Intentionalism – Moving From More To Less

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The old house. Captured with a Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 35mm f/2.

Less is more. That short and simple statement is true in both photography and in life. Less time commitments. Less money spent. Less accumulating stuff. Less frustrations. Less worrying. Less stress. More time spent with family and friends. More generosity. More doing what you love. More living life right now.

In America, and many other parts of the world, materialism is strong, and it constantly demands more. You need the best, the newest, the largest, and the most-expensive things that you can afford. If the Jones’ have it, you need it now! Envy is everywhere, and it’s difficult to escape its cold, choking grasp. People judge you on your possessions, at least that’s what you’re told, so your possessions better be good. You need to make a good impression quickly, as you might not get a second chance. You aren’t who you are, you are what you have. It’s an incredibly sad and selfish way to live, but it’s normal for a lot of people. I’m guilty of living this way just as much as the next person, but I’m tired of the materialistic life.

The opposite of materialism is minimalism, which is living with the absolute least amount of stuff that you need to survive. If you don’t need it, you shouldn’t have it. If it doesn’t add value to your life, you shouldn’t have it. It’s not about things, it’s about not having things. I’m not against minimalism, but I do feel like it’s a rabbit hole that can miss the point. Having less can be very good, but there’s a point where the pursuit of it can be oppressive and as equally vain as the pursuit of frivolous stuff.

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View from the old house. Captured with a Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 50-230mm.

There’s a reasonable middle ground, where you’re not consumed by consumerism and you’re not subservient to minimalism. It’s called intentionalism, which is being intentional with your time and treasures. The idea is that everything you own should serve a purpose or bring you joy. If it doesn’t have a purpose in your life or if it doesn’t bring you joy, you don’t need it, so get ride of it! It’s about living with less. It’s having less clutter; having less things that you don’t really need taking up space in your life. Everything that you buy should be purchased very intentionally. Thoughtful consideration is required for what you spend money on. Spend less on junk. You shouldn’t be a servant to money, but instead money should serve you. Also, be careful of things that rob your time, because time is incredibly short.

Cut down on what you’ve accumulated. Lessen time spent unnecessarily. Trim what you spend money on. Scale down yourself, so that you can gain what those things can never provide. Reduce, so that you can obtain joy. Reduce, so that you can spend more time with family and friends. Reduce, so that you can be more generous with others. Reduce, so that you can live more freely. Not less for the sake of less, but less for the sake of more.

I don’t want to sound too preachy; I’m writing these things to myself just as much as I’m writing them to you. I’m telling you about this philosophical road that I’m beginning to journey down because you might notice some changes. Actually, the journey began several months ago, but the changes will become more obvious on Fuji X Weekly as time goes on.

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View from the new house. Captured with a Fujifilm X-T1 & Funinon 35mm f/2.

Something that I’ve been working towards is fewer articles on this blog, yet higher quality content. I want to spend less time on insignificant posts, and use that time instead for more meaningful articles. I hope that this will improve Fuji X Weekly. Another change is that I sold my house and moved. For me, a big part of intentionalism is downsizing, which I’ve been doing, and now I live in a different town. That will affect my pictures in some way, although I’m not certain exactly how at the moment. Anytime that you change where you’re photographing, it will change your photography, at least a little.

How does intentionalism relate to photography and Fujifilm? Well, for me, Fujifilm cameras save me a ton of time because I can rely on camera-made JPEGs. I rarely sit at a computer editing pictures. I can use that time for other things, such as playing with my kids or a date night with my wife or visiting a friend or capturing more pictures. This isn’t new for me, but it does fit well with this philosophy. Another way that this relates is that I should only own gear that I need (serves a purpose) or that brings me joy. Of course, all of it brings me joy! But things that sit on a shelf collecting dust and taking up space, rarely used, aren’t really bringing joy, they’re just clutter. If something is working well for me, there’s no need to replace it just because something new came out. It’s good to get your money’s worth out of what you buy before replacing it. Buy things of quality and really use them, and don’t be in a hurry to upgrade.

Intentionalism is a journey towards simplicity. It’s similar to minimalism, but the end goal isn’t less for the sake of less, it’s less for the sake of more. It’s a path towards joy and a meaningful life, where I’m less important and those around me are more important. It’s a journey of generosity. It’s finding ways to make life simpler so that I can focus more on what’s really important. Less can indeed be more.

Cheap Fujifilm Cameras

Fujifilm X-E1 Camera Photography Blog

I’ve been searching the last couple of days for a new Fujifilm camera. Actually, a used camera. You might recall that back in September I posted that I wanted to buy a full-spectrum camera for infrared photography. I’ve had an interest in infrared photography for a long time, and I’ve been eager to try it, but the funds to buy such a camera have eluded me. I did get the green light to spend $300 or less on a used camera to eventually (maybe mid-2020) convert to full-spectrum. There are a few different companies that will convert your camera to infrared, and the going rate seems to be about $300, plus you still need to buy various filters, so it’s not exactly a cheap endeavor. I have been searching for a cheap Fujifilm camera that’s hopefully gently used, since I need to keep costs down in order to make this dream a reality.

When I looked at various places, such as eBay, Facebook Marketplace, KEH, etc., I was surprised to see a lot of great options for $300 or less. I found some Fujifilm X-E1 bodies for under $200, one as cheap as $150. The X-E1, or “Sexy One” as it was once called, was my introduction to Fujifilm cameras, and is a solid choice. I saw an X-T10 that claimed to have a low shutter count but with some serious scratches for $200. There were several X-E2 bodies for around $250, and an X-E2s for under $300. I was surprised to see a few X-T1 bodies for $300. There were also some non-X-Trans Fujifilm cameras, such as the X-A3, X-A5 and X-T100, for under $300. I had a lot to choose from.

As I was looking at all of these cameras, I was reminded of some articles I’ve written. About a year-and-a-half ago I published Digital Is Disposable, which is about how we continuously buy the latest gear and don’t keep what we own for very long. It’s just as true now as it was then. People (myself included) upgrade their gear much too quickly, and cameras that are still excellent get tossed aside like an old moldy bag of tangerines just because there’s something else that’s brand new. Last week I briefly touched on this topic in my Photography Investments article, and just the other day in 5 Tips To Become A Better Photographer. It’s better to keep your gear longer and spend your money on experiences instead of upgrading your very capable and practically still new camera.

The flip side to this coin, however, is that if you want a cheap yet excellent camera, there’s plenty to pick from. Maybe you’d like a second camera body. Well, you can have one for $300 or less, maybe even as low as $150! Perhaps your kid or spouse has been begging for a camera, but you don’t want to spend a bunch of money. Why not buy something used and affordable instead of brand new and expensive? I’m just throwing this out there in case you didn’t realize that used Fujifilm gear is going for so little.

I purchased a Fujifilm X-T1 that claims to have a very low shutter count and is in like-new condition for only $300. That seems like a fantastic deal! Sometimes someone else’s description doesn’t match how I would describe it, so when it arrives I’ll see just how “very low” the shutter count is and just how “like new” it actually is. If it’s in halfway decent shape I’ll be happy. With any luck sometime in the coming six months or so I’ll be able to convert it to full-spectrum, something I’ve wanted to do for many years. One man’s junk is another’s treasure, as the saying goes, and I’m hoping this camera will prove to be a treasure for me.

Photography Investments

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Cameras are terrible financial investments. In a way they’re like cars: as soon as you own it, the value drops, because it’s now used and not brand-new. And the more it’s used and the older it gets, the more the value drops. That’s not 100% true all of the time–there are exceptions–but it’s pretty true. You don’t buy cars as a financial investment, unless it’s a rare antique car, and you don’t buy camera gear as a financial investment, unless there’s something that makes it collectible. Most of your photography gear, if not all of it, is worth a little less now than when you purchased it.

About a year-and-a-half ago I did something really crazy: I distressed a Fujifilm X-E1 to look old and worn. It was a gutsy thing to do, and I had mixed thoughts as I did it. I mean, who takes sandpaper to their cameras? Once finished, I sold the distressed camera for more than I had paid for it. I turned the camera from an appliance into art, and that increased the value of it, at least a little. That’s an unusual situation. Most of the time, the photography gear that I buy decreases in value, not increases.

Cameras are a lousy investment, but you can make money with them if you want. You can do family portraits or weddings or sell prints. People make money with cameras all of the time. Not necessarily lots of money. In the United States, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the medium salary of a photographer is about $35,000 annually, which is an average wage. You can use your gear as a tool to make money, even if down the road you sell your camera for far less than you paid for it.

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The photography business world is extraordinarily crowded. Everyone’s a photographer nowadays. Not only are there a ton more photographers than there used to be, but the number of great photographs being created has skyrocketed. What used to be considered “good” is now “average” and what used to be “great” is now “good”–yet “amazing” photographs are still amazing. It’s easy to get lost in the crowd, and there’s very little being created that’s unique. Starting a photography business has never been easier, but creating a successful photography business is still just as tough as it has always been, if not more difficult because there are fewer photography consumers (from a business standpoint) than there used to be, yet with stiffer competition.

There is a way in which photography gear is a worthwhile investment, and that’s experiences. Because I own a camera, I want to photograph with it, and because of that I go places, see things, meet people, and otherwise live differently than if I didn’t have a camera. The camera opens up a life of experiences that would be completely foreign to me if I wasn’t a photographer. You cannot put a dollar figure on these experiences because they’re priceless. Their value transcends money. I wouldn’t trade these experiences for any amount of money.

Besides, I love creating photographs. There’s something deep inside of me that yearns to be creative, and photography is my preferred artistic outlet. I feel that photography is just as necessary for me as eating, sleeping and breathing. An investment in photography gear is an investment in experiences if I allow it to be. Even though the camera I spent $1,000 on might only be worth $500 next year, it was still money well spent, just as long as I create photographs with it. If gaining wealth isn’t the goal, investing in photography is a great decision because my life is richer for it. In my opinion, it’s better to live a rich life than to live a life devoted to being rich. My photography gear allows me to live a richer life, not because of the gear itself, but because of what I do with it.

‘Tis The Season For Stealing

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Ethos – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F – Double Exposure

It’s come to my attention that I’m the victim of theft. People have been stealing my words and pictures from the Fuji X Weekly blog. They have taken them without permission and illegally used them on their own websites. Sometimes they’ve even claimed them as their own. It’s extraordinarily disheartening. This blog is intended to be helpful to Fujifilm photographers, and not a place to find license-free content. I, and I alone, own the copyright.

This isn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last, that someone has illegally taken my intellectual property. Five or six years ago I was reading a newspaper (something that I rarely do) and I spotted one of my pictures in an advertisement. Someone found my picture on the internet, copied it, and used it in a printed ad to sell their product. Crazy, huh? I’ve seen someone trying to illegally sell one of my pictures on a print-on-demand site. Someone else used some of my pictures without permission in an article that was factually untrue. In a theft that I just recently became aware of, an entire article of mine was copy-and-pasted onto someone else’s website, word-for-word, picture-for-picture, without permission. They didn’t even credit it to me (not that it would have made it any less illegal, but perhaps slightly less unethical). Sometimes creative people are easy targets because we put ourselves “out there” for the public to see.

The internet has made theft incredibly easy. It only takes a couple of clicks to steal someone’s pictures or words. As many times as my pictures have been illegally taken and used, my words have been plagiarized even more often. There are ways to use someone else’s words legally and ethically, but there are people out there on the internet who either don’t know or don’t care. Perhaps ignorance is better than irreverence, but they’re both bad. I just want people to stop stealing my stuff. I don’t want to be victimized by lowlifes on the internet who are trying to benefit from my work. Go write your own words! Go capture your own pictures! Oh, you’re not very good at those things? Well, did you ever think to contact me and go about this the right way? Or do you only care about yourself?

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I do this website mostly as a service to you. Nobody pays me to write the articles you find on Fuji X Weekly, a blog that has been beneficial to many Fujifilm photographers. I do get compensated a small amount for the ads and the affiliate links, but it doesn’t pay much; mostly it covers the cost of running the website. In the words of Napoleon Dynamite, “That’s like a dollar an hour!” If only it were that much. But I enjoy “giving back” because so many have helped me along the way, and it’s good for the soul to be helpful to others. I also love to write, and this blog is good practice for me. I hope that you like seeing my pictures, too. There are many reasons why I do this Fujifilm blog, but being victimized is surely not one of them.

If you are reading this and you illegally copied my pictures and words and are using them without permission and in a way that violates “fair use” laws, please take it down. Please remove from your website what you stole from me. If you go to the About page, there’s a way to contact me. Please use that to reach out to me if you’d like to use my pictures or words the right way, the legal way: with permission. I’m sure we can work something out. But please stop stealing. I don’t like it. Nobody does. It’s wrong. This is a community, and we’re all neighbors, so let’s be kind and not disrespectful. Thank you.

Some of you have shared my content in limited ways, citing the source, and following the rules of fair use. Rest assured that this article isn’t aimed at you. I appreciate what you do and your support. My disdain is aimed towards those who don’t follow the rules, operating outside of ethical and legal; those who would rather steal, profiting off of the hard work of others. My words belong to me, and my photographs are mine. Don’t take what’s not yours, it really is that simple.

Is Fujifilm’s Autofocus Any Good?

Captured with a Fujifilm X-T30.

Fujifilm’s autofocus is inferior, apparently. There’s been a buzz on the web lately about autofocus. There have been several tests recently comparing the autofocus capabilities of different camera brands and models, and Fujifilm hasn’t come out on top, and sometimes they’ve come in last place. There’s been a lot of negativity towards Fujifilm in response to these articles, and I want to talk about that.

I have no problem whatsoever with these articles. There’s always something, no matter how hard one tries, that someone points out as unfair in these type of tests. It’s the nature of it, and it’s nearly impossible to be completely fair and unbiased. There’s always something that you didn’t consider, there’s always an apples-to-oranges situation, and somebody will undoubtably point it out. I think it’s important to understand this, as taking these types of articles with a small grain of salt will alleviate some of the frustration that comes with them. In other words, don’t take them as gospel, even though they mean well and might contain useful information.

When I started out in photography, autofocus existed, but many cameras (mine included) didn’t have it, and autofocus wasn’t very good on those cameras that did have it. The best autofocus systems of 20 years ago are embarrassing when compared to those found today. That’s not surprising as technology advances quickly. The best autofocus systems of 10 years ago aren’t as good as the “worst” found in any of those cameras that were recently tested. Sony, Canon, Nikon or Fujifilm, it doesn’t matter which one “wins” and which one is rated last, as they are all great! No one could imagine 20 years ago that autofocus would become as good as it is today, and the autofocus found on “pro” cameras 10 years ago aren’t as good as some “entry level” cameras today. Context is key.

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Captured with a Fujifilm X100F.

It’s easy to get caught up in the results of autofocus tests, but the reality is that it doesn’t matter in practical use. Just because one camera did slightly better than another doesn’t mean that you’ll “get the shot” with one camera and not another. You’ll either get it with both or you’ll miss it with both, because the skill and vision of the photographer is far more important than the technical capabilities of the camera in hand, especially when the differences are so narrow. Cameras are tools, and one tool might work a little better for you than another, but they’ll all capable of getting the job done just so long as the photographer is also capable. One camera over another won’t make you a better photographer.

I don’t doubt that Sony’s autofocus is superior to Fujifilm’s. They’ve been working at it a heck of a lot longer, so they should be. What I argue is that it doesn’t matter, or if it does matter, it matters very, very little. Those saying that Fujifilm desperately needs to “catch up” or else are speaking hyperbole. A lot of the reactions I have seen have been overreactions. Instead of celebrating just how far autofocus has improved, people seem to be far more concerned about being ranked number one. Trust me on this: it doesn’t matter one bit. Fujifilm has made significant progress, and they’re continuing to do so. Autofocus on X-Trans II cameras is plenty quick and capable for most people and circumstances, yet it doesn’t compare to X-Trans IV. There comes a point where the improvements are more “gee whiz” than anything practical. It’s great for the marketing department, but is it something you’ll even notice? Will it really make a difference to your photography?

To answer the question in the title of this article, Fujifilm’s autofocus is indeed good. Very good, in fact! It’s more than capable, just as long as you are as well. So don’t worry so much where Fujifilm (or any brand) ranks compared to another in some test. It’s not important. Creating art is important, and you can use any camera to do that.

My Fujifilm X-T30 Color Negative Film Simulation Recipe

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Evening Light On A Clearing Mountain – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Color Negative”

Silly Putty was invented by accident. There was a shortage of rubber during the second world war, and as a result several companies worked hard to create a synthetic substitute. What we now know as Silly Putty was a failed attempt at synthetic rubber. Even though it didn’t turn out exactly like its inventor had hoped, it still became a useful product that has brought joy to many people across the world. This “Color Negative” film simulation recipe has a similar story to Silly Putty (minus the war and rubber).

I’ve been working on a number of different recipes, trying to mimic several different aesthetics that I’ve been asked to create. One of the films that I’ve been trying to recreate the look of is Fujifilm C200, but I’ve yet to crack the code. This recipe is one of the failed attempts at C200. I like how it looks, so I thought I’d share it, even though it’s not exactly what I was trying for. I hope it become useful and brings joy to someone.

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Cameras and Coffee – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – “Color Negative”

I named this recipe “Color Negative” only because it has a general color negative aesthetic, and I didn’t know what else to call it. It’s in the general neighborhood of Fujifilm C200, but it’s not exactly right for that film. Perhaps there’s some generic film that looks similar to this. It doesn’t precisely mimic any one film that I’m aware of, but this recipe does have a film-like quality to it.

PRO Neg. Hi
Dynamic Range: DR400
Highlight: +2
Shadow: +2
Color: -2
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +1
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Off
White Balance: Daylight Fluorescent (1), -2 Red & +4 Blue
ISO: Auto, up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: 0 to +2/3 (typically)

Note: There was some confusion on the white balance required for this recipe. It’s Fluorescent 1, also called Daylight Fluorescent or Neon 1. It’s the first option underneath Cloudy.

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs using my Color Negative Film Simulation recipe on a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Fallen Leaves – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Hanging Apple – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Leaf Hanging On – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Boy Unsure – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Joy’s Smile – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Stars – Roy, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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White Cloud Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

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Reserved Parking – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30

See also: My Fujifilm Film Simulation Recipes

Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 + Fujifilm X-T30

Fujifilm XT30 Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 Lens & Fujifilm X-T30.

The Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens was made by the Asahi Optical Company in Japan in the 1960’s and 1970’s for Pentax M42 screw mount cameras. There were a few nearly identical versions of the Asahi Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens manufactured, each with a different coating applied to the glass, but otherwise identical. I love pairing my Fujifilm X-T30 with vintage lenses, such as this one. You will need an M42 to Fuji-X adapter to attach it to your Fujifilm X camera. The Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens is a long telephoto prime that won’t break the bank, but is it any good?

This lens, unsurprisingly, is all manual (don’t let the “A” and “M” switch on the side fool you). You will have to manually focus it and manually adjust the aperture. There’s nothing automatic about it. If you are not used to lenses like this, it might take some practice to get comfortable using it. Also, being a longer lens without image stabilization, you’ll need to use faster shutter speeds or tripod to avoid blur.

As I stated in my Fujinon 90mm f/2 lens review, the 135mm focal length used to be very common. It was one of the first primes you’d add to your bag. It’s much less common nowadays. Because of the APS-C crop factor, this lens has a full-frame focal-length equivalency of about 202mm, which makes it a long telephoto option. Fujifilm only makes one prime lens this long, in fact, but it costs a heck-of-a-lot, so if you want a long telephoto prime, you have to look elsewhere, such as vintage glass like this one, or buy a telephoto zoom.

Fujifilm XT30 blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

Fujifilm XT30 Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

The Asahi Takumar 135mm lens is fairly small and lightweight for how long it is. At 0.75 pounds, it weighs noticeably less than the previously mentioned Fujinon 90mm lens. It’s made of metal and feels pretty sturdy. Asahi made quality lenses, so this is not surprising. Even though this lens is quite old, it seems like it has a lot of life left.

Sharpness is a tale of two lenses, with the focus distance being the key factor. At near and medium distances, the Asahi Takumar 135mm is quite sharp. There is perhaps some softness, particularly in the corners, at f/3.5 (the maximum aperture), but by f/5.6 it’s pretty sharp across the entire frame. Peak sharpness is around f/8 or f/11, with diffraction setting in at f/16, and f/22 (the minimum aperture) being only marginally usable. Beyond medium focus distances, the lens becomes less sharp as you move towards infinity, and has only mediocre sharpness when focused at infinity, about what one would expect from a cheap zoom and not a prime.

There’s quite a bit of chromatic aberrations in the corners no matter the aperture, but the smaller the aperture the worse it seems to get; there’s very little in the middle at all apertures. I haven’t noticed any vignetting. There’s a tiny amount of pincushion distortion that will only be noticed when photographing brick walls. This lens does not control flare well at all, producing a hazy-type flare that significantly reduces contrast. Sunstars are medicore. Bokeh is not especially good looking.

Fujifilm Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

Fujifilm Blog Asahi Pentax Super Takumar 135mm f/3.5

The lens functions well. The focus ring is smooth. The aperture clicks at the f-stops. I have had no problems pairing it with my Fujifilm X-T30. There are good and bad points to the image quality that the Asahi Takumar 135mm lens produces. In fact, I would say that this is the worst Takumar lens I’ve used, but it is still capable of capturing good images. You have to understand its strengths and weaknesses, and use it accordingly.

Despite the negative points, this lens can usually be found for less than $50, and sometimes for less than $25, which makes it a great bargain! You can find cheap M42 to Fuji-X adapters that will allow you to attach the lens to your camera; mine was about $10. Considering the price, if you want a 200mm equivalent focal-length lens, it’s worth taking a chance on this one.

Sample photographs, all captured using this Asahi-Pentax Super-Takumar 135mm f/3.5 lens attached to my Fujifilm X-T30:

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Flowing Fall – Bountiful, UT

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Apple, Hangin’ On – South Weber, UT

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Young Smile – South Weber, UT

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White Stars – Roy, UT

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I See Red – Riverdale, UT

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Plant Leaves – South Weber, UT

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Becoming Autumn Yellow – South Weber, UT

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Cold On Top – South Weber, UT

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Peaks & Ridges – South Weber, UT

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Last Light on the Clearing Mountain – South Weber, UT

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Sunset Red Peak – South Weber, UT

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White Cloud Over Black Mountain – South Weber, UT

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Mount Ogden #1 – Riverdale, UT

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Mount Ogden #2 – Riverdale, UT

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Coffee & Cameras – South Weber, UT

See also:
Industar 69 + Fujifilm X-T30
Fujifilm Gear

Announced: Fujifilm X-Pro3

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm just announced the upcoming X-Pro3! It will be released on November 29 with an MSRP of $1,800 (body only), or December 13 for the Dura versions, which will have an MSRP of $2,000. This new iteration of the X-Pro camera is much different than the previous two, at least on the inside and back. There are a lot of changes and new features, so let’s take a look at those.

The Fujifilm X-Pro3 has an unusual tilt screen, which is mounted backwards and flips down for waist-level shooting. On the back of the screen, which faces out when the screen is closed, is a small screen that displays some exposure and film simulation information. The idea is that most X-Pro3 users will primarily use the viewfinder and not the LCD for composing. It’s also a way to further differentiate this camera from the X-T3. I think it’s either something you’ll love or hate, and I’m still on the fence with how I feel about it, but I’m leaning towards love. I haven’t had my hands on one to know for sure what I think about it.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

Besides the unusual screen, Fujifilm did away with the four-way D-Pad on the back. They also re-arranged some of the buttons. The wonderful hybrid viewfinder has been improved. The camera is now made out of titanium. While the rear is clearly different, the front of the camera looks nearly identical to past models, and internally there are some big changes.

The X-Pro3 includes a new film simulation called Classic Negative. It’s supposed to mimic the look of Superia film. I’m pretty excited about Classic Negative, as I’m sure that I could create several great film simulation recipes using it. I think it might become one of my favorites, just looking at the sample images I’ve seen. There’s a good chance that it will be added to the X-T3 and X-T30 via a firmware update in the coming weeks or months, so I’m looking forward to that.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Blog

There are a ton of other new features on the X-Pro3. The headline is improved auto-focus over the X-T3 and X-T30, although Fujifilm will likely give this new algorithm to the other two cameras soon. It’s supposed to be pretty darn excellent, but I already find the X-T30 to be excellent, so it’s hard to understand how much room for improvement there could be.

The X-Pro3 has a new HDR feature, which can combine and auto-align hand-held pictures. It has much more robust multiple-exposure options, for those who do double or triple (or now up to nine) exposures. There’s a new Clarity feature. There’s a new Curves option, but it’s my understanding that it’s simply a different way to see how Highlight and Shadow adjustments effect the image. B&W toning, instead of just the warm and cool slider found on the X-T3 and X-T30, is now more like white balance shift. On the X-Pro3 you can now change the size of the faux grain, not just the intensity. I hope that all of these new features will be added to the X-T3 and X-T30 in the future, but I don’t know if they will, or perhaps just some of them. It’s clear that the X-Pro3 has some great new options to help you achieve your desired look straight out of camera.

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My opinion is that Fujifilm gave the X-Pro line a nice update with the X-Pro3. It’s essentially an X-T3, but better looking, tougher, and with some interesting new features. They’ve made it clear that this camera is about the experience of using it. If you enjoy composing through a viewfinder and not an LCD, and if you use camera-made JPEGs, the X-Pro3 was designed with you in mind. Thanks to the titanium body, it’s tough, and made to take a lickin’ and keep on tickin’ and not even get scratched (if you upgrade to one of the Dura models). It’s a camera you’ll want to buy and keep around for awhile, and not dump as soon as the next model comes out. It’s an old-school photographer’s tool, but it’s certainly not for everyone.

If you’d like to pre-order the X-Pro3, please use my affiliate links below. If you make a purchase using my links, I will be compensated a small amount for it. Nobody pays me to write the articles you find here, so using my affiliate links is a great way to support this website.

Fujifilm X-Pro3 Black:
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New: Fuji X Weekly Development Page

Fujifilm Blog

I created a new Fuji X Weekly page called Development. You can find it by clicking on the top-left “hamburger” menu and then selecting Development. This new page has absolutely nothing to do with developing pictures, but instead has posts relating to personal development as a photographer. This is where you’ll find things like how-to articles and photography advice. So far it’s not a huge list of articles, but I hope to expand it greatly in the coming months. It’s small now, but it will be much larger soon enough. I’m hoping that it will be a wonderful resource for some of you. I encourage you to check it out, and to revisit it regularly to see what’s new.

Exposure X5 – My Top 5 Favorite Features for Fujifilm Photographers

Exposure X5 is a solid option for editing RAW Fujifilm files. I shoot JPEGs, but for many years I used RAW. I tried a number of different software options to process my pictures, and by far my favorite was Exposure. This software company, until recently, was called Alien Skin, but with the latest version of Exposure they dropped that brand name, and are now known simply as Exposure. I suppose that it sounds more professional, but the Alien Skin title was fun, while Exposure is a bit bland. Whatever the name, what’s most important is whether or not the editing program is good, and Exposure X5 is indeed good!

Fuji X Weekly is known mostly for my film simulation recipes, which are JPEG settings. I found that oftentimes I can achieve my desired look for a photograph in-camera, and not having to edit my pictures saves me a ton of time. But not everyone is a JPEG shooter, and some of you who follow Fuji X Weekly use RAW, so this article is for those who need a RAW developer.

Below are my top five favorite Exposure X5 features for Fujifilm photographers! 

1. 500+ Presets

Exposure X5 Fujifilm

There are over 500 one-click presets on Exposure X5 to choose from. These presets will quickly give your photographs various looks, mostly based on actual film. Once you’ve discovered which presets you like best, you can “star” those for faster future access. You can heavily customize each preset, and save the customization for use on other pictures. You can make your own presets from scratch. You can batch edit with these presets. The idea is to save you time by speeding up your workflow. In fact, once you’re proficient at this software, it will likely speed up your workflow considerably. Exposure X5 allows you to more quickly achieve your desired look.

2. Retro Film Aesthetic

Fujifilm X-T30 Blog

Vibrant Nature – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

What I love most about Exposure X5 are all the fantastic analog-like presets that faithfully mimic the look of many different films, including ones that have been long discontinued. Looking for Kodak Gold 400? They got it. Provia 100F? Got that, too. Neopan 1600? Yep. Polaroid SX-70? Yes sir. The first era of Kodachrome? They have that as well, and many more. They have alternate processes, too, such as push-process, cross-process, split-toning, infrared and others. This goes beyond merely creating a look that more-or-less resembles the different photographic films. The folks at Exposure meticulously studied actual film to ensure they got these settings right, including authentic grain effects. Exposure X5 allows you to more accurately achieve your desired look.

3. Fujifilm Film Simulations

Fujifilm Film Simulation Exposure X5

Fujifilm Film Simulations Exposure X5

All of the Fujifilm film simulations that you know and love, with the exception of Eterna, are found in Exposure X5. That’s not entirely unusual for a RAW editor, but you might notice that these Fujifilm film simulations are the only brand-specific camera looks found in this software. You won’t find any Canon or Nikon or Sony presets, only Fujifilm. That’s because the people behind Exposure X5 love these film simulations and wanted to ensure that you had them as an option, and so you do with this software.

4. They Are Fujifilm Fans

Fujifilm X-T30 Blog

Tree Star – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

Finley Lee, the CEO of Exposure, said, “We are fans of Fujifilm cameras and are always keeping an eye out for ways to work with them better. I’m a photography hobbyist, and I love my X-T1 for photographing family and vacations.” It’s no surprise that, since the folks behind Exposure love Fujifilm cameras, they do their best to optimize their software for Fujifilm RAW files. By design, Exposure X5 is an especially good option for post-processing your Fujifilm photographs.

5. Adobe Alternative

Exposure X5 Fujifilm Blog

Exposure X5 can be used as a Lightroom or Photoshop plug-in if you’d like to integrate it into those popular programs that you might already have, allowing you to use the Exposure presets without disrupting your current workflow. However, Exposure X5 is a non-destructive, feature-rich RAW editor that can be used as a stand-alone software, which is how I run it. In other words, you could ditch Lightroom and Photoshop, and use Exposure X5 instead, as this software has many of the tools and options found in those other programs, along with the wonderful presets.

Conclusion

Cactus Fujifilm X-T30

Indoor Cactus – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

What I appreciate about Exposure X5 is that it allows me to more quickly and accurately achieve my desired look for a picture. It saves me time, while simultaneously producing a result that I prefer. It’s still not as quick as camera-made JPEGs, but for the RAW shooter this is a great way to speed things up. I almost always use JPEGs, but sporadically RAW is better or necessary for fulling my photographic vision, so I have Exposure X5 on my computer at home for those occasions when it’s necessary.

Download your free 30-day trial of Exposure X5 by clicking here. You only have to supply them with your email address in order to download the software. Exposure X5 is fully-functioning during the trial, so you have unlimited access to all of the features. You can take your time, play around with it, and decide if it works for you or not. If you do decide to buy, it’s only $120 (or $150 if bundled with their other programs), which is a great bargain for what Exposure X5 does.

This post contains an affiliate link, and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking through my link.

Sample Photographs

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Field of Bloom – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

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Summer Blossoms – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

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Autumn Begins – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

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Light Thru The Fall Tree – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5

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Golden Forest – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – RAW file edited with Exposure X5