Let’s face it, shooting architecture and landscapes is not something I feel comfortable with. However I’ve always been attracted by long exposure and sunset shots. Three things were missing so far in order to start an long exposure architecture project and I managed to get two of those already:
- the will (yep, got it eventually)
- a proper lens. The Fujinon XF 10-24mm f/4 has been delivered!
- filters (still missing those babies but it doesn’t prevent from training and shooting)
Unfortunately for me the 10-24mm I ordered came with dust between two lenses and I could only play with it for half a day before sending it back. The pictures below are a tiny set of what I could quickly shoot in the morning before going to work and during my lunch time in Paris…..
Too many times have I heard the complaint that social media, despite the connotation of its name, has rendered us more antisocial than ever before. Locked away in our rooms, we chat with individuals who play no part in our actual day-to-day existence, tricking ourselves into believing that our social life is much richer than it actually is. This is why Mathieu and I are both firm believers that the “social media cycle” isn’t complete until online relationships are taken offline. As friendly as you can become with people via a social platform such as Twitter or Google+, there is nothing quite comparable to meeting someone face-to-face……
The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Spain, Ireland, the USA, Canada and the UK–eight nations enjoying one another’s company under one roof in the cosmopolitan city of London, all thanks to relationships being taken from the superficial online realm to the geniune offline world. This is the true definition of social media, and the spirit with which LNDNWLK came into being……..
These are tentative steps, her first away from us; away from home. We spend a few hours moving in, exploring every nook and cranny, sharing her joy and excitement. But when the time comes for us leave… All that freedom becomes harder to bear. We walk away through tears and it’s hard but we know it’ll pass. A week from now, when we come back, she’ll barely say hello — too busy with her newfound friends. Letting go is the toughest necessary thing we do……
For what it’s worth, there seems to be something special about cities at the sea. They all have one more thing to offer I guess. I remember the feeling from other cities like San Francisco, Barcelona, Cagliari or Amsterdam. And now, the city alloted on 14 islands as well. The salty taste of the ocean was the first thing I sensed when arriving at Stockholm. It was hotter than the average August day. It felt good. Like a gorgeous summer day. The city was busy on that Friday afternoon. Almost like it couldn’t wait for the weekend to start. It didn’t take us long to feel the city. To sense its flow. Its people and its beauty. Stockholm seemed to be an open and friendly place. It smiled at us from the very beginning. Everyone was helpful and open……..
Despite people having their reservations about the XF18-135 when it was announced, I was still looking forward to the lens being that it along with the X-T1 are the first of Fujifilm’s “Weather Resistant” line of products (with more to come later this year). The XF18-135 isn’t a fast lens given its variable aperture spec which is why I think most people would hesitate getting this lens. But I think what many don’t realize is the reasoning for this. A lot of it comes down to getting the most versatile zoom range while still retaining compact dimensions. Remember that while this is a mirrorless lens, that does not equate to a major design difference size-wise compared to dslr lenses. The mirror on the X-Series cameras may be gone which affords them a much more compact body but the lens for the most part has the same design as any APS-C camera out there. So, many would argue that it would have been better to get a constant F4 or F2.8 on this lens; the fact of the matter is, that would have made the XF18-135 into an unwieldy lens for travel which is what I think this lens is targeted for………
As some of you know already I got the opportunity to test out the latest Fujinon lens for the X-series during my trip to Iceland. Fujifilm Nordicwas kind enough to send me a sample of this weather sealed lens for me to make use of during this trip and see what it could go for. Iceland is (in)famously known for having extremely changing weather so it ought to be a great chance to test how well the weather sealing worked along with my X-T1. Generally I prefer prime lenses and that’s what I work with 95% of the time, much because I don’t like to compromise with focal length or with quality. I like having to move to get the right framing, and it has taught me a lot during the years. And as we all are familiar with the pure photographic quality of the photos will always be better with a prime lens. That being said, there are obviously moments when it’s really convenient with a zoom lens. Especially for traveling. Being able to walk around with just one lens that covers a wide range of focal lengths is very practical, both from not having to change lenses or carrying heavy bags with complimentary lenses because you can’t decide on which one to go with……
Earlier this week I made my second trip of the summer down to London – this time a flying visit of less than 24 hours. I had two reasons for going down. Firstly to attend the British Wildlife Photography Awards, having been delighted to find I had a photograph shortlisted and printed in the book. Secondly to visit Charlie Waite’s wonderful exhibition of both old and recent work at the National Theatre – I have long been a big fan of Charlie’s work and was so pleased the exhibition was extended by a few weeks, allowing me the opportunity to get down to see it.
All of the portraits above were shot in RAW with the Fuji X-T1 body combined with the new 56mm f/1.2R APD lens and processed in LR5 with my own black & white presets. The lens itself was a prototype, so until a full production version of the lens is released I can’t really give an opinion on things like the focus speed, manual focusing, etc. In regards to the lens, what’s new about it? Well, not a whole hell of a lot. It’s the exact same lens on the outside in terms of size, build quality, filter size, etc. It’s the insides that have changed, but as I said, it’s not a huge leap. Below is a side by side, using straight out of camera JPG’s using the in-camera black and white preset, with the exact same settings (ISO 200 – f/1.2 – 1/2000sec) with the image from the original 56mm being adjusted -1 stop in LR5 to keep the exposure consistent. For those of you wondering why I had to adjust the exposure when using the exact same settings, it’s because the original 56mm lens lets in roughly 1 stop of light more than the new APD version, so at the exact same settings the photo from the older version of the lens will come out a stop brighter. That loss of 1 stop of light could be a good or bad thing depending on the shooting situation, but its due to the APD filter they added within the lens………
So yes, the rumours were true: Fujifilm has announced a new, different version of their stellar XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens — the XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD. I’m stressing the word different as opposed to better and I’ll explain why in a bit. APD stands for apodized. This is a process by which an optical filter is introduced inside the lens assembly to modify the way it renders out of focus areas — specifically, to make them smoother. And because this filter gets gradually darker at the edges, it also adds a slight vignetting effect. And I do mean slight: light falloff more than any real darkening. I was fortunate to again be hired by Fuji to shoot samples for this version as I had done for the previous model last winter, along with my Canadian colleague Nathan Elson from Calgary (his stunning images are here; very cool shoot). But the deadline and turnaround were a lot tighter this time and I barely had a few days with it. The lens Tokyo sent in was a prototype with nothing but a yellow sticker to distinguish it from my own “normal” 56mm. Since it wasn’t anywhere near a production model, this isn’t a review at all — just a look at the photo shoot and a few personal notes. And btw, these images aren’t the same versions you’ll find on the official product page: we send in unprocessed raw files for sample use. No retouching, no sharpening. Nada. It’s a humbling experience if there ever was one. The photos here were processed in LR5 with my usual methods (although Capture One was used as well for some of these; more on that eventually)……..
FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Shigehiro Nakajima) is proud to announce that a new FUJINON LENS XF56mmF1.2 R APD will be added to the X-Series interchangeable lens lineup from December 2014. The FUJINON XF56mmF1.2 R APD is an autofocus lens for digital cameras with APS-C size sensors and provides a focal length equivalent to 85mm*. The lens has a maximum aperture of F1.2 making it the world’s brightest autofocus lens for digital cameras with an APS-C sensor. In addition, the new apodizing filter makes it the perfect choice for portraiture, with every strand of hair visible and a unique bokeh effect. This lens is highly portable. When attached to an X Series camera body, it weighs about half** that of a single-lens reflex camera with a lens of the same focal length and F value, plus it’s quick to use thanks to the high-speed, quiet autofocus. It produces not only beautiful bokeh part, but also maintain the sharpness with accurate focusing even in a shallow depth-of-field. This is advantage of Mirrorless system over SLR thanks to focusing on image sensor itself rather than on separate PD sensor. The shutter sound on X Series bodies is equally quiet, so it’s easy to capture more natural shots of subjects……