The New Year started loud in these parts. We could hear the coastal citizens of Dublin Bay responding to the passing of 2020. We could see what they were doing. The shores seemed to erupt with fireballs of fireworks and the enthusiasm of Vesuvian volcanoes. We could hear the crumps and susurrus of the more local whizz bangs. But it was the distant, sometimes silent explosions of shape and colour that stole the night. Our midnight viewpoint suggested the show was near Poolbeg: a professional welcome for the new year?
We walked the pier this morning, wrapped as if walking to the Union Glacier Camp in Antartica. Us two with dog and my camera; sniff and shoot perhaps.
A Great Crested Grebe watched our progress. I shot it with about 400 mm of glass and electronics. Not far behind, the long swell of fading storms crashed on the coastal defences with an occasional backlit splash which I shot with a foreshortening 600 mm.
Once home, I looked at the photos and realised something very annoying.
The Fuji X-T3 uses a so-called X-Trans sensor that does not include a conventional Bayer filter array. The scientists at Fuji claim their unusual 6X6 pattern of the photosites can increase resolution by eliminating the need for a low-pass filter. This is because their photosite pattern minimises the Bayer moiré created by array interference. Don’t know moiré? Take a photo of a laptop screen and zoom in. The folk at Fuji have patented the invention and I like the idea of it.
My photography workflow is that I develop my photos from raw sensor readings and preserve a so-called digital negative for my archives. And I use Adobe Lightroom with the Adobe Camera Raw engine to make the conversion. Once I’ve developed the photos (dodge, burn, crop, colour correct etc) I can make digital images as JPGs or however else I chose to share them.
Unfortunately, I recently noticed a disturbing pattern among a series of photos posted to this journal. I could easily pick out those taken by Fuji X cameras from those taken with my Canons.
I thought through the workflow and realised it had to be related to the conversion from RAW to DNG. So I’ve just done a series of comparisons on today’s shots and I can see that Adobe Raw isn’t doing as good a job with X-trans sensors as Capture One. The Capture One conversion engine achieves a clearer image with less noise artefacts. It’s not hard to show you this, even with an an sRGB profiled JPG on a web page – AR is Adobe Raw (V 13.1) and C1 is Capture One (V21).
This is all very technical on the first day of the rest of our lives. So perhaps you’ll see that the images on the left are a tad better. Of course, you’ll notice and have to ignore the colour differences. Sorry, managing Kelvin light temperatures between applications is a nightmare and my store of compulsive obsession is depleted.