Monday, January 25, 2016

Underestimated accessories: grip and tripod

I suppose even with the nowadays high ISO capabilities of the of new cameras, the tripod is still one of the most useful tools for a photographer.
It makes possible and very easy to take such photos:


(well, it is not entirely impossible to do such photos without one, but difficult at least)

To attach the camera to a tripod, a photographer uses one of the quick release systems. Unfortunately, using tripod with Fuji cameras, like T1 is not very convenient.

Mirrorless cameras require often battery changes. The tripod mount is to close to the battery compartment. The quick release plate blocks the battery change. On the other hand, I usually change the battery at least once a day, during shooting, and in the cold weather of winter - even twice. This somehow defeats the purpose of the quick release plate, if it had to be attached and detached several times a day.
On top of it, the tripod mount is not in the optical center of the camera, which makes certain tricks impossible.

Fuji offers for a fee solution to those problems: the grips. Thanks to a grip, it is possible to attach the quick release plate and still be able to change the batteries. It also has the tripod mount in the optical center of the camera.

Actually, for the T1 there are three choices. Quite expensive i must say: the large grip, a thing without any electronics, cost over $150 on

Even so, I have decided such grip to be my next buy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Grass in front of my doorstep #3

Grass #95649 by uaru.amphiacantoides
Grass #95649, a photo by uaru.amphiacantoides on Flickr.

Rain, rain, rain... at least the last couple of days. The capital is under water, the grass in my garden is not unaffected.

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Grass in front of my doorstep #2

Grass #83117 by uaru.amphiacantoides
Grass #83117, a photo by uaru.amphiacantoides on Flickr.

Very restricted area can be as inspiring as long journey, even if you have just one 50mm equivalent lens.

Grass in front of my doorstep #1

WTN_PL_2013_JUNE_WISZNIA_95514_20130608 by uaru.amphiacantoides
Grass # 95514, a photo by uaru.amphiacantoides on Flickr.
It is good never to leave your camera behind you, even if you visit just your own garden.

Monday, May 13, 2013

My 2 cents on new Adobe Photoshop distribution strategy

I do not like this scheme, as many others. Here I want to state my main reasons for hating it.

  • Unavailability of the software on the continuous basis. I bought my PS 5.0 a couple of years ago. I could afford it at that time. If I could afford PS now, I would upgrade. Unfortunately, for some time being, I cannot spend anything on such software - but I still need to use it from time to time. Subscription service would cut me off from the access to the tool, even if in the long term I would have paid the same amount as with the old scheme. That means, I receive less for the same.
  • The crazy pricing policy. The prices of Adobe software are crazy. When I bought PS 5, its price in Europe was about 1000 EUR, whereas in the US 600 USD (450 EUR). I am in favour in payment for good software, to reward the hard work of the developers. However, I see no justifiable reason for this discrimination against the people living in Europe or any other defined region. Such big difference is not justified by different taxation levels. Maybe some European customers are satisfied with such prices. Fortunately, I could buy my software in the US, paying the price which Adobe itself thought appropriate for its development. With the cloud  subscription service there is no defence against such rip off behaviour. Again, this subscription idea works against me, and perhaps Adobe itself - I would not have paid European price.

No matter what Adobe will say, it is clear that the new scheme is ignoring the interests of customers, and even against them. It is to make an average customer pay more for the same. It could be reasonable from Adobe's point of view and they have right to do what they please - they could put the price 100 times higher, if they wish - but saying that it is in the interest of the customer is plain stupid.

That being said, it is time to look for alternative. Reluctantly. Adobe got its position partially due to the overwhelming piracy of its software. Virtually everybody interested in computer graphics knew how to handle it. I wonder how long will it be able to keep its position on the market.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

A solution for architecture photography for Fuji X-Pro 1

A theoretical approach

Taking pictures of high buildings requires some perspective correction. There is an ongoing discussion, if it is necessary to have PC lenses and not do everything in post processing. I belong to a school that prefer to get everything right in the camera. How nice it is to have PC ability in camera lenses I fully appreciated, when I started to use 4x5 Tachihara view camera.

I could never afford to buy a perspective correction lens. Too expensive for my little use - architecture is just a minor interest for me.

However, with recent market offering it could be possible to obtain a proper optical perspective correction solution without robbing a bank.


Samyang perspective correction lens

Samyang announced 24mm perspective correction lens. While it almost certainly will not cost peanuts, it is expected to be significantly cheaper then Nikon or Canon.

It will not be available in Fuji X mount, but adding a Nikon F adapter will not increase the cost significantly.

Of course, the world is not perfect. 24mm is very good for full frame cameras, whereas for X-Pro 1 APS-C sensor it is equivalent of

I would prefer something that is equivalent of 28mm.


 T/S Adapter


I noticed that you can buy a Tilt or Shift adapters on ebay. The idea is, full frame lenses have a bigger circle of view than APS-C ones - it should be feasible to apply a little tilt or shift.

Kipon shift adapter. From

For Fuji X only Nikon F adapters are available. Those adapters are only shift, not tilt. However, I believe that shift is much more important for a camera like X-Pro 1. Tilts are necessary for 4x5 to control focus, but an APS-C camera should do well with controlling depth of field with aperture only.

When you use a lens like Nikkor 18mm 3.5, it would provide an angle of view of a lens of aproximately 27mm - probably as good as it gets. I think it is quite an interesting option.

This solution can be probably cheaper then Samyang, but not much. The shift Kipon Nikon-Fuji X adapter is about 100 EUR, depending on where you buy, then Nikkor 18mm is a few hundred.

Double shift

Interesting point, if you put a Samyang PC lens in such shift adapter, it should be possible to get "double shift" - maximum shift on full frame lens should still cover much more than required for X-Pro sensor.



There are some options for using Fuji X-Pro for architectural photography, which I am going to explore further when I have funds available. 

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Using manual Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm F4

As I wrote in one of my previous posts, I bought a very small Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4, which I intended to use as a telephoto, at least until there are no native Fuji lenses. It was not expensive.

I have taken some nice photos with it. However, using it on Fuji X-Pro 1 is not that easy. Last month I did a photostory on a iaido seminar, which took place in Wrocław, Poland. 


I did want to have some closeups (or semi-closeups), and because you cannot move freely around during the tournament, I decided to use this lens - the longest I had. I saw some sport photos taken with similar lens on Steve Huff's blog, so this is in principle possible...
Conflict of opinion. Fuji X-Pro 1, Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4.

Sensei. Fuji X-Pro 1, Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4.
Unfortunately, it turned out that many of the photos were not focused correctly.

An example of incorrect focus
Incorrectly focused photo, X-Pro 1 with Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4.
Maybe some of those incorrectly focused photos could be saved by stopping down to get more depth of field, however, it was not possible because of the available light level and the required shutter speed - most of the photos presented some action, and I did not wanted to set up very high ISO. Besides, 90mm requires shorter shutter times than 50mm.  
Also, for some photos such DOF is not required - I did similar photos in the past with 2.8.

Focusing wide open and stepping down to working aperture was quite difficult, and in most cases, I just did not have the time to do so.

Also, it was almost impossible for me to focus in aquariums by another occasion...

Using magnifying view was very problematic (not possible for action), by this magnification my hands are too shaky (All the photos were taken without a tripod). Generally, it was a hit or miss, with more misses.

I did much better while taking more stationary landscape photos.

Echizen Matsushima, Fukui. Fuji X-Pro 1, Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4
Echizen Matsushima, Fukui. Fuji X-Pro 1, Minolta M-Rokkor 90mm f4


I have two M lenses, this and Voigtlander 15mm 4.5. With Fuji adapter it is easy to change the camera setting which lens is used, so that the correct EXIF is written. However, it is easy to forgot when you do not use OVF for a particular shot. I forgot a few times to switch the lens type after I switched the lens...

Otherwise, I have no complaints against the Fuji adapter. I wish the aperture could be written into EXIF data though...


The lens is capable of very nice results. However, it is not an easy-to-use lens. It requires some skill and a lot of practice, and with firmware 1.1 does not fit to action shots.


The text applies to using M-Rokkor 90mm with X-Pro 1 with firmware 1.1. All the photos mentioned in this post were taken with firmware 1.1.
I will make another test with firmware 2.0.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Fuji X-Pro Firmware 2.0: Quick Test

The upgrade process was smooth. No nasty surprises.
 I updated the body first, and then the lens: 35mm 1.4.

The overall performance is not worse, maybe better. However, I did not have the impression that the AF speed is stellar fast. I think it did not improve much. I can easily make a situation, in which I press the shutter, and the camera takes picture after a long time, possibly seconds.

However, I was able to almost focus on my fish without that much difficulty I recollect from Epson Aqua Stadium. So there could be an improvement. Still, the photos do not look as sharp as those from D700.

Both photos were taken with the lens wide open.

Firmware 2.0 Test
Glyptopterichtys gibbiceps. Click for enlarging.
Uaru amphiacantoides
Uaru amphiacantoides en face. The photo looks pretty soft, even if taken at 1.4.