March 31st, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 3

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 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………………

21 thoughts on “March 31st, 2017 Raw? … Color? … The Fuji X100F Made Me Do It! … Part 3”

  1. Hi Streetshooter,
    Admire your honesty with stuff.I’ve not even got the nuts to even shoot in jpeg & raw on my xt1 yet,never mind sorting it out in camera.
    Maybe that day will come.Regards,Ian Miller.

    1. Thanks Ian. Just hold your breath and set it to Raw & JPEG and give it a go. It’s nice to see ummm, what’s your cameras name… I forgot….

      1. He’s new to me.
        Still thinking . all I know so far is that he’s a he.
        Thanks for the advice,Don.
        Will let you know when his christening is.
        Cheers, Ian.

  2. Thank you for your analysis. I am an amateur all the way. I am in possession of my third X100. (F). It has not been away from me for almost a month now. I just started comparing raw/jpeg side by side. What an eye opener. While I have an XPro2, the “F” is without a doubt the most enjoyable camera I have ever experienced. Regards

    1. Wayne, thanks. Ya know, am amateur is usually a very dedicated, passionate person. I don’t classes of people and I especially love any passions a person puts in to something.
      The X100F is a very desirable camera. I love the XPro series but too heavy on my neck
      I don’t think I am finished with the raw vs jpeg issue just yet…..
      good light….

  3. You know Don … all your positive posting about the X100F has caused a flare up of my G.A.S. Kinda of thinking about either the F or the X-T20 (Already have several Fuji lenses).
    I like what George Krause said about looking at an image and just going with whatever print size feels right. Speaking of prints … I assume you do some printing now and then of your favorite images. Do you do your own printing? If so … what printer? Or do you use a printing service? Again … if so … which service would you recommend? Thanks for your input. Have a great day out there and take care.

    1. Dave, beware of that gremlin that gets in the mind and wallet. The X100F is a sweet camera and I have to say it’s worth way more then it cost.
      I have a pro printer that does my stuff as I can’t see justifying the cost of a high ebd printer. Ya know, ya get it all right and feed the paper and then half way thru the print it jams for a flash of a second….. poof.

      Mpix is excellent even for exhibition quality.

      good light Dave

  4. Hey, Don, Another interesting post, you’re on a roll!

    I am not sure however I share the idea of BW conversions from color JPGs. The beauty of Fuji color film presets is… color!
    If you care for BW, then two options: (1) use the equally stunning (from what I saw; it’s not an option on old X100Ss so I can’t say out of direct experience) Acros simulation mode. (2) stick to RAW, thus avoiding inevitable tone compression in the color JPG to make life difficult for you as you try to render smooth BW tonalities in your LR conversion… you won’t need those beautiful Kodachrome tints anyways once you’re in BW territory.
    I read there is a great third alternative, which is to ditch Adobe in favor of Capture One. Many a respectable photographer I follow is swearing for CO as the ultimate Fuji RAW engine aside from Fuji in-camera tools. Here too, I can’t vouch out of direct experience.

    Keep shooting, man…

    1. Giovanni, thanks. Your right on all 3 points. What I wanted to explore is to work without raw. Of course it can be done but I want to see how the conversions and compression in the JPEGs are working. AcrosR is beautiful but when I want to really do a heavy job on them, nada. Raw provides the palette that I need.
      CO is nice I used it but have not found it intuitive. Perhaps I may try again. Then how to deal with the catalog from LR? All good things must find a way.
      Good Light, don

  5. Hi Don, love this post!.
    I still call it ASA…….changing the print size according to the image makes so much sense. We have so much flexibility with digital it can work against us , in the end all we do is process images in front of the pc instead of getting out there taking shots.
    And then there is GAS…..don’t talk to me about that one!…..that is crippling disease of the mind too!!!!….I am thinking of getting rid of my olympus omd em10 and lenses and just get out there with my trusty fuiifilm x30 instead….help!..
    Cheers Ian.

    1. Ian, thanks much.
      Gas is certainly a trouble maker. I happen to love M43 and Olympus in particular. Of course that opens the door and mind for GAS and in a big way. I have been selling off much of my M43 gear and ya know….we all need a safety valve camera. For me it’s the Ricoh GRII. When I get to the place that I am thinking about gear being the answer, I take out Mom the Ricoh GRII and it’s over like that.
      The X30 is a camera like that. I loved that camera but alas, it’s gone too.
      Be blessed and just breathe……

      1. Hi Don,
        Yes my X30 is certainly my safety valve from GAS, I simply pick it up and go out and shoot with it….The other cameras give me headaches and get me thinking about changing lenses etc all of the time. The Fujifilm X100F looks on the cards when Ive culled my kit.
        I am working on a few projects again after hitting the wall because of this GAS, hope to get my Flickr page going again soon.
        Im trying to keep it simple …keep up the good work.
        Cheers Ian.

        1. Heya Ian. The X30 is a great camera. I call it a sleeper because not many rave about it. I did and ya know, that’s one camera I really miss.
          Good light my friend.
          Cheers, don

  6. Nice work Don! I own the X100S and still love that camera. Did you use the X100F for these B&W shots? They are quite similar to film, and I was wondering how you achieved the grain?

    1. Ziggy, thanks. This set was done with the M240. I have a X100f I bought new last March but hardly use it. Great camera. I have presets that do things I like. If you use Lightroom, there are a set of presets for it by Nik. Free download from Google and you’ll love them.
      cheers, don

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