I’m really excited about the newly announced Fuji X-T1. I’ve used Fuji’s X100 the last 3 years as a landscape camera, and the X-T1′s ergonomics and weather resistance are very attractive to me. However, one thing vexes me about the X-T1.
For a landscape photographer, the X-T1 does not have a reasonable catch-all method for remotely releasing the shutter, and I would love to see a [Fuji RR-90] modified with a wireless transmitter.
Why It’s Necessary:
Because there are no threads on the shutter button of the X-T1, there are three options for releasing the shutter without camera shake.
1. Two second shutter timer.
2. Wired shutter release (RR-90).
3. FUJIFILM Camera Remote (mobile application).
As a landscape photographer, all three of these options present problems. The two second timer is a problem because I could be shooting moving objects, such as waves, that are time sensitive. The wired shutter release is a problem because it destroys the integrity of the X-T1′s weather sealing and renders the camera’s main attraction moot. The FUJIFILM Camera Remote mobile application is a problem because I am often off the grid for long periods of time. When I’m many hours away from anything resembling civilization, my mobile device hasn’t the battery life to be used to control my camera.
With the availability of these three remote shutter options, the camera is still functional. Depending on the situation, I can choose the appropriate method and get my shot. However, this is an ungodly annoying problem to have. There is no good reason, in 2014, with the technology placed in the X-T1, we can’t have a catch-all remote shutter that is instantaneous, does not compromise the integrity of the weather sealing, and does not run the risk of running out of battery.
How Do We Do It?:
There is another type of remote shutter on the market called a wireless remote shutter release. Its name is a bit of a misnomer. Because most cameras do not have wireless functionality, a receiver is required to plug into your camera’s microphone or USB port. This receiver then typically sits on the camera’s hotshoe.
One of the great features of the X-T1 is its wireless capabilities. The camera is able to receive a wireless signal transmitted from your mobile phone, so there’s no reason it can’t receive a signal transmitted from another wireless device.
I challenge Fuji to create a modified version of the RR-90 with a wireless transmitter instead of a wire. This device should come with the ability to half press, full press, and continuous press for bulb shots. There should be an off/on switch to conserve battery life, and the battery should be removable so I can pack several batteries in my hiking bag.
If You Build It, They Will Come:
Fuji’s RR-90 retails for around $45 USD. I would gladly pay $100 USD for a modified, wireless version of the device. Even if another photographer’s situation is not similar to mine, I have to imagine that photographer would, too. It would be so convenient and simple to use. It could be presented as a very cool; advanced; and, most importantly, practical feature of this great camera.
I was very lucky with this photograph. The island I’m on is called [Sand Dollar Island]. It is home to the Big Marco Pass Critical Wildlife Area. I was originally on the island to capture a [different photograph]. The clouds drifted away, so I decided to try and find a capture of the sunset. I frantically scurried around the island, quickly grabbing shots, and this was one of my results. You’ll notice, at the bottom of the photograph, a circle of sand dollars. I was entirely unaware these sand dollars were on the ground until I imported my photographs into my computer for processing. By dumb luck, an island of sand dollars made its way into my photograph of a Sand Dollar Island sunset.
This is a long exposure taken during low tide on a seawall in South Marco Beach, Marco Island, FL. Just beyond these rocks, a dolphin was playing in the water while I was taking the shot.
[Here] is a link to a short video of the dolphin. I had one hand on the shutter cable for the above photograph and one hand taking the video with my mobile device.
I recently picked up the WCL-X100 19mm conversion lens for my Fuji X100. Here, I’m looking up from inside Dancehall Cave at Maquoketa Caves State Park in Maquoketa, Iowa.
I deliberately intended to not use any dynamic range techniques to capture more information. The idea was to make the light outside seem intense from down inside a dark cave. However, an overcast sky actually gave me a bit more detail than I was expecting.
I received my 3D-printed focus ring. The fit on the X100 seems to be good. Apparently, the diameter of the X100S’ focus ring is a slightly smaller diameter. If you’re interested in this focus ring for your X100S, a couple strips of gaffer tape should tighten the fit.
The ring really does make manual focusing with the X100 more pleasant. The extra torque you get from using the finger trap makes the ring turn much easier. It is also much easier to identify the focus ring by feel when your eye is behind the camera.
In the above photo, I have the WCL-X100 lens converter attached. With the WCL-X100, there is a small gap between the lens and the ring as the ring is quite wide and extends over the barrel of the lens. Without the WCL-X100, this gap does not exist.
You can order the ring for yourself [here].
[Schnickerbocker] over at the [Fuji-X Forum] has created a focus ring sleeve for the X100 using ABS plastic and a 3D printer. The plastic ring slides over the lens assembly and fits over the grooves of the stock focus ring.
He’s [sent the schematics to Shapeways] so anyone can order one. If you’re in the U.S., it will run you about $13. Total order with shipping is $19.71.
Without receiving the first batch from Shapeways, no one can say the material will fit perfectly or be particularly durable. I’ve ordered one anyway, and I should know by October 11th.
Yesterday I visited what is easily the most unique terrain in Iowa, Maquoketa Caves State Park. The above picture is of the natural land bridge next to the upper entrance to the Dancehall Cave. Raccoon Creek runs beneath the bridge and seeps into the rock off frame, continuing to carve out the 1,100-foot long, 30-foot wide Dancehall Cave, the park’s main attraction.
Let’s hear more of those cornfield jokes!
It’s very difficult to shoot at the park for several reasons. For one, it is very, very humid, especially in the caves. Near their entrances, where hotter air meets the cool, damp air of the cave, your lens fogs up immediately. The second challenge is the extreme differences in light. The caves are very dark, and any light leaking into the scene is very bright. Even outdoors, you’re under the canopy. Everything is in the shade. Some areas, like the underside of the land bridge, are very dark. All of this contrasts greatly with the sky leaking through the top. HDR is mandatory, and this was trip was my first effort at the HDR technique.
Have a look at my [Maquoketa Caves State Park set] for more photos of the park.
Highest point of Independence Pass where it intersects the Continental Divide.
This is a popular stop in Colorado. There is a scenic overlook with Mount Elbert (not pictured), the highest peak in Colorado and the second highest peak in the contiguous United States, in the distance.
This is the view from one of the many tiers you’ll ascend on the way to Booth Lake. It’s a very interesting hike. Each tier is a different landscape. The trail is a bit over 6 miles (9.5km) and +3,000 feet (915m) in elevation.
Depending on your physical condition, the hike will take between 3 and 4 hours. Storms usually pound the top in the early afternoon, so I highly recommend starting before 8 am. Also, while the hike to Booth Lake is not attempted by many, the shorter hike to Booth Falls is very popular. Leaving early will help you beat the crowd which is often climbing all over the falls by the afternoon.
Avoid side trails prior to reaching the falls. They all lead to humdrum views and cost you time. Eat breakfast before beginning and bring protein bars to replenish you energy at the top. Bring twice as much water as you think you’ll need.
Made it to the top of Vail Mountain and watched a storm pass over Holy Cross in the Distance.
This photograph was taken on Ptarmigan Loop trail. I very strongly recommend starting the Ptarmigan Loop trail from the east (the side not directly connected to the Ridge Route trail). I also recommend doing it in the morning. You’ll be walking south along the side of a bowl and directly toward Holy Cross in the distance. The hill cuts across your view of Holy Cross and is completely saturated with daisies, all of which face north/northeast (toward you). Since the hill faces east, it will be illuminated in the morning.