I recently went on a 13-day cruise to the Baltic with the Fuji X-system. I took both of my bodies (X-E1 & X-T1) plus my single zoom (18-55) and several primes. I took my Tenba Messenger (small) bag for the Macbook, chargers, backup HDD, cables, Rolleicord film camera, iPod and extra lenses, but intended to only carry the Ona Bowery bag on a day to day basis. Stops were made for days out around several major cities, including Amsterdam, Tallin, Helsinki, Stockholm and St Petersburg. It was a good chance to give the X-T1 a practical workout and to see whether imaging with this compact setup would be effective and enjoyable. In terms of portability I have only praise for the setup I chose to carry on a day to day basis. I took the Ona bag with both bodies, each fitted with a lens that I thought would be most suitable for the location visited. Also carried were 2 spare batteries, lens cloth, detachable neck strap/wrist strap and city map. This setup was light and comfortable to carry, never once giving me shoulder ache. It was easy to open or secure the bag and rapidly remove or replace a camera. There was no need for lens changing in the streets, which in my experience tends to lead to dropping kit, losing bits like lens caps and missing the moment. I prefer to shoot already set up and would rather carry 2 bodies, each with a lens, than a single body with 3 lenses, for this sort of photography……..
As the first weather-resistant lens for the XF system, the new Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR offers an appealing combination of versatile zoom range, good image quality, excellent construction and handling, and fair value for money. Centre sharpness is very good throughout the zoom range, only requiring the user to stop down by one f-stop the lens to get the best results. Edge sharpness proved to be a little disappointing at the 18mm setting, although it thankfully improves at the other focal lengths. The maximum apertures of f/3.5-5.6 are on the slow side, although the seven-blade iris diaphragm achieves some appealing bokeh effects none-the-less. Vignetting is practically a non-issue, and chromatic aberrations are only noticeable by their almost complete absence. There is some slight barreling at the 18mm wide-angle focal length, but very little pincushion distortion of note at the 135mm setting. The Fujifilm XF 18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR benefits from a fairly fast and pleasingly quiet auto-focus mechanism, generously wide zoom ring and a welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure. The lens mount is, thankfully, made of metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread does not rotate on focus, which is very good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis…….
Last month, Fujifilm introduced the brand new Weather Sealed XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS WR lens. It’s the first of their lenses to feature weather resistant construction, which is designed to keep out rain, dust, and water splashes when you’re shooting out in the environment. In other words, the outdoors. You know, when it’s not sunny. We all know that’s when the best pictures often happen. Designed as a companion lens for the weather sealed X-T1, it can be used on any interchangeable Fuji X camera body, like the X-Pro1, X-M1 and X-A1. (The 18-135 features 20 points of weather sealing on the lens barrel.) Since Alaska is not known for it’s exceptionally clear weather, especially in the summertime, I was excited to have the chance to try out a prototype version of this lens. During the past few weeks, I’ve shot a variety of landscapes and adventure with it on my trusty X-T1, and even rain into some rain and wet conditions, even a brief summer snow storm in the mountains……..
We have just got back from a week away in St Ives. It’s one of my favourite places to visit in the UK and when you get the weather it’s just about perfect. St Ives is blessed with some fantastic beaches, which essentially surround the small fishing town. The harbour area is the bustling focal point of St Ives with its shops, restaurants, cafés and traditional old pub – The Sloop Inn. The tables outside the pub face the harbour and it’s a great spot for people watching. On elf the first things I do when I arrive in St Ives is order a pint of Doombar, sit back and just relax. The atmosphere is unique. Local fishermen mix with tourists and conversations play out against a background soundtrack of waves gently lapping on the shore and the shrill sound of seagulls. The only sound more shrill than the gulls is the screams of newbie tourists losing their newly purchased ice-creams and pasties to the swooping airborne aggressors. Here are a few photos from this year’s visit. The pictures here were taken on the Fuji X-Pro1with mainly the new 10-24mm f4 and the X-E1 with the 55-200mm attached. The reason for the two bodies was that it enabled me to cover a wide range of shots without changing lenses in what can be a fairly dusty environment with all that sand swirling around………
As a native of the city of Birmingham there a some things that make me proud to be a child of the town. HP Sauce, Duran Duran, UB40, and the original Mini to name a few. But there is one thing that stands above all of that, a band well, more than that an entire sound that shrouded the city then now and forever. The story is well known, four working class lads from Birmingham who got together because there was chuff all else too do in Brum at that point in time. A real smoking sooty furnace of a place, the city was and still is a fairly hard place and for over 40 years Black Sabbath has been interwoven within that. The heavy bluesy soul that Birmingham emits is the heart of Black Sabbath even now…..
Wie kürzlich hier bereits berichtet, habe ich nun – so hoffe ich – meine Weitwinkellösung für das Fuji-X-System gefunden. Was folgt, sind ein paar Artikel in einer Art “rolling test” zum neuen Samyang. In Teil 1 beschreibe ich das Objektiv und gehe auf Verarbeitung und Haptik ein. Ein 12mm-Objektiv mit einer Lichtstärke von f/2.0 muss man lange suchen. Es zeichnet als APS-Objektiv den Bildwinkel auf, den ein 18mm-Objektiv am Kleinbild-Format beleuchten würde. Die Blende f/2.0 ist – was die Lichtstärke betrifft – eine echte Blende f/2, was das Freistellungspotential angeht, wirkt es, als würde man mit einem 2.8/18 auf Kleinbild fotografieren. Das ist schon beeindruckend………
Inevitably when the Carl Zeiss name is mentioned, and especially given the quality of results recorded here, it is natural to assume that the Distagon 12mm f/2.8 T* prime is bound to be a very costly bundle of glass. Prices vary but are generally around £900 online, which is indeed a hefty sum for a wide-angle prime lens although it isn’t too far away from the norm. There can be no doubt that this is a very impressive prime that ought to satisfy even the most demanding users…..
Another week another shoe release, but this is very very special. The Nike Air Max arrived in 1987. Tinker Hatfield and Mark Parker wanted the most comfortable shoe on the market, Nike had already given is the waffle sole, but they wanted more for their top class athletes. Nike had gotten people running and this was the next step. This shoe was different it had this magic little air bubble or Air Bag in the sole, the first time I saw a pair I was 13 or 14 JD Sports had a real small store in Birmingham and these where there all new and groundbreaking. Inspired by the Pompidu Centre in Paris they had the same outside in design as the famous paris tourist spot. I remember the whole Air bag puncturing fable, I remember being sent home from school as they didn’t meet the uniform. Pestering my dad till he gave in. It was a love affair that has gone on and on……
We left Rome today and are now in Florence for the next few days. Rome was everything I had dreamed it would be. Well, almost. Everyone said the coffee would be the best I have ever tasted. So far I have not had a bad cup of coffee. But I don’t find it head and shoulders above the rest of the worlds cappuccino’s and espressos. Now the gelato… that’s another story! I am sure there is no better ice cream on the planet! I think literally half of Rome is under construction. Most of what we wanted to see was under scaffoldings. Seriously, the Colosseum, the Trevi Fountain, The Spanish Steps and more all under renovation. Oh well, looks like we will just have to visit again! Here are a few images from Roma! Arrivederci Roma……
So we are in July, ALREADY! Half of the year is over – “Time is the only currency that you can spend, but never make.” Here is a snapshot of my 2014 so far. Thanks to everyone that has been part of it, let’s see what the rest of the year brings. p.s : I will be catching up on some blogging soon :)