Eight thousand miles of planes, trains and automobiles and I was back in the Philippines after five long years. My task was to visit and photograph the children at two SOS Children’s Villages, the first in Cebu and the second in Davao. I had no idea what to expect and as I walked through the main gates I realized that once again the camera, that little box with a piece of glass stuck on the front, had taken me to another place that I would never experience otherwise. It’s the best part of being a photographer and I’m so grateful for it. It’s been an honour and a privilege to have shot some of the things I have, and standing at those gates, I knew I was about to embark on something very special. SOS is an organization that gives homes to orphaned and underprivileged kids in some of the world’s poorest countries. They build villages with homes for these children, look after and educate them until they are ready to go out into the world and have careers and families of their own. Each house has a mother (Nanay) who looks after the children that live there (sometimes as many as 14). There are eight children’s Villages in Philippines and I wish I could have visited them all……
See more pictures on www.kagecollective.com
In case you didn’t know, I’ve been working on a documentary project on hunting in Belgium for about a year now. I know hunting is a bit of a sensitive topic but that’s the main reason why I started the project: to see how it really is instead of the usual polarized opinions. I haven’t done much for the project in the last few months but there wasn’t much going on to photograph either. But yesterday, the hunting season started again and so did my project. Last season, I shot mainly small game hunts. This season I will focus mainly on big game hunting and a series of portraits but I couldn’t pass the opportunity to photograph the small game season start in Les Vallons. These kind people have supported my project from the start and have opened a lot of doors for me to enter the pretty closed world of hunting…..
See more pictures on bertstephani.com
Sitting on the edge of a misty lake, a saw mill waits to be demolished. During a recent road trip, a friend suggested a location that I might find interesting. She was right! Together, we explored an abandoned saw mill. Rain poured down. Inside, light pierced the darkness. Outside, discarded remnants of former working lives lay at acute angles. It was a fascinating place to photograph and I feel fortunate to have had the opportunity before it is destroyed….
Notes: All photos shot with the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 and the XF18-55mm lens…
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This time I will post in English. Please forgive me if the sentence construction I use sounds a bit rough or something. It´s because of the lack of routine in the last few years. If you want to shoot modern architecture in Munich, you have to go to the “BMW-Welt” (BMW-World). Located not far from the Olympic Park, you can take a beautiful walk through the park. By the way you can visit the Olympic Stadium, or the BMW-Museum. The BMW-World opened on October 17, 2007 and so far more than 10 million people visited the building. For me it was another opportunity to test one of my FUJINON lenses – the XF 18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS. Lately I tend to use my other Fuji-lenses more often. The main reason for that may be because I love the shallow focus I can get with the XF 35mm and XF 60mm. The XF 18-55 has a variable aperture from 2.8 to 4 so if you shoot on the long end of the lens, you may not be able to emphasize one part of the image over another in the amount you want it to do. But hey – this is what we call high level moaning! Aperture 4 is not bad at all. Some kit-lenses of this range got apertures from 3.5 to 5.6 so this lens is far away from being a kit-lens! It´s more like a excellent all round lens. So lets do a quick comparison to a lens I often use with my Nikon gear – the Nikkor 24-70 2.8. Yeah – F2.8 all the way through the zoom range is great – but…the Nikkor weighs 900 gram and is a really big lens. The lens hood is twice the size as the hole Fuji lens! On the wide end the Fuji is also aperture 2.8 and the results are…yes, lets talk about a comparison of a full frame lens and a APS-C size lens! No pixel peeping or something of that stuff. Just a quick look at how the lens performs in real life shooting…..
See more pictures on www.cleareye-photography.com
Value for money
This lens currently retails for around £480, which seems reasonable enough for a premium zoom lens with a brighter than normal f/2.8-4 maximum aperture. Around £100 has been slashed off the price since launch and it seems to have levelled out at this price point. As there are currently no third party manufacturers producing zoom lenses for Fuji X-series cameras, Fujifilm has a monopoly on lenses for the system.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Verdict
Overall, this lens is a solid performer, producing images with excellent sharpness, especially in the centre of the image area. Great build quality and handling characteristics accompany the decent optical performance, which in turn makes the £480 asking price seem quite reasonable.
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS Pros
- Excellent sharpness in the centre throughout the zoom range
- Good build quality
- Low distortion
- Quick to focus
- Effective optical stabiliser
Fujifilm Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS Cons
- Not as sharp towards the edges of the frame
- CA levels a little high at 35mm
See on www.ephotozine.com
Neben seiner Premium-Linie „XF“ (Eselsbrücke: „finest“) hat Fujifilm kürzlich auch eine preiswertere Objektivlinie „XC“ (Eselsbrücke: „compact“) vorgestellt. Während zum Beispiel das XF 2,8-4/18-55 mm R LM OIS 599 Euro kostet, werden für das XC 3,5-5,6/16-50 mm OIS „nur“ 399 Euro verlangt – im Kit mit der X-M1 gibt‘s die XC-Variante gar für nur 120 Euro Aufpreis (jeweils UVP). Möglich wurde das – neben der geringeren Lichtstärke – durch Verzicht auf Metall und Konstruktionsaufwand: Fassung und Bajonett sind aus Kunststoff und statt je zweier erledigt nun je nur eine Linse im Objektiv die automatische Scharfstellung und Bildstabilisierung, und einen Blendenring gibt es auch nicht (die Blendeneinstellung übernimmt ggfs. ein Funktionsrad der Kamera).
Wobei laut Fujifilm auch die XC-Variante besser sein soll als vergleichbare Preiswert-Kit-Objektive anderer Hersteller. Der Autofokus soll dank Schrittmotors und der geringeren bewegten Massen besonders schnell und leise sein. Wobei mir in der Praxis keine signifikanten Unterschiede zwischen beiden Varianten aufgefallen sind. Ich habe aber weder gefilmt noch Sportaufnahmen gemacht.
Fujifilm hat die Kunststoffverarbeitung offensichtlich gut im Griff. Auch im direkten Vergleich bzw. beim Objektivwechsel von XC zu XF und vice versa löst das XC 3,5-5,6/16-50 mm OIS keinen „Plastikschock“ aus. XF ist schwerer, und hat einen Blendenring, aber bei Ansetzen und Bedienung des XC kommt keine Plastik-Wackeligkeit auf. Ich empfand das so: das XC setzt man an, und denkt sich nichts dabei (auch nichts Negatives), beim XF freut man sich über die Solidität und das Gewicht, mit dem es in der Hand liegt, und über den satt laufenden Blendenring…..
See on www.photoscala.de
The City of Arts & Sciences (Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias) in Valencia is quite simply a photographer’s dream location. Designed by Santiago Calatrava and Félix Candela and situated at one end of the dried riverbed of the Turia these futuristic buildings are to my mind, some of the most innovative structures in modern Spain today. Ironically, and to a very large extent, the City of Arts & Sciences has also contributed to the Valencia region’s bankrupt finances and is now viewed somewhat as a white elephant. Nevertheless I’m glad that it exists. In many ways any half decent photographer wouldn’t fail to get an interesting image from these fantastic buildings. Every time you visit you’ll see new shapes and compositions which change constantly depending on the direction and quality of the light. The River Turia itself , which circumnavigates the old part of the city, has been transformed into a wonderful park where the locals can take bike rides, where families set-up vast picnics at weekends, where lovers smooch in the shade of the trees and where skateboarders can enjoy a state-of-the-art rink. It’s a wonderful place to visit and I would recommend it to anyone who visits the city of Valencia.
(All images taken on the Fuji X-E1 with Fuji 18-55mm lens.)
See more pictures www.brianhickeyphotography.com
I’ll put my cards on the table right away: I’ve developed a slightly tumultuous relationship with zooms. They’re very useful tools but I’ve come to realize they also tend to drive me into what I’d call visual laziness. When I decided to jump to the X system as my one and only kit, I also embraced the fact that I’d be shooting with nothing but primes. In fact much of that decision was coloured by my experience with the X100’s fixed focal length and the way it affected my shooting reflexes. Not that this was anything new: I used Nikon primes as well. But committing to a single focal length for extended periods of time wasn’t something I’d really done before. When I shoot a prime I need to move — Obviously; I need to walk in order to alter my distance to the subject; and while I walk my brain works, and when my brain works it notices its surroundings and finds details or angles I often would’ve overlooked otherwise. But with a zoom… No matter how much I try, it’s always much too easy to fall back to those old reflexes. Twist in, twist out. Maybe if we stopped calling them zooms in the first place. That word doesn’t do justice to what’s going on optically. Maybe instead we could describe them as multi-focal lenses. There’s definitely something pretty fantastic about having the equivalent of 8 primes on a single lens… IF you use it as such. IF you understand how to use each individual focal length in the right context, and how each one changes the entire aspect of an image way beyond making things look nearer or closer. Compression, distortion, spatial perception. Of course you can also use it to get a closer shot of that mountain way out there; but perhaps if you actually GO to the mountain, something amazing will happen along the way. Right, so where was I? Ah yes: no zooms for me. Huh…
Absolutely. As surprised as I am to say this, it’s a no brainer. Until we get the extremely anticipated 56mm f/1.2 — yes, it’s now 1.2!!!!! — This will be my 85ish equivalent. It’s a great lens to have in my arsenal, especially for studio work. If you’re looking for an all around travel zoom lens, this will certainly do the job and then some. Personally, I still prefer something smaller and less visible and the X100S remains the ultimate travel solution for me. As I said earlier, I like committing to a single focal length and forcing my brain to make the most out of it. But I love what Fuji has done with this lens. And it certainly bodes well for the upcoming XF 55–200mm. More random images below…….
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I recently posed this question to colleagues because I have been experiencing the benefits of shooting wide open with one lens and the trials of relying on the variable aperture of the zoom lens. These experiences have led to results with which I’m really happy (portraits shot with the 60mm) and an unhappy photographer (me with the 18-55mm). Let me back up a bit. When the X-Pro 1 arrived on the scene last year, I purchased the three available prime lenses. For what I use them for, I have been very happy with all three. Of the three, the 60mm lens has been used far less than the 18mm and 35mm lenses, restricted to portraits, some close up work and more portraits. That said, despite the focusing quirks of the lens, the results have been very good and recently, as I have better understood how to use it, the results have been outstanding. Having used all three lenses on the X-Pro 1 for work and freelance gigs, plus the X100 on occasion, I was feeling that I needed/wanted to have the 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 zoom lens to shoot events. The zoom simplifies, to one way of thinking, lens and camera choice and since I shoot with flash indoors and don’t have to worry about a fast aperture shooting outside, you would think that this is the ideal event lens. Well, I’m not so sure about that. Earlier this week, I shot an indoor event, an awards dinner and presentation for a freelance client. The end result was that the photos turned out well and I rarely missed a shot, but it wasn’t the best shooting experience. And I have to take a good portion of the responsibility for the poor experience part. I will give all of the credit for the good shot results to the lens and camera. So what went wrong you ask? Since I shoot with primes most of the time, using the zoom complicated things. It did give more reach or a wider field of view than with a prime, but I felt like a klutz most of the time. Also, the variable aperture is a pain. Tempting as it might be to set the lens to f/2.8 at the wide end and let the lens stop down as I zoomed to the 55mm end of things, this plays havoc with exposure when I’m shooting with a non-TTL flash. Instead, I set the aperture between f/4 and f/5.6 and left it there, no matter which zoom range I was in. Again, this worked well and I have no complaints with the results, except for those rare occasions when the ambient light was right and I switched off the flash and tried to shoot as wide open as I could. Then, the ISO zoomed to uncomfortable levels, which wouldn’t have happened if the lens had a constant aperture of at least f/2.8 or better. Couple this with needing to shoot with the EVF most of the time rather than the OVF and using Auto Focus instead of Automated Manual Focus, which is my preference, it was a frustrating night of shooting. Poor me you say? Well you might. The AF worked as well as can be expected of any lens in the dim light of the event, but it wasn’t street fast, which is what I wanted this to be. It wasn’t rangefinder fast. So, therein lies the problem. The 18-55mm lens is a really good all around performer (I have made some gorgeous long exposures with it) but not as easy for me to use. There, let me put it this way, the problem is really me and I know it……
See more pictures on doncraigphoto.wordpress.com