Today promises to be frying hot – 91F or more. The house is already closed up to keep it cool – thank goodness for modern insulation! – so we don’t have to use the air conditioning. I took this image not too long ago on a considerably cooler day, and that is what I want to think about rather than suffocating heat! The plus side of the heat is flowers love it and as it is too hot and bright to go outside for strenuous activities, it is a perfect day to do things around the house, like sewing and such. Domestic life suffers in the summer around here.
A close-up taken using the X100V. SOOC, too.
As a ground cover, Vinca Major is wonderful for shady areas. Soft, long vines with brilliant leaves and purple flowers make for a lovely display. It’s always been a favorite of mine.
Sheltering in place and closures of public places and retail and a general curtailment makes for a strange life. Out for a bit of a hike today, I ended up on a trail that goes from a residential neighborhood, under a very busy road, and past a school. I felt like I was in another world – the light was dim as the storm clouds are rolling in. As it is all surreal, these seemed like good ways to process the pictures . . .
Corona virus and social isolation! In Northern California, 6 or 7 counties around San Francisco have issued “stay in place” orders. The only exceptions are to go grocery shopping and for medical appointments. Maybe some exercise. And, of course, keep your distance. It could be a crime if you get busted.
Where I live, there are similar, though not as draconian, edicts. Starting today, a few stores are offering special hours for those over 65, pregnant, or disabled, which can help those who might have a problem getting things. The rules here in Ventura County are that anyone 75 or older must stay home. People 70 and older must stay home if they have special health issues which put them more at risk. I am not in any of these categories, but can creep in for special hours!
So, for social distancing, going for a hike is a great option. Peaceful. People won’t be out so much. I went a few days ago, X100V in hand, and tried it out in various ways. One thing I did end up with were a lot of blurry pictures. Realizing that, I upped the iso and dropped the f/stop a tad. Little things like that are all part of learning a camera. And the 23mm focal length – equivalent to 35mm – is a bit of a learning curve, too.
Photography is a great way to get out of the house and enjoy the isolation!
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.