Fuji X100S - The Magic

For the end of the week I thought I would post a really short easy example of just one of the things I really really like about the Fuji X100S. The lens. Yes, the lens that has cause me consternation, pause, and delay of embracing the camera whole heartedly. I mentioned in yesterday's part II evaluation against a full frame DSLR and 50mm that everything in DC was shot wide open except for a handful of shots on the X100S.

I also said that even thought that might be counterintuitive given the evaluation I was performing that I would get back to it in a moment. Well this is why I shot those handful of slightly stopped down shots on the Fuji X100S. Check out the image at the top. Specifically the left side of the image. No that isn't a soft flare added in post. That's one of the endearing properties of this lens. All lenses flare to one degree or another - you may not see the flare but to some degree it lowers image contrast.

In contrast to a lot of other lenses of the modern day the little Fuji generally renders it in interesting, varied, and controllable ways given a little practice. In just about any conditions that can be considered even partially backlit like this one - even at very low ratios - like this one you can provoke the little Fuji to do various versions of this look from subtle to wild. In practice you do need to get a feel for it as it's hard to evaluate in the EVF or even on the back of the camera outdoors. You can see it to a degree but it will usually appear more pronounced once you upload and view the images on a real screen indoors.

For this image I wanted a very subtle effect that didn't bleed over onto the main subject but was visible only in the background. That's why I chose to stop the lens down a bit. There are a couple of other things to note. Even stopped down the OOF areas here on the left have a really really nice look. Overall the little 23mm is a gem in terms of it's overall rendering and even more so I love it for it's flexibility from dreamy but sharp to blisteringly sharp and modern in the space of two stops. Even when shot stopped down you can see how the background render - they don't scream DOF effect but they do look gorgeous.

Notice anything else over on the left of the frameā€¦ Hmmm with my mind on the subject, the light, and messing about with how the flare was working I seemed to have included the D600 in the frame on the bottom left. If I end up using this for anything but blog discussion I will definitely spot that out - easy enough. If I needed my ego fed I would probably blame that on the OVF and how loose it is and claim it was some sort of flaw with the X100S. On the contrary this is absolutely my fault and the OVF is one of the other best little pieces of magic on the X100 - more on that next week.

Have a great weekend. Any other X100S lovers out there that play with the properties/flaws of the 23mm f/2?

RB

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