Totally agree. There’s no way I’d have ever seen it otherwise—it looks terrible—but now I’d pay to see it this weekend.
To hell with ESPN and their sky-high fees. As one who watches rarely watches ESPN, I’d certainly like to be able to opt out. I say they should be treated as the premium channel they obviously are, and be unbundled from the rest of cable. Like HBO or Showtime, people who want that premium content should get a package that includes ESPN at an extra cost, and the rest should get a break.
Of course, that last part is the kicker: you know the rest of us wouldn’t actually get the price break; the cable companies would keep rates the same and raise them on the sports lovers. Our options for cable suck. This industry needs competition.
December 18, 2014
The Fuji firmware update is pretty slick, but also relatively limited for the older cameras, which is too bad. Particularly too bad for the X-E2, which is still being sold, and isn’t all that old. In particular, I really wish we had the X-T1’s “direct selection AF area using the four-way controller”. I’ve never understood why this didn’t work this way before, and now it’s an option, but only on the X-T1. Also, I’d like to have tethered shooting support, especially now that I’ve got such a nice portrait lens in the 56mm. Jealous.
Still, the new AF+MF is nice, particularly with the 23mm, which used to have to use the clutch mechanism to switch from AF to MF. Now, you just leave it in MF and it will autofocus when the button is half-pressed, but still allow for manual trimming. I usually prefer to set the AF-L button to be autofocus, but that didn’t work with the 23mm’s clutch. My initial impression is that this new method works pretty well. This is certainly a nice benefit to the “fly by wire” focusing mechanism; the clutch isn’t actually a clutch, but a fancy switch that can be controlled by firmware.
December 18, 2014
Zack Arias has a lengthy blog post about Fuji lenses, which you should check out if you’re interested in the Fuji X system. In my opinion, the lenses are the reason to get into this system, as they’re so obviously targeted at photographers who like the more traditional feel of metal-bodied lenses with aperture rings, not to mention a solid selection of fast primes. Don’t get me wrong: I’m happy with my X-E2 body, but I think other systems are progressing faster and farther with their camera bodies (Sony, for instance). Still, the lenses are the more critical part of the kit, and I’m confident that Fuji is capable of progressing satisfactorily with their cameras.
I currently own the 23mm f/1.4, the 35mm f/1.4, and now my recently acquired 56mm f/1.2. None of these lenses disappoint, and they’ve fueled my desire to sell the Nikon gear and double down. I don’t actually have much else I’d buy, to be honest. The Fuji lens roadmap (how cool is it that they have a roadmap?) has two new lenses of interest: the 16mm f/1.4 and the 90mm f/2. I’d like a wide-angle lens, and it would come down to the 16mm or the already released 10-24mm f/4 OIS. I briefly had the 14mm f/2.8, but didn’t feel it was up to the level set by other Fuji lenses I’ve used and f/2.8 felt slow for a prime of its size. The 10-24 would be great to pack on mountain bike trips, so it may be the winner, especially since it has image stabilization. Still, the f/1.4 on the 16mm is enchanting, and would be useful in low light settings as can be encountered at some biking destinations. Decisions, decisions.
There’s not much to say against the idea of the 90mm; it just sounds lovely. I’ve used my Nikkor 70-200 f/2.8 as my main lens for portraits up to now, but I don’t plan on replacing it with the recently-released Fuji equivalent; I’d rather have the 56mm and 90mm tandem, since I’m not really shooting action.
It’s a great time to be in the market—there are so many good things being released. I’m definitely looking forward to the next high-end X camera, which I’m sure to get.
Sad that the Mayakazi retired and now Studio Ghibli is going to stop making features. They made some real classics.
December 16, 2014
I’ve been cleaning up and consolidating photos on some hard drives, and came across these photos taken on a ride earlier this year. Didn’t do much else other than apply a Velvia 50 film look and merge them to a pano. That was a good day, and seeing the pic made this cloudy/rainy day just a little better.
December 16, 2014
Shooting with strobes/flashes with manual exposure settings on your Fuji camera and seeing only black in your electronic viewfinder or rear LCD? Here’s the fix.
The Fuji X cameras with only EVFs have one challenge by default when shooting in the studio: they show your current settings live in the EVF (and on the rear LCD). A lot of time, the studio is a dark place, only lit briefly by strobe lights, but your camera settings reflect that bright moment, often with the shutter at something like 1/125 and aperture at f/8.
The fix? Go into the menu, Setup Menu #1, and select “Screen Set-Up”. In there is a setting called “Preview Exp. in Manual Mode”, which is on by default. Turn it off and you’ll be able to compose in the darker light of the studio, but the camera will still capture at your manually set exposure.
December 15, 2014
Warning: Nerdy photo rambling follows. Feel free to just enjoy the picture and skip it if you’re not into the technical details.
It’s been a long time since I shot with my lighting setup, and I used the arrival of my new Fuji 56mm f/1.2 lens as an excuse to give it a little workout.
The setup was simple: a 5' Elinchrom Octa camera left as key and a square softbox camera right, pointed mostly at the background, but also hitting her a bit. Both lights are Elinchrom BXRi 500s. The camera is my Fuji X-E2 with the new 56mm mounted. The Fuji makes a nice, light little package. Here it is with the Elinchrom Skyport trigger:
I’m rusty! I took a long enough time fiddling around that the kid had no patience for another setup, so I left the lights up and I’ll do another round later in the week. I purchased a Kupo Junior stand awhile back, and this was the first time I used it; it’s very nice. I originally wanted it so that I’d have a stand that was strong enough to hold the octa or a beauty dish on a BXRi over the camera position, but the boom I have (a cheapie) is missing its mounting hardware. I need to order the Kupo steel boom for that much equipment anyway. Still, it’s a confidence-inspiring stand.
The lens is wonderful. The select above was shot at f/8, and I’m very happy with how it came out; I didn’t do too much in the way of post-processing. I haven’t given the lens much of a test, particularly using its awesome f/1.2 max aperture, but I’m very happy with the initial results I’ve seen. It’s particularly nice to have a lens where f/2 is stopped down two stops and most aberrations are gone!
The 23mm f/1.4 and the 56mm f/1.2 are great buddies, and make quite an awesome kit. I’m lusting after the viewfinder in the X-T1, though, I have to admit. I hope Fuji get the new model of the X-T and X-Pro out soon. Given how happy I am with the Fuji, I think I’ll probably sell off my Nikon gear at the beginning of the year and go all-in on the Fuji system.
I think all the Fujis are great looking cameras, but that one is particularly sweet. It came out too soon after my X-E2 purchase to consider, although that viewfinder beckons. I’m planning to wait for the next generation X-Pro or X-T to consider jumping in.
On a slightly related note, my 56mm f/1.2 arrived today, and it’s a wonderful little lens in the hand. Sadly, I didn’t put a battery in my camera before leaving in the house, so it’s a non-functional package at the moment. Gah!
Jonathan Jones from the Guardian, on his way to trashing a photo that pulled in a record sum of money, says:
“Photography is not an art. It is a technology. We have no excuse to ignore this obvious fact in the age of digital cameras, when the most beguiling high-definition images and effects are available to millions. My iPad can take panoramic views that are gorgeous to look at. Does that make me an artist? No, it just makes my tablet one hell of a device.”
Now, this whole article is clearly a troll, but check out his earlier piece, “Photography is the art of our time”, which argues exactly the opposite. Clearly, this guy is just out for page views.
The Guardian can and should do better.
Straightforward photography of the key locations. Though they’re kind of pedestrian, everyday places, some are made creepier with the context of the murder and mystery.
Good interview with the Syed family.
I’m not so sure the difference is as big as Johnston makes out but, since I’m in the Fuji camp now, I ordered the recently reduced-in-price Fuji 56mm f/1.2. I’ve been pining for that lens since its introduction, and finally pulled the trigger. It was a bit of a hard decision, since the extremely well-regarded 85mm Nikon is pretty easy to find substantially cheaper than the Fuji, and it’s hard to argue with the quality of that lens on my D800.
I have to admit, though, that I’ve had no lust for Nikon gear lately, but do find my eye wandering to look at the Fuji lens selection. That, coupled with the lens roadmap Fuji’s put out (oh, the 16mm…) has me considering whether I shouldn’t sell off my Nikon stuff and be done with it. I’ve done that twice before and come back each time, so I don’t want to make that decision lightly. I do have significant money tied up in my Nikon gear, and it’s not seeing action these days, so it probably makes sense to move it on.
Back to the linked article, though: I have to admit that despite the love for the Fuji 56mm, that Leica is wonderful. Were it available for the Fuji mount natively, I might lean that way, even at the price differential. Image stabilization is a big win, even at a slight size increase. I can only hope that the next X-Pro 2 has IS built-in.
Beautiful and appropriate.