One of the Secret of Life is to Make Steeping Stones out of Stumble Blocks
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Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens Review | Patrick Leong

Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens Review | Patrick Leong | One of the Secret of Life is to Make Steeping Stones out of Stumble Blocks | Scoop.it

When Fuji announced that they were coming out with the X-Pro1, it got many photographers out there excited because finally, there was a digital camera that reminded them of how cameras use to be built.  The Leica M digitals evoke the same feelings but they also cost a lot more.  The X-Pro1 was a camera that really allowed photographers to take an active role in the photographic process instead of letting the camera do everything for them but for several times less than something like an M9.  Furthermore, the X-Pro1 had many of the same attributes of a traditional rangefinder even though it was in the mirrorless class.  Many thought that just like a traditional rangefinder, only fixed focal length lenses could be used.  Then Fuji surprised us by announcing that they would be creating zoom lenses for the XF Series lineup.  The first of these zoom lenses is the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens, which is the lens that I have here today for review, and the lens that came with my X-E1 kit. Honestly, even I was a bit surprised when I heard the news that Fuji was coming out with zooms for the X-Pro1/X-E1.  First off, most people who are going to buy a camera like the X-Pro1 or the X-E1 are more interested in fast primes.  I know I was because I grew up with fixed focal lengths.  Optically, they’re just better, faster, and most importantly for a rangefinder type camera, smaller.  But as my interest grew for the Fuji X-E1, I began looking at the price of the new zoom.  If I bought the XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R Lens separately, I would have to cough up almost $700 for it.  However, if I bought it packaged as a kit with the X-E1, I would only be paying about $400 for it.

 

The Fuji X-E1 with XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R lens.

I’m pretty traditional in terms of what I like in photographic equipment, and everyone who knows me knows that I can be pretty stuck in my ways .  Look at my blog.  You’ll see Leica, and Fuji X series cameras, which are all cameras that rely heavily on user input.  I’m not trying to rat on anyone else’s preferences; that’s just my style.  I like these kinds of cameras because they’re basic, and the controls are manual allowing me to fully concentrate on the photo.  I really don’t like electronics getting in my way, and in terms of lenses, I really believe that all you need is a fast prime to take care of 90% of your shots.  For me, the ultimate setup to this day is a Leica M9 with a 50 Summilux ASPH.  So what made me try out this zoom?  Well, for me, the fact that the X-E1 had only an electronic viewfinder bothered me a bit because I like having an OVF.  But the features of the X-E1 got me to take the leap, and buy it so I figured that since I’m giving the EVF a chance, I might as well go for the zoom, and see what I’ve been missing .  Plus, again, the zoom cost me only an extra $400 if I bought the Fuji X-E1 kit, which to me was a great incentive to give the zoom a chance. Did I regret my decision?  No, not at all.  This is one awesome lens, and in my opinion, Fuji shouldn’t label it as a kit lens because that’s very deceiving.  I love using this lens.  Is it perfect?  No but it definitely expands the range, and usefulness of the X-Series system, and gives the X-Series system one more reason to love it.

 


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Fuji X-Pro1 Review - six months in | Kevin Mullins

Fuji X-Pro1 Review - six months in | Kevin Mullins | One of the Secret of Life is to Make Steeping Stones out of Stumble Blocks | Scoop.it


I’ve now been using my Fuji X-Pro1 for around six moths professionally. Initially, I was commissioned by Professional Photographer magazine to test and review Fuji’s (then) latest addition to their X-Series camera range. I was so taken by the camera, that I got one straight away, along with the three lenses that were initially on offer. I’m a professional wedding photographer by trade and I specifically shoot in a reportage or documentary wedding photography style and the Fuji X-Pro1 seemed like a perfect tool for that job at the time. I already had the Fuji X100 which I also loved, and also used at weddings. However, there was always the nagging feeling that the X100 just wasn’t quite up to the mark for professional wedding photography – specifically the inability to change the lenses. I still have my X100, it’s battered and bruised and well loved. It’s my go-everywhere camera and I don’t intend to part with it, but when the Fuji X-Pro1 came along I was very excited by the opportunity that it gave me to compact the equipment I used, make it lighter and allow me to get in closer than ever before whilst still being as unobtrusive as possible. I recently took ownership of a Canon 1DX and whilst that is an amazing camera in it’s own right, it won’t be replacing my X-Pro1 at weddings. This won’t be a full technical review – you can find many of those on the Internet or indeed an more in depth review in my article at Professional Photographer magazine. This is more a findings overview, along with some pictures......


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Capture One Fujifilm X-Trans Raw support tested | Digital Photography Review

Capture One Fujifilm X-Trans Raw support tested | Digital Photography Review | One of the Secret of Life is to Make Steeping Stones out of Stumble Blocks | Scoop.it


Capture One v7.0.2, the latest version of Phase One's image management and Raw conversion software, includes support for Fujifilm's X-Trans cameras. Given the trouble this non-Bayer design has caused for third-party Raw converters (it remains to be seen how many will ever offer support), this has caused a lot of excitement in the Fujifilm community. So, just how well does Capture One do, and how significant is the problem , in the first place? To provide some context, the vast majority of digital cameras ever made perceive color using what's known as a Bayer Color Filter Array, named after the late Kodak engineer Bryce Bayer. For its recent cameras, Fujifilm has developed its own color filter array pattern, which it calls X-Trans. The idea behind X-Trans is that its pattern repeats less often than the Bayer pattern, rendering redundant the low-pass filter that usually protects against moiré. The disadvantage of creating a non-standard color filter array (especially one that took two years to develop the demosaicing algorithm for), is that third-party software makers have to do a lot more work to provide Raw support....

 

"As you can see, Capture One's color response is much closer to the camera's results than Adobe's default profile. The default results are also substantially more sharpened than the JPEGs are. In comparison with the camera JPEGs, there are hints of the same brushstroke effect that Adobe Camera Raw produces, though not to the same degree and mitigated, perhaps, by the better color response."


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