I used a single effective 35mm lens to make these pictures as I walked around a block. I might continue with such a lens for my pictures around Hanover, but I also want to try different focal lengths before I decide. The advantages with a fixed 35mm lens are size and weight, and that it works well for images like these.
I captured this image on my Leica X2 last evening. What you see is a jpeg image as it came from the camera which was set to vivid film preset. I love the details of the cloud including the colors. I also captured the same image at the same time as a raw DNG file so that I could use LR to try and make my own preset to tweak DNG files to create the equal of the jpeg. I haven’t been able to do it yet and doubt that I will succeed. The jpeg has more depth, variability in the colors, etc.
I also captured many other, different images, including high contrast B&W jpegs plus DNG files with the thought that I would develop my own presets. I can get closer with the B&W images but I haven’t matched them either. The lesson I have learned … if I like/prefer the Leica file renderings I will have to use Leica jpegs.
It also means that there is no way that I can mix and match images from my various cameras if I use jpegs. So far this hasn’t been a problem since I have used a single camera for each event or output. I would expect it to be a problem if I mixed camera jpegs in one book. So far I haven’t in the three books I have made.
I got a smaller and lighter camera to use along with my Fuji X-Pro2. I bought a used Leica X2 so that I had a camera to always take with me that wasn’t as heavy to carry and so that I could take it in a small bag, or jacket, or vest pocket. But equally important to me … it is a very simple minimalist camera. It is simpler, smaller, and weighs about 26% less than the Fuji X100F which I had been waiting on; but I’m not waiting any longer. I prefer the more basic X2 except for the LCD, the dynamic range, and fewer pixels. The Leica LCD is of poorer quality in today’s technology standards but I plan to get an EVF to use with the X2 so that I can compose better in sunlight. More on how I hope to use the X2 in a later post.
Maybe all the Germans living around me have had some influence on me. In addition to getting the Leica, I started reading a book called D Day, Through German Eyes. The author’s grandfather had planned to write the book based on his interviews of troops who were there. He had interviewed them before D Day and then later looked some of them up and interviewed them again in the early 1950s. He died before he finished the small book so his grandson wrote it for him using his notes. It is a good description of what it was like on D Day.
I’m still testing a Leica X2 camera. It is an older camera that I purchased used. One question that I had was whether I could just use it with jpeg images and not use the DNG files. The above images are all vivid jpeg images that I was testing. I was concerned with the colors and how much tweaking the files could withstand. The first two are extensive crops that have been resized. I have no problems with cropping or the colors. The last image is straight out of the camera. Looking good so far.
I do most of my photography for Homewood with the X-Pro2 using the program mode since I need to work fast under changing conditions; so, what I am writing about in this article doesn’t apply to my event photography. I am writing now about how I photograph my own work when I am experimenting and learning. As I have done this, I have been exploring more types of photography with my X-Pro2 and the HX80. I like the size of the HX80 and I can do a lot with it, more than many would expect; but, there are times when I need more.
The things I really like about the X-Pro2 are the controls. I can make the changes I need to make just by looking at and changing the external dials. Not having this capability is alright if I’m photographing in program or auto modes, but is much harder to photograph in manual mode with the HX80 which doesn’t have the nice controls of the X-Pro2. And don’t forget that the capability and image quality of the HX80 are way less than what the X-Pro2 has.
I have been doing more experimenting while I practiced with the above cameras. As I have been doing this, I have been finding the value in photographing in manual mode. This realization, along with the limitations of the IQ and controls of the HX80, have started me wondering if I can find another camera that is in between the size and weight of the X-Pro2 and the HX80; but choosing one involves other compromises, constraints, and changes, including my continual battle with finding things to photograph, deciding whether I am going to need/use longer focal lengths, considering weight and size issues related to my physical abilities, etc.
The above have moved me to keep going lighter and smaller with my cameras, but ones with better controls, so I have been thinking about going back to the older Leica X2 or the older Panasonic LX100 or the Leica D-Lux 109. I had a Leica X2 once before, and I am going to give it another try first. I liked the minimalist simplicity of the camera in addition to its small size and its external controls. I should have another used one in my hands this coming week to check out.
As I reduce the number of my cameras, I keep evaluating the pros and cons of the remaining ones as I slowly reduce the number and decide whether I need another camera other than the Fuji X-T1. Yesterday I sold all of my Canon gear (70D and five lenses) as well as my Leica X2 camera. This morning I started thinking harder about my Lumix LF1.
The advantages of the LF1 are that it fits in any pocket, takes pretty good macro images, and has great depth of field. When I walked Misty this morning I had it in a hip pocket of my jeans. The disadvantage can be the image quality, but that depends on how the camera is used and how much light is available.
I took the above pictures while walking this morning as the sun was starting to clear the trees on the horizon. The light was just adequate for the camera. My preference is to use the camera for small details like with the small feather, but it even works for distant photographs like this morning’s moon.
Based on the above images and my ability to carry the camera in a small pocket, I am thinking harder about keeping the LF1. Since I am trying to get down to one or two cameras, I now have to decide whether to keep the LF1 or the Nikon J5 which is larger, has a larger sensor, and theoretically should have better image quality. As it looks now, I am thinking that the LF1 will make a better compliment to the Fuji X-T1 and prime lenses, but the final decision will depend upon how and when I decide to use a second camera.