In Part 2 of the Fujifilm XF 18-135mm lens review, we will have a look at some real-life images shot over the last few weeks… If you missed PART 1, please click here. The camera used was a Fujifilm X-T1; a perfect companion for this new weather resistant lens! For most of the shooting I had the new MHG-XT grip on the camera, giving it a perfect balance……
Once upon a time many years ago Santa delivered me a camera as a Christmas present. The family holiday was excitedly snapped. But then I was devastated as the plastic camera melted in the sun on the back window shelf of the old Cortina. Not to be deterred, I saved and saved until I could buy an SLR in a Customs seized goods auction. I was hooked. I soon discovered recording events for the school newspaper was an excellent way to avoid participating in them. As a keen outdoors enthusiast I choose to pursue a career in conservation, training as a wildlife ranger. I took many photos to record my journeys to some of New Zealand’s outstanding wild places and my work with our endangered wildlife like Kakapo, Takahe and Black Robin. It was a life I will forever feel privileged to have experienced…….
Since May of 2013, I’ve had the pleasure of working with the Fujifilm X-Series Cameras and XF lenses, and during that time I’ve managed to shoot with them in more than 20 different countries, spanning nearly every possible photography condition. In the process, I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting many Fujifilm shooters from around the world and what I’ve discovered is that people love their Fujifilm cameras and, like me, they’re excited to talk about them. There have been quite a few times, where I was completely immersed in a sea of tripods, riddled with shooters toting every type of camera brand known to man. People with Canons, Nikons, Pentax, and Hasselblads, all sizing each other’s gear up—in typical photographer fashion—while never exchanging a word. Fujifilm shooters on the other hand, just seem to smile at each other, as if they have a shared secret that no one else knows. It’s the strangest thing, but even during photo walks, Fujifilm shooters seem to congregate; proud to be carrying their cameras and excited to talk about their favorite lenses and what is to come. There’s a sense of community and shared love for these cameras that I find absolutely delightful…….
It was a typical Wednesday morning until I received that call. About 10:43am my phone rang. It was my mother calling to notify me that that my father had to stay at the hospital and have a neurosurgery consult. I was instantly shocked with disbelief as my father is as healthy as a horse. He’s 69 years old but he’s the kind of man that hasn’t really slowed down despite having been retired since the age of 65. It turns out my father (a retired physician) had been having some slight headaches on the right side of his head for the last few months and he really didn’t think much of them. As a family, we were all going through a trying time as my uncle, my father’s younger brother, had been battling cancer for about a year already and he simply attributed the headaches to stress. But my mother, always one to be top of things had requested a doctor’s appointment so that my father would go and get an MRI. To the surprise of everyone, the radiologist that interpreted the MRI said my father couldn’t go home and that he must go get a neurosurgery consult immediately. Its turns out my father had been diagnosed with a “subdural hematoma”……..
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 ……