Well I’m not exactly getting rid of my SLRs and my army of lenses, but all that gear has been locked away for the past week. A little viewfinder camera has hit the market that scratches me right where I itch. Since the advent of digital cameras, I’ve been waiting and waiting for the killer small camera to hit the scene and that day has finally arrived. While the original Fujifilm X100 was off to a good start, it was plagued with a long list of shortcomings, and these weaknesses have been addressed in the new X100s. This baby is hands-down the best camera around for its size. I’m talking to you, Leica. The X100s is modeled after the beautiful classic 1954 Leica M3 rangefinder and does a great job recreating the retro look. She’s packed with many of the same classic dials and switches of yesteryear, but upon closer inspection, not everything what it appears. For one, the timer lever is really just a toggle to switch between optical and digital viewfinder while the timer functions are handled via digital display. But other controls like the shutter and aperture dials remain true to their functional origins, completing that nice analog feel. But despite the deceiving looks, the X100s really is an honest-to-goodness rangefinder thanks to the digital rangefinder focus option……..
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……..
After a short rest I have finally got my user review of the Fujifilm XT-1 under-way. I apologize to all the people who have emailed me for my thoughts on the camera. It’s been a perfect storm…pardon the pun. Busy work schedule combined with the weird weather, the lighting hasn’t exactly been attractive for any shutter therapy. It’s clear skies for a day or two, quickly followed by haze and rain. I took it with me to The Bahamas where I figured I could take the weather variable out of the equation. Well If you live on the East Coast or the Caribbean you already know how well that plan turned out. Hurricane Arthur brushed across the region making everything dark and wet for a few days. The sun came out enough for a great time and some cool pictures…….
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………
I’ve been a Canon user since I started photographing seriously in 2007. For the last 6 years I’ve been using the Canon 5D Mark 2/3. Overall I’ve been very happy with the 5D. The image quality is terrific, and the controls are very well laid out and intuitive. It’s a very usable camera and a great performer. However I was finding that its size and weight meant that I would often leave it at home. For dedicated landscape photography trips I’d take the big bag with me, but for everything else – family days, day trips, commuting, a leisurely stroll – the only camera I had with me was my iPhone. My desire for a second camera coincided with the release of the Fujifilm X-E1 which promised great performance in a much smaller package. There was a lot to like about this camera. Although small and laggy, I loved the histogram and the focus peaking in the EVF. The image quality was excellent even ignoring its small form factor. And of course its smaller size and weight meant I was now carrying a very capable camera around with me……..
Last year at Africa Oye I was shooting with a Nikon D3s and a variety of Nikon Pro glass, as well as my favourite Sigma 300mm lens. I also had a Fuji X100 with me. I was thinking about trying out Mirrorless but had not made up my mind. I managed to get a few shots with the X100 and one got published. I was worn out after two days shooting at Africa Oye 2013! If you have never shot an event believe me two or three days shooting all day with a heavy DSLR body takes its toll on your back and shoulders. I had been exploring the Fuji option for a while but felt I could not give up my D3s and 300mm f/2.8 ! But as most of you know from my previous posts I did give up my D3s last year at the end of the festival season. I went over to Fuji from Nikon and then spent the rest of the year shooting Fuji but in the back of my mind I was worried about the festival season. My first event in the 2014 calendar was Africa Oye, this will be followed by Brazilica, the Giants and LIMF. Even after spending quite a while shooting with the XPro1 and the X-T1 I would not have a fast enough lens for the job in low light. The 55-200mm is fine but it’s not a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 so would struggle in low light and is a little slow at times. The Fuji bodies only go up to 6400 ISO so my fear was as the light dropped I would run out of light and not be able to shoot……
Online prices for the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8 X-Mount prime vary hugely, from £570 to £700, so a mean figure of £635 has been quoted here. But even the bottom end of that range is a lot of money for what is simply a conventional standard lens – albeit a very good example of the genre. Nevertheless, with Nikon’s AF-S DX 35mm f/1.8G available for under £200, and offering almost equal image quality in many respects, Zeiss’s lens looks distinctly over-priced…..
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…..
X-T1 the camera that changed it all!
When Fujifilm announced their new top of the line X-T1 in January 2014, their two main selling points were “weather-sealing” and an “enhanced auto-focus system” which included the focus tracking system which I was lurking after. As soon as GPP Dubai had an X-T1 in stock, I was on my way! I didn’t take long, before my Nikon D800 and 4 expensive lenses went up for sale on the second hand photography market. After all they had been used so little since the start of 2014, that they really deserved some new ownership. So is the X-T1 perfect? Obviously NOT! No piece of technology is… I don’t like how the 4 way buttons feel at the back, even though I slowly learned to live with it. Battery performance is really nothing to write home about; especially since it is known to drop from being fully charged to being empty in just a few shots. I travel with a minimum of 4 batteries where ever I go. I do however like the camera. It has something which is very hard to describe; like falling in love all over again…….
I am a still life photographer and my needs in a mirrorless camera are vastly different to the majority of photographers. They are probably much simpler than yours. A very few are sophisticated. The first things I check for in a still life camera are: a good WiFi app, a decent flip-out screen, and the ability to pan and zoom at 100% magnification. I don’t use native lenses, and until recently, I’ve had no need for autofocus. But about a month ago, I sold my X-Pro 1. As much as I loved that camera, it wasn’t the ideal backup camera for what I do and how I shoot. In particular, card write-time was too long for audiophile events/press events. Perhaps worse was its jumpy EVF. I replaced it with an X100s. Saying goodbye was difficult. The good news is that the X100s has blown me away. Silent and deadly that little beasty is………