Day By Day

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Testing the F100

I've been trying out my new camera, a Fuji film F-100. One of its selling features is that it takes good pictures in low light conditions. Does it live up to its hype? Well, you decide. All of these pictures were taken in natural light conditions.

This shot was taken inside the Philadelphia Convention Center. It was late afternoon, the place was closed and dark, sunlight was slanting in through the west windows. The sight reminded me of scenes in "The Conformist". I approached the barred entrance, snapped off two quick pics [without flash], then the guard noticed me and shouted "No pictures". With "The Conformist" on my mind, I wasn't about to argue and left promptly.

This one was taken yesterday at the Baltimore Museum of Art. "She Who Must Not Be Named" and I were attending a lecture by Rena Hoisington on "American Photography: 1900-1960" keyed to a current exhibit. Good lecture -- superb exhibit. After the lecture we wandered through the exhibit. I snapped some pictures and [unlike my Philadelphia experience] none of the guards objected. I used the preset "museum" settings on the camera -- it worked out pretty well.

This was originally a full-length picture of a young woman standing beside one of the photographs on display. "She Who Must Not Be Named" urged me to crop it down to these dimensions to make it look like Max Burchartz' famous picture of Lotte's Eye. The attempt was only partially successful -- I couldn't get the same proportions -- but I included it here because it gives you a sense of the amount of noise in the image when you expand it.

I love this piece and visit it every time I walk through the museum. I didn't crop the image and if you click on it you can see how much noise I got.

This was taken in a well-lit hallway right outside the photo exhibit. For some reason I can never appreciate the artist's intent. To me it looks too much like a lava lamp.

After wandering through the exhibit for a while, we went to brunch at a nearby restaurant. This picture was taken in a deeply shaded part of the structure, again using natural light. Again I was inspired by a famous work of art -- Manet's refraction studies. Again I failed to approximate his genius.


So, what's my assessment? The F100 is a superb camera for taking snapshots in a variety of lighting conditions, but due to the amount of noise don't expect to do much enhancement or cropping. So, think before you shoot.