Fuji X-Trans – Do you need to do HDR?

(Fuji X-T1 – 10-24mm)

OK so I’ll start by saying that there are some instances where you have to make an HDR image, but I have been experimenting with HDR verses normal highlight/shadow processing with Lightroom’s HDR feature.
The results have left me a bit surprised (and pleased) with just how much detail is available in a Fuji X-Trans RAW file.
In the example below I took three images image of straw bales back-lit against the dusk sky. Each image was a stop apart, enough to capture the sky with no clipping and well lit foreground.
For one image I combined the three RAW images using Lightroom’s HDR function.
For the other image I took the RAW image which had no sky clipping (just happened to be the darkest images) and processed it using a combination of exposure control, shadow recovery, and graduated filter.

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 15.22.39Here are some crops of both images.
Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 15.23.36

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To my eyes there is hardly any difference in sharpness or noise. You certainly have to look very very closely to see any.

I shall use HDR for when it’s absolutely necessary, but for most high contrast landscapes when I might have considered HDR, I’ll just be using the one image file in future.


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Back to Happisburgh

It’s been a while since I last made any images at Happisburgh, Norfolk.
The old sea defenses used to make very nice subjects, but since they were taken away I’ve not visited many times.
However, the latest storm to hit this region has torn into the remaining sea defenses, which were until now largely intact, making them much more interesting (at least from a landscape photographers point of view).

The shattered sea defences at Happisburgh Norfolk.

Looking along the beach at dawn at Happisburgh in Norfolk England.

The line of wooden sea defences at sunrise on the Norfolk coast.

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Can You Use Lee Seven5 Filters With a Fuji 10-24mm Lens?

Can You Use Lee Seven5 Filters With a Fuji 10-24mm Lens?
This was the question I asked myself over and over again when deciding whether to buy the new Fuji 10-24mm lens or just go with the smaller 14mm instead.
I had already bought, and was using the Lee Seven5 system with my 18-55mm lens and was loving it’s small size after using the 100mm system on my old Canon 5D Mk2.
I knew the Seven5 would vignette at 10mm for sure, but how much.
In the end I decided to go for it and bought the 10-24mm, reasoning that most wide landscape shots are not (or at least shouldn’t) taken at 10mm anyway. I normally prefer to reserve 10mm for the images that truly need it, as a landscapes shot at this extreme wide angle often tend to be devoid of any interest.
I’ve now been using the 10-24mm and Lee Seven5 for a few months and I’m happy with the combination. Yes I’d prefer if there were no vignetting but on the whole I’ve learnt to live with the limitations.
I actually went to the trouble of buying another holder so I could have one holder with 2 solt and one holder with 1 slot which helps with the vignetting.
In the following series of images I have attempted to show what the vignetting looks like at various focal lengths, with and without the Lee polariser.

2 Slots @ 10mm
Here you can see the edges of the holder very clearly.

2 Slots @ 12mm
At 12mm the vignetting has gone.

1 Slot @ 10mm
At 10mm with only one slot there is no vignetting.

2 Slots @ 12mm + Lee Polariser
Here you can see the edges of the filter very clearly.

2 Slots @ 14mm + Lee Polariser
Here you can just see the edges of the filter. Using 15mm would solve this.

1 Slot @ 12mm + Lee Polariser
Here you can see the edges of the filter very clearly.

1 Slot @ 14mm + Lee Polariser
At 14mm with only one slot there is no vignetting.

In Summary, the usable range is:

2 slots Min 12mm
2 slots + pol Min 15mm
1 slot Min 10mm
1 slot + pol Min 14mm

I hope this simple post has given you some useful information if your thinking about the 10-24mm lens and the Lee Seven5.
If you are certain you want to use all focal lengths with more than one slot and a polariser then I’m afraid the 100mm system is your only option (just be prepared for it taking up more room than the camera).
By the way, I’ve also tried the Cokin P series holder and that (surprisingly) vignetted just as bad as the Seven5.

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Why does it always rain on a Saturday

It’s another early Saturday morning, and yet again it’s raining. Such is the life of landscape photographer, destined to spend more time than is good for me sitting in the car watching the rain run down the windows, hoping there may be a break, when really I should have stayed in bed.
Maybe tomorrow.

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Fuji X-E1 RAW Versus JPG Versus Canon 5D Mk2 RAW (Part 2)

I’ve finally managed to get out and take a few more comparison landscape shots using the Fuji X-E1 and the Canon 5D Mk2.
This time I’ve processed the Fuji RAW files with Iridient Developer before importing to Lightroom for a final tweak.
Please excuse the differences in white balance between the Canon and Fuji images. I didn’t try to make them identical.
Lenses used where the Fuji 18-55mm and the Canon 24-105mm L.
You can see the Canon RAW CR2 file on the left and the Fuji image processed with Iridient Developer on the right. (click for a larger image)

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Bottom edge of the imageScreen Shot 2013-11-05 at 19.36.19

The thing that surprised me most was the Fuji’s sharpness at the edges of the frame compared to the Canon.
In almost all cases I prefer the Fuji images and I certainly prefer to cary the fuji around.
The canon is now finding itself left at home more often than not.

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Scotland Trip Part2

More images from our Scotland trip uploaded.


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Scotland Trip Part1

I’ve just finished editing the first batch of images from our West coast of Scotland Trip.
All the images were taken with the Fuji X-E1 with either the 18-55mm or 55-200mm lenses.


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