Samsung NX1: Throttling Up

Samsung NX1: Throttling Up

The past week has been a blur of field trials and digital lab examination of an array of image files produced in a wide range of subjects on the Samsung NX1.

Doing this, switching out from my amazingly detailed and efficient Canon system, to neophyte professional imaging contender Samsung, with it’s NX1, is a lot of work (and fun).

In the middle of it all, my last shoot on Canon was published, along with a cute little videolog I produced, to illustrate better the texture of our day at the beach here. The feature is titled “Ventura Highway: Three Blondes” and is right here in the Deep Surf Magazine 2015 Swimwear Issue. Have a look! Please share it. Neat stuff, and as always my Canon kit was a seamless performer.

So why change? (I have been getting a lot of mail about this) In a nutshell this is why.

Basically it allows me to do Photography, Cinematography and Audio capture, all at a Pro level, via 1 body. That means full 4k motion to card, and frame rates to 120fps in 1080 res or 28 mp stills at up to 15 fps, and stereo audio, which is gain adjustable and able to be monitored. 1300.00 for the body.

Canon does not have that vital combination available at any price. They feature limit the bodies for market- profit targeting purposes. Or you could buy into Red, at approx 28K. (Two options I have long examined, but wisely refrained from doing)

Meanwhile it all just shifted to open architecture with some companies, and with the Samsung NX1, where a superior sensor and processor combination, allows for new features via ongoing firmware updates. This minimizes (and possibly eliminates) the need for newer better cameras every couple years, potentially.

Here is exactly what I mean!
(Thank you Samsung, for listening)

Now what all this really comes down to, is being able to satisfy the final content destination’s parameters for your work. As image files (and frame rates go, in motion capture), many of my clients have fairly high bar demands. As I grow into my new kit. I anticipate some challenges, but fully expect myself to be far more versatile and nimble, as a professional content creator.

Here is a fantastic piece by another change agent in this (Olympus) imaging renaissance. Enjoy! I did, especially since I will never need to travel through an airport with three pelican cases, and 180 pounds of gear, ever again.

This week a new lens arrived. A Rokinon 85 mm F 1.4 full manual lens by Korean MFG, Samyang. It was 269.00 and features great optics and very pleasing bokeh. But wait, what am I doing? Using a camera body with bleeding edge AF as a manual focus body? Why?

Well, in the short run, the supply of lenses a pro uses, which have Samsung NX mounts, involves a short availability list, and even at half Canon’s price, they still are in the 1200 each range for the most part, though there ARE some exceptions. More on those in upcoming posts. The reason I got the 85mm is that it will translate excellently as both a fashion lens and a Cinema lens, where honestly, I do not even use AF. And it is 269 bucks!

And the Samsung body utilizes a great imaging tool called programmable focus peaking, which allows one to achieve razor sharp focus without the usage of AF. The Samsung NX1 body has other focus assists as well, in accomplishing and checking focus, which is a critical issue for every high resolution sensor camera.

Below is an image shot on the Rokinon. {You can click on any image for a larger view and hit the back arrow to return to this blog text}

Shallow DOF and shot at 1/40 second iso 400 with Medium focus peaking, green.
Shallow DOF and shot at 1/40 second iso 400 with Medium focus peaking, green.

Now to the real downside of the Rokinon. Close focus sucks at a 3.3 feet minimum. That is death to a Cinematographer. So what to do?

Get this. The extension tube set from Neweer

I regularly shoot with extension tubes. What they do is bring in the field of focus to close(macro) range. (Neweer makes great stuff, frequently at a fraction of the price of OEM camera manufacturers products) I immediately put my set to use on both the Rokinon 85 and Samsung 16-50. Perfect range and sharpness and pretty darned good AF (on the OEM Samsung lens).

Here is an image using the Samsung 16-50 lens with the Neweer extension tube.

Focal Length: 50.0 mm   (in 35mm: 77.0 mm) OIS: On stage 2 1/1250 sec;   f/7.1;   ISO 400
Focal Length: 50.0 mm (in 35mm: 77.0 mm)
OIS: On stage 2
1/1250 sec; f/7.1; ISO 400

More on lenses. I own a LOT of Canon mount glass, made by both Canon and Tokina. My glass is carefully selected and is worth more money than I care to disclose. So what the heck about that? Is it time for a fire sale?

This is what I did, after learning that adapter MFG geniuses Metabones, said they could not produce a Samsung NX1 to EOS adapter. I bought this neat little dummy (no electrical contacts) from Fotodiox that features an independent declicked aperture IN the adapter. Does it work? Yep. What do you lose? AF and IS and EF lens aperture control. However it must be noted that vignetting will appear after a 3-4 stop decrease since the aperture device is out past immediate proximity to the sensor. But you can use your EF lenses!

There is also another trick. With your Canon EF lens on an EOS body, depress the DOF preview button and remove the lens from the camera with the power on. The aperture will remain where you had it set. Yep.

Canon makes a big deal out of abusing lens Mfg. competitors, by regularly changing algorythmns so that a brand X lens which worked on an earlier Canon body, ceases to function on the next generation Canon body. Not cool if you make your living with your glass, and must earn every dime spent on your kit. They have long given the middle finger to those of us working in the trenches, should we need or want to use something aside from Canon glass, This does nothing to build loyalty, and everything to increase resentment and search for a company with a different philosophy regarding things such as this. But somewhere in Canon’s marketing hierarchy, someone exists who suggested this, and they thought enough of his or her stupid idea, to implement it. Continually.

Here is an image shot with the photodiox adapter and the Tokina 11-16 F 2.8 (sharpest, highest resolving wide angle I have ever used. It is rectalinear).

Ventucky this week had rainbows. How I feel about my new camera by the way! SAMsung NX1 w fotodiox adapter and Tokina 11-16 F 2.8
Ventucky this week had rainbows. How I feel about my new camera by the way! SAMsung NX1 w fotodiox adapter and Tokina 11-16 F 2.8

Okay, batteries. The Samsung is exhibiting good power conservation, but the Achilles is that the system only comes with a micro USB cable and USB to 110 power adapter, which charges the battery in camera. No bueno. What to do? Buy this. Voila

Below are a few more images. The deeper I look into this system, the more I see what the potential is. As my pal Rob Dafoe likes to say when we nail a subject :”Yachtzee”. BTW, you can click on any image in the blog for a larger view, and hit the back arrow when you want to return to the text,

Foxtails blowing in the wind. Sespe wilderness.  Samsung 16-50mm F 5.6 at 50 MM
Foxtails blowing in the wind. Sespe wilderness. Samsung 16-50mm F 5.6 at 50 MM
 Samsung NX1 Sespe Wilderness, OEM 16-50 F 5.6 lens
Samsung NX1 Sespe Wilderness, OEM 16-50 F 5.6 lens
Ventura post light.  Samsung NX1 Sespe Wilderness
Ventura post light.
Samsung NX1 OEM 16-50 F 5.6 lens

The next blog post will document the ongoing assembly of my new Samsung NX1 imaging system.

Hope this helps some, as you may also be, eyeing the road ahead.

Aloha oe.

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