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Fuji X-E1 tested at Dpreview (gets the Gold Award).

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The likely most famous digital photography website Dpreview tested the Fuji X-E1 (Click here to read the article). Here is the last part of their conclusions: “From the simple slab-sided design to Fujifilm’s enthusiast-friendly control logic, the X-E1 is tuned for the enthusiast photographer who likes straightforward controls and a no-nonsense emphasis on still photography. As such, despite it’s sub-par movie mode and less than stellar autofocus performance, it earns our coveted gold award, by a whisker.

By comparison, the X-PRO 1 earned the “Silver Award”.

Check the price and in Stock status of the two X cameras:
Fuji X-E1 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.
Fuji X PRO 1 at Amazon, Adorama, B&H, eBay.

ACR 7.4 RC conclusions at soundimageplus + X20 vs RX100 ISO comparison

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image courtesy: soundimageplus

Soundimageplus tested ACR7.4 RC over the last days and posted some conclusions here about the Fuji X-Trans files (and multi-image stitching) with the new update.

“The simple answer to that is that it’s very good indeed… Dynamic range is OK, Fuji claim a lot for it but its good not great in terms of the raw files… In terms of comparison with what else I use, these are clearly the best files from any of my mirrorless cameras, other than my DP Merrill files at ISO 100 of course… I also prefer what I’m getting now from these Fuji files to those that I get from my NEX cameras…  I want quick and efficient raw processing and I’ve now got that. Why this wasn’t done months ago is still a mystery and it has, I am convinced, affected how people view Fuji’s products and indeed sales of their cameras..”

In the meantime FR-reader Tom posted this ISO-comparison image in the comments to the previous post. You can find the article here at dslr-check (translated version). The comparison includes the X20, Sony RX100, XF1, and Leica D-LUX6.

image courtesy: dslr-check

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miXed Zone

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image courtesy: Mike Kobal

 Shot with the Fuji X-E1 and the Tokina 11-16mm at 11mm.

X-E1

Roshan Vyas travels a lot. And he was tired of carrying the heavy Nikon D7000 around Europe. So he sold it off, and was tempted to buy a Leica M9. But “having a need to continue eating and living under a roof, I wasn’t about to spend a few months mortgage on a used M9 and lenses.” He found a compromise and bought the X-E1, a Leica lens (Leica Summicron-M 50mm f/2) and RainbowImaging lens adapter. Compared to the X-E1, the Leica lens is heavy, “causing the combination to be a little off balance“. The results? Look at his first two sample shots and read more here on his website.

Here is a comprehensive Italian review (translated version). It’s a good overview about the X-E1. And, I know, you will think that a comparison with FF-cameras is unfair… but on page seven you will find some ISO-comparison samples. This time the competitors are the Canon 5D Mark II, Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 6D and the Nikon D600. (thanks Omar)

Fuji X-E1 + Elmarit-R 24mm F2.8 + metabones speed booster (via slidoo). See the sample shots at dc.watch (translated version).

XF 14mm

How to never miss another shot with the Fujifilm X-E1: Zone focusing“… DOF with the XF14mm explained by Mike Kobal here!

We’re currently testing the Fujifilm 14mm lens with the XE-1 body. We’ve included the entire aperture range from f/2.8 to f/22 to show what the lens is capable of. A gallery of 40 JPEG photos taken with the Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R lens.” See all samples here at photographyblog.

FixelPix loves his XF 18mm lens. But now the XF 14mm arrived, and he shot for one hour with it. “I know a number of people have asked if the 14mm is really worth the investment over the 18mm. I personally think it is, 21mm (full frame equiv.) offers a fair bit more image than the 28mm. I’ve marked the approximate scale factors between the 14mm,18mm and 35mm lenses. […] There is a massive versatility of speed + ultra wide + stunning output and I can’t wait to get it know it better. The Fujinon 14mm lens looks like the perfect companion for both landscape photography as well as general street / documentary work.” Read more and see his long exposure shots here at FixelPix.

image courtesy: FixelPix

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Sony 35mm f1.8 (NEX) vs Fujifilm 35mm f1.4

The phoblographer made an informal Lens comparison: Sony 35mm f1.8 (NEX) vs Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4 (X Mount). “As far as this test goes, Sony has done great things with their lenses, sensors and cameras. But in terms of pure image quality, it still can’t stack up to Fujifilm.” See the comparison pics here on his website.

X-PRO1

Fuji X-Pro1 Portrait Review at roughly365 (read it here). “For me the X-Pro1 was built for this kind of work, I needed a powerful yet discreet bit of kit. It slipped into my pocket easily… I can see how the Fuji X-Pro1 system would be amazing for wedding photography and documentary/backstage photographers, the files are defiantly comparable to the canon 5dII when shooting RAW….Would I swap my Canon Kit for the X-Pro1 kit?? NO….  I find the X-Pro1 to be the perfect camera to have in your kit as a backup/2nd/3rd/4th? camera or for situations you need subtlety.  There are definitely situations where the X-Pro1 is an advantage.

RAW-conversion

How to get the most from the Fuji X-Pro1: Using Capture One and Photoshop“. Read roughly365 workflow here.

XF1 (specs&price)

The XF1 is without doubt the best looking compact out there – just look at it! And, while it’s not a back up to a DSLR by any means, it certainly does have that wantability factor that is hard to resist. It does exactly what is asked of a camera of this type – it has a near instant start up, is very quick to focus and very quick to process an image.” Read the whole review here at photographymonthly.com

miXed Zone: XF14mm review by Mike Kobal… and more

XF 14mm

Mike Kobal just received his XF14mm. After a couple of days shooting with it he says that:

“… I found AF speed to be right in between the 18mm and the 35mm. It sometimes struggles in extreme low light, just like the 35mm (latest firmware installed for all lenses and body)…. Capable of achieving insane depth of field when zone focusing: This is where this lens really shines, incredible depth of field already at f4 and it is possible to get everything “in focus” from 5 feet to infinity, the hyperfocal distance extends with smaller apertures. At f8, everything will appear “in focus” from infinity to about 2.5 feet.”

You can read it all (and I’m sure you’ll like some of his beautiful shots too) at his website here.

XF14mm in stock status check: AmazonUS/ B&H / Adorama / Amazon GERMANY / Amazon ITALY / or on ebay worldwide via slidoo

X-E1

Read the review of tech.blogsvoice.com: They liked  “the improved autofocus speeds that Fuji’s new firmware brings, coupled with the 18-55mm kit lens, make this a fantastic camera to easily take on its DSLR rivals” and  “there’s not many things to dislike about the camera, with just a few small niggles keeping it from perfection. It would be nice to have seen a touchscreen, while the autofocus speed when using other lenses could do with being improved.

For the detailed digitalcamerainfo review click here.

X-PRO1

After six weeks with the X-PRO1, Rodney makes his considerations about it: “I know I had a few gripes, and most of them were things I knew going into this, but none of them are show-stoppers. None of them make me regret my purchase. At all. In fact, I absolutely love this camera and I want to use it as much as possible. It just makes me long for the day when these short comings don’t exist any longer and I can seriously consider delegating the DSLR for niche stuff (like shooting my kid’s soccer game, something I don’t think a mirrorless is going to handle for a long time).Read it all and see his shots here.

The styling is great, the handling is great, the autofocus is decent for a contrast detection based system, the sensor is relatively huge for such a small body and in my opinion packs just the right number of megapixels (16).  Crucially, the lenses are excellent (aherm, Sony) which makes the XF system such a great one.  To me, great lenses are the foundation of any system because they’re the pieces of equipment you carry over from one body to the next.  The JPG processing in-camera is good, but I’m still going to continue shooting raw because that leaves me the option of processing in-camera afterwards and because I believe raw support will improve.” Read it all and see the sunrise shots in Liverpool here at digitalrelish.

Read Tobias’ way to the X-PRO1 and his PROS and CONS in German here (translated version)

The winter in Montreal captured with the X-PRO1 at laroquephoto

XF1

Read the review of thephoblographer here.

online storage with bitcasa

Sylvain wrote me an email. He told me about bitcasa, a new online storage service. Bitcasa has no limit in space or number of files and no limits with file size. And if you subscribe in February you pay $69/year instead of $99/year. They have a free 10Gb limited account if one want to try. Take a look at the introduction video here or go to the bitcasa website here.

The performance of Carl Zeiss & Leica M lenses on the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 by Jan Vogelaar

This friday we have a guest author here on Fujirumors. It’s Jan Vogelaar, author of various books like “Contarex, Contax G & Leica M Lenses Guide to Digital Imaging on the Fujifilm X-Pro1” [ebay (click here) or at camerabooks (click here)]. He was so kind to send me an extract of his book.

And don’t worry, Rico Pfirstinger is working on the next X-pert corner articles. Many articles of the X-pert corner are based on Rico’s book “Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version)”. As you may know, Rico is writing all his articles on Fujirumors for free. It would be great if you’d support his great work by purchasing his book. And thanks to all those who already did it.

But now, enjoy Jan Vogelaar’s review. The 35mm lenses tested here are: Fujinon XF35mm / Carl Zeiss Contax G Planar 2.0/35mmCarl Zeiss Biogon ZM 2.0/35mm / Leica Summicron M 2.0/35mm

Thanks Jan!

A book review by Jan Vogelaar

The development of photographic lenses cannot be complete without Carl Zeiss AG. It was Ernst Abbe of the Zeiss Company who first applied scientific principles to the lens design process, rather than relying on trial-and-error experience.

Ever since the lens design principles by Zeiss are given special names, which nowadays, some for more than a century later, are still used: Tessar (1902), Planar (1896), Sonnar (1929), Biogon (1951) and Distagon (1958). In many ways the history of Carl Zeiss AG is the history of photographic lenses. Carl Zeiss has acquired an excellent reputation for its lens quality, mechanically as well as optically.

Another relevant aspect is illustrated in the next picture, showing the light beam projection angle of the Retrofocus and the Biogon lens design. The angle α-1 of the Retrofocus lens is much sharper than the angle α-2 of the Biogon design lens.

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Granted permission by Zeiss, full owner of the biogon and distagon design name and (former) patents

Thus, the edge light beams hit the sensor with an angle of 90o minus α-1 for the Retrofocus design and for the Biogon: 90o minus α-2 degrees.

Imagine a small light beam that hits the sensor activating green collecting pixels and the next beam of the same color hits the red collecting pixels next to it, and then a green/magenta color shift may occur.

The sharper the hitting angles the more chance there is for this color shift. This phenomenon occurs with some Biogon (ánd other) lenses.

Although this is not a complete scientific explanation, now you can understand the origin of the different color shifts that now and then appear in your digital pictures more often with the Biogon type of lens design. All colors should be in focus in exactly the same plane e.g. the sensor’s plane.

PIXEL COUNT & RESOLUTION

The requirements for the sensor’s resolution primarily depend on what purpose the photographer has with his pictures. If the aim is to obtain a picture file for maximum enlargement then the maximum resolution is required. The pixel race is mainly a marketing tool, easy to write about and the general public believes the more pixels the better. However, the number of pixels is most relevant for the size of the picture to be printed. 12 mega pixels are sufficient for any 10” x 18” print.

From a resolution point of view the actual pixels pitch and the optical performance of the lens might well be much more relevant for the registration of finest details in the image. In other words, if the lens resolution is capable to define a 6 micron sized detail, the resolution for the sensor should be capable to do the same. The pixel pitch for a 15 – 20 Mp sensor is app. 6 microns.

Definition: The pixel pitch is the distance in mm between the centers of two neighboring pixels in the pixel array.

Today’s sensors are approaching the capabilities of the best lens designs, at least that is the message that lens designers are now broadcasting.

The main factors limiting the lens performance are:

  • Aberrations, which lens-designers try to improve ánd
  • Diffraction, which basically is a physical phenomenon.

Aberrations: spherical, coma, axial chromatic, astigmatism, field curvature, are very hard to eliminate
with the high-speed lenses.

Diffraction is an optical effect, which softens the total resolution of the photography, no matter how many megapixels the sensor has.

The designer’s success determines how much resolution and contrast is captured. If the aperture is opened wider, the aberrations are increasing with the bigger aperture openings.

Conclusion: The most relevant parameters, that limit the lens performance, given a particular picture size, are the best optical design and the aperture opening. In general: the aperture openings smaller than F = 16 or 22 already come close to the diffraction limitations.

Definition: Light travels in straight lines, however it begins to disperse or diffract when it is squeezed through a narrow opening e.g. the camera’s aperture.

We will leave the technical and physical background information for what it is and now concentrate on what the purpose of this article is:

The goal is to review and determine the real life and practical results and compare the results achieved with a variety of Zeiss Contarex, Zeiss Contax G and Leica M mount lenses. By showing the results for each lens at full opening, at f = 5.6 (on the table) and at f = 8 the variable of diffraction is not really relevant.

ADAPTERS

A wide variety of adapters are produced, for the Sony Nex mount, the Olympus 4/3rd and micro 4/3rd mount and for the Fujifilm X mount. At the lens end virtually every mount is available:

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Alpa / C mount (ø 25 mm) / Canon EF / Canon FD / Contarex / Contax & Yashica / Contax G1 & G2 / Exakta / Leica M / Leica R / Leica screw (ø 39 mm) / M42 screw (ø 42 mm 1 mm pitch) / Minolta MD / Nikon F / Nikon G / Olympus 4/3rd / Olympus OM / Pentax PK / Rollei / Sony / T2 (ø 42 mm 0.75 mm pitch)

The main adapter producers are: In Germany: Novoflex, Voigtländer, in China & Japan: Kipon, Metabones, Rainbowimaging, Rayqual and Photodiox.

Furthermore Fujifilm introduced in June 2012 already a fully coupled Leica M adapter including the focal length selection for the Fuji X Pro 1. The design prevents collapsible Leica lenses hitting the interior of the camera.

The Fujinon XF lenses are newly designed for the APS C sensor. Al other lenses in the book however are originally designed for film. Even many new lenses on the digital market today are a modification of film design lenses.

The scores for all lenses are given on a scale of 1 to 10 for sharpness and brilliance, 10 is best. For Color fringing and color aberration the score is also on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 equals totally absent.

All material is produced in a timespan of about 2 to 3 hours and no post-processing for aberrations or sharpness is performed. All files are .jpg from Photoshop and/or the Fuji .jpg in camera engine.

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The Fujinon XF lenses are newly designed for the APS C sensor. Al other lenses in the book however are originally designed for film. Even many new lenses on the digital market today are a modification of film design lenses. These considerations made me select the new Fujinon XF lens for the standard.

THE FUJINON XF 1.4/35 MM PERFORMANCE (specs&price)

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This very fast Fujinon XF 1.4/35 mm lens is a pleasure to use. Not the most compact, but still light weighted and an excellent performer.

The center is at f = 1.4 already very sharp: excellent. The very minimal light fall off disappears in one stop. There is minimal chromatic aberration in the very far corner only at f = 1.4. Stopped down to f = 5.6 the chromatic aberrations disappears completely even in the very far corners.

An easy to handle, very fast wide-angle lens living up to all expectations.

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Center crop Fujinon XF 1.4/35 mm at f = 1.4

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Corner crop Fujinon XF 1.4/35 mm at f = 1.4

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Center crop Fujinon XF 1.4/35 mm at f = 8

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Corner crop Fujinon XF 1.4/35 mm at f = 8

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THE CARL ZEISS CONTAX G PLANAR 2.0/35 MM PERFORMANCE (ebay worldwide via slidoo)

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