Author Archives: Les

April 2016 Round-up

Well, a whole third of 2016 is over, it’s the end of a month and it has to be time for the essential monthly summary that tells you all you need to know. Though you might want to look at the photos in the rest of the posts.

Weight

What’s this? Some actual progress this month?.

April 1: 229.2 pounds (16 stone 5.2 pounds, 104 kg)
April 30: 226.9 pounds (16 stone 2.9 pounds, 102.9 kg)

That’s an actual drop of 2.3 pounds or 1kg. And I have a Cunning Plan that may improve things further.

Eating

Yes, I’ve done some of that, especially when I was away for a few days in various parts of the country. More of that next month, too.

Exercise

The shoulder still has days when it does its best to make me unhappy, and the heel is joining in. Apparently this sort of thing starts to happen as people get older. I’ll just have to lie about my age and hope it fools my body. But while I’m waiting for it to be fooled, there’s not a lot of moving around going on.

Posting

I’ve done a bit more posting this month, with this report bringing the total to 43.

Stuff

I’ve been playing with cameras a bit, though not as much as I’d like, and of course there’s the Robert Rankin Re-read-athon going on. More on that soon.

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 April 2016

Weight: 226.9 pounds (16 stone 2.9 pounds, 102.9 kg)
Steps taken: 4,741

Up a wee bit today, ho hum, never mind, etc.

After some relatively early shopping, I decided to have another visit to the coast to see if my long lens could see anything interesting. I took the Metro to Tynemouth this time, and soon realised that a long walk wasn’t going to happen, as my intermittently painful heel decided to have a Bad Day. Oww, etc.

But I found a nice bench to sit on and got a few shots, including this quite large floating thing:

Container

Container

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/900s
Focal length 560mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:55, 30 April, 2016

There seemed to be some interesting clouds out at sea, but I didn’t think too much about them. I was working on getting a photo or two of some of the swooping gulls when I felt something hit my head. My first thought was that a passing bird had left me a present, but soon realised that it was just the beginning of a hailstorm. It was more than nasty enough for me to put the camera away and head for a conveniently close shelter thingy. I stayed there a while during which the hail turned to rain, then the sun came out and it was quite warm, then it hailed again, at which point I decided to get the next bus back to Newcastle. Which I did. And came home. So once again, not a lot of photography done, mutter.

Weight and Stuff Report – 29 April 2016

Weight: 226.3 pounds (16 stone 2.3 pounds, 102.6 kg)
Steps taken: 2,170

Hmmm, back down again today, how random…

Quite apart from being an impressive structure, Dunston Staiths offers some views along the Tyne that would be hard to get to without a boat otherwise. The wide view of the Fujifilm X70 shows this off quite nicely

Bridges

Bridges

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/200s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 14:23, 23 April, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 27 April 2016

Weight: 228.4 pounds (16 stone 4.4 pounds, 103.6 kg)
Steps taken: 1,647

Bother, up again today, allegedly.

Here’s another one from last weekend’s Dunston Staiths visit. Looks like the remains of someone’s boat. Or something.

Wreck

Wreck

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/60s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 320
Taken 14:20, 23 April, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 26 April 2016

Weight: 226.5 pounds (16 stone 2.5 pounds, 102.7 kg)
Steps taken: 2,344

That’s rather a large upward wossname today. It’s probably quantum, or something.

This is a close view of the underside of Dunston Staiths

Defcon...

Defcon…

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/60s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 500
Taken 14:16, 23 April, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 25 April 2016

Weight: 223.9 pounds (15 stone 13.9 pounds, 101.6 kg)
Steps taken: 1,779

Gasp, shock, down again, taking me a whisker below the psychologicackle 16 stone mark for the first time in a while. Just need to lose a couple more of those…

Just experienced some odd weather coming home. When I left the office, the sky was mostly clear, the sun was shining, the birds were coughing, etc. As the bus crossed the Tyne, I saw some wet looking clouds in the distance. Then it started to get a bit damp. Then it snowed a bit. And now it’s cleared up again. I think it was a rogue cloud having a bit of fun, or something.

This is another X70 shot – unlike the others, I have made some adjustments to this one – the camera had done a good job of getting some detail in the relatively dark interior of Central Arcade, but in doing so, overexposed the bright scene outside. A minor tweak in Lightroom sorted that out.

Byron

Byron

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/60s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 400
Taken 13:03, 23 April, 2016

Weight and Stuff Report – 24 April 2016

Weight: 225 pounds (16 stone 1 pounds, 102.1 kg)
Steps taken: Hardly any, really

Down a wee bit today, which is good for a weekend, or something.

Here’s another from the hip Newcastle street photo

Grey Street

Grey Street

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/400s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:53, 23 April, 2016

Fujifilm X70 digital camera

Look, I don’t have an addiction to Fujifilm cameras. I just like them, that’s all. Observant readers who look at the EXIF data below my images on this site[1] might have spotted a few images where the camera model reads “X70” and might have guessed that I’d succumbed to temptation and added another toy to my collection. And they’d be right. I blame Jessop’s for having it out on display where I could pick it up and play with it[2] and making me buy it minutes later. Or maybe I blame Fujifilm for making nice cameras.

Anyway, what we have here is, more or less, a smaller (and cheaper) companion to the lovely X100 series. It lacks the X100/X100S/X100T hybrid viewfinder, indeed it lacks any kind of viewfinder at all[3], so you have to compose using the LCD display. This is made much easier by it having a good tilt range – it can flip right around to face the front should you be inclined to take self-portaits[4], where it automatically inverts the display so it’s the right way up.

The lens is a fixed-focus 18.5mm, equivalent to 28mm on a full-frame camera, so the field of view is moderately wide – noticeably wider than the X100’s 23mm (equivalent to 35mm, etc, etc), with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, down from f/2 on the X100. It shares the X100’s nicely clicky aperture dial, which in automatic modes doubles as a controller for other settings (user selectable, nice).

On the top plate you’ll find the exposure setting and exposure compensation dials, the usual shutter release (not threaded for an old-school cable release this time) surrounded by the on/off switch, a function button that defaults to video recording and two new buttons – there’s a switch that flicks between fully automatic and whatever setting you have selected with the dials, and another function button that selects the drive mode (and there are the usual selection of those (still image, continuous shooting, bracketing, advanced photo filters, etc, etc). The back has the usual Fujifilm Menu/OK button with selectors around it, the handy Q button for getting to loads of settings from one screen, a combined AE-L/AF-L button (set it to your liking in the menu), a display mode/back button and another function button which defaults to WiFi function. Above the tilting screen you’ll find the image playback and delete buttons. And finally, on the front you’ll find the focus mode switch.

As it’s quite a small camera, the moderately large handgrip is welcome – I’ve found that it balances well in my quite large hands. Apart from that, if you’ve used any other Fujifilm cameras, you’ll know what to expect from the handling and general usability.

It uses the same NP-95 battery as the X100 series (Fujifilm are nice like that), and you might want to be aware that the charger supplied is of the USB variety – it charges with the battery in the camera. If you’ve already got an X100 and some spare batteries that’s probably not an issue, of course, but if you haven’t, you might want to budget for a normal charger.

While out and about today, I had a play in a variety of conditions, and I’m beginning to get the idea of how to get good results. It works really well with the display tilted to horizontal, and with the camera held low for good old-fashioned shoot from the hip street photography as in this unedited JPG

Shoot from the hip (SOOC)

Shoot from the hip (SOOC)

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/350s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:52, 23 April, 2016

Or indeed this one

Monument

Monument

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/550s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 200
Taken 12:54, 23 April, 2016

I tend to regard Central Arcade as a good place to test cameras – the light from the glass roof can be overwhelming, but I think it’s done nicely here:

Central Arcade

Central Arcade

Camera X70
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/60s
Focal length 18.5mm
ISO 250
Taken 12:58, 23 April, 2016

So, on its first proper outing, the X70 has made me quite happy. It’s small enough to slip into a pocket or indeed carry everywhere you go. Not as flexible as a camera with a zoom lens perhaps, but that just makes things more interesting…

 

[1] Those of you who never get past the couple of lines shown on Facebook won’t see that…
[2] This is such a nice thing to do…
[3] Though a hotshoe accessory one will be available
[4] It’s much too nice a camera to call them “selfies”