Many times I have learned a few things. One of those things is, not to fix something that’s not broken. See, to me that also implies that maybe something actually is broke or maybe it’s not broke and maybe doesn’t need fixing. It means to me that I can explore things and try to find resolution for myself. Another thing I found and realized is not to do the same thing over and over and expect a different result. So my short term quest of exploring color or raw vs jpeg and then the Fuji X100F and how it does all this is at a point that I have no real resulting thoughts or info to alter what I know or do already.
The Fuji X100F has a great jpeg processing engine. The color simulations are superb as well as the b&w. I used the Classic Chrome because it’s a familiar palette for me. That in itself is a very important statement. I used a lot of the Chromes back in the day. I loved the tones, shadows, highs, and the colors. The Fuji X100F has that nailed perfectly. I didn’t love pushing the ASA or as youse call it, ISO. It didn’t do that well. (technology coming up) … B&W films did respond better but once again, there was a limit you could reach and it wasn’t the sky.
The Fuji X100F lets you do Chromes up to 6400 that are amazing. I did it, shocked. You can go much higher but me poor brain can’t count past 6400. The camera can. So, digital has the advantage of speed and even grain or noise. Analog is beautiful but the limits are reached and passed quickly by any one doing semi to high level photography. It matters to the pros, I’m not a pro, I’m a lifer. Matters to me.
So, what I see is that the Camera makes great jpegs and also Raw. In processing, the jpegs can take some heave adjustments in parameters. There is a noticeable compression of tones in the jpegs. This is to be expected. Lets say I shot Chrome and decided to convert to B&W. Well, the compression now comes into play. It’s all good but there is a noticeable issue in the blacks and lower mid tones.
The Ansel Adams Method
Ansel took each value of tones and gave it a number. I’m not getting into the method. It’s The Zone System and I used it for decades mostly with my 8 x 10 Deardorff. Youse should all have a basic understanding of this. Here’s how it applies to us digital shooters. I will just figure we are using Zones 1 – 10. Zone 1 is the darkest dark, like where the IRS agent lives and Zone 10 is the lightest area where your winning lottery ticket is. If in fact the blackest black area we hold detail in is Zone 2, then what does that mean to Zone 3? Well, it means a stop of exposure.
In the paper print, we can see Zone 2 and Zone 3. What is in between those zones. On paper, not much is discernible. You might see 1/2 zone but that’s about it. Enter the digital DNG or Raw file. Well, looking at the same zones we can also if we wanted to, see maybe 10 steps between the zones. So like Zone 3.4. That’s Zone 3 and 4/10. You can see this separation and it’s important. What the jpegs from the camera and I mean every camera does is produce a very wide latitude of tones. The jpeg compresses these tones because it’s a processed image. It’s nice, maybr lovely but still a compressed image.
George Krause’s Wisdom
I’m sipping some spring water, the screen shows me a great Classic Chrome photo. I love it but ,,,,hmmmm B&W would make it. I mean I want to really process this till I feel good about it. I start to convert and low and behold, my color jpeg becomes a b&w jpeg but there’s kinda a loss of separation in the shadows, and hold on… damn… the highs are kinda not brilliant. The mids appear to be ok but… well, now what. Many years ago I went to George Krause’s https://georgekrause.com/ studio here in Philly. In the hallway leading to the main area he had photos on the walls. I was like in awe of his vision but ya know…George is one of the finest printers ever. after a short while, I noticed that he didn’t really have a standard print size. I was curious. I asked him about that. He said, “I look at each image and make it the size it tells me to, every image needs to be it’s own entity”. Talk about being hit in the head. I mean it was a revelation.
What it means in modern times is the same as he says back then. There is another reason for thinking this. If you have an image that’s really compressed, then make it smaller. The tones will block on their own and it will be natural. If the tones are really open up, try making a larger image. On your screen in LR whatever, start with a smaller image and magnify to make it larger. Watch the tones compress or open. This is the most important thing to grasp in the battle for raw vs jpeg.
So to cut to the chase, I love the way the Fuji X100F does it’s jpegs. For most time it’s fine. I will go back to just Raw as I get a file that I can work anyway I desire. I know I can use Raw + F and have a sweet jpeg and for comparing on screen. Actually, I want to have a basic clean entrance to the image. I like to talk with it and find out how together we can make our photo mean something to us. Raw gives the most info to work with. I also notice that the presets for the camera that are in LR are ok but nothing to write home about. I have my own presets and I am working on a set for Andre’ the Fuji X100F because he deserves the best I can do because he is the best out there.
The Fuji X100F is the finest digital camera I ever used or owned. It’s a pure exciting sensation and the experience of being a shooter is so vivid that it’s like a dream that does not come true, but allows you to share that dream with the camera.
Be blessed everyone…………….end transmission………………