Zack Arias’ DEDPXL assignments

I’m taking part in Zack Arias’ DEDPXL assignments.

You only can enter pictures made in the period the assignment is open, see the above links about where you can post them; there are several options.

It makes me shoot pictures I usually wouldn’t, which is great.


X100s macro mode

When I was trying to find out about the macro mode on the Fujifilm X100s I couldn’t find any pictures that satisfied my curiosity. So here are some examples. The pictures are cropped, but apart from that sooc.

My conclusions so far:

  • The X100s in macro mode doesn’t replace a dedicated macro lens
  • Not having to carry any heavy equipment can make up for a part of this
  • In macro mode I’d start at f4, 1/250 and take it from there
  • For real macro, the Raynox DCR-250 seems to be a good solution, see FastBlueSnail‘s and sadata‘s pictures.

FastBlueSnail / Nick from Singapore was kind enough to share some information about using the DCR-250 on the X100s:

  • The depth of field is usually wide enough at F13 to cover the macro subject.
  • I use a Canon 600ex via flash cord and a Rime Lite softbox. Sometimes I will use a second flash gun (slaved to the first) to light up the back of the subject.
  • I also stack a CPL on top of my Raynox to reduce some light glare. It is a very light setup which allows me to do macro without any tripod. I love it.

Update: first pictures with the DCR-250:

Alan Broadbent Trio

Alan Broadbent (piano), Philipp Steen (bass) and Kai Bussenius (drums) let me take some photos during their first song at the bird’s eye jazz club yesterday.


The pictures are cropped, but otherwise sooc. F2, ISO auto with max. sensivity set to 6400 and min. shutter speed to 1/60. Both are at 1/60 with 3200 ISO.
Next time I’d set shadow correction to -1 instead of -2.

trio_cl for photo products: use picture enhancement

I have been a fan of for a long time already. I mainly use postcards and the new luxe postcards. The greatest thing about them: you can have as many different pictures in a set as you have cards in that set and the back of the card can be freely designed, too, by uploading a pdf. Same back of cards for the whole set, which is completely fine – and can be left empty.

Also, the smallest amount of cards per pack is now 10 – so if you want to have different texts on the back of your cards you can do so by ordering packs of 10 cards, one picture per pack.

If anything goes wrong their customer service is excellent.

Use picture enhancement

I think they should have picture enhancement checked as the default, here’s why:

You upload your photos and they look nice on the screen, also on moo’s interface

When you click on the image you can check ‘Photo enhanced, which then shows you a comparison:

But: The preview is not showing you what you’ll get. If you leave Picture enhancement unchecked the products will often look greyish and disappointing. If you check Picture enhancement the products will tend to be a tad too sharp but otherwise the result will be much closer to your original picture.

These are photos of the actual products, the agave is a luxe postcard, the elephant is a standard postcard:


There are cases where Picture anhancement won’t get you what you are looking for, for example if you want part of your picture to stay black. The workaround for this:

“Remember: where possible, preview your photographs in CMYK. Colours displayed on screen will always look much brighter than the final printed products.
If you have a colour calibrated screen, and would like to preview your images in the same CMYK colourspace MOO uses, we recommend the following settings: Coated FOGRA39.”

As far as I remember you then have to upload the Coated FOGRA39 picture as a PDF so the printer doesn’t change it.

X100s: some reviews and an important setting to change

Some interesting reviews about the Fujifilm X100s:

By David Hobby:

By Zack Arias:

As David Hobby mentions in the video and in the comments to his blog post: “[M]ake sure you turn on the parallax compensation for the AF point in OVF mode. Makes a big difference. Dunno why having that “off” is even an option.”

As long as you don’t change this the optical view finder doesn’t show you where the focus point really is. See Ken Tanaka’s post (about the X100) for some screen shots.

From the manual:


How to change to ON:

  • Menu -> Shooting Menu -> Corrected AF Frame -> ON