Sunday, 25 August 2013

Reverse lens macro photography with X-Pro 1

Macro photography is one of the area that I had never really explored. Good macro lenses or close-up filters are not cheap so I decided to try a well known "reverse lens" method just to see if macro photography is for me. All you need is an adapter to mount your lens in reverse, using the filter thread in front rather than actual lens mount at the back.You can easy calculate the diopter power of the reversed lens by dividing 1000 by the focal length. For example, a 35 mm lens gives a 1000/35 = +28.5 diopter.
Inside a 100 years old Omega watch 
That's how I setup my new macro rig.

Friday, 16 August 2013

Pocket Light Meter

I always considered a good trusty light meter as one of the most important tools in my photo bag. Regardless of the camera (film or digital) and built-in metering system (matrix, centre, spot, weighted, etc) I am still using a dedicated light meter to re-confirm exposure settings. Couple months ago disaster happened, I lost my beloved Gossen Luna Star F light meter. Before spending ~ $ 200 on the replacement I decided to check what other options are available in 21st century and came across this Pocket Light Meter  app.
This FREE app transforms you iPhone into a pretty good spot light meter. There are several other apps available that can do similar job, but I picked up Pocket Light Meter because of its accuracy and simplicity. Here is my quick review.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Iridient Developer 2.2 (quick comparison)

Iridient Developer is arguably the best RAW converter  for Fuji X-Trans raw files. About a month ago I tested Iridient 2.1 and was really impressed. My review is here. The latest 2.2 update brought additional features, improvements and bug fixes for Fujifilm X.

New Features:
New, smoother "Soft Look" demosaic option for Fuji X-Trans models.
Added support for Fujifilm RAW daylight, cloudy and tungsten white balance presets for most recent models.
Added support for automatic RAW lens distortion and vignetting correction metadata for many Fujifilm models.
Support for Fujifilm X-M1
Modified tone curve and baseline exposure for Fujifilm X-Trans models to better match other software and camera JPEGs.
EXIF 2.3 lens model information should now be displayed in Preview window for many more camera models, including the Fuji X-Trans models.
Bug Fixes:
Fixed bug with "Soft Look" checkbox and the Fuji X-Trans cameras. Now, like with Bayer/Foveon RAW models this option enables an alternate, smoother demosaic (RAW interpolation) method.
Fixed ISO gain adjustment for Fuji X-Trans models at ISO 3200 and 6400.:
Full Release Notes  

I quickly compared Iridient 2.2 to Aperture 3.4. 5 and Lightroom 4.4

Friday, 9 August 2013

Fuji X-Pro 1 as a film scanner?

Couple days ago I was scanning some old 4x5 negatives and wondering, is there any other way to make the process faster? Each scan usually takes about 5~7 minutes and files are huge (500 + mb @ 3200 DPI). Can a modern digital camera take a perfect "scan" of the negative and replace my old monster ?

Just for fun I decided to test the concept and see how well Fujifilm X-Pro1 (with Nikkor 28/2.8 CRC lens) stacks up against Epson V700.