Road Trip: Seattle With A Fujifilm X100F – Part 1, Getting There (Day 1 & 2)

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Starbucks Coffee – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Just before the Thanksgiving holiday I had the opportunity to take a good ol’ American family road trip from Salt Lake City, Utah, to Seattle, Washington. The drive time to get there is 12 hours from my house, and since my wife and I have four young kids we decided to break it up into two days. We began our trip with a quick stop at Starbucks for coffee, which seemed like an appropriate thing to do considering our destination.

My dad was in the Navy, and as a kid I moved frequently. Perhaps this is why I have also moved around from place to place as an adult, living in Arizona, Texas, California and now Utah. The Puget Sound area of Washington was my home a few different times as a child, and I was 12-years-old the last time that I lived there.

I was eager to see the region again and to show my family where I spent time as a kid. The longest I ever lived in one house (as a child or adult) was there, and I wanted to see what had changed and what was still the same. I felt like it would be therapeutic in a way to return. This was going to be a good trip.

On the first day we made the long drive to Richland, Washington. This was supposed to be eight hours on the road, but it took us 11 hours to get there with the all stops we made. We saw a giant “potato” being pulled behind a big rig near Burley, Idaho, and the “Niagara of the west” in Twin Falls, Idaho (which is where my camera strap broke). We arrived at our hotel well after dark and in the pouring rain. It was good to sleep.

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Oversize Potato – Burley, Idaho – Fujifilm X100F

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Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls, ID – Fujifilm X100F

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Roesch Family At Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls, ID – Fujifilm X100F

The next day began with beautiful sunny skies and a much shorter drive. It snowed on us a little crossing the Cascade mountain range. We made good time, only stopping for gas, and arrived in Seattle early in the afternoon. It was raining off-and-on in Seattle, which is typical weather for that area this time of year. Thankfully we came prepared with umbrellas.

After checking into our hotel and settling in, we headed out for a local beach while there was still some daylight. We combed the shore for seashells and interesting rocks. The kids walked along the driftwood that’s prevalent along the rocky Pacific Northwest beaches. I love the ocean and it felt good to breath in the salty air!

I used a Fujifilm X100F to capture our adventure. This camera is excellent for travel photography because it is small and lightweight, yet produces excellent images. I attached my wide angle conversion lens on the front of the camera for the first two days. These are all camera-made JPEGs, and I used my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe for all the black-and-white exposures, and my Velvia Film Simulation recipe and my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe for the color images. I had a spare battery with me but didn’t use it as one fully-charged battery lasted both days.

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Fall Leaves, Wet Road – Richland, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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No Parking That Way – Ellensburg, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Lunchtime Rain – Lynnwood, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Sticks In The Water – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Looking Out On The Sea – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Seashell Search – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Puget Sound From Hogwarth Beach – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F 

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Driftwood In The Sound – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F

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Walking On Driftwood – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F

Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6

Fujifilm WCL-X100 Wide Angle Conversion Lens Alternative For The X100F (Nikon WC-E68)

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The Fujifilm X100F has a 23mm (35mm equivalent) focal length lens permanently attached to the front of it. The built-in Digital Teleconverter does a good job of increasing the camera’s versatility, with options for 50mm and 75mm. There’s also a 50mm (equivalent) teleconverter lens that you can buy. But what if 35mm isn’t wide enough for you? What are your wide angle options for the X100F?

Fujifilm makes a wide angle conversion lens for the X100 camera series called WCL-X100 (there is also a nearly identical new version called WCL-X100 II). It’s received much praise for optical quality, and it’s been called an essential accessory for X100 series cameras. But it’s also a bit on the expensive side, ranging from $250 to $350.

I like the dramatic results you can get from going really wide angle. I find it to be challenging yet rewarding. Occasionally I wish that the X100F was more wide angle than it is. So I thought it would be a good idea to buy a wide angle conversion lens for my camera.

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Having an extra lens kind of defeats the purpose of the X100F. It becomes less pocket-sized and gains some weight. You move away from the one-camera-one-lens philosophy. I think it’s nice to have the option of going wider, but it’s not something that I would use frequently. I figured that the conversion lens would mostly sit on a shelf, seldom used. My suspicions were that I’d only dust it off occasionally when wanting to shoot more dramatic wide angle pictures.

The WCL-X100 also doesn’t change the focal length all that much. You go from 35mm to 28mm. I really liked the 18mm (equivalent) lens that I used to pair with my X-E1. The 28mm focal length of the wide angle conversion lens is a long ways off from 18mm, which is where I’d love to be if I could.

I decided that I couldn’t justify spending $250 or more on a lens that would mostly go unused and wasn’t what I really wanted anyway. I set the highest price that I’d be willing to pay at $150. Over the last few months I searched online for a WCL-X100 but the cheapest one I found was $200. I almost jumped on it, but talked myself out of the purchase because it was more than I wanted to spend.

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Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

A couple of weeks ago I began to look for alternatives to the WCL-X100 wide angle conversion lens, figuring that I’d never find one for $150. Surely there is a third-party option, I thought. I discovered that Vivitar (also sold under a couple other brand names) makes a wide angle conversion lens for the X100 camera series, and it can be found for as little as $30. That’s a bargain!

Having owned a few different Vivitar products over the years, I know that it’s hit-or-miss with that brand, and usually miss, so I looked for some product reviews to get an idea of the quality of their conversion lens. The most glowing reviews that I found said it was mediocre. The worst reviews said it was a piece of garbage, not worth even $30. I decided to pass, hoping for something of better quality.

Then I discovered an old blog post by photographer Noah Kavic, where he figured out how to use a Nikon wide angle conversion lens on his X100 camera, and it cost a fraction of the price of the WCL-X100. I also found a few other photographers who did this same thing. I decided to give it a try!

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Fall Leaves, Wet Road – Richland, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

It takes a few different pieces to make it work, but I found it all online for about $60 (including shipping). I waited for everything to come in the mail, and the last item arrived the day before heading off on a road trip to Seattle. Perfect timing! It was pretty easy to figure out how it all pieced together.

Here’s the parts list:

The Nikon WC-E68, which converts the focal length to 24mm on the X100F, is actually more wide angle than the Fujifilm WCL-X100, which is 28mm. While 24mm compared to 28mm may not seem significant, it is definitely closer to where I want to be, and it is something I’m quite happy about. Use caution when buying the conversion lens as Nikon has similar products that won’t work–make sure it is the WC-E68 that you are purchasing. I paid $50 for mine.

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Up Towards Space – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

You need an attachment ring for the X100F, which, if you buy a generic brand, can be found for under $10. Screw the 49mm UV filter (which was something that I already owned) onto the attachment ring. The UV filter is important because corner sharpness is improved when the conversion lens is placed slightly further away from the camera’s lens. The 49mm-46mm step-down adapter ring, which I found for $2, allows the WC-E68 to screw onto the camera. If you have a lens hood, it can be on or off, it doesn’t really matter.

I captured a number of photographs on my road trip using the Nikon WC-E68 wide angle conversion lens, putting it to the test, and I come to some conclusions. First, my suspicions about wanting to use the lens only occasionally was proved true. The camera is bulkier and heavier and less travel-friendly with the wide angle conversion lens attached. I found myself leaving it behind at the hotel room. With the conversion lens attached it barely fit into my jacket pocket.

Something I noticed is that there’s some obvious purple fringing in situations with a strong back-light. Lens flare is also more prevalent when using the conversion lens. I found it best to avoid shooting towards the sun, although the results aren’t horrible if you do. On a positive note, distortion is well controlled.

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Seattle Grind – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

I found that there is some significant corner softness when using large apertures. At f/4 it’s downright awful. At f/5.6 it’s not great but usable. By f/8 corner softness isn’t bad at all, but it is still there a little. Even though you won’t find corner-to-corner tack sharpness, corner sharpness is reasonably good when the aperture is f/8 or smaller. The WC-E68 is a lens to use when there is plenty of available light. If you crop the exposures to 28mm you are able to remove some of the corner softness, and I wonder if this is why Fujifilm doesn’t offer a wider conversion lens. The center is sharp no matter the aperture, and I didn’t notice any significant drop in center sharpness when using the conversion lens.

My opinion is that the Nikon WC-E68 wide angle conversion lens is a decent alternative to the Fujifilm WCL-X100 if you have a limited budget, don’t plan to use it often, when you do use it you do so carefully, and you prefer something more wide angle than 28mm. I do appreciate the 24mm focal length and the fact that I only paid $60 instead of $250. The WC-E68 does a reasonable job when the situation calls for something more wide angle than the 35mm focal length of the X100F, and I will happily pair it to my camera every once in awhile.

Below are ten photographs that I captured, all camera-made JPEGs, using the Fujifilm X100F with the Nikon WC-E68 wide angle conversion lens:

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Starbucks Coffee – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Oversize Potato – Burley, ID – Fujifilm X100F

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Walk And Not Faint – Boise, ID – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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No Parking That Way – Ellensburg, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Puget Sound From Howarth Beach – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Sticks In The Water – Everett, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Puget Sound Vista – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Seattle’s Space Needle – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Bubble Hazard – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

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Autumn At Seattle Center – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F – 24mm

Don’t Buy A Cheap Crap Camera Strap

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I love how the Fujifilm X100F is small enough to fit into a pocket. It makes it much more convenient to carry around than a bulky camera that has to be hung around your neck or stuffed into a camera bag. A small wrist strap is all that the X100F needs.

You would think that a decent wrist strap could be found for a reasonable price. I was a little shocked at how much most want for one. I did find a nice-looking leather wrist strap on eBay for $10. That’s closer to what I wanted to spend, so I bought it.

The leather wrist strap arrived in the mail and attached easily onto the camera. It was a little tight on my hand, but not too bad. I liked the aesthetic. The camera still fit into my pockets with the strap attached. I was happy with it.

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I’ve used the camera with the wrist strap attached for three months now. I’ve made a lot of exposures during that time. I wouldn’t say that I’ve abused it, but I’ve certainly put it through the wringer. It didn’t look any worse for the wear.

I just got back late last night from a road trip to Seattle. On the very first day of the trip I stopped in Twin Falls, Idaho, to see Shoshone Falls (“Niagara Falls of the west”). I made several exposures. My family was with me. We all admired the massive waterfall that sits inside a deep canyon.

As we were about to leave my three-year-old son tugged at the leather wrist strap that was attached to my X100F. It broke right off! Thankfully I had a firm grip on the camera body.

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Shoshone Falls – Twin Falls, Idaho – Fujifilm X100F

The leather camera strap was crap, cheaply made and unreliable. It busted off much too easily. My camera could have fallen down the cliff and into the canyon below! It would not have survived the fall. It occurred to me that I was precariously handling my camera, and I was completely unaware because I didn’t realize the wrist strap was poorly constructed.

The lesson here is don’t go cheap on your camera strap. It’s what’s preventing your camera from falling, possibly to a tragic end. I got lucky, and my X100F is perfectly fine. Spend the extra money and buy a quality product. That’s what I’m going to do this time. I should have done so in the first place.

I still don’t want to spend gobs of money, but I see the value in having a reliable strap. I don’t want my camera to fall onto a hard surface or into a deep canyon. It needs to be securely handled, and I have to be able to trust that the strap will hold up. With some luck I will find a quality product for a reasonable price. I will keep you updated when I do.

One Camera, One Lens

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I’ve been asked several times now if having a fixed-lens camera is a problem. Is it too limiting? Is it a waste of money? Do you wish you had an interchangeable-lens camera instead?

The Fujifilm X100F has a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) focal length lens permanently attached to the front. It’s a great pancake-type lens that allows the camera to fit into a pocket. It’s size, weight and design make the X100F a real joy to use!

Back several months ago I was contemplating purchasing the Fujifilm X-E3 because my X-E1 was getting up there in clicks on the shutter. The X-E3 wasn’t out yet (and wouldn’t be for a little while), but I knew it was coming, and I was set in my mind to buy it when it became available.

But then my daughter, Johanna, was born. Newborn babies need a lot of care, and parents get very little sleep. I found myself up at one or two o’clock in the morning as a daily routine caring for her. To prevent myself from nodding off, I streamed every photography documentary that I could find. In a matter of a few weeks I watched a ton of different shows about photography.

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Kodak Colors – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Something that I found interesting was a lot of photographers–well known, highly successful photographers–used only one camera and one lens. Some photographers owned a couple of cameras and lenses, but would never bring more than one camera and one lens with them. Many photographers used the same gear for decades.

The need for a bunch of cameras and a bunch of lenses is a fairly modern concept, as is the idea that a camera needs to be replaced every year or two. A lot of yesterday’s photographers had only a small selection of photography gear, and they kept it for a long time. They used what they had to the best of their abilities, and created some amazing artwork along the way.

I realized that simplicity is important in photography. Over-complicating things is a trap. Wanting more and more and more is a trap. It’s better to be simple and content with what you already own. Less is more in photography and in life.

At one point several years ago I had four digital cameras with lenses to go with each (plus a bunch of film gear). That was ridiculous, and so I got rid of half of it. That was still too much and so I downsized again. But I noticed, after watching those documentaries, that I still had a lot of photography gear.

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Yashica Rangefinder & Fujicolor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

That’s when I began to consider the Fujifilm X100F. I wanted less. I wanted simplicity. I wanted one camera and one lens that I’d be happy with for years. One camera with one lens is all any photographer really needs.

Limitations are only a hindrance if you allow them to be. You are the only thing stopping yourself from creating whatever photographs you wish to create. The issue isn’t your gear. In fact, limitations improve art because they force you to be more creative. You might not think outside the box unless you have to think outside the box. Problems are opportunities for imaginative solutions.

The X100F is not too limiting. It’s not a waste of money. I do not wish that I had an interchangeable-lens camera instead. It’s the best camera I’ve ever owned, not necessarily from an image-quality standpoint (although it’s excellent), but from an experience standpoint.

Authenticity & Photography

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Photography is losing its credibility. Photos aren’t seen as honest anymore. People don’t trust pictures. It’s a crisis that nobody’s talking about.

I’ve noticed this for awhile now. When photography consumers (those who view photos) look at pictures, they are skeptical. They assume the photos have been altered. They think it’s a false representation of reality. They believe that the photographer is lying to them. They think right away that they are being bamboozled.

You’ve heard the phrase “pictures never lie” and the term “photographic evidence” but the truth is every picture lies. Photos are inherently deceitful. Every photograph is the truth as seen through stained glass windows. The photographer makes all sorts of decisions before the exposure is even made that have big implications on the outcome. It’s “reality” through the photographer’s mind, not what anyone else might view as reality. Photography is an extraordinarily biased endeavor, as it should be.

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Evening In Temple Square – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

But that’s not the issue. People understand that each photographer will approach a subject differently. We all have our own experiences, thoughts and emotions that become the prism through which we view the world. Everyone is unique, and so everyone has the ability to create unique pictures.

The problem is manipulation. People are altering their photographs to a tremendous degree. Photographers are relying heavily on Photoshop to achieve their vision, and photography consumers feel like they’re being tricked. Even though it is the digital file that’s being manipulated, the viewer feels as though they themselves are the ones being manipulated. They’re being deceived. They’re being lied to.

I saw recently a photograph posted online that had been obviously altered significantly because it was impossible for the scene to exist. It defied reality. It was a composite of multiple photographs, some green-screen work, and some other digital wizardry. A person commented that this image wasn’t photography, but some other form of digital art, and it was incorrect to call it photography. He was fiercely attacked for making his statement, and the argument was made that if a camera was used then it must be a photograph.

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Dying Tree At Grand Canyon Rim – Yellowstone NP, WY – Fujifilm X100F

Imagine if someone made an airplane out of a lawnmower (this is an actual thing, by the way). Is it a lawnmower or an airplane? I see that it has wings. I see the propeller spin. I see it fly through the air. I don’t see it cutting any grass. It’s an airplane made from lawnmower parts. It no longer serves its original purpose due to its modifications, so it cannot be called a lawnmower anymore. This is clear, yet people insist on calling digital art that at one point was an exposure from a camera “photography” even though it no longer resembles that original exposure.

When it is clear that significant manipulations have been made to a photograph, it is a disservice to insist that it be referred to as a photograph. Photography consumers can spot it from a mile away, and they’re saying it’s not a photograph. It makes them feel as though the photographer is trying to pull the wool over their eyes when they call it something that it is clearly not.

“Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.” People want honesty. They want authenticity. They don’t like being tricked. They don’t like being played a fool. Photography consumers have become skeptical and cynical. “Once bitten, twice shy,” as the saying goes.

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Wasatch September – American Fork Canyon, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I get asked frequently when showing my pictures, “How much did you Photoshop this?” They’re not really interested in what tweaking I did. They are simply verifying their suspicions that I have manipulated the picture. It’s false. It’s a lie. It’s been Photoshopped.

The word “Photoshop” has become a bad word. It’s derogatory, whether fairly or not. A lot of photography consumers don’t like Photoshop, or at least what they believe Photoshop is and what they believe it means to use it. Sure, strong arguments can be made that photographers have been manipulating images since the invention of the camera, that doing so is nothing the great photographers of past generations didn’t themselves do. What’s different today is the degree and frequency of manipulation.

Over the last couple of years a lot of photojournalists have made headlines for manipulating their pictures. Not adjustments to contrast and color saturation, but removing or adding things. In one case, taking someone else’s pictures and adding them to their own to make a story that didn’t exist. Photojournalists have gotten themselves in hot water numerous times for manipulating the story by way of manipulating their pictures. The viewers come away feeling as though they were the ones being manipulated.

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Man In The Straw Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There is a lack of trust, and understandably so. You can’t take a photograph at face value. And maybe you never could, but it is especially true today. Photograph manipulation is so common that many people assume all pictures have been edited to some degree. Some photographers have taken post-processing to levels never before imagined thanks to advancements in digital technology, so it can be tough to know what’s real and what’s not.

I no longer shoot RAW, but instead rely on out-of-camera JPEGs. Fujifilm cameras have the best JPEG processor in the business, and the X100F that I use creates especially excellent JPEGs that don’t typically require post-processing. The Film Simulation options have a film-like quality to them.

Lately, when showing my recent photographs, I’ve been asked, “How much did you Photoshop this?” I’ve answered, “Not at all, this is exactly as it came out of the camera, completely unedited.” The responses have been, “Oh, wow, that’s great!” And, “Amazing!” And, “Who needs Photoshop?” It’s the exact opposite reaction from what I got before, because I proved their suspicions wrong. The picture wasn’t manipulated. It was authentic. It had more credibility. It wasn’t fake in the eyes of the viewer.

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KeyBank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Now before anyone jumps on me saying that I’m anti-Photoshop, I want to make it very clear that I’m not. I have no issues whatsoever with anyone using software to help create the images that they want to create. I’ve edited tens of thousands of pictures, and I will continue using software to edit exposures that need it. What I have said isn’t about me, but about the attitudes of photography consumers.

There is a growing anti-Photoshop movement, and it’s not from photographers but from photography consumers. It’s been building for years, but it seems to be gaining momentum lately. Within some circles, Photoshop is a curse word, the new “f” word. A sentiment that’s been widening is that Photoshop equals fake. These people believe that if you use software to manipulate your photos, then they’re fake. You are a liar. Many people don’t care whatsoever how a picture was made, but a group that’s increasing fast does indeed care!

Instead of looking at this negatively, I believe there is an opportunity. You could set yourself apart by becoming a more authentic photographer. Create more in-camera and less in-software. Be more real. Be more genuine. Be more honest. That’s what the anti-Photoshop photography consumers are asking for.

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Salt Lake Towers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

It’s not pandering to the crowd to do so. You can please those who care how an image was made and those that don’t care at the same time, by creating great pictures with only limited use of post-processing tools. If you disregard the anti-Photoshoppers you will only alienate potential consumers, so there is a downside to ignoring this crisis. You might even fight against it and double-down on digital editing; however, it’s hard to fight against a rising tide.

My recommendation is to look for ways to rely less on post-processing software and rely more on your camera skills. When you do edit, be as upfront about it as possible. If you did extensive manipulation, maybe consider calling the image something other than a photograph. Try using camera-made JPEGs, and if your camera isn’t good at making them, consider a Fujifilm product, such as the X100F. Or maybe shoot film.

Be truthful, that’s what people want. People think that you’re manipulating them through your images, and they really want you to prove them wrong. You’d be surprised at how impressed people are when you show them an excellent photograph that wasn’t touched with editing software. There is a significant group that is much more enthralled by what you can do with your camera than what you can do with your computer. They don’t care how good you are with software, they care how skilled you are as a photographer. And they don’t like feeling as though you’re trying to fool them. They want honest pictures. They appreciate authentic photographers.

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

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Back in the days before digital photography I’d sometimes push-process my black-and-white film. The technique involved underexposing the film (typically by one or two stops) and then developing for longer times. Essentially you underexpose in camera and overexpose in development, creating a correct exposure. This results in images with more contrast and stronger grain.

There are a couple reasons why one would push-process their film. First, you could shoot with less light. A lot of people used to consider ISO 400 to be a high-ISO film, but pushing that film two stops would make it ISO 1600 (really high-ISO). Second, the push-process aesthetic is bold and gritty, and you could achieve more dramatic results. So you might choose to push-process out of necessity or artistic vision or sometimes both.

The Fujifilm X100F has a great black-and-white Film Simulation called Acros, named after their Neopan Acros film. It looks wonderful, with a true film-like quality. I use this Film Simulation often. But sometimes I want a bolder, gritter, more dramatic black-and-white picture than my Acros Film Simulation recipe provides. So I created a new recipe that resembles film that has been push-processed. In other words, it has noticeably more contrast and grain.

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Turbulence – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F – Acros Push-Process

There are a few important things to understand about the Acros Film Simulation. First, Fujifilm programmed the amount of grain to increase as you increase the ISO. Next, the higher you go above ISO 800 the smaller the dynamic range gets. Finally, the Digital Teleconverter can effect noise and grain, most noticeably at high ISOs.

My Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe resembles black-and-white film that has been push-processed anywhere from one to one-and-a-half stops. I think sometimes it looks more like ISO 100 film that has been pushed and sometimes it looks more like ISO 400 film that has been pushed. A lot depends on the ISO that the camera is set to. It’s rarely as dramatic or gritty as one could achieve with actual film, but it produces great results in the right situations. I’d actually like to see Fujifilm add a push-process Film Simulation option to their X cameras.

The differences between this Film Simulation recipe and my original Acros recipe are increased highlights and shadows (for stronger contrast), a slight refinement to noise reduction and sharpening, and the added grain effect. The changes aren’t major, but the results are noticeably different.

Acros/Acros+R/Acros+G
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlights: +4
Shadows: +3
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
ISO: Auto up to 6400 (typically)
Exposure Compensation: +1 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Acros Push-Process Film Simulation recipe:

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Evening Reflection Monochrome – Magna, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Dramatic Window – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Thoughts Grow With A Cup of Joe – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Coffee Stop – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Proud Pilot – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Phone Photographer – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cellphone Capture – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Jesus Statue – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Waiting Is The Hard Part – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Thou Shalt Not – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pull – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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No Overnight Parking – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Michael’s – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Samick Guitar – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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LDS Temple – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Salt Lake Towers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Temple Gate – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Church Fountain – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Little Church In The City – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Evening In Temple Square – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also:
My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

Placing An Attachment Ring On A Fujifilm X100F 

Fujifilm X100F with attachment ring and lens hood.

Should you wish to use filters or a lens hood with your Fujifilm X100F, you must first buy an attachment ring. Fujifilm sells an attachment ring (with a lens hood) for $70, which is ridiculous, but you can find generic brands for much less. I paid less than $10 for mine.

The attachment ring arrived in the mail yesterday, and it wasn’t immediately obvious how it connects to the camera. I thought I might have ordered the wrong product. So I researched the web to figure it out.

What I didn’t realize is there is a ring that is screwed around the lens on the X100F, which must first be removed. It’s located between the focus ring and the front of the lens. You wouldn’t know that it can twist off by looking at it, and it’s tightly on, but with a little muscle power it will turn counter-clockwise. Again, look for a ring that circles the far end of the lens, immediately after the focus ring, and rotate it off.

Can you spot the ring on the lens that must be removed?

Removed ring on the left, attachment ring and lens hood on the right.

Once the ring is removed, the attachment ring simply twists on clockwise in its place. It’s really easy, but not apparent, so I thought it would be helpful to share with you how to do it. Hopefully this is useful to someone.

The one problem with adding a lens hood is that the camera becomes less pocket-sized. It won’t fit in my pants pocket, but it still fits in my sweater pocket. Be sure to keep the ring that you unscrewed from camera, put it somewhere safe. You never know when you might want it again.

Daylight Savings Ends

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Past Time To Clean Up – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Last night at two o’clock in the morning Daylight Savings Time officially came to an end. Like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day, those who were awake experienced the one o’clock hour twice.

Daylight Savings is an exercise in insanity. Every year we all make-believe that the time is different than it actually is. Never mind that there is a spike in heart attacks that immediately follows the clock adjustments. It’s an irrational song and dance that everybody blindly does, and nobody even knows why we do it (it has nothing to do with agriculture).

Many clocks automatically changed themselves last night. The one inside your Fujifilm X100F did not. You need to manually adjust it. If you forget to do this then three months from now you’ll realize that the time is stamped wrong on all your exposures. So take a moment right now and change the time on your camera.

If you’re not sure how, simply push the round Menu button, go to Set Up (a.k.a. the wrench), select User Settings, then Date/Time, and finally adjust the hour back one number. Changing the time on the X100F isn’t immediately obvious, but it’s not difficult, either. Just be sure to remember to do it.

Fujifilm X100F Battery Life

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“How’s the battery life on the Fujifilm X100F?” I’ve been asked that question a few times now.

It would seem to be a straight-forward question. It should say right in the camera specs what kind of battery life you could expect. But it’s much more convoluted than that. There are many variables.

The manual states that you can get 390 frames on a fully charged battery if you use the Optical Viewfinder, or 270 if you use the Electronic Viewfinder. If you use the LCD (instead of the OVF or EVF) it falls somewhere in-between, but Fujifilm doesn’t provide a specific number.

So where does actual battery life fall? A lot depends on your shooting habits. Do you constantly review your pictures? Do you use the flash? Record video? Continuous auto-focus? RAW+JPEG? Long exposures? WiFi? Just the way you handle the camera can have a big impact on battery life.

I’ve actually captured more than 390 frames on a single charge. It’s possible to do it, but you have to be highly disciplined, and not do any battery-draining activities. When you forget to bring the spare battery you begin to consider every way in which you can extend the battery life.

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Road Through The Autumn Trees – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I’ve also experienced less than 270 frames from a fully charged battery. This isn’t hard to do because there are many options that will deplete the charge. I’ve managed less than 200 exposures on one battery more than once.

To answer the question, battery life on the Fujifilm X100F is anywhere between less-than-200 frames to more-than-400 frames, depending on exactly how you use the camera. That’s a big disparity!

I think having at least one spare battery is essential, and you might consider having two if you make a lot of exposures between charges. Spare batteries are cheap if you get a generic brand. I paid about $10 for mine. It doesn’t have quite the same battery life as the Fujifilm battery that came with the camera, but it’s not all that far off, either. I would guesstimate the difference to be around 10%. I just keep one spare and bring the charger along when I travel.

For just everyday shooting I don’t bring a spare battery with me. If I find that I’m capturing more images than expected, I simply do more to conserve the battery. If I’m travelling or won’t have access to a charger and I expect to make a bunch of exposures, I’ll definitely bring a spare battery. I’ve yet to feel like I needed two spares, but if I were to photograph a wedding I would certainly want extra batteries just in case. I try to ensure that I begin each day with both batteries fully charged.

Battery life on the X100F ranges anywhere from good to so-so. A lot depends on the user. I find battery life to be sufficient most of the time. For those times it’s not, spares can be purchased for very little money and they’re lightweight and compact, so it’s not a huge deal. I wouldn’t let it stop you from purchasing the camera. Yes, it would be nice if you could get a thousand shots on a full charge, but it doesn’t bother me that I don’t.

Still Life Photography With Ceramic Tiles & Fujifilm X100F

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I try to capture at least one photograph every day. It keeps me in good photographic shape. If you are an athlete or musician you practice daily, so why should it be any different for photographers?

I usually am able to accomplish this daily routine, but sometimes life gets in the way and it’s just not practical. I don’t feel too bad when this happens. Sometimes I might even need a short break. There aren’t any strict rules. I simply understand that it’s good to photograph as much as I can to maintain or even improve my skills.

The Fujifilm X100F helps me with this goal. It’s small and lightweight, which makes it easy to carry around. It creates fantastic pictures in-camera, so I don’t have to worry about my workflow piling up. I’m just able to shoot.

On days that I’m not able to get out with my camera and capture photographs, one thing that I like to do is set up some faux wood ceramic tiles and make some still-life type images of my cameras and film. This is very quick, easy and cheap, and I feel good that I’ve made some exposures.

I found some faux wood ceramic tiles at a local hardware store, and they were only a couple dollars each. I started out with two and now I have six of them. Each one looks a little different than the next. I might lay them all flat and capture from above, or I might stand one up at a 90 degree angle and shoot from a low perspective. I use natural light from a window to illuminate the scene.

When I arrange a scene, I try to think of a story as to why the items are placed they way they are. Photography is storytelling, so things shouldn’t be completely random. Sometimes window light can be soft and sometimes it can be harsh, depending on the exact conditions, so consider how to best use whatever lighting is available (whether soft or harsh) to further tell the story. In other words, use photographic vision.

The Fujifilm X100F, which has a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens, isn’t necessarily the best choice for this type of photography because of the wide angle focal length. I typically prefer telephoto for this. But the camera’s Digital Teleconverter comes in handy, and the 50mm option makes using the X100F more practical for still-life pictures.

If you find yourself stuck at home wanting to photograph something and you’re all out of ideas, try using ceramic tiles and natural window light to create some still-life images. It’s good practice and you might even capture something interesting.

B&W:

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Ilford Harman Technology – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

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Holga 120 – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

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Classic Photography – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

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Ilford HP5 Plus 400 – Fujifilm X100F – Acros

 

Color:

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Kodak Colors – Fujifilm X100F – “Vintage Kodachrome

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Yashica Rangefinder & Fujicolor – Fujifilm X100F – Classic Chrome

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Kodacolor – Fujifilm X100F – Classic Chrome

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FED 5c & Film – Fujifilm X100F – Astia

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Road Trip Essentials – Fujifilm X100F – Classic Chrome