Some recent landscape shots and a night full of stars!

I love the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF14mm F2.8R lens combo. The picture quality over my former X-Pro1 fitted with the same lens hasn't actually improved. But the possibility to use my tablet or my cell phone, Samsung Galaxy S4, as a remote with live view on the phone screen - and touching the screen to set focus points, has made my life easier.

Though I admit that most of the time I use manual focusing and the scale on the lens itself to set hyperfocal distance when using the XF14mm lens. Still, the app, downloadable both for Android devices and Apple iPhone/iPad's comes in handy. Also, when using a longer lens the touch screen is nice for setting focus points. It's like suddenly my X-T1 has gotten a touch screen! Well.. almost...

Another nice feature is that I can override the settings on my camera through app. Meaning, let's say that I have set the aperture to f/16 ISO 200 with the dials on the camera itself - then I can use the interface on the phone to change it to f/22 ISO 400 or whatever. I don't have to physically go over to the kamera and adjust knobs - and by that risking to move the camera or bump into the tripod. I do it right there on my phone - or tablet. Also - it's faster this way. So much for shooting the old' fashioned way with the Fuji X-series... 

Here's a few shots

The last picture is acutally a 30 second exposure, f/22, ISO 200 with a 8 stop ND filter. The Sky came out a bit overexposed, especially to the left, but the RAW files you get from the Fuji X cameras have so much information, both in the shadows and highlights, that it's possible to bring back lots of details from the sky here.

This picture below is taken earlier the same afternoon as the the last one above. It's me and my pregnat wife, with the Fuji on a tripod, the wifi on, and you can see I have my cell phone in hand to relase the shutter! I used the screen on the cell phone to touch and set the focus point - easy!! It's the XF 23mm f/1.4R mounted on the X-T1. No need to stand behind the camera and prefocus on my wife and then run back and sit down hoping get the right pose during the 10 seconds available before the camera timer set off the shutter release  :D  So, a remote would have fixed this you say? Yes, but then I wouldn't have had the touch screen for focusing. 

I wish though that the app on my phone actually allowed for a 2 sec timer anyway so that it's possible to take a selfie without the phone so apparant in my hands :D

One more thing I'd like for the iPhone/Android app is a live histogram. And some performance increase. It can be a bit sluggish.  Also, I don't think you can use bulb mode with the app, meaning the longest exposure you get is 30 seconds.

Starry starry night!

Anyway, the picture below was only possible with the Android app. (Since I don't have a remote yet for my X-T1). I could have used the timer, but the larger screen from my tablet made it possible to judge the exposure in a much better way than the back of the screen. At least that's my opinion. It was easier to see how the stars came out. So I actually used the brand new Samsung Tab 3Pro with the relative large 8.4" screen (compared to the camera LCD) with the Fuji Android app. The Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF14mm F2.8R mounted was set on a tripod. I think it was about a 20 second exposure, f/2.8, ISO 3200 - to get the most light I could get in the shortest time possible  - so that the star ended up like dots and not lines or came out blurry. Higher ISO and I was afraid I'd get too much noise (though the X-series are very good with ISO noise). So the f/2.8 of the XF14mm helped me here. With the XF10-24mm f/4 I would have needed a good 6400 ISO! So. 

Another thing that made this picture possible with the help of my tablet is a app called "Star Walk Astronomy Guide HD 5." It helps you find the best direction to point your camera, to find where the star density is the highest, the Milkyway. Take a look at the homepage to find info and download links for your apple og android device here: http://vitotechnology.com/star-walk.html   . So now I had a way to find the best part of the sky and also a good way to control my camera and check my exposure! 

Actually this was my very first attempt at photographing the stars at all - ever! I think it came out pretty good. Could have needed a more interesting foreground of some sorts - but still... the stars came out nicely with this exposure! And - the colors you are seeing? They were there on the RAW file too. Not too much post processing in Lightroom, some contrast increase, a bit color saturation - that I always do on my RAW files - and sharpening. :D

Too bad I had to send back my Fujifilm X-T1 for repairs. It was one of the first models that had the light leak problem. It would take some weeks to get it back. I will write more about this later.

EDIT: Anyway, if you're interested in how to take pictures of the night sky, I recommend you to visit this site, tons of stuff to read here:  http://http://www.lonelyspeck.com/