This is not a review. This is only my reasoning and ponderings. See previous post of this same topic below.
I just went through almost all my Canon 5D Mk II shots taken with 50/1.4 and 85/1.8 lenses. And that was a wonderful tour. So many shots with great memories. But also so many great shots technically. Quite many “action” shots of our sons and dogs too. At the moment I am not able to take that kind of action shots with my present cameras.
I went to mirrorless cameras because of their portability. And I felt that they have very nice IQ in the same small package. This is totally true. They have very nice IQ indeed. But is that IQ achieved in the photographic situations I am in? Low light and fast moving children and dogs. Short answer is no. This is of course only for my present cameras – Fuji X-Pro1 and Sigma DP2 Merrill.
Now I am in the process to decide if I should exchange my X-Pro1 to full frame Nikon D600. After going through my earlier own FF shots it seems that I should.
I chose mirrorless cameras because of the portability. But I am actually not carrying my cameras that much around. I am basically indoors or outdoors at our home or near vicinity of it. I really realize it now. Not much lugging around. When I carry my cameras I usually have to use a camera bag when I am not shooting because of children and dogs around me all the time. Otherwise there may be some damage happening. I have one small bag which is very good for DP2 Merrill but X-Pro1 will not fit in. For X-Pro1 (with XF 35 and XF 60 lenses) I use the same bag I was earlier using for 5D Mk II. And that’s not a big bag anyways. Nikon D600 with 50/1.8 (this lens is offered in the exchange) and 85/1.8 (this I would buy later on; it has quite reasonable price and very good IQ) lenses would fit confortably in that bag.
If I want to shoot those child/dog action shots again I need better AF than I am having at the moment. D600 would solve that problem. I would also like to have a good auto ISO system with nice ISO performance. D600 has that.
Those 5D Mk II shots were actually blowing my mind when I went through them. D600 is better camera than 5D Mk II in many areas. AF and ISO performance is better. Those linked to full frame would be nice combination for the shooting I am doing. I like shallow DoF and nice bokeh.
Later on I may add a quality compact in my arsenal. Sony RX100 would be nice one. Solves that lugging thing.
We have had very cold weather lately (- 32 C or so) and trees are now extremely beautiful because of thick frost on their branches. This kind of weather is not any unusual situation here in Finland though. It is normal winter for us. The lowest temp what we have had at our place was – 42 C in February 2007. Here are few photos from the past days. Hopefully they look like cold.
I love how kids concentrate themselves when playing card or board games. Here Kaapo seems to really think about his next move in Uno card game. I also like a lot this quite heavy processing I did for this particular shot.
Our boys, Kaapo and Tiitus, really love snow but this winter has not been very good in that respect. But now we have some and they enjoy.
Yeah, that’s our little Dumbo playing ball with his dad, Hiski. Alpo is very fast moving little fellow even if the lawn is quite high as you see.
It is so much fun to watch them play together but almost impossible to photograph because of their fast pace.
I have been lately thinking of life without a DSRL. Just crazy. But these new EVIL or what-ever-they-are-called-cameras (e.g. Olympus E-P3, Sony NEX-7) as well recent serious compact cameras (e.g. Fuji X100 and X10, Ricoh GRD IV, Canon S100 and so on) are really causing some new thinking in my modest brain. I am now constantly asking myself that for what will I need the bulk of a DSRL. Now many of these smaller cameras already have APS-C sized sensors and I believe there could soon be even a FF model.
I have Canon 5D Mark II which is a wonderful camera. But am I in the level of that camera as a photographer? Sometimes yes, mostly no. When the answer is no, I am just dragging that heavy beast around. I can drag smaller camera much more easily around. The shots I will get are on the same level from each camera. Of course full frame is nice to have. But I frequently ask myself, for what purpose? Fuji X100 somehow has opened my eyes in this matter. That camera has a phenomenal image quality and very low and pleasing noise at high ISOs. And it is so easy to take with you. The best camera is the camera you have with you.
So, I think I will go through those EVIL options. This question is really haunting me at the moment. EVIL seems to be most appropriate camera model for me. 😉
Serious compact I have already (X100) and now I may need some EVIL touch.
Tiitus is selecting groceries from a virtual shelf here. 😉
The actual reason (even if I like the shot in general too) for posting this photo here was to state that I think I have found B&W adjustments which really pleases me.
I use Aperture 3 for my RAW converter (and also to adjust JPEGs) and after a long-time testing and tweaking I am now happy with the B&W results. No need to use any other programmes or plug-ins for the conversion anymore. I have tested and used before Nik’s Silver Efex Pro (also version 2) and DxO’s Film Pack 3. Both are very nice plug-ins, Silver Efex even a fantastic one. But it is always an extra step and more importantly you’ll get those huge TIFF files after using them.
That is why I have been trying to find suitable B&W adjustments in Aperture and to save them as my personal B&W preset. I want to have quite constant results which need only minor additional tweaking.
What I basically do in Aperture 3 is to use different curves adjustments together with some decrease in vibrancy plus some tinting in color levels to achieve above kind of a result.
I have been trying to find similar approach also for color shots but it seems to be a much more complicated thing to achieve.
These beautiful little flowers gave me such great spring or early summer feeling! They grow in shade of big spruces but they really lit up their surroundings.
They were so wonderful that I decided to shoot plants more from now on. I have two wonderful Voigtländer lenses for close-up work. CV40 (40mm/f2.0) is really great when you want to include some more background and habitat in plant close-ups. CV90 (90mm/f3.5), which I used for the above shot, is sweet for tighter close-ups. Both of these lenses have also special close-up lenses which you can attach to them and get greater magnification ratios, 1:4 for CV40 and 1:1.8 for CV90.