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Friday Slide Show: The Marina Revisited Share This on LinkedIn   Tweet This   Forward This

9 September 2022

The pandemic has scuttled our penchant to hop on a bus and explore the city. But we can still mount an external drive and hunt through old photos in our archive. And that's what we did for this week's slide show.

These 2816x1864-pixel images were all taken 10 years ago with a Fujifilm X10 and its zoom lens. We liked that camera a lot but it had a couple of flaws, one of them fatal. As we wrote in the undoctored version* of our review:

Fujifilm never explained the issue with the big white blobs to our satisfaction but we were told they corrected the problem. We never tested the revision, however. And when you experience an issue like that, you don't take anyone's word it's been fixed.

That zoom lens, for example, obscures the lower right quadrant of the optical viewfinder, which only shows 85 percent of the scene. And, perhaps more significantly, the X10 suffers from big white blobs on specular highlights in some situations.

As we learned then, you can't really beat the Marina if you have to walk around for a few hours with a camera at your side. Not only is it flat (which is a diversion from the mean in San Francisco), but there's a lot to see. The Palace of Fine Arts, the boat marina itself, Fort Mason, Chestnut Street -- not to mention the bay bridged by the Golden Gate with Alcatraz floating in the middle of it.

We stuck to the Palace of Fine Arts and the boat marina for this excursion.

And, much as we liked the JPEGs just as the camera captured them, we wondered if we couldn't squeeze out a bit more from them with the current version of Lightroom Classic.

Of course we could.

We couldn't help but give all of them a bit of help from Dehaze, although they didn't need much, a testament to Fujifilm's optics and image processing algorithms.

The second bit of help they needed (although it was more than a bit) was rescuing blown highlights. On a JPEG that isn't likely to be very successful and it was only a little bit of an improvement here. You can see the problem most noticeably in the white boats of the marina. Not a lot of detail there.

On the Palace of Fine Arts images, we did a good bit of perspective control with the Upright Tool. Auto mode didn't always cut it, either. We had to use Custom to deal with the tapered columns, for example.

It was such a bright, sunny October afternoon that, in the end, we really wish we had shot these in Raw instead of JPEG. Which is probably why it took a pandemic to get us to revisit them.

But we're happy we did. For a moment we felt as if nothing has changed in all these years.

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