The Fujifilm X100F

 

I bought my Fujifilm X100F on impulse. A planned impulse. I owned the X100 and the X100S. I had not gone for the T. I really wanted the F but was struggling to justify the outlay. So I sold the original X100 for a decent amount and promised myself I would sell the S too if I bought the F. Reviews convinced me that the upgrade was worth it. As luck would have it a trip to LCE Winchester to help a friend buy some gear meant a chance to check out their stock. One F left. All black. Just what I wanted. Deal done. I still have the S.

After a few months what do I think of the X100F? Well from a design point of view it’s a continuation of the superb Fuji design. I struggle with the position of the Q button, which I keep pressing accidentally. So now I keep it locked (press Menu OK for 3 seconds). I wish I didn’t have to but its no great problem. I would like an articulated rear screen just like on the X-T2 but I understand why it’s not going to happen.

I splashed out on a rather ritzy lens hood and used it once. I took it off and never put it back on. The camera is so unobtrusive and the hood spoils that.

One big plus from the upgrade is that the F uses the same batteries as the X-T2. So I always have a bunch of spares in my Domke F6 bag and don’t have to remember to switch them over when I change cameras. I do feel the camera gets a little hot at times but it is tolerable.

As you might guess from the screen comment I also have an X-T2 (and kept my X-T1). So why the X100F? Like many others I use the F for street photography. To be honest I don’t really know how to define street photography. Maybe reportage or documentary photography. Let’s be honest and call it ‘my wandering around aimlessly looking for something that interests me camera’.

The F is set up to shoot RAW + Jpegs. I would like dual slots but hey, cards are cheap now. I ‘bought’ a bunch of 64gb SanDisk SD cards with expiring air miles. That was cheap. My jpegs are usually set to the Acros R filter. My early exploration of photography was a roll of film in my dad’s Leica M3, which I still have, 31 years after he passed on. Those early fumblings under the sheets were me trying to get the film in to the developing tank. It was always black and white. Dad shot colour transparencies but negative film was B&W. So I feel nostalgia for those days. He introduced me to Cartier-Bresson and Leica Fotografie magazine. From then on I explored on my own. I have lived in Asia for most of the last 20 years and enjoy the work of Hedda Morrison and Fan Ho in particular.

I have watched a number of videos and read several articles on how others set up their Acros R. I experimented and settled on:

DR100

NR-2

H-2

S+2

Sharp+2

Metering is set to spot and I use the C setting for exposure compensation so I can adjust it using the front wheel. It just feels natural I have the screen mode set to eye sensor.

Mostly I will shoot in AF-S but sometimes I will switch to manual and use focus-peaking, just to remind me of the rangefinder that now sits in the dry cabinet most of the time. This is a very versatile camera.

Occasionally I will use the RAW file and convert but often they just get deleted.

I have no regrets at all buying the F. It looks good and it renders images beautifully if you nail the exposure. But even the jpegs can take a fair amount of tweaking. If I do process the RAW files I put them through Iridient X- Transformer. For me this is almost the perfect street camera.

Invariably my bag now contains:

Spare battery
Spare SD card
Water to stop be dehydrating in the HK heat
My X-T2 (rarely taken out)
Lens blower and brush
Lens wipes
Sunhat

That’s it. Processing is fast. I use very few presets. The Fuji options are all I need. Acros, Velvia or Classic Chrome. Tweaks tend to be shadows and highlights and sometimes a graduated ND filter courtesy of Lightroom. Fuji has brought simplicity and fun back to my photography.

 

Look Left

 

 

 

Stairway to Public Housing

 

Love is........

 

 

 

 

 

Mind the Puddle

 

 

 

 

Breakfast at Tiffany's

 

 

Advertisements

Catharsis

So once again the clear out process starts. Another move may be in the offing.

Slowly history is cleansed. Old photographs. Slides of 20+ years of birding travel.

Books to charity shops. LPs sold. Clothes to recycling. Camera gear offloaded. We are learning the ropes at the local recycling plant. A broken printer. A hair dryer that will never blow again. Boxes of birding and wildlife magazines going back to the early 90s – nobody wants them. Everything is online now. What is physically available is redundant.

What surprised me most was going through box after box of slides. I had over 40 of Galapagos alone. 36 to a roll. No chimping. No histograms. And 95% properly exposed. I was a better and slower photographer then. I really must try to scan them. What was also surprising was my ability to recall almost every image taken. I struggle to remember what I ate for breakfast but I remember shots taken in Australia in 1998. I suspect that is not a good sign.

Some things fall into the ‘what to do with it’ category. Old ornaments my parents hung on the wall. Tasteful in 1960 but now suitable only for a glimpse back in social history. Akin to Hilda’s muriels. Dad’s pewter retirement tankards: To Jim from the Lads. In 50 years time someone on Flog It (probably the same presenters) will cradle the finest tankard in his or her hands and speculate on Jim. Who was he? Who were the Lads? Engineering students. Where was he working? A wonderful artifact, they will opine. And you found it in a car boot sale! Except we won’t have cars then. Well I’d like to put it in to auction with an estimate of £4-5,000 and a reserve of £80. Just in case. To protect it. But very collectable. It will fail to make reserve just like everything else we have auctioned.

I sold two framed prints for £35. Less lot fee and commission. I was convinced I had paid £90 for them. Ah well. Then I found the receipt. I paid £245 for the pair. But they are gone and I wish the new owner well.

The purpose of all this clearing out is twofold. If we return to Hong Kong it will inevitably be to a smaller apartment. At some point if I don’t do it now it will fall to the memsahib to do the work. Simplify, declutter now. Much better. And cathartic. Don’t wait for the probate inventory. If it seems a little like throwing away your past I take comfort from the fact that what had lain untouched for over 15 years triggered instant recall in my memory. Maybe the software of the mind is all I need and the hardware can crash and go.

And with that cheery thought, I shall return to reading about the Thucydides trap.

The garden of delights.

Standing in my garden, camera in hand, I become aware of the diversity in just a few square yards. Leaving the plants to one side, as they remain a mystery to me, I feel relieved that my small patch is home to so many creatures.

After the hazels were coppiced and the branches chipped from the over-tall poplar we topped off we allowed the chippings to pile up or just cover the ground. The leaves from the red oak add to the carpet. Each step is a scrunch. I would never make a tracker. I become aware of the flies in all their varieties. I am looking for hoverflies and one cooperates. The others flee my lens. The breeze makes every shot tricky. Rarely a lull. Hence my position. Static. Alert. Hopeful. Frustrated. Then a surge of adrenaline. A damselfly. Red! Not what I normally see here. This is Large Red Damselfly, Pyrrhosoma nymphula. I become acutely aware of my shadow. I must let it sit and bask. Shade will cause it to move. Two or three times it shifts. I take a couple of distant record shots. I kneel. The under-carpet scrunches. I hold my breath. I raise my camera. I quietly press the shutter. I pivot as silently as I can. I edge closer. I press again. Gone.

Pyrrhosoma nymphula2Pyrrhosoma nymphula

Bees are everywhere. Never pausing. Nose in, body wriggle, reverse out. Next please. Large queens and tiny early bees. And nomad bees too. The ones I thought were small wasps. Oh no. Cleptoparasites. But today not one will let me take a single frame. They quarter the leaf litter and rotting wood like miniature harriers. They drop out of sight, emerge and dive under the foliage. Constantly moving. Gone.

From my position I can hear birds all around me. The blackcaps, the chiffchaffs, the rattle of a mistle thrush and if I walk a few paces to my left, the incessant demands of the nuthatch chicks. I watched the parents a day or so ago. They are returning to the nest every minute or so. Land, pause, in, feed, peek out. Clear. Away. Repeat.

The strong breezes have stopped the moths in their tracks. Nothing wants to fly in such conditions. The temperatures have risen but the moths need a calmer night to kick off the summer season. Will tonight be the night? Standing here I don’t really care. I am surrounded by bluebells and the garden is alive. Pyrrhosoma nymphula has made my day.