Soho

Fujifilm x-series JPEG files by Nigel Rumsey

151128-XT1-4543.jpg

  Having read recently read Kevin Mullins' article detailing how he set the custom film profiles on his Fujifilm X-series cameras I was keen to give it a go on my new Fuji XT1. Although I've been shooting with my X100s for some time it's mainly been in RAW.

Fujifilm X-T1 jpeg file of a cup of coffee in Tap Coffee, London.

I was in Soho yesterday and decided to forgo the RAW, shoot JPEG and see how they came out. Let me be the first to say none of these are going to win any awards but they give a good cross-section of lighting situations.

Fujifilm X-T1 jpeg file of a patisserie shop worker admiring his wares

The commonly accepted wisdom is that JPEG files just don't give the necessary flexibility in editing.

By virtue of the fact a RAW file includes all the available data and a JPEG doesn't, then the RAW file has to be the safer way to shoot. However do we always need that additional data?

If I'm shooting for a client then, yes, I'm going to buy the insurance of a RAW file. But if I'm just shooting some street photography as I wander Soho on a Saturday afternoon, then on the evidence of these shots, for me, JPEG is good enough.

Fujifilm X-T1 jpeg file of a darkly light London street scene

Kevin details how he sets his custom settings in his post. I found when I used his settings on my X100s I was losing all the detail in the blacks. As the XT1 has the same sensor as the Fuji X100s I decided to back off the shadow settings a little. These are the settings I used:

Black & white (using the B&W+R film simulation) Highlights -1 Shadows +1 (KM: +2) Sharpness +1 (KM: +2) - this change more to see the difference than any science. Dynamic Range (Auto) White Balance (Auto) Noise Reduction -2

Fujifilm X-T1 jpeg file of a man drinking in the Milk Bar, London

Generally, I'm really happy with the look. It's far more to my liking than JPEGs from my Nikon D700. The blacks in these shots aren't as dark as on the test with the X100s. If I were going to use these elsewhere I'd like to increase the contrast a little, so it could be my metering that was at fault on the first test. Maybe I'll give Kevin's settings another go.

If you're using the Fujifilm simulations I'd be interested in hearing the settings you're using?

Ellie - stranger #5 by Nigel Rumsey

Ellie a stranger I met on the street in London Wardour Street, London

I shouldn't have been surprised when Ellie said she worked as a model, she was very striking (and tall), more so than I've made her look here.

I think I've got my 'can I ...' introduction down, but it's still a little nerve racking approaching a very attractive girl on the street and asking if you can take their portrait. As with everyone I've asked so far she was very cool about it. She was in London with friends on a trip from her native Tyneside, where she's studying.

She said if I was ever in the area and needed a model I should look her up, and if I ever had the budget I would. Remember the name Ellie Berry, she just might be big one day!

One thing I need to take more note of when taking these portraits is the background, I really don't like that big block of bright sky to the right side of the frame.

Nikon F3, Kodak Tri-X @ 800, HC-110 'B' 8mins

Didier - stranger #4 by Nigel Rumsey

Bateman Street, London

This is Didier. I was standing in front of this cafe on Bateman Street thinking it would be a good spot to take a portrait when Didier came up and started asking me about my camera. We got chatting and I asked him if it was OK to take his portrait. Unfortunately it was beginning to get a little dark, in the closed streets of Soho, but I think this works OK.

Didier is originally from South Africa and had lived in Nottingham for a while before moving to London. He was telling me he'd been having a hard time recently, I don't think it's right to share the details but, Didier, if you read this I hope things work out for you.

Nikon F3, Kodak Tri-X @ 800, HC-110 'B' 8mins

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