Fuji X-T1 Musings

This blog is free to me. I sell nothing.  I offer my opinion only and you don’t have to accept anything I say. As a matter of fact I would appreciate if you didn’t — you should try it for yourself to see if it fits you, if it works for you.   I feel sorry for all the bloggers out there who have to post everyday and many times more than once per day just to get the “clicks”. How do they do it?  I couldn’t keep up!

I read many blogs – these open up automatically when I crank up Safari first thing in the morning.  Some days it’s interesting stuff but most days though it’s either old news, regurgitated crap that’s being re-blogged many times whether it’s accurate or not.

Many folks depend on the advertising revenue from their blog work.  Me?  Nope.  Any ads that appear on this site are courtesy of whoever the heck owns WordPress; I could care less.  I’m under no pressure.  I post or write when I want and what I want.  I am indebted to no one.  Would I want to generate income from my posts you ask?  Nope.  I’m perfectly happy where I am now.  I post when I want.  I photograph what I want.  I go where I want.  I’m under no direct pressure to create, or write unless it is self-imposed.

In a few weeks I’ll be headed out again for another 10 days of stock and personal photography.  This particular trip will be a very intimate journey for me as I haven’t been back to this particular location since 1974.  It was me, my trusty Minolta SRT-101, a 28mm 2.8 Telestar wide, and a Minolta 135mm F3.5 plus about ten rolls of 36 exposure, Kodacolor 100 print film.  Yes. Print film.  Since my dad was paying, he refused to buy me any slide film as he wanted to physically see the 3 x 5 prints after developing them at the local outlet.  The memories that brings back!  Oh, and I forgot to mention my parents and my sisters tagged along as I was only 16 at the time.

The area I’m headed to is my “mecca”.  This is the place I’ve wanted to visit for years now, just I never was able to get away for that amount of time.  Of course the location has changed drastically in all these years –  but who cares?  It is still a gorgeous, tropical location as far as I’m concerned.

In upcoming posts before I head out I’ll talk about what gear I’m taking with me, probably illustrated with some photos of it.  I find that if I post images, that I’m less likely to take extra gear;  As I lay out the gear for the photo I constantly question myself why I’m taking a particular piece of equipment. If I can’t justify it, it remains behind.

As this is a road-trip, albeit a long, long road trip weight limitations won’t matter much — except I’ll be out on an island for 3 days and the boat I’ll be on has a 60lb limitation per person so that may cause an issue.  This weight restriction includes all the camping and survival gear as there are no facilities – such as cell service, wi-fi, medical aid, water, bath, nothing. Zip.  Nada.  This location is about 75 miles out in the Gulf of Mexico so I’m truly excited at trying my hand at some night photography without any light pollution.

At this point I’m fairly decided on using my X-T1 as my primary camera.  That means it literally and figuratively won’t leave my side.  I anticipate shooting with this camera all the time.  As my backup I am packing the Nikon D800 and ONE single lens: the 18-35G series which is incredibly versatile and tack sharp on the D800.  I am dedicating one single 32G memory card to the D800 which will provide around 280+ jpegs + raw images, and the balance of the 15 other 32G and 16G cards to the X-T1.

After my last trip a couple of weeks ago when I went up to New England, I found myself grabbing the X-T1 for about 70% of the images taken.  The X-T1 is just so user friendly, and fun to use!  The EVF and LCD show you what you are about to capture, in whatever flavor of film simulation and settings you’ve selected.  Also, before I left for my trip I turned on the focus scale so I know how far out my focus is in feet, and also the DOF the particular aperture I’ve chosen will produce.  As I’m just getting into the hyper focal focusing thing I really need to explore that further as it may have some use.  My go-to film simulation – Astia – it is just so perfect for me I created a LR import that takes all the raw files and applies the Astia film simulation on import; in addition to the film mode, I also have my sharpening set according to the Pete Bridgwood method of sharpening the X raw files.  His method has proven to be a lifesaver! I can now edit my images in LR and not have to go out to Iridient, or Silkypix to do so.  I also very much like the color the LR produces as I find the Iridient and Silkypix to be a bit too warm for my taste – but that’s my opinion — and yes both my screens – an Apple display, and a NEC 27″ are all calibrated and set correctly.  The one and only issue I may possibly have is chimping on the LCD screen in the extremely bright sun light.  I am taking with me a large dark blue handkerchief that I use as a head band that I can drape over me – view camera style – to double check I’ve captured the frame as I want.  That is, unless I chimp in the EVF but that is just too uncomfortable for me.

I will say that during my recent trip to New England, whenever I grabbed the D800 to photograph anything my main concern was whether the image would be sharp or not.  Honestly who wants to grab a piece of equipment and have to worry about whether it’ll deliver the goods?  Certainly not me.  However the D800 files, when the camera, and it’s operator are in sync and work the way they should, are just glorious in size and detail.  Certainly can’t argue with the quality of the files –  They are just amazing.  However, the 16MP X files hold up to enlargements pretty darn well.  An image I photographed on January 1, 2015 at sunrise of the Portland Head Lighthouse (see it here)  recently sold as a matted and framed 30″ x 20″ print that looks stunning.

Well enough ramblings for now.

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