A Couple Of Realizations

Every so often, i try a few things that are different just to mix it up a bit.  If you ask me, if you never try, you will never know.  Furthermore, over a certain amount of time, you come to the realization that what you may be doing, is not necessarily right.

Trying different settings:

About a month back, i was reading some posts on the net about how other people setup their XP1.  More specifically, i wanted to see how other folks set their Highlight Tone & Shadow Tone.

I read about other peoples settings and their reasoning behind them.  Afterwards, i dialed in some different settings on my XP1 and tried it out.  However, when i went out one day to take photos, i forgot that i had changed my settings.

After coming home from taking the photos at the CBC, i noticed that the shadows were very harsh in my photos.  It was easy enough to lift them a bit, but it just creates extra work.

Needless to say, i switched right back to my own settings that i had been using since i got the camera.

Lesson learnt: it is good to try different things, but don’t rely on someone else’s settings to fine tune your camera.  You have your own taste.

Banding:

Since i started this blog, i have only posted a few photos that are full resolution (not re-sized).  I have gone this route with the thought that if i post smaller JPEGs, people are less inclined to “borrow” my photos.

Posting smaller JPEGs is all well and good, but it has a negative impact on photos with a lot of sky in the background.  Unfortunately, scaling down JPEGs makes banding rear it’s ugly head.

I have noticed it in the past, but i really noticed it last night when i posted my photos of the Olympic Stadium.

What is banding? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colour_banding.  There is far more to it and there are some rather technical explanations on the web for you to read.  The bottom line is, it does not look good in a photo.

If you don’t want to read the explanation above, you can just look at the photos in my post about the “Big Owe”.  Keep in mind that it is not a camera fault.  It has more to do with the fact that the photo was taken in JPEG format and scaled down.

If i look at the original, full sized, full resolution photos, there is absolutely no banding that i can see.  Therefore, my down scaling of the JPEGs is the culprit – along with some other technical reasons.

Lesson learnt: i want people to view my photos at their best.  Banding is horrible to look at.  With any photos with a lot of sky in the background, i will be posting the full sized JPEG in order to avoid having people look at banding.

Mailbag

Very infrequently, i get messages through the “Contact Me” form that i have here on my blog.  Therefore, i created this sticky called “Mailbag” in order to compile these messages.

I thought i would share these messages with everyone since they are related to my blog and it’s content.  I will not be sharing the persons name or email address, so this is all confidential.  I will simply add to this blog post as any other message come in.

Here is a message from a lady in Canada:

“I like your aviation photos. Are you a pilot? Great site. :)”

My reply: “Thanks for dropping by my site. I received your comment in my email, but i can’t for the life of me find it anywhere on my blog. To answer your question, i am not a pilot. Just plane (plain?) mad, lol:) Thanks again”

Here is a message i received from a fellow in Russia:

Hello! I found your post about TX-1 camera, I saw DigitalRev TV too! I was really inspired by their review, but after looking camera price my enthusiasm abated. What do you think, for which minimal price I can find TX-1 or TX-2 or Xpan 1/2? Also, your ideas about the best cheap place to buy such camera are really welcome (any place of world, indeed). I feel I can’t spend more than 30’000 RUB on it (it’s around 560$ currently), and, as I can see, it is 2-3 times lower than minimum price on eBay etc. Also, you already own it for a long time, I want to know: what is your personal impression, is it so really cool like Kai shown us?”

My Reply: “Hello, Thank you for your question about the Fuji T-X1. I would like to clarify that i do not own a T-X1. Though, it would be nice to have one. In regards to you purchasing one, your budget is far to low. You will not find a T-X1 for the amount of money you want to spend. You would have to at least triple your budget. If you have a digital camera that can shoot in 16:9, you will get a somewhat similar effect; though, not as “panoramic” as what the T-X1 can develop. Again, thanks for your message and good luck with your endeavors.”

Here is a message i received from a viewer in France (located by IP address):

How long have you been using this Fuji-stuff now? I’ve been a wave one Fuji X adopter, also tired of lugging DSLR and other camera stuff. I also really wanted to believe the nice story of a compact system doing exactly the same, but…? Now I’m convinced that the MLIC concepts like Fuji – even the X-E2 and X-T1 – are not even close to where they should be and I’m loving my D800 more than any other camera I’ve owned. What lies in between? Well to be honest in most serious cases the Fuji feels like a bike to get from A to B while you would need a truck to do the same job. All lovely if you don’t have to come up with deliverables in professional manner but if you really want to rely for 100% on what the X-series promise you to do I wish you a lot of success. I’d at least look for a good medication to regain control over your nerves. What I experienced over more than 2.5 years… the most awful sorts of Fuji-standard quirks that cannot be explained, 14 FWs on my camera to get it ‘more or less’ working, sub-par AF, an awful shutter lag more than 10x slower what you can expect from any DSLR, frequent locking, unreliable flash FW and technology, cheap finishing including LCD cover and paint of the camera, broken lenses and no Fuji-service existing, poor X-trans RAW support… (should I go on?). I’ve given Fuji many chances, but some serious events where I really had to deliver and the result was far below any DSLR I would have used in the same conditions really killed all sympathy for the system. And Ken Rockwell (isn’t he the funny man praising the most horrible Nikkor-lenses ever as being the best he has ever seen?) won’t change anything about that? My X100 & X-Pro1 have a nice place in my bag as back-up and travel camera. Even for the last missions, I frequently take my D800 now. That’s what it is. Fuji is maybe not a toy, but it’s a challenge because you’re still working with very early days hard- and software.”

My reply:  As with anything else, nothing is perfect and there is always some people who have really bad experiences.  All the “cons” that you mentioned are true to varying degrees.  Though, i must state that you may be off base in saying that Fuji can not deliver professional results.  Do understand that it is the photographer themselves who is responsible, on the most part, for the end product.  The camera is merely a “box” that captures the light of the moment.  Anyhow, i don’t really have to argue the point when there is in fact professionals using Fuji cameras as their secondary and primary tools.  Everyone is entitled to their opinion.  That being said, i am very happy with my Fuji cameras and i am happy to hear that you are happy with your D800.  Happy shooting.

Thanks for looking.

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