i60A + Air 1 – it really works!

I like this set more and more each day. i60A + Air 1 + X-T2 – TTL works perfectly. Have a look at the below picture:

X-T2, AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4, Nissin i60A, Nissin Air 1
X-T2, AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4, Nissin i60A, Nissin Air 1

This is exactly how TTL exposed, without any correction of the flash or during development. And how it was taken? In what setup? You can see it below:

X-Pro2, Fujinon XF 1-24mmf/4 - ISO 3200!
X-Pro2, Fujinon XF 1-24mmf/4 – ISO 3200!

It seems to be quite hard setup for TTL. But the flash, the controller and the X-T2 together did a great job 🙂

OK, as there were many question regarding HSS, which I don’t use at all, so I haven’t mentioned it before, there is a bad news for those of you who want to use HSS. It does NOT work with my i60A and X-T1 (v 5.0), X-T2 (v 1.0 and v 1.1) or X-Pro2 (v 2.01). And even if it would work at all, by design it is only manual mode and only on-camera: my i60A allows to switch on the HSS only in manual mode. Yes, it allows to switch it on, the indicator shows that it is on, but with exposure times shorter than the shortest sync time, only part of the frame is exposed. This means that the flash emits just single flash instead of burst, covering entire exposure time.

There was also some laughing about Nikkor mounted on X-T2 – here you can read why I do it this way: “And the best macro lens for X-Pro2 is…”. And some more about macro with Fuji here: “Fujimacro”.

Saving photos on the PC using Wi-Fi

Fujifilm X-Pro2 gives us the ability to use Wi-Fi for communication. There are two options available:

  1. X-Pro2 enables the Wi-Fi and works as access point. This option is suitable if we want to use smartphone or tablet to control the camera and/or to download pictures and movies to the phone or tablet. While connected, it works quite well, but please remember: the Wi-Fi implementation used in X-Pro2 gives no security at all. The hot-spot created by X-Pro2 is open access hot-spot, so if there is anybody with Wi-Fi – enabled device close to us, he / she can “hear” what we transmit.
  2. X-Pro2 connects to the existing Wi-Fi network and uses it to transmit pictures / movies to the PC. I use this option all the time as I don’t like removing cards from the body, guessing what is on which card, shuffling them in the reader. I definitely prefer using Wi-Fi for this task.

I know that some people have issues establishing the connectivity with existing network, so here are some instructions, discoveries and thoughts.

Read moreSaving photos on the PC using Wi-Fi

And again macro

This time next mixture of hardware: X-Pro2, AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 D ED, extension rings 16mm and 11mm, teleconverter 1.4x Fuji and of course Metabones adapter ring. This setup gives magnification of 1.81. I have used Nikon SB-910 as a main source of light, with Fujifilm EF-X20 as a commander flash. Fuji flash set as “Commander” in X-Pro2 menu, while SB-910 set as SU-4 slave. This means that power of the flash was set manually. The result:

Fuji X-Pro2 with AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 D ED, extension rings and teleconverter - magnification 1.81x.
Fuji X-Pro2 with AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 D ED, extension rings and teleconverter – magnification 1.81x.

Fujimacro

In the previous article, I have described use of the AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 D ED for macro photography with X-Pro2. I use it this way because as per today, there is no real macro lens in the Fujifilm XF portfolio. But there is something what resembles a bit the macro lens (sorry, Fuji 🙂

This “something” is the XF Macro 60mm – a “macro” lens, giving 1:2 magnification and focal length of just 60mm – too short for work with living insects for instance. But I decided to give this lens a try – reaching maximum reasonable magnification I could potentially get with this lens. So I added three things to the lens.

Zestaw makro: X-Pro2, Fujinon XF Macro 60mm, pierścienie pośrednie Fujifilm i telekonwerter 1,4x.
Zestaw makro: X-Pro2, Fujinon XF Macro 60mm, pierścienie pośrednie Fujifilm i telekonwerter 1,4x.

What you can see above, are X-Pro2, Fujinon XF Macro 60mm, extension ring 16mm, extension ring 11mm and the 1.4x teleconverter. Theoretically, the teleconverter is incompatible with the Fujinon XF Macro 60mm. The teleconverter has front lens protruding far to the back lens of the Fujinon, so any attempt to mount one with the other will definitely lead to destruction of one or the other or even both. It is important to mount first the teleconverter on the body, then both extension rings and finally Fujinon. This way extension rings make space necessary to keep the protruding front lens of teleconverter in a save distance from back lens of the Fujinon. Some examples of use of this setup you can see below.

Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.
Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.
Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.
Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.
Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.
Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.

The above pictures were taken with maximum possible magnification – first the lens set to the maximum magnification and then focus achieved by moving macro focusing rail. So what’s this maximum magnification scale? Let’s see:

Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.
Fujinon XF Macro 60mm + extension rings 16mm and 11mm + teleconverter 1,4x.

The above picture shows so called “millimeter paper” – the distance between two lines is 1mm. Let’s count: we can see 18mm horizontally. The sensor is 23.6mm long. So simple calculation says that the maximum magnification scale is 1.31:1. Quite nice, I would say.

Unfortunately this setup has it’s drawbacks. Let’s leave aside poor AF performance or sometimes AF not working at all – this is natural and I prefer manual focusing, using macro rail. But what is really an issue is big light falloff – flash is a must. But as we know, today Fujifilm doesn’t offer too much in this range. I was using tiny Fujifilm EF-X20 as this is the only flash for Fuji X-Pro2 I currently have. I have added a simple diffuser made of white windscreen washer bottle, installed above the lens. But I would definitely prefer two off-camera flashes, with wireless control. And the second thing – Fujinon XF Macro 60mm has the manual focusing ring. But this ring doesn’t have a mechanical connection to lens groups, instead it works sending electrical signals to the body’s CPU which in turn commands the motors inside the lens. I don’t like such thing in macro lens, where I usually use manual focusing, because turning the ring I have no idea if I have already reached the extreme setting or not. And one more thing: geometry. The above picture shows clearly the barrel distortion, which in this case has almost no meaning, but also field curvature and sharpness falling towards edges, what makes hard setting focus correctly for entire picture.

Despite the small issues, in my opinion the Fujinon XF Macro 60mm is still a nice lens – but someone who wants to achieve magnification bigger than 1:2 and photograph living insects, he will not have easy life.

And the best macro lens for X-Pro2 is…

…no, not FUJINON XF60mm F2.4 R Macro. It is hard to call this lens not only the best macro lens, but macro lens at all. With 1:2 reproduction ratio and 60mm focal length I would call it rather “pseudo macro”. This is why macro Fujifilm passionate have to invent something on their own. And I invented something like that:

AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 D ED
AF Micro Nikkor 200mm f/4 D ED

Read moreAnd the best macro lens for X-Pro2 is…

Fujifilm X-Pro2 – we still have been learning each other

For many years, my format of choice to write photographs has been RAW. Exclusively RAW. And then development on the PC. Partly due to the desire to write picture with most complete data to be able in the future to get maximum quality final pictures. Even if this “getting maximum quality” stays in the category of good wishes. Partly due to the fact, that my cameras so far didn’t process shots the way I would be satisfied. So there is nothing strange in fact that just after I started shooting with X-Pro2, my search for best RAW (or RAF) developer for files written by this camera has also started. Everybody rate Iridient as the top developer.

Read moreFujifilm X-Pro2 – we still have been learning each other

Fujinon XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR vs AF-S NIKKOR 200–500mm f/5.6E ED VR

In the spare time I have made some shots with both lenses. Definitely this is neither a scientific analysis nor neutral comparison. This is because Fujinon was working on X-Pro2 – 24 Mpx, while Nikkor was on the D810 – 36 Mpx. Why this way? The simple answer: I don’t have any APS-C Nikon body. A bit more complex answer: Fujinon is an APC-C lens, so it’s natural way of working is with APS-C body. But Nikkor is a full frame lens – in it’s case the natural environment is the full frame body. So why would I use it with APS-C body? Especially when the majority of the weight is concentrated in the lens?

Read moreFujinon XF100-400mm F4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR vs AF-S NIKKOR 200–500mm f/5.6E ED VR