Each time a new camera hits the market, a torrent of commentary, reviews and comparisons quickly follows. That’s fine – from time to time we all enjoy a dose of gear-related extravaganza.

But then the 100% crowd comes out. Digital files are subjected to meticulous examination. Every inch, every corner of an image is put under the microscope and millions of eyes bleed red until they find what they are looking for.

The army of “experts” begins the discussion. Dead pixels, chromatic aberrations, smearing, colour bleed … you name it. Then the hunt turns into a public lynching.  

Please don’t blame us – we tried very hard. Kasia and I received THE e-mails. Have you seen this problem with the X-Trans files? A link is attached with some sort of snapshot – usually a very, very crappy image. My first thought would be: “Why would anybody take such a bad image?” I guess the quality of seeing is not relevant here.  

However, out of courtesy we look and look even more deeply. Then we get tired, grab a coffee and look once more. Then we realize we are in trouble. It is a lose-lose situation. If we write back that we don’t see much there, then the words idiot, Fuji cheerleader, amateur, etc. fly our way. If I do find something but not “it” then we risk another barrage of explicit words.

But we’ve found a solution – it’s not ideal, we admit. Kasia and I just go back to what we do. We focus our attention on seeing, on our subject, composition – on creating imagery. We work on projects that are close to our interests. Then we print our images and print them large. We hold these prints in our hands and smile. We cherish this process of creation and if in the midst of it we enjoy our gear – let it be.

Sorry 100% crowd. We just don’t see it or maybe we don’t get it! Pick the answer you like.

P.S. We are peaceful people and we want to extend the olive branch to the 100% crowd. Here you go, this is for you but please don’t ask us to look. We are perfectly happy with what we see.

All 100% crops  (X-Pro2, XF 50-140mm F2.8, XF 35mm F1.4, XF 14mm F2.8) – click for a larger image.








2016 © Kasia & Olaf Sztaba Photography. All rights reserved.

27 thoughts on “100%

  1. Beautifully written, with the same craft and spirit that makes your photography so special.

    THANK YOU Olaf and Kasia for your superb blog and sharings.


    Dick Quinn

    P.S. I got my X-Pro2, 90, 50-140 and a few other new lenses last week.

    F10, F30, X100, X100S, X100T, X-Pro1 and now the superb X-Pro2.

    Fuji. What fun!!!

  2. Please keep doing what you two are doing soooo well!!
    Many regards from the Netherlands and all the best to you all!

  3. Hey guy’s! I love the images you created here. I am not a fan of pixel peeping. I am a fan of images that tell a story and move me in a certain way. You seem to be interested in creating emotion and story telling with your images. Thanks for giving us some images with the new camera. There will always be someone that tries to bring you down but keep on moving! I enjoyed your interview on Shuttertime with Sid and Mac. Thanks for sharing your story. Take care and keep shooting, Dominick

  4. Sorry, but your images are unrealistically sharp. And that color rendition? Get real dude! People only look like that face to face, never in a photograph. I don’t need to look at a photograph to see reality, I can just walk outside. These shots are just no fun to look at! 😡

    1. Hasi – What is your real name? Have guts to share you real name and your imagery.
      “Sorry but your images are unrealistically sharp.” – Thank you.
      “People only look like that face to face, never a photograph.” – Don’t understand but I will take it as a complement.
      “I don’t need to look at a photograph to see reality, I can just walk outside” – sooner the better.
      “These shots are just no fun to look at” – AGREE! I guess you got my point.

      Thank you for visiting.


      1. Olaf, I think Hasi just paid you the greatest compliment!
        I totally agree with you on the 100% crowd(although I wouldn’t be that diplomatic in my words) I doubt that most of the 100% crowd 1)own decent cameras 2)are surely NOT photographers! 3) are very lonely people, because they have no one else to talk to!

  5. Screw the 100% crew. Who cares if the corners are less sharp or there is bleeding pixels or chromatic blur or whatever? Composition and framing the image is more important, telling the story of what you see as a photographer, at that moment, It is unique.. keep on doing what you do.

  6. My sentiments exactly. I’ve been seriously around photography for 60 years. I’ve yet to own a camera body or lense that doesn’t exceed my photographic ability by a vast margin.

  7. I agree with Dick Boone; hit Delete & move on! I look forward to each of your posts! And, I have been enjoying my XT-1 & XE-2 for about 2 years now.

  8. Spot on Olaf & Kasia. When all the stuff about Color bleeding, water color effect etc… hit the net I was shaking my head, looking at my Lightroom generated prints saying what the heck are you guys talking about. These files are great!. I must not see or get it either.

  9. That was a good, nay, great article. Stick it to the pixel peepers 🙂 Kasia and I never belonged to the pixel peeper crowd. We look at images very similarly as you do. I just printed a big 32×48 canvas print, and the customer is very happy, and I didn’t have to upconvert my original fuji file. I’m waiting for another 20×30 canvas to arrive to judge the quality for my self. One thing that people forget, is that the size of the print commands the viewing distance of that print.

    1. Mac,

      You made a very good point about the viewing distance. Many people just don’t realize that.
      I cannot wait to visit you guys and enjoy viewing your prints…and your coffee.

      All the best,


  10. Dear Kasia and Olaf, THANK YOU so very much for your articles. I look forward to each new installment and thoroughly enjoy your writings AND photography. As a recent partial convert to Fuji, I am continually thrilled with the quality of the images I am getting from my X-T1. I said “partial” because I have kept some of my Nikon equipment – for now. The rest I am selling here and there. I will turn 79 this May and have used, at one time or another, everything form from 4X5 down to 35mm, and smaller, and have been an avid user of NIkon probably longer than a lot of your 100%ers have even held a camera. Aesop wrote a story about trying to please everyone and concluded that it can’t be done, so next time you receive one of those scathing comments please use some of the modern technology at your disposal – the DELETE button, and PLEASE continue doing what you do so well. Many of us are so grateful for what you are doing. THANK YOU, and GOD BLESS…..Dick Boone

    1. Dear Dick,

      Thank you so much for sharing your story with us and for your kind comments.

      Comments like yours give us motivation and energy to continue.

      All the best,

      Olaf & Kasia

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