Tag Archives: Fuji X-T2

Friday Image No.201

iew from the Hooker Valley trail, New Zealand
View from the Hooker Valley trail, New Zealand. See text for camera settings and processing.

Last week I shared the first image from my New Zealand trip.It was a mountain scene from a trek I did along the Hooker Valley. For today’s Fridayimage I want to share another scene from the same trail. In all honesty, Icould probably share 100 images from that trail. Now that I’m semi recoveredfrom the journey, I’m seeing lots of shots I took that I really like.

This one in particular took me by surprise as I don’t recall taking it. I don’t know about you, but I tend to have a very good memory for each of the shot I take, even over a couple of years. I can’t usually recall them with crystal clarity or recognise them when I see them. That’s not the case with this one so I suspect it was a grab shot.

It’s taken using the Fuji X-T2 and a 55-200mm lens. The lens is set to 55mm and the camera was handheld. With the aperture at f/11.0 and using ISO200, I achieved a shutter speed of 1/680” which is more than fast enough to handhold. I didn’t use any filters either and this isn’t a multiple exposure, just a single RAW file.

In terms of post-capture processing, I did most of the work in Photoshop using curves and luminosity masks. I did take the image into On1Photo RAW 2019 (if you haven’t seen my review, here’s a link) but then applied the adjustments through a luminosity mask to target the mid tones. To finish I applied dodging and burning to lighten the cloud and darken the rocks in the bottom third of the frame.

I hope you like the photo and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.200

Mount Sefton from the Hooker Valley trail, New Zealand
Mount Sefton from the Hooker Valley trail, New Zealand. Fuji X-T2 with Fuji 18-135 lens at 46mm. ISO200, 1/640″ at f/11. Handheld.

My last post was back at the end of September. At the time I said I was taking a few weeks out but didn’t explain why. Now that I’m back I can share that I have been down in New Zealand which is where I captured the above image. I’m not going to say too much as I’m suffering from jet lag and finding it hard to be coherent.

For those of you who don’t like black and white, here is the colour version prior to conversion.

New Zealand, Hooker Valley. Processing with Nik Color Efex Pro (Pro Contrast & Glamour Glow filters).

Personally, I like the colour version best. I would be interested to hear what others think.

I hope you like both images and have a great weekend.

Exposure X4 Launches & YouTube

Yew Tree Tarn, The Lake District. Nikon D800, 24-120mm Nikon lens at 70mm, ISO100, 1/6″ at f/9.0

Exposure from Alien Skin is one of my long-time favourite processing tools and yesterday they launched Exposure X4. I’ve already got my upgrade and I can see a few enhancements and new tools. You can find out more about the enhancements on the Alien Skin website where you will also find a free trial version to download.

Despite the new tools and features, I’m not really blown away by any of them and I didn’t know if they justified the price of the upgrade. The Smart Collections is a nice addition and I can see Exposure is becoming more of a Lightroom replacement, but it’s not exciting me. Then I found the exception which is hard to quantify; Alien Skin has just described it as RAW processing enhancements.

Having processed the shot you see above with the software I thought that’s not bad. The RAW file came from a Nikon D800, so I thought I would try some RAW files from the Fuji. And that’s when I the results stopped me dead. The RAW conversions are incredibly clean. There isn’t a wiggly worm pattern anywhere to be seen and the detail is incredible. Even RAW files shot with the 18-135 lens look amazingly sharp and detailed.

Fuji X-T2 with 18-135 lens at 135mm. ISO400, 1/45″ at f/11.0. Capture sharpening only applied as part of processing in Alien Skin Exposure X4.

If you’re a Fuji RAW file shooter, do look at the trial version of Exposure. I would be interested to know if others also like the results.

Tomorrows YouTube Video

To celebrate Exposure X4’s launch I decided to answer the question I’m often asked about Exposure “what’s a good workflow”. The video will demonstrate this using Exposure X4 and goes live around 15:30 UK time.

Here’s the link to my YouTube Channel if you haven’t already subscribed.

I Bought a Lensbaby

Flower shot with the Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet 35
The only flower I could find was a weed. Fuji X-T2 with Lensbaby Composer Pro Sweet 35. ISO800, 1/8″. Can’t recall the aperture and it’s not recorded.

Recently, I decided to buy a Lensbaby for my Fuji X-T2. I’m not really sure why, but I had this idea that I wanted to do some macro work with it. I’ve seen some great flower shots done with a Lensbaby in the past and thought, with all the nice weather it would be good to try my hand at some.

If you’re not familiar with Lensbaby, they started life selling a very simple lens which you can tilt. This distorts much of the image except for a sharp area which you can position. If you know about the Holga plastic film cameras, the effect isn’t too dissimilar. As the Lensbaby became popular they brought out more variants as well as serious lenses.

The model I purchased was the Lensbaby Composer Pro II with Sweet 35. The Sweet is the lens that has a sweet spot that you can move around the frame. What I like about the Composer Pro is that you can buy separate optics to use with it. That’s fortunate as I now think I would have preferred a 50mm lens rather than the 35mm I purchased. I also bought the macro adapter, so I can use the lens close for flower shots. This is a nice idea and is nothing more than a simple extension tube.

Did I do the right thing?

Currently I’m undecided. I realise it’s a gimmick and so needs to be used carefully. It’s well made but at the same time expensive for what it is.

I think ultimately what’s bothering me is that I have only been out with it once and it rained all day. In fact, since I bought the Lensbaby, the weather seems to have taken a turn for the worse and there’s no flowers out. Perhaps it will come in handy for photographing the heather.

Friday Image No. 192.

Stairs in the Maritime Museum, Amsterdam
Stairs in the Maritime Museum, Amsterdam. Fuji X-T2, 18-135 lens, ISO200, 1/100″ at f/5.6. Post processing with Nik Silver Efex Pro.

After a short break in Amsterdam last week, I’m now getting back into the groove of doing some work.

This week’s Friday image is one I shot whilst I was in Amsterdam (what a great city and nice people by the way – I’m definitely going to return for another visit). This shot isn’t what first springs to mind when you think about Amsterdam, but the view really caught my attention.

These stairs were inside the maritime museum. As you walked out onto the landing there were stairs leading down both sides before meeting on the landing of the next floor. As I walked down the stairs I couldn’t help but feel I had stepped into the Relativity drawing by Escher.

Correcting the perspective on this image was a little tricky and I can’t quite get it perfect. I did the conversion to black and white using Nik Silver Efex Pro and tried hard to emphasise the lines of the stairs.

I hope you like the shot and have a great weekend.

Friday Image No.191

Walla Crag, The Lake District, Cumbria.
Walla Crag, The Lake District, Cumbria. Fuji X-T2, 18-135mm lens, ISO200, 1/110″ at f/11.0.

It’s been some time since it’s rained here properly. The last time was back on the 25th May. I remember it well because it was the Saddleworth Band Contest and that was the first time it had rained in weeks.

Yesterday morning we had a brief shower and last night we had heavier rain. It will be a long time though before the reservoirs are back to regular levels. It’s brought back memories of the Summery of 1976.

But sat here today looking out on the rain, I thought I would share this summery scene to bring back the memories of summer. I do believe it’s forecast to improve again soon though.

Have a great weekend.

The Drobo is Back

Newlands Valley, The Lake District.
Newlands Valley, The Lake District. Fuji X-T2, 18-135 lens, ISO200, 1/220″ at f/10.0. Post processing in Nik Silver Efex Pro.

After all my recent problems the Drobo is now back up and running. BUT, it only using three disks and not four.

In my previous post on the subject I mentioned that I had to return one of the replacement 3TB drives that had failed. To replace that drive, I ordered a new 4TB from Amazon. When this drive arrived, I tried to add it to the Drobo, but it didn’t seem to fit. It was actually loose in the drive bay.

After some head scratching as to the problem, I compared the drive to one of the old drives and realised it wasn’t as high. It wasn’t the standard size for a 3.5” disk drive. Checking Amazon there was nothing to indicate the unusual size but looking at the physical dimensions of the drive it listed the height as 2cm. Checking other 3.5” drives I realised they were all listed as 2.7cm.

So be warned, if you’re buying additional drives for your Drobo or NAS, check the height of the drive. There are now slimline disks on the market and they don’t fit standard drive bays.

I will pick up a fourth drive at some point, but I just wanted to get the Drobo up and running. I have now copied my backup onto the Drobo and recovered as many images as possible from my formatted memory cards. I’m missing a couple of hundred images but more annoyingly a lot of video I shot for a future YouTube posting. At least the bulk of my images are safe though and I hope you like this one.