Hjertnes.blog

X-Pro 2

July 06, 2017

There are no technical reason for shooting in manual in most situations these days. But I love shooting with mechanical analog cameras, and I also enjoy shooting in full manual on other cameras that are designed to do so.

The Fuji X-Pro 2 is without doubt a very good option for this.

I think it is a healthy training exercise for photographers to shoot manually from time to time, in order to really understand how the different parameters work.

The experience of shooting in full manual mode on a DSLR like my Canon 650D was a horrible experience, because you don’t have a histogram in the viewfinder and because you don’t have physical controls and because there are no tools to help you focus. It takes forever and isn’t fun.

Doing it with the X-Pro is fun. Just turn on the histogram, twist the ISO, Shutter and Aperture unit the histogram give you the proper feedback, and then you just focus and shoot.

The reason it is so much better, in my opinion is that you can adjust all of it without looking away from the view finder, and because Fuji cameras give you zooms into the focus point makes it very easy to focus correctly.

Another fun way to expose, is to use the <a href="https://www.slrlounge.com/photography-essentials-the-sunny-16-rule/">Sunny 16 sytstem.</a>

Fujifilm

June 28, 2017

I got my Canon EOS 650D a little bit over four years ago. I think it was during easter. The funny thing is that it was during easter it started to “act up”. The screen started to black out for hours at a time. The camera still worked, but I didn’t really trust it after that. The camera was almost a year old when I got it. So the majority of the pictures I’ve taken have taken have been with either the X100t or with a sensor that is five years old.

My plan was to get a 5D, when my 650D died. But I changed my mind. The reason is that I fell in love with Fuji from my experience shooting with the X100t and dedicated dials shooting with my Analog Nikon FM.

I still think the X100t is a great camera, but the focal length never felt “right” for me. I feel much more at home using something close to a 50mm. equivalent . But what I got out of my experience with the x100, is that I love how close to “ready” Fuji’s raw files are. And how much more fun it is to use their cameras.

So I got a black Fujifilm X-Pro 2, with the 35mm f2 lens, and I got a 50mm f2 lens with it for free. This is the perfect camera for me, and I love everything about it; except for the battery life.

The body is metal, and you can feel it. Not from the weight. But rather from how solid everything feels. Great build quality. And the experience shooting with the camera is great. You get what makes it fun to shoot with a mechanical analog camera, combined with the amazing image quality of modern digital photography.

When I look at the images I got out of this camera. The increased number of pixels and the vastly improved dynamic range. The jump feels similar to the one I did when I jumped from point and shoots to DSLR’s.

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The X-Pro2 battery life.

June 28, 2017

I’m of the opinion that you should get through a day of being a tourist with a single battery in a camera. This wasn’t really a big problem with DSLR’s because my experience is that most of them will last you at least a weekend on a single charge. And I think the oldest of my Canon EOS 650D batteries still lasted me a day at the end.

I also think that the out of the box experience should last you a day. Without digging through menu’s etc. Mirrorless systems will probably get there some day. But that day are probably at least a generation away.

My experience shooting with my X-Pro 2 the first two days I had it was that I’d get around two hours out of a charge.

Then I decided to play with the settings. I’m not going to change the performance settings because I like the faster autofocus and higher frame rate. But I decided to enable all the auto sleep features, and set them as aggressive as possible(sleep after 15 seconds of inactivity), and only use the camera with viewfinder + eye sensor, instead of LCD and viewfinder.

The change? Huge.

I have used to camera on all my walks with my dog today, and I have also shot a little bit at home. And I have around 50% left of the battery. This would have been well into the second charge with the original settings.

This means that I’m not in that much of a hurry to get a second battery. And it also means that I don’t need to get that many extra batteries and charging systems for when I bring the camera on trips.

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My bag of stuff.

June 17, 2017

I have this cloth bag that I put all the “stuff” I need on a daily basis. Everything from adapters, to cables and so on. There is nothing spacial about the bag itself, I think its the one I got with my H7 headphones. The goal of the bag is that I have everything I need in it, so that I don’t have to thing about it more than necessary(re-charging batteries, and replacing stuff as needed).

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  1x spare battery for my H7’s

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  1x spare battery for my Fujifilm X100t

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  2x 16gb SD cards (because I broke my 64GB spare)

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  1x spare Illford HP5+ 35mm film

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  1 small and compact battery bank, just enough juice to charge my iPhone once.

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  1x USB-C(male) to USB-C (female) adapter

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  1x USB-A Nintendo 3DS proprietary charger cable.

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  1x USB-A Micro USB cable

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  Mini-jack male to male cable. For when I have no battery left on my H7’s.

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  USB-A Apple Watch Charger

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  USB-A Lightning Cable

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  USB-C Lightning Cable

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  USB-C Cable (male to male)

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  USB-C Lightning cable.

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  1x Satechi Slim Type-C MultiPort Adapter 4K

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I’m pretty happy with everything as of now. The only thing I want to change is the Satechi thing, I want to replace it with a single purpose USB-C to HDMI adapter. Other than that, happy as a clam.

And I do of course have a Apple USB-C Power bricks more or less everywhere; one in my bag, one at my desk at home, one at my desk at work and one at my new house.

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On giving Two Factor Authentication another go.

June 08, 2017

We can all agree that two factor authentication is a good idea, and that it in general improves security a great deal. But it also needs to be easy enough in order to ensure that people adopt it.

I tired adopting to it two years or go using <a href="https://authy.com">Authy</a>, but I ended up going back to “one factor authentication” because it was too much of a hassle to deal with.

Then I decided to finally get started and try it again a few days ago. This time I decided to try <a href="http://onepassword.com">1Passwords</a> solution. I know it is probably not the best idea to have passwords, emergency two factor codes and the two factor codes in the same place, but my biggest worry isn’t if someone gets access to my 1Password database (then I’m totally screwed no matter what), it is if someone gets access to a password.

As stated above, the 1Password solution might not be the most secure, but having access to copying the codes both on my iPhone and my MacBook is convenient enough for me to actually use it.

My approach to security have never been about finding the perfect most secure solution, but rather to slowly becoming more secure every single month.

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On updating passwords

March 22, 2017

I assume that you are doing the only sensible thing and are using unique and complex passwords everywhere, and have a good application to manage it like for example 1Password or LastPass(they are the only ones I recommend).

I’m a big fan of updating passwords on a schedule. And I’m also a fan of doing it maybe once or twice a week with a cap on how many passwords you update. 1Password has a brilliant audit section that show you all the passwords you should update. I first update anything in the Watchtower section, then duplicate and then old, starting with the oldest. But I do not do all of them at once. I do it once or twice a week and never more then 10 passwords per day. The reason is that the passwords will turn up again at the same pace as you change them. This means that if I take the first Monday of the month and change everything that needs to be changed, then I’ll end up with the same backlogs six months from that Monday.

If you instead change up to 10 passwords on every Monday and Friday, then you will never end up with more than 20 passwords that needs updating; except for Watchtower and duplicates.

Doing all of it today, will only solve parts of the problem.

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Bear

March 20, 2017

I have been a nvAlt user for so long that I can’t even remember when I started. And it is in many ways the perfect note app. Except for it being kind of old, and very hard to make money off because of many GPL related reasons.

I chose to move everything over to Bear, when it came out, to again re-assess everything when Brett Terpstra finally releases BitWriter, the app that is going to replace nvAlt. Bear is a fantastic app in many aspects. It looks good, is easy to use and I have not met any big bugs this far. And having the app both on OS X and iOS makes everything a little bit more convenient. There are many good note taking apps and writing apps for iOS but I have never seen anything that felt natural together with nvAlt.

Is Bear the perfect solution? Far from it. I have one big problem with it, and if BitWriter is more or less identical to bear but solves this problem, then I’ll switch. And that is the combined search and create note feature of nvAlt. It does one thing, you can type in the search field to search for notes and hit enter; if you found anything it will select the note, and if not it will create a new one.

A great feature for power users.

I see the space for both Bear’s solution, which is more user-friendly and more discoverable, and I hope there is also space or room for a real power user alternative, like we had in nvAlt.

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50mm-ish

March 17, 2017

The first lens I bought, ever, was the 40mm pancake. I got it when I bought my Canon EOS 650D(also known as the Rebel Rebel T4i), and the funny thing is that it took months before I even tried out the kit lens.

One of the great things about the 40mm focal length is that it is slightly longer than 50mm on a crop sensor system (40 x 1,6 = 66mm), and well 40mm on a full frame system. This lens is loved by both full frame and crop sensor shooters, and is still to this day one of my favourites.

I personally love it because it is fast (f/2.8), takes amazing pictures, it is small and light.

My main go to lens these days is my Sigma 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens, because it is so versatile and give me more or less everything I could need for almost anything I need. I also have two other cameras that are very small and compact(Fuji x100t and Nikon FM) but this setup is also a great option, if I want digital. Mostly because this camera can without problems survive at least a whole weekend on one battery, and I would be stretching it if I said that my Fuji survived a afternoon.

There are some stuff I believe everyone with a camera should own, and a lens like this is a must for when you want to make your setup as small and light as possible. For example when traveling, or shooting one handed.

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Apple Watch

March 17, 2017

Okay. So I have used the Apple Watch Series 1 for a while now. Since the day it went on sale, and I still like it more or less as much as I did when I first got it. But I don’t think it will become “mainstream” in its current form.

It is a fantastic device for keeping track of how much you move, some Notification triage and some minor app interaction.

I don’t care enough to get any of the serious “health monitoring devices”, but the Apple Watch does just enough, and just precise enough that I can make informed decisions about if I should move more, sleep more or relax more.

Getting some notifications on my wrist is great: like Slack, important messages and so on. But getting everything there is horrible. If you want to either do something about it on the watch or you need to now immediately don’t have them on your watch.

Apps on the Apple Watch is a difficult subject. Some are okay, others are great, but most suck. I love the timers, I love to control audio playback with it and the stop watch and timer stuff are okay. But I think it is very difficult to make something fast and simple enough that also is useful.

There is one thing that I think is beyond crap, and that is the honey comb app picker thingy. Its difficult to navigate, its hard to find and pick the right app. And I really hope that Apple fixes it with the next major version of watchOS.

I think this have to become more of a “stand alone device”, with much better battery life in order to become mainstream. The current state is just as dorky as the PDA’s some of us used before the days of the smart phone. We had to sync stuff over bluetooth or a cable. It worked. But it was kind of clunky, and no one wants to move back to that after using a proper smart phone.

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Fuji

March 03, 2017

When I look at the current camera landscape, I don’t see anyone except for Leica and Fuji doing what I want from the controls. Most Leica digital cameras are a little bit outside my comfort and ability in terms of cost. But Fuji is more or less in the middle.

Here is what I want from my cameras: similar controls to what you find on Leica’s and mechanical analog cameras: you have dedicated controls for Shutter Speed, ISO(if they have a meter) and aperture.

I know that more expensive advanced cameras with or without mirrors have multiple buttons and wheels that can do this job. But that is not what I am looking for, because a dedicated button system means that you can control the parameters without looking at the screen. Having the actual numbers of the dial is very help ful when you are chasing two or more variables together to get the best possible settings for what you are trying to do.

One of my big problems with how current DSLR and mirrorless cameras are being designed is that everything is being invested the the semi automatic modes, without spending a little bit on the fully manual mode. Which in turn makes it very hard to use it.

The Fuji X-Pro 2 has exactly what I want in this aspect. But It falls on its nose in some other aspects: battery life and full frame.

I would love to see Fuji moving into the full frame space, I don’t need it, but I want it. One of the major problems with all mirrorless systems these days are battery life. People have been complaining about this for years, and I am baffled that Fuji and others don’t do anything about it.

For example: If I go home to my parents for a long weekend: Thursday to Sunday, and I use my Canon dSLR, one battery charge would get my though the whole trip; and I shoot a lot. My Fuji x100t would probably need 3-4 fully charged batteries per day, if not more.

I know. The reason is that a lot more “stuff” are using the battery in a mirrorless system compared to a dSLR, but the batteries are also larger in a dSLR. Use larger batteries, or make it possible to use more than one battery with some kind of grip, and easy to charge them without having multiple chargers.

This is what I expect from a camera battery: two batteries should get me through 12-14 hours of heavy use.

I love what Fuji are doing at the moment, but they and the rest of the mirrorless camera makers need to get serious about battery life.

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