I have been using the Samsung NX1 now to shoot my landscape shots for a little while, and thought I would let you know a bit more in-depth, my thoughts and how I use this camera. For those that don’t know, I have only really been properly into photography for just over 2 years. My first (what I like to call proper camera) interchangeable lens camera was the Samsung NX1000, and as a learning tool this was a great bit of kit, it introduced me into shooting in RAW format and taking control of the camera, rather than using ‘Automatic Mode’.
Thanks to the nice people at Samsung, this year I was given the chance to start shooting with Samsung’s flagship camera the NX1. This was quite a step up from my beginners NX1000, but boy was it what I needed. I had found myself wanting to do more and as good as the NX1000 was, the NX1 is just, well better in every way. The best bit about upgrading within the NX range was that all my lenses and accessories that I used before were still all very useful. So whats in my kit bag now?
- Samsung NX1*
- Samsung NX1 Battery Grip*
- NX 16-50mm S f2-2.8 OIS Lens*
- NX 12-24mm f4-5.6 Lens
- NX 50-200mm III f4-5.6 OIS Lens
- NX 45mm f1.8 Lens
- Lee Sev5n Filters – Big Stopper – Little Stopper – Various Lee ND Grads
- Manfrotto Befree Tripod
- JJC NX Multi Function Timer/Remote Control
- METZ 44 AF-1 Speedlight NX Fit
- Hama “Katoomba” Camera Sling Bag, 190RL
Being that my main passion is shooting landscape shots, most of the time my NX1 is paired with the 12-24mm lens. It is a great lens, and I mostly shoot at the wide setting of 12mm. Personally I find that the sweet spot on this lens is about f8-9 for good sharp landscapes. I remember when I started shooting landscapes I always had my fstop set at f22, thinking I needed everything in focus, you don’t and you won’t get the best out of this lens like that. I always use a tripod for my landscape work, even if I am not shooting long exposure. This allows me to set up my frame and then work out what filters I am going to use, and of course it keeps the camera as steady as a rock.
The NX1 seems to me, to cope with larger dynamic light ranges, far better than anything I have used before. The detail/data in the RAW files is huge, one observation I will give you guys is that it seems to capture more shadow detail than you think it would, but it will not handle the highlights as well. So if shooting a frame with highlights and shadows you want to keep, expose the camera to not blow out the highlights, then in post processing you can recover the detail in that shadows. The picture above was shot at iso200 to deal with the light and yet keep the exposure relatively fast, I would happily shoot up to iso800 for landscape shots with this camera, without worrying about losing any detail, for other type of shots you can also go higher if needed with no worries.
I have used this camera in some challenging situations, cold and snow, rain, sea spray, and others. It’s never given me any concern or reliability issues.
Using the Lee Sev5n filter system with this camera and the 12-24mm lens works very well too. Long exposure is a very useful tool in a landscape photographers bag. Be it to smooth out water, capture the movement in the clouds, or both. The NX1 has a maximum of 30secs on its internal timer, but in bulb mode it can cope with whatever you chuck at it. This is where the remote timer comes in very handy. I do like a long exposure shot, and will often use my Big Stopper (10 stop filter) or Little Stopper (6 stop filter) combined with the Grad filters to achieve what I want.
I know I said the sweet spot is between f8-9, but sometimes you have to mix it up, here is a shot taken at f22, as I wanted the sun flair.
When shooting my landscape shots, I am mostly shooting in Aperture Priority Mode and iso100. I then let the camera work out the rest, and it does this very well. If I am not happy with what it wants to do, I will then dial in the exposure compensation as I see fit. In challenging light situations I will also bracket shots, not to produce a HDR in the classic sense, but to give me more to work with in post processing. I used to have to do this all the time with the NX1000, but with the NX1 I very rarely need anything but the one RAW file to produce what I want. Less time needed to post process 🙂 even though I enjoy it.
So what about low light performance, to be honest I think it deals with this perfectly fine, but then, I am not shooting action at low light? When I shoot in the dark, it’s always on a tripod, and I love the results I get.
All of the shots above were taken with the 12-24mm lens, but don’t think it’s the only tool I use for shooting landscapes. I also have the 50-200mm in the bag, this is a great reasonably priced zoom lens for the NX range. It might not be that fastest lens but for landscape shots that is not so important, the extra reach however can be…
Ok so the above shot is not a landscape shot, but whilst I was out shooting landscapes this opportunity presented itself. The below shot is a landscape taken with the 50-200mm.
So far on my journey with the NX1 I have been loving it, I can’t give you comparisons to other cameras, apart from the NX1000, but I can tell you I am more than happy with what I have. Also as of yet I have not used the 16-50mm S f2-2.8 Premium for any landscape work (only had it in my bag a week), I have used it for other work (see last blog post) and was very impressed. Being a fast lens it should be ideal for nighttime work, so I am planning a Milky Way test shoot with it soon. Watch this space…
“This content is created with the Samsung NX1, which has been provided by Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.”
*The equipment supplied to me by Samsung under the Samsung Imagelogger program.