I'm pondering saving for a Fuji Natura...

Discussion in '35mm Cameras and Accessories' started by Stephanie Brim, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    The $350 price tag of this camera could easily get me into a 4x5 system or perhaps even the CV 25/4, but at 24mm with an f/1.9 lens, it's looking like the perfect wideangle solution for dim night shots. I love my Jupiter-12 35/2.8, but having something wider would be interesting.

    So here's the thing...I'm willing to go out to a 28mm lens and as slow as f/2.8. Is there anything else as advanced as the Fuji camera that may be slightly slower for a bit less? Should I just bite the bullet and save? Am I going to wish I had this camera after I get something else?

    I've wanted a point and shoot that could fit in my purse for quite a while...I want something I can have with me for the times when a great shot comes up but I can't really go carrying my Canon P + lenses in a bag.

    Give me some feedback, tell me I'm crazy, etc.
     
  2. Nikki

    Nikki Member

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    Buy it! And tell me if its as nice as it looks. :smile:

    I dont know of another camera that would give you the speed and the compact size. But if you're thinking about a 4x5 system, save for that and maybe get a new camera bag instead??
     
  3. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I don't think there's much info for Natura S in English language. It's a Japan-only model. Fuji has quite a few of those.

    I don't see anything that can be put in the same category as Natura S. Nikon 28Ti, maybe, but a used one is no cheaper than Natura S brand new. Ricoh GR-1v is another nice one (I use it all the time). There are a lot more options if you can use 35mm (Konica Hexar, Olympus Stylus Epic, etc.).

    One thing about Natura S is that, if you load it with a film of 1600 or faster speed, the camera turns off flash by default, no matter how dim the light is. But there is no way to permanently turn off the flash if the film is slower. The camera does not remember the flash-off setting once you go through a power cycle. A LOT of us wrote Fuji in the past, every time they made a fantastic compact camera that forgot the camera setting when power is cycled. But they never listened on this particular one. Natura Classica will be a different one, because the flash is usually retracted and pop up when used. Fuji will know they should've responded to us earlier, and I hope they'll sell Natura Classica body with the 24mm prime.
     
  4. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    That would be nice. What would be even nicer is if they sold a camera with a slower 24mm prime (f/2.8 or so) and made it cheaper...less saving that way. :D

    I'll probably get it. Importing sucks, but that's what I get for living in the US instead of Japan.
     
  5. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    The idea behind what Fuji is doing these days is that they advocate flashless photography with high speed films and lens. They want to sell fast films, which have larger profit margin. So it's not likely that they'll downgrade the lens. BUT I don't mind if they got rid of the flash and made it 5000 yen cheaper... or instead add a manual aperture control dial.

    The 24mm f/1.9 has very little distortion but has noticeable vignetting. Something to be expected, though.
     
  6. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I'm one of the weird ones that *likes* vignetting in certain situations. I also noticed that the distortion is very minimal and I like that. I will probably get one of these, but closer to the summer months...I should have more money then.
     
  7. kunihiko

    kunihiko Member

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    My Natura S is always with me. I tell you it's nicer than it looks.:D
     
  8. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    I carry my Natura S all the time, with either Natura 1600 or EK 5299 Vision2 500T (DX coded for 400 - the camera would read a 500 code as 400 anyway). My initial thoughts on the camera are over in the compacts thread. I haven't found the fall-off to be noticeable. I would prefer to be in control of the exposure compensation when fast film is loaded (the manual over-ride is only available for film DX-coded with 800 and below). I guess that one way would be to code the Natura 1600 for 800. The manual focus over-ride (infinity only) only holds for one shot - you have to keep resetting it between shots. I guess that's better than accidentally leaving it on.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  9. mark

    mark Member

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    Nice looking camera. Out of my price range though.
     
  10. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    Light falloffs would be more noticeable if you used the camera in uniformly dim lighting situation like dawn, especially with fast films. The falloff is worst at wide open and gets better as the lens comes to f/4 or so.
     
  11. jd callow

    jd callow Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I've never heard of Natura 1600 film. Is it available in the US and in 120? Sorry to get off topic...


    Uhmm Nice lens for a P&S.
     
  12. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Hi, folks. I've seen many blogs in Japanese that promote this camera, but because these bloggers are hired by Fuji to widely advertise the product, I can never get a real good review on it.

    So, I have one simple question: Does it take good pictures in daylight? How does the aperture change? Let's say if you have a 400 ASA film loaded and want to take landscape pictures on a sunny day, does it serve well for purpose?
     
  13. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    There are many casual reviews (probably due to the amateur market the camera is targeting) but they aren't hired by Fuji. Fuji just loaned a lot of cameras with some free films to get customer feedback, and perhaps as a marketing channel as well, but to my knowledge they took back the cameras and only some of the testers bought their own cameras. So there are lots of web sites that clearly state their dissatisfaction (considering the price).

    But I've also seen lots of decent daylight pictures taken with this camera and 1600 speed films. But at the same time, negative films have great degree of overexposure latitudes. By just looking at the final positive image on the screen in JPEG, I can't really tell if the exposure was accurate. But so what, when you care about such, you'd better carry a medium format camera with a separate meter anyway. If not, buy two Natura S and load one with a slow film... it's still just as cheap as an extra film back for some MF cameras... (not that I'm saying that the camera is cheap)
     
  14. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    Well, what I meant was that if I would spend a couple of hundred bucks, I might go for a 24mm SLR lens instead. But if this P&S camera shoots so well, why not use it first, you know?

    Please convince me this is a damn good camera!

    I'm not too critical on the exposure but cannot go too far off. Some jpg pictures I've seen that were originally shot by this camera look pretty washed out, and the highlights are gone. That's the only concern I have.
     
  15. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    Natura Black has manual exposure compensation function, which might help you.

    Comparison of 24mm for SLR is a good one. I think the virtue of Natura is compactness. If this is not critical, I'd consider Cosina rangefinder or SLR. I have Canon 17-40mm f/4 USM L, and it's a fantastic lens, but it is not something I like to carry in a pocket when I go grocery shopping (even if I had a large pocket...). If there's a uniformly superior solution, we wouldn't be discussing this, I think.
     
  16. firecracker

    firecracker Member

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    What's the Fstop range? On its specs provided by Fuji, it only says the lens is 24mm F1.9. But does the iris ever close down to F16 (or 22 if there is) when there's a lot of light? Or is it just that the EV setting changes to compensate the exposure?
     
  17. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    John,

    As far as I know it is not available in the US. I get mine from megaperls in Japan. It works out at about the same price as Portra 800 or Pro 800Z. I don't know about availability in 120.

    firecracker,
    The Natura S aperture does stop down, but I don't know any details. I assume that Ryuji can answer this better than I can, because he has referred to his fall-off tests at f/4. The maximum shutter speed is only 1/360 as far as I know (source: Dirk Rosler of megaperls). In my brief review in the 'compacts' thread, I did comment on why I prefer this camera to my Canon 24 mm f/1.4 L on an SLR, but I wouldn't want to try to persuade someone else that the Natura was the ideal camera for them. If you have these doubts, then maybe it isn't the camera for you.

    Best,
    Helen
     
  18. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    According to Fujifilm.jp web site, they don't make it in 120/220. Only 35mm.

    Fuji does not publish the minimum aperture, but according to its published exposure program plot, the camera stops down to f/18.3. The fastest shutter speed is 1/360 sec, as you said.

    As I mentioned before, this camera relies on wide latitude of color negative films in taking flashless pictures indoors and outdoors. I agree this is probably not for everyone, but I certainly see why this camera is so attractive.
     
  19. kunihiko

    kunihiko Member

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    Just a little confirmation, Natura S doesn't have manual EX-comp. What Helen is using is Natura Black, I think.

    firecracker,
    I like my Natura S as a good P&S, but it's a P&S.
    24mm f/1.9 is charming, it's a good glass, I tell you. But I don't think the glass is what the Natura Camera is. I think the NP mode is.
    You might have already read this. If not, take a look. It's interesting. :smile:
    http://www.fujifilm.co.jp/corporate/aboutus/pdf/tech/ff_rd050_002.pdf
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 18, 2006
  20. Stephanie Brim

    Stephanie Brim Member

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    I am one of those people who see the usefulness of the camera. I HATE flash photography. I've never gotten anything to come out looking good using a flash. I know this is just me not knowing how to correctly use one, but if I can get the same (or better) results by using a higher speed film or lowering my shutter speed...why use a flash?

    So yeah, this camera would be my ultimate point and shoot.
     
  21. kunihiko

    kunihiko Member

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    Stephanie,
    Then, go for it !

    I'm even considering buy one more.
    Mine is always loaded with 1600 color neg. I would like to have one for B&W.
    NP mode tends to over-expose by 2EV or bit less with high speed film(DX code). It means that say, DELTA3200 should be exposed as somewhere around EI800 to 1000. It sounds nice, doesn't it ?
     
  22. Ryuji

    Ryuji Member

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    I tend to agree... In-camera flash is a terrible light source for all but very subtle fill light. I'd rather not have a flash in the camera but have a standard infrared (or radio) trigger built in the camera, so that I can use a separate flash unit ("slave" except this is the only flash in this case) at an arm's length away from the camera. But I can easily see this is a minority opinion for the p&s market. (A lot of good products I like are not best sellers... sad.)
     
  23. Helen B

    Helen B Member

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    Yes, I hadn't realised that there was a difference between the 'Black' and the S. I do have the Black.

    That link you give is interesting - even without being able to read Japanese I can see how the NP program works. If I understand correctly, the shutter speeds below 1/45 are only available in the non-NP mode, which makes me more inclined to alter the DX code for Natura 1600 to 800.

    I took some test pictures in bright sunshine with Natura 1600 and I'll post the results as soon as I get them.

    Best,
    Helen