Tag Archives: ipod

Weight and Stuff Report – 9 January 2017

Down another wee bit today, how thrilling!

Talking of thrilling, UK readers should be aware that the £1 coin is being replaced by a fancy new  model this year. The new 12-sided coin (any resemblance to a pre-decimal “thruppeny bit” is entirely deliberate) featuring multiple security features[1] to make forgery more of a challenge[2]. I ordered the 2017 coin set from the Royal Mint so I could have one to look at before they go into circulation in March. And in case anyone wants to know, the old round pounds will be withdrawn by October, so if you’ve got a jar full of them, make sure to spend them or pay them into the bank in good time.

This is just a quick shot – I’ll try for a better one when I can set up the tripod and a better light, but it gives the general idea.

Funny Money

Funny Money

Camera X-T2
Aperture ƒ/5.6
Shutter speed 1/50s
Focal length 60mm
ISO 3200
Taken 18:01, 9 January, 2017

What you can’t see in this image, and indeed can’t see with the naked eye[3], is that the fine line just inside the rim actually has text on it – 2017 on each segment on the tails side and ONE POUND repeated on the heads side. The heads side also has a clever bit of engraving that shows £ from one side and 1 from the other.

[1] Including one they’re not telling us about
[2] Nobody’s silly enough to say it would be impossible, of course. Just difficult and expensive
[3] Unless you’ve got much better eyes than me

Weight and Stuff Report – 16 November 2016

Up a wee bit today, but still lower than recently.

You might have noticed a lot of nonsense the other day about the “supermoon”, which seemed to lead people tho think the Moon would be appearing much larger than normal rather than just a wee bit. Well, it was a bit cloudy, and I was a little preoccupied by matters relating to work, which I won’t be talking about here[1], so I didn’t do anything about that. But when I got in this evening, I looked out of my bedroom window and had a go:

Not quite so super...

Not quite so super…

Camera X-T2
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/1400s
Focal length 800mm
ISO 1000
Taken 19:29, 16 November, 2016

Could do better, etc – forgot to attach the foot thingy to the big lens, so couldn’t get it suitably stable on tripod, so it’s not as sharp as it could have been. Bit it’ll do for now…

 

[1] Well, not yet, anyway…

Weight and Stuff Report – 13 August 2016

Down again today, good stuff. Though it is probably more random wossnameness.

I took myself to Tynemouth today as I wanted to get some shots of some apparently abandoned cargo ships with my long lens. More on that in another post, with rather more photos in it.

This is Souter Lighthouse, which apparently I don’t need to actually visit because I can see it through my 100-400mm lens with the 2x teleconverter. A quick check with a mapping site tells me that the distance from camera to lighthouse was almost exactly four miles. I’ll say that again: this was taken from four miles away, which accounts for any haziness. Oh and that’s a moderately heavy lens with no tripod or anything of that kind, so a big shout out for Fujifilm’s quite impressive image stabilisation technology.

Souter Lighthouse

Souter Lighthouse

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/11
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 800mm
ISO 320
Taken 12:47, 13 August, 2016
Location 55° 1.0612′ 0″ N 1° 25.0907′ 0″ W

Weight and Stuff Report – 20 April 2016

Hmmm, back up a bit today, but still lower than the last few weeks…

I had a bit of a play with the X-T1 and the 100-400mm lens last night. This is a hand-held shot, so it’s not as sharp as it could have been, but the subject just refused to get into a position where I could use the tripod and point the lens out of my window. This is an uncropped JPG, with no post-preocessing other than being reduced in size.

Hooowlllll

Hooowlllll

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/8
Shutter speed 1/1000s
Focal length 560mm
ISO 640
Taken 21:03, 19 April, 2016

HD Tigger

I’ve finally got round to having a play with the Aurora HDR software I bought a while ago. Now I’ve played with HDR a bit in the past, but always found it a bit slow and fiddly, and ended up not bothering very much. So leave it to the nice people at Macphun, creators of the Tonality app I’ve mentioned previously, to make it much quicker and easier while still allowing more fine control than most people are likely to need.

For this test, I had the X-T1 on a tripod and used a remote release. I set the ISO and aperture, letting the camera work out little matters like exposure and focus. I then used the exposure compensation dial and took seven shots ranging from -3 to +3.

I imported the images into Lightroom and then exported the raw files to Aurora. There are, in the usual Machphun way, oodles[1] of presets which you can either use as they are, or as a basis for your own edits. This one’s possibly a bit extreme, but I like it anyway:

HD Tigger

HD Tigger

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/3.2
Shutter speed 1/8s
Focal length 55mm
ISO 400
Taken 12:10, 5 March, 2016

[1] Technical expression

Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 LM OIS WR Lens

If you’re reading this on Facebook, be sure to click through to see the photos!

I’ve been waiting for this beast to appear for a long time now. Pretty much since I got the X-E1 two and a half years ago. At the time, the one thing I really wanted was a longer telephoto, and soon enough one appeared on the Fuji roadmap. At first it was vaguely described as a “super telephoto”, but eventually it was announced that it would have a very useful 100-400mm range. Now you might recall that I had a rather large and heavy 150-500mm lens when I had the Canon 5D Mk III, which was quite nice, but really a bit too heavy to carry around much. But on the Fujifilm system, things are a wee bit smaller. And because of the crop factor[1], 400mm on my X-T1 gives a field of view equivalent to around 600mm on the full-frame 5D, so this was looking like it would be seriously useful. Add in compatibility with the 1.4x teleconverter, and we have the potential to get up close and very personal. So, when it was finally announced as being available for order, I didn’t hesitate for more than a microsecond or two. I pre-ordered from Wex Photographic (as you do – and I should point out that their price is a lot better than Amazon’s). I then took the semi-drastic step of selling the lenses I don’t use to MPB, which raised most of the substantial cost of the new lens).

Anyway, as I might have mentioned, it arrived yesterday. It is indeed quite large, though it’s actually about 400g lighter than the 70-200mm lens I had on the Canon, and I had no trouble carrying that around. Unlike the 50-140mm lens, this one doesn’t have a fixed maximum aperture through the zoom range – that would have made it a lot bigger, heavier and even more expensive. It also gets longer when you zoom in. It comes with a tripod foot which I’ve left on for now. There’s a lens hood which I haven’t looked at so far. Other than that, the box contains the usual pouch and manual.

Today was my first proper chance to take it out. I’ve got a sort of tradition[2] when it comes to long lenses. I like to see just how close a view I can get of Grey’s Monument. So for this first impressions review, let’s start with a view from the 100mm end, taken from a moderate distance along Grey Street:

Grey's Monument

Grey’s Monument

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 100mm
ISO 500
Taken 13:02, 24 February, 2016

As it happened, today must have been an open day, or something, because some people had climbed the steps, which is handy, as it gives a nice idea of the scale of the monument:

Earl Grey and Friends

Earl Grey and Friends

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/10
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 400mm
ISO 500
Taken 13:04, 24 February, 2016

As you can see, that’s quite a large statue.

So, I walked around the corner, added the teleconverter, zoomed right in and….

Earl Grey in detail

Earl Grey in detail

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/14
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 540.4mm
ISO 640
Taken 13:13, 24 February, 2016

It’s worth clicking to see the bigger version of that – there’s a load of texture in the stone.

And just for extreme detail, this is a tight crop of the above image, just showing the Earl’s head:

Earl Grey 100% crop

Earl Grey 100% crop

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/14
Shutter speed 1/500s
Focal length 540.4mm
ISO 640
Taken 13:13, 24 February, 2016

I’ll need to go some more places with this one….

[1] Not explaining that. Anyone who cares knows already
[2] Or an old charter, or something

 

Peak Design Slide Lite Camera Strap

I mentioned in my post about the Fujifilm battery grip that I’d moved from a wrist strap to the more usual neck kind.

Well, what I actually went for was something a bit more flexible – like the wrist strap, it’s made by Peak Design and uses their innovative Anchor Link connectors. These are great – you can leave the little connectors permanently connected to each camera you use and attach the strap when you need it. So I can move a single strap between cameras without wrestling with the usual horrible connections, or change from the wrist strap to the neck strap in a moment. I can also move the strap connection from the main body of the X-T1 to the battery grip for the best balance, depending on what I’m doing at the time, as I’ve got Anchor Links attached to all three points.

There’s also a tripod plate which allows the strap to be used in sling mode – something I’ve tried previously, but found required too much adjustment to be all that useful to me.

If you want to wear your toys over one shoulder, there’s a nicely grippy section on the reverse side – the idea is you don’t use that when the camera is around your neck, and flip it over when you move to shoulder carrying.

The strap itself is made of good quality strong webbing material – seatbelt stuff, so it’s not likely to break any time soon. Length adjustment involves Peak’s well designed locking connectors – flip up the bar, pull strap to your preferred length and put the bar down again.

This is a well-made strap that offers enough options to suit most camera users. Compatibility with other Peak products makes it even more useful. Worth a try.

There is a heavier-duty model for bigger cameras – this particular one is aimed at users of CSCs and smaller DSLRs.

Fujifilm VG-XT1 Vertical Battery Grip for the X-T1

What’s this? Has Les had a funny turn and decided to make his relatively small and svelte[1] Fujifilm X-T1 bigger? Well, yes. Let me explain…

When I was using Canon DSLRs, I always shunned the idea of adding a vertical grip. I knew the reasons why you might want one – extra battery life and easier use of the camera in portrait orientation, but neither of those seemed particularly important to me. And when I switched to Fujifilm – first the X-E1, then the X-E2 and later the X-T1, I still didn’t really feel the need, despite the relatively poor battery life of my newer cameras.[2]

But having mangled my shoulder lately, I’ve been looking for ways to reduce any kind of strain at all – I’ve switched from the wrist straps I’ve been using for years to a more conventional neck strap, and after a bit of reading concluded that not twisting my hand around when shooting vertically might be a good idea. So I ordered one of these.

Fitting it is a simple operation – you remove a cover from the base of the camera to expose the contacts, and place it in the provided compartment on the top of the grip (nice touch, that – prevents losing it), remove a cover from the pins on top of the grip (nowhere to put that, though…) then line up the grip and screw it into the camera’s tripod socket.

While you don’t have to do this, it’s a good idea to insert one of your spare batteries in the compartment in the grip. The camera will then recognise that it has two batteries, and will display separate power levels for each of them. And it will use the battery in the grip before the internal one, so if you’re going to be out for a while and likely to get through several batteries, you can just keep changing the one in the grip rather than having to remove it to change the internal one. Nice.

Once it’s on, you’ve got a slightly larger camera, which actually feels more balanced when one of the heavier lenses is attached[3]. There’s a bar for attaching one end of your strap, which avoids it getting in the way in portrait mode.

The important bit is the replication of controls – there’s a shutter release, plus focus assist, AE-L and AF-L buttons, not to mention front and rear control dials. To avoid these getting pressed when you’re in landscape mode, there’s a lock switch around the shutter release (which caught me out the other day, when I was wondering why the buttons weren’t working  :duh: ).

In use, it feels a lot more comfortable in portrait mode, and I think it’ll be a permanent fixture on my X-T1.

[1] First use of that word on Losing it. Also probably the last, so make the most of it
[2] This is a general issue with compact system cameras, where around 300 shots it about all you can expect compared with 700 or more with most DSLRs
[3] Another reason for getting it!

Weight and Stuff Report – 30 January 2016

Oddly up today, still never mind, etc.

It’s still very windy and quite cold out, so I wasn’t inclined to do anything other than the shopping today. Well, apart from a second trip to Tesco to get something that would have been a bit awkward to carry with the rest of my shopping. That trip was originally going to be into Newcastle or possibly the Metrocentre, but I really couldn’t make the effort, as my shoulder kept grumbling at me. And it was cold. Mutter.

I have done a bit of playing with my 60mm macro lens today though. Need to either have a bit more light on the subject or use a tripod, as most of the results were a bit rubbish. But this one’s moderately OKish.

Dragon!

Dragon!

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/3.2
Shutter speed 1/320s
Focal length 60mm
ISO 6400
Taken 14:32, 30 January, 2016

The actual height of the dragon’s head is about 15mm, by the way…

 

Fujifilm XF1.4X Teleconverter

You might recall me mentioning that the only thing that wasn’t quite perfect about the Fujifilm 50-140mm lens I bought earlier this year was that it could have done with being a wee bit longer.

Now there is a seriously long telephoto zoom on Fujifilm’s roadmap (100-400mm), but that’s got two problems. The first is that to keep the price in the area that might just be affordable and the weight below the level where you don’t so much need a tripod as a truck, it won’t share the 50-140mm lens’s lovely f/2.8 maximum aperture. Not a huge issue, just a point of information. The real problem is that its anticipated release date is now March next year, but as that date has shifted a few times already, I’m not holding my breath. Not that I could hold my breath until March, anyway.

But there was another possibility. Fujifilm announced this little beast a while ago – it’s a device that fits between the lens and the camera which increases the focal length by a factor of 1.4. So far, it’s only supported on the 50-140mm lens, but future lenses will also be able to use it. You’ll also need to update the camera and lens firmware before you can take advantage of the device.

Being a proper Fujifilm device, it’s been designed to do this without affecting image quality. The only downside is that it reduces the maximum aperture from f/2.8 to a still useful f/4. Ever since it was announced, I’ve been keeping an eye open for it actually being available. And yesterday, it appeared in stock at Wex Photographic, who I’m always happy to deal with. So, after hesitating for about a microsecond, I placed an order. (The image links to Amazon who currently have it listed as not being available until January).

And it arrived today (yes, they send stuff out on Sundays now…). It arrived too late for me to not take it out in the rain at lunchtime, but I took a few test shots after leaving work – the rain had actually paused by then.

Here’s one at the wide end:

Grey Street

Grey Street

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/4
Shutter speed 1/30s
Focal length 78.8mm
ISO 6400
Taken 17:25, 30 November, 2015

And here’s my usual test of a long lens, which I’ll have to repeat in daylight:

Obligatory Earl Grey shot

Obligatory Earl Grey shot

Camera X-T1
Aperture ƒ/4
Shutter speed 1/7s
Focal length 161mm
ISO 6400
Taken 17:25, 30 November, 2015

First impressions are that this will make my big zoom zoomier enough to be more useful.