Jonathan Fleming's Blog

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Posts Tagged ‘high iso

Sony RX1

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DSC00037
 Sony RX1 | 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 6400

Got my hands on a brand spanking new Sony RX1 this evening! Despite the high price and the little time I’ve actually spent with this camera so far, I can already tell the RX1 is going to make some waves. It’s basically a point and shoot, and in practice it operates just like you’d expect a compact camera to operate. The fact that it’s packing a 35mm film-sized sensor, however, is just crazy considering how incredibly small the camera actually is.


 Sony RX1 | 1/50 sec, f/2, ISO 800

Built into the RX1 is a nice chunk of Zeiss glass, a 35mm f/2 Sonnar. You won’t be swapping lenses with this thing, which actually doesn’t bother me too much since I’ve been shooting with my fixed-lens Fuji x100 for such a long time.  What does bother me is that the RX1 costs more than double what I paid for the x100. Ouch.


Sony RX1 | 1/80 sec, f/2, ISO 3200


 Sony RX1 | 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 6400

I’ll need to wait until Adobe releases RAW support for the RX1’s files before I can post process the camera’s output myself. For now, the images in this post are all camera-processed JPEGs.

These images where shot hand-held at very high ISO. Pretty impressive performance low-light performance, which is not too surprising considering the big fat sensor Sony stuffed into this thing. More impressions to come on the RX1 as I evaluate it over the next week. Stay tuned!

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Written by Jonathan

December 4, 2012 at 11:41 pm

A Bit More NightLife

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Among all the different, fascinating things to see at the Academy of Sciences, I usually find the people to be the most interesting element of every visit. So when I go to a NightLife event like this one, my camera is typically pointed at human interaction, either with one another or with the exhibits, as opposed to the actual exhibits themselves.

Below is a wide view of the inside of Rainforests of the World, an exhibit housed in a huge, climate-regulated glass dome. The image is a motion panorama, stitched automatically by my Fuji X100. It worked well enough, though if you look closely you’ll see a few misplaced limbs, a chopped off head, and a girl with a curiously long nose. Gruesome…

Below the rainforest you’ll find the “humans-holding-their-cellphones-skyward” exhibit. Fascinating!

This particular NightLife’s theme was photography. I kinda sorta might possibly be interested in that. ;)

The folks from the recently opened Lomography store in San Francisco were on hand to demo a variety of funky cameras, including the Lomo LC-A with a Polaroid back pictured above. Way. Cool. I also had a chance to play with the new Lytro Light Field camera (that weird rectangular thing, also pictured above).

I think Bridget had the coolest camera of all, however. Whenever I get my scanner fixed, I’ll have to post shots from her Polaroid!

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All images: Fuji X100
RAWs processed in Lightroom 4

Written by Jonathan

March 16, 2012 at 8:42 am

Return of the Suki

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I am happy to report that Suki has completely recovered from her recent illness.  A long stroll in Golden Gate Park ensued, with no itching and scratching I might add:


Fuji X100 (all images)


Fuji X100 | 1/25 sec, f/2, ISO 3200

I am Suki the Shiba Inu, and I am way too cool for the cone of shame.

Written by Jonathan

July 13, 2011 at 2:56 pm

Fuji X100 : Intelligent Flash

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Fuji X100 | 1/400 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800

You know those tiny and often useless flash units built into many smaller cameras or that pop out of the top of many DSLRs? The ones that many people totally avoid using because they seem to hurt more than help? The X100 has one of those. Here’s the thing though: I actually find it useful.

Sometimes you’re dealing with pretty crummy lighting and you need a small amount of fill, a kiss of light to hit your subject to keep them from being all shadowed up. Muah:

A few more examples of how well the fill flash works on this camera.

In these three image there was so much harsh sunlight (the sun was directly above us at this particular time of the day) that a straight shot without flash would have looked terrible. So I had my subjects look down, essentially shadowing their faces, and I popped some on camera light at them. Worked great for preserving detail in the background without completely silhouetting my subjects.

There is one problem you can run into however. You can see it in the image of the wifie above: Notice how her eyes and nose are lit by the flash, but there seems to be a loss of light from her nose down? That’s the accessory hood getting in the way:

I kind of light the spot light sort of look it gave to the image, but in most cases you’ll want to remove the X100’s lens hood (if you have one) before you use the flash.


Fuji X100 |  1/950 sec, f/2, ISO 400

I wrote a post a while back that covered the X100’s ability to sync with my SB-900 flashgun at crazy high shutter speeds. That high speed sync helps the camera’s tiny, relatively low-powered built-in flash as well, allowing you to shoot wide open and still light a heavily backlit subject with it, as seen in the example above.


Left: Fuji X100 | 1/30 sec, f/2, ISO 3200 || Right: Fuji X100 | 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 3200

Don’t get me wrong, I certainly don’t go out of my way to use that tiny little on-camera flash. Sometimes however, using it becomes the difference between getting a shot and not getting a shot. In that sort of situation, I’m pretty surprised at how easy it is to get natural results with the built-in flash. Low light portraits are a good example (above).

Ever use flash to take someone’s photo in a dark room or outside at night and get a super bright or even blown-out subject with a black hole for a background? Yuck. You can usually compensate by manually using a slower shutter speed to burn in some ambient while you mix your flash in to get a better image, or in the X100’s case, just turn the flash on and shoot.  Both of the low light shots above were taken in Aperture Priority Auto. All I did was turn the flash on and the camera did the rest, properly exposing my subject and balancing in the ambient (whatever little amount of ambient there was anyway).

Of course, human beings are not the only subjects the little flash can help you out with:


Fuji X100 | 1/750 sec, f/10, ISO 400

A little on-axis fill to lessen the harsh shadows on Bo Bear here. Also comes in handy for bringing a little more detail out of heavily shadowed areas of your frame. Check out the difference in detail, especially inside the shadowed area of the gas pump on the right, between the first image shot without flash, and the second with flash activated:


Fuji X100 | 1/340 sec, f/5, ISO 800 (flash off)


Fuji X100 | 1/300 sec, f/5.6, ISO 800 (flash on)

I like that the results are subtle. They don’t scream “taken with flash!!!!”


Fuji X100 | 1/220 sec, f/4.5, ISO 200

These leaves were pretty heavily shadowed. Use the flash to lighten them up against the background.

I must say, when I first saw the little built-in flash on the X100 I just chuckled. But hey, it comes in handy. Fuji calls it an “intelligent flash.” Seems like an appropriate name considering how easy it is to get natural results with it.  Good job, Fuji!

Written by Jonathan

July 11, 2011 at 12:57 pm

Dinner at Broken Record

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Broken Record – San Francisco, CA | Images: Fuji X100

I’ve been coming to Broken Record for some time now and am never ever ever ever disappointed with the dining experience. I heard some good things about the food not long after they opened, but when we first visited the place, I was a little skeptical. From the outside it just looks like your typical bar, nestled in the middle of a neighborhood where you wouldn’t really expect to find fantastic food…uhhh…


Fuji X100 | 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 1600

Cross through the bar, where they have whiskey on tap (yes, on tap), and you’re met with a cozy little dining area. Behind the counter, a tiny kitchen where two people crank out dish after dish. Trust me, when your crawfish grits, pulled pork sandwich, beef and bacon burger, or roasted beet salad hits the table, you’ll know this place is special.


Fuji X100 | 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 2000

Above: cold asparagus with warm prawns and crab meat over a white truffle aioli. Below it a warm chocolate brownie with ice cream. Incredibly good stuff.


Fuji X1001/20 sec, f/2, ISO 3200

The “Nachos Gringos,” pulled pork over waffle fries with a cheese sauce. We get this every time without fail. Oh, and on a photographic note, the Fuji X100’s image quality at high ISO blows me away!

Not bad for a little bar in the Crocker-Amazon area of SF! Don’t believe me? Take a look at the Yelp reviews. Yummmm…

The Broken Record
1166 Geneva Ave, San Francisco
www.brokenrecordsanfrancisco.com

Written by Jonathan

July 6, 2011 at 9:44 pm

Better Than My Average Monday

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Why can’t every Monday be like this? Had some friends from out-of-town drop in. The morning started at Blue Bottle:


Fuji X100 | 1/170 sec f/3.2 ISO400

And two blocks or so away, breakfast at The Grove:


Fuji X100 | 1/200 sec f/2 ISO800

The Hayes Valley Grove sure is comfortable, in a very Tahoe kind of way. Loved it.


Fuji X100 |  1/640 sec, f/2, ISO 200

A quick stop at the Painted Ladies, followed by the Palace of Fine Arts:


Fuji X100 | Motion Panorama


Fuji X100 | 1/240 sec, f/8, ISO 800 (Motion Panorama)

Kind of a funky Motion Pano. Gotta keep my hands more steady as I do the pan!

Coit Tower…oh man, feeling too much like a tourist at this point:


Fuji X100 | 1/350 sec, f/2.8, ISO 200


Fuji X100 | 1/500 f/2.8 ISO 400 (flash fired)

Discovered something as I forgot to remove the lens hood from my X100. The Fuji accessory hood actually blocks the flash, cutting out its effectiveness in the lower half of the frame. Sometimes the result is pretty cool. There a sort of spot like effect in certain situations if you allow the hood to block the built in flash (above).


Fuji X100 | 1/1000 sec f/2.0 ISO 200

Next stop, Ocean Beach and the ruins of the Sutro Baths. The decaying ruins lent themselves well to the black and white treatment:


Fuji X100 |  1/180 sec, f/3.2, ISO 800

Hiking with Suki in Bernal Heights. She had to be patient with the slow humans that accompanied her as she bounded up the mountain:


Fuji X100 | 1/240 f/13 ISO 200 (Motion Panorama)

Introducing our friends to pupusas for the first time:


Fuji X100 | 1/680 f/2.8 ISO 800


Fuji X100 | 1/420 sec, f/2.8, ISO 800

Suki had to wait outside…sorry Suki.


Fuji X100 | 1/450 sec, f/2.8, ISO 400

Another visit to Smitten!


Fuji X100 | 1/800 sec, f/2, ISO 200

Took her for a walk afterward. She’s pretty much completely healed from her little allergy incident. Yay!


Fuji X100 | 1/40 sec, f/2, ISO 3200

A tired dog is a happy dog. =)

Written by Jonathan

July 5, 2011 at 12:46 pm

A Night at the Jazz Cafe in Berkeley

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[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/25 second ISO800]

This happened a little while ago, but I’ve been so busy that I haven’t had a chance to post about another of my wife’s recent performances. She spent some time this year training at the Jazz School in Berkeley, California. The training included a performance at the school’s Jazz Cafe, where she had the opportunity to put on a show in front of a full house, together with three very talented instrumentalists.

I roamed around with my latte in one hand and camera in the other, snapping away as the performance continued:

[ Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/2.8 1/40 sec ISO1600]

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/50 sec ISO1600 ]

[ Nikon D300s + Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G at f/2 1/160 sec ISO1600 ]

Bridget sang two beautiful jazz pieces!

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/60 sec ISO800]

Some other people sang too, but I didn’t come for them ;)

[ Nikon D300s + Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8 at 11mm f/2.8 1/30 sec ISO1600]

The crowd actually goes way farther back than I’ve shown here. It was packed inside! Many in the audience were friends and family that showed up to support Bridget’s portion of the performances.

[ Nikon D300s + Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 VC at 50mm f/2.8 1/20 sec ISO800]

I’m always all for my wife pursuing her love of music whenever she can. I know that in photography, you gotta keep shooting to keep improving, and  it’s important spend as much time as you can taking the kind of photographs that you enjoy taking in order to keep your passion for the craft alive. Same thing in the art of music it seems. Bridget seems to get better and better with every performance. One thing is for sure: wherever and whenever she performs, I’ll be right there with her, camera in hand.