Sunday, March 9, 2014

Dealing with a light leak in the Fuji X-T1

While attempting to take some 30 second time lapse photos with the Fuji X-T1 of the scene above I first noticed a light leak that appeared on the image.  In the photography below the leak can clearly be seen on the right side of the frame. Images are inverted and backwards on the sensor so the light causing the leak was coming from the upper left side of the camera. For the 30 second exposure I had opened the protective door on the side of the camera to attach the cable release. With the protective door open the hdmi slot that is above the release slot was exposed to the light, and was apparently leaking sunlight onto the camera sensor. To double check this I put a strip of black tape over the opening and took a second exposure, which you can see below the light leak photo. Sealing the hdmi slot resolved the problem.  Plus, the leak seemed only to occur during prolonged exposures.

Sunlight from the left was entering the hdmi slot of the camera during a 30 second exposure to cause the light spill on the right.

Once I covered over the slot with black tape the light leak disappeared, even during this 30 second exposure. (Yes, I always carry a small roll of black gaffers tape in my camera bag for emergencies.)
I first noticed this over the weekend and haven't been able to contact Fuji about the situation yet.  Once I do, I will be posting whatever I find out.

UPDATE ON LIGHT LEAK 03/11/14:  I contacted Fujifilm repair. They are definitely aware of the problem and do have a fix for it, which is the good news.  The bad news is that the parts to make the necessary repair are not yet available, at least at the US repair facility where I called. I was told there is no definite arrival date for the parts, but expect it to be within a few weeks. Until then, black tape is your new best friend for solving the problem.

REPAIR UPDATE 03/14/14:  Affected serial numbers are from 41002001 to 41006000. I just spoke with Fujifilm USA repair center. They will now take your name, email, and X-T1 serial number to notify you in a few days about sending in your X-T1 for repair of the lead.  Give them a call at: 1-800-800-3854.

After I had a workaround solution to the problem, I proceeded with my project, which was to take a series of images similar to those below for later conversion to platinum prints.

This time lapse image and the one below were taken with the 14mm Fuji lens on the X-T1 using a 12-stop neutral density filter to extend the exposure time to 30 seconds.

This scene illustrates the extreme dynamic range of the X-T1. The bright, circular outline of the sun is recorded as a distinct ball while the foreground shadows in the rocks is fully maintained. To capture this I placed the exposure nearer to the lighter area of the scene allowing the bottom half to go a bit dark. Needless to say, it was necessary to shoot in 16-bit RAW so I would have the necessary latitude for opening the foreground exposure later in Adobe Bridge. Eventually, this image will be converted to a digital negative and made into a platinum print. A 12-stop neutral density filter was used on the 14mm lens set to f/5.6 for the 30 second exposure that was needed to create the water blur under intense daylight conditions.

1 comment :

  1. I discovered your blog and website after becoming interested in the Fuji mirrorless camera/lens system. Definitely your site has been a benefit to me. Thanks.

    I must say though that I have been a photographer for quite a while, way back into the film days and used the Hasselblad X-Pan (and Fuji Provia & Velvia films). I was most impressed with the lenses of that system. From all I've read in my recent research (including your sites) I'm expecting that I will be just as impressed with the XF23mmF1.4 R & the XF56mmF1.2 R lenses on the X-T1.

    Finally, thanks for putting the light leak issue into perspective... hmm, light leak...hmm, gaffers tape... hmm, fixed. Your pragmatism is refreshing when so much hysteria seems to float through the internet ether these days. (I’m just as guilty, at times, as anyone else.)

    BTW, in regards to the leak issue, my three decades of shooting film and darkroom experience before digital, I think gives me some claim to a bit of insight into the position of the Fujifilm. The X-T1 team seems to consist of a group of young, smart, talented and committed individuals. But with the exception of one or two older 'consultants' from the company's film side, perhaps none of them have been in a position to have absorbed the ethos of 'light control' that extends beyond the darkroom and even into the realm of 'change film in the shadow of one's own body' awareness.

    I have a great deal of confidence in the professionalism of this group and the approach of Fujifilm themselves to working with photographers. I'm pretty sure they will see this issue as an opportunity to grow.