Choosing a Fuji for Black & Whites Only

Discussion in 'Fuji X-Mount Cameras' started by RStarPhoto, Apr 13, 2014.

  1. RStarPhoto

    RStarPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    36
    Dec 4, 2013
    Ok, so here's my question:

    I have a Fuji x-e2 and x-m1 that I use at work for everything I'm shooting now; i.e. Weddings, kids, etc... I love the cameras in every aspect. But I'd like to add a third body. I used to own a x-100 back in the day and absolutely loved the black and whites it produced. I'm looking for something to do this as close as possible to the x-100 with interchangeable lenses.

    Would I be better off using the x-A1 since it has what I suspect to be a similar bayer sensor as the x-100, or just get another x-m1 with the x-trans filter?
     
  2. rybolt

    rybolt FujiXspot Rookie

    11
    Apr 4, 2014
    Considering the used price of an XE1 camera that might be the best choice for you. I regularly shoot black and white in both the X Pro 1 camera and the XE 1 and they turn out very nice images.
    With XE1 cameras hovering around $350-$375 for low mileage used bodies I don't think you can do better.
     
  3. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    The B&W settings on the various X-bodies are all pretty much the same going back to the X100. The sensor in the X100 is somewhat different, not being an X-trans, but the B&W jpeg options should produce pretty much the same output. Although the new bodies have more B&W options than the X100 had originally - not sure if that's still the case after various firmware updates.

    Why not just set up a custom setting bank with either your XE2 or XM1 for B&W shooting and tweak the settings until they're as close to your memory of the X100 as you can get. No need for a whole separate camera for this - none will be materially different with the possible exception of the XA1, which may be slightly closer to the X100 by virtue of also using a bayer color array.

    Or rather than shoot B&W jpegs, why not just shoot in raw or color jpegs and then convert them in Lightroom or one of the B&W conversion plug-ins? Takes a bit more work to do the conversions yourself but you'll have a lot more control over the look of the finished output...

    If you really want to add a third body, I agree that the XE1 is a steal right now and with new FW, almost an XE2...

    -Ray
     
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  4. RStarPhoto

    RStarPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    36
    Dec 4, 2013
    Well here's the issue. I own an x-e1. It sucks. It's too slows, doesn't focus right, and most of the time I shoot my Fujis with legacy glass and the focus peaking can't come close to the other Fujis. Let's just say I'm different because I shoot with five cameras on me at weddings. The mirrorless are so light that it's still not the weight of my two dslrs I got rid of.

    I should have explained further. Here are the requirements I need. Flip screen and good focus peaking. So basically it comes down to another M1 or an A1. I was just curious about the difference of the Bayer sensors in the A1 and x100. There was just something special about that camera that the xtrans doesn't have. At least in what I saw.

    And I do shoot raw and process in Lightroom. It's the files themselves, not just to have a black and white sooc.
     
  5. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2013
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    You are partly right. The X-E1 doesn't "suck" Particularly with the most recent firmware, it performs very well indeed. It is still my Fuji "primary" even though I now have an X-T1.

    Indeed, based on your stated requirements and usage I think the X-T1 would be the ideal camera for you.
     
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    Yeah, if you want AF faster than the XE1 and you want a flip up rear screen, the XT1 is your only choice, but you get the X-trans sensor. If you want a Bayer sensor and a flip up screen, the XA1 is your only choice, but the AF is similar to the XE1, although I think it has up to date manual focus aids.

    So, choose your poison...

    -Ray
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. RStarPhoto

    RStarPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    36
    Dec 4, 2013
    To each his own I guess. The x-e1 just can't handle what I need it to do. If the focus peaking was halfway decent I'd keep it. But it just isn't like the others.
     
  8. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    I have to agree with you about the x100 B&W and the X-E1 performance. Even after the updates, X-E1 was not able to perform as needed for event work. I sold mine and bought a second X-E2. I will be interested to see your results as I would also like an interchangeable lens body with "the look" of the x100 sensor for B&W.
     
  9. RStarPhoto

    RStarPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    36
    Dec 4, 2013
    I'm going to give the A1 a go. I'll post some samples once I have another job after the purchase!
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    Looking forward to seeing your findings.
     
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs FujiXspot Veteran

    485
    Feb 1, 2013
    Near Philadephila
    If manual focus and focus peaking is one of your key criteria, I'd check out what the XA1 has. I was surprised to find that the XE2, even with current firmware, still just has basic white focus peaking and just two levels of it. The XT1 gives you choices of colors and strengths. That, combined with the insanely good EVF, makes manual focus a good deal easier for me on the XT1 than the XE2. I'm guessing the XA1 has the same limitations as the XE2. I wouldn't be surprised if the focus peaking on all of these models may be improved through firmware up to XT1 standards, but I'm kind of surprised it hasn't happened already. For auto-focus, both the XE2 and XT1 are definitely a cut above the bodies without PDAF pixels in the sensor...

    -Ray
     
  12. RStarPhoto

    RStarPhoto FujiXspot Regular

    36
    Dec 4, 2013
    Well my X-A1 came in today. I'll let you know what I think about the sensor regarding black and whites.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using FujiXspot mobile app
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Stephen S

    Stephen S FujiXspot Veteran

    351
    Feb 14, 2014
    East Bay, Northern California
    Stephen Scharf
    I'll really be curious as to what you think because I am very, very impressed with the image quality from my X-A1. I actually think it's better than the original X100. Also, it's easy converting RAW files in Lightroom because it's not an X-trans sensor; you get to bypass the intermediate step having to do conversions in Iridient Developer or work in Capture One.
     
  14. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    I can work with my xtrans raws in LR. Am I missing something?
     
  15. Stephen S

    Stephen S FujiXspot Veteran

    351
    Feb 14, 2014
    East Bay, Northern California
    Stephen Scharf
    No, not at all. It's just well-documented that the other RAW convertors e.g. Iridient Developer, Photo Ninja, and Capture One do a better job of X-trans RAW demosaicing, especially with content elements e.g. foliage, grass, leaves, hair, animal fur, textiles, fine repeating textures or detail, than Lightroom does.

    Depends on what you shoot; If you don't feel your content has any problems, don't worry about it.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    I do prefer/use Capture One. The Fuji files are noticeably better even just on import than in LR. Plus I can get my images to look better in just Capture One than I can with LR+Nik plugins. If I could round trip into Analog Efx from Capture One there would be no reason for me to ever open LR or PS again.

    I thought there may be a LR issue that I missed which was causing issues with the Xtrans files.
     
  17. Stephen S

    Stephen S FujiXspot Veteran

    351
    Feb 14, 2014
    East Bay, Northern California
    Stephen Scharf
    I agree, IMHO, Capture One does the best job of RAW conversions for all the cameras I own or have shot with. And, they look better in C1 than from LR; I think their color profiles for each camera are the most accurate and natural-looking.
     
  18. BobbyT

    BobbyT Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 31, 2013
    Louisville, Ky
    Bobby Tingle
    I can't say for my Canon files as I only used LR for them. When I switched to Fuji, one of friends had me try out C1 saying it handled the Fuji files much better. I could tell as soon as the first set imported to C1. Now, I can make beautiful images using LR with Nik. But the workflow takes longer. If Nik would ever work directly with C1 I would have editing heaven.
     
  19. SnapDawg

    SnapDawg FujiXspot Veteran

    276
    Dec 30, 2013
    behind an [X°]
    Ken
    • Like Like x 3
  20. ReneBee

    ReneBee FujiXspot Regular

    135
    Oct 20, 2013
    Nieuwegein, The Netherlands
    René
    I use DxO to render the RAWs from the S100FS. The lens correction and ca correction are very good.
    I wish they would implement the X-Trans as well.
    René.