Photography, Communications & Me

Month: November 2018

A Pick-Me-Up

A Pick-Me-Up

This lovely little coffee shop in Chicago’s financial district is always worth a stop for a photo (or five). Eaves, Chris (July 27, 2018). A Pick-Me-Up [Photograph]. Chicago, Illinois. Shot on a Canon 6D at 40mm, 1/80 sec., f5.6, ISO400

Loop Commuter

Loop Commuter

Scooting by with the flow of traffic in the Chicago “Loop”, the man is looking at the remote to his electric skateboard. Eaves, Chris (July 27, 2018). Loop Commuter [Photograph]. Chicago, Illinois. Shot on a Canon 6D at 40mm, 1/250 sec., f5.0, ISO800

Vacancy

Vacancy

This “hotel” in downtown Memphis left me scratching my head.

  • Eaves, Chris (July 22, 2018). Vacancy [Photograph]. Memphis, Tennessee. Shot on a Canon 6D at 40mm, 1/1250 sec., f2.8, ISO200
Coneflower Abstraction

Coneflower Abstraction

More musings from my front garden. Eaves, Chris (July 18, 2018). Coneflower Abstraction [Photograph]. Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Shot on a Canon 6D at 100mm Macro, 1/160 sec., f4.0, ISO100

Yearning

Yearning

Keep on stretching for the sun, little flower. Eaves, Chris (July 22, 2018). Yearning [Photograph, composite]. Memphis, Tennessee. Shot on a Canon 6D at 40mm, 1/0000 sec., f2.8, ISO400

Hilton

Hilton

The looming, imposing presence of the Hilton Hotel in San Francisco doesn’t get any favors from the dusky darkness after sundown.

  • Eaves, Chris (Nov. 13, 2015). Hilton [Photograph]. San Francisco, California. Shot on a Canon 6D at 17mm, 1/30 sec., f16, ISO1000
Canoe Trip

Canoe Trip

Floating down the very end of the Fox River—and taking time to explore the islands, nooks and crannies—makes it easy to imagine what the early French fur traders might have experienced. Eaves, Chris (Sept. 30, 2017). Canoe Trip [Photograph]. Serena, Illinois. Shot on a LGE […]

Metra Sunrise

Metra Sunrise

Getting up before the break of dawn can be its own reward. Eaves, Chris (Jan. 6, 2016). Metra Sunrise [Photograph]. Palatine, Illinois. Shot on a LGE Nexus 5 at 4mm, 1/32 sec., f2.4, ISO372

Super short Fuji X-T3 and X-T2 review

Super short Fuji X-T3 and X-T2 review

(Secret Agent. I really, really want to call this Secret Agent Ma’am, but she’s still a Miss. The Fuji nailed the focus on this one.)

Bottom line

If you have a Fuji system and want the best their APS-C lineup has to offer, buy the X-T3. If you want to save some coin and upgrade from one of their lesser lines, snap up a used X-T2 and never look back. These are great cameras for the casual photographer and the produce outstanding results.

The event

A couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a hands-on demo event hosted by Helix Camera in Itasca, Illinois and FujiFilm. In exchange for my contact details and ID, I was handed a camera body, lens and allowed to wander around inside and out. I didn’t get paid; there were no free drinks or food; and I didn’t get to take anything home other than a fantastic experience. Hat’s off to the models for being great pros and to Helix for setting up three excellent stages.

(Selene, Ares & the Erymanthian. If you look closely, you can see the red pixel that is Ares. This is why I grabbed the wide-angle lens.)

The experience

For about an hour I had a chance to play with the X-T2 and X-T3 cameras. I’d never so much as held a Fuji camera before, and I can say that it felt natural. Both bodies felt good in the hand. I popped in an SD card and was off to the races. The focus-assist light was set to “on,” but the menu system made it easy to go in and disable the setting. The dials, aperture rings and the overall thoughtfulness of the Fuji design are a joy to use.

The mirrorless system and great finders give you true previews of the shot you are about to take. It’s incredibly freeing to see how a turn of the dial here and there affects the image, and there’s no need to look at the exposure meter, take a shot, and look at the result. Instead, you can focus on the subject first and the rest becomes secondary.

(Pondering. The shallowness of the F1.2 56mm lens is on full display here.)

I mainly used three lenses: the XF 56mm F1.2 R (85mm FF equivalent); the XF 16mm F1.4R WR (25mm FF equiv.); and the XF 10-24mm F4 R ultrawide zoom (15-35 FF equiv.). You may be asking yourself, why would you go for a wide when you have models standing with studio lights. And the answer is no one else was doing that (insofar as I could tell).But the moon and mars were in the sky, and I couldn’t help myself. These lenses were all wonderful to use. I didn’t have time to figure out the odd aperture ring configuration on the zoom lens.

What I loved

The live view in the finder.

The Fuji look. Out-of-the-camera images are fantastic.

Dials!

The compact size with outsized results.

 

The good

Focus on both bodies was good (better on the T3, of course)

Video, but I’m not a videographer.

(Secret Agent 2. This was one of the first shots I took as I fiddled with the dials to get the exposure down.)

The bad

Low-light image quality is about what you’d expect for a high-MP crop sensor.

Focus wasn’t always spot on. It was dark for the outdoor shots, and the Fuji did OK, but my keepers on the T2 weren’t as high as I would have liked, and even on the T3 I had a few that made me go, “huh?”. This was particularly true on the wide, fast lens, where there’s a lot of room for error.

The ugly

My old and out of date Lightroom doesn’t read Fuji RAW files. My 30 day free trial of Capture One, though, does. And C1 now has a Fuji version in case that’s the only camera system you have. A Fuji X100 system camera is in my future, so I might convert. But that’s a topic for another day.

Final thoughts

Pixel peeping reminded me why I switched to a full frame sensor years ago. Don’t get me wrong, both of these sensors are outstanding. If you are looking for a crop-frame camera, look no further. You will love this system. What makes The X-T line special is all the other parts that come together to make a great system. Good lenses. Great ergonomics. Engineers who listen to customers. Beautiful images straight out of the camera.

I even got to see some images from the lucky chap in front of me who snagged the GXF 50S. That camera is outstanding. The allure of Fuji’s medium format line and strategy of skipping full frame suddenly makes sense…

(Asphalt Playground. Another wide-angle shot with the bike and models. The autofocus on the Fuji did OK here. It’s not spot-on, but close, and with a crop-frame, close is often good enough.)

Hello, there.

Hello, there.

This flower seems to want to say ‘hello.’ Eaves, Chris (July 19, 2018). Hello, there. [Photograph]. Hoffman Estates, Illinois. Shot on a Canon 6D at 100mm Macro, 1/160 sec., f7.1, ISO400


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