Out and around with a Fuji X100V on a beautiful day. What a contrast with last week!!!

The cold weather vanished yesterday and the skies all cleared. It was a gorgeous day in Austin as the snow melted away and people came out in droves to thaw out and actually see what other people looked like. I'm no different. I grabbed my little black X100 and headed out for a long, long walk in the sunshine. 

My family got lucky. We had no real trauma other than the anxiety of anticipation. Our water was out only once, overnight, and our power outage lasted only 12 hours on the third day of the big freeze. Damn, it was cold! I pulled to covers off the flower beds and pulled the wrapping off the smaller trees. I think everything will come back okay.

The Fuji X100V is quickly winning my appreciation. The camera is small and light and rather than tossing the strap over one shoulder and carrying the camera that way I find I'm just letting it dangle in the middle of my chest, ready for immediate use. 

At first I thought I would feel limited by the camera's 35mm equivalent lens but like floaties at a pool, the ability to "zoom" to 50 or 70mm was all it took to make this camera comfortable for me. In bright sunlight it's great to have the four stop neutral density filter in place so I can use f4.0 and f5.6 so every shot isn't at f11 or f16. The smaller apertures render so much in focus that the images start looking like cellphone photos. The wider apertures look best to me.

Yesterday I went against the Fuji religion and actually shot Raw+Jpeg and ended up working here with only the raw files. There is so much detail in the Raw files that post processing was a breeze. 

I had been out the day before with the Leica SL2 and I have to admit that I work much more quickly with the Fuji. There is something about the bright line view in the finder that frees me up from overthinking each shot and taking too much time. I also find that I'm much quicker to find compositions I like by seeing what's just outside the frame and being able to move a bit, and quickly, to include or exclude what I'm seeing in and around the frame. It's a nice way of working. I assume the camera works in much the same way in "sports finder" mode.

One thing I find interesting, and which few reviewers or photographers mention, is that the battery in the Fuji seems to run forever. I was out for hours yesterday and never bothered to turn the camera off. Sure, it went to sleep on its own but still, after a couple hundred frames, and a lot of looking, the camera was only down by one bar on the battery indicator by the time I quit shooting and headed to Trader Joes to see if they finally got in more milk. (They had not). It must be a combination of the efficiency of the leaf shutter and the efficiency of the focusing drive that accounts for the good battery life. Whatever it is, I am happy with it. 

I did try a bit of video with the ND filter which was part of last week's firmware update. It works well. I think the X100V may be a very good choice for a gimbal mounted video camera. The focusing in C-AF is at least as good as the Panasonic cameras and they were able to deliver sharp video for me last Summer during my big video project for Zach Theatre. I can't wait to put one on a gimbal, balance its light load and get to work. Should be fun. 

On a different note, I toyed with the idea of retiring from the profession this year but the last week and the proceeding months were enough of a break. I get bored far too easily.  I think I'll ramp up some marketing and remain in the mix for at least the next year or two. The one lesson I think I've learned is that I can afford to pick and choose and only take the jobs I think are fun and interesting. We'll see how it goes. I might feel differently in a couple weeks, after my second vaccine dose. You may find me on some quaint beach instead. Ah, the unknown. 

Thanks for the check-ins, the nice e-mails and the good comments over the last week. All were very, very much appreciated. Here's my "we survived" walk photos:



Fred said...

I'm glad to hear that you're house is in good shape. Is the water safe to drink yet? I feel bad for all those people down there with burst pipes. There will be some tired plumbers there for the next few weeks.
I have been intrigued by the X100 line for a while. Your viewfinder comment was interesting since that is one of the things that I was curious about.
Take care and enjoy the warmth.

Michael Matthews said...

Ah...and I thought it was the Leica the provided such an inspired series of photos when you took it for a walk. Turns out it may have been the simple experience of joy in life. Hate to say it, but the Fuji pix seen on an iPad look just as good as those rendered by the higher priced item.

Bruce Bodine said...

Kirk what film sim do you gravitate to? The upgrades are great.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

MM, Thanks! The Fuji is really very good!

Bruce, I like the Astia look and also the Velvia. These were shot in Raw and mostly used the Adobe Vivid profile in post.

Peter said...

I have an X100T that I bought (when it was the current flavor) to take on a trip. Have been very pleased with it re feel/handling and the quality of the files. I shot all the pictures on the trip as RAW+JPEG and ended up only using the JPEG's and have only shot JPEG's since. From an ergonomics standpoint I had to add a grip and a thumb rest to make it comfortable for me.

The only glitch for me is the focal length. Learning through your writing that the current model lets you work around the short (for me) focal length has me thinking (generally a costly exercise).

Glad to hear that the sun has come out and that you weathered (no pun intended) it pretty well. I am looking out the window at falling snow (NW Connecticut) and am beginning to wonder if it will ever stop.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Hi Peter, the top shot (tulips) was done at 70mm. Looked pretty good to me even though it's probably actually a 10 megapixel file before it gets interpolated up.

JC said...

The whole "want" impulse can be a financial killer. I "want" a Nikon Z7II to go with my Nikon 24mp Z6. Why? For the extra 20+mp. Otherwise, the cameras are essentially identical, except for an extra card slot in the Z7II. Would the extra 20mp make any real difference to me? Your (possibly) 10mp tulip says "no." I want it anyway.

Phil Stiles said...

Kirk, nice shots as usual. Are you using any special "development" for the Fuji frames? I recall a few years ago there was discussion that one needed Iridium Digital processing to maximize the X-Trans advantage.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

HI Phil, No special handling required. I think the files look quite good in either Adobe Lightroom or Capture One. They are just nice file to begin with.

Gary said...

Kirk, I know you have heard this before, but plan to stay home for a few days after the second shot. My wife has been lucky enough to get two and she had a bit of a rough patch after the second. Nothing serious.

rob/smalltalk productions said...

Kirk- Glad to know all is back to "normal". But heck, where is the snow? I ask because there is still plenty of snow all of the place here in NYC! Stay well. Thumbs up.

Kirk Tuck, Photographer/Writer said...

Rob. Almost back to normal. We're still under a "boil water" advisory. One of six samples today failed so the water district has to purge another line. We will be advised tomorrow afternoon about the latest condition. Not that big a hassle. Lots of bottled water and boiled water here at VSL H.Q.

Anonymous said...

This set of pictures from Fuji reminds me the pictures from your Canon G16. They are colourfull yet balance well. I think you have another keeper camera.


Anthony Bridges said...

I dig that photo of the shop window with the three vases. It may make an interesting black and white photo.