Saturday, 14 April 2012

A Fuji X-Pro 1 Adobe Camera Raw workaround + X-Pro 1 is really fast!

Fuji X-Pro 1 Voigtlander 75mm f/2.5 Heliar

I thought that I could get more out of the X-Pro 1 raw files than Silkypix was allowing me. Here's how. Its not ideal but it works for me somewhat better than just using the Fuji software.

In Silkypix there is a preset for development called Super Neutral, and indeed it does seem to be just that. i.e. a reasonably close version of the actual raw file.

As you can see just doing this has lightened up the shadows as opposed to the out of camera jpg. plus there is more detail in the sky and a more accurate colour.

I then save this version as a TIFF, making sure that there is no sharpening applied to the files.

Photoshop CS6 then lets me open that TIFF file in Adobe Camera Raw 7.

At the present time this is the closest that I can get to a raw file that opens up in a more sophisticated raw converter. It means that I can work with a lossless file and I certainly can get better results than just working on TIFF files in Photoshop. The main reason I like this is that I can use the ACR sharpening parameters. Firstly I like them better than what Silkypix uses, Secondly, I'm used to working with them, so finally I have some idea of what I can get from these X-Pro 1 files.

The first thing to say is that if you think you can get sharp clean images from either the jpgs. or the Silkypix conversions, then you will be amazed at what this can produce.

The "Super Neutral" TIFF is quite low contrast and not bitingly sharp.

However, by running the TIFF file through ACR 7, I'm able to get something thats closer to what I would expect these files to produce.

This is crisper, with a lot better contrast. Now, maybe I could get results similar to this in Silkypix, but so far I've been unable to work out how to do that. The sharpening parameters, in particular, seem a little crude to me, and apart from anything else, this is easier and quicker for me as I know how to get the results I want in Photoshop.

Finally I would say, that now I have some way of (more or less) being able to compare the X-Pro 1 files with every other camera I've used, my impression is that these files are capable of astounding resolution and sharpness. The above Photoshopped file is a 100% blowup, and it looks pretty good to me. I'm not going to say the name, but very reminiscent of a certain German, hand-built camera of my recent aquaintance.

As to the speed issue. I have been whingeing on about the speed of this camera, but yesterday gave me the opportunity to use it as a seriously fast camera. Using a NIKON 28mm f/2.8 lens, set to f11 at ISO 200, and focused on infinity (or using zone focusing / hyperfocal distance), I was able to take these shots as if I was using a point and shoot camera. When the X-Pro 1 doesn't have to focus a lens, the shutter is actually pretty quick. It is of course the way that photographers have used certain hand built German cameras in the past for street photography. Wide-angle lenses and zone focusing have served the Magnum agency well down the years.

So the X-Pro 1 CAN be a fast camera under certain circumstances, but it does require the right lens, the right adapter and the right light, as far as I'm concerned. However since images like the following are typical of what I take, then its a handy solution.

FUJI X-PRO 1 Nikon 28mm f/1.4
All images - Fuji X-PRO 1 Nikon 28mm f/2.8D lens

FUJI X-PRO 1 Nikon 28mm f/1.4

FUJI X-PRO 1 Nikon 28mm f/1.4

FUJI X-PRO 1 Nikon 28mm f/1.4

FUJI X-PRO 1 Nikon 28mm f/1.4

FUJI X-PRO 1 Nikon 28mm f/1.4

So with the combination of this and my Raw file workaround, I'm starting to warm even more to the X-Pro 1. However that doesn't mean that I don't want to see Fuji firstly improve the camera as much as they able to via a firmware update, and most importantly sort out whatever problems they seem to be having with Adobe, Phase One and Apple and get the raw files from this camera supported ASAP.

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) below.

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