Fuji X-Miscellany questions

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by lex_jenkins, Apr 30, 2014.

  1. Took me a couple of weeks but I finally had to crack open the X-A1 PDF instruction manual to figure out a couple of features. I suppose that's an indication of good design, that I could figure out most stuff just by fiddling around with the camera. (The various bracketing modes baffled me until I discovered most of the bracketing options are JPEG-only.)
    A few questions that won't be in the instruction manual. Has anyone:
    1. Figured out a Lightroom preset or "cloakroom" doodad in Fuji's version of Silkypix that duplicates the in-camera JPEG looks (for non-lossy higher bit depth saves to TIFF, DNG, etc.)? I just mean the standard B&W, Fauxvia, Velvifaux and Astifaux film emulations, not the special effects looks. Those straightforward Fuji faux-film looks are fiendishly difficult to duplicate. Especially Fudgie's knack for combining noise reduction and sharpening. I've dug around online and apparently lots of folks have asked this same question, but nobody's been able to duplicate the in-camera JPEGs. Trying to avoid the tiny bit of posterizing I see in some blue sky photos from my in-camera JPEGs.

      Really, Fuji, I just want a computer version that does exactly what the in-camera raw converter does, for saves to non-lossy format. Please. Would yesterday be too soon? Thanks.

      BTW, I've tried Photo Ninja and the latest Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 6. Both seem powerful but are too sluggish so I won't be buying after the trials expire. Fuji's version of Silkypix 3 is pretty good, but I can't quite nail the noise reduction and sharpening for high ISO photos.

    2. Tried the Nikon F mount to Fuji X mount adapters? I see adapters from Fotodiox and Fotasy that allow aperture control with Nikon's no-aperture-ring G lenses. Any preference between the two? And is the premium priced Fotodiox "Pro" adapter with the blue ring worth the extra money?

      Also, has anyone found a Nikon F to Fuji X adapter with a tripod attachment? I have a couple of teles that are just heavy enough to need some support, but lack their own tripod mounts. Mostly I'd use shorter, lighter Nikkor primes like the 55mm Micro Nikkor and 50/1.8D AF, maybe the 85/2 AIS and 105/2.5 AI. Those don't really need a tripod mount.

    3. Found a stick-on finger grip extension for the front of the X-A1/X-M1? I like the Flipbac G4 on my Nikon V1, but it's not quite long enough for the Fuji. I don't want to add weight, so the Fuji HG-XM1 is out (and it blocks the battery/media card door). And I actually use the hotshoe occasionally with my Nikon SB-800 flash and SC-29 extension cord, so the Fotodiox and similar thumb rest adapters are out.

      Extra credit if it's wood carved into Wadjet's serpentine form. Or faux-Nile crocodile hide.

    4. Found a stash of Vaughn Bode "Cheech Wizard" stickers? I need to accessorize the Fudgie. Preferably with hologram artwork, so Cheech Wizard's eyes will follow you everywhere - only you won't see it because his eyes are hidden under his hat.

      Or a "Don't Panic" sticker from a leftover hitchhiker's guide would do.
  2. Lex, probably not what you're looking for, but with respect to #3 and my X-A1, I attached an O-ring to the
    right lug with a bit of 1mm spectra cord. Can put my index or middle finger in the O-ring and never have to
    worry about the camera getting knocked out of my hand. Started doing that with LX-3 and RX-100
    cameras of the past. O-rings are around fifty cents at a good (i.e. not a chain) auto supply store, and there
    are lots of thickness and diameter choices.
  3. Hey, thanks, I hadn't heard of spectra cord. I've been rummaging through boxes of stuff, trying to find a bit of paracord, thin nylon strap or something similar to do that. Couldn't find anything thin enough.
  4. Lex, email/pm me your mailing address and I'll send you some. Tough stuff, around 200 lb test. I think what I have is 1.25mm, but there are a large number of sizes available. Has a Dacron sheath, but is still tough to knot. The base core is called Dyneema. Just made a quick phone snap - don't laugh at my atrocious knotting...
    [​IMG]a> .
  5. Lex, the Metabones F to X adapter has a removable tripod-mount. I have the standard-version (no support for G-lenses) and it works well - the tripod-mount is nice for slightly heavier lenses without own tripod-collar (think 180/2.8 or 135/2).
  6. Home Depot also has a good selection of O-rings.
  7. Thanks, folks!
    BTW, I need to correct my misstatement in my opinion post - I have not properly tested Photo Ninja yet. I thought I'd tried it on my desktop but so far have only tried it on the laptop, which isn't a fair evaluation. It was Silkypix Developer Studio Pro 6 that seemed so slow, compared with Fuji's version of Silkypix 3 that comes with the camera.
    I have only tried the version of Photo Ninja that does not allow saving the full resolution files after adjustments. The onscreen versions look very promising however. The automated default setting in Photo Ninja seems closer to what I'd expect than the Fuji version of Silkypix. Highlight recovery appears very good. And I've always found Noise Ninja to be among the best noise reduction utilities around. It's possible to reduce high ISO noise to a reasonable level without turning green foliage into mush - grass looks like grass instead of boiled spinach. Decent browser too. Apparently the folks at Picture Code are working hard to make Photo Ninja as Fuji-friendly as possible. I'll probably ask them for a license to test the full version, which temporarily allows saving full resolution files.
  8. The Metabones adapters come with tripod mount, and are really well made. I bought the version with aperture control, as it has the best setup for that I've seen in adapters.
    As for the grips, I know Fuji has updated some to give you access to the battery with it mounted, but the best option I've seen is a Chinese brand on ebay. Cannot remember the name though.
  9. Lex, the current releases of Lightroom and ACR have Fuji film modes. They're in the ... oh heck, I can't remember what
    they call the section and I don't have it with me right now, but it's where you select the color processing mode and the
    default is Adobe Standard. I haven't tried it with X-A1 raw files but it's pretty darn close to Fuji's own colors with X-E1 and
    E2 files.
  10. Calibration tab in Develop panel
  11. Yeah, that one.
  12. Thanks, all. Been feeling kinda puny the past couple of days so I'm slowly following up.
    First, I've had a chance to try Picturecode's latest version of Photo Ninja and it looks promising for Fuji raw files. The limited evaluation version doesn't enable saving maximum resolution edited photos, but you can view them and make screencaps. Just based on a couple of trials, I can see better results from Photo Ninja already in some key areas, compared with Fuji's version of Silkypix that ships with the X-A1:
    1. Highlight recovery is much better in Photo Ninja's default mode, with room for tweaking.
    2. Grass looks like grass, rather than like boiled spinach, even in high ISO photos with noise reduction applied.
    3. Chroma noise is more thoroughly reduced without softening critical detail or excessive blotchiness in continuous color areas (blue skies, solid color objects like balloons, etc.) This was particularly visible in high ISO photos of objects that should have been solid white or light gray, but showed lots of blotchy chroma noise in the Silkypix rendering no matter what NR settings I used.
    I'll attach a few screencaps, but these are necessarily of limited value due to converting PNG screencaps to JPEG for my photo.net space. Some of the subtle differences are lost even at 100% JPEG saves. Normally I'd say such subtle differences aren't worth worrying about, but for output to print, sure, it can make a difference for folks who take lots of low light, high ISO photos, especially with subjects featuring large expanses of solid colors such as blue skies in the evening, colorful balloons, brightly colored illuminated signs at night, that sort of thing. You know, the reason why, like me, you may have chosen the Fuji over a 16mp Canikon dSLR to fit the lenses you already owned - for that small but perceptible edge in image quality in available light, in a compact camera.
    Later I'll attach some PNG versions if I can get a limited license to full evaluate Photo Ninja, including full resolution output. I'm impressed enough by Photo Ninja's limited trial version to request the full eval version for my desktop PC.
    And, yeah, it'll be a tough choice between upgrading to Lightroom 5 (I tried LR5 pre-Fuji RAF compatibility), and spending the same money for Photo Ninja. It'll depend on how much I anticipate wanting to work with the Fuji raw files, when the in-camera JPEGs are already so darned good. The main reason I went with LR4 in 2012 was for my Nikon raw files - I was rarely happy with Nikon's in-camera JPEGs, or with Nikon's own raw processing software. And Lightroom offers far more flexible tools for retouching, practically eliminating the need for another editor for some of us.
    But I've been a fan of Picturecode's Noise Ninja for almost a decade and kinda like the idea of supporting a smaller, independent developer, especially if they seem to have a sense for what Fuji owners want.
    Silkypix default rendering of this X-A1 photo, ISO 3200 in a mix of awful artificial light and sunset light, looks pretty close to the original JPEG. Which wasn't a good thing in this case. The utility lines are washed out against the sky, and the foliage looks like boiled spinach. I was hoping Silkypix would do better, but couldn't find a combination of settings that was much different.
    And a screencap of Photo Ninja's default rendering of the same Fuji RAF. This is closer to what I'd hoped to get from Silkypix. The color treatment is very different, but the highlight recovery is excellent and the grass looks like grass. There's still plenty of room in Photo Ninja's optional adjustments for each category to tweak white balance, color, exposure, detail, noise reduction, etc.
  13. BTW, Brad's tip reminded me of a trick I'd been meaning to try. With quick-release straps the part of the nylon web strap that remains attached to the camera forms a little loop just large enough for a finger hold. Not practical with my dSLR - too heavy. And the Nikon V1 eyelets are too dinky for any of my QR neck straps. But the X-A1 has a reasonable sized strap eyelet slot.
    I tried a Vellini strap that I rarely used, mostly because the outrageously ostentatious Ferrari red strap clashes with my olive green stiletto heel combat boots. But I might make an exception for the Fuji, at least after I find those Cheech Wizard stickers.

    The QR straps from a Vellini neck strap fit just right (decency forbids showing the Ferrari red neck strap part of the Vellini). And, sure 'nuff, my middle finger could use that gap as a finger hold.
    This is my usual type of strap for compact cameras. Just a thin bit of web strap that doubles as a neck and wrist strap. Usually I wrap the strap around my wrist and between my forefinger and middle finger, which is very secure. But it's nice to have the extra length for a neck strap when I need my hands free. I've tried heavier web straps but they're all too stiff for comfortable use as a wrist leash. Ideally I'd like a nice soft, pliable web strap this length that's thin for the eyelet and just a bit wider at the opposite end for more comfort around the neck.
    Makeshift neck/wrist leash in action. Cat not included. Very quick and secure. Doesn't look nearly as BDSM as it appears at first glance.
  14. i use a $10 op/tech neoprene wrist strap (with a skull-and-crossbones print to ward off privateers) and a thumbs-up grip for my XE-1.
  15. Novoflex makes an expensive tripod mount adapter for their already expensive FUXNIX XMount to Nikon lens adapter. Ask me how I know...
    If I have to get another XMount to Nikon adapter, I'll investigate the Metabones.
  16. The Metabones adapters are more expensive than I'd anticipated, even the non-speed booster types that simply adapt different lens mounts. I may start with one of the inexpensive Fotodiox or other types and stick with lighter weight lenses for now - probably nothing longer and heavier than my 50/1.8D AF Nikkor, or 85/2 and 105/2.5 Nikkors. Those should be safe enough for the X-A1 body on a tripod when needed.
    I'm still pondering an add-on grip, preferably something that follows the contours of the X-A1's built in finger grip. I've been hoping for something from the Flipbac folks, since I've been very satisfied with their G4 stick-on grip for over a year on the Nikon V1.
  17. Lex, thanks for the tip on PhotoNinja. I like it and bought the license. I am still in the discovery stage, and learning as I use it. I have purchased Picturecode plugins and products in the past and found them to have good value. Like you, I was looking for an alternate way to convert Fuji X files from my X10 and X100s.

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