It’s Full of Stars – Night Shots With The Fujinon XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Earlier this month the Moon and Jupiter were having a chariot race across the night sky. I got out my Fujifilm X-T2 and the XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR to see if I could capture both the Moon and Jupiter in the same image. I added the XF 1.4x TC WR teleconverter with the idea of capturing just the moon as large as I could. And then backed off a bit to see if I could get both objects into the same frame.

Moon Fujifilm X-T2 X-T2 XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR XF 1.4x TC WR F8 1/125sec ISO 400 560mm.

To shoot a full or nearly full moon you need to use manual mode as any exposure meter will more than likely try to over expose all that black space surrounding the Moon.  Getting the exposure right for the Moon, in this case F8 1/125sec ISO 400, means that any other objects are just too dim to be picked up.

Moon and Jupiter Fujifilm X-T2 X-T2 XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR XF 1.4x TC WR F8 1/125sec ISO 400 173.3mm.

Luckily for me Jupiter was bright enough to just be seen in the image if I backed off from full zoom. The distance between the Moon and Jupiter looked very close but as you zoom in the gap got pretty big. You may need to click on the image to make it larger enough to see Jupiter but it is there.

I was pretty happy that I was able to get both objects into the view but the image held a surprise.

Full of Stars Fujifilm X-T2 X-T2 XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR XF 1.4x TC WR F8 1/125sec ISO 400 173.3mm.

If you look at this image you will see that there are a lot of stars (and maybe a little noise) in the image. I moved the exposure up by 3.5 stops in lightroom and discovered that the image was full of stars. I did have to do an adjustment brush on the moon to bring down the exposure by the 3.5 stops so it wasn’t completely blown out.  The XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens picked up a lot of starlight!

Pushing my luck I took a shot just of Jupiter then with a crop to 1600×1600 and another overexposure by 3.5 stops brought in not only starlight but the light of three of Jupiter’s moons.

Jupiter (Last Night)

While most suggest using a wide angled lens at F2.8 with an 1600 ISO and a 30 second exposure for night photography, you sure can pick up a lot of stars with a telephoto lens and a short exposure time. Note: all images were shot hand held which is pretty impressive but with the 1/125 exposure with the VR turned on the images were sharp. The XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is a spectacular lens.

Images shot with Fujifilm X-T2 and the Fujinon XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Post Processing Tools And Fuji X-Trans

A recent update to Capture One Pro (10.1.1) has enhanced processing for Fujifilm X-Trans sensors. And if you are on Adobe Lightroom CC (15.10) image processing for the X-Trans sensor seems to be pretty stable.  Since I have both I thought it might be interesting to see if there is any difference or distinctions for using one over the other.

I choose the image “Basket (Details)” as a test of how each one works. The image was taken with the XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR on my Fujifilm X-T2. It was shot at 1/125 sec. at F5.6 with ISO at 1000 and auto white balance. In Lightroom I used the Camera Profile  Provia/Standard. I used an imported ICC Fujifilm Provia/Standard profile in Capture One.  So both images had the same starting point.

Basket (Details) Lightroom Processing
Basket Details Capture One Processing

The two end results were very similar. I think the Lightroom edit is a bit brighter but the Capture One noise processing is a bit nicer. I did do the processing for the Capture One version first and was pretty happy with the result. I then tried to match the Capture One output in Lightroom, it was hard to get the two images to match. Click on the images to see full size peep your pixels images. Really thing that Capture One did a better job on noise processing.

The Print

When it all comes down to it, a physical print of your image is what matters most. Something tactile that you hold in your hand, or view on a wall is really what photography is all about. I used to do all my printing out of Photoshop and while the printing was good it required several hoops to jump thru. If you wanted to print several sized prints or prints on different papers, you really needed to duplicate you image before making an image adjustment to the proper size of the print. If you didn’t you had no way of making sure that each print would be the same. As I processed each size image I would save the image off as a separate PSD or TIFF file named with the size so that I could go back and reprint as needed. This meant that for each image I would have one or more duplicates at the size of a PSD (big).

That all changes with Lightroom. Lightroom is a much better engine for printing photographs than Photoshop. And it takes up much less space because you don’t need to make duplicates of an image for different sizes and papers. I’ve developed a straight forward work flow for printing from Lightroom. I create virtual copies of the image for each of my prints. Selecting the paper size and orientation and making any adjustments for borders and strokes. Here is how it looks with an image called Lioness.

I usually print in full 2×3 aspect ratio that my Fujifilm cameras capture in. On an 8 1/2 x 11 page I usually set up for a 6 x 9 inch print. If you have a different paper size use the page setup to adjust to your paper. Note: Lightroom does all resizing of the image in the background so you don’t have to do much more than tell it how big is the paper and how big is the print area.

Click on the page Setup to tell Lightroom what size of paper and what orientation you want.  I then use the print settings to choose the printer,  media type, and resolution. Depending on the print you may be able to print in 16 bit mode or not.  I save each paper type as a preset which just makes it easier for the next time I print.

High Speed is just bi-directional printing. Once the print settings are saved, I go on to telling Lightroom how I want the print managed.

For color prints I let Lightroom manage the printing and assign the correct ICC profile for the paper being used. I let the printer manage the printer, for black and white I let the printer manage the print the profile list box allows you to the Lightroom if you want the printer to manage the colors or black and white printing. The sharpening list seems rather simple but the logic behind how the image is sharpened is very good. This final sharpening is available as an attachment for Photoshop but is build right in to Lightroom. The final adjustments I make is to brightness and contrast (sliders at bottom right). You will have to experiment with these as you will find without the adjustments you prints will be too dark. It has to do with how your monitor is calibrated as most monitors are brighter than suggested.

At that point you are ready to print. Before you do it’s time to save off a virtual copy of the image that will freeze the print settings you have chosen.

Just above the image on the left top board is a button to create the virtual copy.

Click on the Create Saved Print button and name your print.

In this case I use the title, the size and initials for the paper type (PL Photo Luster). I tell it save it in the Print collection. Virtual copies of an image take up very little space on the hard drive.

With this workflow I can go back to a specific image in the Prints collect and reprint without worrying about changes having been made for the specific print. And the finished print. 

As the number of images printed increases you may want to make a separate catalog just for the images you have ready to print.