Vang i Valdres – Fujifilm XT-2 & Zhiyun Crane

My last blog post took a lot of time and effort to put together, but the response from you guys have been awesome. There has been a lot of comments and sharing of the blog post on my experience with the Fujifilm XT-2 and Zhiyun Crane. Thanks a lot!

I have started my own (small) business and the blog have been somewhat put to side, as I can’t share all of the work I’m doing these days. I’m now an FAA (equivalent) registered drone pilot (At the Norwegian “Luftfartstilsynet”). The time and effort going in got starting a small business is quite high. Especially considering I have 2 kids and a full-time work in addition. Hopefully I can share more of the work I have been doing at a later stage, when the work is published by my client.

I still had some time this Spring to film a little in the gorgeous Valdres area, here in Norway. Unfortunately I haven’t had the time to finish the editing before now. I have been playing a lot with Black Magics video editing program DaVinci Resolve, and the learning curve has been steep. I have made a lot of editing mistakes, and had to do them over again several times. Unfortunately, some of the clips a had to give up and scrap, because I didn’t achieve the look I was going for in the editing process. Selective color adjustments are very sensitive if your mask is not precise enough, giving you a lot of flickering in these areas. But working on this film has made me more confident in using DaVinci in my films for my clients. So much that my latest client film has been color graded in DaVinci, before finishing up the edit in FCPX.

Here are some clips shot with the Fujifilm XT-2 and Zheyun Crane. Shot in 1080 60fps, mostly slowed down 50%. Remember to select 1080 for optimum YouTube quality 🙂

Remember to follow me on YouTube for future films: https://www.youtube.com/user/Kjetilkm

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Shooting video with the Fujifilm XT-2, Zhiyun Crane and Blackmagic Video Assist.

Shooting video on DSLR’s and mirrorless cameras has become more and more popular in the resent years. The video quality has been improved immensely, and is not just an extra feature that the camera had in the spec sheet anymore. The video quality and auto focus capabilities has come a long way.

I recently updated my trusty Fujifilm XT-1 with the new XT-2, and my reason was mainly for the purpose of the new excellent video features. The XT-1 was really not a great video performer, even though the photo aspects of the camera was awesome (Read about my initial thoughts on the XT-1 here). Fujifilm has really upped their game in the video aspect, and  you can really tell they have put in a lot off effort into the video features. After filming with my Phantom 4 quadcopter for some time now, and playing arround editing videos, I ‘m really intrigued. I love the creative possibilities video can give you in a whole other way than shooting stills.

The XT-2 features excellent 4K UHD video (3840 x 2160) at a great 100 Mbps. The XT-1 continues autofocus (AF-C) was really rubbish, but on the XT-2 it’s vastly improved. From other tests I have seen, it’s on par (?) with the highly regarded Sony A6500 autofocus. Since I already had a lot of Fujinon glass, the choice for me was obvious on what camera to choose.

Looking at shaky video really makes me nauseous. Even though the style these days is to have some movement in the shots giving you more of a third person view, I like it smooth. And Shooting video handheld won’t give smooth movements, at least when you are used to “perfectly” stabilized shots from a drone. The need for a stabilizer was obvious, and I knew already before buying the XT-2. After a lot of research, the Zheyun Crane seemed like a highly praised piece of machinery. And I assure you, it does a great job. But i doesn’t come for free! There is a pretty steep learning curve, and just slapping the camera on it and run down the street won’t give you anything to showcase to Quentin Tarantino.

Here is the XT-2 mounted on the Zhiyun Crane, supported by a small Manfrotto 209 tabletop tripod.

First off, you need to perfectly balance the camera in all axis (Not like in the picture above). If not, the gimball motors have to work much harder, decreasing their lifetime, and also increasing the chance of bumpy and jittery shots. Then there is the walking technique. It’s time to bring out the ninja in you, as the ninja walk really helps even out that z-axis up/down wobbling. Also side to side movement will show up in your shots if you are looking closely, so it takes some practice. Turning the crane to inverted mode can help the sideways motion. But you can be sure the gimbal does a great job at keeping the camera level.

Following is my latest film, from the small and charming streets of Trevi in Italy. It’s shot with the 23mm f1.4, 18-55 f2.8-4 and the 56mm f1.2. Edit is done in Final Cut Pro X. (Remember to select HD – 1080, and turn on the sound).

The XT-2 has kept the dedicated iso, shutter and exposure compensation dials on top. And they fixed the previous “lock issues”. Now the dials are turning freely with distinctive clicks when the center locking pin is up, and you lock the dials completely by pushing them down. Works like a charm.

One of my “cons”on the XT-1 was the problem with quickly changing focus points. The 4-way button on the XT-1 wasn’t protruding enough making them easy to find without moving you eye from the viewfinder. Now there is a dedicated small joystick that has a great feel and feedback. The joystick as placed between the 4-way buttons and the Q-meny.

The rear screen is a 3″ screen, featuring 1,040,000 dots. The screen is ok, but not racer sharp and in my opinion would do with an update from the previous model. But they have updated it with a dual hinge screen making it possible to tilt up/down, and to the side (Or both simultaneously). The digital viewfinder is still as awesome as its predecessor, its HUGE and virtually no delay in the image display, especially in boost mode (100fps).

Here is my first test of the Zheyun Crane, down at the docks in Oslo. It’s recorded in 1080 at 60fps , and the final output is in 30fps (Hence the slow motion). I made the rookie mistake of choosing a shutter speed that didn’t match the artificial lights frequency, so excuse the random flickering. Shot with XT-2 and the 23mm f1.4.  (Remember to select HD – 1080, and turn on the sound).

For video, I find the rear screen to be a bit small and hard to see when moving the crane around. That’s why I invested in the Blackmagic Design Video Assist. It’s a 5″ full HD screen with a built-in recorder. That means I can record directly from the uncompressed HDMI 8-bit 4:2:2 HDMI output signal to a high quality 4:2:2 ProRes or DNxHD file, up to 1080i 60 fps (In camera recording is 4:2:0, MPEG-4, H.264). When you shoot 4K and record in camera, the Video Assist can still monitor the 4K signal (downsampled to 1080). This is a question many have had online, and even my dealer couldn’t tell me if it could. So, it’s confirmed, it can!

The monitor has all the features you cold ask for in a monitor (At least for my needs), like zebras, focus peaking, preview of LUT’s, histogram and false colors just to mention some.

The Video Assist features bot HDMI in and out, and the same with SDI. You can record or monitor the HDMI signal in at the same time as the signal is transmitted to another device if you need it. The Video assist has a touch screen to operate the menus, and the sharpness from the 1920 x 1080 display is astonishing .

The Blackmagic Video Assist records directly to SD cards, and I prefer that in comparison to expensive SSD’s. The only downside I have found so far with the XT-2/Video Assist combo is that the XT-2 only outputs F-log files externally, and in 4K. I was really hoping for F-log in 1080 resolution externally (Fuji, are you listening 🙂 But in stead I use the PRO Neg.Std picture profile, and set the highlight and shadows at -2. This gives you the flattest picture possible, for a bit more leeway in post production. It’s important not to clip the whites or crush those black levels, as they’re not possible to recover. If you’re familiar with shooting still Jpeg’s, you know what I’m talking about.

Here is one more video I made from Oslo. All shot with the XT-2, 23mm f1.4 and the 14mm f2.8. It’s recorded in 1080p at 60fps. (Remember to select HD- 1080, and turn on the sound).

I’ve connected the Video Assist to the Crane with a small clamp with a magic arm (Ebay). My clamping option is not optimal, and I’m still looking at other options. But hey, it does the job! There is a dual handle available to the crane, but I’m trying to stay as light and portable as possible. One important step to think about is that your HDMI cable needs to be light and flexible. If not you’re going to impact the gimbal movement and “pre-balancing” will be a pain. I use a Sanho Hyperthin Micro to HDMI cable, and it works great.

The Zheyun Crane also features a joystick allowing you to control the gimball movement. This is great both when moving around, and when stationary, giving you butter smooth movements. You can also control the gimbal from the Zhiyun app remotely.

The Crane comes in a great case for transportation and storage. There are 4 Li-ion batteries (3.7 V, 2000 mAh) included, and a USB charger. The battery life is rated to 6 hours per pair of batteries. I havent timed my usage vs battery level, but the batteries last for a very long time. The Crane weighs 0.95 kg (2 lb) without the batteries, and can handle a camera weight from 0.35 to 1.2 kg  (0.8 – 2.65 lb). With the new software installed you can have a camera up to 1,8 kg.

Ok, lets move back to the XT-2. The camera now has dual SD-card slots. That’s great when shooting video, as you quickly run thru a lot of gigabytes!

On the left side, you find a 3,5mm microphone jack for an external microphone, micro USB 3.0, a micro-HDMI and a 2.5mm for the remote. On the battery grip VPB-XT2 (accessory) you find a port for the 9 volt charger that charges both the 2 extra batteries in the grip simultaneously, and a jack for you headphones if you need to externally monitor the sound. The maximum video time without the grip is 10 minutes, and with the grip it’s 30 minutes. Apparently it has to do with battery temperatures, as shooting 4K demands a lot from the batteries and processors. Many other cameras, like the Sony RX100 are widely known for overheating quite fast when shooting 4K. I’ve had no signs of excessive heat/overheating with my XT-2.

The Fujifilm XT-2, Blackmagic Design Video Assist and a table dolly.

When using autofocus in video, you have to think about what the autofocus is going to do. No matter what camera you use, autofocus wont alway get the job done. If your focus is going from close and suddenly to something in the distant, especially if you have a small depth of field, the focus shift is going to be sudden and not very cinematic. I have found manual pre-focusing before the shot works best if I have situations like this. The only exception is if I’m using the 56mm f1,2. This lens is quite slow focusing, and when playing back in slow motion, the focus transitions can look quite cinematic. When using the autofocus on medium to distant subjects, as tracking people, I have found the autofocus to be very good.

There are basically 2 main modes in video mode, the selected focus point (Area), and closest subject (Multi) if shooting 4K. If shooting 1080, you can also use the face detection. There are also 5 preset AF-C custom settings, where the tracking sensitivity, speed tracking sensitivity and zone area switching is different. The 6’th choice is custom, so you can tweak the 3 mentioned parameters as you like. Check out this site for more info.

Fujifilm has announced 2 new software updates. As a matter of fact, Fujifilm is really good at listening to the users feedbacks, and adding new features and tweaks. The new software has made iso adjustments possible when filming, live histogram when filming, and tapping the focus button is going to make the camera re-focus. I missed those 3 features as of now. There will also be support for computer tethering via Wi-Fi in version 2.10. The Fujifilm phone app is very slow to connect, and requires a lot of buttons to be pushed. So I hope the new tethering solution will be better and compatible with phones, tablets and computers (?). The new software 2.00 was released March 30 2017, and version 2.10 in late May 2017. There is a whopping 33 new features coming in the new updates.

In video mode, there is a 1.04x crop when shooting at HD 1080, and a 1.17x crop in UHD 4K (Effectively 1.725x crop relative to full frame, as the native crop is 1,5 crop). I have no problem with these relatively small extra crop’s when entering video mode.

As a stills camera, the XT-2 is still up in the top of the APS-C mirrorless cameras. The Fuji colors are like no other camera I have used, and the fact that the Fujinon glass has such great image quality makes this a great camera both for video and stills. The sensor is now a 24 Megapixel APS-C X-Trans III CMOS , compared to the old 16 megapixel APS-C X-Trans II CMOS sensor. Still I think the Fujinon glass holds up nicely at this high resolution, even wide open. I can’t say the same for my Nikon glass on a D800 or D600.

hope you enjoyed my thoughts/mini review on this “threesome combo”, or the individual components. I know there are a lot of questions floating online about these products, and I hope I have spread some knowledge on a few of them.

If you’d like to keep up with my video stuff, be sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!

The ultimate speed festival, Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016!

The Goodwood estate has a long history with British racing. When Lord March took over the property in 1990, he wanted to bring back to life historic racing at the Goodwood Circuit. But without the necessary permits, he had to come up with something else. So in 1993, Lord March invited a small selection of historic vehicles to his property, to race a Hill climb. First year starting with 25.000 visitors. But in the following years hosted tens of thousands, and in these days up to 150.000 over the 4 festival days. (Tickets are limited to maximum 150.000)

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Giving you just a small sense of what this festival is all about is really hard, but i will try. Please start this video, and let it roll when reading and scrolling on. (Not phone/tablet friendly). Motorsport is also very much about the noise these fantastic machines make!

The Hill climb with it’s gorgeous British surroundings makes for some great framing. Like here, framing in the iconic BMW March 86G .

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Goodwood Festival of Speed shows of a wide range of vehicles. Both in eras and types of vehicles. Some of these old machines are so awesome, with engine displacements leaving every 21 century machines in envy. Notice also the chain drive!

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There are rarely any fancy racing suits at Goodwood. Many tries to recreate the era of their vehicle. All the marshals has “retro” looking clothing. No fancy racing barriers either, just hay bales firmly hold together with wood logs.

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The theme for 2016 was James Hunt, celebrating 40 years since winning the Formula 1 World Championship. And they didn’t spare on the amount of previously “Hunt the Shunt” vehicles. For instance like James Hunt’s McLaren M26 below.

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James Hunts sons, Tom Hunt and Freddie Hunt (Euro NASCAR racer) was also present. Look them up, they are very much alike their father!

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Mirage GR7 previously driven by James Hunt.

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Goodwood is not all about cars. It’s everything that moves with an engine, like planes, helicopters, trucks and not to forget bikes.

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Ellen Lohr, DTM race winner and current Dakar rally driver. Here seen in a racing Mercedes Truck speeding up the hill climb. This really shows the diversity of this festival!

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New and old cars on display let you wander in the more quiet areas, soaking inn all these beautiful creations.

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I spent 2 days at Goodwood. The first day, Friday was really warm and nice. But Saturday showed some of the well known British weather, changing from sun to rain and back again faster than you could unfold your umbrella.

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The list of celebrities is long, with for instance Keanu Reeves riding this bike he designed.

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Not long after, Audi Tradition was preparing this amazing V16, Auto Union Type C from 1936 for another celebrity.

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Car fanatic, and drummer for Pink Floyd, Nick Mason was driving this powerful exotic beast.

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The list of celebrities just goes on and on… so if your an autograf hunter, it’s definitely a place to be. Not to forget the legendary Sir Jackie Stewart in this old Lotus. Just love Jackies well known helmet livery, showing his scottish heritage.

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When i though i had seen it all, just a short trip with the free shuttle, you find the Rally stage. The rally stage parking was packed with Rally icons…..

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Back to the Hill climb, here with the Renault Nervasport, rebuilt by Renault Classic. In 1934, after 48 hours, 3 minutes and 14 seconds of racing, the Nervasport crossed the finish line after beating nine international records and three world records including a record: 8037 km in 48 hours (167.445 km/h average). That’s not bad considering it was in 1934!

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Talking about dressing to you vehicles era, love this!

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There was also 7 Formula 1 teams present, including a lot of older F1 vehicles.

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This V12 Honda had an amazing ear shattering roar.

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Susie Wolff (retired British racing driver from Scotland) driving this priceless Mercedes 300 SLS.

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The RAF Red Arrows put on a hell of an airshow.

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The Goodwood Festival of Speed 2016 definitely was up top my expectations, and then some. Highly recommended, and sure as hell i want to go back!

Remember to follow me on InstagramTwitter and Facebook.

Here are some bonus shots for you all!

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vaughn gittin jr.

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Thank you for watching!

Please feel free to share this blogpost (https://kjetilkvienmadsen.wordpress.com/2016/07/07/the-ultimate-speed-festival-goodwood-festival-of-speed-2016/)

Remember to follow me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook.

Cheers!

Behind the scene, making of The Carburetors music video “”LORDS OF THUNDER” (feat. Shagrath)

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Fast Forward Rock’n’Roll,  45 degrees celsius, 99,9% air humidity, and so many spotlights the power consumption could make a small village go dark. That’s what met me when entering the scene of the Carburetors shooting their new video.

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I was asked to shoot some behind the scene shots from the video Lords of thunder. This is one of the new songs from their newly released album Laughing in the face of death. The album is just released, and many have been waiting in anticipation for their new album for a long time now. It’s been awhile since Rock’n’Roll Forever, which was their previous album, released in 2008.

Eddie Guz, Vocal

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Kai Kidd, Guitar

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Producer Christian Falch (Gammaglimt As) and the rest of the team shot and put together an awesome end product in this video. I don’t think most people know how much planning, how many GB of raw material, and how much pre-production work that is put into something as “small” as a tree and a half minute video! This wouldn’t be possible without experienced and knowledgeable people.

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They shot with a RED 4K camera coupled with a Fujinon 19-90 T2.9. The RED camera shoots in ultra-high definition (3840 x 2160), and the cost is like a nice Porsche.

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Fast Forward Rock & Roll !!

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One big surprise for many was that Shagrath was performing with the Carburetors in this song, and that’s a really cool addition to this video. Shagrath (Stian Thoresen) is probably best known from the internationally successful Dimmu Borgir. Eddie Guz and Shagrath previously played together in Chrome division where Eddie was the vocalist and Shagrath was playing guitar, so they’re no strangers.

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Shagrath

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King O’Men emerging from a sea of awesome backlighting.

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A lift made it possible to get some shots from up high.

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Stian Krogh, Guitar

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The LD, Odmund Berg didn’t leave any light bulbs at home this day, as the backlighting was massive!

Here’s Odmunds Mission control center:

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Some short brakes made for a quick snap between the sessions.

Kai Kidd – Chris Nitro – King O’Men

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Chris Nitro

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Shagrath

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Some unusual angles made for unique shots of Chris Nitro.

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Remember to get the new album, and of course if you’re a real music lover, you can get the album on vinyl.

Don’t forget to view the end product here:

(click: 1080i, HD)

Bonus shot: Shargath and Kai Kidd 😉

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Gatebil main event 2015

September came early this year!  Well, things got crazy busy, and the blog post from the Gatebil main event just had to wait a bit longer  😦

The main Gatebil event was held July 10-12 , and unfortunately it crashed with other big events around the globe. This resulted in many of the big names like Fredric Aasbø, Mad Mike whiddett and vaughn gittin jr not attending this time. But hey, isn’t it cool to let all the other awesome drifters get their names out there ? With approximately 40.00 visitors this still wasn’t some small event. I spent the whole sunday trying to catch some of the Gatebil spirit. I hope I succeeded in giving you a small bit of this madness 😉

Here is David Skogsby covering Rudskogen in smoke!

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This “famous” BMW 2002, previously owned by the finish Smokehunter guys, has changed owner. It is now driven by Geir Rosmo. With this new livery, i think it still is one of Gatebil’s coolest looking rides!

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Old school Martini racing Escort.

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Leif Frykas has built one hell of a ride based on a Ford Anglia. But seriously, there isn’t much Anglia left, besides the cool and very characteristic look of the Anglia. Leif built this monster him self, and the suspension, brakes, drive line etc doesn’t resemble much of a stock Anglia 🙂 This car runs and corners like a freaking monster.

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This turbo charged Volvo B230 engine is bored up to 2500 ccm, and is one of the things making this car run like a rocket.

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Tor-Anders Ringnes entering warp speed!

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Pettersen Autoimport brought along this beautiful GT2, that made for some great shots.

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LaSupra

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Dennis Häggblom in one of Europe’s only drifting Honda S2000.

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I’m not a Nissan guy by heart, but this Nismo 350Z Super GT, driven by Oskar Sandberg  (Owner: Radni Molhampours) in the Gatebil extreme competition, is something special. Although being really underpowered compared to it’s compettitors in the Extreme class, it really showed that power is not everything in racing!

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Well, back to what Gatebil is mainly about… High speeds, and ridiculous amounts of smoke! This RWD Fiesta is driven by Per Gustav Bråthen (Built by PSW enginering)

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The Danish Drift Team Overboost was back again this year with their turbocharged v8 Miata.

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Escort MkII, classic.

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Bekkevoll racing… Diesel power!

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bmw

bmw IIThe cone eating monster!

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Bil Baldwin was here this year also. He handles the checker flag like no one else, and was also in the “Breisladd” (Drifting) jury. He is as popular, if not more, than the drifters them self 🙂

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Of the total 80 competitors in the “Breisladden” competition, David Skogsby took home the 2’nd place.(Hans Hartvikøy 3’d)

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Robin Alsaker ticked all the boxes, and took 1’st place, making him the World champion in the Breisladd competition.

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Time to say goodby, and thanks for stopping by. I’m leaving you with 2 more shots. One of David Skogsby, and one from the Team Overboost camp! Cheers 😉

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The Carburetors @ John Dee 16.05.2015

Yet again I had the pleasure of shooting The Carburetors the night before the Norwegian national day! This time with the Norwegian Revolver Avenue and the German V8Wankers as support. Revolver Avenue really surprised me, playing some great songs with real confidence for such a “young” band (First EP released in 2011). Unfortunately for the support bands, the lighting was not in their favor for getting great shots. The best light is usually “saved” for the main band. The band members have no, or very little front light, and a bucket load of back lighting. So I decided to enjoy the music (And a cold beer), leaving me only with this one keeper of Nils Alex Rama Engeness from Revolver Avenue.
PS: All the pictures are clickable so you can see them in a higher resolution! (recommended)

Nils Alex Rama Engeness

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ƒ/2.8 – 16.0 mm – 1/250 – ISO 4000

Usually I’m packed with photo equipment (Almost to the point of needing a Sherpa and pack donkeys). But this time I traveled light, only with a mirrorless camera (Fujifilm XT-1) and the new Fujinon 16-55 2.8 lens. And i must say I’m highly impressed with this combo. I didn’t know what to expect from this camera in these low light and fast-moving situation. But hey, this little camera really performs. Both the high ISO capabilities, and the focusing was really great. The focus off course is not on par with my Nikon D800, but it was more than sufficient. For those with photo interest, I placed the Exif data under all the shots, so you can see the shooting data. Everything was shot in full manual mode.

Next up was the V8Wankers. Their a band originating from Offenbach in Germany, and was formed back in 2000. The 15 years of experience as a band really shows, and like The Carburetors, they’re also a bunch of real crowd pleaser’s. I highly recommend to see them live if you get the opportunity. Remember to check out their new album “Harden the Fuck up’!!

Lutz Vegas

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Themighty Kingyeah

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Luke le Duke

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I’ve waited in anticipation for a while to hear some of the new songs from The Carburetors. Well, the audience didn’t go empty-handed home. Check out the concert playlist!

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I’m so looking forward to the release of the new album (And maybe a spot in the photo pit at the release concert????)
The new songs I’ve heard so far sounds awesome!

Eddie Guz & Stian Krogh

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King O’Men

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Kai Kidd is always a crowd pleaser!

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The master of drums, Chris Nitro!

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Stian Krogh & Kai Kidd

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Kai Kidd – Double thirstquencher!

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That’s all for now, and thanks for the backstage whiskey and after-party!
(Almost felt like a rockstar myself when i woke up the next morning 😉 )

Remember to check out my Website and my Facebook, and feel free to share this article.

All pictures © Kjetil Kvien Madsen. Please contact me if you want to use or buy my pictures.

 

😉

Golf GTE

Electric vehicles are really popular these days. Well, that’s if you’re from a country like me, Norway. The largest share of electric vehicles in Europe is sold in Norway. Leaving only some percentages of the sale to the other countries. A couple of weeks ago the total amount of electric vehicles tipped over 50.000. That’s pretty amazing, considering there is only 5 million people living in this long stretched country. I would like to tell you that Norwegians are extremely environmentally minded, like the green gods off Europe, but i don’t think that would be telling the truth. The reason is most likely these benefits made available by the government. No tax when purchasing new electric vehicles. Reduced road tax. No road toll, Free public parking, Free public charging, And to top it all , you can pass the long queues home from work, driving in the bus-lane 🙂

But enough of all this pure electric vehicles talk. That’s not for everyone. Most people owning an electric vehicle has this as a second vehicle (Or this as the primary vehicle, and a combustion driven vehicle as second vehicle). At least if you sometimes have to drive longer distances, there is those times the reach just wont be sufficient. Then how about combining those to into one vehicle? Well it has been done before, kind off.. like the Prius (shivers going down my spines). That just won’t get me exited at all, sorry. Many others have tried, but in my point off view, not pulled it off completely. It Need’s to be a plug-in hybrid if its suppose to make any sense.

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Well how about the new Volkswagen Golf GTE? It’s a plug-in hybrid with a mix of a sporty hatchback. Not some boring Prius :). Combining a 150PS 1,4TSI, and a 102PS electric engine makes a versatile combination. Driving completely electric there is still plenty of power (320Nm), and its so nice an quiet driving electric. But if you enter the GTE mode, you combine the engines, giving you a system output  204PS and 350Nm. The torque is what impresses the most, even though the battery weighs 160 kg, and the vehicle total is 1,520kg. The torque curve is so consistently high, and really pushes you back in the seat when the electric boost kicks inn. It’s so much fun!

_DSF6395-Edit smallThe GTE has a top speed of 222 km/h and accelerates to 100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds. In comparison, the GTI with 220PS goes from 0-100 km/h in 6.5 seconds.  In pure electric mode, it runs all the way up to 130 km/h. Picture below is of the GTE with the color carbon steel grey. This color is only available to the 3 GT models.

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The interior  also shows that this car is definitely in the GT family together with the GTI and GTD. The interior is just the same, but instead of the red stripes/details (GTI) or grey (GTD), it’s blue. Like shown here in the seat covers. Just in the same checkered seats like the golf GTI/GTD.

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Shown here is the 18″ Nogaro wheels, that in my opinion looks great on the GTE.

_DSF6486-Edit smallThe instrument might be unfamiliar to those newer driven an electric VW before, with its “Power-meter”. I really like that they put inn a tachometer, giving me a quick access to see if the engine is running. In the Audi A3 e-tron, with the same driveline, i missed this (You have to enter a menu to show the rpm)

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Plug-in hybrid. This is what separates a hybrid from a plug-in hybrid. The possibility to charge the battery when parked. A normal hybrid charges the battery when braking (regenerative braking), or possibly by the engine in some cases (Obviously consuming more fuel, and not that environmentally friendly). The GTE packs a 8,8 Kw/h lithium-ion battery pack, giving you a maximum range up to 50 km pure electric driving. The available range off course depends on many factors such as for instance driving style, topology, outside temperature, but not the least which other electricity consumers you turn on. Heating or cooling definitely pulls a lot of power, and can lower the available range significantly. You better learn where the off button on the climatronic is, if you want to drive for longer distances electrically.

_DSF6385-Edit smallThe power is transferred to the wheels via the DQ400E 6-speed DSG gearbox. There is 3 wet clutches. One connecting the TSI engine to the electric motor, and he 2 others are one for each input shaft in the gearbox. There is no conventional starter motor for the combustion engine, as the electric drive motor can start the TSI engine. Considering how many operations going on changing gears, and switching on/off the engine etc, the gearbox and hybrid drive changes is very smooth. Thumps up to the engineers behind this configuration.

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Many small details making the GTE stand out from the regular golf’s. The GTE emblem, and also the seams with blue thread on the steering wheel, gear shifter etc.

_DSF6376-Edit smallThe GTE button starts the GTE mode. Then the power from both engines are available. The steering stiffens significantly, giving you more feedback from the front suspension when driving in a sporty manner. There is also a sound generator making the engine sound more aggressive. If you order your car with DCC (Dynamic Chassis Control), also the shock absorbers goes to “sport mode”._DSF6410-Edit small cooler

Shown is the 1,4TSI engine. The electric drive and gearbox can’t be seen here, because its tucked in lower down. The 2 additional electric units seen is the battery charger, and the power electronics.

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There is 5 different drive modes you can use. With the GTE button you enter the GTE mode described earlier. When using the “e-mode” button you can switch between electric mode and Battery hold. In electric mode there is pure electric driving, unless you use the kick-down. This will result in the combustion engine starting, and you have the full 204 horsepower’s available.  In battery hold  mode, it tries to use as little electricity as possible, saving the power for later (For instance when needing the battery capacity later when entering an low emission zone in the city). From the hybrid menu in the multimedia device, you can enter 2 more modes. Hybrid auto, and charge battery. In the hybrid auto mode, it uses the electric engine at low speeds and small loads. But uses the combustion engine at higher speeds/loads. In Charge battery mode it uses the combustion engine to charge the battery, which in turn leads to higher fuel consumption. This off course is not the best way, but nice to have the function available if you need to top up the battery when your out of extra boost power 🙂

_DSF6388-Edit smallThe front incorporates the same C-style shaped LED lights as the e-Golf and e-up! The car is also equipped with full LED headlights and rear lights. The ACC (Adaptive cruise control) system radar shown under the license plate is also a dream come true. Keeping your set speed, but automatically adapting to vehicles in front off you. Just sit back and relax 😉

_DSF6561-Edit smallA similar Blue light like shown here is also integrated in the door panels. Looks great at night.

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_DSF6539-Edit smallBlue brake calipers. Not for everyone, but keeps the blue e-motion theme complete

_DSF6545-Edit smallThe seats are really comfy, and have great side support when driving in a sporty manner.

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Driving this great plug-in hybrid gave me a really fresh new feeling to this segment of vehicles. I can highly recommend it, and I’m exited to see how this type off vehicles will evolve in the future.

Hope you enjoyed, and be sure to drop by my website (www.kkmfoto.com), my automotive facebook (www.facebook.com/kkmfoto) and my facebook site for general photography (www.facebook.com/kkmfoto)

All the photos are shot with a Fujifilm XT-1, with either XF56mmF1.2 R, XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR or the XF 23mm f/1.4 R.

Cheers!