Tag: Fujifilm

Like, Square, Man!

Pardon the outdated slang.

October is birthday month, for which I was well feted and well fed. And I got an Instax SP-3 printer. It’s rather cool. It prints out square format images using the FujiFilm Instax Square film. There are no memory card slots, so it is all wireless. There is an app for both Apple and Android phones called Instax Share. It works quite easily as well as lets you play around with your image. FujiFilm cameras with wireless connectivity in their menus, specifically for the Instax, also work. It is also easy to do, and there are videos on YouTube (of course!) showing you how to use the Instax SP-3 with your phone and camera. I’ll let you delve into that if you are interested.

Instax SP-3 Printer

I printed out 3 images from both my phone and from X100V. Seamless interface, really. The hardest thing was reading the teeny, tiny serial numbers on the bottom of the SP-3 to link it to the camera. The phone just found it and ID’d it readily, bringing up the actual serial number.

The above is a SOC image from the X100V. I chose it because I wanted to see how a true B&W object taken with color could look. With in-camera and in-phone editing, you can make a monochrome image, and this little color printer will print monochrome. Yay!

I wanted to see the details in the trees here as well as to catch the range of colors that trees and plants give. I pushed the saturation using the Instax phone app. Not displeased by the results.

I just printed this one because I liked it, as well as to see how the printer renders reds.

Instax SQ6 Camera

Besides the printer, the Instax SQ6 instant camera came along for the ride. It has been out for a bit, but the reason it was chosen is because it is the most feature rich of the Instax square cameras.  You can also get it in different colors – I have the Graphite Grey model.

One of my big complaints about the Instax Wide is the lousy macro system. It’s just poor, and that is that. I never succeed, and really don’t like to spend a lot of time, film, and money doing something that proves worthless each time. However, the SQ6 does really well in this arena. The image above doesn’t really have the appearance of a macro – it’s really a close up. The viewfinder has some weird little thingies in the viewfinder, like a range finder, and you move in close to your subject, being sure to put it in the lower left corner of the viewfinder. The coffee cup was my main subject, and in the end your close-up object is fairly well centered. I will practice with that feature of the camera more.

One thing that the Instax Wide doesn’t have is a flash suppression. I use gaffer’s tape over it so I don’t get it. There are light and dark adjustments on the Instax Wide, and these same adjustments are found on the SQ6. There is also a flash suppression button on the SQ6. The above image is with the flash turned off.

Here, the flash is on, on auto mode, and the colors are good, the composition relatively sharp.

Thoughts

Altogether, no complaints about either printer, camera, or film. The nice thing is the square format, which is something I really enjoy working with in both analog and digital photography. The wireless technology of the printer is a real kick, and the its small footprint means it is easily portable. The camera has a good set of features that improve the ease of using it as well as allowing the photog(rapher) just the right amount of control to succeed. The printer is better for “good” images in someways than the camera as the resolution of a digital photo is going to be inherently better than that of the SQ6, but both fill niches for me.

Yeah, good presents to get and give!

Instax Afternoon

This afternoon I finally got out for a walk – the weather was not in the high 90s by 10 a.m. It felt so good to be outdoors after nearly 6 weeks inside or in the shade, trying to keep from melting. In general, heat doesn’t bother me, but exercising and sweating in such temperatures gets to me, and it seems this year has been particularly intense. The only walks seem to occur at night, once the sun has gone down and the sidewalks quit sizzling. Our air conditioning ran non-stop a few days in a row, which is unusual for us, but that gives you a sense of the heat – but at least our humidity is relatively low, unlike the southeast.

I decided to play with my Instax Wide by FujiFilm. Normally I just take a picture here and there with my instant cameras but thought it would be fun to use it as the camera to record today’s wanderings. Thus, in no particular order, a few scenes from my afternoon’s perambulation.  Click on an image to move through the gallery.

Spring’s New Leaves with a New Spring Camera: X100V

I was naughty and . . . “gear hound” that I am (and that was a great term from you-know-who-you-are), got the new Fuji X100V. I am a Nikon shooter, so this was an adventure into new territory.

So, why the X100V?

When the X100 series was started in 2011, I was drawn to it, but really could not justify buying it. The reasons then were partly financial, but also I was still learning photography and had Nikon digital and film cameras, with F-mount lenses. I like my Nikon systems and have no complaints about them at all – solid performers producing results I like. However, I am lacking something small and portable and sophisticated enough to challenge me.  YouTube videos were singing its praises. So, I bit the first day B&H had it up for pre-order.

Beyond the hype of YouTube users discussing the camera itself prior to its official release, some yay, some nay, I am finding this to be a bit of a confusing camera.  Experience will lessen this for sure.  The confusion lies in its menu system  – all new to me.  As I play with it, I am finding a rich ability to customize images and aspects of the camera. I doubt I will use all of them, but it is intriguing – like a good novel – and makes me want to learn more. What I found I really like is that I can make more than 4×3 images – I can set the camera to make 9×16 and 1×1. Further, the X-Trans sensor (I think that’s the term) is different than Nikon sensors, so color rendering is different, and the visual differences are very nice.

The X100V has a new lens (23mm equalling a 35mm full frame), an upgrade from all previous models in the X100 series.  It also has the ability to replicate various Fuji films, and that is becoming an exciting element in this camera.  You can set color preferences (i.e. the Acros setting, with a red emphasis) to push the film in various directions, as well as add grain.  Creative fun in the camera settings – how cool is that?

In using it for a day or so, I can see this will be a take-everywhere-I-go camera.  I usually have a film camera with me, but the film speed can limit what I can do.  A fixed focal length will challenge me in composition, but the fact I can get within 4 inches of a subject is very attractive as I like macro photography, and this is pretty close.  The lens fall off (or bokeh) is very pleasant, and the lens is, as everyone has pointed out, very sharp at f/2.  The tilt screen is useful, too; I have one on another camera, but I never really think about using them.  I expect I will be more likely to now.  It is also a touch screen, as is the other one I have, and I do like that element.  The X100V also has the ability to use Bluetooth to transfer to other devices, but if you don’t turn it off, it gets warm and burns through the battery as it searches for a device with which to pair.  I turned it off.  I am not likely to use it, but you never know.

Finally, I found initially I could not use the RAF (raw file extension) files in my Lightroom set up.  Hmmmm.  I converted them to DNGs using Adobe Converter.  Later, a bit of research showed me I was using my old standalone version of LR.  I do have the annual account for LR and other Adobe products, but for some reason the Lightroom Classic CC had disappeared from my system.  An upgrade to it, and we now have visible RAF files!  Yay!  This is when you have to love the internet!

The image above is pretty much a simple edit of the RAF file.  I upped the lighter greens a tad, put is a soft vignette to lead the eye, and the usual framing and signature.  Very little work required.  The raw files really caught the bright green of the new leaves.  The jpeg did, too.  Here is where the Fuji sensor seems stronger than the Nikon ones.  The detail, too, is well caught.  Technique used, per LR, is 1/210 sec, f/8, iso 1000.  I posted the full version of the image just to show off what the lens can do.

Keeper!