My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe


42433822261_577150660a_z

Jump – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

Fuji X Weekly reader Luis Costa asked me if I could create a Kodak Portra 400 film simulation recipe for the Fujifilm X100F. I liked the idea and thought it would be a fun challenge, so I agreed. What I didn’t realize is that challenge was the keyword, as this was extremely difficult to figure out. I gave up a couple of times, but then some inspiration pushed me forward, and eventually I got it right. Or, at least, very close to right.

Portra 400 is a daylight balanced color negative film made by Kodak. There have been four different versions made since it was introduced in 1998: the original film (1998-2000), 400NC and 400VC (2000-2011), and the current version (2011 to present). I’ve used Portra 400NC (“neutral color”) and 400VC (“vivid color”) in the past, but I’ve not shot on Portra film for at least a decade, and I’ve never used the current one. There isn’t a huge difference between the different Portra 400 films, but there are small distinctions as they each have a slightly varied look.

As the name implies, this film is designed for portraits, and has a warm tint in order to enhance skin tones. Being daylight balanced means if you use it on a cloudy day, indoors, under artificial light, etc., it will look different. It’s designed for use in daylight, and using it in other circumstances will skew the white balance (which could be good or bad, depending on the image).

White balance became both the key to this film simulation recipe and the problem. I first tried auto-white-balance (with a white balance shift of +2 Red and -5 Blue), and I got good results a few times and not good results a bunch of times. Next I set it to Daylight (using the same shift) but it wasn’t quite right. Then I tried setting the Kelvin value, starting with 5600K, but couldn’t find one that was correct. Finally, I used Custom White Balance, but it took seven or eight different measurements before I got it right. I did get it right, though.

The measurement that worked was out the back door of my house midday, slightly back-lit, partly cloudy with a lot of green in the scene. Interestingly enough, once I got it right I then tried to get the same custom white balance on my X-Pro2, but it measured slightly different. My suggestion is to use auto-white-balance, and once you capture an image that looks right, use custom white balance to make a measurement of the scene and set it. I think that should work, anyway. Otherwise, just keep trying to get the custom white balance right by taking different measurements until you find one that looks good.

27563951277_08a850a004_z

Hello Summer – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

42447595551_a631d699f0_z

Edited using RNI Films app, Kodak Portra 400 preset.

41713091094_9e557ec627_z

Country Red – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

28569766498_1ac4935eed_z

Edited using RNI Films app, Kodak Portra 400 preset.

Nailing down an exact Portra 400 look is tricky business because it depends on which version of Portra 400 film you are talking about, plus whether it was scanned (and which scanner) or printed (and which chemicals and paper). To verify that I was close, I put a couple of images through the RNI Films app on my phone using their Portra 400 preset, and compared it to my Portra 400 film simulation recipe. It was very close, but who knows how accurate their Portra preset is and what exactly it is supposed to be simulating (which film version and process). It was good verification that my recipe is at least in the ballpark, as I’m sure their preset is in the ballpark. I also examined images captured with actual Portra 400 film. I don’t think any film simulation is going to be an exact match because there are too many variables, but I think it’s perfectly alright to not be 100% spot on, as long as it gives the right impression, and this recipe does just that.

There are a few of the settings that I’ve debated, going back-and-forth over what’s most accurate. I think that the white balance shift gives the right color cast, but perhaps a bit too strongly. I’ve tried changing it, but, to me, this is what looks most correct. I’ve tried the shadows at +3 but think +2 is better. I’m still not completely convinced that highlights should be at -1 as sometimes 0 looks better, but more often -1 looks right to me. Sometimes I think that color should be at -2 and not -3, but -2 almost looks too saturated. There is certainly room to play around with the settings if one doesn’t completely agree with what I’ve chosen.

The most difficult part of my Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation recipe will be getting the white balance correct. I didn’t find an easy way to achieve it. It’s going to take trial-and-error. With any luck you’ll get it on the first try. There are three custom white balance settings, and you can make three different ones and see which gives the best results. Just remember that Portra is a daylight balanced film, so measuring a daylight scene will give you a better chance of getting it right.

Here’s the recipe:

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +2
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain: Strong
White Balance: Custom, +2 Red & -5 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1 to +1-1/3 (typically)

The photographs labelled “Portra 400” (which are all of them except for the two RNI Films examples) are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I did slightly crop a couple of them, but no other adjustments were made, just minor cropping.

41713091234_12917be0ca_z

Greens of Summer – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

41710826494_536500f9a8_z

Summer Wildflower – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

42433954901_f88e4d5e09_z

Tiny Bugs On A Rosebud – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

41713091214_6c0eea984b_z

Bloom Alone – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

40626324480_4cb91a806f_z

A Coffee Cup – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

42433954941_fd2b5eb870_z

Obligatory Cat Pic – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

41531695315_16d7975161_z

Hanging Prints – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

42407986912_82c56a2cb5_z

Window Box – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

40626321870_6a4983897f_z

Bottle Vase – S. Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

40626647190_78d5a40836_z

Ground Coffee Beans – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

42441839421_ffecbeea76_z

May Clouds Over Wasatch – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

41718791444_1f75dc7e52_z

Window Clouds – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

40626322920_ae65685c46_z

Standing Tall – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

42433955271_729ec4b7b2_z

Tonka – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

27563940727_ec06d0e2f7_z

Bike Repair – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F – “Portra 400”

Click here for my complete list of Fujifilm X100F film simulation recipes!

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Lens Review: Meike 35mm f/1.7 for Fujifilm


41322280654_4af7772e0c_z

Meike 35mm f/1.7

I had a birthday a few weeks ago. I also had an Amazon gift card. So I browsed Amazon for something to buy myself in celebration of becoming older. I was looking through Fujifilm accessories when I stumbled across a cheap $90 prime lens, the Meike 35mm f/1.7. A prime lens for less than $100? I added it to the cart, proceeded to the checkout and submitted the order.

And I immediately regretted it.

I mean, I’m older and supposedly wiser. What kind of piece-of-junk lens am I going to get for so little money? It will, most assuredly, be poorly made with subpar optics and I’ll never use it. I had wasted my money, no doubt about it, I thought. I should have purchased something else. Oh, well. The order had already been placed.

A couple of days later a package arrived at my door. Inside was a box that contained the Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens that I had ordered. I opened it up with low expectations. It felt plenty hefty, though, and not lightweight like something made from cheap plastic. I removed the lens from the box and it looked and felt solidly built, mostly made of metal. My senses were telling me that I had ordered a vintage lens from the film era, perhaps the 1960’s, and not a brand-new lens made for digital cameras.

28149930248_4bb5fe5956_z

Meike 35mm on Fujifilm X-Pro2

The Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens looked good and seemed like a quality item, but what about the optics? Was it going to perform well? Why was it so darn cheap?

I attached it to my Fujifilm X-Pro2 and immediately noticed a quirk. The aperture ring is smooth and doesn’t click at the different f-stops. That’s a little odd. I have a Helios 44-2 lens that has two aperture rings, one that clicks and one that’s smooth, and so it’s not a new concept, but it is an unusual choice.

Another quirk is that the spaces in-between the f-stops, marked by numbers on the lens, are far apart when the aperture is large and close together when the aperture is small. For example, it takes quite a turn to get from f/1.7 to f/2 but going from f/8 all the way to f/22 is a tiny turn, and trying to stop on f/11 or f/16 is a tough task.

This is a manual focus lens and the focus ring is smooth. It seems to have the right amount of give, not too firm and not too loose. There is a focus distance scale on the lens, something that is too often missing today. The front element doesn’t rotate and it has 49mm threads.

28149931448_3110375c3e_z

Meike 35mm on Fujifilm X-Pro2 with coffee

I was shocked when I reviewed some frames that I had captured with the Meike 35mm lens on my X-Pro2 and saw how crisp they were. It’s sharp. Very sharp, in fact! I would expect this sharpness out of a lens that costs much more, but not out of budget glass. From the perspective of creating crisp images, this lens is right up there with the best. And it looks good attached to the X-Pro2.

I was then shocked by the amount of vignetting and the soft corners when using a large aperture. This is why the lens is so cheap. When wide open the Meike 35mm is almost unusable. I say almost because you could use the flaws as an artistic tool to give your images character. Things noticeably improve at f/2, but it’s still pronounced. By f/2.8 I would say that the vignetting and soft corners are minimal enough that you could live with them, but they don’t fully go away until f/8. Apertures smaller than f/8 suffer from diffraction. There is a small amount of chromatic aberrations that can be found when the aperture is f/4 and larger, but overall it’s well controlled. There’s a fairly pronounced pincushion distortion, which you’ll notice if you photograph a brick wall.

Bokeh, which is the quality of the out-of-focus area of an image, looks very good with this lens. When wide open there is a slight swirly effect, similar to the Helios 44-2 but less pronounced. When the aperture is large the subject separates nicely from the background.

The Meike 35mm f/1.7 is an excellent budget standard prime lens option for your Fujifilm camera. It’s all manual, which I like but some people might not. It has lots of character, something that’s often missing from modern lenses. It certainly has plenty of flaws and there is a reason why it’s cheap, but overall it performs much better than the price point would indicate. Even if the MSRP was $150 (instead of $90) it would still be an intriguing option. If you don’t already own a standard prime lens for your Fujifilm camera, this is one that you should consider, and, because it’s very inexpensive, it should fit into everyone’s budget.

41531431264_0bcc47b7f0_z

Securely In Father’s Arms – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41623952704_e86a8372e8_z

Conoco – Edgemont, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mm

40531137640_e3a3244aed_z

Sinclair – Edgemont, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41615317744_afe4416ed4_z

Big Cookie, Little Girl – Custer, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

40530897060_892ac1eb95_z

Camping Face – Custer, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

27468265067_a9b0482c95_z

Campfire – Custer, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41126127915_9165f47a20_z

White Flower Blossoms – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41322318344_7d781e5c8a_z

Green Hills Under Grey Sky – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41435839855_61923566f7_z

State & Federal Symbols – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41531430264_03992f3922_z

Monumental – Mt. Rushmore, SD – X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

27468005997_cce985af34_z

George – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

42298525212_c4d24fab3d_z

Mount Rushmore Monochrome – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

42290101432_ed458b4603_z

Ominous – Custer, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

42337979021_a60b140dd3_z

Flowers & Rail – Edgemont, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41614899034_87ceb19358_z

Getting Ranger Badges – Mt. Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

See also: Fujinon XC 16-50mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS II lens review

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

One Year Later

My wife, Amanda, and I just celebrated Johanna’s first birthday. Yes, our little daughter turned one-year-old. If you follow Fuji X Weekly I’m sure you’ve seen many pictures of her. The time has flown by!

When Amanda was nine-months pregnant, just before Johanna was born, I did some portraits of her in a forested area near our home. One year later we returned to this same location and I photographed both of them together. It’s kind of a before-and-after, except it’s a whole year later.

It’s neat to see the difference a year makes. So much has changed. It’s good to look back, as it makes it easier to appreciate the now. I hope to return next May and do this again, perhaps make it an annual tradition.

40656480042_714474b0de_z

Amanda, 9 Months – S. Weber, UT – Fuji X-E1 & Helios 44-2

42329803991_67c606911d_z

Amanda & Johanna – S. Weber, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 & 60mm

Engagement Photos For One – Portraits of Fianceé After Couple Splits

27418216227_715c625041_z

On To New Adventures – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X-Pr02 & 16mm f/1.4

I’m not a portrait photographer and I don’t usually do portrait photography, although I’ve found myself in that genre many times over the years. It’s simply not my forté and so I avoid it. Because I am a photographer, I get asked fairly often to do portraits, and sometimes I oblige. Recently I was asked to capture some engagement pictures for someone I know. The future bride and groom are big Disney fans and they had made arrangements to do the photo shoot at The Real Up House in Herriman, Utah.

You’ve probably seen the Disney/Pixar movie Up, where the grumpy old man and the tag-along Wilderness Explorer go on an adventure to South America by using a bunch of helium balloons to transport a house. There’s a home in Utah that closely resembles the one from the movie, even down to the smallest details. This is where the couple wanted to have their engagement photographs captured, and, for a fee, you can do just that. It was all set up and everything was good to go.

Except that the soon-to-be bride and groom called off their engagement a couple days before the photo session was scheduled to happen.

I encouraged the now-ex-fianceé to still go through with the photo session. I told her it would be therapeutic and empowering. I suggested that it might help her feel better about herself. She agreed, and so she kept her appointment and we went–just her and I.

It wasn’t the best time of day for a portrait photo session. The couple had scheduled the noon appointment before consulting with me. I did what I could with the light that was there. I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 with a Fujinon 16mm f/1.4 lens and a Fujinon 60mm f/2.8 lens, as well as the Fujifilm X100F, which has a built-in 23mm lens. On both cameras I used the PRO Neg. Hi film simulation for these images.

The ex-fianceé had a good time. She said that she was very glad that she went and didn’t cancel the appointment. I think it was good for her to go. If anything it shows that happiness is a choice, and she chose to be happy despite the circumstance. That’s self-empowerment! That’s what these pictures are about.

27417950997_4b09875502_z

Waiting For Paradise Falls – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm f/1.4

42287392761_8f28c57452_z

Me – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X100F

27418142127_08527c943c_z

Letting Go – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm f/1.4

27418216667_5eaffc186f_z

Float Away – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X100F

27417951127_395cc74b6b_z

Clubhouse Color – Herriman, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 & 16mm f/1.4

42287707961_426a507d9d_z

Just Me – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm f/2.4

28414488038_93e2e7abef_z

Squirrel – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X100F

41566178634_24e4ac1f5d_z

Squirrel Friend – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm f/2.4

41386177755_2f8e3f0d15_z

Happiness Is From Within – Herriman, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 60mm f/2.8

My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe


28149931448_3110375c3e_z

Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

This film simulation recipe, which I’m calling Dramatic Classic Chrome, is the first that I’ve created for the Fujifilm X-Pro2. Up until this point all of them have been for the X100F; however, what I’ve discovered is that these settings are 100% compatible with all X-Trans III cameras. I figured that this was the case, but it wasn’t until my X-Pro2 arrived in the mail a few weeks ago that I was able to verify it. Any of my recipes will work on the X100F, X-Pro2, X-T2, X-T20, X-E3 and X-H1, even though the title says, “My X100F Film Simulation Recipe” or “My X-Pro2 Film Simulation Recipe.” Use this on any and all X-Trans III cameras, including the X100F.

I was experimenting with the JPEG settings on my X-Pro2, and specifically I was attempting something that looked vintage-film-like, perhaps similar to cross-processed slide film. I didn’t have a specific film in mind, just a certain look. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to achieve exactly what I had in mind, but what I did create I like, and I think it’s actually a good Classic Chrome recipe. It’s a little bit grittier and dramatic than my standard recipe.

Interestingly enough, the look changes a bit depending on the light and lens. In high contrast situations, you’ll get a high contrast image, with dark shadows and bright highlights. In low contrast situations, you’ll get a good amount of contrast with shadows and highlights that retain their details. This film simulation definitely has a film-like quality, but not any specific film or process. Perhaps it’s in the neighborhood of Agfa transparency film that’s been cross-processed, but that’s not really accurate. Maybe Ektar that’s been push-processed a couple stops? I’m not sure about that, either.

41531431264_0bcc47b7f0_z

Securely In Father’s Arms – Mount Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

One thing that I did different with this film simulation recipe is set Dynamic Range to auto. In auto the camera almost always chose DR100, so you could just set it to DR100 instead of auto and get the same results. I did not use DR200 because I wanted more contrast, although on a couple occasions, in really high contrast scenes, the camera chose DR200. I’ve yet to find a situation where the camera chose DR400.

Something else to point out is, while I have the saturation set to 0 in this recipe, on some photographs I changed it to +1 and some other photographs I changed it to -1, situation specific. I think 0 is good for most pictures, but some seem to look better with just a little more or a little less color saturation.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: +3
Shadow: +3
Color: 0
Noise Reduction: -3
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, -1 Red & +1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 or +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs, using my Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe:

41531430264_03992f3922_z

Monumental – Mount Rushmore, SD – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

28148330558_fd06b231e1_z

Starry Nites – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

27156981917_9b07ecb5bd_z

Waiting To Arrive – SLC, UT – Fuji X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

27116049687_2c1be9e05a_z

National Drink – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41081815535_acaa6756ef_z

Red Drum – Unitah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

27111615667_b6f4fa1dc6_z

Bike Flag – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41985314331_6a6f703561_z

Empty Carts – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41936053992_f68da5057a_z

Yellow Door – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

42027447881_bcc70c1a9e_z

Train of Thought – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41081813595_11ae5a8681_z

Instamatic – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16-50mm

41126127915_9165f47a20_z

White Flower Blossoms – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

41302014784_ba0792d441_z

Yellow Pots – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41121660135_b5a3e8aa8a_z

Radius Lines – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41301101284_9a714a26c1_z

Slow – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

 

Help Fuji X Weekly

Nobody pays me to write the content found on fujixweekly.com. There's a real cost to operating and maintaining this site, not to mention all the time that I pour into it. If you appreciated this article, please consider making a one-time gift contribution. Thank you!

$2.00

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 3: Fujifilm X100F

27675827098_d30c485cf1_z

Great Salt Lake & Wasatch Range – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifiom X100F

Part 1 – Fujifilm X-E1  Part 2 – Fujifilm X-A3  

Antelope Island State Park is a special place, but I think it is especially wonderful near sunset. That’s when the rather ordinary rocks reflect the sun’s colors, becoming vivid and rich. It’s when you can really appreciate the reflections in the typically smooth water. The crowds leave and everything becomes peaceful. It is, hands down, the best place in Utah to experience the setting sun.

A visit to Antelope Island is like a taking a vacation. It’s stepping into another place, even though, for me, it’s only a short drive. It’s like travelling without all of the travelling. It’s a quick one-day staycation, if you will, but I always feel rejuvenated and more balanced when leaving.

The photographs in this article were all captured using a Fujifilm X100F. This camera is the perfect travel camera because it is small and lightweight enough to fit into a large pocket and it’s never in the way, yet it delivers exceptional image quality. A couple of these images received some very minor touch ups with Snapseed, but are otherwise all camera-made JPEGs using my different film simulation recipes.

27675723308_9df6b32cb0_z

Sunset Rock – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737380580_f36fb6dbfa_z

Painted With Warm Light – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

41775412932_bdc5fee7b1_z

The Cracked Earth – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40834324344_591db2e567_z

Frary Peak Behind The Rocks – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737140670_16a24011f6_z

Light Around The Corner – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

26677091137_27cef93a5a_z

Sun, Stone & Water – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

41504760012_77b97241d5_z

Rocks Above The Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

26677095327_b8677c9181_z

Lake From Lady Finger Point – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40652731375_71fa3dbc4b_z

An Antelope Island Evening – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

27675871158_a8a894a8e7_z

Island Joy – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737238430_20617f9742_z

Warm Light Over Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

39737592620_a31be2968f_z

Sunset From Lady Finger Point – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

27675836658_7f7d990e09_z

Dipping Sun – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40834542424_566c42e1ae_z

Three Gulls – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Part 4 coming soon!

Possible Workaround For Custom White Balance Shift

36048378846_28039b002c_k

The one question that I’ve been asked the most, by far, since starting this blog last year is whether or not custom white balance shifts can be saved on the X100F. Some of my film simulation recipes, such as Vintage Kodachrome and Fujicolor Superia 800, require different white balance shifts. Auto-white-balance allows you the option to save one white balance shift that’s always on (as long as auto-white-balance is selected), but you can’t customize it for each set of custom settings.

What I’ve done, and it’s not convenient but it works for me, is simply remember what the shift is and adjust it whenever I want to use one of those film simulation recipes that require a shift. For example, I know that Vintage Kodachrome requires +2 Red and -4 Blue and that Fujicolor Superia 800 requires -2 Red and -3 Blue, so I manually make the white balance adjustment before making the exposure.

Fuji X Weekly reader Luis Costa has a different workaround, so I thought I’d share it. The X100F has the option to program three custom white balance settings. You can set the white balance shift to something different with each one. So C1 could be for Vintage Kodachrome, C2 could be for Fujicolor Superia, C3 could be for Classic Chrome and the auto-white-balance could have a white balance shift set for something else. You could have four different white balance shifts saved for different recipes that are all programmed for easy use.

The problem with this solution is that the custom white balance settings are not auto-white-balance. It’s a custom kelvin number based on a measurement by the camera. If the light changes you have to make a new measurement. If you use a grey card and don’t rely on auto-white-balance, Luis Costa’s workaround is a godsend and you should absolutely use it. If you rely on auto-white-balance, then it’s something that you may want to try, but you might find it to be just as much work as adjusting the white balance shift each time you change recipes.

Depending on how you use white balance on your X100F, this might be the thing you’ve been looking for, or it might be something to try and see if it works for you or not. I did give it a try myself and found it to be a good option if the lighting doesn’t change (for instance, shooting outdoors on a sunny day), but a little cumbersome for constantly changing light.

Another thought on how this might be helpful is that you could set a white balance shift in each of the custom white balance options so that you have a reminder of what exactly the shift should be for the different film simulations. You wouldn’t use custom white balance, but simply look at what you set the white balance shift to so that you can remember what to set the shift on your auto-white-balance each time you change recipes.

Hopefully this all makes sense. It’s a little confusing to me as I read it, and I wrote it! My suggestion is to play around with the custom white balance settings and find out for yourself if it’s something that might be helpful to you. Thank you, Luis, for pointing out this white balance shift workaround!

Another Difference Between the Fujifilm X100F & X-Pro2 (or, I Hate Dust)

27343120037_1df903e2a8_z

Storms Over Wyoming – Rawlins, WY – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Meike 35mm

One week ago I published an article explaining the differences between the Fujifilm X100F and the X-Pro2 with the 23mm f/2 lens. There is one important point that I left out that sets the X100F apart (either good or bad, but I believe good), and that is dust on the sensor. Anytime you have an interchangeable-lens camera, you open up the possibilities (probabilities, really) of finding dust spots in your images.

I have owned my X100F for about 10 months now. I have never encountered one single dust speck on any of my pictures captured with that camera. I purchased it second-hand, and the camera is about two-years-old. No dust, no problems. It might never have a dirty sensor!

The X100F is not weather sealed, and there is a small possibility of dust finding its way onto the sensor. It has happened to some people. If it does happen, there’s no dust-removal option built into the camera, and so you are out-of-luck. You either just deal with it, or you send it off somewhere to have it cleaned, which I understand is an expensive option. If dust does manage to land on the sensor, that really stinks! But so far, knock on wood, that has not happened and I’m hopeful that it won’t ever happen.

I’ve had my X-Pro2 for a few weeks now, and I’ve found dust spots on my pictures several times. I’m very careful when I change lenses on this camera. I never do so in an obviously dusty place. I have the lenses prepared so that it is a quick change. I never point the camera up when there is no lens attached. I set the dust-removal to activate at both start-up and shut-down, and I’ll turn the camera on-and-off several times immediately following a lens change. Even with all of these precautions, I still manage to find dust specks sometimes, like on Storms Over Wyoming at the top, which has some obvious specks on the upper-right side.

I hate dust! Dust and photography don’t mix well, and it’s been an ongoing battle since the invention of the camera. Back in the film days dust was a constant problem, and it seemed impossible to win. I would carefully clean the film prior to printing, and I would still find dust spots and lines on my prints. It’s not as bad in the digital photography world, but it is still a significant issue. It’s still an ongoing battle. And it still infuriates me! I’m just as frustrated by it now as I was 20 years ago.

With the X100F dust is no issue whatsoever, and that’s awesome! However, if dust ever does get on the sensor, that would be a big problem. With the X-Pro2, dust is a continuous problem, but most of the time it’s not tough to overcome. It only rears its ugly head occasionally, and it can be dealt with when that happens without a lot of heartache (but some heartache nonetheless). The fact that I’ve not had to deal with dust at all with the X100F is great, and the fact that I’ve already had to deal with dust with the X-Pro2 is not great. For me, that’s a significant contrast.

First Street Photography Images With Fujifilm X-Pro2

41301101284_9a714a26c1_z

Slow – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is a popular camera for street photography. It looks cool. It has a silent shutter (the electronic one, not the mechanical shutter). It’s weather sealed. It makes wonderful images. What’s not to love? So when my X-Pro2 arrived in the mail less than two weeks ago, one of the very first things that I did with it was shoot some street photography.

I’ve had the chance to take the camera to Ogden, Park City and the Salt Lake International Airport (all in Utah), and capture some street images. I used a Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens, a Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens, and a Meike 35mm f/1.7 lens, all three of which are great lenses for this genre of photography. All three of them pair well with the X-Pro2. I’ll be discussing each in more detail in the coming weeks.

All of these images are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. The color photographs are Classic Chrome (a mix of my X100F Classic Chrome recipe and a new more punchy recipe that I’ll be sharing soon). The black-and-white images are Acros. Those are both great film simulations for street photography. I use these two film simulations the most, followed by Velvia, Astia and PRO Neg. Std., although I rarely use anything but Classic Chrome and Acros for this type of photography.

I look forward to even more street photography with the X-Pro2 (and X100F) in the coming months. I’ll be sure to post the images here on Fuji X Weekly, so I invite you to follow this blog if you aren’t already.

Take care!

40959747025_fd952a84e9_z

Into The Darkness – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41858331201_dc12c14332_z

Famous Monster – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41815417972_055dd2edf8_z

Button For Walking – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41141470894_cf737c32d0_z

Urban Bicycling – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

40959552025_c60af95712_z

Lounge Talk – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

40959511805_1820bf4784_z

Good Life – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41815731672_18ec4719d1_z

Time To Clean – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41141312604_f1c2672932_z

Carry Out Wayward Son – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

42027447881_bcc70c1a9e_z

Train of Thought – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mm

27156981917_9b07ecb5bd_z

Waiting To Arrive – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 35mm

28148330558_fd06b231e1_z

Starry Nites – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

42021287471_f5b3ab6ebf_z

Window Shopping – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41976888082_164bafc18d_z

Coffeehouse Conversation – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

27151718667_b321ff10e9_z

Sidewalk Job – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41976682262_a658bc2c34_z

Walking & Talking – Park City, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

41985308741_5383cc9b26_z

Never Shop While Hungry – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

40051301260_5b8160b62f_z

Going Down – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

27989593678_eef938e3b8_z

Long Boarding – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm

Thanksgiving Point Ashton Gardens (Part 2)

36749542353_eed98ef486_z

Caladium Leaves – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

This is a follow-up to yesterday’s photoessay of the Thanksgiving Point tulip festival, in which I used a Fujifilm X-Pro2 and 16mm lens to capture blossomed flowers in the beautiful Ashton Gardens. This post has a Part A and a Part B. The first part features just a few photographs that I captured last fall at Ashton Gardens inside Thanksgiving Point in Lehi, Utah. The second part features photographs that I captured of the tulip festival last year using a Fujifilm X-E1 with a Rokinon 12mm lens and an X-Fujinon 135mm lens.

Early last fall I visited Thanksgiving Point with my family. We went to a couple different museums and then, since my wife and kids had yet to see Ashton Gardens, we made a quick stroll through it. We didn’t stay long and I didn’t take a whole lot of photographs. The camera I used was a Fujifilm X100F, which I had only owned for a couple of months at that time. These photographs are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

I went to the 2017 tulip festival alone because my family was out-of-town. I was using a Fujifilm X-E1 at the time (this was several months before I purchased the X100F), and I had one wide-angle lens and one telephoto lens, although I used the 12mm lens twice as much as the 135mm lens on that trip. Carrying around two lenses was much less convenient than having just one lens attached to the camera (such as the X100F or X-Pro2 with the 16mm lens), but it allowed me to capture some images that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to. These photographs were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure and Nik Collection software.

I shared this year’s Ashton Gardens tulip festival photographs yesterday, so I thought it was fitting to also show these other photographs captured at the same location. Enjoy!

37372304666_d1f63d7777_z

Delicate Pink – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

23567452128_6902caebda_z

Koi Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival 2017:

33365485914_62f8402d13_z

Tulip Blossom Monochrome – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

33365435204_359522979a_z

Little Blooms, Big Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

34077229471_2694178e6c_z

White Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

34077217601_d3746e1596_z

Tulip Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

34207737765_52ce9406ce_z

One Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

34050393902_7c043989bc_z

Tulips By The Creek – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 135mm

34050338712_b242889ac7_z

Garden Statue – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 135mm

33823700250_182411ab0c_z

Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 135mm

34167022116_bcba419ac6_z

Pink Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

34050368462_59f64fd52b_z

The Secret Garden – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

33408702884_bbd0a4bcde_z

Tulip & Wall – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

34209937596_99c1cdcd23_z

Thousand Origami Cranes – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

34077243571_c04ce75c9b_z

Forest & Falls – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

33365410674_97e3cf9b87_z

Colorful Floating Umbrellas – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & 12mm

Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival With Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm Lens

41192362764_16a31bfa4e_z

Tulips In Acros – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Lehi, Utah, is a suburb of Salt Lake City. Within Lehi is Thanksgiving Point, which is a not-for-profit farm, garden, museum, sports, food and entertainment complex. It was founded by Alan Ashton, who invented WordPerfect software back in the late 1970’s. Within Thanksgiving Point is Ashton Gardens, an incredibly beautiful 55 acre oasis that seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city that’s outside the gate. The largest man-made waterfall in the western hemisphere can be found here.

Every year in mid-April through early-May there is a tulip festival inside Ashton Gardens. It’s reminiscent of spring in Holland. In fact, the nearly 300,000 tulips found at Ashton Gardens are imported from Holland. It really is an amazing sight to behold!

As you can imagine, if you are a landscape photographer or love photographing flowers, there are very few places that are better for capturing great images than Aston Gardens in the spring. It’s such a lovely place! There is so much beauty around every corner. If you are in the area during spring, be sure to plan a visit to Thanksgiving Point.

I went to the tulip festival at Ashton Gardens with my newly acquired Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens. It’s a very good lens that I’ve been very happy to use, and its 24mm equivalent focal-length is great for this type of photography. The X-Pro2 and 16mm combination proved to be perfect for this photographic endeavor. All of these images are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I used Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome and Acros film simulations for these pictures. Yes, the same recipes that I use on my X100F also work on my X-Pro2.

28039634548_31c210a1dd_z

Bright White Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41192356484_d887159a25_z

Red Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

28039634188_7c3dd390cd_z

Orange Blossoms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

28039634558_7223bc4c5d_z

Cherry Blossom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

27040957537_ac13438e43_z

Sun Flower – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41909903901_094499c6e8_z

Looking Up – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

27040711567_1d5e4aa1db_z

Blossoms By The Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41909879591_2c03589f13_z

Flowers By The Stream – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41866685012_c952d74981_z

Color of Spring – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

27040891097_1f10f82e74_z

European Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

28039524868_2470e3b079_z

And It Was Called Yellow – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41010340165_14930a0e07_z

Blue Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41192058024_86ac89d189_z

Poppies Among Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

40102233240_18d1077973_z

Garden Flowers – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41010364635_46eeefa387_z

Flowing Water Feature – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

28039204618_4ff08efbb2_z

Red Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

28039202158_dfc2d78fee_z

Paper Wings – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41909520171_cb0513bf82_z

3 Waterfalls – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 16mm

27040661317_c94d33024a_z

Secret Garden Door – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

41192062164_70498b365a_z

White Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

What Are The Differences Between The Fujifilm X100F & X-Pro2 With 23mm F/2 Lens?

41812461542_e9da242ff0_z

Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2 (left) and Fujifilm X100F (right)

One question that I’ve been asked since purchasing the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is what are the differences between it with the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens and the X100F, which also has a 23mm f/2 lens. Are they the exact same thing? Can they coexist in one camera bag?

The X100F and the X-Pro2 are two of the most beautifully designed digital cameras ever made. Fujifilm knows how to design great-looking cameras that also function as beautifully as they look. Nobody does form and function like Fujifilm, and these two cameras are perhaps the greatest examples of this.

When I first reviewed the pictures that I captured with my X-Pro2 and 23mm lens, I said to myself, “These are X100F images!” They looked identical. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, because the X-Pro2 and X100F share the same sensor and processor. But now that I’ve had a chance to really play around with X-Pro2, I can see some key differences between the two cameras.

Owning an X100F and the X-Pro2 with the Fujinon 23mm f/2 is redundant in many situations–it’s like having the exact same camera; however, sometimes one camera is better than the other, situation dependent. And there is no clear winner on which one is better. They are both very good, and each offers something that the other doesn’t.

26987172407_045d05780b_z

Advantages of the X-Pro2 & 23mm:

Interchangeable lens. You are not stuck with one focal length.

Faster. I won’t say that the difference is huge, but the X-Pro2 has a slightly better auto-focus system that’s also a bit quicker.

Weather sealed. If you are shooting in the rain, you’ll want to use the X-Pro2 and not the X100F.

Sharper wide open. Not only are the corners sharper at f/2 on the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens, but the center is, as well. By f/4 there’s absolutely no difference.

Video. The X-Pro2 can shoot 4K while the X100F cannot.

Duel SD card slots. I’m not sure that I see a big advantage to this or not, but two 64GB SD cards hold a lot of pictures.

39487780295_a8fd233fb0_z

Advantages of the X100F:

Smaller and lighter. You can’t put the X-Pro2 in any pocket, while the X100F can fit into a jacket pocket without problem.

Cheaper. The X100F will run you several hundred dollars less than the X-Pro2 and 23mm lens combo. However, if you already own an X-Pro2, buying the 23mm lens would be much cheaper than buying the X100F.

Leaf shutter & flash. This is perhaps the biggest advantage that the X100F has over the X-Pro2, and I cannot say enough good things about it.

Non-interchangeable lens. Sometimes less is more. Oftentimes limitations improve art.

Magical f/2. The Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens is technically superior when wide open, but it lacks the magic dust that Fuji sprinkled over the X100F.

Battery life. It seems that, so far, the X100F goes just a little further on a fully charged battery than the X-Pro2. I haven’t scientifically tested this, but I just find myself going through batteries faster on the bigger camera.

Built-in Neutral-Density filter. The X100F has it, the X-Pro2 does not.

Other than that, the two cameras are basically the same. If you have one, you essentially have the other. In some situations, one camera will prove to be better for that particular moment than the other. Because of this, I can see both being useful. If you need something small and lightweight or want to snap family photos, the X100F is the winner. Otherwise, the X-Pro2 will be the better choice by a hair. You can’t go wrong with either camera, they’re both good options. If you have the money, there’s a place in your camera bag for both. If it’s between one camera and the other, you’ll have to decide what’s most important to you and pick the camera that best fulfills your needs.

Below are a few examples of similar photographs from the two cameras. They were captured at different times and days with different (but similar) settings. All of them are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

41919668622_6cef1f4ced_z

Apple Blossoms – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

41919718172_029bdcb1bd_z

Apple Bloom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40066615460_33c7793015_z

The Sun Is Shockingly Bright – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

40918645425_01d6850ee6_z

Shocks – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

40051675210_c50882c656_z

Historic Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

35509848644_c7ce1cd668_z

An Historic Place For Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F Film Simulation Settings

35191776924_3a26d8eecc_k

There’s been a lot of interest in my film simulation recipes, so I thought that I’d put them all in one convenient place. Hopefully this will make things a little easier for those that are looking for them. Below are the different film simulation recipes that I’ve created for the Fujifilm X100F. Simply click the links to be taken to the different recipes. If I make any more I’ll add them to this list.

Color:

My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

40904867842_06049dc5cb_z

Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

23863917028_92d62a4b09_z

Leaf In The Stream – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

39542957341_3732ca5f08_z

Train Ride Through The Christmas Tunnel – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe

24528193657_1f741e3f1f_z

Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F PRO Neg. Hi Film Simulation Recipe

39542940191_784a95f262_z

Christmas Joy – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation Recipe

26153849518_90c1881ae9_z

Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F CineStill 800T Film Simulation Recipe

41659851221_ea48766fe5_z

Where Was Your Head That Day? – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Eterna Film Simulation Recipe

38755887260_f2907b23aa_z

Expedition Lodge – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe

42433822261_577150660a_z

Jump – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Ektar 100 Film Simulation Recipe

41903112615_c28675ebd0_z

Summer Boy – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Cross Process Film Simulation Recipe

45146526772_e50c2c6c15_z

Taos Umbrella – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

Monochrome:

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe

36360551513_9cccb31dab_z

Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

40905092422_58a01d5294_z

Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Agfa Scala Film Simulation Recipe

43735534292_2047a3ce40_z

Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Ilford HP5 Plus Film Simulation Recipe

46083857881_149e9f9a21_z

Grey Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also:
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe
[Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-T20 Aged Photo Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-T20 Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 2: Fujifilm X-A3

27697152858_030f07de63_z

Salt Lake Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

Part 1 – Fujifilm X-E1 

Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, who visited the Antelope Island in 1845, gave it its name after hunting pronghorn antelope. Daddy Stump and Fielding Garr would build homes on Antelope Island over the next few years. This is a place that people have been coming to for a long time. In fact, there is evidence that native people have spent time on the island since at least the time of Christ.

Something interesting that I’ve discovered since moving to the Salt Lake City area two years ago is that most people who grew up in Utah don’t visit Antelope Island. Maybe they went on a school field trip as a kid, but they haven’t been back since. The majority of people you find on the island are from out-of-town. The locals who do visit are often those that moved to the area from someplace else. It’s too bad for those who don’t make the short trip to the island because they’re really missing out.

The photographs in this article were captured using a Fujifilm X-A3, which is Fujifilm’s inexpensive interchangeable-lens option. It shows that you don’t have to spend tons of money on gear to capture something good. Being someplace interesting with a camera is more important than what camera you have. With whatever photography gear you have, just get to somewhere photogenic and make some exposures! These are all camera-made JPEGs, and a few of them were lightly edited using Snapseed on my phone.

41567316451_922cf46d45_z

White Rock Bay – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41526199752_607035301c_z

Bush In The Crag – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567327631_c5d121a3b9_z

Promontory Through Weeds – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567309961_721b65af0b_z

Pyramid – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

26949445527_7f9fe32078_z

Coming Storm – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41816969021_25dfd105fe_z

One Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

27697234618_3644dc9f1e_z

Two Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40918649155_19ca934853_z

Rocky Hill & Cloudy Sky – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40010129310_2d4a5e9ef2_z

Rugged – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567262061_e86210c3e3_z

Early Spring At Buffalo Point – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

26698419917_8755572395_z

Green Bush Over Orange Rock – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567233291_75bf4d6934_z

Rust Never Rests – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41775487532_8827c6d399_z

Forgotten Ranch Tool – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40010228340_95a57e82ec_z

Red Lamp – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41775392732_0510130373_z

Lonely Blossom – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

40674126255_b1ece9f019_z

Sunset Over The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

39758563260_eb28d0653d_z

Little Wave of Big Color – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

41567097571_4626eae57b_z

Washed Up – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

39758550200_97362dae4a_z

A Great Salt Lake Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A5

Part 3 – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 1: Fujifilm X-E1

32940277142_84d37dd88c_z

Bison In The Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River, the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere and the 33rd largest lake in the world. It’s massive! It can seem almost ocean-like, or perhaps more like a large ocean bay, but it is located far from any ocean. One difference between the Great Salt Lake and an ocean is that the lake is much saltier, and the only thing that lives in it is brine shrimp.

The largest island in the Great Salt Lake is Antelope Island, which is 15 miles long and five miles wide. The highest point, Frary Peak, is 6,594′, and is often snow-capped in the winter. It’s accessible by road via a causeway. Antelope Island is managed by the Utah State Park system.

Antelope Island seems like a world away from the Salt Lake City metro area, even though it is located very close to the city. It looks remote, and it must have been very remote before the road was built and the city grew. Interestingly enough, the oldest non-Native American structure in Utah is located on the island, an adobe ranch house built in 1848. The Fielding Garr Ranch was a working ranch from 1848 to 1981, and now the old ranch is open to the public for self-guided tours.

Wildlife abounds on Antelope Island, including buffalo, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep and many other animals. At one time it was believed that the bison herd on Antelope Island was the largest in America. There are a huge variety of birds that migrate across the area.

The water is often calm and the reflections can be incredible. There are sandy beaches. There are trails that curve across the rugged landscape. There is a unique beauty to Antelope Island that draws me back. It’s one of my favorite places to photograph. But it’s also disgusting! There’s a certain “rotten egg” smell that can be found near the shores. There are tons and tons of bugs, including biting no-see-ums, brine flies (that cover the shore like a thick cloud), mosquitoes, tons of spiders (venomous and non-venomous), among other things. It’s pretty common to see dead birds. There’s plenty to love and hate about this place. I try to look beyond the gross to see the beauty.

The photographs in this article were captured using a Fujifilm X-E1. It was my introduction to Fuji X cameras. I bought it used about two years ago and kept it for a year. I loved that camera and didn’t want to get rid of it, but I used the money from selling it to help pay for my Fujifilm X100F. Without the X-E1 this blog wouldn’t exist. Some of these photographs are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, many of them are not and were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure and/or Nik Silver Efex.

Part 2 of this series will feature photographs captured at Antelope Island State Park using a Fujifilm X-A3. Part 3 will feature the X100F. And the final installment will feature the X-Pro2. Enjoy!

28670110532_0c097f43b1_z

Blue Umbrella At The Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28148337494_813ea45290_z

The Vastness of the Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28660690832_70da1df0fb_z

Red Buffalo At The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28698187901_48fae54398_z

Boys Playing In The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

28774936765_f2ed4ec756_z

Buffalo Hill – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32138607394_dbce1252b9_z

Area Closed For Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32294787913_0a64a6c845_z

Island Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32250862364_271ce9478d_z

Deer Statue – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32941884436_3dc614f5b9_z

Ice on Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32601497680_8491cc5360_z

Ice, Lake & Mountains – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32250803884_0aafa38fb0_z

Frary Peak Reflected – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32940237212_e482f81c66_z

Light Streaming Over Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32940235812_6a47760688_z

Wasatch Mountains From The Causeway – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

32168112823_e7904c05f8_z

Old Salty Stump – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

Part 2 – Fujifilm X-A3  Part 3 – Fujifilm X100F  

Fujifilm X100F Aperture Series: f/2.8

26374447598_1a66e842e5_z

f/2

Aperture f/2.8 on the Fujifilm X100F is technically superior to f/2. The corners are not as soft. The center is sharper. Vignetting and chromatic aberrations are pretty much gone. But f/2.8 doesn’t contain nearly as much magic as f/2. Notice that I said “nearly as much” because some of that magic is still there. This aperture is both better and worse than shooting wide open on this camera, and overall not all that much different.

Perhaps the biggest reason to choose f/2.8 is for depth-of-field, which is shallow enough to achieve subject separation and large enough to have lots in focus, depending on how far away the subject is. Sometimes f/2 can be too shallow and f/4 not shallow enough, just depending on the situation. It’s a great choice for portraits or low-light situations. I appreciate the way it renders photographs in a variety of situations.

38550524406_500e77317d_z

Strong Coffee – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

35389062043_3687e4d032_z

Hair & Lips – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

25672247528_5782259ea2_z

Torn At The Knee – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

38834156594_86b4ec0a51_z

Empty Seat – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

39073308581_aedf676ebb_z

Holiday Sugar Cookies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

38755884160_34ccf496dd_z

Daewoo Microwave – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

40523532022_7d43bf0494_z

Coffee Didn’t Help – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

39994299172_982917c83c_z

Hanging Print – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

38883995295_6295bddc2b_z

I-15 Overpass – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

24675405617_c4c775a70e_z

Contrast of Johanna – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

27766622549_ee051d9011_z

Curtain Abstract – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

40946622501_d271705da7_z

Mary’s Watchtower – Grand Canyon National Park, AZ – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

f/4  f/5.6  

New Arrival: Fujifilm X-Pro2

26987172407_045d05780b_z

Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

Two days ago a new (to me) camera arrived in my mailbox: the Fujifilm X-Pro2. This will replace the Fujifilm X-A3 as my “second” camera. The X-A3 is a good camera that I would highly recommend to anyone as an inexpensive entry into the world of Fuji X or as a “backup” camera body. It’s image quality well exceeds its price point. But it is no X-Pro2!

The reasons why I purchased the X-Pro2 are because I wanted it ever since it first came out (I wanted an X-Pro1 when I first saw it but couldn’t afford it) and I found it for a good deal. I bought it as a “kit” with a bunch of lenses and accessories, and to afford it I have to sell off a good portion of it (in fact, I’ve already sold some things). There are a few lenses that I will try and test but won’t be able to keep. That’s ok, as I’m very happy to own an X-Pro2.

41812459112_4f6da02176_z

Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2

I took it out for a test run right after it arrived, and did some street photography in downtown Ogden, Utah, and three different people said something to me about the camera. There were two photographers, one shooting Sony and the other Canon, who gave the compliment as they walked by, “Nice camera!” Someone else asked me if I was shooting a film camera. The fact is that the X-Pro2 and X100F are two of the best-looking digital cameras ever made!

Once I’ve had more time to use the camera I’ll write more about it. I’m also planning to publish some articles comparing it to the X100F. For example, what are the differences between the X-Pro2 with the 23mm f/2 and the X100F? Can they coexist together? It should be interesting.

Fuji X Weekly Growing In Popularity

I’m shocked month-after-month how much Fuji X Weekly has grown in popularity. This blog has been online for only about nine months, and each month sees more page views than the previous month. It’s a pretty steady growth line.

What’s amazing about this is I’m doing so very little to promote this site. I’m doing almost nothing to make it grow. People are just finding it and reading it and returning.

The reason that I’m bringing this up is that there were more than 10,000 page views on this blog in the month of April. Over 10,000! Now I know for some photography blogs, that “few” views in a month would be highly disappointing, they get that kind of traffic in a few hours, not 30 days. But for little ol’ me, writing one or two articles per week and doing so little to gain attention, that’s huge.

I have so much more to write. I have a number of great articles to share with you. There’s plenty to come, so I would be flattered and honored if you came back to read them. Until then, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came to Fuji X Weekly! Thank you for reading and looking at the pictures. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for sharing articles. Mostly, just thank you for being a part of this thing in one way or another!