So after using Leica digital M system since it became available with first M8 model and raving about it any chance I had (see my previous post here on that subject), I woke up one day and had a “brain fart”: why am I paying every few years for a rangefinder digital body so much money only to sell it 3 years after for a fraction of purchase cost (pure reality of shooting digital with any system. Basically using a computer with a lens mount. Not much, not less…)? Problem IS that Leica digital rangefinder looses value percentage wise far more than some other digital cameras, as they are overpriced to begin with (I have no idea what is going on but just check out the used prices on the net on year old M240s…) Lenses are a different story: Leica glass IS an investment. You can not go wrong with good (and desirable) Leica M lens. Over the years I acquired all lenses that I needed to complete the system. But, amount of money invested became crazy high… After all I am professional photographer, not wealthy collector. I got tired of dropping a big bag of cash every 3 years for a new Leica M body… Something had to change! ……
I was out shooting some street photography earlier today with my trusty little Fuji X-E1 and I noticed that I had taken a lot of portrait orientation shots. As I was sorting through the shots I noticed that all the vertical images paired up nicely, so I thought I’d do a set of paired images, just for the fun of it. All of these were taken around the streets of Dublin city, using a Fujifilm X-E1 with a combination of the Fuji 35mm and the 18–55XF lenses. It was a lovely fresh Autumn morning and I was there early so the city was coming to life with the fresh energy of a new day, and for some reason I just had a really good time shooting. While these aren’t award winning images by any stretch, I did catch a few quirky sights around the city. I’ll post some more shots from this shoot over on my Photoblog. Processing was done in Lightroom, using various presets as the starting point. There’s a combination of VSCO Film 01, 02 and 04 in there. The VSCO presets work really well with the Fuji sensor, especially if you want to create an authentic film look. I’ve started using VSCO 2 a bit more lately, and I’m really liking the look of the Fuji Superia film presets. I don’t think that I’ve ever shot with that in actual film……
As a kid growing up in Saskatchewan, one of the highlights of every Summer was the Air show. My Dad would load up chairs, snack and my brother and I and we’d spend a day baking in the summer sun and checking out what used to be an amazing display of aeronautics. A fond memory from one year was a massive thunder and lightning storm arriving in the afternoon and we got to hide from the storm inside a C-130 Hercules, at that moment the kid inside of me hoped it would take off to take us for a cruise, didn’t happen. Living in Vancouver, the city of Abbotsford, nearby hosts an airshow each year and this was the first time in years that I was actually in town to check it out. So my brother, 2 friends and myself packed snacks, chairs, water and other “grown up” supplies and headed to the air show. In my camera bag, simply enough, the Fujifilm X-T1 and the brand new XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. The XF 18-135 has been called the “tourist lens” due to the fact that it’s focal lengths are perfect for almost any situation, from architectural to portrait. The first thing I noticed was the amount of people that came out to camp for the full 3 days, huge expensive trailers and motor homes, lining the camp site that sat on the edge of the airport. Upon entering it was amazing to see all the young faces so filled with that same excitement I once had, and to be honest, I tapped in to that excitement again with the smell of jet fuel in the air. We were graced with perfect weather and an almost full moon as the sun went down. The XF18-135mm lens worked wonderfully with the X-T1, and as you can see the image stabilization worked wonders in very low light situations…..
The Fujinon XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6-7 OIS is a good performer in relation to its price level. The results are mostly sharp in the image center. The corners aren’t quite as snappy in the upper range but let’s be fair – you don’t tend to place the main subject of your scene into the extreme corners anyway. The level of CAs is pretty good at the extreme ends with a weak spot (135mm) in between. Distortions and vignetting are taken care of by the automatic image correction. However, the original characteristics are quite a bit worse though – especially in terms of light falloff. As far as build quality is concerned, you shouldn’t expect wonders. The lens body is completely made of plastics and the build tolerances aren’t quite as tight as on the Fujinon XF lenses. The comparatively low price tag takes its toll here. That being said – the zoom action is a bit smoother than on the XF 50-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS. The AF performs is pretty fast in bright conditions but slows down in low light – this is more an issue on the camera side though. The OIS (optical image stabilizer) works nicely but due the slow max. aperture of the lens this feature is also often needed. Compared to the XF 50-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, we would place our bets on the XF. However, if your bank account manager starts crying, the XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6-7 OIS will be a viable choice without sacrificing too much quality…..
The Fujifilm X100S is no slouch. It doesn’t have the pedigree or the history of the Leica M series cameras but at $1300, you can buy nearly 7 of them for the price of the Leica M and the 28mm f2.8 Elmarit lens. I got to use both cameras at the same time last Friday on 6th Street. A couple of days ago, I wrote about my thoughts on the Leica M with plenty of examples. This time, I’ll do the same for Fuji X100S. All photos in this post are from the X100S. Keep in mind, this is not going to be a head to head comparison. That won’t be fair. I’ve only shot the Leica M for a couple of hours, with at most, several hundred frames. I’ve had the Fuji since March and have shot close to 20,000 pictures with it. It takes a while to get to know a camera and optimize its usage and image post-processing. That said, I’ve tried to include similar photos, when possible. You can compare these images to the ones I took with the Leica M.……..
This year I had the great pleasure of spending 3 weeks in China. Not sticking to one place, but travelling through this vast and beautiful country. As I wanted to travel light I opted for the Fuji X-E1 with the 18-55mm, backed-up by the Fuji X100s. Anyhow, I took a lot of pictures of the locals and here is a brief B&W selection. Some of them are shy, others are happy, some are young and some are old. Others are painfully poor…but does it mean it should not be recorded……
Another wedding photography post today. Again I was asked by a very dear friend of mine (Also being the best colleague in the world) to take photos at her wedding. I was also invited as guest, so I had double roles to fill! Again the images was taken using the x-pro1 with the 35mm f/1.4, the X-T1 with the 56mm f/1.2 and the trusty x100s. I wish Thomas and Gitte all the happiness in the world…….
The Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS is a very harmonious offering. It may not excel in quality but it has only few weaknesses. The Fujinon is pretty sharp across the zoom range and entire image field – even at max. aperture. The low amount of lateral CAs also contribute to the subjective quality perception. Due to the system’s image auto-correction, neither distortion nor vignetting are relevant to the average user. Under the (RAW-)hood these two characteristics are not as quite as perfect though. The quality of the bokeh is just average for a lens in this class. The build quality is on a very high level thanks to high quality materials and tight assembly. However, Fujifilm has overdone it with the stiffness of the zoom ring which feels inconvenient even though this may avoid zoom creeping. In terms of AF speed, the results are solid for a mirrorless system albeit not outstanding when compared to the benchmark systems. The optical image stabilizer is certainly a plus regarding the moderate max. aperture of the lens. Given the comparatively moderate pricing, the Fujinon is a obvious choice even though there isn’t much to choose from in this lens class anyway. Well done, Fuji! …..
Ok so lets get this out of the way first, its plastic all around. Lens mount, body, focusing ring are all plastic. The zoom ring does have a nice feeling rubberized coating on it which makes it comfortable to use and its just big enough for your fingers to fit around. The plastic that Fuji used on this lens is pretty high quality though, it doesn’t scream budget and I think it looks quite good. Below are the pictures of the lens attached to my Fuji X-Pro1 at both 50 and 230mm ends. One of the biggest advantages of this lens over its big brother (50-200mm) is the weight savings. It is dramatic how much less this lens weights as compared to the all metal construction of the afore mentioned offering from Fuji. For me this was a big selling point as most of my photography is done on trips, hikes and generally hauling a backpack along………
We have just got back from a few days in London which was a present for my 50th from the better half. It was a few days of excessive eating and drinking with a little bit of walking and photography, in fact we really blended in with the 1000’s of typical tourists. I shot all the time with my Fuji X-Pro and the XF 18mm f2 except for a few of the night shots where I used the XF 18-55 f2.8 and then processed them with SilverEfex as I felt the B&W contrasty feel gave the look I was after. shot both day and night and the X-Pro performed great, I really love this camera the quality of the raw files is top notch even at iso 3200…..