Week Three in Lock Down

We’ve now been in lockdown for two weeks in the UK and will shortly enter our third. I won’t complain as we’ve got it a lot easier than many countries. My daughter who lives in France has been in lockdown for two months. Her restrictions are also a lot tighter than here.

Despite thinking I have it easy by comparison, I’m really missing shooting new material. In fact, I’m missing it so much that I’ve bought a new camera. It’s a used Fuji X-E3 with 23mm f/2.0 lens. Since moving from Olympus to Fuji, I’ve found the Fuji cameras a little larger. It’s great for landscapes but I still miss having something a little smaller for urban work.

That’s why I decided on a used X-E3. It has the same sensor as my X-T2 but feels like a small rangefinder with a digital viewfinder.

I can’t really share any images other than a test shot from the path next to my house.

Fuji X-E3 with 23mm lens at f/3.2, 1/1000″ at ISO200

Despite this, I already love the size and handling of this little camera. With a small prime lens attached or even the 18-55 kit lens from my Fuji X-T2, it’s wonderfully balanced. I’m really looking forward to taking it to Manchester or Liverpool but fear that could be some time off yet.

Film Scanning

The other things that’s really caught my attention again is scanning.

Someone in lockdown in New York recently contacted me. They’ve decided to use the time indoors to create a book of their 35mm film work from around twenty years ago. They had some questions about the best way to scan and it prompted me to check my 35mm negatives. I have thousands of negatives and slides that I’ve never even looked at and there are some gems in there.

This image from La Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires was an initial test scan whilst I refreshed my skills.

Hasselblad X-Pan with 45mm lens and Ilford Delta 400 film

It isn’t a wonderful image, but the detail is superb. Especially when I consider it’s scanned on an Epson V700 flatbed with the standard film holder. And because it’s scanned to a DNG file, RAW converters like Lightroom treat the image like any other RAW file. This gives a great deal of latitude when it comes to adjusting the image. In fact, I’ve played around with this one probably a bit too much.

If you want to know more about my scanning process, I have a couple of articles explaining it on my website. There’s:

I can’t wait to look through some of my past 35mm work.

I hope you have a great weekend and stay safe.

9 thoughts on “Week Three in Lock Down

  1. I to am scanning old Audio Visual Slide sequences with a view to making new didgital sequences using Pictures to Exe Software. One thing I have notices is how grainy the Kodak 64 Slide Film was, which I never appreciated at the time. Love your Newsletters.

    1. Thank you. I have to admit that the scanning is both rewarding and frustrating in equal measures. If you find the slide film is grainy, try setting your scanning software to do multiple passes if it will support it. I use VueScan which supports up to 16 samples but usually setting 4 gives a good result.

      1. Thank you for that advice. I will give it a go because I am using Vuescan with my Nikon Super Coolscan 4000

  2. Robin,

    I had the X-E2 & loved the size of it with smaller lenses like the 35mm f/1.4. I’ve been thinking about an X-100F to pair with my X-T3, but probably should also think about getting the X-E3 to use with the 23mm f/2.0 I already have. Thanks for seeding this idea. And I also have years of 35mm slides boxed away, & bought a Pacific Image Powerslide 5000 slide scanner a while back, but was not happy with both the results & problems with using it. But with this forced time now, I probably also should give it a restart to see if I can work to get some better results. And best wishes to you in lock down & stay safe/healthy. Cheers,

    Jed

    1. Thanks Jed. I have to admit that I started down this route by wanting a used 100F but then decided I didn’t want a fixed lens. I would rather have some small primes. Be sure to dig out that old scanner. It’s surprising what you find in the negatives.

      1. Robin, have you had any issues adapting to the quite small viewfinder on the X-E3? The eyepiece itself I recall being a bit of an issue also with my X-E2 & I’m worried that after the X-T3, I would get annoyed with using it. The EVF on the X-100F I think is bigger plus you have the OVF, which I used most of the time with my two prior X-100’s & two X-Pro’s. Decisions, decisions . . .

      2. Hi Jed, I did notice that the XE3 viewfinder was quite small. It’s noticeably smaller than my XT3 but at the same time, it’s not given me any problems. In fact, there’s something I quite like about it. It makes me press the camera closer to my eye which gives the camera a smaller more compact feel. It reminds me a lot of shooting with the Panasonic GF1 that I used to have.

  3. Robin,
    I also recently bought a used X-E3 to try out Fuji again. Again, because my first mirrorless was an X Pro 1 that I later sold. I have been using a Panasonic GX9 that I find perfect in so many ways, I also recently acquired Capture One and expect that Fuji image quality would be superb with that RAW processor. I very much like using Capture One. The X-E3 is a bit of a disappointment for me in that it lacks ibis and tilting screen, both features which serve me very well with the GX9, especially in architectural work that I enjoy. I plan to get the 10-24 lens that will serve me well for the architectural and scenic work I enjoy. I have since become aware that the X-T30, with its tilting screen, would be better than the X-E3 for my work, as well as offering the latest generation sensor. Amazingly, it is even smaller that the Olympus EM10ii that I have enjoyed using in the past. I have enjoyed your scenic work with the Fuji.
    Al

    1. Thanks Al. You raise an interesting and good point. If the X-E3 was my only camera I probably wouldn’t have purchased it for just the reasons you mention. But, it’s an urban outfit and a backup for my X-T3. More importantly, I wanted a different experience to my other cameras. I want a small body that I can use with small primes and I want to shoot with it up to my eye. I also wanted the challenge of managing the exposure and shutter speeds through ISO and aperture. It’s just a different way of shooting and I wanted to feel that greater connection with the camera. I really should post something about this to give a more detailed explanation. It’s one of the reasons why I’m enjoying the camera I think.

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