Refining the Time-lapse Process on the Fujifilm X100T

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/1000 sec, ISO200
“Evening Clouds” Cedar Park, 2019

Today I spent a bit of time refining the time-lapse process on the Fujifilm X100T. With each one I create, I notice some tweaks that would make it better. I think I’m close to finalizing on my settings! 😊

For this video, I noticed there is a lot of flickering which I’ve determined is caused by the X100T’s built-in ND filter. It’s similar to the flickering that is caused by the variance in exposure when the aperture rings step down. In that case, even though the aperture might be set to the same f/5.6 for all the photos, the blades will not go to the exact same position each exposure. This causes the flickering in the final video. The solution to this on the X100T is to shoot wide open at f/2, so that the aperture blades don’t move. If you have a camera where you can force the blades to not move for each exposure, that is perfect! Or perhaps switch to a manual-lens with an aperture ring.

Anyways, the X100T’s ND filter will move into place for every exposure, so there is a slight variance in the amount of light that it blocks, and that causes the flickering effect. If you do need to reduce the amount of light hitting the sensor, I’d use a regular old ND filter screwed onto the lens, or take advantage of the extreme high shutter-speeds that the electronic shutter enables.

Speaking of the electronic shutter I suggest making sure you are using it for another reason: eliminating any moving parts during the image sequence capture. This means less wear and tear on the camera. Even at f/2, the X100T will activate the aperture blades. 🤷‍♂️

So, if you hear any noise whatsoever (assuming you have camera beeps turned off), then check your aperture, focus-type, ND filter, and shutter-type. It should be dead silent!

There’s is a lot to remember when making these time-lapse sequences, so I made a checklist of settings. These are specific for shooting JPG on the Fujifilm X100T, but might be helpful for other cameras as well:

  • Set ISO manually
  • Set white-balance manually
  • Set shutter speed manually
  • Turn off built-in ND filter
  • Set aperture to f/2
  • Make sure of external power source
  • Make sure the DR is not Auto
  • Set the shutter type to Electronic

That’s it!

The Fujifilm X100T is a nice little camera to create the time-lapse sequences. The only things that would make it better would be the ability to manually stop down the lens, and to remove the 999 exposure limit on interval shooting.

I hope you had a nice day.


Evening Clouds

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO200
“Evening Clouds” Cedar Park, 2019

こんばんは。How’s it going?

I’ve been fortunate to have been treated with some nice looking clouds these days! I am going a little nuts making the time-lapse videos too. Please check it out, and also visit my YouTube channel if you’d like to see more!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/250 sec, ISO200
“Evening Clouds” Cedar Park, 2019

I hope you had a good day!


Fujifilm X100T as a Cloud Time-Lapse Rig

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-T10, 35mm, f/4.5, 1/150 sec, ISO400
“Modest Setup” Cedar Park, 2019

Recently I bought a new tripod to replace my compact Velbon tripod, and that inspired me to use it to take time-lapses of the fun clouds that are appearing in the skies lately. Over the past couple of days, I have figured out how to use my Fujifilm X100T as a cloud time-lapse rig to nice effect.

In the photo above, you can see the modest setup I have positioned by the window. It doesn’t look impressive, but it gets the job done for what I want to do. Take a look at the video below (a compilation of a few day’s worth of videos) and let me know what you think!

This simple rig consists of my Fujifilm X100T mounted on a Moman “Alpenstock” tripod, and powered with my Oprout 10,000mAh power bank.

I’ve found the Fujifilm X100T to be a great little camera for making time-lapse videos because it has a built-in intervalometer (timer), a built-in ND filter, and available electronic shutter. It seems like the externally-connected power bank doesn’t go down hardly at all (still at 4 lights) even after several thousand photos. It’s amazing.

There are a few limitations of the Fujifilm X100T, though. First, the intervalometer has a maximum number of 999 shots that it can take. However, it’s quick to start the sequence again – it’s literally just 5 presses of the OK button to cycle thru the options and start the timer again.

Another limitation is that you cannot keep the aperture stopped down in a fixed position. After each shot, the blades will reset to f2.0 before stopping down for the next shot. This can cause slight variances in exposure which will appear as flickering in the final video. Consequently, I have to shoot wide-open at f/2.0, which could be a problem of overexposing in bright situations.

But happily, that can be mitigated setting ISO to the lowest setting, turning on the built-in ND filter, switching to the electronic shutter which will allow you to shoot at up to 1/32,000 second exposure. And you can also just use a traditional ND filter as well if you have one.

Lastly, the 35mm equivalent focal length might be a little too tight for these kinds of time-lapses, but I suppose you could spend the money to buy the wide-angle lens attachment.

And I feel the need to add that you should be in Manual Focus mode. In the second sequence in the video, I left it set to Auto-focus, and several times the camera focused on the dirt that was on the window. Doh!

Anyways, I’m having a lot of fun creating these videos. As you can see in the movie above, I’ve learned how to put several clips together and also add music. Look out Hollywood, here I come! 😄

Summer Rain and Time-Lapse with the Fujifilm X100T

Photo info: FUJIFILM X100T, 23mm, f/2, 1/4000 sec, ISO200
“Possibly Rain” Cedar Park, 2019

We got a tiny bit of rain this evening which was nice. But mostly I loved the fun stormclouds.

I captured the following time-lapse with the Fujifilm X100T. The regular battery that the camera uses has horribly low capacity, but luckily it can charge via micro-USB so I plug in a portable power bank and the camera just runs straight off of that. Very convenient!

The built-in intervalometer in the X100T is also nice… I set the camera to take a photo every four seconds, then compiled all the photos into Adobe Premiere to create the video. The only thing I do not like is that there’s a limit of 999 photos in one series. Not sure why they limited that…

The next video is what I would call a fail. I forgot to manually focus the camera, so for each of the 900+ shots, the X100T would auto-focus, and of course, sometimes it didn’t focus on the clouds but instead on the filthy window. Oh well, live and learn! It still looks pretty cool, though. 😂

I hope you had a nice day!

The Farewell and Being Mixed-Race Asian

Photo info: motorola moto g(6), 3.95mm, f/1.8, 1/120 sec, ISO194
“The Farewell” Austin, 2019

I went to see The Farewell today. Loved it. Seeing a movie from a Chinese-American perspective was interesting personally because it’s something that I can relate to, although not fully since I’m a generation or two removed from any family connection with China. However, I know a fair bit about Chinese culture so the movie felt special and the situations were familiar. Come to think of it, Billi is somewhat removed from China as well and is the same generation as my Mom, whose parents emigrated from China.

Billi is 100% Chinese-American (both parents are from China), but I’m mixed-race Asian-American, which is why I couldn’t more closely relate to her. On one hand, I’m a bit envious that Billi can identify as Chinese. On the other hand, as a mixed-race Asian-American, I am proud of my mixed heritage since I can identify with Japanese culture, Chinese culture, and to a lesser extent, Hawaiian culture. But I am not able to be 100% committed to one, and that is somewhat unsatisfying. It makes identity complicated. Hanging out with Chinese-American, Japanese-American, or Korean-American friends growing up, I felt like a mutt (albeit with a bit of pride) inside. My last name meant that people (at least other Asians) saw me as Japanese-American even though I am over 60% Chinese. I’m also 6% English, but honestly, I’ve never identified with that part of my heritage. Why not? Well, I’ll have to think about that… Anyways, it’s complicated!

Back to the movie, the character Aiko was one of the most intriguing for me. To most viewers, her role was kind of throw-away, but I kept thinking about her and Hao Hao and their future kids (if in fact they are getting married) since they will be mixed Chinese-Japanese like me. What will their lives be like in Japan? What will their family visits back to China be like? How much Chinese culture will they be taught while living in Japan? What kind of discrimination will they face there?

Aiko’s situation was actually the most palpable to me. I’ve been in similar situations where I was at my girlfriend’s family gatherings in Hong Kong, and could only smile and be polite. And of course in Japan to a lesser extent, I have to do the same. So when Aiko is at the dinner table and banquet, I could feel her awkwardness! I also know how isolated and lonely you can feel when in that kind of situation for days on end. Gambatte, Aiko!

I was also thinking about POC representation in Western movies – with so many different kinds of mixed-race Asians in the world… would it be possible to depict the cultural complexities for each combination? Is it worth it? Too niche? Or must mixed-race Asians pick and choose where to find their on-screen representation? I wonder what Awkwafina‘s thoughts are about it since she is Chinese- and Korean-American… 🤔

The Farewell has given me plenty to think about. But if I didn’t mention it earlier, go see The Farewell. It’s a great film! 👍