Last night I was supposed to head down to the beach and photograph the meteor showers that were happening.
I opted to use the X-T2, with the 16mm 1.4. In previous attempts at shooting meteors and stars I used my Zeiss 12mm F2.8 Touit but I found the chroma was too much for me.
At the end of the day I decided not to drive an hour, but to go out on my back deck and play with the X-T2. I setup the camera on a tripod with the 16 1.4. I made the focus point to the second smallest square; opened the lens wide to 1.4 and pressed my back-button focus. What surprised the heck out of me, and I mean very pleasantly surprised, was the fact the 16 1.4 actually focused on a distant star THE FIRST TIME. No hunting, nothing. I was so surprised, that I decided to re-focus again. Same thing. Perfect focus the first time! Damn!
I turned off Auto focus – moving the button on the front of the camera to M; Turned off Long Exposure Noise reduction, put the camera in .raf only. I turned the white balance to incandescent mode, I put the camera on “T” mode and made a test exposure of 50 seconds, at F2. That’s all I needed — one exposure.
With a fresh battery I set the intervalometer to 200 images at 1 second interval; started the first image and went back in the house.
I checked on the camera a few times and since all was well I left everything alone until the battery died at 196 images. I left the rear LCD image on which killed the battery a bit quicker than I wanted. I’ll need to shut that off for next time!
Once I had all the images in LR, I did some minor editing then used Photoshop to create the time-lapse. With the same images I used the free software Starstax to create one image out of the 190+ images. I caught too many aircraft flying by but they don’t bother me so I left them in.
Here is the still life as my version of wordpress won’t allow a video….
There will be more to come on this but suffice it to say that if there were ANY OTHER company, making a quality drone, I’d be all over them.
This is an image taken in the Florida Keys. It is one of only 28 TOTAL images before the drone crashed and drowned in salt water. At this point, I had flown it a total of three times and it crashed on me three times. I do believe there was a problem with it — Long story coming soon! I am now waiting on my THIRD replacement drone!!!! Yes, third. The second one did not work out of the box. But man! the images/video are just too much to pass up. More to come at a later date! Stay tuned.
We had a Catamaran for a half day out of Key West. There were eight of us on the boat; we headed out in search of sharks and, well we found them! or, I should say they found us! We were in about six feet of water, and about 4-5 miles out. And yes, only six feet of crystal, clear water. Just gorgeous views with glassy seas. Here are some images…
I’m back from several road trips to shoot stock and travel. I’ve been to Maryland, Ohio, The Florida Keys, New York, Maine, and Prince Edward island/Canada.
This was an amazing trip. Many, many wonderful people, and even more memories and images.
I thought I would share some stats with regards to the cameras, and lenses I used.
Here wo go:
First of all, my iPhone 7 Plus! I broke down and bought the 7+, in Red, with 256G of memory. The camera is amazing with the twin lenses; and I downloaded some apps including Camera+. I shoot in raw (DNG) format and the quality is totally amazing! I took a total of 1,771 iPhone images which is unbelievable for me as in all honesty I despised iPhone images.
On to the camera: Of course I took the X-T2 with me. That go’s without saying. This is a recap from the metadata found in LightRoom.
Tout 12mm/2.8 690
Fuji 16mm 1.4 1336
Fuji 18-55 2.8-4 1671
Fuji 23mm 1.4 732
Fuji 35mm 1.4 1134
Fuji 55-200 2234
Fuji 60mm 2.4 2523
So, 10,320 images with the Fuji series, and 1,771 with the iPhone 7+
Now, I have the job of culling, then editing the images. This’ll be fun!
As I go through Images I’ll post some here… I had a few up, but decided to take them down as I didn’t feel they did these various road trips any justice.
In my prior post here I gave a preliminary overview of the TT CW 30 after only a week of use as an office messenger bag, and a light-duty camera bag. I’ve now had the pleasure, and I mean pleasure of using it on two separate outings besides as a daily carry. The first was four day stock/travel image trip up north, and the second was to photograph an event. I’m going to present images here, with descriptions, as I unpack my bag after the event; in all honesty it’s a mess as I swapped lenses – between by 16mm, 23, 35, 60mm and the 55-200. I did not use the 18-55 nor the 12mm Zeiss even though they were in the bag as well. In other words ALL the lenses I own were in the bag. For this event I used the very well padded insert that came standard with the CW30, and I threw in the rain cover as we were under the threat of rain most of the day.
In the following images I try to show the contents of the bag and how much you can carry. I will say I could still have put MORE into the bag as I had one inside end pocket, and both outside mesh pockets available! This is an insane amount of stuff! During the event I had the bag slung across my should messenger style, I had the main cover open and flat against my hip thereby allowing me access to all my gear inside. What I truly enjoyed was being able to swap lenses on the fly and using the outside mesh pockets to hold a lens (very easily) and the lens caps and other miscellaneous stuff.
So here goes: And, if anyone has any questions, please let me know.
I hope you guys found this review helpful. If you take away ONE thing from reading this it’s that the TTCW30 is truly a beautifully crafted bag with room for just about all your gear if you are a mirrorless shooter. dSLR shooters will also be very happy with the capacity, and especially the depth of this bag. There are other pockets I didn’t even mention here – but I do believe I mentioned them in part one of the review.
Let me know what you all think. I did discover recently this bag has been discontinued so if you want one you better hurry. I got mine from B&H for 79.00 with free shipping which is an amazing deal! Much less expensive than Amazon (at the time i purchased mine a couple of weeks ago).
This is part One of a very quick, down and dirty review of the ThinkTank Citywalker 30. I am at my office as I write this and preparing to leave later this afternoon for a four-day work/personal trip up north. I received the Citywalker 30 a few days ago and I have been using it for about a week now as my daily commuter messenger bag. These are just my initial impressions, and how I have it packed and ready to go on this trip.
The first thing I did upon opening the box is I took the huge insert out. I mean, it’s huge. If I were still shooting FX dSLR such as my D800e and my bevy of Nikon lenses it would be just about right to fit it all in, but man it would weigh a ton.
The bag is a ballistic nylon; very well made. I got the black with the blue piping/stripe which looks really sharp and I’ve received several compliments about it at the office. The interior is just huge– I’ll talk about that a bit more in the images which follow as to what’s in the slots but the second thing I did upon opening the box was to place my old Jill-E insert in. The bag dwarfs the insert but it works and doesn’t take up too much room. This short four day trip will give the bag a true workout. It’s the only one I’m taking with me! A normal trip for me involves taking all my gear in a backpack, then one or two smaller bags to swap gear as needed. Unfortunately I don’t always get to swap gear from the backpack into another smaller bag, especially if I’m running late getting to a location — Case in point, back at the end of March I was photographing some old pier and pilings on the North Carolina Coast and put my backpack down in the sand. An rogue wave grabbed the backpack and was dragging it back into the ocean! Thank goodness I had it closed tight; and, if it hadn’t been for my daughter that was shooting with me who snagged it with the tripod leg of her rig, the next wave that was coming in would have swamped the bag completely! Had I had my messenger bag over my shoulder as I normally do, this would not have happened. But luckily, catastrophe avoided!
Anyway for this short, four-day trip I decided to only pack a few folders I need for work with my Macbook Air, and as far as camera equipment goes I loaded the X-T2 with the 16mm, 23mm, 35mm and 60mm lenses, leaving behind my zooms. This is a first for me.. I love love love my 18-55 and my 55-200! I just hope I don’t miss them too much!
I also packed only one of my four battery chargers to go with the three batteries – instead of my usual eight. A polarizer, a ND filter, tripod and remote shutter release rounds out my rig.
Here are a few images of the bag, and what’s in the pockets. As I mentioned earlier, I pulled out the huge insert that came with the bag and am opting for the smaller Jill-E insert to see how this performs in the field and on the road. One thing about the original insert that I can say is that it keeps the bag much more rigid overall, but I wanted a more flatter, close to the body profile. In all honesty I think I made a (intentional) mistake in getting the Citywalker 30 as it has a compartment which will fit up to a 15″ laptop – instead of the CityWalker 10, or the 20 that only hold a small iPad or such. But, for the price of 79.00 brand new, and free shipping from B&H I couldn’t pass up the deal when this same bag sold from anywhere between 145.oo to 200.00 US just a few short months ago.
Overall, as a work bag to and from the office on a daily basis I think it’s absolutely fantastic! I can’t be happier. This weekend will be test of the CityWalker 30 as a camera bag first and foremost.
Not shown in these images is the rain pouch which comes standard, nor the ThinkTank strap where I can put my keys, or my ThinkTank Pocket Rocket memory card holder, etc.
Overall: An excellent value and a kick-butt utilitarian bag that will serve my purposes for many years to come. Roomy, safe, secure, large. Heck, if you are going away for a weekend you can probably pack some overnight clothing, a jacket and snacks in there and still have room for your gear!
This trip will be it’s first official outing as a dedicated camera bag instead of a to-from the office messenger bag. I’m very much looking forward to working with it and I’ll prepare an update when I return.
The tack sharp and reasonably fast Fujifilm 60mm 2.4 Macro. Why’d I buy that you ask? Well I’ll tell ya pardner.
I was considering the 50mm F2. At 449.00 on Amazon it seemed like a good buy; except, like it’s two other siblings – the 23F2 and the 35F2 its just freakin’ ugly. Plain and simple. I knew the 60 F2.4 Macro was what I needed even though I have the extension tubes for my camera. Anyway the 60 2.4 was a tad high priced at 679 or 699.00 US – I can’t remember which.
Anyway, I’m shopping the web and came across a deal for a brand new, boxed 60mm for $479.00! I couldn’t pass it up! I killed two birds with one stone – actually more as I’m getting a slightly longer focal length; better looking lens, crystal clear and tack sharp lens at that! And I saved over $200.00 to boot — or if I look at it logically, because I would not have purchased the 60mm for the 699 price tag, I got a dual purpose lens for the same price as the 50mm!
I just received it last night and this image here was one of my first seven images with the lens on my X-T2. I have yet to play with it at length. Light was dwindling fast, but on everything I shot on my walk around the block focusing was reasonably fast. Now, when I went inside and tried to take some images there, it is darn slow. I mean creepy crawly slow. I’m ok with that as I knew what I was getting into so no big deal here. But man o man is it slow. LOL. Once it locks on it’s razor sharp. Do I wish it were faster? Heck yes but I did not purchase this lens for speed, but for the clarity, sharpness, and close-focusing capabilities so I am thrilled with it!
The image above is from the raw file. No adjustments other than sharpening. And it’ll make you bleed if you get too close.
I’m in love! I can’t wait to take it out for a real spin.
I have written about the Fuji 18-55 in the past. However, on New Years Day i was shooting up in Old Orchard Beach in Maine using this wonderful little lens. It’s lightweight, solidly built, and oh so darn sharp!
As proof how sharp this this little puppy is, check out this screenshot of my lightroom image of Old Orchard Beach at 200% — Yes. 200% !! This is the raw file, Sharpened with 100% details, 41 pts of sharpening. Then below it is the full screen! Now, look at that sharpness and clarity!! I can read the Shipyard Beer sign out on the pier and that isn’t even dead center; more like top center!
Would the 16-55 2.8 be sharper? Meh. Maybe. But this is pretty darn freakin’ sharp for me, and the weight/size savings alone are, to me, worth the tiny loss of sharpness. I’d rather be more light and mobile. Your mileage may vary.
2016 was a rockin’ year! I received the blessing of a 3rd Grandson which is the grandest of all gifts. Stock sales, though down in the market overall, I made up for in volume! What that means is a ot of more work, for basically a small increase in income. Volume rules at this point; gone are the days of licensing an image for 40 – 50 bucks when anyone can go online and pick up an image for a quarter. Oh well, such is life.
On another but related note I am now dSLR free. It’s a double-edge sword and my feelings are torn. I sold the last of my Nikon gear – being the D800e and a 50mm 1.8 lens. I am now all in on Fuji with the X series cameras and lenses. Will I miss those glorious 36 megapixel files? At times I’m sure I would but in order to have those files, I had to shoot them, and in all honesty, as you can see by the stats I rarely used the camera!
So, here is a re-cap of my 2016 stats, cameras first, then lenses.
Nikon D800e: 1,371 keepers
Fuji X-T1: 4,117 keepers
Fuji X-T2: 4,503 keepers (purchased in September 2016!!)
16mm F1.4: 1,514 keepers
18-55 2.8-4.0 Zoom (my don’t leave home without it lens) 1,489
23mm F1.4: 1,094 keepers
35mm F1.4: 2,256
Fuji 55-200 Zoom: 2057 keepers
Zeiss 12mm F2.8: 135 keepers. Most unused lens, but when you need it you need it!
That’s pretty much it for my year. Hears hoping to a profitable, successful and FUN 2017.
For my birthday in 1972 I truly wanted a Minolta 101 SLR. My dad instead brought me this camera with the stipulation that if he saw me actually using the camera, and exploring photography, on my next birthday he would buy me the Minolta SRT101. This little camera and it’s tiny 110 film saw thousands of frames — mostly in Black and White. I remember getting back my first roll of prints on TriX and was blown away by the quality, contrast, and shading it offered. Remember: This was 1972.