Paintings from Sunset Series by Spence Munsinger, Color Field + Blank White Canvas + Realism + Contemporary Abstract Art, original paintings for sale

"We all know that art is not truth. Art is a lie that makes us realize truth..."
― Pablo Picasso

X-T1 comes in… …and Goes Back. Again. (3rd Time) (This camera)

X-T1 originally went in to resolve dust spots on the sensor that would not clean off. They replaced the sensor or the glass in front of it, and it came back.

The sensor was clean. But the eye sensor, the switch that dropped the back panel LCD and turned on the viewfinder when you bring the camera up to your eye, completely failed. Back to Fuji…

Yesterday the X-T1 came back again – and the eye sensor works, but random pixels misfire in all images resulting in white spots on the photographs. Amazing. On the other hand the sensor is still clean…

The repair ticket has notes saying they reset the eye sensor – somewhere along the line either new pixels starting misbehaving or the reset wiped out the dead-pixel map (all sensors have misfiring pixels – the manufacturers map them out, making them disappear, up to a failed tolerance).

All of this has been immediately available information to anyone who actually tested the camera – so obviously, checking a camera after repair to make certain it is working and resolved is simply not happening at the moment, at all.

When these cameras work they are outstanding – but I’ve never had to send a Canon camera in for repair. They simply work. These do not, and they don’t because of manufacturing issues right out of the box (three sensors in these cameras so far that are flawed, plus another four cameras I’ve rejected and returned because of the same lack of quality control) and then because Fuji can’t seem to simply fix the goddamn cameras.

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—spence

99 Megapixels: Fotodiox Rhinocam With Mamiya Lens and Fuji X Camera

One of the huge advantages of mirrorless cameras, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony and Fuji, is the shortness of the dimension between lens mount and sensor. I have adapters for M39 rangefinder lenses, Olympus OM lenses, and they work beautifully on my Fuji cameras. I have an EOS – FX adapter to use my Lensbaby 5mm Fisheye on the Fuji camera. All of this is possible because you can move the lenses designed for 35mm film dimensions out to where they need to be to focus on the mirrorless sensor with an adapter.

The Fotodiox Rhinocam Viselex rig mounts a medium format lens on the front. On the back you have a ground glass viewfinder that is useful primarily for framing the future assembled image on the left side, and a mirrorless camera mount on the right, along with two sliding tracks, one vertical and one horizontal, and dots for positioning. All of this works for taking 8 overlapping 16MP images that can be assembled into a 9000 x 11000 pixel image. You are taking these images and focusing through a medium format lens, moving the mirrorless camera around in that lens’s field of view.

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I’ve taken 6x7cm medium format film of a painting, scanned it in a Nikon film scanner, and come up with an image about that size. Way more work, and the detail in film is not as clear as the detail in an X series sensor. There aren’t alot of action photographs you could take with this rig – actually anything that moves won’t work unless it happens to be restricted to within a section of the image. And I would avoid dusty environments – the camera is somewhat protected while in the rig from dust, but nowhere as well protected as with a single native lens. So there are limits to what it can do. But for photographing works of art in polarized lighting in a studio at high resolution without spending $40000.00 on a Phase One medium format rig, this is awesome.

Assembling the photographs sometimes works in Lightroom – about 50% of the time – it seems to consistently work in Photoshop. I’ve had one failure in Photoshop, where two sections ended off above and below the rest of the image, disconnected. I think I can take more individual images, overlap them more, and maybe get it to work, but I haven’t tried it as yet. That same image worked in Lightroom, so go figure. The resulting images are about 9000 x 11000 pixels, or roughly 99 Megapixels. The resolution is outstanding, the detail and focus are every bit as good as medium format film.

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—spence

…And Both X-Pro 1 Cameras are Back – Untouched, Sunshined

Mechanics or at least Service Managers have a name for it – the sunshine treatment. Take the car and sit it out on the lot in the sun and then tell the customer it’s all set…

I picked up two Fuji X-Pro 1 cameras from Fed Ex today – both of them Fuji X-Pro 1 cameras, both brand new out of the box and both with significant sensor spots – dust or specs behind the sensor glass. I had sent the cameras to Fujifilm Camera Repair in Edison, NJ, with the required invoice/proof-of-purchase, warranty card, Fujifilm Service form filled out to indicate what the problem was, and images with frickin’ circles around the frickin’ spots that appear on the sensor, and actual images of my studio showing how the spots show up in actual photographs as well.

None of that made any difference.

Neither camera was fixed.

Both had white printouts indicating the customer said dust on sensor, with no service indicator at all – my Fuji X-T1 which went in for exactly the same issue, came back with a yellow service ticket carbon showing what was done. Basically someone just shoved them back in the box and sent them back and counted it as work done.

Steve – every time I call Edison NJ, Steve answers, apparently there are only two, but it just seems like more – Steve, who is becoming my fellow sufferer in all this, says any notes would be on the service ticket, and that someone took the problem ticket and worked on it.

Not that I can see. Looking at images from the sensors before sending them and then once they are returned – there’s no difference. Even the smudges which would have been changed if the sensor had been cleaned even lightly, are still there. Both cameras. No change.

(Cough…)

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I believe Steve will find the return shipment when it comes in, I do, and I believe a supervisor will ensure it is made right. I believe that because sending these cameras back again pretty much guarantees I’ll be outside the 30-day return window for just sending them back to the merchant by the time they come back to me. So, I believe that can happen.

What’s bullshit is that no one actually cared enough to look at the cameras. At all. Because the flaws are obvious, resolvable and they were not even touched.

—spence

A CD Project – Ruby Rose Fox

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I saw Ruby Rose Fox at the Cabot in Beverly, Massachusetts several weeks ago – and despite the sound system not doing her and the band any favors, the show was amazing, Ruby Rose Fox has stage presence. She is part of the song she is singing and she rocks. Brilliant band making it possible. Ruby Rose apologized as she was under the weather and struggling to make it through the songs – even so, she just captured the song and lost the pain, there was no sign of it in her voice. She and her band work very hard, and they are worth hearing if you can make it to a show.

I found one semi-CD of music on Amazon in Prime Music – and four more songs to purchase. Not a CD in sight – I really prefer CD rather than 256K files, and Amazon still doesn’t offer a lossless format – just mp3. I searched further, found her website at RubyRoseFox.com, and on the first page a link Click to Pledge”. She is making a full length CD! I hope she meets her goal on this.

—spence

USPS accidentally delivers cameras…

…sort of. They did manage to deliver the package correctly to the Fuji Repair Center, but they didn’t inform themselves of that, and when I inquired it took them three days to discover the package was delivered correctly and on time.

Fuji Repair did receive the cameras but misfiled two out of three under a misspelled name – thus they couldn’t officially find the cameras until that was sorted out. Once they did, the two Fuji X-Pro 1 cameras were (hopefully) repaired. They were “IN PROCESS” for four days and then shipped yesterday for arrival Friday.

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The X-T1 is still “IN PROCESS”.

USPS loses track of cameras…

…and Fujifilm Repair Center already has the package and has the cameras started in the system for evaluation and repair.

All day yesterday the tracking (2 Day Priority) for USPS showed “Out for Delivery”. But it never turned over to “Delivered.” It just sat there. Then late last night it was updated with “Delivery Status not Updated…”

I’m trying to work through this camera crap before photographing in Yosemite this fall. If Fuji can resolve the sensor dust issues on the X-Pro 1 cameras and properly test and fix the Fuji X-T1 flagship camera, that would be excellent. Having the post office lose the package for a week or so would be unhelpful.

I talked with the USPS customer service first, and it looked to them like the package was routed to the wrong sorting post office and just not able to be delivered, and had to be returned to the proper sorting center, then sent on and eventually, delivered. No idea how long that could take…

The guy at the Fuji Customer Center could pull up one of the cameras as registered into the repair system as of today, probably the others would be sorted out tomorrow. So… actually delivered and not delayed.

I’ve mostly had good luck with the Post Office – but this seriously makes me want to NOT send items through the USPS. The lack of information in a digital age, with the micro-tracking and transparency available, is just not workable.

Amazon by default sets a hugely high standard of expected behavior.  It’s hard to accept less than that.

I’m hoping to work through making 110 megapixel 8 -piece digital captures of paintings this weekend.  If those come out as well as the test shots did, I’m trying to imagine what I would do without my Canon 5D MkIII – I was keeping it for digital painting captures.   If the 8 section captures stitch together seamlessly (they do in testing so far), then maybe a test print…  The captures are not trivial – manual focus, manual exposure, polarized light, custom consistent white balance, and the handling in Lightroom and then photoshop needs to be very consistent – but the results are better than medium format film captures.  At least they look to be so far.

I’ve been reading about the possible Fuji X-Pro 2 (in fact the Fuji Service guy said about half the calls he gets that aren’t about specific repairs are asking about that camera).  Maybe get rid of the Canon and pick up an X-Pro 2 in the middle of next year?

I’ve also been reading about the X-Pro 1 and how it has aged in the three to four years since its introduction.   I’ve owned this camera once before, and at $1700 I found it unacceptable.  But…  But I almost kept it despite those many annoying limitations (all of which have been a bit reduced by firmware upgrades since, though not eliminated).   It had a quality in handling light that, with the 35mm f1.4 lens, just worked and works for me.  If I were to create photographs with one set of tools, that would be it.

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Even if much of the (digital) photographic world a three-year-old camera is a primitive artifact…

—spence