Prototype: carbon fiber grips to ennoble your X-camera

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You wanna pimp your X-camera? Then maybe you could be interested in this kind of rumor…

HRR Manufaktur is a company specialized in individual upgrades and ennoblement of different products. One of the next projects is to offer customized parts for Fuji cameras (or even completely modified cameras). In this post you can see some images of early prototype samples of X-Pro1 grips that replace the original rubber grip on the camera.

The price for a hand grip will likely be 89 €. For a fully upgraded camera (including the original camera, but not a lens) the price should be of below 3000 €. The company can do almost anything with any product, but the main focus regarding Fuji for now is on the X-PRO1 and the X-E1.

These replacements will be available in classic Carbon Fibre, but also in different colours and other styles/materials.

You can see a fully HRR customized Leica M9 on the website leicarumors.com here.

P.S.: You’d like to ennoble your X-E1 spending just a few pennies? I’ve already posted how to do it here. ;-)
hand grip 1

hand grip 2

hand grip 3

 

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XF14mmF2.8 R appears to be almost distortion free

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by Rico Pfirstinger

I may have found some interesting news about the 14mm prime. Comparing the uncorrected version of a shot with its software corrected SOOC JPEG version reveals that Fuji’s new XF14mmF2.8 R prime lens is apparently almost perfectly optically corrected. This means that the lens doesn’t really need any substantial software corrections which typically have a negative impact on image quality, particularly near the edges of an image.

Have a look at this example (click on the images for high-res versions):

DSCF6742 - RPP (no lens correction)

DSCF6746 - SOOC JPEG

The image above was developed in RPP 64, a Russian RAW converter based on DCRAW that does not interpret or apply any optical correction metadata that the camera is storing in a RAW files.

The image below is a JPEG straight out of the camera that includes all software corrections in the metadata, since the internal RAW converter of the cameras does of course interpret and apply optical correction metadata stored in the RAW files.

It appears that there are only minimal differences between both versions. This suggests that the 14mm is already fully corrected in the lens and does not need any significant additional software corrections. This is good news, as it suggests that the lens (the examples are from a not yet fully suppoerted pre-production sample) will perform well not only in the center, but also near the edges of an image.

EDIT: To wrap things up, here’s also a Silkypix 5 version of this sample:

DSCF6742 - SIlkypix 5

Since Silkypix is actually using lens correction metadata in the RAW file, this result pretty much overlaps with the SOOC JPEG.

If you want to see more 14mm samples, have a look at my Flickr set.

Rico Pfirstinger studied communications and has been working as journalist, publicist, and photographer since the mid-80s. He has written a number of books on topics as diverse as Adobe PageMaker and sled dogs, and produced a beautiful book of photographs titled Huskies in Action (German version). He has spent time working as the head of a department with the German Burda-Publishing Company and served as chief editor for a winter sports website. After eight years as a freelance film critic and entertainment writer in Los Angeles, Rico now lives in Germany and devotes his time to digital photography and compact camera systems. His book “Mastering the FUJIFILM X-Pro1” (Kindle Edition) (Apple iBook Store) (German version) is available on Amazon and offers a plethora of tips, secrets and background information on successfully using Fuji’s X-Pro1 and X-E1 system cameras, lenses and key accessories.

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miXed zone (X100s, X20 and more) + the 14mm mystery at Amazon

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Do you agree with the position of Fuji about IBIS?

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Amazon 14mm cancellation

First of all, what happened with the 14mm at Amazon? Here is a mail from a FR-reader: “I just got off of a very lengthly conversation with amazon.The final feedback I received was that Amazon discovered a mis-match with the manufacturer product number  and cancelled all orders so that customers did not receive the wrong product. They are researching the problem. Appears to be an Amazon error. Question, did they order using the wrong product number????? Problem and strong customer complaint has been escalated.”

X100s

Whatdigitalcamera Fuji X100S First Look Preveiw at CES 2013

Which camera do you think is the best at the CES according to digitalcamerareview.com. It’s the X100s! Click here to see the top five!

dcwatch at the CES. X20 and X100s click here for the translated version.

Dpreveiw hands on (click here). For some more hands on impressions click here. How split image focusing works at dpreview.com.

eoshd.com posted his thoughts about the new X100s. They say it’s a significant upgrade to the X100, which was a great cam, but “the terrible AF and fly by wire manual focusing technology spoilt it, and the video mode was very much an afterthought… On the new model the AF system for stills is now one of the fastest around and manual focus is much more responsive… To be honest I find it strange that all this good stuff has been reserved for the $1200 [note: $1300] X100S, and Fuji have based their much more important interchangeable lens system around quite outdated technology, since the X100S seems like generation 2 from Fuji and comes only a few months after their new X-E1 which has none of the essential new AF or MF upgrades that the X100S brings to the table.” Read more at eoshd.com

Also photographybay is at the CES and posted his hands-on review here.

digitalcamera X100s first impressions video

X20

digitalcamerainfo X20 first impressions.

You’ll read a lot of beautiful words also in this hands on review at dslrphoto.com. Let’s hope we can see soon some images shot with this cameras… can’t wait for it!

X-E1

Mike Kobal compared the NEX6 and the X-E1 (sava $123 at Adorama vor the bundle). Just one sentence from the conclusions: “As a purist with no interest in video, the choice is easy. Fuji X-E1.”

Mike Kobal’s portrait of the day shot with the X-E1 and the 35mm lens. Its bokeh, he says “can be incredible and easily mistaken for something we thought only possible with a full frame sensor.See his shots and read more here.

It’s the old dilemma, X-PRO1 or X-E1. Here is another one that tries to give an answer to this question. Take a look at it here.

The only thing I have left to say is go out, and buy the Fuji X-E1.  This is one of those cameras where you really, REALLY get your money’s worth.  The X-E1 is a fantastic little camera, and priced very reasonably allowing many, many photographers out there to easily obtain stellar image quality for not put yourself “in the dog house” price.” Read why findingrange comes to this conclusion here.

X-PRO1

Fuji X-PRO1… more to learn. IS1 and IS2… read the difference between these two options to activate the Optical Image Stabilization on the 18-55mm lens.

Fuji X-PRO1 winter street photography in London (click here).

X-PRO1 street shooting in Iran at stevehuffphoto.com

Prague in December. Click here to see the pics.

See the pics here of the X-Pro 1 at the 2012 Pushkar Camel Fair – Rajasthan, India

New year fireworks shot handheld with the X-PRO1. See the results here.

Fuji X100

camera.co.uk posted his X100 review. Read the Good and the Bad here.

The X100 really has impressive metrics for a compact camera. Its sensor manages to outperform that of the Sony NEX-5, and thus takes first place in the mirrorless rankings. The interesting part though is that it also manages to outperform or rival mid-range DSLRs such as the Nikon D90 and the Canon EOS 60D, thanks to its well-handled noise and good color management, but above all thanks to a truly decent low-light performance.” That’s an extract of the conclusions of the DxOMark review here. There is also a short comparison with the Nex-5, the Nikon D90 and the EOS 60D.

Best Cameras 2012 (MirrorlesCentral)

Which where the best cameras in 2012 according to Mirrorless Central? In the category Still Photo Cameras the winner are the Fuji X-PRO1 and X-E1. See the video here.

Fuji X10

A German Fuji X10 (18% price drop) video review can be seen here.

Accesories and more

Protect your Fujifilm X100, X100s and X-Pro1 lenses with the S-Cap. Read this article here.

Who’s the winner of Fujifilms studend award of December? See it here at ephotozine.

PREORDER

X100S: AmazonUS / Adorama / B&H

X20: AmazonUS: silver and black version / B&H: silver versionblack version / Adorama: silver versionblack version

Europe: UK: Wexphotographic X100s for £1099 / X20 silver and black for £599

Or sign in www.slidoo.com , decide your parameters, save your search and get notified when it’s available. It’s easy!

 

 

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Amazon Surprise: XF14mm lack of availability

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amazon

This is the text many FR-readers send me via email:

From AmazonUS

Hello,

Due to a lack of availability, we will not be able to obtain the following item(s) from your order: “Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 Lens Wide Angle Lens”. We’ve canceled the item(s) and apologize for the inconvenience. If you see a charge for the canceled item, we will refund you within 1-2 business days. If you are still interested in purchasing this item, it may be available from other sellers.

Sincerely,

Customer Service Department

Why this? I don’t know, but I suppose that Fuji is producing a lot of X-E1 and XF18-55, and now has to produce also the new X100s and X20. Maybe it’s simply too much right now and there could be another delivery delay. In Europe the 14mm lens should not be available before mid-end february.

B&H expected availability is still for January 31, see here.

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How to Expand Dynamic Range

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X-T1 giveaway contest ends very soon (March 14th 2014 at 2PM NY-time). hurry up and join it here.

_ _ _

by Rico Pfirstinger

It appears like two thirds of our X-PERT CORNER readers wanted to know more about dynamic range (DR) expansion. So here we go! Does the following scenario sound familiar? You take a picture of a landscape that looks wonderfully beautiful to the naked eye, only to find out later that the blue sky no longer looks blue and the fascinating cloud formations are just white blobs. The reason for this and similar disappointments is that the scene captured in the image has a larger dynamic range than your camera.

Every camera sensor is capable of capturing only a certain range of luminance—that is, a limited range between the brightest and the darkest parts of an image. The X-Pro1/X-E1’s range covers about 9.5 f-stops or exposure values. In other words, there are 9.5 EV between the minimum amount of light required for the sensor to depict something more than black pixels and the maximum quantity of light beyond which the sensor registers white pixels. This is the dynamic range of the camera. Within this range, the X-Pro1 or X-E1 can depict levels of brightness between pure black and pure white.

“Hardware” solutions

Unfortunately the world doesn’t abide by these limits, and many subjects exhibit a larger dynamic range than the camera is capable of capturing. We see these limitations, for example, in backlit situations and when people are standing in the shadow of an entrance. Professional photographers (and film directors) reduce the dynamic range of their subjects by using additional light. That’s why you’ll see an entire arsenal of floodlights and reflectors on large film sets even on bright days.

Only the luckiest photographers have the luxury of elaborate lighting equipment. Most of us have to make do with natural lighting, which often produces contrast in our subjects that exceeds a range of 9.5 EV. When you try to photograph these subjects with your X-Pro1, your images will either have blown-out white areas or blocked-up shadows, regardless of the combination of aperture and shutter speed you use. They may even have both! Contrasts that the human eye (or more accurately, the human brain) seems to process without any trouble pose near-impossible challenges for even the best cameras.

Then again, even a setup with studio lighting can involve plenty of dynamic range, that’s why I shot the following SOOC (= straight out of camera w/o further post-processing) JPEG in February 2012 in Warsaw using the DR Auto function of my pre-production X-Pro1. The camera chose DR400% and preserved the highlights of the skin (which was illuminated by daylight coming through a train window on the right). Click on the image for a high-res version:

DSCF2502

But let’s get back to hardware: You can also use a graduated neutral density (ND) filter to decrease the dynamic range of a scene, typically a landscape. The top half of such a filter is dark and the bottom half is clear. The dark area is placed over a scene’s high-intensity region, such as the sky. Though this doesn’t increase the fixed dynamic range available in the sensor, it stretches usable dynamic range in practice.

Or you could use a camera with an EXR sensor, like the X10 or the X-S1. Then again, interest in getting to know more about EXR appears to be lackluster, as the number of votes for an “EXR Special” of this column is still ranking below 1000. Maybe this will change over the weekend? Here’s the poll, again:

Do you agree with the position of Fuji about IBIS?

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The following SOOC JPEGs from my X10 were taken in South Africa and show how EXR cameras can handle subjects with plenty of DR (click on the images for high-res versions):

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