My Fuji X100s can see in the dark

Most of my photography friends know about my love affair with the Fuji X100s.  This little rangerfinder, which has an SLR sized sensor and a fixed 35mm lens, has completely changed my photography and liberated me from carrying around a backpack full of equipment.

I go to Disneyland every year, and one of my family’s favourite rides is Pirates of the Caribbean. If you haven’t been on this ride before you are in a boat moving through the dark, with brief pirate scenes passing you by as you progress through the ride.  If you have ridden this ride before you know that it is basically pitch black in there and not suitable to photography.

For non photographers:

There are 3 variables you can adjust to correctly expose an image.  Aperture (the size of the hole the light is coming through), shutter speed (how long you let the light come through the hole), and film / sensor sensitivity to light.

You should know that as it gets darker it becomes harder and harder to correctly expose an image without using flash (adding light to the scene).  You can open your aperture (make the hole bigger), but there are lens limitations that will restrict this.  You can allow the light to hit the sensor longer (longer shutter speed), but this creates motion blur and ruins the sharpness of the image.  You can also adjust the sensitivity to light.  In the “old days” this involved moving to a higher film speed (ASA).  In today’s digital world it means increasing the ISO.  The downfall to this is that the image quality suffers (it becomes grainy).  The extent to which the image quality will suffer is directly related to how much money you are willing to pay for your camera (there is a reason for all of those $4,000 cameras).

These photos were taken at f/2.0, 1/60th of a second (we were on a moving boat), at an ISO reading of 6400.  Yup, 6400.

WordPress kills the quality of the images in this post.  Please click on each image to view it larger.

DSCF1303

Are they perfect?  Nope.  But, taken with a tiny little ranger finder camera, in what is essentially pitch black, from a moving boat, at ISO 6400 they are remarkable.

Technology never ceases to amaze me!

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