Now we all know that Jimi had many things right. I mean a generation of people learned a new and brilliant way of thinking. Well, Jimi said one thing that I find as an untruth. “….ain’t no life nowhere….”. Well, here in Philly with Andre’ the Fuji X100s, if you look around “….there’s life everywhere….”. When I was younger and had more innocence, hmmmmmm well innocence for sure, I would see the world as interesting place photographically. I adopted a premise for my work while in VietNam. See, I was surrounded by life of all forms but in a fraction of a second, the world was transformed to a place where nightmares are real and not dreams, friends I talked with and ate with and smokes with were no longer a part of this world and now they would be memories that would haunt me to my elderly age and still live inside my soul and mind…..
So I finally completed my Fujifilm kit. A few days ago, I scooped up an XF 27mm 2.8 (silver) to pair of with the XE2 and I couldn’t be more delighted. Initially, I had wondered if it would give me the same experience as I had with my previous X100/s and I most say, it does. The XF 27mm transform your Fuji XE2/1/XT1/XPRO1 into an X100/s like experience. Here’s a recent image from a photowalk.
Things I like the XF 27mm
- diminutive size aka stealth factor
- sharp as a razor where it needs to be
I can see this lens permanently glued to my XE2 as my daily driver. When I need shallow depth of field or low light, in comes the XF 35mm and for an all around lens then there is the XF 18-55mm………
Astley Hall in Lancashire is the type of location that Fuji’s 10-24mm lens and X-Pro1 were made to cover. Astley Hall is a Jacobean mansion on the edge of Chorley and it has bags of character. There’s no doubt it’s a great building to photograph. I spent a little while walking around the outside waiting for the sun to break through the clouds. I’m not keen on boring skies so was aiming for a bit of sun on the building with plenty of detail in the sky. Thinks changed quickly and the sun was sometimes only out for only seconds. Some of the pictures taken close to the house gave the images impact with the converging verticals as I tilted the camera up, while on other pictures I tried to keep things straight and used a bit of correction in Lightroom. Inside the house, you are free to wander around and take pictures. The light levels were quite low in some rooms and it was a good test for the image stabilisation capabilities on this lens. No need to worry because even with the lens wide-open at 1/15 second the images are sharp……..
There are more similarities between photographing landscapes and people than you think. When working with people, a photographer must achieve a certain level of connection and trust that allows them to relax and open up emotionally and visually. On many levels, a similar dynamics plays out when photographing landscapes. You must “feel” the place, connect with it and give it time to reveal itself to you. So often I see photographers running around stunning landscapes fixated on a few photographed-to-death spots and rushing from one location to another. And I know what I am talking about – I have done it myself! Slow down, look around and don’t fixate on the most popular spots. “Be there” before you take out your camera. Very often you will notice different elements and visuals, but be warned – you may come back from your trip with images you didn’t plan to take. It may well be the best imagery you have ever created…….
In my last post I talked about what photo gear I brought to Italy for one month and the reasons behind those plans. So how did reality compare to expectations? Which gear earned another trip and what won’t make the cut next time? The good news is that the planning paid off and most things worked very well. There were a couple exceptions though and an uncertainty that might seem familiar/tiresome to some Fuji fans. Let’s take a look……..
Finally I got time to compare raw output from Fujifilm X-PRO 1, Sigma DP2M and Nikon D800E. The test below is very much unscientific, it was conducted just out of my own curiosity. All three cameras are totally different beasts and putting them side by side might be not fair, but I as many others was wondering how uncommon CFA (X-Trans and Foveon, APC-S) sensors stack up against leading 24×36 Bayer.
All cameras were set to: AWB, RAW, on a tripod with self-timer, aperture @ f/8, auto-focus
Nikon D800E: lens Nikkor AFS 50/1.4, post processed in ACR 8.6
X-Pro1: lens Fujinon XF 35/1.4, post processed in Iridient Developer 2.4.3
DP2M: lens Sigma 30/2.8, post processed in SPP 5.5.3 ……
Back in the Spring I visited Italy with the family. It was my first big trip DSLR-free, traveling just with the Fuji X-T1 and X100s. It was so pleasant not lugging around heavy gear all trip. I didn’t get hardly any dedicated photography time this trip, with most images taken quickly on the go. A lot of the street photography images were even shot “from the hip”. We visited Venice, Montepulciano (and some nearby Tuscan countryside), and Rome. The trip was too short by half, but it whet the appetite and I anxiously await visiting the country again in the future…….
So after scouring the internet I discovered this little beauty… The Helios 44M 58mm f2, it is a m42 lens and I picked it up attached to a mint Praktica MTL-5 SLR, on eBay for under £15. Bargain. So after a little play I have some sample shots for you to check out, yes I know I didn’t have a cool model to hand today, I didn’t get to shoot anything particularly interesting. It rained hard when I got to the city centre and I don’t particularly get on with the rain! But I think these samples prove a good point, this lens, as with many other great legacy lenses, is well worth a punt if you can hack manual focusing. With the X-Series cameras I like to use peak highlights to help me out. I do think the XT-1 that I have is better for focusing manually but then the X-Pro1 is better, in my opinion, than my Nikon D600 for manual focus. At least to me it’s clearer. Well check the shots out… look for the out of focus areas in particular, the bokeh. That’s the point of this lens……….
The Old Forge at Welbourn, Lincolnshire. All images taken with the Fuji X-E1 and Samyang 12mm NCS CS F2.0. I’ve had an ideal opportunity to put my Samyang 12mm X-Mount lens to good use. The confined space of this wonderful old forge in Welbourn was both challenging to photograph and captivating to see as a working piece of history. The forge would have been the working home of smithy’s and farriers, serving the local community with everything from horseshoes to wheel rings. It’s a heritage site and is full of interesting old pieces from a bygone era. I had very little space in which to manoeuvre and the lighting was supplied by a couple of windows and little else. I’m guessing the room size was in the order of 20ft on the longest side. I used upto ISO 1600 and shot mostly between F2 and F4.0……