Fujifilm X100F vs. Sigma DP2 Merrill

My current camera is a Fujifilm X100F and I used to own a Sigma DP2 Merrill. Both of these are fixed-focal-length digital cameras that can fit into a large pocket. I thought it might be worthwhile to briefly compare the two. Perhaps someone right now is trying to decide which one to buy.

The Sigma DP2 Merrill was introduced in 2012. It has Sigma’s unique three-layer APS-C Foveon sensor with a whopping 46 megapixels (15.3 megapixels on each layer). It has a 30mm (45mm equivalent) f/2.8 lens permanently attached to the front.

The Fujifilm X100F was introduced in 2017. It has Fujifilm’s unique APS-C X-Trans sensor with 24 megapixels. It has a 23mm (35mm equivalent) f/2 lens permanently attached to the front.

Both the DP2 Merrill and the X100F have excellent image quality. They both have great lenses that have a few minor flaws. There are a lot of similarities.

Let’s take a look at a few example photographs from both cameras:

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Red Field, Green Field – Tehachapi, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Red Bicycle – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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From The Past – Mojave, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Have A Seat In The Filth – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Desert Cross – Mojave, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Building Storm Over Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Cheese – Big Bear, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Look What I Drew – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Rangefinder & Film – Stallion Springs, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There’s a lot to love about both of these unique cameras, but which one is better? Which one should you buy? I’ll share with you my opinions based on my experience of using both.

Where the Sigma DP2 Merrill is better:

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Hall Loves You – Newberry Springs, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill

The DP2 Merrill has a slightly sharper lens than the X100F. Even though the Sigma camera has almost 90% more megapixels, the actual resolution difference isn’t nearly so big, with the DP2 Merrill just winning out with perhaps a 10% advantage. The DP2 Merrill has a little bit larger dynamic range, particularly in the highlights.

At base ISO, the Sigma DP2 Merrill produces superior image quality to the Fujifilm X100F, but not by a large margin. Honestly, the DP2 Merrill at base ISO has the best image quality of any camera that I’ve ever used. But the X100F isn’t very far behind.

Where the Fujifilm X100F is better:

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Haugen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The X100F has a five stop high-ISO advantage over the DP2 Merrill. The X100F creates far superior JPEGs. The X100F is much, much quicker. Everything “auto” on the camera is superior. The X100F has way better battery life (which is an understatement). It’s significantly better designed and better looking.

Basically, the Fujifilm X100F is a better camera in every aspect outside of lens sharpness, resolution and dynamic range, where the DP2 Merrill wins by a small margin.

Conclusions

Which one is better is for you to decide. I can’t choose for you which one you’ll like more. I will say this: some of my all-time favorite photographs were captured with a Sigma DP2 Merrill, but I love my Fujifilm X100F. The DP2 Merrill has enough negative aspects about it to make it a frustrating experience, but boy did it make nice-looking pictures! The X100F makes nice-looking pictures, too, without hardly any bad points.

One of the big differences for me, and the reason that I prefer the X100F, is time. My time. The time it takes to get a finished photograph. You have to shoot RAW with the Sigma camera, and you have to use their painfully slow software (maybe it’s better now) to process the RAW files. I would have to dedicate 15 to 20 minutes (and sometimes more) per exposure to edit the Sigma pictures.

The Fujifilm X100F files, on the other hand, are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. No editing. Just shoot and upload. My time is limited and precious, and I literally save hours and hours and hours by not having to post-process my photographs.

If you have lots of free time to spend sitting at a computer, the Sigma camera is a very good option. If not, I’d look at the X100F.

 

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Fujifilm X100F Digital Teleconverter

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Fujifilm has included an interesting feature on the X100F that I wanted to talk about. They call it a “Digital Teleconverter” which is a fancy name for zoom-by-cropping. It doesn’t sound all that useful, but it actually is.

As you are probably well aware, the Fujifilm X100F has a fixed 23mm (35mm equivalent) lens. That’s a great focal length for many types of photography; however, it’s not particularly versatile. Unlike an interchangeable-lens camera, you have just one focal-length to work with.

This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You’d be surprised at the number of well-known and well-respected photographers who used just one camera and one lens for decades. Limiting oneself can be beneficial because it fosters creativity. Having only one focal length at your disposal is only a disadvantage if you make it so.

One great thing about the 24-megapixel X-Trans III sensor found inside the X100F is that it has a lot of resolution. Almost nobody prints at billboard size. Rarely do people print at poster size, and the X100F files are just fine for printing that big. Most people show their pictures on the internet and make 8″ x 10″ prints, and only occasionally print larger. Many find that this camera has a ton of headroom for cropping.

The Digital Teleconverter that Fujifilm programmed into the X100F isn’t just a way to crop pictures in-camera. It applies an upscale algorithm to the crop, and also applies some smart sharpening. It makes the crops look less, well, cropped. They don’t look so much like you used a “digital zoom” (which is what you used), but more like you had a couple other prime lenses at your disposal. Fujifilm really did an excellent job with how they designed this feature.

 

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Sky Keepers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F 75mm

 

You could do this all yourself with software. You could shoot RAW and do all the editing, cropping, upscaling, sharpening and so forth. Or you could let Fujifilm’s excellent JPEG engine do it automatically in-camera. This could save you some serious time!

The Digital Teleconverter has two options: 50mm (equivalent) focal length and 75mm (equivalent) focal length. This significantly increases the versatility of the fixed-focal-length X100F! It’s almost as if the camera has three different lenses built in.

The 50mm option uses 16 megapixels of resolution from the sensor, which is still plenty (the X100S and X100T had “only” 16 megapixels). 16″ x 24″ prints are no problem, and, if you have a good quality file, you can make nice looking 2′ x 3′ prints. Unless you are pixel-peeping or making poster-sized prints, you’ll have a hard time distinguishing the 50mm Digital Teleconverter images from full resolution files.

The 75mm option uses 12 megapixels of resolution from the sensor, which is still plenty for most people and most uses (the original X100 had “only” 12 megapixels). 12″ x 18″ prints are no problem, and, if you have a good quality file, you can make nice looking 16″ x 24″ prints. Unless you are pixel-peeping or making large prints, nobody will be able to tell that you cut out half of the picture.

In a sense, it’s like getting an X100 with a 75mm lens and an X100T with a 50mm lens packaged with your X100F. As good as that sounds, it’s actually even better because of the advancements and updates the new camera has that the old ones don’t.

 

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Black Conduit – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F 50mm 

 

Another advantage of the Digital Teleconverter is that it allows you to do macro photography with the X100F. The closest focus distance is about four inches, which isn’t quite close enough for macro at the 35mm (equivalent) focal length. But the 50mm and 75mm options allow you to achieve true macro, even if barely.

You can custom program many of the controls on the X100F. I have the Digital Teleconverter set to the manual focus ring, which I believe is the default setting. In auto-focus mode, turn the ring to the right and it zooms in and turn it left and it zooms out. It’s very convenient.

Some have complained that the Digital Teleconverter is a JPEG-only function. If you shoot RAW and you want to do a similar zoom-by-cropping, you’ll have to use a couple different software programs and spend awhile in front of a computer. Thankfully Fujifilm has included some excellent Film Simulation settings for camera-made JPEGs on the X100F. My favorites are Acros and Classic Chrome.

Here are some 50mm examples, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs:

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Drops On A Bud – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F 50mm

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Rose At Ogden Depot – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F 50mm

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Cilantro – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F 50mm

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Kodacolor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F 50mm

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K-Cup – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F 50mm

Here are some 75mm examples, all straight-out-of-camera JPEGs:

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Building Storm Over Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F 75mm

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Ball & Hoop – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F 75mm

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Elite – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Coffee & WiFi – Orem, UT – Fujifilm X100F 75mm

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Light Bulb Shadow – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F 75mm

 

 

My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

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Fujifilm takes a little different approach to their JPEG settings than other camera makers. They use what they call Film Simulations, which are designed to mimic (to an extent) the look of actual film. Fujifilm, after all, knows a thing or two about film.

My favorite color Film Simulation on the X100F is called Classic Chrome. Fuji has not said what exact film this Film Simulation is supposed to be simulating, but a lot of people have speculated Kodachrome. Fujifilm would never call it Kodachrome since that brand is owned by their longtime rival, so they chose the Classic Chrome name instead.

Classic Chrome does look Kodak-ish, but having shot a lot of Kodachrome, I’m not convinced that it’s supposed to look just like Kodachrome. I’m actually reminded more of Kodak’s Ektachrome 100SW, but that’s not an exact match either. I believe that Fuji was going for a look similar to what was found in the pages of National Geographic before digital (think Steve McCurry), and that means not copying a specific film but leaning heavily on a late-1970’s through 1990’s generic Kodak slide film look.

And that’s exactly what Classic Chrome looks like. It can be manipulated (by adjusting the settings) to look more like Kodachrome or one of several different variants of Ektachrome, but whatever the settings are, it always comes out looking distinctly Kodak.

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Haugen – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I really appreciate the look and it takes me back to the days when I shot a lot of Kodak 35mm color transparency film. It’s a look that for years I’ve tried to manipulate my digital images to resemble. But now I can do it in-camera, and not rely on post-processing software.

While I have one specific custom Classic Chrome recipe programmed, I’m not afraid to deviate from it when necessary. I might adjust the highlights and shadows to increase or decrease contrast. I might change the dynamic range setting. I might adjust the white balance to something warmer or cooler. I try to look at each picture as unique and dynamically adjust whatever I need for each situation.

Classic Chrome
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: -1
Shadow: +1
Color: +2
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Weak
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to 12800
Exposure Compensation: +2/3 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Classic Chrome Film Simulation recipe:

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Let’s Roll The Moon Across The Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Joy of Fishing – Huntsville, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Stud & Stripes – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Stargazer Lily – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Fruity Pebbles – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Yashica Rangefinder & Fujicolor – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bowling Shoes – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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No Soda Here – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Closed Drive Thru Window – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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CF Trailer – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pacific X-26 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Bicycle Blue – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Sky Keepers – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Hair & Lips – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Lightning Strikes Antelope Island – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also: My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe

 

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe

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Fujifilm offers “Film Simulations” on their cameras instead of traditional JPEG settings. One of the most popular, available only on X-Trans III cameras, such as the X100F, is Acros.

Neopan Acros is an ISO 100 film made by Fujifilm available in 35mm and 120 formats. I’ve used it before and it’s quite good. While Fuji recycled the Acros name for their black-and-white digital Film Simulation, it’s not an exact match to the film. But that’s OK.

The Acros Film Simulation is a wonderful option that has great contrast, beautiful tonality and lovely faux film grain. An interesting fact is that the amount of film grain applied increases as the ISO increases, like what you would find if you shot actual film. So an image shot at ISO 1600 has noticeably more grain than an image shot at ISO 200.

And it really does have a film look! You’d be hard pressed to tell apart an image shot on real black-and-white film and one shot using the Acros Film Simulation. Straight-out-of-camera JPEGs look like black-and-white prints made from 35mm film. Amazing!

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Sitting Large – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

There are four Acros options: Acros (no filter), Acros+R (red filter), Acros+Y (yellow filter) and Acros+G (green filter). Acros+R is more like using a real orange filter on actual film than a red filter. Acros+Y and Acros+G are a little more subtle than if you used real filters on actual film.

I use Acros+R for landscapes (which darkens blues and lightens reds), Acros+G for people pictures (which darkens reds and lightens greens) and standard Acros for everything else. If you know what each one does, you can choose what’s best for each situation. The rest of the settings are the same.

While I have my Acros recipe programmed (custom settings 3, 4 and 5), I’m not afraid to deviate when necessary. Sometimes a little more or less contrast is needed, so I increase or decrease the highlights and shadows. If I want more grain, I will turn the Film Grain to weak (which adds more faux grain to what’s already included in the Acros Film Simulation). I might add or decrease the Dynamic Range. Each situation is different, so I try to be dynamic when shooting.

Acros/Acros+R/Acros+G
Dynamic Range: DR200
Highlight: +2
Shadows: +2
Noise Reduction: -2
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Off
ISO: Auto up to 12800
Exposure Compensation: +1 (typically)

Example photos, all camera-made JPEGs captured using my Acros Film Simulation recipe:

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Train Watching – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Track 1 Platform – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Black Conduit – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Safety Features – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Diversity – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Industrial Spur – North Salt Lake, Utah – Fujifilm X100F

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KeyBank Building – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Salt Lake Cityscape – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Building Through The Tree Leaves – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Light Bulb Shadow – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Building Storm Over Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Man In The Straw Hat – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Joy’s Joy – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Look What I Drew – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also: My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

Photographing The Great American Solar Eclipse With A Fujifilm X100F

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Let’s Roll The Moon Across The Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Two days ago when The Great American Solar Eclipse of 2017 made its way from coast to coast, a whole lot of pictures were taken. In all likelihood, more pictures of the sun and moon were captured that day than any single day before. It was a big event!

I live in the Salt Lake City, Utah, metro area, which is not far from where the full eclipse could be seen. Unfortunately I had obligations (you know, a job) and couldn’t journey a few hours up the road to see that. From my home, however, I could view a 93% eclipsed sun.

We set up some chairs in the front yard and the kids rode their bikes. We had secured some solar glasses that allowed one to look directly at the sun without harming the eyes. We were amazed as the light around us changed. We saw the sun slowly disappear behind the moon. I used my Fujifilm X100F to capture it all.

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Jon Wearing Solar Glasses – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

You might think that the X100F, with it’s fixed 35mm (equivalent) focal length lens, would be the wrong gear for capturing the eclipse. And you’d be both right and wrong. The best photographs that I’ve seen of the eclipse were captured with long telephoto lenses. A wide angle lens isn’t ideal for photographing something that’s about 240,000 miles away crossing in front of something that’s about 93,000,000 miles away.

But the X100F did better than I expected. Plus, a long telephoto lens isn’t the best choice for capturing the rest of the action: the people. Those watching the event were just as interesting as the event itself. The X100F, with its leaf shutter and excellent built-in fill-flash, was the perfect choice for people pictures.

While I could have grabbed a bigger camera and attached a longer lens, I’m glad that I didn’t. I was able to get some good shots that will become cherished memories. And I didn’t have anything big to lug around or get in the way. I was able to enjoy myself and the company that I was with.

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Looking At The Sun – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Joshua Watching The Eclipse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Girl & Her Solar Glasses – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Pointing At The Eclipse – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I captured the solar eclipse using the camera’s built-in neutral-density filter (you can see the eclipse in the lens flare):

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The Sun Partially Obscured Is Still Bright – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I also captured the eclipse shooting through the solar glasses:

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Eclipsed – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Understanding X-Trans

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Hidden inside the retro-designed body, the Fujifilm X100F has Fuji’s latest X-Trans III sensor. The first generation X-Trans sensor was introduced on the X-Pro1 camera in 2012. But what exactly is this unique sensor and what does it mean for your photographs?

Sony is who manufactures Fujifilm’s APS-C X-Trans sensors. They are actually ordinary sensors found in a number of different cameras by Sony, Nikon and Pentax. What’s different is the color filter array placed on top. Instead of using the traditional Bayer color filter array found on almost every digital camera since its invention, X-Trans uses a completely different pattern.

The Bayer mosaic uses a 2×2 pattern with 50% green, 25% blue and 25% red light sensitive sensor elements. It was developed in 1976 by Bryce Bayer who was working for Kodak. The advantage of Bayer is its simplicity, while the disadvantage is that it is subject to aliasing.

The X-Trans mosaic uses a 6×6 pattern (made up of four different 3×3 patterns) with 55% green, 22.5% blue and 22.5% red light sensitive sensor elements. The advantage of X-Trans is that it’s not subject to aliasing, while the disadvantage is that it’s much more complex to process.

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Ilford Harman Technology – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

The original reason Fuji developed X-Trans was to eliminate the need for a low-pass filter, which blurs the image slightly to prevent aliasing. However, it was discovered that as resolution increased the need for a low-pass filter decreased, so many modern Bayer cameras don’t have one.

Digital cameras use the green sensor elements for luminosity information, while blue and red are for color information. Because the X-Trans has more green sensor elements (55% vs. 50%), it has a larger dynamic range (in the shadows) and better high-ISO performance than the same sensor with a Bayer color filter array.

Because X-Trans is much more complex and has to be handled differently, Fuji went back to the drawing board and rethought camera processing. A few things came out of this.

First, they adjusted how digital noise is handled, making it less saturated and more random, which produces a film-grain-like result. Comparing really high ISOs, there is a distinct difference between X-Trans and Bayer–not necessarily the amount of digital noise, but the look of the noise.

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ISO 200 – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Second, to maximize dynamic range and prevent clipped highlights, they programmed the software to underexpose while boosting midtones and shadows to the correct exposure. This is why ISO 200 is the base ISO. The camera is actually at a lower ISO, but increasing everything except the highlights to an equivalent of ISO 200. This is also why the extended ISO 100 setting has a smaller dynamic range. Some have called this cheating, but I call it smart programming.

Third, they took camera-made JPEGs seriously, and decided that they shouldn’t look like crap. Fuji studied their films, and they also studied what photographers typically want their pictures to look like, and made JPEG settings that could actually produce out-of-camera results that photographers would actually appreciate. The X-Trans III cameras can even add fake (yet convincing) film grain.

The disadvantage of X-Trans is that it’s significantly more complex. It requires more processing power. It’s not quite as fast. A big obstacle for Fuji has been heat. There’s a little more guesswork within the algorithms, and it doesn’t always get things right. Adobe has struggled with how to appropriately handle the RAW files.

For me, the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. Fujifilm has smartly designed their cameras to deliver results more in line with bigger and more expensive gear. That’s why there is a passionate cult-like following from their users, including myself.

So Why The Fujifilm X100F?

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My Fujifilm journey began a little over one year ago when I purchased a four-year-old Fujifilm X-E1. I was getting into astrophotography and wanted something that had good high-ISO capabilities.

What I needed was a full-frame camera, but, you know, those are expensive. Like a lot of people, I’m not made of money and my photography budget is limited. My best alternative was a used Fuji X camera. Besides, I’d wanted to try the X-Trans sensor ever since it came out, but never had the chance.

When the X-E1 arrived I was blown away. Not only was it capable of good-looking high-ISO images, but it had excellent dynamic range and even made nice JPEGs (which would save me time from fiddling with RAW files). It was also designed extraordinarily well and the experience of using the camera reminded me of the best film cameras I shot with.

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Stars & Salt – Bonneville Salt Flats, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 & Rokinon 12mm

The X-E1 became the first digital camera that I could say I loved. It was an instant favorite!

Fujifilm introduced the new X-Trans III cameras beginning with the X-Pro2 last year. It was highly raved, and one thing in particular caught my attention: the straight-out-of-camera JPEGs looked wonderful. I wanted it, but I couldn’t afford it. I couldn’t justify buying it.

You might be asking yourself right now what the big deal is about good-looking camera-made JPEGs. That’s for amateurs, right? Pros use RAW, right? I’ll have a whole article on this in the coming weeks, but I’ll illustrate the importance of camera-made JPEGs by stating my rule of thumb when it comes to post-processing times.

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Lightning Strikes Antelope Island – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

If I shoot RAW, I can expect that for every one hour of shooting I’ll spend two or three hours in front of a computer post-processing the files (and that’s if I’m quick). With the X-E1 shooting JPEGs, I’ll occasionally get a perfect straight-out-of-camera JPEG that requires no editing, but most exposures need some post-processing. The ration is about 1:1, meaning that I can expect for every hour spent shooting I’ll spend an hour sitting in front of a computer editing. That’s a big difference in time!

From what I had seen with the X-Trans III cameras, people were getting excellent camera-made JPEGs that consistently required no editing. The idea of significantly cutting my time staring at a computer screen manipulating pictures was very appealing. I mean, let’s face it, the main reason people shoot RAW is because their cameras make crummy JPEGs. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

I’ve taken a few road trips recently. One frustrating part of that is lugging around a camera bag and changing lenses. This is especially cumbersome when you are also responsible for a rambunctious toddler. I thought that a pocket-sized fixed-lens camera would be much more ideal than having a camera around my neck plus a bag of extra gear in my hand.

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Hair & Lips – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

I didn’t want to replace the X-E1, I only wanted to supplement it. If I purchased an interchangeable lens camera, I wouldn’t use the X-E1 anymore. The X-Trans III camera model that I wanted to buy became obvious, and it was the X100F.

The opportunity to purchase a Fujifilm X100F came one month ago. I found a slightly used one with about 500 exposures on the shutter and in near perfect condition for $1,125. That was a lot for me to spend on one camera, but I felt it would be worth it in the long run.

I couldn’t be happier with the decision to buy the Fujifilm X100F. I’ll talk much more about this in the coming weeks, months and years. Stay tuned and be sure to check back often!

Welcome To Fuji X Weekly

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My name is Ritchie Roesch, and welcome to Fuji X Weekly, my Fujifilm X100F journal! Thanks for stopping by, I hope that you find this site interesting. Feel free to bookmark it so that you can check back often.

I thought for the first post that I would share with you how this blog came to be, and what my intentions are for its future.

This isn’t my first blog. I ran the Roesch Photography Blog for over six years. It was a “general photography” site and covered every topic under the photographic umbrella that I cared to write about. I had some successes with it (one post had over 40,000 views), but a few weeks ago I pulled the plug and deleted the whole thing.

First, it was taking up too much of my time, and I felt like I wasn’t getting what I wanted in return. I was earning some money through Google Adsense (which, by the way, is a complete ripoff), but not much. I’m reminded of the movie Napoleon Dynamite when Napoleon does some day labor at a chicken farm. After working hard all day and getting paid in coins, he adds up what he’s earned and exclaims, “That’s like a dollar an hour!” I was earning that only on a good day.

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Man In The Straw Hat – South Weber, UT – Fuji X100F

I kept telling myself that the time and effort I was putting into that blog was self-promotion, and one day it would pay off. It’s true that I did get some paid work from the blog, but most often I was hired by word of mouth, sometimes my own words from my own mouth. Only a couple of times did I get work as a result of the blog itself. It was very inefficient marketing, if marketing was my intent.

Then I discovered that my photographs–and even my words–were being stolen. I searched the web for myself and my pictures, and I found that I was routinely being ripped off. In some cases people were taking complete articles, including the photographs, and posting them on their own websites as if they wrote the content and took the pictures themselves. I was now spending time asking the thieves to remove the stolen content.

And those people are indeed thieves! They are lowlifes who can’t do it themselves, and instead of paying for content, they steal it. They’re cheaters. They profit off of other people’s hard work. They’re leeches, and probably worse.

I found that someone had cited me in their college paper. This was a poorly written essay that I imagine couldn’t have received a higher grade than a D. I wasn’t directly quoted, but a whole paragraph paraphrased my words. And it made me look as though I wanted young girls to have poor self-esteem. The words, or the paraphrasing I should say, was taken well out of context. The point of my article was that people were overreacting to Steve McCurry’s use of Photoshop. Somehow that turned into me saying that young girls should have a negative opinion about themselves.

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Train Watching – Farmington, UT – Fuji X100F

All of this was much too much! I was wasting my time. I was being ripped off. I was being grossly misquoted. I wasn’t accomplishing what I was intending to accomplish. So I took it all down.

I took a few weeks off from blogging. I reassessed where I’m at and where I want to be. I looked inward. I took some time to reconsider everything.

I love to photograph and I love to write. Those are two things that I truly enjoy. So I decided to do just that, except without profit or self-promotion as a driving force. I’m not placing advertisements on this website. I’m not posting links on social media or other people’s sites trying to drive traffic here. If nobody ever reads this, I’m OK with that. I’m not looking for money or attention. I’m publishing this because that’s what I want to do.

I’ve called this blog Fuji X Weekly because I plan to publish one article per week. Sometimes I might write more than that, sometimes less. I’m limiting the amount of my personal time spent doing this to something that’s not burdensome. The topic of choice is Fujifilm X cameras, specifically my Fujifilm X100F that I purchased four weeks ago.

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The Baggage We Carry – SLC, UT – Fuji X100F

I subtitled this bog My Fujifilm X100F Journal. That’s what this is. I’ll be talking about one camera. I’ll be writing about my personal experiences with this one camera. And that’s it! However, I purposely left the name of this site, Fuji X Weekly, a little more ambiguous in case that I decide in the future to expand to include other cameras. I didn’t want to make something that might become too limiting or obsolete in a few years.

I kind of hope that this blog remains mostly hidden with a small (but hopefully engaged) audience. I want this to be a treasure for those who find it and are truly interested in its content. But I don’t want it to be a treasure trove for those who are looking to easily steal and profit from my hard work.

That’s what this whole Fuji X Weekly thing is about. I’m glad you’ve found it and took some time to read it. I hope you’ll enjoy my posts and come back frequently.

Thanks for coming!

Ritchie Roesch