First of all I need to give you a huge apology on not posting for such a long time. There have been some major changes in my life which I had to settle too. The first is me starting a new day time job which encountered a lot of new learning, long working days and short evenings. Secondly my wife and I have been very busy together. I would have never thought I would go down that road but we both decided to do it. We are proud owners of a beautiful horse which is young and need a lot of training. Now don’t get me wrong, I love the work. It is very rewarding, but it is a lot of work. Resulting in not enough time to write on this platform.
Anyway, here I am again.
Just one more short notice. I will split this up to more than one post as it will be
a. two much to read as we where in NYC for more than one day and
b. it would be far to many photographs as well.
Now let us get down to why you are all here reading this.
From September 7th until September 12th my wife and I visited the wonderful, loud, quiet, busy and you name it you get it city of New York.
Months before I was in a dilemma. I bet you can imagine what dilemma I mean. The gear question. What do I want to bring along. Do I take the full bag with an X-T2, the 18-55 some primes? Do I even go and get the XF16 2.8 for those extra wide city shots? Do I need a telephoto lens? I really was not sure what to take with me. I knew we would be walking miles and miles in this big city. I talked to a friend, searched forums and read loads of blog posts. At the end of the day I still was not sure and it was only on me and me only to decide what gear to take.
And then it dawned on me. My absolutely most favourite camera of all times. Knowing that we would be walking really a lot I wanted one thing the most. I wanted to travel as light as possible. The one and only camera to travel light is… drum roll
The Fujifilm X100F
This is all the gear I had with me.
Now you might think, why limit yourself to one camera with a lens you can not even change? Why limit yourself to a FOV of an equivalent to 35mm and “only F2”? Simple, it is all I need to take the pictures I want to take.
Did I miss other lenses? Well, yes and no. Yes there would have been moments, well actually only two really, where I would have used an equivalent to a 24mm lens and there where moments where a telephoto lens would have been good. All in all though I was more than happy with the camera I had chosen to take. This small X100F with its 23mm f/2 lens is all I needed. I got some architectural shots as well as some in the subway. I photographed Times Square the way I wanted as well as some street scenes.
It was so very liberating sitting in the hotel room in the mornings and not having to decide what to pack in the bag. I did not even take a bag with me. All that I had was the Fujifilm X100F, some spare SD cards, a spare NP-W126 battery and the battery charger. A B+W clear filter was mounted at all times as I never had a lens cover with me while out and about. That really was my travel kit. See it on the first picture.
Walking the streets of New York City seeing all the other tourists with heavy camera rucksacks or camera bags cutting into the shoulder made me realise that I for myself had made the exact right decision. Note that this was the right decision for ME! Some of you might want to walk 15-18 miles a day with a heavy backpack weighing 8 or 10 kg for more than 12 hours. Me NO. Carrying the approximately 470g weighing Fujifilm X100F was so easy. I did not even notice it all day long. Getting back to the hotel in the evening with no back pain was a breeze and every evening I was happier and happier with my choice of gear.
Now let us get a bit to the technical side. What about the AF performance? In one word: Perfect. Now the little longer version. I mostly used single point AF with face detection off. I had the face detection assigned to one of the FN buttons which meant I was able to switch it on and off in a breeze if I needed it. Whenever I pointed the camera at something focus would lock on instantly and the picture came out sharp.
To change the focus point the built in joystick on the back of the Fujifilm X100F is just great. So easy to use. 99% of the time I used multi segment metering and only in some very rare cases I used spot metering. What about aperture, shutter speed and ISO? Once again, most of the time I had the camera set up in aperture priority meaning that I let the camera decide the shutter speed and in some cases used the exposure compensation dial to adjust the exposure to my liking.
ISO was set to Auto ISO with ISO200 as the low value and ISO800 as the high value with shutter speed set to 1/60s in the ISO Menu. As light got rare I had the camera set up to ISO Auto with the low value at 200 and the highest value at 3200. Shutter speed was set to 1/125s in the AUTO ISO Menu. Meaning that the camera would choose the next ISO value if the shutter speed would go below the set value.
The photographs where stored on the inserted SD card in RAW+Jpeg using ASTIA as film simulation of choice. Now, being back home I decided to develop the pictures in classic chrome with grain effect set to strong using the FUJIFILM X RAW CONVERTER software provided by Fujifilm itself. This software actually uses the in camera raw processor which results in jpegs which I could get if I would set up the camera in the same way. I would go as far to say that these are jpegs ooc. Then I imported the shots into Lightroom Classic CC, in some cases I might have lowered the lights, raised the shadows and add a vignette. I then exported them with my watermark and the frame and text. I assure you that is all I did with the photographs.
These pictures shown below are all from day 1 the day we arrived at JFK Airport in New York. The yellow cab took us to our hotel in downtown Manhattan. After checking in we went straight out to explore the city. After leaving in Germany at just before 9am and getting to our hotel after a 8 and a half hour flight at around 1pm New York time we just had to go out and walk to fight against the 6 hour time difference. First stop was the nearby subway station to buy a Metrocard 7 day unlimited. This gave us the possibility to travel the subway as much as we wanted during our stay.
We headed straight to the next subway station near the High Line Park which we walked all the way towards uptown. After walking all the way and strolling around the area including the Chelsea Market it was time to get the subway to Times Square. This is what we did. More walking, more pictures at and around Times Square were taken. By now it was dark and around about 8pm. My wife and I looked at ourselves and both said the one word. Hungry. Luckily enough we had made some food plans before we arrived to NY and the next stop was Los Tacos 229 W 43rd St, New York, NY 10036, USA. This is not far from Times Square and the Tacos, Guacamole and nachos are delicious. Go there and eat some. You won’t regret it.
Finally to finish up this part it was time to head back to our hotel in the financial district. Our inner clock was still set to German time which by the time we got to bed was something like nearly 5am in the morning.
I do hope you enjoyed this first part and are ready for more. Do drop a comment, ask questions or just enjoy the photographs.