A lighter camera bag – 4

_DSF8874The X-T1 has a sensor that works differently to everybody else’s sensor, this gives it much lower noise at high ISO’s. This picture is 6400 ISO (no noise reduction in post processing) 1/25, f5.6, hand held. The picture is about 25% of the total file area.

When I bought the camera it came with Firmware 1.10, today I had an email from Fuji also with Firmware 1.10 on it. The upgrade is supposed to improve compatibility with the 18-135mm lens I have. So I thought, what the hell it cannot do any harm so I did the Firmware upgrade and after processing the pictures in lightroom they look sharper than any I took last week in Bristol docks.

I had nearly decided to send the X-T1 back and get a refund as there is a known problem with the processing of raw files from the X-T1 in ACR and Lightroom. Other raw converters make a much better job of the demosaicing apparently – hence the pictures look sharp. Adobe have been working on the problem for the last nine months!

Tomorrow I will do some further testing because up to now I have been very unimpressed with the sharpness of pictures.

Its very ironic that I can’t get a sharp picture when I want one, and that’s coming from somebody who say sharpness is highly over-rated.

Hopefully this firmware upgrade has done the trick.

To be continued …

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014


A lighter camera bag – 3

_DSF8547I like the composition of this picture taken the other evening down in Bristol docks.

I am still getting to grips with the vagaries of the X-T1.

Fuji claim world beating focus speed for this camera – how true that is I can not comment. I did find however that the accuracy of focusing will be improved if the focus area is made as small as possible (50% smaller than default) and the focus assist button (zooms to 100% at the point of focus) is used judiciously.

The picture above is not particularly sharp anywhere – I focused on the man and then re-composed – perhaps I should have used focus lock as well. Hence I have thrown a lot of noise at the picture to soften it everywhere.

Now that I have made the focus area as small as possible hopefully this type of problem will go away.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014


Architectural abstract


I have updated my website with new photography courses commencing next year.

  • An ABC of CameraWork Course in South Wales.
  • A Lightroom 5 for Beginners Course in South Wales.
  • A Photography Masterclass in South Wales.
  • A Monochrome Printing Masterclass in South Wales.

Also there are a few places on the FOTO ALPUJARRAS Workshop – six days in the authentic Spain 17th – 22nd Nov 2014.  Book now to avoid disappointment.

All very reasonably priced see website for details.


Architectural abstract (featured above) is one of the first few shots taken in anger with the new X-T1 down in Bristol docks the other evening.

I always wondered about cameras without anti-aliasing filters like the Nikon D800 and the Fuji X-T1 what that really meant to a photographer. Well from my point of view it means about 50% less Clarity is required in the post production.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014



A lighter camera bag – 2

_DSF8387Stunningly good optical image stabilisation with the Fuji Lens.

ISO 6400, f18, 1/10 – focal length 200mm (FF equivalent).

Lens – Fujinon Super EBC XF 18-135mm f3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Look at this picture full size. F11 etc.

To have the ability to hand hold a 200mm lens at 1/10 sec offers great creative potential.

At the other end of the zoom (27mm FF Equiv) I have been able to hand hold acceptably sharp pictures at 1/3 Sec.

Fuji claimed 5 stops of OIS with this lens – this test shows it possible. A persons ability to hand hold a camera steady depends on a few factors – age, technique, alcohol level etc.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014


RhythmsI am off to hopefully sunny north Devon to give a talk at Barnstable CC this evening.

This is a highly interactive talk as all mine are. I gave the same presentation at Bridgwater PS on Tuesday evening the audience asked a lot of interesting questions. I ended up only showing about half of the prints I had taken to show in the first half because the Q&A was going so well.

The second half of the talk is a laptop demo overview of my workflows in CS6 and Lightroom 5 for monochrome.

I also talked a bit a the Pixels to Print workshops I run for camera clubs – see my website for details.

They were also interested in the 1st Avon Valley Salon of Photography with a Triptych section. The Triptych section means you can recycle old FIAP and PSA acceptances for further credits. See the Avon Valley website for details. www.avonvalley.photography/

So a good time was had by all.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014


A lighter camera bag

I am moving away from Canon who I have been using since going digital.

I have decided rightly or wrongly to go with the Fuji X-T1 with the 18-135mm lens. The Fuji body and lens weigh about the same as the Canon 5DII body on its own without a lens. The 18-135mm lens was the deciding factor in the end, it has an 35mm equivalent zoom range of 28-200mm. With the Canon gear I use, I have a 24-105mm lens and take a large number of shots at 105mm.

My feeling is that I would have used focal lengths beyond 105mm if they were available in one zoom lens. I own a Canon 70-200mm f2.8 IS lens, a superb lens but very big and bulky and most important heavy.

So my current thinking on a general standard camera bag contents is the Fuji X-T1 with 18-135mm lens (28-200mm in real terms!) and my Canon 5DII with a Sigma 12-24mm zoom.

I can always can always put Canon 100-400 lens in the car if the need arises.

See the DP Review report of the gold awarded Fuji X-T1camera at http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/fujifilm-x-t1.

The new camera and lens should arrive tomorrow morning in time for me to charge the battery and use it in North Devon tomorrow afternoon!

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014


New Photo Society and Salon

_MG_8462-2I am one of the four founding members of a newly formed Photographic Society.

The Avon Valley Photographic Society is an active learning society and promotes the development of photographic skills, experience, knowledge and participation. At an appropriate time I will post how you can get involved where ever you are in the world.

AVPS has also introduced a new digital salon of photography opening for entries on the 1st of December 2014.

It is the first International salon to include a Triptych section with the following benefits:

1 Any accepted image from a previous salon can be used again along with 2 other similar images to make a Triptych that can gain you another acceptance. This is the first international salon with a triptych section and therefore the first to give this added opportunity for previous acceptances.

2 The acceptance level we would like to achieve is a minimum of 30% – this is generally higher than in other salons.

3 MOST importantly – Even if you are not interested in gaining acceptances towards FIAP and PSA distinctions, then you can still enter the salon because there are 15 sets of Gold, Silver and Bronze medals and Ribbons to be won from FIAP, PSA and RPS.

See http://www.avonvalley.photography/ for further Salon details and sign up to our mailing list.

This shot above was taken out on a photo recci for the Avon Valley Photographic Society – somewhere in the Avon Valley!

It’s said that a good monochrome print should have presence or an inner glow. This is most easily achieved by making the subject of the photo (the Lichen in this case) the brightest and most contrasty area of the picture and then darkening around the subject.

A big hello to all the new followers of my blog this week.

(c) Andy Beel FRPS 2014


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