Tag Archives: X100S

2015 Great Oregon Steam Up: Part 2

Yesterday’s post from the 2015 Great Oregon Steam Up had images from the Oregon Electric Railway Museum.  Today’s post includes steam tractors, fire trucks, and some farm tractors.

If you read yesterday’s post – just for fun, I suggested that the last photo gave a hint about today’s post.  That hint: IR.  As for the images today: each of these continue my experiment with IR + X100S.

So, let’s talk a bit about the IR process.  With this technique, if you’ve not yet had the chance to work with an IR filter – the images out of camera can look like this:

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A very orangey / red photo.  Blah.

So, the challenge when working with IR images is deciding on the best technique to get them to something that looks interesting.  There are some great techniques out there – and I’m constantly fiddling with mine – but generally my steps include (1) apply my custom LR preset (2) flip the red / blue channels (3) adjust as needed.  The results can look something like this:

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But during this batch, I guess I was feeling a bit impatient, and started fidgeting with the photos after the preset – and I sort of stumbled on what I’m going to call Bleached IR.  So,  here’s a few from that set.

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To be honest, for these very industrial tools – I like this treatment.

But maybe it was the “vintageness” of the hardware that inspired me to add a bit of “remix” sauce to a few.  So – here’s a few with the the Bleached IR + Remix:

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2015 Great Oregon Steam Up: Part 1

steam up - 2000px-20This last Saturday, I had a chance to head out to the annual Great Oregon Steam Up.  It’s an event I haven’t visited in a few years – and much like car shows – these sorts of photos are not my strength – making it a great challenge to pull together a few reasonable photos.  Just for fun – I’m going to split this post into two parts.  Part 2 is scheduled for tomorrow.

So what’s out at Steam Up?  Well, the focus is on vintage equipment: farm tractors, steam engines, fire trucks, construction, and early engines (e.g. hit and miss).  Demonstrations include flour making, logging, and blacksmithing.  And, if that’s not enough, there’s also a swap meet for folks looking for vintage parts and what-not.steam up - 2000px-21

Part 1 of this two part series will focus primarily on the Oregon Electric Railway Museum – a relatively small part of the event – but a part I like to visit.  Within the car barn are a number of pieces from around the world.  And outside the barn are a few (I assume) electric buses in various states of decay.

This year I went light on the gear – just the X100S and the Fuji Instax Mini 90.

If you’re in the Oregon area, you can still make it out there – the 2015 Great Oregon Steam Up runs through next weekend (1-2 August).

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If I remember correctly, the car below is from Portugal.

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These next two photos are part of my recent Fuji Instax experiment.

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And this last one gives a bit of a hint about tomorrow’s post.

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Harrisburg Harvest Festival & Tractor and Truck Pull

HHF TTP - Sept 2014 - low res-5This last weekend I had the chance to get out and shoot for the first time at a Truck and Tractor Pull.  This particular event was at the Harrisburg Harvest Festival.  To be honest, I had no idea how such an event operated or what to expect.  But I just pointed my lens down the field and tried to record a few reasonable images.

Also on hand were a couple of old tractors and steam engines.  With those, I happened to have the X100s in the bag along with the IR72 filter – so I continued in my summer long IR experiment.

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2014 Philomath Classic Car Show

Had the chance to head on over to the 2014 Philomath Classic Car Show on Saturday to walk among some great vintage cars and trucks.  For more details on the show – the local Corvallis newspaper has a pretty good write up here.

Great side note on this 1929 Ford Coupe – as it turns out, the fellow who brought this to the show was actually looking to buy a motorcycle the day he saw this sitting on the side of the road with a for sale sign on it.  It didn’t have an engine at the time but he soon had one in it and was driving it around town in no time.  I could probably spend an entire afternoon just shooting this one car.  Philomath Classic Car Show 2014 - 1000 -12

1929 Ford Coupe

As photographers, we know that car shows are probably some of the most difficult places to create photos.  So, why do we do it? 

To be honest, I have no idea…

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1948 MG TC

But since I’ve been experimenting with this X100S + IR filter combo for a couple of weeks – I decided early to simply keep to the IR theme.  And though I’m still working out a few things for the technique – I kind of liked them.

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1934 Ford 5 Window Coupe

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X100s + IR72 Filter (Early Results)

OK – this is going to brief but I thought I’d share some of my first results using the X100s + IR72 filter (for those looking for more details – it’s the Hoya IR72 in the 49mm size).

I haven’t a complete workflow yet – so please consider this a work in progress (specifically, I’m working on a false color workflow – though it’s possible the photo below would ultimately look better in B&W).

As it turns out, the X100s is a pretty good camera to use for this sort of work without modification to the camera / filter – keeping it intact for the rest of your photographic adventures.

I’ll try to post more as I hack through this process.

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A Tale of Two

When I saw these two buildings over the weekend – I was hoping there was an image in it somewhere.  Only had the X100s with me.  I’m really starting to like that camera.

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Photos from Taiwan #3

Night markets are popular in Taiwan.  They’re bustling with people and food and activity.  This one is from the Liouhe Night Market in Kaohsiung and was shot with the X100s (remarkable in low light).

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Photos from Taiwan: #1

Jiufen is a great little town not too far from Taipei.  Fortunately while we were there we had a rainstorm (I’m not sure everyone was glad to see the rain – but rain can often make for some good photos 🙂  ).

As it turns out, this image was shot with the X100s – a great camera for this trip.

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X100S: Early Morning at High ISO

x100s high iso -2My first discussion on the X100S was mostly a general overview on first impressions.

So, just for fun, I decided to get up before sunrise on Saturday and kick around the streets of Corvallis with the new camera to practice a bit in some tough low-light conditions.

Most of the morning was spent at ISO 4000 and 5000.  A few of the shots are included here.  Nothing portfolio ready but hopefully they’ll give you a good idea of how well this camera handles at the higher ISO settings.

Though these are not straight-out-of-camera (they have been slightly modified in LR4.4), I purposely did not use the Noise Reduction Slider.

And just in case you’re curious, all shots were handheld, manual mode, in-camera noise reduction off, raw (not jpg), and auto white balance (only slightly adjusted on a couple of the shots – but not dramatically).

To be honest – I find this camera to be stunning in low light.

Hope you find these helpful.  If you have any questions or comments – just let me know.  x100s high iso -1 x100s high iso -5 x100s high iso -3 x100s high iso -4

We’re not in Cansas Anymore: A Weekend with the X100S

cameras-8 Back in the day, you know – those days when we shot film – my favorite camera was the Canon GIII – a little rangefinder with a fixed 40mm f1.7 lens.  I picked mine up used after borrowing one from a friend.  A great camera with a lot of personality.  Was it ever my go-to camera?  No, not really – but I sure enjoyed shooting it.

When the wave of mirrorless cameras started, I had hoped that it might be possible to find some of that charm in the digital world.  And a couple of times, it was close – both the Olympus EM5 and the Fuji X100 inspired me to some serious review reading – but neither prompted me to push the big “Buy” button.cameras-7

The Fuji X100S is similar in size to the Canon GIII (Canonet QL17) rangefinder.

And it was more than just this romantic notion of a cool compact camera that kept me looking.  I also wanted to go out with the family without lookingcameras-9 like I was on  assignment.

Then the X100S charged onto the scene with a reported snappier auto focus.  X-Trans sensor.  And Adobe looked like they were catching up.  A few early reviews.  Pre-ordered.  Delivered.

Bottom line: I find the X100S to be a great camera.  It’s capable, delivers remarkable images, and though there’s been a bit of learning curve – I’ve really enjoyed shooting with it.

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(Just a note about the photos – they shouldn’t be considered straight-out-of-camera (SOOC).  They’ve been post-processed in LR 4.4 and a few of them have seen some Nik software.)

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For the last eight and a half years – I’ve pretty much only shot Canon DSLR’s.  And those tools have complimented my shooting style for action, event, travel, and portrait.  So, to be honest, shooting those first few frames in the backyard with the X100S left me a bit underwhelmed.  Zack’s whole “best camera ever” was ringing a bit hollow for me (though it’s got to be one of the most creative camera reviews of all time).

So back to the camera manual.  Review the menu system. What does this button do again?

We’re not in Cansas anymore.

Then a day later it was off to the tulip festival with the family and the X100S dangling around my neck.  Tossed a couple of batteries, an extra memory card, and a lens cloth (just in case) in the jacket pocket.  And that’s it.  No camera bag.  Felt kinda odd – but nimble.  I almost felt bad for those folks with photo backpacks and full sized tripods – except I knew they were having fun.

x100s test -3 The Mt Angel Sausage Company is a staple at the tulip festival.

x100s test -2 Every X100S review requires a B&W street-inspired photo.

x100s test-10 Trying some close up shots on a steam tractor that was parked at the tulip festival.

Still missed a lot of shots.  Blurry.  Blown highlights.  Under exposed.  Sigh.

Early next morning to Newport, Oregon.  After getting soaked by some morning rain and hail it was kinda nice out there.  But my photos weren’t necessarily following the nice weather.

x100s test -4 Early morning sport fishing boats waiting for departure time.

x100s test -5 A minus tide exposes the footings on this pier.

x100s test -6Stairs leading up to the Yaquina Bay Bridge.

Then a quick afternoon outing with my daughter to Finley Wildlife Refuge (where it seems I test most new gear and lenses).x100s test -7

This barn at Finley makes an appearance in just about all of my gear / lens reviews.

x100s test -8  This oak tree should probably make it into more reviews.

And then another quick trip out to the Rogue Farm for a sheep sheering demonstration.  I still missed a few shots under some pretty tough lighting (the shot here is only at ISO2500 with 1/40 – but I tried some out at ISO5000 with 1/125 second).

x100s test -1 Sheering sheep at ISO2500.

A few notes:

Do I miss some shots having a fixed lens on the camera?  Sure.  But – as the adage goes – constraints drive creativity.

I’m still wrestling with the OVF and EVF.  I try to use OVF as much as possible – I find it brighter much of the time and I imagine it helps on battery life.  That said – there’s a need to remember to consider parallax when framing subjects that are close to the camera.

Battery life.  It’s nothing like your DSLR.  I bought two extra batteries straight away and I’m considering a third (I consider extra batteries and memory less expensive than missing the shot).

Lens hood.  Yes it sticks out and makes it less pocketable but it also makes it easier to hold while shooting (and likely helps with all of those other things that lens hoods are known to help with – such as flare and protection for that glass).  I consider it a must.  That said – the Fuji one is expensive.  Like surf-and-turf expensive – but it matches beautifully.  There are some other options out there.

I picked up a 49mm lens cap.  I highly recommend it with the lens hood as the spiffy cap that came with camera won’t work once the lens hood is attached.

One benefit of the fixed lens?  When I stop down to f16 – I don’t have to clean up the dust bunnies in LR.  🙂

More notes:

The maximum shutter speed at f2 is 1/1000.  On a bright sunny day that won’t be fast enough (it’s a physics thing with the leaf shutter).  Cleverly enough – there’s a 3-stop neutral density filter behind the lens (inside the camera).  I have it assigned to the Fn button for easy deployment (it’s not located in the Q-button menu and I wanted it close at hand).

LR 4.4.  If you’re considering any of the Fuji X series cameras – you’ve probably heard the tales of how Adobe hasn’t quite been able to handle the raw files all that well.  Update your Lightroom to 4.4 and don’t worry about it (I shoot only in raw except for sports).

I kinda wish the ISO5000 shots were good cuz I’d like to have shown them to you (my fault – not the camera).  But, instead, you’re only getting the ISO2500.

Did I mention that this thing is quiet?  I’ve turned off all of the helpful audible camera queues and when out-and-about in the real world – it’s essentially silent.

The camera has a bit of heft to it without feeling like a brick.

When you work with a tool like the 100S it requires you to roll up your sleeves and make something happen.  I kind of like that.

I wouldn’t recommend this camera to most folks.  And that’s OK.  It’s simply not the right tool for every environment or for every shooting style.

Unless your a current X100 owner – read the camera manual.  Yeah – I know, seems obvious.  And after you’ve read it once.  Read it again.  Go shoot a few frames – and then read it again.

The X100S is not your DSLR.  It feels, handles, and shoots much differently – and it will likely require a bit of learning curve.  But I think that if you’re looking for a camera with a compact form factor, large sensor, sharp lens, high ISO performance, and stunning IQ – this is definitely one to put on your list.

Of course, there are more reviews out there.  Be sure to check them out:

Hope that helps (at least a little).  If you have feedback, questions, comments, and/or more thoughts – just let us know.