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…….
After testing the X70 and in the process completely falling in love with the wider field of view that the 28mm eq presents, I thought I would grab my old XF18mm f/2 from the cupboard and give it a renaissance run. I always liked the XF18mm f/2. Mostly because of the focusing speed. Being one of the original 3 lenses designed for the X series, it was by far the fast focusing of that original triplet. But even after the introduction of newer, faster XF lenses it still remains among the fastest. Image quality of this lens has always been criticised. Indeed it is the lowest corner resolution lens within the XF eco system, but center sharpness is good. For some X-series users this fact renders the lens pretty much useless for their type of photography. For street usage where critical corner sharpness isn’t always the important thing, its a very great lens. It’s small and fast. Two features that clearly outweigh the loss of resolution near the corners. When all this is said its still a very sharp lens! All XF lenses are……
When looking at cameras and lenses, there are so many choices to make, and with the cost of gear, it can be hard to make these choices without being informed. A large part of the work I do for this site has to do with gear reviews, and as such I have the opportunity to try a wide variety of gear. As such, I thought it might be helpful to put together a bit of an overview for each of the major mirrorless camera systems, to help in both deciding between systems as well as deciding between cameras and lenses once you’ve decided to dive in. First up: the Fujifilm X series. I plan on doing system overviews of Sony E-mount and Micro 4/3 as well, but I’m starting with Fuji for one simple (and random) reason: I have recently reviewed several MIcro 4/3 items and Sony items, with another in the works, so to mix up the coverage before the X-Pro 2 hits the shelves, let’s dive into the Fuji X Series first. Because of the scope of this topic, I’m going to break it up into two parts: Cameras and Lenses. Today we’re discussing the X-Series cameras…….
Photographers who shoot with the Fujifilm mirrorless camera system have a distinct choice to make when shopping for a short telephoto prime lens. The company sells two versions of its 56mm prime—this Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R ($999.95) and the Fujinon XF 56mm F1.2 R APD. It’s not just the cost of printing APD on the lens that carries a $500 premium—the apodization filter included in the pricier lens promises to smooth the defocused parts of an image for a more pleasing bokeh. Whether or not that’s worth it to you is something you have to decide for yourself—either lens is able to capture sharp photos with a staggeringly shallow depth of field with ease. But neither quite matches our Editors‘ Choice short telephoto lens for the Fuji system, the longer Fujinon XF 90mm F2 R LM WR……..
It’s been a while since I wrote you last. As of today, I still shoot with the Fujifilm X-Pro1 and edit my pictures in Lightroom CC. I might upgrade to the X-T2 when it comes, this summer. The Fuji RAW files are still not fully supported by Adobe, which is a drawback. As I’m sure you are aware, some details like foliage for example, will looked smeared. Inspired by the amazing photographer Olaf Sztaba, I decided to download the trail version of the photo editor Iridient Developer and gave the Fuji RAW files a run for its money. Let me tell you, the difference is real. Like going from 480p to 1080p on Youtube. I used Olaf’s settings in Iridient Developer, choosing the unique sharpening method ‘R-L deconvolusion’ and setting the radius slider to 0.5 and the Iterations slider to 30…….