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ULYSSES BLOG | - Part 2

【Sigma 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art impression 】

Hello, this is ENZZO.

The camera which I usually use at work (to take pictures of our products) is PENTAX and I have been using it for the long time. While, the single-lens reflex camera I always carry is EOS X7, not K-5. Both have APS-C size sensor but the size and their weights are completely different to put in the same category. When it comes to mobility, the K-5 never beats the KiSS X7.

The question is what kind of lens I should attach to my favorite EOS Kiss X7 when I go photo shooting. The genuine EF40mmF2.8 STM and the EF-S24mmF2.8 STM are okey of course; they are light and thin. But their maximum aperture is rather dark for a single focus lens and I want a little bit more.

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Therefore, I recently use sigma 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art most of the time. Although small-sized EOS Kiss X7 becomes pretty big when completely with the hood, I think it is still fairly compact, considering that it is the F1 .4 large aperture lens.

The lens, which is equivalent to 48 mm full size conversion, is very useful since I can use the camera like the way when I attach 50mm lens to the full size. To tell you the truth, I wanted its previous model SIGMA 30mmF1.4 EX DC HSM, but I’ve heard that its description has peculiar ways as well as its focus accuracy differs substantially between individuals, and I wasn’t fully satisfied with the resolution when maximum aperture. So, I waited patiently for the new one to come.

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Now I got it and this time, I tried the 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art to see how the standard lens which Sigma made only for the APS-C size camera depicts the image.

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO400 1/800 F1.4)

0410-004(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO400 1/400 F1.4)

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO400 1/50 F2)

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO400 1/160 F1.4)

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO100 1/800 F1.4)

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO200 1/400 F2)

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO100 1/4000 F1.8)

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO100 1/25 F1.4)

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO100 1/10 F1.4)

Did you find them fascinating?

Sigma 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art is no exception to the Sigma’s ART line, the part you get the right focus is so sharp. I won’t be surprised anymore. The lens is the one you can rely on under the severe condition. You can get the perfect image even when facing the light.

Just one thing I noticed is that rather loud purple or green fringes appeared when I took a picture of branches over bright background. These fringes stood out too much, so you have to be careful when you shoot under the same kind of situations; even though, these fringes less likely appeared when you close the f stop.

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO100 1/800 F1.4)

 

In fact, I got a bunch of camera shake and out-of-focus shots. The picture of the night stall is blurry, too. (TAT)

The cause of the camera shake was that I did not put up ISO sensitivity to keep noise low. And the reason many of them were out of focus is because AF of EOS Kiss X7 became suddenly useless after dark.

To be more precise, I pressed the shutter when the focusing mark appeared, but the truth is, that focus did not really match. It can’t be helped since this is the entry model and I don’t expect to get the exact focus point for the first place. But even so it’s a great shame that its AF is not correct enough at the night time.

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(EOS Kiss X7 SIGMA 30mmF1.4 DC HSM Art ISO100 1/80 F1.8)

(This is the example of the picture which it focused on nowhere. I intended to focus on the light of the building; however I found it very disappointed to see the pic on the PC later…

Now as a countermeasure against camera shake, there is a choice to get “SP 35mm F1 .8 Di VC USD” from TAMRON, which has camera shake correction. When I attach the lens to the Kiss X7, it becomes 56mm full size conversion; it’s going to be whether I feel the angle too tight or not.

Well, anyway, this is one of which I want to try someday.

Best Wishes,

ENZZO

【My First Impression of the X-Pro2-No.2 】

Hello, this is ENZZO.

The X-Pro2 has been highly praised across social media. Many say that they are truly happy with having replaced their full size single reflex camera with the X-Pro2. I think development team must be more that satisfied with these comments.

I tried the X-Pro2 to see if the reputations are true as it is said. I attached one of the only two FUJINON lenses that I have which equivalent to 35mm of full size, my favorite focal length.

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When you put 23mm to the X-Pro2 and look into the view finder with OVF mode, bright frame finder that shows the filming range is really small. If you compare to the Leica of 0.72 magnification attached 35mm, filming range is almost the same as you see in the finder. So it is hard to capture the image.

However, I just didn’t know there is a gimmick: that you can enlarge the range when you throw the frame change lever for two seconds. I should have read the manual and should have known this. lol But this time, I took photos checking the display on the back.

0323-2(X-Pro2 FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R ISO200 1/900 F1.4)

0323-3(X-Pro2 FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R ISO200 1/340 F1.4)

0323-4(X-Pro2 FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R ISO200 1/180 F1.4)

0323-5(X-Pro2 FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R ISO200 1/240 F1.4)

0323-6(X-Pro2 FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R ISO200 1/200 F1.4)

 

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(X-Pro2 FUJINON XF23mmF1.4 R ISO200 1/800 F1.4)

How do you like the pictures? Though, I was going to write the first impression of the X-Pro2, this seems like the impression of the XF23mmF1.4 R. (Sorry about that!) Well, you can’t get nice background blur unless you set the focus point real close, since it is 23mm’s super wide-angle lens even if it’s equivalent to 35mm. To put it the way around, I’d like to take photos with maximum aperture, since you get the high contrast, sharp photos with the largest opening.

Well anyway, I really understand that the X-Pro2 can get us film-like image photos, or both highlight and shadow are great, not like the digital cameras.

Conclusion: X-Pro2 is not a sub camera of full size camera but “the serious camera” which I want to take to photo shooting with this and only.

Talk to you soon.

ENZZO

 

【My First Impression of the X-Pro2】

Hello, this is ENZZO.

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I’ve been wanting this model quite a long time. This X-pro2 is the high rank model of X-E series. And the reputation of the X-E series is very good among professional photographers I know, saying they would even quit full size because those cameras are good enough to take private pictures.

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That’s why my expectation towards X-Pro2 was huge. And the first impression when I had it in my hand was “Wow, It’s incredibly light!”

It is light, not only when I attach a light pancake lens-like the first picture- but even when attached a large metal tube lens like XF23mmF1.4 which is several times bigger than that.

According to the specifications sheet, the X-Pro2 is 45 g heavier than its predecessor X-Pro1, but still it weighs only 495g and I can feel it light all the more for its big appearance. At the same time I noticed that Fuji is managing well to make its lens light.  (I can’t help hoping Leica follow this way and make their camera thinner.)

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When I set X-Pro2 and my favorite X-M1, which has unfortunately been discontinued, next each other, I think X-M1 looks good as a sub camera. It’s only my way of thinking though; it is equivalent to the Leica CL.

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The difference that I can tell right after I hold it is that there is more space where you put your right thumb. It is very difficult to decide where to put your thumb on a digital camera which has many necessary buttons and dials. But this X-Pro2 succeeded to abolishing three buttons X-Pro1 had on the left side of display and move the display to the left, and the flexibility of the thumb increased, thus improved the grip greatly.

Furthermore, the operation you frequently do, scaling of image, is changed from button to dial operation. I think this improvement means a lot. (Since Pentax single-lens reflex camera, I always use, has dial operation to scale, so I feel Cannon single-lens reflex camera annoying to hit the button many times to do so.)

And as for the appearance, I think it became much stylish; before, the plastic parts where to attach a finder was conspicuous and ugly on the back of the camera, but it became smaller.

On the next blog, I will up sample pictures and more!

See you soon.

ENZZO

 

【When traveling, want to charge some batteries at the same time? 】

Hello, this is ENZZO.

First let me tell you. “Don’t worry. I’m working on the body suit and the grip for the RX1R2.”(At very slow pace, though.)

rx1r2-000

-RX1R2 is a huge battery consumption monster!

I’ve often hear that RX1R2 consumes a lot of battery so quickly. The first generation of RX1 depletes battery quickly too, but no comparison to that. When you take 100 pictures using focus lock, the battery drains so fast.

Even the lay public can tell that X battery is too small for the RX1R2 to use the big lens; it’s battery consuming full-size camera for the first place.

However if you love the camera you can’t complain, you just buy more batteries.

Seriously, I think you need at least three batteries if you take RX1R2 when you travel and take a lot of photos.

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-Full use of the new battery charger!

Well one thing that changed with RX2R2 is that a battery charger came with the camera when you buy. Previously, charger wasn’t attached to the camera tough it was such a expensive camera. It was recommended to charge in the camera. So I had to purchase pure charger “BC-TRX” later. While this charger is very convenient-since it is a multi-type: it can charge N/G/D/T/R/K type battery not only this X one, it is considerably big!

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So I was soooo happy to find the ‘BC-DCX’ battery charger in the box with the camera! I even thought, “Hooray, SONY! Good for you!”

However, it’s not so nice or simple as it seems. You can’t charge by the charger alone, you have to connect the charger to Micro USB and then outlet conversion plug to charge from an outlet.

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See? It’s not small at all.

I think it’s not too much to say that BC-TRX is rather more compact; for it’s all built in with foldable plug.

-Big wall to charge three batteries—Time.

Well, let’s go back the story a little. When you go photo shooting trip with RX1R2, I need to charge the three empty batteries at the end of the day for the second day. It takes one hour and fifteen minutes to charge one empty battery with the attached charger. (I measured!)

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So even if I stared to charge batteries with the attached charger even right after I get hotel, I can’t go to bed until I start to charge the third one. It’s a little bit annoying to be awake to charge battery. So I had to think something about it…

-New battery charger ‘BC-DCX’ can be purchased individually!

Then I came up with the great idea to charge those three empty batteries at the same time using two battery chargers and camera itself!!! I need USB outlet with 3 USB ports and two 0.2m’s Micro USB cables-0.2m cable, simply because I wanted them as small as possible.

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And one attached long USB cable and camera.

Ta-da!

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Connected everything, looks like this. This way, you can also charge other electrical device when there are not many outlets in a hotel room.

Well, come to think of it, I can’t find any nice and convenient bags or pouches to store such a digital gadget….

Or, should I make it? Hummmm. Let see…

Talk you soon,

ENZZO

【Body Suit for the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 Project #2】

Hello, this is ENZZO.

It has been a little while since we got the first mock up of the body suit for X-Pro2on Feb 5th.
And now we have the second mock up whose design has been largely changed, from the factory.

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The suit fits the camera much better than the first, and by the way, the first one was like this.

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The previous mock was one size bigger and it didn’t fit enough. Two of the big changes in appearance are
3. No chin under the lens tube for prevention of turning over.
4. No big grip.

As I told you before, though we made a great effort to make the chin, we have found out that the chin was not effective to prevent the camera’s turn over since many of the Fuji lenses are large and the camera bows anyway and it’s better there is no chin there, we decided to take it away.

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In addition, X-Pro2 has a larger thumb rest on the back of the camera than the X-Pro1 and because of which, your finger holds the camera well so there is no need for a big grip to have a better hold. So it will have a plain grip and the part of the leather for the grip will be molded and have the vertical stripes, as well as the body suit for GR2.

Well, usually Ulysses uses the vegetable tanned Italian “Pueblo” leather with damage processing and it comes in Black Chocolate and Navy, but this time, I’m thinking something different!! It has not been yet decided specifically, I will let you know as soon as it comes more concrete.

ENZZO.

【The Body Suit for the RX1RII Has been Under way #3】

Hello, this is ENZZO.

The development of the body suit for the RX1RII has been steadily in progress. Now we got the first sample. The body suit has a bridge to hook over the camera’s triangle ring and it has a roll to fix the grip tightly to the camera.

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Now here we found a problem!!

The width of the RX1RII between the grip and the lens tube is narrower than that of the first generation model. (We were making the mock based on RX1.) So it might be too tight for the person who has rather big hands to hold the grip. To avoid that, we are planning to make the grip little thin. (You may think the grip easily be moved to the other way, but we can’t do that because of technical matter.)

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And as the picture shown, the back of the case is cut widely open so that you can use the tilt up monitor. A round hole on a side is for not to intervene WiFi or NFC.

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The difference between the old and new design is that the new one has a convex part under the lens tube, and on the right side of the case is widely covered by leather. This is achieved by coring around the AF mode selector, but the trouble is, which hide the name of the camera mode.

There are still several small problems to solve. We will take next step forward improving those one by one.

To be continued…

Best wishes.

The Grip for the RX1RII Development Report #4

Hello, this is ENZZO.

It’s been a while since I last talked about the grip development for the RX1RII, so some of you might think the project has fizzled out. But don’t worry. It’s well underway.

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I was making the mock based upon the first generation of RX1 to meet the release of RX1R2 which was supposed to sell at the end of December. However as you all know its release was two months behind. Since I didn’t have the actual model, I was stuck there. I couldn’t move the plan forward; I needed to check the exact size!!

And now I can move on. Hooray!!

I just have been to Takayama city, in Toyama prefecture to visit the foundry which will produce this grip together with ULYSSES. (It took me a-6-and-a-half-hour long travel by trains.)

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The Takayama city is a town of traditional minting. It’s not known much but the city produces most of Japanese Buddhist religious object and takes pride in its eminent technology of casting.

I was thinking to produce this grip from three pieces of material; two metal parts and one wooden grip part. But now I have decided to reduce the number of parts by making its structure as simple as possible and try to find way to connect one metallic part and wooden handle with three screws to keep the strength.

I want to keep the quality of the grip while keeping the cost lower.

Usually this type of products are shaved from aluminum block, however, this time I plan to make this grip by aluminum casting. That’s the reason I went to Takayama all the way.

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Now I have a little trouble here.

I was making the mock based on RX1. If you put the grip to the RX1R2, whose lens tube is 3 mm to the grip side, the width between the grip and the lens is too narrow for the big hand to hold the grip. What a challenging camera this is.

Well, we’ll advance the next step towards to mock up by resin!

Talk to you soon.
Enzzo.

The Grip for the RX1RII Development Report #1

The Grip for the RX1RII Development Report #2

The Grip for the RX1RII Development Report #3

Report of CP+ 2016 Feb.25-28

Hello, this is ENZZO.

I’ve just been to the CP+ 2016 held at Pacifico, Yokohama, Feb.25-28. I haven’t missed this event for these six years but this is the most exciting year since many camera makers are producing their ambitious works. I was of course thinking to check the Sony RX1R2 and Fuji film X-Pro2, which we had decided to make the body suit for, but besides, I had some cameras definitely I wanted to take a close look.

[1.SIGMA sd Quattro]2016-0224-1

The first mirrorless single reflex camera from SIGMA. It is catching on and praised to be the “Monsterous camera” in the net and retweeted so many times. I was able to understand that.

However, I personally find it disappointing that its flange focal length is long like PENTAX K-01. Maybe it can’t be helped because the structure is specialized in its own SD mount. Though, I think it’s better it has shorter flange focal length and the structure which is competitive with the SD mount using the mount adapter with an electronic contacts.

(Still APS-H size model is very fascinating and attractive to foresee the future full-sized edition before long.)

[2.OLYMPUS PEN-F]2016-0224-2

Olympus released a new series of PEN with EVF that a lot of fans were awaiting. It’s so popular because of its classical and mechanical design that there was an announcement that they had more preliminary reservation on the day than they would be able to serve.

[3.Nikon DL18-50 f/1.8-2.8]

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It seems that the cameras from Nikon don’t have big spot light since there were other bigger announcement but the company has released three highly motivated compact DS series with 1 inch sensor. Especially among them “DL18-50 f/1.8-2.8” drew much attention. Not only they have super wide 18 mm angle, but this model, “DL18-50 f/1.8-2.8”, is equipped with function that the user can adjust the common distortion from persfreaks by twenty steps in both vertically and horizontally. I really like this and honestly I want one. I really think you have to have this if you like architectural photograph.

【4.PENTAX K-1】

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The day that I can really touch the real full-size single-lens reflex camera K-1 has finally come at last!!! As a Pentax fan for twenty years, how long have I been waiting for this day?

Well now CP+ has ended, I’m a little absentminded. I was satisfied that there many great cameras released, however the one I secretly hoping for was not there. (I knew that before though…) That’s the successor of an entry single-lens reflex camera EOS Kiss X7 from Canon and I think EOS Kiss X7 “, the mirrorless killer”, OVF excelling EVF. I usually attach pancake lens and use it mainly for snapshot. But I’m not totally satisfied with it so I was looking forward to getting an improved and perfect X8 with better description of coloring and shadow…

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Talk you soon.

Enzzo.

Another body suit project starts, too!

Hi there,

I wrote about the sample making process of [Body Suit for FUJIFILM X-Pro2] before, and now, a new project is under way!  It’s a body suit of that awaited camera of Sony, RX1RⅡ.  We have many inquiries from customers asking the camera case of this camera. Yes, we are making it:)  I am so relieved to see the actual camera since we have already started to make the 1st sample without the camera body in hand (again!) Thank you for your hard work, Sony.

We noticed Rx1RⅡ cannot wear our RX1 body suit when the images appeared on websites in November, so decided to make the new one.  As we told you before, shortly after this decision was made, the craftsmen of our production partner sent us the 1st prototype based on RX1’s shapes. RX1R2 has a variable angle LCD, therefore that prototype was widely opened both at front and back and the main feature was “grip” then.
Finally RX1RⅡ came to us and now we need to go through a major design review. I started from a paper mock up as my normal process. This is practically the 1st sample of RX1RⅡ.

The mock up has: a popper fastening for better fitting on its left shoulder seeing from the front, widely opened backside and covered front, a bottom flap to access battery space. The difference from the previous one is the design of right side. It covers up the camera as much as possible since we want the case to protect your precious RX1RⅡ. The 3rd aspect is also the must-have function for this big energy eater.

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I can’t wait for the leather made sample!!

(Sato)

 

 

[Body suit for Fujifilm X-Pro2] project starts

It was a kind of premature start.  I started a sample making of X-Pro2 before we got the actual camera. I drew a rough design on illustrator in actual size.

 

The body suit has a bar grip and “chin”. It equips a flip cover for buttery access.

FUJI_X-Pro2

When I started to make a mock up case, the biggest problem was the shape of grip. X-Pro2 seems to have a slightly larger grip than the previous one and it’s more complicated.  We knew it would be hard to make but wanted to add a little more for the better feel of gripping.  I made many mock up grips of thick paper and tried to see how they feel before we order proper wooden bars for grip core.  At this moment I can’t recall why I made a massive one though.

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Then, the chin. A squarish bump under camera lens to prevent camera body from leaning forward.  This ideas came up sometimes in the past and now it’s the time to try 😉

I sent out the design + paper mock ups and received the 1st sample of the X-Pro2 camera case several days later.  The result of fitting test was…

salon

3

Ummmm… The grip didn’t fit well.  It looked enormous and unappealing.  What is worse, the chin didn’t function when we tested it with big lenses.  With the case on, X-Pro2 bowed to us sadly.  We might be a bit too hasty this time.

 

 

I’m going to give some dramatic changes and make a more useful, charming and lovable case!