Camera Frustration & Upcoming Trip

I’m want to show you some pictures.  This goes back to an earlier post in which I mentioned the Fuji X-Pro1’s JPG vs. RAW output.  Here’s the first pair, taken a few days ago just steps from my home.

This is the JPG:

And this is the RAW:

All I’ve done with these two files is to import them into Lightroom and then export them, resized (and with my watermark added).  No other processing.

I personally like the JPG more, don’t you? Overall, the yellow leaf seams to have more definition and contrast than in the RAW file.  My assumption is that the problem here is not with the RAW output from the camera, it’s the way in which Adobe Lightroom interprets it.

Here’s the second pair, taken a few nights ago in Causeway Bay, believe it or not.

First the JPG:

And here’s the RAW:

Again, all I’ve done with these two photos is to load them into Lightroom and then export them out.  Based on my recollection, the colors in the JPG are accurate and the colors in the RAW are not.

I don’t want to stop shooting RAW because maybe someday Lightroom will do a better job with them, or maybe someday I’ll switch my photo processing software, and I’d like to have the RAW files to go back to.  But today, with Lightroom, they’re almost useless to me.

Now, a slightly different frustration, concerning my Nikon D800.  Here’s a photo I took in Central tonight.

It looks pretty nice – until you view it full size.  Then you’ll see that absolutely nothing is in focus.  This was shot with my “new” used Nikon 35mm F2.0 D lens.  I don’t recall for certain but I believe I was in manual mode, F4,0, 1/50th of a second (which should be fast enough with a 35mm lens) and the ISO was on auto and went for 1100.  In this case, is it the fault of the lens?  Very possibly I think.

I was at a party tonight, actually, shooting a lot in a restaurant, both with and without flash.  I note that on many of the photos that I took without flash, there’s visible purple vignetting.  Of course that’s fixable in Lightroom but that’s not really the point, is it?  The point is that the D800 demands good glass and it may well be that the current generation of G lenses are going to perform better on this camera than the older D ones.  I’ve seen nothing anywhere regarding this so it’s just conjecture on my point.

I’m off on a trip to New York City tomorrow.  I’m mostly packed but I can’t decide if I’m going to bring the Fuji or the Nikon with me.  Originally it was going to be the Fuji, because of size and weight.  But now I have something of a remotely serious and hopefully fun nature to shoot while there.  (A cousin of mine is executive chef at a restaurant that was a finalist for a James Beard award this year and he’s agreed to let me into the kitchen with my camera.).  For that, I’d normally bring the Nikon.

So do I only pack the Nikon for this trip?  And with just the 24-70mm lens, or with my 35mm, 50mm and 105mm primes?  Do I pack both the Nikon and the Fuji on the grounds that the Fuji will be a better daily walking-around camera.  Or do I stay Fuji only?  (And why do I agonize over small shit like this?)  I’ll decide in the morning before I head to the airport.  And whichever one (or ones) I choose, I hope to have some fun pictures to share with you a few days from now.




  1. davethevet October 9, 2012 at 7:54 am #

    Your raw file is overexposed, probably Fuji exposing to the right to recover highlights etc.
    This is like me giving you a slightly overexposed slide and an adjusted scan, the scan is going to look great but you want the orignal slide.
    Do you want to shoot raw + jpeg? Maybe a good option if the jpegs are looking good already.
    D800 shot has got subject motion, camera motion and misfocus.

    • spike October 9, 2012 at 10:37 am #

      I AM shooting RAW + JPG.

  2. E@L October 9, 2012 at 10:04 am #

    Believe it or not I CAN see the difference. There must be something not quite right (or not quite wrong) going on in the gamma of the jpg compression algorithm.

  3. gregorylent October 9, 2012 at 8:31 pm #

    you know you’re taking both .. AND all the lenses mentioned 🙂

    • spike October 10, 2012 at 3:57 pm #

      I did take both – but just one lens for each!

  4. UII October 12, 2012 at 3:35 am #

    I’d have taken the D800/24-70 and… an RX100. The X Pro 1 would be on DCFever while it is still worth something.

  5. Will October 15, 2012 at 6:32 am #

    I’ve also noticed similar colour differences between the X-Pro 1 raws and JPGs, but I find the colours from the raws just as acceptable as from the JPGs. Perhaps they’re not as accurate without tweaking (yet), but I’ve yet to come across a situation when it’s been a problem.

    Regarding the D800, from what I’ve read the tendency to see blurring when pixel peeping is due to the high number of photosites on the sensor making any movement during exposure more apparent.

    • spike October 15, 2012 at 9:04 am #

      Well, the one with the flowers, I’d say the difference was huge and unsubtle. On the D800 stuff – what’s your opinion? If it seems okay as long as you don’t pixel peep, is it okay?

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