Monday 17 February 2014

A Day Out

Fujifilm X-A1, XF 18mm f2 R, Silver Efex Pro 2

Got out for my first walk with the X-A1 yesterday. I had to head downtown for an errand and decided to grab the camera and walk rather than taking the TTC.

It was a solid intro to working with the X-A1, I shot 80ish frames with the 18/2 and a half dozen or so with the 60 Macro, there just wasn't much along my route that suited the longer lens.

I do have to say I'm liking the 18/2, my initial impression is that this is a highly underrated lens. It's quite sharp in the centre even at f2, is nice and compact and handles very well, cross-frame sharpness is very good at f8. I also like the hood/hood cap combo (much nicer than Fuji's chintzy lenscaps). The 60 didn't impress much, but most of that likely was just the way I was shooting it and what I was shooting, once I get the chance to take it out for the environment I bought it for (portraits & macros) I expect better.

Only one surprise while shooting, which was related to the DR expansion feature. I was shooting RAW only, and aside from configuring ISO Auto (min ISO 200 max 6400, 1/60 minimum shutter) and enabling it was just using the default settings. But I kept getting ISO400 at shutter speeds in the 1/300-1/400 range. I eventually figured out that the Dynamic range expansion feature remains active in RAW and was bumping the ISO up by one stop to allow that feature to function. If you don't want this, set the DR setting to 100 and it will not happen.

The files from the X-A1 look excellent, although it's clear that LR's default profile is well off the Standard JPEG settings from the camera (and not in a good way, the camera's rending is superior). Given all the talk about the Fuji's awesome JPEG's, I'm going to give them a shot. Who knows, I might end up a JPEG shooter.

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