X-PRO1 + Minolta lenses. ikphotography experience

image courtesy: ikphotography

A few days ago i received a mail from ikphotography (click here to visit his blog). He tried out some Minolta lenses on the X-PRO1 (click here). The photographer says: “This is not a scientific test or lens review and should not be taken in anyway shape or form as such, i simply write my experience with these lenses and an attempt to give those interested an idea of what to expect using this combination.

To me, he made a really accurate and passionate job (click here, choose a lens to read and look at the picutres). The Minolta lenses tested were:

1) 24mm F2.8 Minolta MC: One of the sharpest, if not the sharpest Minolta lens ever produced. ikphotography says: “This lens is a gem. It is a bit hard to find on the used market.” Well, at this point I would like to share a little secret with you all. I found this lens in a few seconds because there is a really easy way to look for used (or new) products worldwide on ebay. I use slidoo.com (click here to see the results for the 24mm F2.8 Minolta MC). Slide, search, and if you don’t find what you want, simply click “save this search and get notified”, and once the product you looked for is on ebay, you will be informed immediately. For more details read the short and clear “About Us” of slidoo (click here).

But let’s go back to the ikphotography pictures…

2) 28mm F2 Minolta MD W Rokkor-x: “Between f2.8 and 5.6 the optical quality is absolutely fantastic.

3) Minolta MC 28mm F2.5 W Rokkor SI – 1st Generation: “I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves, notice there’s a tiny bit of distortion though by not much, easily fixed in PP, pleasantly contrasty, has a film like rendering, nice bokeh wide open, sharpens when stopped down. At F4-5.6 which many lenses excel, this lens is no different. It is exquisite! For around $50-$100 on he used market, this is a serious lens to consider.

4) 28mm Minolta MD/MC/Auto Rokkor f/2.8 and 3.5: “Sharp wide open at 2.8, very well built as with other Minolta lenses of this era, light weight with nice heft really balances well on the X-Pro 1. Half click stops from f/2.8 to f/22 on the aperture ring which is nice for fine tuning exposure. Razor sharp when stopped down, fantastic between f/4-5.6. It is the sharpest of the 28mm 2.8/3.5 MD/MC variations i have used to date. Easily found on the used market for almost next to nothing.”

5) 35mm Minolta MD/MC/Auto Rokkor f/2.8: ” As with all Minolta lenses, they are extremely well made especially the early Auto Rokkor’s, compact and balances very well on the X-Pro 1. Performance of these lenses are also very good, wide open at 2.8 you get a nice soft sharp rendering though the later 35mm’s such as the MD’s in my opinion are sharper wide open, stopped down to f/4-5.6 they are at their best without any noticeable difference amongst the early and later ones.”

Thanks to ikphotography. And if you enjoyed the images so stay tuned, because he will update his blog with more Minolta lenses.

X-E1 review and comparison with D600 and NEX-7

OK, this time it’s Chinese! The automatic translation-tools requests a bit of imagination to find a sense in what is written. But the good thing is, that there are a lot of pictures. This time it’s the Chinese pcpop.com that has reviewed the X-E1.

In this case we have also a comparison with the Nikon D600 and the Sony NEX-7! A tough fight.

Here you can see the comparison between the X-PRO1, X-E1 and NEX-7 (see the pictures here).

The next comparison is between the X-E1 and the D600. Take a look at the JPEGs of these cameras (click here).

There are many more images, about ISO, noise reduction, and videos about the auto-focus. Just click through the test.

Check it out and share your considerations in the comments.

 

 

 



X-F1 review at photographyblog

rotate to 25, pull, step 1, step 2, rotate until it clicks, pull… is it all too complicated?

We have already posted the link to the 49 sample JPEG photos at the end of this post (click here). Now the photographyblog.com posted the full review (click here). This time no translation is needed :-).

I know, “De gustibus non est disputandum” (literally “In matters of taste, there can be no disputes”). And in this case there is no dispute. Every review I’ve read, every comment, simply agrees: this vintage-styled camera looks great. Also photographyblog says: “The Fujifilm XF1 is a classically styled camera with a beautiful retro design that can’t fail to impress everyone that sees it. In an age where digital cameras are virtually ubiquitous, the Fujifilm XF1 stands out by a country mile thanks to it uniquely clean styling and solid build quality, not to mention a wealth of photographer-friendly features.” It’s a “very well-built camera, with absolutely no flex or movement in its chassis.” Only the supplied wrist strap isn’t quite as luxurious as the rest of the package.

Also this camera has his PROS and CONS and the conclusions of photographyblog are:

Although not quite on a par with the X10 and X100, the XF1’s build quality is very good, and the image quality from the large 2/3-inch CMOS sensor is markedly better than virtually all other compacts. Noise is noticeable only by its almost complete absence from ISO 100-800, with the faster full-resolution settings of 1600 and 3200 also being very usable. The 4x lens is commendably sharp and distortion free at both ends of its focal range, while the f/1.8 maximum aperture at 25mm makes it easier than most compacts to creatively throw the background out of focus (although it does quickly slow to f/4.9 at full telephoto).”

The manual lens ring didn’t convince the testers. Although they appreciate the possibility to zoom quickly and set the focal length by turning the ring with a short and tactile movement they say that “we’d much prefer a simple on/off button to the frankly convoluted way of turning the camera, with the Standby mode feeling redundant.” It only adds complexity to the handling of the camera.

The auto-focus is pretty quick. According to Fuji the camera focuses in 0.16 seconds. “In practice there’s a very slight delay as it locks onto the subject, but it’s more than fast enough for everyday shooting.”

So whereas the Fujifilm X10 got the combination of retro style and a photographer-friendly approach largely right, the new XF1 feels a bit less well-realised. Not to say that it’s a bad camera – and it is also the cheapest X-series model in the now extensive range – but overall the Fujifilm XF1 doesn’t have quite the same appeal as the rest of the range…

Read much more in the detailed review (click here).

The X-F1 is still not available in USA. We will inform you immediately when we find this camera in stock. In the meantime you can pre-order it here:

Amazon US: (preorder here) / Adorama (preorder here) / B&H (preorder here)

 

X-E1… “for everyone who celebrates photography”! digitalliving review

image courtesy: Fujifilm (X-E1 sample images)

In the jungle of reviews of the new X-E1 (there is really much interest around this camera), sometimes there are really good ones. And here it is another one, made by the the Swiss digitalliving.ch (click here). It’s in German. If you have good command of this language, just jump to the review on their website (click here). Otherwise here is a short summary and translation (I think my translations are better than the google ones… but I’m open for critics ;-) ), and then look at the test pictures on digitalliving.ch. The question here is:

 Is the X-E1 (click here) the little sister of the X-Pro1 (click here) or the biggest rival?

 As the reviews of luminouslandscape and stevehuffpost, also this one is really enthusiastic about the X-E1.

ISO

PROS: ISO is very very good. You can shoot acceptable images with ISO 6400, so that you don’t need a flash at twilight.

CONS: If you use the ISO-automatic, you cannot adjust the shutter speed. And if you let the camera adjust automatically the ISO, the X-E1 chooses a too slow shutter speed and that causes often blurred images. But Fuji could solve this problem with a firmware update, so that the ISO-automatic could benefit of the big potential of this camera. In the past, many aspects that photographers criticised on the X-PRO1 had been solved from Fuji by firmware updates (faster autofocus, for example). The tester is sure that Fuji will also work on the ISO-automatic problem.

The body

PROS: A lot easier than the X-Pro1, and the camera feels easy also with the 35mm lens on it. The tester suggest to change the ordinary and simple strap of this camera with the much more comfortable and nice Street Strap (click here), or maybe this Joby 3-camera Way strap (click here) (for further information about how comfortable this strap really is, read the phoblograher post here).

CONS: /

The EVF and Display

PROS: The electronic viewfinder is very good and rich in contrast, with a high image frequency. There is no hybrid viewfinder, and so the camera competes with the Sony Nex-series (click here) and the Olympus OM-D E-M5 (click here). The X-E1 is cheaper and easier than the X-PRO1 also because of the renunciation of a hybrid finder. The addition of a diopter in the EVF is a really nice feature.

CONS: A flippable display would be a nice feature. No hybrid viewfinder like on the X-PRO1.

The X-Trans-Sensor and RAW

PROS: We have talked a lot about this sensor, and digitalliving confirms: the sensor beats rest of the APS-C competitors. A beautiful “analogue” colour reproduction. The quality is the same as the X-PRO1: simply great! The new technology reproduces better colours and prevents also the Moiré pattern (click here for more. This effect happens for example when you take images of geometrical patterns, like sometimes on clothes).

CONS: As we know (click here), there is a lack of software-support for RAW-files of the X-Trans sensor.

Image quality of JPEGs

PROS: The digitalliving tester says, that once you have seen the jpegs that this camera shoots, then the RAW-problem seems immediately much smaller. He says you have to use all the superlatives you have to describe them: fantastic, incredible…”.

CONS: /

Handling and Menu interface

PROS: The camera is really easy to handle, if you know the basic correlation between ISO, shutter and aperture (the exposure triangle… click here). The camera can adjust these settings automatically. The tester says, that this kind of adjustment, using the wheels, brings back that joy in photography, that the digital era has taken away from us. There is a dedicated button “Q” that once pressed, shows you the 16 most important functions on the display. The camera puts the most used function automatically on the FN-button, so that you can access there immediately. All in all, a very good handling and interface makes this camera easy to use.

CONS: The 16 most important menu functions do not include the film-function. You have to jump to the second page of the menu. But, if you want, you can “sacrifice” the FN-button for the video-function. Would you?

Autofocus

PROS: As on the X-PRO1, also the autofocus of the X-E1 isn’t the fastest, but there was an improvement and now it is fast enough for the normal use. So, it’s not the fastest, but once the camera focuses, pictures are very very sharp.

CONS: Not that good for action and sport photography.

Film

PROS: The camera films in Full-HD with 24 fps . There is a stereo-microphone and a microphone jack (no jack on X-PRO1)

CONS: Most of the other cameras of this price range have 30 fps. But sure, film is not priority in this camera.

The flash

PROS: A nice feature of this camera is that you can use the build-in pop-up flash to control your studio flashlight-system.

CONS: Well, it’s a built-in flash, don’t expect it to illuminate a whole room!

Verdict

All in all, the X-E1 beats the X-Pro1 in every aspect, apart from the hybrid viewfinder. Cheaper, easier, and same image quality. This camera is for everyone “who celebrates photography”, but not for sport-photographers. It’s fun to shoot pictures with this camera, easy to use, and apart some little things, this camera satisfies every wish.

that’s all folks!

PS.: for those lucky ones that already have or tested the X-E1… add your own PROS and CONS in the comments!

X-E1: “the closest thing to perfection”… stevehuffphoto review

It’s time for X-E1 reviews. This camera attracts the interest of many, and I found an interesting review on stevehuffphoto.

Excellent image quality, sharp and natural pictures, amazing ISO and low light performance, beautiful color rendition and the JPEG are “just that good“. Maybe you have to get used to the EVF, but the EVF is, according to this review, one of the best in color, contrast and clarity. The camera feels solid and well built. And even if there is no focus-peaking feature, there where no problems to get the shots in good focus with the CV 21mm f/4, the 40mm f/1.4 Nokton and the 50mm f/1.5 Nokton.

I enjoyed the big amount of lenses testet in combination with the X-E1. You can find pictures shot with the Fuji 18mm and 35mm lens, the The Voigtlander 21mm f/4 Skopar, 40mm and 50mm f/1.4 Nokton, Zeiss 35mm f/2 Biogon and at least the Leica 50mm f/2 Summitar.

The conclusions are that “the XE1 feels mature. I think Fuji has learned a lot over the last year from the release of the x100 and XPro1, and they’ve done a good job listening to feedback from the photographers out there using their cameras. Overall operational speed on the XE1 is good; not blazing fast like a high-end DSLR, but certainly fast enough for many of us” and although the autofocus speed is drastically improved with the last firmware and is fast enough “on some occasions with the 35mm lens, it had a little trouble locking on exactly what you want it to“.

_

bye by Patrick