What Is This?

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Captured on Antelope Island with a Fujifilm X-T20

A few days ago my wife and I visited one of our favorite places nearby: Antelope Island State Park. I captured a bunch of images, but one frame (and only one frame) showed something strange. I’m not sure what it is. There are some unusual dark vertical lines on the right side of the frame. Take a look at the photo above to see for yourself.

The camera I used was a Fujifilm X-T20 and the lens was the Fujinon 50-230mm zoom. It was near sunset and the hill at the bottom-right is hiding the low sun. There were some distant clouds and plenty of haze. Below are a few other pictures captured near this same location and near this same time.

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Distant Sailboats – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Frary Evening – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Rocky Bluff – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Buffalo Point Puddle – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Citrus Sky – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Low Sun Over The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Afterglow – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

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Vibrant Salt Lake Glow – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

The weird lines only appear in that one frame, and I didn’t notice them when I made the exposure. It wasn’t until later when reviewing the pictures at home that I noticed the lines. I’m really unsure what it is. Was it how the light from the setting sun was interacting with the haze? Is it something with the camera’s sensor? The shutter? I guess I’m wondering if this was a natural phenomenon or a gear issue, and if it was a gear issue, what specifically happened to cause this.

Here’s a closer look at it:

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What do you think it is: natural or gear, and if gear, what caused it? Have you ever seen something like this in your photographs? I’d love to get your feedback!

Weekly Photo Project, Week 31

As has been the usual since pretty much the beginning of this project, I had a couple of photographically productive days and a couple of days where I barely squeaked by. What I’m appreciating are the longer days, now that winter is coming to a close. The extra minutes of daylight are a huge asset to my photography. I look forward to the photographic opportunities that await me in the spring.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

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Wasatch Ridge In Late Winter – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Monday, March 4, 2019

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Dex Knows It’s Obsolete – Riverdale, UT Fujifilm XF10

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

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Silver Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

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Process E-4 – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, March 7, 2019

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A Fujifilm Camera – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, March 8, 2019

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Japanese Cook – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, March 9, 2019

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Soft Wasatch Evening – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 30  

Dear Fujifilm

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I doubt that anyone with any position of influence within the Fujifilm corporation reads Fuji X Weekly, but I’m writing this open letter to Fujifilm on the off chance that someone who can enact change within the company will find and read this. There is one piece of feedback regarding Fujifilm cameras that I have received far more than anything else. By “far more” I mean probably 10-1 this one thing verses everything else combined. It’s a landslide! I feel that perhaps the only reason Fujifilm has not addressed it is because they are unaware that there is a big demand from their users for this thing.

What is this thing that I’m talking about? The ability to save white balance shifts with each custom preset in the Q menu. If you select Auto-White-Balance for each of your presets, whatever the one white balance shift that’s been selected is applied to every preset. But, if your presets are anything like my film simulation recipes, each one likely requires a different white balance shift. Every time that you change to a different custom setting, you have to also go into the menu and change the white balance shift. It adds extra steps and button presses. You should be able to save a unique white balance shift with each preset in the Q menu.

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Please, Fujifilm, update your cameras to allow each custom preset to have a white balance shift saved with it. This would save your customers time and frustration and otherwise make using Fujifilm X cameras a more enjoyable experience. It’s a little thing, but it would be a big deal to a lot of people. It really doesn’t seem like it would take much effort to update the firmware to allow this. It should be a fairly simple software change that your programmers could handle with relative ease.

I really hope that someone at Fujifilm reads this and takes these words into consideration. I’ve been saying this for probably a year-and-a-half or more, and I’ve not been heard. Perhaps this open letter will be more visible. The reality is that this will likely be unseen by those who could bring about this change, so I’m not holding my breath. But it’s good that I do what I can do, which is use my voice on this blog, to make a long-shot plea to get this one issue fixed. Maybe, just maybe, it will work.

Current Fujifilm Deals

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There are some fantastic deals on Fujifilm gear currently at Amazon. For instance, the upcoming X-T30 is currently available for pre-order bundled with one of three f/2 prime lenses for a ridiculously good price. The X-T2 bundled with a vertical power grip is an insanely good price. There are some other great deals, too. Check them out!

Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 35mm f/2 $1,000
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 50mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Black with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Silver with 23mm f/2 $1,050
Fujifilm X-T30 Charcoal with 23mm f/2 $1,050

Fujifilm X-T2 (body only) with vertical power grip $1,100
Fujifilm X-T2 with 18-55mm lens and with a vertical power grip $1,500

Fujinon XF 8-16mm f/2.8 is $500 off
Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 is $400 off
Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 is $300 off
Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 is $300 off

Fujifilm GFX 50R with 45mm f/2.8 is $1,000 off
Fujifilm GFX 50R with 63mm f/2.8 is $1,000 off

I’m an Amazon Affiliate partner. Nobody pays me to write the articles you find on this blog. One way that you can help support Fuji X Weekly, if you were already planning to purchase one of these items through Amazon, if you use my links, I will get a small kickback from Amazon. I appreciate everyone who has already done so!

Weekly Photo Project, Week 30

This week had a few days that were a real struggle to capture even one image. The real hero was the Fujifilm XF10, which was used for five out of the seven pictures below. Without that camera, this week would have been a failure. Because it is small and lightweight, it’s easy to carry around with me. Sometimes having a camera–any camera–is much more important than what the gear is.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

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Underwood Typewriter – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Monday, February 25, 2019

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Night Escalator Ride – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

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Shopping Cart Return – Roy, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

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Kitchen Window Birds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Zenit-E Photography – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Friday, March 1, 2019

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Straps & Buckles – Layton, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Saturday, March 2, 2019

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Metal Lamp – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm XF10

Week 29  Week 31

Antelope Island by Amanda Roesch

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

My wife, Amanda, is as creative as she is talented. Her interest in photography is fairly recent. Since moving to Utah nearly three years ago, we’ve spent as much time as we can exploring the beautiful region. We’ve been to Yellowstone, Grand Tetons, Zion, Arches, Canyonlands, Grand Canyon and even lesser known places like the Bonneville Salt Flats, Sundance, and Mirror Lake, to name a few. There are so many amazing locations all around, and it’s been great to experience many of them in person. I think that this is one reason why she has developed an interest in photography. And because she is both creative and talented, she’s picked up on it pretty quickly.

One of our favorite places nearby is Antelope Island State Park in the Great Salt Lake. It’s a strangely beautiful location, and unique in many ways. We find ourselves out there fairly frequently. It’s a place we love to take a drive to, and when the weather is nice we like to go hiking. It’s great place to explore, and it seems to always offer interesting photographic opportunities.

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

Last week, while I was busy with other things, Amanda took our kids out to Antelope Island. It was a rare winter day where the weather was especially lovely. It was a great day for an outdoor adventure! They decided to hike the Buffalo Point Trail, and, being a super-mom, she managed to successfully get to the top and back with four kids, and they all had a great time. It’s wonderful that they had the opportunity to do this, and I’m sure the memories they created will last a long time.

Amanda brought with her on this adventure her Fujifilm X-T20 camera. While managing to keep the kids safe, which is not always an easy task, especially when it comes to our five-year-old son, she somehow also managed to photographically document their adventure. She made some really nice pictures! I was particularly proud of her photographs, so I wanted to share them with you.

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

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Photo by Amanda Roesch

Understanding Acros Film Simulation Options On Fujifilm X Cameras

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B&W Film With Colored Filters – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Fujifilm has included on X-Trans III and IV cameras four Acros Film Simulation options: Acros, Acros+Y, Acros+R, and Acros+G. I’ve been asked a few times to explain the differences between these options. On my Acros Film Simulation recipes I never mention which one to use, I only say to use any or all of them, so that has left some confusion on what’s the best choice. Which Acros Film Simulation should you choose?

With real black-and-white film, you can use colored filters to manipulate the shades of grey. Since there are no colors, the film interprets colors between black and white. You can change how the film interprets the color, and what grey you get, by using different filters. Take a look at the graphic below to see an explanation of how different color filters change the grey on black-and-white film.

You cannot use colored filters on your X-Trans camera to achieve this same effect, so Fujifilm has given you three “filter” options for Acros: +Y, which simulates the use of a yellow filter, +R, which simulates the use of a red filter, and +G, which simulates the use of a green filter. You might notice that, in black-and-white film photography, there are more options than you are given on your X-Trans camera, but at least you have some choices.

While these different “filter” Acros options simulate the look of using filters, the actual results aren’t a 100% match. The manipulation of grey is not nearly as pronounced as using colored filters on film, and it’s not exactly the same shift, either. One thing that can help achieve desired results is using the white balance shift in conjunction with the different Acros options. It takes a little extra thought to figure out how adjusting the color balance will change the way the film simulation interprets the color in grey, but it can be worth the effort.

To help you understand what the different Acros Film Simulation options are doing to different colors, I made an image in color and re-processed it in-camera using all four Acros choices. Take a look!

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Fujifilm X-T20 – Velvia

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Acros

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Acros+Y

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Acros+R

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Acros+G

The differences between the different Acros Film Simulations might not seem immediately obvious, but take a closer look. Notice that the red paint is a little lighter and the blue paint is a little darker in the Acros+R image. However, in the Acros+G image the red paint is darker and the blue paint is lighter. These small manipulations in the shades of grey are what the different Acros options provide.

How do you use this information in a practical way? When should you consider using the different Acros Film Simulations? When would you want to change the shade of grey of a particular color? It’s really difficult to give generalized answers to those questions because what works for one person and one photograph may not work for another. You really must think in grey and consider how contrast will work in an image, and how to best achieve that using the different Acros options.

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Monochrome Mountain Majesty – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20 – Acros+R

A common example of when Acros+R might work well is in landscape photography where the sky is a deep blue. You can turn the sky dark grey or even black, which will create dramatic contrast against clouds or a snow-capped peak. Acros+R will lighten reds, so sometimes in portraits it can lighten a face, but it can make lips blend in, which might be bad. Acros+G, which darkens reds, can sometimes work well for dramatic portraits.

There is a lot to consider when it comes to choosing the most appropriate Acros Film Simulation for a particular circumstance. You have to know what each one will do, and decide what shade of grey you want the different colors to be, in order to make the right selection. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, but it’s not too hard to figure out with practice. My suggestion is to try them all in different situations, and study the differences closely to better understand what each one does.

Weekly Photo Project, Week 29

This week wasn’t quite as productive as the previous week, but it was still overall a decent week of photography for me. I didn’t create any spectacular pictures, and for the most part these images will be quickly forgotten. Five of the seven pictures are of snowy mountains, which are seen from my backyard. That’s a great aspect of living in Utah. There are wonderful views all around, and I feel fortunate that I can frequently photograph the local beauty.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

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Mountain White & Cold – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Monday, February 18, 2019

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Cloud Over The White Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

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Wide Load Chairs Out In The Cold – Uintah, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

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Snow Falling On The Red Shed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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Crested Cloud Over The Peak – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Friday, February 22, 2019

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Monochrome Mountain White – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Saturday, February 23, 2019

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Evening Light On The Frosted Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

Week 28  Week 30

Fujifilm X Timeline

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With the X-T30 release about three weeks away, I’ve been thinking about what other Fujifilm APS-C cameras might be in the pipeline. I don’t have any inside information, so my guesses should be taken with a large grain of salt. I will speculate what I think might be released in the coming months and years, but please just know that these are simply guesses. I could very well be wrong, as I’ve been wrong before.

In my estimation, sometime in late summer or early fall, Fujifilm will announce the successor to the X100F, which might be called X100V, X110 or X200. I think the X-Pro3 will be announced near the same time, and released sometime before Christmas. Also, don’t be surprised if the X-A6 is released before the end of the year, or perhaps early next year.

I believe in 2020 there will be a number of new Fujifilm X cameras. I’m guessing that first will be the X80, released in the first quarter of the new year. Near the same time will be the X-H2, which will be dubbed “the ultimate APS-C camera” by Fujifilm. In the summer of 2020 the successor to the X-T100 (X-T100S? X-T110? X-T200?) will be released. There might be an X-A20 (think cheaper X-A6) around the same time. I expect that in the fall the successor to the X-E3, perhaps called X-E3s, X-E4, or X-E5, will be announced.

In spring of 2021 I think that the next generation of X-Trans will be announced, and the first camera will be the successor to the X-T3, which might be called X-T4 or X-T5. In the fall the X-T30’s successor will come out, which might be called X-T35, X-T40 or X-T50. And that concludes my guesses for what Fujifilm X cameras are in the pipeline for the coming months and years.

Let me know in the comments what Fujifilm X cameras you think will be the next!

Fujifilm X-T2 Vertical Power Grip Bundle Deal

 

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I pointed out last week that Fujifilm has some great deals when you bundle one of three f/2 prime lenses with the upcoming Fujifilm X-T30. There is a great deal being offered on the Fujifilm X-T2 that’s worth pointing out.

You can already get the X-T2 for an incredible price ($1,100 for the body or $1,500 with an 18-55mm lens), but if you bundle the X-T2 body with a vertical power grip, it’s only $1,100, and if you bundle the X-T2 with an 18-55mm lens with a vertical power grip, it’s only $1,500, which is about a $300 savings on top of what’s already a great deal. In other words, if you bundle the X-T2, body only or with the the 18-55mm lens, with the vertical power grip, you get the power grip for free! That’s incredible!

The Fujifilm X-H1 (body only) with a vertical power grip is also a great deal right now, coming in at just $1,300.