, Lindesnes Lighthouse itself is very close to the southernmost point of mainland Norway. But for all practical reasons, most Norwegians and tourists look at it as the southenrmost place here.

Lindesnes Lighthouse just after sunset. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm f/2.8R lens, @ ISO 200, f/11, 2.5 sec. Benro tripod.

This summer my wife and I went on our yearly vacation to south Norway.  But something had changed since the earlier years, our son was born in August last year so this year we went on vacation with our 11 month old boy.  I planned to travel light - when it came to what photo equipment I would bring. But I also wanted to test out some of new equiptment, the Samyang 12mm lens and my Lee filters. 

So in my bag I had my X-T1 and the following lenses: Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS, XF 14mm f/2.8, XF 23mm f/1.4 , XF 35mm f/1.4 and the XF 55mm f/1.2. And Lee filter system, Big stoper, little stopper, ND grads and polariser filter. I left my Canon 7D mkII at home. Last year the canon with the 70-200mm f/2.8 IS Mk2 came in handy. But I had to leave something behind. 

Lindesnes Lighthouse at a distance, viewed from the north. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 23mm f/1.4R, @ ISO 200, f/11, 1/45 sec. Lee polariser filter. Benro tripod.

Not long ago I bought the Samyang 12mm f/2.0 NCS CS ultra wide angle lens for my X-T1. It was very cheap, and until I tested it was not sure how it would perform. Optically it is execellent! And it is surprisingly well built. Manual focus only though. 

View from Lindesnes at sunset. Fujifilm X-T1 + Samyang 12mm NCS CS f/2.0 @ ISO 200, f/11, 25 sec. Lee Little Stopper (6 stop ND filter) + ND hard grad 0.6 filter (2 stops). Benro tripod.

Lindesnes Lighthouse before sunset. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm f/2.8 @ ISO 800, f5/.6, 1/60 sec. Handheld. No filters. 

The pictures in this blogpost were taken on my second evening at the Lighthouse. The day before it was so windy that my tripod actually blew over, and I barely catched my camera before falling to the ground. 

Bye bye Lindesnes. On the stairs, leaving the lighthouse after sunset. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm f/2,8 @ ISO 200, f/10, 0.9 sec. No filters. Benro tripod. 

I took a lot of pictures in this area this summer. But I will be back next year I guess. It's beautiful here. Hopefully I will catch the sunrise then. Here's two more from before the sunset. From a distance. 

Lindesnes lighthouse, early evening. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 56mm f/1.2R @ ISO 200, f/8, 1/200 sec. 

Lindenes lighthouse, the whole area. Early evening. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14 f/2.8 @ ISO 200, f/8, 1/60 sec. 

From the landscape near the lighthouse area. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm f/2.8 @ ISO 200, f/8. 2 sec. Benro tripod.

From the landscape near the lighthouse area. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm f/2.8 @ ISO 200, f/8. 2 sec. Benro tripod.

I used the Lee filter system a lot during my trip to Lindesnes. I understand that this is something I have to practise more with. But, with the X-T1 it is actually possible to both compose and focus with filters attached, thanks to the excellent viewfinder on the X-T1. 

On my trip I missed a telephoto lens for isolating objects or parts of the landscape. Just a bunch of wide angle shots can be a bit.. boring. And on windy days it feels a bit risky to change lenses, so maybe I'll get a wide angle zoom instead of using the Samyang 12mm, Fujinon XF 14mm, and the 23mm. It's very easy to get dirt on the sensor. Also, one wide angle zoom will easily replace the 3 lenses. But.. I like shooting primes. We'll see what happens... 

Waiting for the summer!

Well, hopefully we won't get any more snow here.  Even though the snow is gone, it's all mostly gray, brown and boring scenery outside to photograph. Yet. In May we'll have more color, and I can't wait to get out to photograph landscapes again. In the meantime, here's one from last year. No color. ;)

Fujifilm X-T1, XF 14mm lens.

Fujifilm X-T1, XF 14mm lens.


Winter Wonderland - Fujifilm X100T and TCL-X100 teleconversion lens

Okay, I had my doubts about this one. The TCL-X100 teleconversion lens which is turning your 23mm f/2,0 lens on your Fujifilm X100/S or T model into a 33mm f/2.0, or when talking in full frame terms, the X100 /s/t 35 mm lens into a 50mm lens. 

Is it sharp enough? Well, oh yes - and if you are pixel peeping you will be happy from f/4 to f/16 with the converter. But - stop pixel peeping. It doesn't do you anything good. I admit - I do it sometimes. But since I already had the X100T I thought that I might as well try the teleconverter out. 

During Christmas I spend five days at Trysil. I had spend time with my familiy of course, but I managed to get away and take some pictures too. It was cold. Very cold. Minus 25 degrees Celcius. I used my Fujifilm X-T1 and X100T. I will post some X-T1 shots later. 

Fujifilm X100T + TCL X100 33mm/50mm f/2.0 lens, ISO 200, f/8, 1/150 sec. Camera Velvia film simulation from Lightroom 5.

So, in another post I've talked about how much more I like the X100T over the X100S. It's the same sensor, but the button layout and the feel of the buttons is much better. And - it has the new Classic Chrome film simualtion.

Fujifilm X100T + TCL X100 33mm/50mm f/2.0 lens, ISO 200, f/5.6, 1/60 sec. Camera Classic chrome film simulation from Lightroom 5

Fujifilm X100T + TCL X100 33mm/50mm f/2.0 lens, ISO 200, f/4, 1/300 sec. Camera Classic chrome film simulation from Lightroom 5

Fujifilm X100T + TCL X100 33mm/50mm f/2.0 lens, ISO 200, f/8, 1/110 sec. Camera Classic chrome film simulation from Lightroom 5

So, what about some nature/landscape shots. Certainly, the X100T isn't made for that? Well, of course it is - like any other camera you bring along when out in the nature.

Fujifilm X100T + TCL X100 33mm/50mm f/2.0 lens, ISO 250, f/8, 1/200 sec. Camera Velvia film simulation from Lightroom 5

Black and white? Ok, here's a shot of the same river but towards to opposite direction.

Fujifilm X100T + TCL X100 33mm/50mm f/2.0 lens, ISO 250, f/8, 1/200 sec. Camera Black and white film simulation from Lightroom 5

Some thoughts - well - the X100T handles so much better in MY HANDS than the X100S. Don't know what it was with the S, but for me the T model is much, much better. That is important to me. Ok, slow is good. Especially in nature/landscape shots like the above. It makes me think more about my composition. But... I use the X100T for everything. From snapshots of my family to shots like the above. And the X100S was a bit slow for fast shapshots, it was easier to miss some moments. Maybe it was my technique or my fingers, but I never became friends with that wheel on the back which now are replaced with directional buttons on the X100T. Ok, ok, I managed with the old Fujfilm X-Pro1 too - with firmware 1.0... But. I am happy now!

The TCL X100 Teleconversion Lens is very handy. When I bought it I wasn't sure how much I would use it. But during my five day trip to Trysil it was mounted almost all the time. I like the angle that the 50mm gives me. When I took it off it was mostly indoors.

Fujifilm X100T first impressons

Going from Fujifilm X100s to X100 T... Well, I didn't plan this upgrade. Actually, I never meant to do it because having the same sensor as my old X100S I  thought the X100T wouldn't be much of an upgrade. I was wrong.

Picture Quality

In terms of picture quality there isn't an improvement, it is the same sensor after all. But if you shoot JPEGS you might find the new Classic Chrome simulation interesting. I shoot RAW, but sometimes I shoot RAW+JPEG and today I did just that to check out the new Classic Chrome JPEGS. It turned out that the lastest version of Adobe Lightroom supported Fujifilm X100T RAW files, and also had a camera Classic Chrome profile which was pretty close to the in camera JPEGS with the same simualtion. There's a possibility that the X100S get a firmware upgrade that adds the Classic Chrome simualtion later on, but so far I've only heard that the X-T1 will get such an upgrade. 

What do I think about the Classic Chrome JPEGS? Not really sure yet. I did some street photography yesterday, and... most of my pictures sucked to be honest. I was in a hurry, I had just picked up the X100T and put in one of the charged batteries for my X100s, a 16gig SD card, and had about 20 minutes to play with the camera until I had to return home. So- don't think I'll post those results here. 

Button Layout

I really dislike the buttons on the X100S, and especially the wheel around the Menu/Ok button. And the rear command switch on the top right on the back I don't like very much on the X100S. I don't feel I have total controll over that one. These details make the X100S a bit fiddly to operate. Maybe it's just me being extra clumsy with my fingers.

Luckily, the wheel around the Menu/OK button is gone and replaced by 4 way selector buttons similar to the ones on the back of the X-T1. But they are much, much easier and better to press than on the X-T1!

The rear command switch is also gone, and replaced by a command dial like on the X-T1. Much better. I feel more in control over the camera now. It's still pressable as a button for fast zooming to check focus.

Direct Control Over The Auto Focus Point!

Also, a setting in the menus allow you the set up the 4 way selector buttons as direct control over the focusing point - meaning you don't have to press another button first to activate the movement of the focusing point. Very nice! A first for a Fujifilm X camera. 

Because the buttons are so nice and easy to press, it's very easy to move the focusing point around. For me it makes a ton of difference because most of the time I don't like to use to "focus and recompose" technique, but rather compose and move the focusing point the the correct place.  The rest of the buttons on the back also have a nicer feel to them than on the X100S. They just feel right. I like the layout on the back better too. 

Back Screen

The back screen has a resolution increase and is really nice. That wasn't so important for me, but still nice to have. It's a bit bigger too. 

Face Detection

The X100S doesn't have face detection. The X100T does. Is it useful? Oh yes! I'm used to face detection from my Fujifilm X-T1, but it is much better implemented on the X100T. First off, selecting face detection is easier. You can set one of the Fn buttons as an On/Off toggle instead of activating a menu and then selecting it. Also, you can move the focus point around with the face detection activated. On the X-T1 only the center focusing point is available if the face detection fails. The face detection also seems a bit faster on the X100T. The face detection on my X100T makes it easier for me to hand off the camera to a friend or family member to take pictures of me or for me when needed.

Focus Peaking

The X100S only has focus peaking in white. On my X-T1 I have set it to High Red, and that works really well. And of course - on the X100T you can also select either white, red or blue.

WiFi

Well, the X100T has Wifi, the X100S doesn't. I use the Wifi function on my X-T1 a lot, and I'm very pleased that I can do that on my new X100T as well.  Especially when travelling I like the Wifi function to get my pictures from the camera on the internet. But I also use it for remote shooting. Through the Wifi app on your Ipad/Iphone or Android phone/tab you have full controll over the camera, and you can use the screen for touch focusing too.

Viewfinder

The EVF has improved refersh rate, especially in low light where it can lag quite a lot on the X100S. Not so on the X100T. Smooth. 

Improved Autofocus

Well, my first impression is that it is a bit faster on the X100T than on the X100S. How much? I have to do further testing. But now it is so fast that I don't thinkt that much about it.

Customize The Q Menu

This is a big one! Finally I can now decide which functions I need on my Quick Menu. So - now I have Flash compensation and Conversion Lens select (I have the TCL lens) on the Quick Menu. But basicly you can put most anything from the main menu on there.

Final thoughts

Well, the upgrade was definately worth it for me. The button improvement was important to me. If you are happy with the ergonomics, the buttons on the X100s, and you don't care for the new functions - well.. keep your X100S and be happy. But I was spoiled by the functions like better focus peaking, Wifi, fast EVF refresh rate and face detection on my X-T1. And now I have all this, and improved autofocus, on my X100T. This is the best Fuji X camera.

The return of the Fujinon XF 18mm F/2 R lens...

For a very long time now I haven't been using my XF 18mm f/2.0 lens from Fuji. After I bought the execellent Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 that has been my primary wide angle lens. The 18mm isn't as sharp as the 14mm, and for me 14mm wide was a more interesting angle for my landscape shots. But - some days ago my 14mm broke, something is wrong with the aperture ring. I will send it in for repairs. Today, the sun was shining. The ground was covered with a thin layer of snow, the sky was blue, and a thin haze was lifting from the ground. Help - my XF 14mm is broken... so I picked up my long forgotten XF 18mm. This is the result. I took lots of pictures, so maybe I will post more later in the days to come. 

Fujfilm X-T1 + XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens, at ISO 200, f/8, 1/1000 sec.

Fujfilm X-T1 + XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens, at ISO 200, f/8, 1/1000 sec.

Fujfilm X-T1 + XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens, at ISO 200, f/11, 1/1000 sec.

Fujfilm X-T1 + XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens, at ISO 400, f/8, 1/100 sec.

Fujfilm X-T1 + XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens, at ISO 400, f/8, 1/60 sec.

A FEW FROM THIS LAST AUTUMN

I've been busy this autumn, our first child was born this August. I have to admit, most of my pictures has been of my son, but I won't post them here. But I've had some time to go out and take a few shots, so here goes. All of them taken with the Fujifilm X-T1.

Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm f/2.8 lens.

Fujifilm X-T1 +XF 14m f/2.8 lens

Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm f/2.8 lens

I've taken more photos, but I haven't had time to develop them on my computer yet. 

On vacation with Fujifilm X-T1 + X100s - Part 2...

I got a lot of nice feedback on my last post with pictures from the south and south west part of Norway, both as comments on the page and as pm's. So thanks a lot. I thought I'd update this blog with a few more pictures and my thoughts about them.

In my last post I only posted pictures from the Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujinon XF 14mm lens and the X100s. I used them for most of my pictures that week. But I took a few shots with other lenses too. Here's one of my pregnant wife, taken with the X-T1 + XF 56mm lens:

Evening sun at Kristiandsand, near Roligheden camping. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 56mm f/1.2 lens at ISO 200, f/2.0, 1/350 sec. .

I shot the above picture in RAW, post processed it in Lightroom 5.5. But unlike the other pictures in my last post, for this one chose the Camera Profile in Lightroom that resembles the Camera Astia/Soft Jpeg output. Most of them time the Lightroom 5 Fuji camera profiles makes the image look very close to what the camera would have processed in the same profile. I'm not much a portrait shooter, I guess. I like the color of the sun in her hair, it's taken late in the evening at 9:48pm - but it left her face a bit in the shadows. So maybe I should'a use a reflector or something and put some of that nice evening light back into her face. Not sure how that would have turned out either - and besides - how much should one carry on a weeks trip - living in small tent? ;)

Here's another shot taken with the XF 56mm lens. This one is of me actually, my wife took the picture:

Me, captured by my wife using the Fujifilm X-T1 + XF56mm f/1.2 lens at ISO 200, f/2.0, 1/640 sec. 

Me, captured by my wife using the Fujifilm X-T1 + XF56mm f/1.2 lens at ISO 200, f/2.0, 1/640 sec. 

The Fujinon XF56mm F1.2 lens is probably the sharpest lens I have. I have the XF 14mm F2.8, XF 18mm F2.0, XF 23mm F1.4, XF 27mm F2.8, XF 35mm F1.4 - and the 56mm. It beats all my Canon gear too - though I have to admit the only prime lens I have for my Canon 7D is a Sigma 30mm F1.4. Some of my other canon lenses are the well known EF 70-200mm F2.8 IS MK II, the EF-S 17-55mm F2.8 (which is very good too) and a wide angle lens 10-22mm.

Now, my wife likes taking pictures too. But most of the time she uses her iPhone 5. So - giving her a manual camera like the Fuji X-T1 sounds like trouble, right? Nope. I set ISO and aperture for her, shutter speed is left at auto. And the face detection fixes any auto focus issues that might have occured with my old Fuji X-Pro1. I use the face detection a lot!

In my last post I wrote that I missed having a tele zoom. And here comes a confession - in my car I had my Canon 7D with my EF 70-200mm F2.8 mounted. It stayed there in the trunk the whole week, except for two situations during that week. Here's one of the two pictures:

Jæren area, North Sea Road, in souh west Norway. Early morning, 0600 am. Canon 7D + EF 70-200mm IS MK2 at 200mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/400sec. Hand held.

Jæren area, North Sea Road, in souh west Norway. Early morning, 0600 am. Canon 7D + EF 70-200mm IS MK2 at 200mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/400sec. Hand held.

I was pretty far away, and I even cropped that photo a bit in post in Lightroom 5. Next year I will have the XF 55-200mm that's for sure. It's not as fast as the Canon because it's f/3.5 in the short end vs f/2.8, and the Fuji is f/4.8 on the long end while the Canon keeps f/2.8 throughout the whole zoom range. But on a picture like this it wouldn't matter. I'm at f/8.0 here. Or maybe Fuji has a new water restistant zoom out by then.  Now back to Fuji :)  :

Jæren area, alone the Nordsjøveien/ North Sea Road. Here the North Sea as seen from close to Obrestad Light house. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm F2.8 lens, at ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/250sec.

Jæren area, alone the Nordsjøveien/ North Sea Road. Here the North Sea as seen from close to Obrestad Light house. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm F2.8 lens, at ISO 200, f/8.0, 1/250sec.

The picture above, it's nice weather, blue skies.. at 08:15 am the sun is already high and making hard shadows. And the nice morning colors are disappearing too. One day I will be here when the storms are blowing. This is the Atlantic Sea - straight out. So, in this area one can experience some rough weather too. 

At the beach, Jæren area, North Sea Road. Early morning, 06:40am. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm F2.8 lens at ISO 200, f/16, 1/60sec.

At the beach, Jæren area, North Sea Road. Early morning, 06:40am. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF 14mm F2.8 lens at ISO 200, f/16, 1/60sec.

I guess this is all for now. During that week I took many pictures. Many of them taken during pretty hard daylight. I kept some of them because the time I visited those places was the only time I could be there. I was on a vacation with my wife after all. But lately I've been more and more aware of the light when I take pictures. I keep learning. I hope.

For part one of this trip, click here: ON VACATION WITH FUJIFILM X-T1 + 14MM + X100S

All images are Copyright Lars Authen