I have been pretty good about not buying new gear this year but today I lapsed. I bought the new Canon 24-70 F2.8 lens. I just had to own up. But this post is not about that or indeed insects or birds. Today was officially a ‘shopping day’.
Regular readers will know that this means I sneak a small camera in my bag and whilst Mrs. Ha is deciding what to spend my ill gotten gains on, I take the odd snap. It was a rare outing for my Leica X1 today. Indeed the last time I processed images from this little gem was February if my Lightroom database is to be believed. It is of course officially now ‘no good’ as Leica has binned it for the X2. I haven’t a clue what the upgrade is all about as the IQ on the X1 is pretty impressive. What lets it down is its lethargic, some might say glacial, autofocus. You can drink your coffee whilst it snaps into place. As with big brother the M9 the high ISO capability leaves a lot to be desired too. Hence my straying over to the X100. But heck, most people would love to own an X1, I guess. After all, its got a little red dot on it. Actually mine is blacked out as a form of inverted snobbery. Oh, the other drawback to the X1 is that it can’t shoot RAW only so I usually delete all the jpegs, a completely absurd requirement from such an expensive toy. Why DO I have to have a jpeg to go with my gorgeous RAW or rather DNG file. Yes, just to be absolutely clear, Leica cameras do not produce a RAW file as such but the open source (if that be the expression) DNG format, digital negatives. In fact I’m positive of that.
One file in particular I liked. If you don’t then you’ll be pretty bored as I am going to show three versions. One is the original B&W jpeg, one is the original colour DNG converted to B&W in LR and simply sharpened and resized in CS6 and the third is a full CS6 conversion with no adjustments of note in LR (minor cropping).
Firstly, this is what the jpeg looks like straight out of the camera.
Any good? Well, not my choice. How about number two, done in LR.
Hmm. Nice hint of sepia. And number three done primarily in CS6.
Well there you are……….. you may think this is a lot of faffing about for not much change but I enjoy it. I do think the degree of tweaking you can do to RAW/DNG files makes them worth having. But each to his or her own.
The $64,000 question is “where is this?”
Well the answer is it is in the fabric room of Shanghai Tang. Whilst Mrs. Ha and the androgynous attendant chose the fabric for a frock, I took just one shot. This one. It was quite a restful place and fine in decor. I am not sure whether ST permits photography on the premises but I hope they will excuse my lapse. My finger slipped and I pressed the shutter button my accident, m’lud. And it was all done in the best possible taste. And we came away contented. Mrs. Ha found what she wanted and I took a snap with my X1. A joyous conclusion to the stress of a shopping foray.