Heads-up X100-series fans, the popular fixed-lens APS-C X-series camera from Fuji now has a younger sibling in the X70, and while the sensor size and resolution remain the same, much is certainly different about the Fuji X70. For starters, it’s a wider lens at 28mm eq, and the camera is much smaller and lighter. But of perhaps equal or even greater significance to many is that the X70 costs just a little over half the price of the X100T, and yet it still retains the characteristic wealth of vintage external controls that fans of X-series cameras tend to crave. The first question from us at IR with a new camera line is virtually always the same: „How’s the image quality?“ Our First Shots from our test laboratory Still Life target are generally the best place to begin………
Delhi is an enormous city – probably why it is in its own state. The size of it is mind-boggling, with 16.3 million inhabitants (London has 8.1 according to versus.com). It’s smoky, rammed with cars and people and extremely noisy, 24/7. Both Sarah and I were advised to get to India, adjust and then return to Delhi having experienced a bit of the country, acclimatising a little, as it can be quite a culture-shock. So, other than one night on arrival, that is what we did. In fact, we visited Varanasi before returning to Delhi so by then, Delhi was a walk in the park! On return to Delhi, we were keen to get into Old Delhi. We had been to Hanoi in Vietnam a few years earlier and I had a similar image in my mind. This was reasonably accurate but Hanoi has more motorbikes. Old Delhi is, well… old, hot, smelly and dirty. But we really loved it……..
Only three days in any major city is not enough – but that’s especially true for Tokyo. This city has always been on my „bucket list“ so I was fortunate that circumstances brought me here, if only for a short time. I limited my gear to my Fuji X-T1 and probably my favorite lens,the excellent Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R, which is perfect for travel. Tokyo is such an interesting place, it’s almost overwhelming – there was always something interesting to catch my eye. The X-T1, as always, proved to be a worthy camera in some challenging conditions. I will always remember Tokyo as the city I first used my Pano mode! Lol. Here are some of my favorite shots……..
Jaisalmer is a living fort in the Thar Desert, in north-west India, relatively close to the border with Pakistan. Ideal given my dislike of both heat, sand and the sun! It is one of the places in India that should be seen but is a bit of a slog to get to and out of the way of virtually everything else. Once there, it’s easy to see why people should and are encouraged to go and see it. Peppering the desert around the fort are old derelict ruins of entire villages, the fort stands high on its walled foundations and can be seen for miles around.The village shown below was abandoned (according to the events we were told by our guide, shown cooking) following a King’s forced marriage with a very young girl who he then maltreated, leading to the entire village vacating one night in protest of him and in support of her. We visited this old village on our way out into the desert for the most uncomfortable 45 minutes I have ever experienced – aboard a camel……..
So, I have a habit of being naturally argumentative when it comes the things that are described as a ‘must see‘ but given the Taj‘s status as one of the wonders of the world, there was no way we were going to miss it. However, I had said to Sarah already that I had a suspicion it‘ll be no more impressive than the Golden Temple. Once again, allowing my preconceptions to cloud my judgement on something I had only seen online and I was proved wrong. Very wrong. The Taj Mahal is simply astonishing. Words and photos cannot do it justice. In this information age, where with a keyboard and screen, anyone can find out about and ‘see‘ almost anything on the planet – it’s easy to assume that some things don’t need visiting……
Thing young lady made my day, she rode her uni cycle up and down the beach for me and helped create this fantastic black and white photograph. It is moments like these that I am glad I took the camera with me (we were actually at the beach to scout for a upcoming wedding in Piha). I am looking forward to when the family gets in touch and I can share the image with them. Piha is not our local iron sand beach (we usually visit Muriwai instead) and were pleasantly surprised with the photographic opportunities on offer desite the flat lighting. We prefer a harsher and more directional form of lighting for dramatic scenes such as this surf beach…….
I have been shooting with Fuji for over two years now. I was a happy Nikon full frame shooter but was looking for something smaller and more lightweight which would still offer decent image quality and the possibility for quick access to the most important settings. Little did I know then how much I would come to love the X series by Fuji. I first used it only for fun and travelling and am now using it more and more also for paid jobs. It all started with an X-E1 and the wonderful 35mm f/1.4 R. I now most of the time use an X-T1 and have a couple of prime lenses to choose from as well as an X100T (which is the camera I take along always and every day) with both converters……
As I am sitting in my office I get a notification from Facebook. Sebastian arrived on the Lofoten. I always wanted to go there in January or February. So I just booked a flight and here we go again. Sadly Natascha is not able to join, so is Frank. My base camp will be again Anne Gerd’s Lofoten Guesthouse – simply the best! I will drive to Hamburg, fly to Oslo, then fly to Tromsö and from there take the Hurtigruten south to Stamsund. What a wonderful trip…but a long one to finally get there. Everything is fine until I reach Oslo. Because of a heavy storm many flights are canceled. I am lucky and my flight isn’t – so I am on time in Tromsö. Around midnight the Hurtigruten arrives and I really am happy to spend 20 hours on the Polarlys – my favorite ship. The next day I am told that because of the storm it is not sure wether the ship will make it into Stamsund harbor……..
In my previous blog post of my visit to the Taj Mahal all shots were taken with the kit lens. In this blog post they are taken with my favorite Fuji lens – the XF14/2.8 R. As I moved closer to the Taj Mahal it was clear to me that now is the time for the 14mm lens. I already praised this lens a lot on my blog. If you scroll down to take a look at the tag cloud of my blog you can see that the 14mm is my main lens and there is a reason for it. The 14mm (or 21mm in full frame terms) is a surprisingly flexible lens. It has many advantages not only over the kit lens but also over the 10-24 but of course it depends on your shooting style and subject if you value them as much as I do. Here are the most important ones:
- zero distortion
- small and light
- wide but not too wide
- offer a focus clutch for easy manual focus (and zone focus)
- uses the same lens hood than the kit lens……..
My excitement grew, as we drew near to the spot Andrew had picked for our desert picnic. I used to have the same feeling when we would arrive at a new ski destination, set to explore. Do we have water, do we have food, how long would we last out here if we got lost? Those thoughts were not real concerns, as we never ventured more than a few hundred meters away from the car, but my imagination had free roam. It was so quiet I could hear the ringing in my ears. That did not last long though as we started running around the sand dunes, believing for an instant we were half our age. We snapped pictures from every conceivable angle. Our son had some fun photo-shopping a few of them. Great job Mik and what a wonderful surprise in my inbox this morning…..