I spent 5 of ten trip days capturing a Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 point-and-shoot movie digital camera. I additionally spent 5 of ten trip days with flu-like signs. Surprisingly, the 2 experiences weren’t all that dissimilar.
With the illness, I stubbornly pressured myself to have enjoyable whereas doing my greatest to disregard fleeting spasms of distress within the type of sweats, nausea, and occasional dizziness. With the digital camera, I stubbornly pressured myself to have enjoyable whereas doing my greatest to disregard fleeting spasms of distress within the type of distortion, a confoundingly vast lens, and egregious vignetting.
Alright, so the flu and the Fuji aren’t all that analogous. You attempt to provide you with a brand new solution to speak about cameras each two days. It’s exhausting.
What is a Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9?
Again in 2001, Fujifilm launched a brand new 35mm movie digital camera (in Japan solely) referred to as the Fujifilm Natura S. This point-and-shoot digital camera wasn’t simply one other point-and-shoot digital camera. Certainly it had no actual competitors, for 2 causes. The first and most blatant – it’s outfitted with a 24mm wide-angle lens. That’s one of many widest angles of view ever provided in a compact digital camera, and purpose alone to make the Natura S an fascinating machine. However what’s much more fascinating, is its most aperture of F/1.9.
Take a second to digest that.
Along with this fairly outrageous mixture of ultra-wide lens and super-fast aperture, the digital camera gives one thing extra. Fuji’s engineers designed the digital camera with a selected thoughts for low-light images. The identify Natura signifies its designers’ intention for the digital camera to be coupled with the model’s Natura 1600 shade movie (recognized outdoors Japan as Superia 1600). When loaded with Natura 1600 (or some other movie with a DX-coded ISO of 1600 or greater) the digital camera enters NP mode (Pure Images). In NP mode, the Natura S deactivates the digital camera’s built-in flash, exposes at +2 publicity compensation, and shoots at its most aperture of f/1.9.
With this mix of programming for low-light images and extremely quick optics, the Natura S was (and stays) a digital camera with no actual equal, and one that the majority photograph geeks in-the-know assume to be the most effective low-light compact movie digital camera ever made.
The model I used, the Fuji Natura Black F1.9, is primarily a Natura S with some added design thrives. These quantity to a mixed identify badge and handgrip which stands vertically on the entrance of the machine (making the Black a much more ergonomically nice model of its progenitor), and branding to make sure that all of us discover the f/1.9 most aperture.
Plus, clearly, it’s black.
Capturing the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9
The most troublesome a part of capturing the Natura Black (for these of us who don’t learn Japanese) isn’t so troublesome in any respect. The digital camera was made in Japan and Fujifilm by no means bought it anyplace else. Meaning its menus and controls are labeled in Japanese syllabaries. Those that can’t learn the textual content should overcome this hurdle. Fortunately, the metaphorical hurdle stands about two inches from the bottom – don’t drag your ft and you gained’t journey.
The most outstanding button on the again is the On/Off change. Press it and the digital camera involves life. The lens cowl retracts with a scrumptious Thwick! and the lens protrudes from its flush-mounted relaxation place with a Whirr, able to shoot. The solely different management is pretty apparent – a directional pad and a centralized choose button. For shooters trying to regulate settings, this can turn into acquainted in a short time. It controls the readout on the huge LCD show, and permits us to regulate each adjustment that the Fuji Natura permits us to regulate.
Urgent the centralized choose button prompts the menu adjustment mode. From right here, it’s time to play Pictionary. The prime menu adjustment merchandise exhibits various flash choice symbols, and thus, is the flash management (auto, off, daylight and night time modes, and so on.). Slightly below that we discover self-timer and distant timer icons – fairly apparent. Under that is a toggle-able menu that switches between Autofocus or an infinity focus lock denoted by a mountain (Fujiyama, if I needed to guess). And under that (the ultimate menu merchandise) we discover the publicity compensation readout, adjusted by way of the left and proper directional pads.
It reads as extra difficult than it is (even when it reads fairly merely). Shooters who’re on this digital camera shouldn’t be apprehensive over being misplaced in a Japanese menu. When you have eyes and a mind and a thumb or finger or nostril to press buttons, you’ll be okay.
One final word on the menu system and its LCD show. I’d be livid with myself if I didn’t point out this. Once we flip the digital camera on, the enormous show illuminates with an excellent inexperienced mild. I really like this shade.
Readers who’ve learn sufficient of my writing or listened to my annoying voice in video may get an concept of the inflection I’m intending once I write that I really like this shade. For these not sure, let’s make it clear. Pause between every phrase. I, love, this colour.
It is the wealthy inexperienced of the strong wall of swaying bamboo stalks that lined the pathway to the Temple of the Golden Pavilion in Kyoto once I was a younger and carefree touring fool of age twenty. It is the nice and cozy inexperienced of Tokyo’s solar dappled Imperial Palace Backyard the place I laid on the bottom and ate my first mochi ice cream. It is the electroluminescent inexperienced of the Timex Indiglo watch that I’d stare into as a nine-year-old boy.
Think about my shock and subsequent rush of endorphins once I pressed a button to regulate the settings on this superb inexperienced menu, solely to see the menu flash immediately to an much more succulent, orange hue. This orange mild is the nice and cozy, orange mild that bathed my retinas as electrical energy flowed by way of the sunshine emitting diode of the Sega Dreamcast’s energy standing indicator. I really like this shade as properly.
Efficiency and Picture High quality
Capturing a digital camera that I’ve by no means shot earlier than is a danger, made even riskier once I’m capturing necessary, must-capture moments. I take one trip per yr. For me, that’s a must-capture occasion. And I sort of hate point-and-shoot cameras. The complete time I used to be capturing the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9, I wasn’t positive if I used to be making a mistake in pouring half of my trip photographs into this little black field.
However my pal, Miguel, assured me that the digital camera wouldn’t disappoint.
On the entire, he was proper. The digital camera carried out rather well, typically, and the occasions when it didn’t make a flattering picture are occasions when this might have or ought to have been predicted.
Let’s begin with the failures.
The picture space of a 35mm movie body is an oblong part measuring 36 x 24 millimeters. By definition, a wide-angle lens is any lens with a focal size shorter than the lengthy finish of an picture space, within the case of a 35mm movie body, that signifies that any lens with a focal size lower than 36mm may be thought-about a wide-angle lens. By the identical definition, an extremely wide-angle lens is any lens with a focal size shorter than the brief finish of an picture space – 24mm on this case.
That’s proper; this point-and-shoot digital camera has an extremely wide-angle lens. And like several extremely wide-angle lens, it brings all of the foibles of the category. Vignetting is heavy when shot broad open. It distorts like mad when capturing up-close topics. It pushes backgrounds far, distant, and overloads the body with so many distant particulars that compositions can really feel empty and vacuous. The brief focal size and uncontrollable aperture make photographs which are typically flat and lifeless, with too-far-ranging depth-of-field.
Faces look grotesque at conventional portrait distance, spreading eyes aside, pushing ears to the background, and exaggerating noses. Architectural photographs are challenged by vertical strains that converge drastically, inflicting buildings to seem to fall away each time the focal aircraft is held at an oblique angle. Filling the body turns into a problem in footwork, as this prime lens presents no zoom.
Along with the issues inherent to the extremely wide-angle lens, keep in mind that the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 is a point-and-shoot digital camera. It brings, too, all the foibles of this class as nicely.
It closely favors automation – the one actually helpful consumer controls are for flash and publicity compensation in plus or minus two stops. Respectable, this, however there’s no aperture management, no shutter velocity management, and no ISO management (the Natura reads the DX code of the inserted movie mechanically, selecting NP mode when it deems it vital and providing no risk of overriding).
The flash mode choice routinely resets after powering off the digital camera, so customers who need to shoot with out flash (when not in NP mode, the place flash is all the time off) might want to manually flip off the flash each time the digital camera’s turned on. Loads of different point-and-shoot cameras do that, and typically there’s a easy workaround – don’t flip the digital camera off. The Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 routinely powers down after 5 minutes. The flash is direct, and overpowers photographs, creating the sometimes blown out look of cheaper point-and-shoots. The viewfinder is tiny, and whereas it’s not dim, it’s not brilliant both.
Not wanting good, is it? Properly, I stated we’d begin with the failings. Let’s speak concerning the causes these failings won’t matter.
To start out, the optical aberrations born of the lens’ extremely wide-angle area of view could be overcome with a bit of data and follow. Vignetting? Ignore it, or body the topic within the middle of the body, or use it for dramatic impact. It solely exhibits itself in sure low-light conditions anyway. Distortion of up-close topics? Let’s not shoot our child’s lovely faces from twelve inches away. That not often appears good, regardless of the focal size. Empty compositions? Be like Robert Capa and get nearer (simply not too shut).
The issues inherent within the point-and-shoot are much less simply vanquished, however even this point-and-shoot hater has warmed up a bit. Flash mode choice isn’t as painful as individuals have us consider. It’s a couple of button presses, and by turning off the flash each time I energy up the digital camera I’m capable of revisit each the beautiful, inexperienced gleam and the gentle, orange heat of that LCD show (I did point out that, sure?).
The flash, positive, it’s gross. However I do know that some younger shooter within the bowels of a New York Metropolis basement bubble social gathering is going to make use of this digital camera and its overblown flash to get actually fashionable on Instagram. Simply because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t imply it doesn’t work for everybody. The viewfinder – no, it’s not good. However it’s not too dangerous, both. A minimum of, it’s higher than the one in that seventy-year-old Zeiss I shot in 2012.
Pay attention, it’s my job to nitpick. The digital camera makes very nice photographs more often than not. Fuji’s Super EBC (Electron Beam Coating) know-how helps make photographs which are punchy, filled with distinction, sharp, and detailed. The seven-elements-in-six-groups lens that’s packed into the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 is a great lens, if we all know learn how to use it. Getting thirty good pictures from a roll of thirty-six typically requires little greater than a little bit of thought, adopted by pointing and capturing.
After which there’s that NP mode. It really works as marketed. Low-light capturing was as just like daylight capturing as to be nearly unchanged. Point and then shoot, and perhaps maintain nonetheless for simply an additional half second. Paired with Kodak’s T-Max P3200, I made actually fascinating pictures in a method that will not truly be a method (Disney World road images?), and it might’ve been onerous, if not unattainable, to make these photographs with another point-and-shoot.
Who Ought to Purchase the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9
As a journey digital camera, the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 is exhausting to beat, and as a technical achievement it’s much more spectacular. Think about sitting down earlier than a visit (or perhaps a every day strolling commute or an evening out) and saying, “I want to bring an ultra-wide and ultra-fast lens with me today.”
Assuming we might even discover one, we’d be packing, what? A big wide-angle prime lens with a humongous and heavy entrance factor, plus an SLR or DSLR on which to mount it? That sounds about proper. And there’d be 5 kilos of photograph gear hanging from a neck strap during our journey, the proverbial albatross carcass certainly.
The Fuji Natura Black F1.9 weighs 195 grams (6.eight ounces). That’s ridiculous and superb. It’s additionally sufficiently small to comfortably (and I imply, comfortably) match into the pocket of my denims, denims which a Floridian jerk did mockingly describe as “skinny jeans” (I don’t put on skinny denims – not that there’s something improper with that). The necessary level is that the digital camera is small to a level that defies comparability.
For shooters who need to journey mild, who wish to shoot within the night or at night time, and who’re thinking about making sharp, punchy photographs, the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 is a singular selection. It’s nearly the one digital camera that gives the mixture of belongings that it presents. It’s unmatched. Sadly, individuals know this.
In consequence, the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 is actually, very costly. In value, it rivals cult sensations just like the Contax T3 and the later of the Yashica T collection cameras. However in contrast to these criminally costly cameras, the Fujifilm Natura Black F1.9 truly does issues that no different point-and-shoot can do. And perhaps that makes it the most effective purchase of all of the expensive point-and-shoots.
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