Hands-on the new Fuji XF 55-200

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image courtesy: grittymonkey

Grittymonkey published his considerations about the brand new XF 55-200 here. Among other things he says that:

“the AF performed perfectly during my first day of shooting with it! It is fast (normally fast, I am not talking here about lighting speed, but it is not slow either) and reliable (it locked where asked every time instead of the fruitless hunting I have experienced with other lenses and former versions of the firmware). […] The manual focus is again well implemented with just the right amount of turn to be made to adjust the focus. […] Racked out at 200mm and wide open, the XF55-200mm produces a pleasant bokeh, with uniformed and perfectly round circles of light, and very smooth blurred areas.

All in all, this new lens is a great addition to the XF lens lineup and I cannot wait for the ultra-wide zoom to come out in a few months. After that, I will have a complete set up to take with me whenever on travel, and my DSLR will definitely stay at home (my back already loves that idea).”

XF 55-200 pre-order: USAAdoramaBHphoto / AmazonUS / DigitalRev / Uniquephoto / Pictureline / Europe: AmazonUK / AmazonDE / PCHstore Brussel / Worldwide ebay: slidoo (available in Japan)

[UDPATE: Feedback: Silkypix + X20] Silkypix 5.0.39 with improved X-Trans support now available!

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Silkypix announced the updated program (Ver.5.0.39) for improved RAW image development of Fuji Film’s X-series on “SILKYPIX Developer Studio Pro5.” here. In the release note (here) it says:

Image quality improvement of a development for photographs filmed with a digital camera which uses X-Trans CMOS sensor. The improved image processing algorithm reduces several undesirable effects (moire, etc.) but keeps high resolution of a photograph. In addition, color reproducibility of photographs filmed under specific conditions is improved.

Click here to download the latest version of Silkypix (30 days trial available).

Download, try it out and leave your feedback in the comments. And check Rico’s comparison at Flickr.

Thanks for telling me, Bille!

cheers
Patrick

[UPDATE]

FR-reader Bille was so kind (he owns the X20) to sent me his findings about the new Silkypix version

[…] Files developped with the new version of SP5, camera is X20, the places are my home (portait of Grand Ma and the Dog), Paris (Fountain of Saint Michel, a little ghost flare on the left of the pix, the Beggar and its dog), Marne River near Paris (the boat).
The fujifilm X20 is a very capable camera, much better than any compact I had till now.

My foundings are:

a) the previous SP5 version with the support of the X20 had a major issue with the white balance, the green channel was over represented, correctable through the tools but this version 5.0.39 has the proper decoding, it is far easier to work and colors are  more faithful.
b) the previous version had some patterns showing in the developped image at full enlargement, pixel peeping, for the X20, these were squares of Moiré, the new version has reduced a lot this phenomenon. Still visible when pictures are taken at setting over 800 iso. But the noise reduction tool can really reduce this easily (with some loss of detail)
c) The previous version produced some ‘muddy’ contour for the X20 images, while the new version shows nicer contours, This is visible, again, at pixel peeping distance. At reasonable distance, images from the X20 thru previous SP5 looked ‘dull’.This phenomenon was clear on the images taken with the X20 sensor, less with the X100 sensor. Reason, the X20 has a smaller sensor than the X100 and the processing needs subtler algorithms.

I have developped sample raw images from the X100 downloaded at the site www.focusnumerique.com and with the previous version of SP5, the contours were a bit smeared. Not much. Now, with the version V5.0.39, I have more details and sharpers contours, like using a Leica CL in the old days of the FujiChrome Provia!

This version of Silkypix 5.0.39 has been a giant leap forward for the Compact X20, addressing some nasty issues. All my enquiries to ISL and the support team has been answered with a great accuracy and courtesy. This is important to mention: ISL back supports its customers and does it well.

The camera X20 has been sold since first week of April, it’s normal to discover a few bugs. But they have been addressed by Editors or Manufacturers.

I’m now a happy camper!

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** CLICK HERE to Read the Rest of the Article **

miXed zone: “When god was not there”, the enlight photoshow, lenses and more

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image courtesy: Donato Chirulli (riflessifotograficitheartofphotography)

In February Donato Chirulli from riflessifotorafici  visited Auschwitz, equipped with the X-E1, the 35mm and 18mm. He tried to put his feelings and thoughts into images. The result are some really strong pictures that impressed also le journal de la photographie.

You can read Donato’s introduction to his work and see his pictures here at le journal de la photographie.

And if you want, stop by Donato’s new blog the art of photography to see some of his most interesting shots.

_ _ _

You can see the first episode of the enlight photoshow here at youtube and read Dave’s introduction to the show here at his blog. In this episode: 1) Smart Phone Tip (from minute 00:00) 2) Bill Cunningham (from minute 02:20) 3) Mirroless Cameras / X-PRO1 (from minute 06:30) 4) DKP – Theatre shoot  (from minute 12:43)

“Whether you love shooting photos with your smartphone, compact, mirror-less, compact, SLR, medium format or even good old film, the enlight photo Show is for you. This is a show full of a variety of shooting tips, technique tips, photo film reviews, gear features and more, hosted by James Madelin the founder of enlight photo and produced by Dave Kai Piper, noted UK fashion photographer.”

X100S

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– Photoluma “Fujifilm X100S – outdoor photography usability review ” can be read here.

– “It is a joy to use. I can’t help but agree with the reviews by Zack Arias and Bert Stephani…this is the best camera I have used. It’s small, feels right, looks right, produces stunning images and feels like an extension of my eye/ mind/ heart/ soul. It’s the best, in my opinion, not because of one outright performance factor, but because of the sum of the parts.” Read ianmacmichaelphotography‘s review here.

X20

Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– X20 review at CNET (click here). “There’s a lot to recommend the Fujifilm X20, especially if you’re looking for a more old-school shooting experience in a digital compact or want an optical viewfinder and can’t afford the X100S. It delivers very good performance, a nice feel, and a streamlined interface. But its image quality — while very good — doesn’t make it stand out from the competition, and its video disappoints.”

– “Hey guys, I did a ‘usability’ review of the new Fuji’s (X100s and X20) based on a trip to the Easter celebrations in Sicily, thought you might be interested in how the cameras worked for this kind of event based documentary photography. Colin” Click here

lenses

– Review: SLR Magic 23mm f1.7 (specs&price) (Fujifilm X Mount) at the phoblographer here.

– slgear XF 14mm review here. “There’s no question Fuji has spent a lot of time on this lens: Sharpness at ƒ/2.8 is very good, and excellent at ƒ/4 or smaller; distortion is non-existent (quite a feat in and of itself on a wide-angle lens), and chromatic aberration is also hard to come by. While the price tag for this lens might be high, there’s no doubt that you get what you pay for.

– Quick test, XF 60mm vs Olympus 60mm f/2.8 at admiringlight here.

– “Hi Patrick! I have some pictures with the Fuji X-E1 and the Samyang 8 mm f/2.8 on my site. […]. if you wish to share the link, feel free to do so.” See Matti Sulanto’s shots taken with the X-E1 and Samyang 8mm at sulantoblog here.

image courtesy: sulantoblog

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Zeiss Touit 32 vs Fuji XF 35 at thephoblographer

Busy times for Rico at the moment. The X-pert corner will come back in June. In the meantime you can purchase Rico’s useful book here: Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version)

thephoblographer: youtube

thephoblographer posted some comparison pics (from f1.8 to f16) of the new Touit 32mm vs the XF 35mm. Check it out here.

“While both lenses are quite good, Fujifilm has a major advantage with a more affordable offering while also retaining a better build quality. However, Zeiss has faster focusing and better image quality. This is kind of a tough test to consider but we should all take comfort in knowing that both lenses are excellent. […] I’ll have to give the win to the Zeiss despite owning Fujifilm’s lens.

Zeiss Touit 32mm pre-order: USA: Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / Pictureline / Europe: AmazonDE / ebayUK / PCHstore Brussel
Zeiss Touit 12mm pre-order: USA: Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / Pictureline / Europe: AmazonDE / ebayUK / PCHstore Brussel

image courtesy: thephoblographer

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miXed zone: X100S, X20, Touit and XF 14mm

X100S
Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

-FR-reader Olaf continues his coverage of the Fuji X100s. This time you’ll find a clear list of thoughts about the camera and the files it produces: “JPEGs straight from the camera continue to impress us. The prints from JPEGs are gorgeous (11×17) and from TIFFs they are even better. The fun factor, portability, is unlike anything on the market now.” Read the whole list here (and see his beautiful shots of Vancouver).

image courtesy: Olaf

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– The most popular digital cameras or April according to digitalcamerareview? The top three are: 1) Nikon D7100 2) X100S 3) Canon PowerShot SX50 HS . Check the whole list here.

X20
Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– amateurphotographer X20 preview here. “Although it handles almost identically to its predecessor, the X20 could be a significant leap forward due to its use of the X-Trans sensor. If this type of sensor has the same improvement in resolution that we saw when it was used in the X-Pro1, then it could push the X20 into the same bracket as the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100. The X20 has the potential to be a very exciting compact camera.”

– danbaileyphoto X20 sample shots and impressions can be checked out here. “The X20 holds its own because OVERALL, it’s a great camera with solid quality, lots of usable features and a really cool design. Without at doubt, it’s one of the best compact cameras on the market today.

 Zeiss Touit

– The riflessifotografici guys Max and Donato are two of those photographers chosen by Zeiss to test the two new X-mount lenses. Seems that they are already working on it, as they announced that the review is coming soon. Looking forward it.

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– Zeiss touit hands on + photos at findingrange (Zeiss press event).

“I love the Fuji lenses but from the limited time that I was able to use the  Zeiss Touit lenses, I feel like there’s more life to the images. I really feel like images look less clinical than images shot with the Fuji lenses. The 32mm f1.8 will definitely be a hot little portrait lens because of the way it draws.  It’s a little slower than the XF 35mm F1.4 R lens but that’s perfectly ok by me.  The bokeh is ultra smooth and inviting. The 12mm f2.8 is priced at $1250, which might seem like a hard pill to swallow but think about it this way; the XF 14mm is already priced at $899. You’re already at the $1,000 range, so if it was me, I would just jump for the Zeiss.  You’re getting a better built lens with all glass, and again, the Zeiss look and image quality. Plus, don’t forget; you probably bought the Fuji (or the Sony) because of the image quality. If that’s the case, then it only makes sense to put top quality lenses on it.”

Zeiss Touit 32mm pre-order: USA: Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / Pictureline / Europe: AmazonDE / ebayUK / PCHstore Brussel
Zeiss Touit 12mm pre-order: USA: Adorama / BHphoto / Uniquephoto / Pictureline / Europe: AmazonDE / ebayUK / PCHstore Brussel

XF14mm
Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay

– “A walk on the wide side, …or how I use ultra wides like the Fujinon 14mm.” Read the article at wideanglecafe.com. Here just an extract… and if you read it all, George will tell you the 4 golden rules for ultra wides.

“The obvious impulse is to go large and look for grand vistas. I find this is invariably a mistake. With a field of view of 21mm on the X-Pro1, the Fujinon 14mm is still a 14mm lens and its perspective reduces even the mightiest of mountains to hillocks in your images if you are not close enough. My wife took me up a mountain recently to show me the perilous route she took across the mountain on horseback. The image below was shot for fun with the X-Pro1 panorama feature and the 14mm lens. The mountains in the background are not that far away and they are over 1200m high. Where I am standing is at around 600m. The image is….well…rubbish really and gives no sense of the dramatic route that she took. A better way to take this shot would be to stitch multiple shots using a lens that is closer to the perspective of the human eye, say 50mm or so.”

image courtesy: wideanglecafe

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