All posts by Geren

Is the X-T1 the Only Camera Fujifilm Makes?

It’s interesting … if you look at the various photo sites around the web, it seems that everyone’s completely forgotten that Fujifilm make cameras other than the new X-T1.

Of course, the reality is that Fujifilm make a whole line of great cameras — everything from the fixed-lens X20 and X100s through a selection of “rangefinder” interchangeable lens cameras and, of course, the X-T1.

But, everyone seems to have forgotten that.

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The Paddock

I was at the Maryland State Fairgrounds today for a model train show. Since I’m an “exhibitor,” I was able to get some special parking, and I chose to park in the paddock area. As I was walking back to the car, I glanced into one of the stables, and noted some interesting patterns, and decided to take use the X-E1 to make some pictures of something more interesting than a Dr. Pepper can.

 

I’m particularly impressed with the sharpness of the 18-55mm kit lens. This is shot at 18mm, wide open at f/2.8. Close examination will reveal tremendous detail in the chain link fence that is across the road outside the far end of the stable, which you can see in this crop:

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I’m sorry it doesn’t get any bigger, but if you look, you can see the fence. Pretty darned impressive.

I was also pretty amazed at the dynamic range in the raw file, which I processed in Lightroom 5.4. I was able to pull out most of the detail from the nearly-blown-out area outside the doorway, If I’d’ve underexposed by a half-stop, I probably could have gotten all the detail back without having to push so hard that the greens blocked up as much as they did.

FCC Will Auction More UHF Spectrum

Some time back, I asserted my belief that UHF was going to be a bad place to be for wireless microphones. As it turns out, I was right. The next group of frequencies that will affect wireless microphones to go onto the auction block will likely be the 600MHz band, maybe as soon as next year.

Shure GLXD24-SM58 2.4Hz wireless microphone package (photo by Shure)

Shure GLXD24-SM58 2.4Hz wireless microphone package (photo by Shure)

Meanwhile, wireless microphone manufacturers are finally beginning to make relatively affordable systems available in the 2.4GHz band — right where I said they ought to be going. Shure’s GLX-D systems start at around $500 for a tabletop receiver and handheld SM58 wireless mic (check it out at Sweetwater).

The GLX-system looks to be fairly complete, too, with a full line of options for hand-held and body-pack mics and instruments, as well as table-top/rack-mount or camera-mount receivers. Shure also offers a 900-MHz digital system, but that what’s left of that frequency-band is getting increasingly crowded.

Still, wireless in-ear monitor systems are conspicuously absent from the 2.4GHz band, with most manufacturers seamingly still burying their collective heads in the sand. If the wireless microphone frequencies are becoming unavailable, what do they think is going to happen to their in-ear systems? They operate in the same frequency ranges… I’m just sayin’…

Lightroom Mobile?

This image is the first I’ve done using Adobe’s new Lightroom Mobile for iOS. So, does it live up to the hype? Meh. There are many image editing apps for iOS that have a better feature set, more adjustments, etc. But none offer the ability to sync automatically to my desktop and laptop computers (once I update to the latest Lightroom 5.4 at home).

This was taken with an iPhone 5, which synced over to my iPad Mini through iCloud. I edited the image in Lightroom Mobile, saved it to the iPad, and then posted it here.

Frankly, I’m much more interested in the functionality of Lightroom 5.4, which promises increased functionality with Fujifilm raw files — Fuji’s in-camera film simulations are now supported by Lightroom (and the newest Adobe Camera Raw). Of course, they dropped these new versions today, when I have to work extra-late…

Tech 21 Blonde

Items For Sale – Updated 4/3/14

COMING SOON: Some of my photographic equipment that I no longer use. The selection of gear includes some pro-level studio mono-lights and excellent Sony and Minolta Maxxum lenses!


With the new pedal board setup, I’ll no longer need the individual effects pedals. Since there’s no sense having them take up space around here, I’ve decided to put them up for sale.

Tech 21 Blonde

Tech 21 Blonde
PRICE
MSRP $169
SALE $100

Tech 21 SansAmp Blonde

The Character Series pedals take their mojo from the most respected amp tones on both sides of the Atlantic. These pedals don’t just have a single character, they have the whole cast, plot and curtain call.

The Level and Drive controls work like a traditional, well-equipped amp. Low, Mid and High, however, are active, providing a wider array of tonal possibilities. Then there’s the Character knob, which is something quite unique. This continuously-variable control moves seamlessly between different model voicings, covering vintage, high-gain and face-melting lead tones. The Character and Mid controls, and the speaker emulations, are all engineered to personify the specific amplifier traits and speakers associated with each amplifier type. Put simply, we’ve crammed the entire lineage of each amp style into a funky little box.

Blonde

Does a two-faced blonde sound like trouble? We hope so, when those faces are silver and black and this Blonde rocks pure American tone to the stratosphere. Sparkly, spanky cleans that overdrive with a satisfying low-end rumble become the punchy bark of hard-pushed tweed, maxing out in a fat sizzle of lead boosted tone. Take the reins and don’t spare the emulated Jensens®, this Blonde is a wild ride through American rock history.

In almost-like-new condition, with original tin box. I’ve removed the little rubber feet, and added heavy-duty velcro for use on most pedal boards.

PRICE
MSRP $169
SALE $100


Line 6 Tonecore Roto Machine MSRP Discontinued SALE $75

Line 6 ToneCore® Roto Machine
MSRP Discontinued
SALE $75

Line 6 ToneCore® Roto-Machine

The Line 6 ToneCore® series offers a unique, modular approach to stompboxes. Based around a standardized pedal base, the various effects available can be quickly interchanged by switching out the effect module. You can swap out the module inside a ToneCore® pedal with anything from the entire line, including Uber Metal™, Echo Park™, Crunchtone™, Space Chorus™, Tap Tremolo™, Constrictor™, Dr. Distorto™, Verbzilla™, Liqua-Flange™, Roto-Machine™, and Otto Filter™.

- See more at: http://line6.com/tonecore/rotomachine.html

Roto-Machine

The Line 6 Roto-Machine™ pedal brings huge, three-dimensional rotating speaker sounds right to your pedal board. From dreamy clean to swirling overdrive, Roto-Machine has those signature sounds you could only get from the original – until now! This stompbox sized marvel gives you those classic sounds that will fill the room with swirly vibe.

It’s in almost new condition. I’ve added heavy-duty velcro for use on most pedal boards.

PRICE
Discontinued
SALE $75


Behringer VD-400 Vintage Delay MSRP $25 SALE $15

Behringer VD400 Vintage Delay
MSRP $25
SALE $15

Behringer VD400 Vintage Delay

From elastic delay to vintage slap-back echo, the VINTAGE DELAY VD400 harnesses the authentic sounds of classic 1960s studio wizardry.
Analog at its Finest

Though digital sound technology constantly evolves, nothing sounds quite like the “old-school” analog Bucket Brigade-style delay you get when you step on the VD400. With its dedicated Repeat Rate, Intensity and Echo dials, this amazing little stomp box evokes the spirits of some of rock and roll’s most legendary heroes, and provides up to 300 milliseconds of true analog delay. Every type of classic delay, from a deep-space whisper, to an interplanetary battle cry—is at your command.

The bright blue LED tells you when the Vintage Delay is activated (and serves as a beacon for other time travelers), and the top-quality on/off switch maintains excellent signal integrity in bypass mode. You can power the VD400 with either a 9 V battery or a standard 9VDC pedal power supply (not included).

The VINTAGE DELAY VD400 is like a snapshot pulled right out of time—and its low, low price tag will have you reminiscing about how much you miss those “good-old” days. Visit your BEHRINGER dealer without delay, delay, delay…

- See more in my mini-review, or at http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/VD400.aspx

I’ve removed the rubber base, and replaced it with heavy-duty velcro for use on most pedal boards.

PRICE
MSRP $25
SALE $15


Behringer UT100 Ultra Tremolo MSRP $25 SALE $15

Behringer UT100 Ultra Tremolo
MSRP $25
SALE $15

Behringer UT300 Ultra Tremolo

When you’ve got to have the classic tremolo made famous by vintage ’50s amps, get the BEHRINGER ULTRA TREMOLO UT300.

Like Waves Lapping at the Shoreline

The classic surf music of the ‘50s and ‘60s might not have even happened if tremolo hadn’t come along. Vintage amps produced this intriguing effect by pulsing the volume of the instrument signal at a user-adjustable rate. The UT300 pays homage to this legendary sound, bringing it up to date for modern surf freaks.

With its dedicated Rate, Wave and Depth dials, you can shape a pulsating tremolo that nails every sound from rowdy rockabilly and surging surf, to modern space-rock. A red LED tells you when the effect is activated, and you can power this groovy stomp box with either a standard 9VDC pedal power supply (not included) or a 9 V battery. A top-quality On/Off switch maintains excellent signal integrity in bypass mode.

- See more in my mini-review, or at http://www.behringer.com/EN/Products/VD400.aspx

I’ve removed the rubber base, and replaced it with heavy-duty velcro for use on most pedal boards.

PRICE
MSRP $25
SALE $15


Shipping

Prices are less shipping. Most of the effects pedals can be shipped priority mail for $6.95 each. The Roto-Machine is a little bigger than the flat-rate boxes, so it will probably cost a little more to ship. Multiple items can be combined to save shipping costs.

Contact me if you’re interested in purchasing any of these. I’ll probably put them up on eBay around the middle of August if they don’t sell directly.

 

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Handy Photo for iPad

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I was poking around on Derrick Story’s web site, The Digital Story, yesterday and found his commentary on Handy Photo. For $1.99, I figured I’d go ahead and give it a try. It’s available for iOS devices from the iTunes store. As Derrick says, it’s a fun little app that does a nice job of “artifying” and otherwise manipulating a JPEG. It doesn’t do layers or real HDR are anything like that, but if you’re looking for quickie edits on your iPad, this is a lot of fun. And, ain’t art supposed to be fun?

Fuji X-E1 First Shot

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Fujifilm X-E1, ISO 3200, 1/4 second, hand-held

Shopping at B&H is probably the next best thing to supporting a local camera shop. I ordered my new Fujifilm X-E1 on Monday at around 3:30 in the afternoon, and last night, I was sitting at my kitchen table, eating dinner and fooling around setting the camera up.

The picture is certainly no award-winner, but I was just wanting to see what real-life, crappy lighting conditions could yield. The image is a JPEG straight from the camera, including the 1:1 crop. The only thing I did in Lightroom was to add the copyright, and re-size to 1080 pixels for the blog.

The picture itself won’t win any awards. But it does demonstrate how usable an image the camera can make in bad lighting at ISO 3200.

Fujifilm X-E1, ISO 25,600, 1/100, f/4, 55mm

Fujifilm X-E1, ISO 25,600, 1/100, f/4, 55mm

For giggles and grins, I did take one image at the camera’s maximum ISO of 25,600. The result was an image that probably wouldn’t hold up to print, but would be okay for web use (the thumbnail is gorgeous, and the enlarged image looks better than my Sony at ISO 6400). In other words, I should not be afraid to really push the ISO with this camera, as I have been with all of my previous cameras. While most of my work won’t call for doing that, it’s nice to know I can if I need to.

Fujifilm X-E1, in-camera double-exposure

Fujifilm X-E1, in-camera double-exposure

And, here’s another cool thing: I can now do double-exposures in-camera! I haven’t been able to do this since I stopped shooting film. Actually, the last camera I had that I could do a double-exposure with (if you don’t count Hipstamatic on the iPhone) was my Canon AE-1! I don’t necessarily have a lot of use for it, but I could conceivably create “Orton images” in camera, which could be fun.