Snapshot Voyager is about my own personal photography journey. I am always looking to try something new, inquisitive as to how it works, and to the end results I might achieve.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Fuji X100s vs Fuji X100

I have to say the update to my Fuji X100 has been a while coming.  Its over 2 years since the X100 first came out and rocked the world with great pictures, Leica like styling and buggy firmware.  Over time the firmware and usability improved dramatically and this has become one of the best compact cameras out there.

My experience with this camera has been very good.  Some things it does exceptionally well; namely fill in flash, colour rendition and auto white balance - all of which are better than my Nikon d600.  The 23mm f2 lens is also excellent in every way, except for perhaps wide open at minimal focal distance which is a very close 10cm.
Ottawa, ON

The updated X100s, with new 16mp sensor (no AA filter), updated video, improved AF, improved MF with focus peaking and a couple other small things; improve the camera where it really needs it.  This would be an awesome camera, and I am certainly looking forward to seeing sample photos.

Would I upgrade?  That's a different story.  I am not sure the update really does a lot more to warrant spending the extra money.  The upgraded sensor is a major bonus, but other than that, its hard to justify.  However if you don't have a X100 and are looking to get the best compact camera on the market, then look no further.

Brands Laira winery, Coonawarra, SA Australia

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Fuji X100 flash technique

One of the things that the Fuji X100 does very well is fill in flash.  It is always perfect and never gets caught out, and is one of the things that I most appreciate about this camera.  I have never experienced a camera that can always get it right - Nikon SLR's certainly can't.

While is Australia, I thought I'd give it a real test.  I added a polariser and shot a white rose in macro mode on a very bright day.  If there was going to be a challenge to the camera's metering, this was it; but the result was still perfect.  

Friday, 25 January 2013

Sigma 30mm f2.8 and 19mm f2.8 for Sony NEX - DEAL!

Sometimes you see a bargain, and this one I had to grab.   B+H Photo had both the above lenses for $199 together as a package!  They sell for $279 each at Henry's!  Sure the US warranty will be trickier, but I figure I can sell the extra 30mm for $200 or so, and be only out $40 or so, which is the cost of the postage, duty and HST.  Sounds like a bargain!!

Buy it here, if you think it's a bargain too!

Sony NEX 5n with Sigma 30mm f2.8

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Metabones 'Speed Booster' adapters and testing their Proof of Concept.

One of the more fascinating pieces of photography equipment to emerge are the Metabones 'Speed Booster' adapters that actually refocus an image from full frame to APS-C or mirrorless size sensors.  This gains 1 stop of aperture and promises a sharper image.  In actual fact they are like turning a teleconverter back to front, which make sense as you lose 1 stop of aperture on a 1.5x teleconverter.

So I decided to do my own test.  I reasoned that a Nikon TC-14a 1.4x teleconverter would be sufficient to replicate the effect, as reversed, the math is exactly the same as the Speed Booster adapter. (1/1.4 =0.714)  I also tried it with the 1.6x TC-16a, as shown in the photo below.

Firstly I got the Sony NEX 5n, held the teleconverter backwards to it and then put in front a Nikkor 45mm f2.8 GN pancake lens.  I quickly found I needed to add some length to the set up to gain correct focus, so I added in a Nikon PK-12 extension ring.  Even though it was a little tricky to hand hold, to my surprise it worked!  The shutter speed was higher than I predicted (suggesting a faster aperture) and the sharpness was good. Very cool!  The photo of the New Years card is how it came out the camera, with the lens set at f2.8.

The extension ring added a little too much base length, as it now won't focus on infinity, but allowed closer focus than usual.  As I was hand holding 3 separate components, I am sure the moved around a bit, and were not aligned properly, creating some shift in the picture like a shift lens does.

The $599 price tag is quite expensive, but I suspect Metabones will do quite well initially as there are no other adapters like it.  I am sure though that copies will come out and the price will come down.

Sunday, 20 January 2013

The terror of a midday golden hour

The 'Golden Hour' is that time just around sunrise and sunset where the sun emits a soft warm glow, and almost any photo you shoot looks magic.  However, if you're in an Australian summer and the golden hour comes at mid-day, look out a bushfire isn't far away.  The thick smoke causes the sun to emit a similar type of light to sunset, and things do start to get a bit spooky.  Here you can see the effect of the smoke on the horizon from a large fire about 30 mins west of Mt Gambier.