Tag: x100s

The camera really does matter – Philip Ewing shares his experience with the X100s


About the author

Philip Ewing has been an enthusiastic amateur photographer since his 35mm days on the university student newspaper. Today he works as a journalist in Washington, D.C. You can find more photos at
http://metrocommutr.tumblr.com/

Photographers love to insist the camera doesn’t matter – our creative vision is what truly makes a picture, as the old bromide goes – but inside the family, we know a camera can make a huge difference.

When I decided to make a serious go at a photo project documenting my daily life on Washington, D.C.’s Metro underground system, I did not begin with a clear sense for what the images should be. Sometimes you can imagine a photo beforehand and getting it is just a matter of execution. Sometimes you sense there’s a picture out there … you almost smell it … but you don’t know exactly what it is or how to capture it. This was one of those.

madness
1/30 – f/2 – ISO1600

So starting last year, I began taking a camera with me every day on trips to work and around town. There were — and are — many more failures than successes. Plus my DSLR, along with the fast prime lenses I needed for dimly lit subterranean stations, was killing my back and shoulders. The files from my compact point-and-shoot didn’t have the detail or depth I wanted. Fortunately, there was a huge wave of anticipation about the then-new X100S, and I got on board. It has turned out to be an investment that has paid many unexpected dividends by enabling me to create pictures I didn’t know were there until the moment they presented themselves.

unamused
1/30 – f/2 – ISO1600

The unobtrusive little camera is light enough to carry all day, so you’ll actually take it with you, but it doesn’t force you to sacrifice sharp optics or a good sensor. It’s effectively silent, preserving your discretion in quiet train cars where an SLR shutter sounds like a gunshot. True, the X100S has a few quirks and faults and it isn’t the only tool I use to capture images. But the X100S is the one I carry 90 percent of the time, and it more than any other has helped translate the “sense” of a picture into an actual image.

crowded
1/30 – f/2.8 – ISO1250

As it turned out, the other keys to the Metro project were the two most basic things in photography: People and light. If any of the pictures have been successful, it has been because good light hit an interesting person at just the right time. The trick was figuring out those places and moments and just being there to try to catch them.

passenger
1/1000 – f/5.6 – ISO400

When a woman in a big woolen scarf emerged from a field of silhouettes as she stepped into a sunlit escalator — click. When a sunbeam inside a train car made a circuit over the passengers as we went around a bend, I set the camera to underexpose the scene and make a certain rider pop against the shadows. Dialing up 1/60th, f/2.8 and ISO 1250 with the Velvia film simulation mode can make the harsh-lit interior of a train car into a miniature stage for our human comedy.

escalator
1/1000 – f/4 – ISO400

There’s another aspect of using the X100S that has taken me by surprise: Its effect on others. Strangers stop you to ask about it — “It’s been years since I’ve seen somebody out using an old film camera!” they say. Once, I was photographing outside a Metro station and a D.C. police officer walked over. My heart began to race as I silently rehearsed a speech about my rights to take pictures in a public place. But there was no summons that day. “Hey,” he asked — “what kind of camera is that?”

museum
1/1000 – f5.6 – ISO400

See more of Philip’s photography here.

Testing out the TCL-X100 Tele-Conversion Lens for Fujifilm X100/X100S

When I first read about the forthcoming Tele-Conversion Lens for X100/X100S, being a very keen user and huge fan of the Fujifilm X100S, I was really looking forward to getting my hands on it and seeing what it can do.

I’ve used the WCL-X100 quite a bit and really love the results. Personally I can’t see any difference in the image quality and I’ve found those extra few millimetres can make all the difference when taking a few steps backwards is not an option.

Assuming the same could be said for the TCL-X100, I knew we’d have a product that will be highly regarded by the X100 community – you know who you are!

Image comparison

Here’s two comparison images of my kids. My eldest is like a statue with my “do not move your feet!” instructions. The other not taking this highly technical and scientific experiment as seriously as I’d like.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The River Ouse looking rather attractive – showing some more of the edge detail.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Another two showing edge detail.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Bokeh effect of the TCL-X100 compared to the XF35mmF1.4

James Limpua, a Facebook user, requested a comparison between the XF35mm and the X100S with TCL-X100. So here goes. X100S + TCL-X100 (+ in-built ND filter) are on the left, X-T1 with XF35mmF1.4 are on the right. Both shot at f/2.0.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Is digitally cropping pretty much the same as using this conversion lens?

A user has asked the question in the Comments section about whether Digital Cropping could have the same effect as using the TCL. I took a couple of example shots last night to demonstrate why the TCL is not just about bringing things closer, but actually narrowing your field of view.

Here’s two shots of my Millican bag. In both cases I lined the edge of the bag up with the 1/3rd gridlines on my camera. Obviously this means I was standing further away when I shot with the TCL.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

As you can see, when I shot with the TCL on, the narrower field of view effectively makes the background appear much closer. One practical benefit of this is it allows you to cut out unwanted background distractions. Also, the longer focal length give a slight compression to the subject which is often more flattering. IF you notice in the samples, the bag looks slimmer in the TCL shot.

My verdict

IQ
Just like the WCL, as far as image quality is concerned, I personally can’t notice any loss of IQ when using the TCL-X100.

Autofocus
I have read people saying that the AF tends to miss more often with the TCL on but I have not experienced this. Although I’ve not used it in low light yet and I’ve only tested it on the X100S, not the X100.

Size and weight


My X100S is my absolute “go to” camera because it fits in my coat pocket, or in a small bag along with other things. The TCL does change that dynamic slightly, although it’s nothing I can’t overcome by storing it in my other pocket. If I’m really travelling light, unless I know I have a specific reason to have 50mm equiv, I’m probably going to leave this at home.

Overall
I think that after a fairly high investment (for a hobby) in an X100/S body, to be able to have the flexibility to change between 3 different focal length, leaf shutter, prime quality lenses (when factoring the WCL) for only a few hundred pounds extra per converter lens is a great move by Fujifilm.

You could live without it, and half the fun of the X100S is using your legs to zoom in or out and always thinking about what would fit into your 23mm (35mm FF equiv) frame, but this is certainly something that I will buy to turn my already awesome X100S into a better portrait camera.

As usual, please leave a comment below or send me a Tweet if you have any questions at all.

Learn more

For more information, including full specifications and where to buy, visit the TCL-X100 product page on the Fujifilm UK website.

Disclaimer

I may work for Fujifilm UK but I’m also a keen enthusiast photographer, and getting keener by the day. This blog is my opinion on the TCL-X100 and should not be considered the “official word of Fujifilm”.

Interview with Tom Lazar – Street Photographer

Photographer Tomasz Lazar finds that the Fujifilm X100S is the best choice for his brand of street photography

Tomasz Lazar is a photographer from Poland and a graduate of the West Pomeranian University of Technology. His black & white documentary images of street culture have won numerous accolades, including placing in the Sony World Photography Awards and the International Photography Awards. “I also took second place in ‘People in the News’ category of the 2012 World Press Photo contest and received Picture of the Year at BZ WBK Press Foto 2012,” he tells X Magazine.

X100S Lens: fixed 23mm Exposure: 1/15 sec  ISO: 400
X100S Lens: fixed 23mm Exposure: 1/15 sec
ISO: 400

 While Tomasz was still at university he planned a trip to Spain with his girlfriend, but didn’t own a camera. “I was given [a camera] by my parents, a Nikon D50 – and that’s how it all started,” he said. “After coming back from Spain I wanted to learn more about photography. I read books, looked at photo albums, talked to people about it – and I still remember the first photography book I bought, by Jeanloup Sieff. I really felt that photography was what I loved and what I would like to do in the future. I’ve always liked to talk to people and listen to their stories, but photography also enabled me to capture their stories.”

Street life

After a year living in Warsaw, Tomasz is now based in Szczecin, and tries to constantly be on the move. “I travel around Poland and Europe, and try to visit New York at least once a year,” he explains. As a long-time member of the un-posed photography group, which focuses on street photography, Tomasz devotes most of his time to taking pictures. To Tomasz, the street is an almost magnetic place, which he describes as being like a ‘living organism’. “Everything is constantly changing,” he says. “Street photography gives you a kind of freedom but also allows you to converse with people and observe situations.” He also points out that despite the name, you don’t have to be on a street to take street photography. “Street is a combination of factors that are relevant to each other – moments that together, give you this kind of mood.”

Whether on the street or not, Tomasz is always searching for images that, in his words, ‘enchant reality’. “The photographer Ernst Haas said of photographs, ‘the less information, the more allusion; the less prose, the more poetry’, which works to stimulate the imagination,” Tomasz explains. “This is what I’m really looking for. Some people say that I’ve got my own black & white style in photography, but I think that I can try different approaches to develop my consciousness. With my pictures I like to tell stories about places and people or try to show the mood.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Question time

Tomasz has come to the conclusion that there are two kinds of photo projects: “One kind answers questions, but the other aims to force the viewer to think, and actually asks questions. My Theatre of Life is such a project – its point is to raise questions and make the viewers consider what to do next, what impact is had on our lives by technological development and the media.” Theatre of Life is a project that Tomasz has been working on since 2008, an exploration of surrealism. “It’s an essay on my experiences and thoughts about what surrounds me,” he says. “As a result of fast-changing technological developments, many people seem to feel disconnected from the world. Some seek refuge and create alternative realities: some dress in costumes, play role-playing games or pretend to be heroes from movies or Japanese anime. We all find our ways to cope, but these ‘off’ moments are what interest me.”

Tomasz frequently works in black & white, enjoying the dark and mysterious perception that people have of monochromatic pictures. “I also like to use natural light mixed with a flashlight,” he says. “I’ve learned a lot of my black & white technique from the classical darkroom – such as how to develop and work on the images. I like to work on all the details to make the picture better. To make really good black & white, everything is important: composition, light, people’s faces – and that’s why I like monochrome images.”

Tomasz often works with the Fujifilm X100S and has high praise for the camera’s capability at delivering black & white images. But it’s not just the inner workings of the cameras that Tomasz enjoys: he loves their style and size as well. “I like the way they are built. When I’m going on assignments for The New York Times I take the X100S: it is small, but the quality of the images, even set to high ISO, is very good. That’s why I like to work with it on the streets and during my journalism work.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Trying the X-E2

During a series of workshops run by Fujifilm Poland Tomasz was able to spend some time with the new X-E2. “Last year I was working on Beer Project, a collection of images about beer culture in Prague for Fujifilm using the X-E1, and for me it was a very good camera – but after holding the X-E2 I can tell it is even better. For me, lenses and cameras are like kitchen knives, pots and pans for cooking: different projects mean I’ll choose different cameras and lenses.”

Along with a decent camera in his pocket, Tomasz recommends any keen street photographers find themselves a good pair of walking shoes – “because sometimes you can spend more than eight hours shooting” – and also advises that in order to be as creative as possible photographers shouldn’t close their minds to other genres. “I’ve tried many types of photography – I share the view of Alec Soth from the Magnum agency that you should try everything, because you never know when you might need this kind of skill,” he says. “Besides, this opens up your mind and makes it easier to become a ‘humanist’”.

VISIT TOMASZ’S WEBSITE HERE

X Magazine Issue 3This interview was first published in issue 3 of the Fujifilm X Magazine. Click here to read it for FREE.

Guest post: Fujifilm X for Destination Weddings

By V.Opoku

I just got back from documenting a destination wedding in Montego Bay Jamaica, and I can’t help but think that the Fujifilm X cameras have an enormous potential to be incredible wedding cameras. I have been shooting exclusive with two X-Pro 1’s + an X100s for the past year and I have gotten to know these cameras quite well.

They are a joy to work with, I love them but this past week something clicked – every destination wedding photographer needs a Fujifilm X camera in their bag – X100s, X-E1/2 X-Pro 1 and the newly announced X-T1 ; pick your poison.

Here is why :

Processed with VSCOcam with b1 preset
1. Travelling light, I pack my kit in my carry on bag, I don’t have to check in and it’s easier to carry smaller luggage around once I arrive at my desired destination.

3. sunset image
2. Wedding days are long hours, for this wedding I started documenting from 10am and it wasn’t until after 12am that I packed it all in. Over 14 hours of coverage – anything heavier, especially as a two-body set up will kill me.

4. pre-wedding
3. Documenting events pre and post the wedding day. This is where the x100s comes into a league of its own – I am able to hang out with my clients, their family and friends effortless, I am able to capture moments without a photographer sticker on my forehead.

I am not saying ditch your entire DSLR setup like I did, but I will highly recommend all my fellow wedding photographers out there, especially those who travels around the world, to add one of these gems to their arsenal.

Here is preview of the wedding I documented, images are either the X-Pro 1 + 35mm or the X100s. I can’t wait to add the 56mm & 14mm lenses into my setup during the course of the year.

About Me:

I am a Creative, Contemporary Wedding Story-teller. I love to travel, experience different cultures and discover awesome stories. London is home (for now).

blog : http://vopoku.com
twitter: https://twitter.com/vopoku