#575. The Monday Post (27 March 2017)

#575. The Monday Post (27 March 2017)

 

I promised myself I’d write a grumble-free Monday Post this week. Twelve words in and I’m doing OK so far…

 

First up – one good reason for being a Fuji shooter – kaizen – according to Wikipedia; activities that continuously improve all functions and involve all employees from the CEO to the assembly line workers. Fuji is committed to kaizen and continues to improve, enhance and of course, bug fix their cameras, long after leaving the factory.

 

 

 

Due at the end of March a new enhancement release will deliver a (very) long list of enhancements and added facilities to both X-Pro2 and XT-2 cameras. Amongst the enhancements are settable ISOs of 125 and 160, improved EVF, histogram and ISO setting functionality as well as long exposure times of up to 15 minutes.

 

This follows a hot shoe flash enabling and standardisation firmware release just a few days ago.

 

The story can be seen here.

 

A further enhancement release is due in May. This will include wi-fi tethering, AF improvements and enhancements and yet more function assignments.

 

***/***

 

 

 

Deepest Kent, 06:something the other morning. X-Pro1 in hand and 56mm lens mounted in the dark on the front and I’m struggling to get anything shot – it’s still almost dark, the sun is just beginning to make an appearance and everything seems to be so far away. Irritably, I mount my 90mm f2 and suddenly everything is much, much closer in the viewfinder. Real grown-up shooting commences.

 

Later, pictures downloaded I’m staring at the first shots and still can’t work out what was going on. Even the EXIF data is wrong – it’s showing me using a 16mm lens.

 

WTF?

 

The penny dropped; “That’s why everything in the viewfinder was so small – I was shooting with a focal length 40mm shorter than I thought.” Both lenses are similar in size and shape and in the dark…

 

Wish I could say they were crappy pics and didn’t matter anyway, but they weren’t – or shouldn’t have been.

 

***/***

 

 

 

If you’ve read “You’re not listening to us”, you’ll recall that one significant feature request is for on-camera GPS.

 

And, if you’re like most of us, you’ll have tried many variations of the same thing; phone apps that require you to have at least one extra hand when out shooting, metres of cable to snag in pretty much everything and a phone that suddenly becomes a raging battery hog.

 

Scott Kelby – the man from Adobe – managed to get Terry White – another Adobe alumni – to offer what seems to be an almost workable GPS solution. It’s one that doesn’t require apps, cables, extra hands or much physical effort, beyond remembering to do it.

 

In fact, it’s so obvious, I can’t quite work out why none of us has thought of it before.

 

I’m tempted to say “Doh!” You’ll be able to say it too when you’ve watched this.

 

In fact, I’d love readers to look at the timeline when realisation dawns and let me know – it’ll be an interesting feedback session.

 

***/***

 

Speaking of which, quite a lot of what happens on DS is driven by feedback. So much so that we’d remind and ask that you join the conversation thread in these posts. It’s a good way to ensure the site remains relevant, isn’t just about our escapades, shoots and needs/wants.

 

We also have an established presence on Facebook, which could also do with some support. I post a picture daily on the DS Facebook page and encourage you to do likewise. FYI, I post RGB JPGs sized to a maximum of 800px x 800px @90 d.p.i. with an appropriate caption.

 

If you’re Facebook user, please drop by and give us a like. We’re keen to open some dialogue going there too…

 

***/***

 

Finally (for this week), I spotted this this morning and enjoyed it immensely. It’ll take you a few minutes, but is well worth the effort.

 

***/***

 

 

 

The images this week were taken during my two recent weeks in London/Kent.

15 Comments

  1. Avatar
    David Mack March 27, 2017

    Good Morning;

    Thanks for the posting, again. I have to admit, I like my XT-1 FF just fine, but it surly doesn’t not crop down well, pixilating fairly fast, I guess thats why I use if for the street and not wildlife or landscape where fine details are important, ie fast shutter 1/4000 sec to capture waterfall details. I mention it only to remind myself that each class of camera often may have a specific use.

    In regard to the GPS tip, went right to it and discovered you need to have your selected pics in a collection in order to be able to access them for the tag process, unless I missed something.

    David Mack

    • Avatar
      jean pierre (pete) guaron March 27, 2017

      I’d love to see your waterfall shots, David. The classic view that you plug in a 10xND and shoot “creamy” waterfalls has zero appeal to me – it’s not what I see, when I look at a waterfall. Each to their own, I guess. 🙂

  2. Avatar
    Paul Perton March 27, 2017

    David,

    I only got back from a fortnight in the UK yesterday morning and won’t be out with a camera for a day or so, so won’t be able to check that until I’ve got some pics to try it on. I’ll let you know how it goes.

  3. Avatar
    jean pierre (pete) guaron March 27, 2017

    Fuji’s corporate culture of kaizen would be a major attraction for many photographers, Paul. All too often, these days, customers are faced with blank indifference if they have a problem with a product – ANY product – after they have already bought and paid for it. Customer loyalty to a particular brand is generally the result of something more than just the features of the product, and Fuji’s attitude should cement enormously strong support for the company, from its customer base. It’s one “new feature” that a vast number of photographers would like in their cameras, and one I haven’t previously seen mentioned in any of the discussions on the web about what we would like to see in our next camera.

    I love the photo immediately after your paragraph on kaizen, Paul. It has a number of features which make it very special – I found myself drawn to it, to stare more deeply into it – it pushes all the buttons, for me. I started thinking things like “that small patch of the light from the sky, reflected in the stream, in the foreground, absolutely makes this shot” – and then thinking much the same thought, about the birds in the foreground – tiny, but a vital ingredient of what appeals to me about the shot – and then over and over, more and more things grabbed my eye. Great shot! You should make a serious enlargement and hang it on the wall.

    I’m afraid I got lost in your selection of lenses for “Deepest Kent, 06:something”. Surely the 90mm would have made things closer, but the 16mm would have made them look further away than the 56mm? – I get that 16mm is 40mm shorter than the 56mm, but I got lost beyond there. Would a torch help? – I recently went on a REAL “night shoot”, and invested in a good torch that took up almost no space in my camera bag, but was a vital bit of gear on the night – and it now has a permanent place in my bag.

    • Avatar
      paulperton March 28, 2017

      Pete, the point about the lenses was that I thought I was shooting with the 56mm f1.2 and was actually using the 16mm f1.4. In the dark, they are a similar size, feel and weight. I was way to sleep fuddled at that hour to work it out.

      And yes, I should have had a torch with me, but this is me we’re talking about.

      On reflection, I did have a torch with me. It was in my pocket attached to my phone.

      • Avatar
        jean pierre (pete) guaron March 29, 2017

        ROTFLMHAO – quite – that’s what I told all the guys at the night shoot, who didn’t have a torch – practically all the current smartphones DO have one. (And problems with their batteries going flat, too quickly, too – still better to have a torch in your camera bag).

    • Avatar
      adrian March 30, 2017

      Having owned an original X-Pro 1 at the start of the system, and at the same cost as a full frame camera of the time, my feeling was that Kaizen seems to be symptomatic of Fuji not implementing things very well in the first place. I could talk at length of the litany of things that were clearly bugged or badly implemented in the original camera. Others may regard it as great that over time they try to fix it, but resolving issues 3 years down the line after the product had failed to work properly and therefore not been suitable for all sorts of scenarios isn’t good customer service for me. Good customer service is making the damn thing work correctly in the first place. That I was told by a Fuji representative that I had to understand that the development team had previously worked on compact cameras didn’t help my feelings towards them or the situation. I don’t think they have yet managed to fix issues with shutter lag, which when the X-T1 was released was measured to be up to 0.6s in some situations depending on use and settings (and I’m not talking AF time here). I still don’t understand why you cannot move the AF point when you use EV lock, nor why when EV lock is used the evf and screen don’t represent the locked exposure for the current scene (it auto gains). Having ye olde worlde twidldy dials isn’t a universal panacea for good handling and good ergonomics when confronted with these types of issue. What on earth is the point of an EVF and a histogram if it doesn’t always represent the actual exposure on an enthusiast camera?

      All the endless issues created a bad relationship between me and Fuji, and I felt like a beta tester for which I had to pay a very high financial cost to test their products for them. I sent them emails with lists of over 30 issues in the early years of the X system.

      Too many other Fuji users seem unwilling to understand or accept some of the issues that users continued to discover after the X-T1 was released. Maybe some of these issues have now been resolved – since I no longer use their cameras I don’t know.

      As for Pauls photos, many of them are lovely, but I too got lost in the lens choice and confus

      • Avatar
        Steffen April 24, 2017

        My point exactly, Adrian. Fuji users always celebrate how many firmware updates they get, that something will get fixed in future, and how bad everyone else by not updating their cameras at the same frequency like Fuji. However, Fuji often messes it up in first place and now needs to clean it up.

        And even if they don’t fix stuff, I don’t want to get things changed down the road in my products. Before I buy a product, I decide if I can live with its shortcomings or not. I build my workflow around how that thing operates. Maybe I use a bug as a feature, hack it or find it great just as it is. I don’t like my tools to change during my ownership.

  4. Avatar
    Brian Nicol March 27, 2017

    Is there still a processing quality issue with Fuji with LR and PS or is that obsolete. Thanks Brian

    • Avatar
      paulperton March 28, 2017

      Brian, behind the scenes, there has been an e-mail conversation going on between us DS-ers about post processing, especially Fuji and Sony images, for several months. Yes, LR’s handling of Fuji images has improved, but so have others; Luminar and On1’s RAW amongst them. There are also the very good RAWPower and Iridient Developer to consider. Currently, the conversation is swirling around Capture 1 and I am tempted to edit this mammoth outpouring, selecting the interesting, valid and printable sections into a new DS post, to give some feedback from our own experiences.

      • Avatar
        adrian March 30, 2017

        Paul, I previously discussed the idea of an article about Silky Pix, which I have been using extensively for several years now. The detail and resolution from their latest process on Bayer files is very impressive. Their software appears not be well liked for reasons I don’t fully understand -“it’s difficult to use” (isn’t all development software if you don’t understand it?) – so I thought a write up on some of its features with an emphasis on “how to” might be useful.

        If you want to run some Fuji X Trans raw files through SP Pro v8 we should make arrangements to share some raw files, as it may be interesting to compare the results with other tools.

        Get Pascal to drop me a line if interested

        • Avatar
          pascaljappy March 30, 2017

          Hey, Adrian ! Thanks for this. 100% interested 😉 Looking forward to it. Cheers, Pascal

  5. Avatar
    pascaljappy March 30, 2017

    Paul, you are becoming delightfully abstract. Those are superb ! Maybe we should all shoot with the “wrong” lens for the occasion as deliberate training 🙂

  6. Avatar
    Steffen April 24, 2017

    As for the GPS issue: I was on the fence when they removed GPS units from mirrorless cameras. But I found a decent workflow. I use the iOS app Tracked. It’s not available any more. But you can use any app that tracks your way and exports it as .gpx files. Tracked uses the iPhone’s co-sensor to constantly read GPS information. It also works without data connection or any cell network at all, because GPS is independent and works as long as you can see the sky (so not indoors).

    I start tracking as soon as I arrive on location and stop it when back. When I have data network or wifi again, I upload the tracks to my Dropbox. Later I just open my images in Lightroom, go to the Maps tab, open my .gpx file and auto-align my images to that track (I can also shift time stamps when, for example, I one device was in a different time zone). That is very easy, fast, and more precise then my old build-in GPS unit (especially in the first minutes of shooting).

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