X100F: THE SOOC POST

A quick one today—a post I promised last week. For those who don't know, all the images in my X100F review and essays were processed in Lightroom—the way I always process my images, both raw and JPEG. It's not due to any fault of the camera (the F or anything else) or to correct mistakes: for me, it's an essential part of the workflow, something I do systematically and actually enjoy. Part of the interpretation if you will. I've touched on this here if you're interested.

But I thought I'd share untouched images to show what the camera is capable of "on its own". I'm also including a couple of side by side comparisons: in most cases you'll notice the processing is both minimal and entirely based on personal preference; the SOOC images could totally stand on their own. 

I have two sets of images for you: the first is a series of very quick frames I shot around the house knowing I wouldn’t process them; in other words, they were shot for this very specific post. The others were taken with my usual workflow in mind. I mention this because that knowledge—that images will be processed afterwards—does change how we approach the capture. That said, these are all JPEG, not raw; which means headroom is much more limited and we need to be aware of this in the field—i.e get as close as possible to a final intent.

And again: all images were shot with a prototype X100F. Full production camera should be here soon.

PURPOSEFUL (CREATIVE) SOOC 

I didn’t note all the custom settings I used for the images in this first set—I probably should’ve. It’s unfortunate that the raw EXIF data in the files doesn’t offer this information. I’m not sure if this is an actual exclusion or if it’s simply not being read by Photoshop or Lightroom. But I can tell you a few things: 

- The lines across #1 were “created” by using the electronic shutter. I did this on purpose. FYI: that’s a Hue light bulb.
- I used the in-camera Grain effect on #2. 
- The BW image (#3) was shot in Acros, highlight +1, Shadow +3, Sharpness +1, NR -4.
- On image #4 Saturation and Shadow were set to -2 (on Classic Chrome).

In all cases, I was setting the global white balance AND fine tuning it (using the in-camera grid interface) according to what I was seeing in the EVF. This was a also a deliberate choice.

STREET AND A FEW OTHER PLACES.

So these weren’t meant as SOOC images: I shot them the way I shoot everything else. Again, BW files are Acros with the custom settings described above.

SIDE BY SIDE

Lastly, two comparisons: original file on the left, processed on the right. You’ll notice there isn’t much processing: the film curve I always apply (fine-tuned depending on the image) and density tweaks (contrast, brightness, shadows etc). Sometimes more is needed; sometimes local adjustments come into play. But the starting point—the capture and the decisions made in that moment— always, always needs to be part of the “processing”. It’s a way to learn how the camera sees, a way to control it but also a way to perfect our vision in the long run. 


Patrick La Roque

laROQUE, 311 Lorncliff, Otterburn Park, Canada