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Landscape Photography by Thomas Menk. Travel Photography. Fine Art Prints. Landscape, Architecture and Urban Landscapes.
Yes, I’ve let my blogging stagnate for a while. I was shocked to discover that the last time I posted anything was in May of last year. I may not have been blogging but I’ve certainly been busy. Something I’ve enjoyed in the past is shooting with “vintage” lenses attached to my “modern” camera bodies. Why? All kinds of reasons, the main one being it’s a lot of fun! But there’s also the different look that each lens creates, different renderings of colour, distortion, weird “bokeh” (the out of focus portion of an image). Plus it’s possible to pick up some really very capable old lenses for not very much money at all. I recently took the plunge and bought a Soviet made Helios 44-M 58mm f2 lens, manufactured in 1978 and snapped up from eBay for around £30 (and that was one of the more expensive ones on offer)…….
PEOPLE FREQUENTLY ASK WHY FUJIFILM NEVER OFFERED CLASSIC CHROME AS A RENDERING OPTION FOR THEIR X-PRO1 AND X-E1 CAMERAS. I confess that I’ve googled to see if this update is available on a few occasions. It isn’t, or at least the availability is not obvious. In fact, both the X-Pro1 and X-E1 are boxed with a custom version of SilkyPix a RAW converter that is specially adapted for the Fujifilm X-Trans sensor. Classic Kodachrome was included within the rendering options available from the end of February 2015. This is often overlooked, however, because the .jpg files from all the X-Series cameras are so good many, especially professionals, avoid using RAW. RAW processing increases workflow time, and when you’re busy, rather than a hobbyist, time is money……..
This is my Fujifilm XF35mm f/2 WR lens review and real-world write up with a gallery of images taken with that lens. I think many people question why Fujifilm have decided to release a second 35mm lens, when the existing f/1.4 35mm lens is so highly praised and so damn good! Optically the original 35mm f/1.4 lens is fantastic, it was the first lens I bought to go with my X-Pro1 on the day it was released and that combination remains a firm favourite despite the X-Pro1 going on for 4 years old. I’ll shoot happily with it despite the fact that newer cameras are faster and technically ‘better’, there is a special place for me for the X-Pro1 and XF35mm f/1.4 combination, and I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that. Having said that, it’s hard to not see with a objective mind that the original 35mm is somewhat outdated compared to the latest lens offerings from Fujifilm. The AF motors are slow and noisy, it hunts more than newer lenses, and it does have the feeling of being an ‘early’ lens rather than the more refined ones that have been released since then…..
Being half term for schools in England, and as per usual raining it’s difficult to know what to do with the kids to keep them occupied. As it happens the British Motor Museum at Gaydon, Warwickshire is not too far from us so we decided on a quick trip down there to see what it had in store having had a bit of a make over recently. Being home to the largest collection of British motor vehicles it’s home to a lot of different vehicles so is a great opportunity to explore the the good, the bad and the ugly of the UK motor industry. I wanted to travel light for the day, so just took my Fuji X-Pro1 and 18mm lens on a neck strap which was perfect for slinging over a shoulder and using as and when needed. No need for a bag or rucksack, just a lightweight system for an easy day out……..
I tested Fuji’s 16-55mm f/2.8 zoom when it first came out, and wrote a review of it where I praised the versatility of its design for myriad uses, and noted that it was one of the few zooms I know where the optics are as good as a prime lens. What I hadn’t done was pick one up for myself, pretty much because I would use if for lifestyle and I already had most of the faster aperture Fuji primes and this zoom would be redundant. With the advent of the new Fuji X-Pro2, however, I see myself needing a zoom with superior optics to match the upgraded IQ of its new 24mp sensor. Fuji’s latest rebate offers tempted me to pick up the zoom this week. A 16-55mm (24-83mm equivalent) focal length is a very versatile zoom lens that has been the staple of photographers ever since zooms became available………
The first Fujifilm lens I purchased was the 23mm f/1.4 R. Then, I picked up the 18mm f/2 R. I no longer own the 23mm. Why? Although the image quality and performance of the lens was great, I really wanted a smaller, more compact lens. I nearly replaced it with the 27mm f/2.8 R, until I borrowed a friends. The 41mm equivalent focal length felt very odd. It wasn’t for me. I also didn’t like giving up 2 full stops. I got my hands on the 16mm f/1.4 R WR and fell in love, but I decided to spend less so I could pick up some other accessories. Do I regret settling on the 18? Not a bit. he 18mm is nearly identical in length to the 35mm f/2 with hoods installed. Without the hoods, the 18mm becomes nearly a pancake lens……
Announced roughly a year ago and released late in 2015, the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens is the second 35mm prime lens for Fujifilm’s popular X-series, rangefinder-style cameras. We reviewed the original lens, the XF 35mm f/1.4 R, back in March 2012. The new lens provides the advantages of weatherproof sealing and is smaller and lighter into the bargain. It’s also cheaper than its faster sibling. The new lens is available in black or silver (shown above), whereas the f/1.4 lens only comes in black. Its optical design of the new lens is also more complex, with nine elements in six groups, including two aspherical elements……..
Since you’re reading this post, I’m going to assume you’re as much a Fuji fan as I am and are familiar with the Zeiss Touit series. If not, I’ll give you a quick breakdown: Zeiss introduced the Touit line mid 2013 with a 32mm f/1.8 and a 12mm f/2.8, both available in a Fuji X mount or a Sony E mount – same glass in either option but the Fuji X mount version featured a manual aperture ring that the E mount version lacked. About a year later Zeiss added a 50mm f/2.8 Macro to the Touit line. From what I gather, the Touit line didn’t do as well as Zeiss had hoped and honestly, I don’t know if they’ll continue producing new designs. Jump forward a bit and Zeiss announces another line of mirrorless lenses called Loxia. Only, this time they left Fuji out altogether offering the Loxia exclusively in Sony E mount. The Loxia line currently consists of a 21mm f/2.8, 35mm f/2 and a 50mm f/2, designed specifically for Sony 24x36mm full frame cameras. I was a little bummed because I really do enjoy Zeiss lenses on my Fuji X-T1…….
I’ve been spending a serious amount of time using the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/2 R WR Lens since getting my hands around the X-Pro2. Before you get too excited, these photos were not shot using the X-Pro2. I know, sad face. They were however shot using the 35, which I had my eye on since it launched. The 53mm (35mm Equivalent) focal length is juicy for the street, not too shabby for portraits, and really nice for storytelling (Documentary). Those features combined with small size, WR (weather-resistant design) and a very affordable price ($399), hit me in all the feels. Opening the 35 from it’s jet black box, the first thing you’ll notice is how much smaller it is compared to the 35mm f/1.4 lens. I wish I had both lenses so I could share a side-by-side photo, but take my word for it, the difference is sizable. I enjoy it’s retro-style conical shape, and the hard stops between f-stops feel solid. The manual focus ring is smooth and it comes with a nice circular hood…….