2016 In my Rear View Mirror

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.

Happy New Year

 

 

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100, 200% Satisfied

A couple of images here.  My grandson, Jonah.  First is the original image (from raw). I shot the entire day with the 35mm F1.4, The X-T2, Acros + G filter.  This is the JPEG from the raw file, processed in Classic Chrome.

Pumpkin_Day_X-T2_2163.jpg

Now below is the SCREENSHOT of the same image, at 200 PERCENT as viewed on a 46″ display!  You can see me, and Jonah’s dad in his eyes!!!  Dang…….

200% on 46" Display.png

 

As I walked to my car this morning…

I parked in my reserved spot, picked up my bag, slung it over my shoulder and headed to the office. And then it hit me like a ton of bricks!  The X-T1 and several lenses are so light I hardly feel it!

In the mornings when I leave home I usually have over my shoulder a Fossil leather bag –  In it I keep my Macbook Air, my yogurt for lunch, and some basic file folders.  In itself the Fossil bag is rather lightweight.  I’ve had it since 2007 and it is still an amazing piece of luggage that I proudly use in my daily life.  Every now and then I’ll stick a Jill-E insert in the bag and carry my X-T1 with me.

Today, I packed a small $30.00 bag I found on Amazon.  It’s called the Lowepro Exchange Messenger for dSLR kit and essentials.  Here’s the link.  I bought this wonderful bag in July of 2013 when a very good friend of mine and I took a three day tour around coastal Maine; he carried his two Leica’s and assorted lenses in this bag.  After seeing how light it was, and the fact I was able to store it flat pretty much anywhere I decided to purchase one right there and then and so I did.

Today I’ll be away from home for a couple of days but had to go into the office first; Instead of my Fossil leather bag I instead packed my LowePro.  In the bag I loaded up my X-T1, the 18-55 lens, the 16mm F1.4 lens, the 23mm 1.4 lens, the Fuji EF-42 Flash with four batteries, and an extra two Fuji batteries for the camera, and my lunch.  The bag has very deep pockets, one has a zipper for additional security; normally, that would be where I store my SD wallet but since the X-T1 is packing a 32G card that allows for over 700 jpeg+raws I didn’t bother bringing any more along.

When I arrived at the office and picked up the bag out of my car with the always present Macbook Air I had to do a double-check to make sure I packed what I needed!  It was that light.  I remember the days pre-Fuji when I carried my Nikon D800 or D700, plus Nikon glass — or better (or worse) yet when I carried my Mamiya 645AFD medium format!  Heck, going back a bit further my old RB67.  Now that was a beast.  I actually smiled as I walked down the Philadelphia streets to my office.  It absolutely does makes a huge difference carrying a smaller mirrorless camera.  I don’t care if it is a Fuji, Sony, Olympus — whatever floats your boat, just try one!  I do not miss my dSLR’s or MF at all! Since I haven’t printed larger thant 24″x 20″ I haven’t needed more megapixels.  If I did, I can always work some photoshop magic though I try very hard to stay out of PS. CORRECTED – SEE LAST TWO PARAGRAPHS ADDED AFTER THIS WAS PUBLISHED!

With that being said I am awaiting the arrival of the X-T2.  As I am a travel, and stock photographer the 24mp sensor keeps me ahead of the curve and my images relevant when a clients wants a bit extra oomph.  Usually we can show them that 16.3mp is more than enough but at times, they are rather adamant about larger files.  If it were not for that I wouldn’t be upgrading at all!  With regards to the rumors here of a potential Fuji medium format camera my first questions are not resolution or megapixels but how big is it going to be?  What is the weight of the system?  How about lens weight? I am now totally spoiled by the compactness, and the image quality coming from my Fuji system and I would not go back, ever, to a Nikon or any other brand.

So, when I leave my office later this afternoon and head south for a couple of days I’ll still be grinning like a Cheshire cat!

I was going to end this post here then FedEx came in.  I sent out an image to be printed a while back and I just received it!  It’s a 30 x 20″ print of an image that was processed from a RAF file into a 95mb TIFF in Lightroom.  I thought about processing it in Iridient which I own but decided i would process it in the same app that I use for 99% of all my editing work.

Here, I’ve laid it across our conference room table in order to flatten it somewhat.  But I have to say it looks amazing!  I can COUNT the grains of sand, and you can as well just from these two iPhone images!  This is 30″ x 20″ and I think I can go up to 40″ plus so that will be the next round of tests.  I performed this print test to see how far I can push 16.3 megapixels.  I have to say, these results are truly amazing.  I’ve taken my glasses off and pressed my nose and eyes very close and it’s well, trust me:  amazing!FullSizeRender 2

FullSizeRender
in this image, taken with the X-T1 and the Unbelievable 16mm 1.4 you can count the grains of sand flowing as the water ebbs, under the shell, and throughout the image. It’s that clear here even though I used an iPhone for these two

Enjoy the rest of your day.

 

 

Sadly I’ve updated my Gear Page Now

To reflect the fact that all the Nikon gear except the flashes are now gone to new homes.  Kind of scary actually — knowing I can’t grab that 36mp monster – the D800 –  anymore, or my absolute tack-sharp, clear, beautiful and heavy 70-200 2.8 VR1 lens.

I just picked up the Fuji 23mm 1.4 yesterday as I wanted something a little wider than my 35 1.4, but less wide than the Zeiss 12mm.  It was a difficult choice between the 23 and the new 16 but I felt the 16 was a bit too heavy and too wide for my taste.

 

 

 

The Nikon Gear is now Gone

Well, the Nikon D800 is on it’s way to it’s new home.  That was my last Nikon body.  I am keeping both Nikon flash units because I’m certain they will work with some flash triggers and the Fuji.  My 18-35G series, less than two year old lens  has been acquired by one of my kids for use on my old D700 body, and the less than six month old 50mm 1.8G she will probably get as well unless I sell it.

This pretty much empties the Nikon closet for me.  Now it’s all Fuji or nothing.  In a way I knew this day would come ever since I got my first Fuji – the X-E1 back in early 2013 together with the 18-55 lens and the 35mm 1.4.

The X-T1 came along in 2014 and I just fell in love with the handling, the files, and most of all putting the fun back into picture-taking even though I shoot for stock most of the times.  One of the best two features I’ve found?  1.  the viewfinder: It’s incredible; you can see what your image will look like before snapping the shutter! and then make necessary adjustments. I wasn’t much of a chimper before and even less of one now.  2.  The film modes. Even though I always shoot in jpeg+raw (except for odd miscellaneous family stuff) I find that setting the film mode in camera, then upon upload into LR I run the correct profile I’ve created on the raw files, truly generates some sweet looking raw files as well as jpegs.

In less than three weeks I’ll be heading out for a major stock shooting business trip.  I expect to come with with many, many images.  Well, consider this:  based on the number and size of SD cards I have in m PocketRocket, I can shoot 8,280 images, jpeg+raw, before I have to reload.  Sweet huh?

A few years ago I was out in the Southwest and came back with 11,250 images over eight days.  If you double up because of the jpeg+raw I came back with 22,500 total images.

Enough jabbering for tonight.  I’m hoping to at least start separating some gear and packing it to see how it’s all gonna fit.  Should be much easier now that the D800 and lenses won’t be going with me.  But we’ll see as I anticipate using the gear a few more times before I leave.

In closing I leave you for now with an image of one of my favorite subjects:  Lobster Floats

Found abandoned old Lobster floats. I give them a good home. Fuji X-T1, 55-200 Lens, Tripod, raw processed as Velvia Exposure not available (click for a larger image)
Found abandoned old Lobster floats. I give them a good home.
Fuji X-T1, 55-200 Lens, Tripod, raw processed as Velvia Exposure not available (click for a larger image) This is a FULL 9MB File.  Click on it at your own risk 🙂

You can see more images at my site:  Drama King Images or at Flickr

X Marks the Spot

The Penobscot Bay with the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge in the background at dusk. I was photographing the meteor showers but those stars… Oh My. Don’t see that in South Jersey for sure…

Fuji X-T1, Zeiss 12mm F2.8 @ 2.8, 28 seconds, ISO 1600, Tripod, remote. RAF processed as Velvia
Fuji X-T1, Zeiss 12mm F2.8 @ 2.8, 28 seconds, ISO 1600, Tripod, remote. RAF processed as Velvia