[Thoughts] Fujifilm X-T1

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Fujifilm X-T1 / Image source: http://www.fujifilm.eu)

There will be no film images this week. Two rolls of Lomography Color Negative (Medium Format) are done. But the new local “lab” I’ll be testing, is out of chemicals. It’s a small operation for development and scanning film, that’s getting ready to start its service in 2016. On the plus side: after developing, the images will be scanned with a Nikon Coolscan film scanner!

So instead I’ll be sharing my thoughts and images made with the Fujifilm X-T1, which I was able to test during the 500px Fujifilm Photo Walk for ~3 hours. Not enough time for a “review”, so here are just a couple of thoughts.


Originally I was looking for a small, lightweight digital camera, that I could carry around all the time. I looked at the Fujifilm X100S/T, but the fixed lens is a 35mm equivalent and with the tele conversion lens on top the camera is big again.

Size / Weight

The size and the weight of the camera were a little bit higher, than I was expecting, but still completely okay. The kit lens made it quite a bit bulkier. If I should ever use a X-type Fujifilm camera in the future, it will be with a prime lens anyway.

Handling / Electronic Viewfinder

You often hear other photographer say “The camera is just a tool.” and that’s the main thing I had to think about, while using the X-T1. No idea if that’s a good or bad thing. It only takes pictures, it’s not a magic box. You still have to do, what you always do. What you have to do with any camera.

The electronic viewfinder was confusing. I could see pixels, the colors were wrong (blue tint to everything), it was dark, it was strange. Maybe there are better settings. I’m used to big optical viewfinders and this was my first time using an electronic one. I didn’t like it that much. Maybe it was just the difference I didn’t like, not the viewfinder itself. Lets see how they improve in the future.

Lens / Focal Lengths

The kit zoom lens was okay, but I really missed having a prime lens. Looking at the used focal lengths afterwards was quite surprising. Most of them hovered around 35mm. Multiply that with 1.5 (the APS-C to full frame crop factor) and you end up at around 50mm – the focal length I usually shoot with. Seems as can take the 50mm out of my hands, but not out of my brain.

I would have loved to try the camera with the new Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 attached. Well, maybe another time…

I found out during the test, that I actually prefer a wheel dial to an aparture control ring on the lens. Old habits, I guess.

Image Quality / Colors

The only digital files I can compare them with are those of my Nikon D7100. Image quality is good. Colors are better, than the “unprocessed” Nikon files. But since I use film emulation for almost all my digital files anyway, in the end it doesn’t matter.

Conclusion

It’s a good looking black box that takes pictures, like any other camera. There’s almost religious hype around the camera, that I couldn’t understand while testing the camera for 3 hours. Maybe it takes more time. Maybe it takes being a photographer, that I’m not.

I’ll keep an eye on future camera developments from Fujifilm. Until then I’ll stick with what I already have and focus on improving myself, instead of changing gear.


500px Fujifilm Photo Walk Leipzig, Germany | September 2015


Shop Talk

Gear: Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujinon XF 18–55mm f/2.8–4 (kit lens)

Post processing: Lightroom + VSCO Film #00

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Roll #34 – Samsung Prime Color 200

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Samsung Prime Color 200 (expired 05/2004)

I bought a 10-pack of these on eBay (couldn’t find them in any smaller amount) and shot 3 rolls so far. One here in Leipzig and two in the National Park Hainich. I loved the colors of Samsung Prime Color 100, but I couldn’t find that stock either.

It’s sad to see, that all those nice films are gone. Well, not really gone – some of it is still around. But since it’s no longer produced, the number of rolls available will only be going down.

Maybe all the falling leaves make me think about all the production stops of film stock. But it’s not all doom and gloom. If this project has shown me one thing, it’s that there’s still a lot of film out there.

National Park Hainich + Leipzig, Germany / Oct 2015

Shop-Talk:

35mm, color negative film, 24 exposures, ISO 200.
Expired 05/2004, shot at ISO 100.

Nikon F80/N80 + Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8G + Samsung Prime Color 200
Film bought for 1,70 EUR via eBay.
Developed and scanned by Foto Schröter (Riesa).

Roll #33 – CineStill 50D

CineStill 50D
CineStill 50D

Paying 9 EUR for a single roll of repackaged cinema film, I somehow expected more. Better colors (scans were postprocessed to look like they do now), better sharpness, better anything. Comparison images on the internet look much better.

Is it a subjectiv perception thing? Is it a matter of a good scan? Am I too critical? Well, it looks like I might have access to a Nikon Coolscan soon, so I’ll run the film through that again. So there might be an update to this entry in the future. Keep your eyes open!

Enough tech talk! This is the “Treetop Path”, you climb a tower from which you can see around or can take elevated path branches (hoho!) through the treetops. Early morning light, slowly disappearing fog in the distance… it was quite magical.

National Park Hainich, Germany / Oct 2015

Shop-Talk:

35mm, color negative film, 36 exposures, ISO 50.

Nikon F80/N80 + Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8G + CineStill 50D
Film bought for 9 EUR via MacoDirect.
Developed and scanned by Foto Schröter (Riesa).

Roll #32 – Wegert Pro 200

Wegert Pro 200 (expired 09/2005)
Wegert Pro 200 (expired 09/2005)

Since I’m behind schedule quite a bit, I’ll start numbering the blog entries by roll and not by week. On top of that I’d have to publish more than 2 rolls each week to catch up until the end of the year. I doubt that’ll happen, so I’ll continue the project into 2016 until 52 rolls are done.

There are almost no leaves on the trees anymore, I’m very glad I had the chance to spend a weekend in the Hainichen national park.

National Park Hainich, Germany / Oct 2015

Shop-Talk:

35mm, color negative film, 24 exposures, ISO 200, expired 2005.

Nikon F80/N80 + Nikkor AF 50mm 1.8G + Wegert Pro 200
Film bought for 2,00 EUR via eBay.
Developed by Foto Schröter (Riesa).
Scanned with Epson V550.