Bokeh Anyone?

moro3579

I’ve written about the fabulous Fuji 55-200 lens in the past but I have to say it is a truly spectacular piece of glass!  FF field of view approximately 84mm to 300mm.  Pretty sweet.

I got this lens before the 50-140 2.8 came out; and I considered my options — upgrade? sell the 55-200?  what should I do?  I’m here to say I’m glad I did nothing.  The 50-140 2.8, though a phenomenal lens, is too expensive, too big, and too heavy for me.  I switched from Nikon to Fuji to save weight, and my back so I’ll be darn if I’m lugging the 50-140 2.8 around.  Heck, I remember lugging my fabulously sharp, and oh so heavy, 70-200 2.8 in the woods.  No more.

Honestly I’ve tested both.  I cannot tell the difference in sharpness.  I read the stories and reviews about how phenomenal the lens is, and the writers are most likely correct.  But for me the 55-200 just works.  But that’s me.  It’s small, lightweight, and has a marvelous range, plus it’s reasonably fast!  Can’t ask for anything more than that.

What I will stress here is that if you are planning on purchasing one or the other, test them.  Rent them.  Use them out in the field.  That would be the best way to determine if you can live with one or the other.  I remember a year or so ago I purchased the Fuji 56mm 1.2 based on the positive reviews online.  I shot three events back to back with it the same day and, after only the first event, wound up switching to my 35 1.4, and the 18-55 to finish the job!  The 56 1.2, in a extremely well-light church and I mean well lit — sunny day, large skylights, bright light colored interior, and huge windows letting in the light down both sides, the damn thing refused to lock focus often enough that I switched it out and never looked back.  It was returned for a full refund that Monday morning.  Maybe it was a bad copy.  Maybe it was I read too much into how great the lens was.  I don’t know.  But I’m to going back to it.  Waaaaay too much money for a fixed focal length, that almost cost me some serious dough by not working as I expected it to.

Anyway, I’ll stop here singing the praises of the 55-200.  You be the judge.

 

 

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Last Nights Amazing Sunset

I’m sitting at home glancing out the windows and notice the sky has cleared up.  I’m also noticing some amazing wispy clouds floating by.  So it’s like 7pm, sunset is at 7:40p and I grab my gear and shoot out the door.   As I’m flying downtime two-lane road I’m thinking I’m going to miss the best part of the sunset as I see the sky lighting up around me.  Well, I arrived at the Marshall Point Lighthouse with about 10 minutes to spare and quickly grab my gear;  unfortunately, my tripod was in my other car which my wife was driving.

From my backpack, as I didn’t have time to swap my gear into one of my shoulder bags I grabbed my X-T1,with the 18-55, and the 16mm 1.4.  That’s all I used during this amazing display of light and shadow.  The image stabilizer on the 18-55 lens truly helped nail a few images as some of my handheld exposures were in the 1/7th to 1/15th of a second.

As it got darker and darker I swapped to the faster 16mm 1.4 and used that — even though I had to push the ISO up to the 800 level.  I am so far very happy with my results from last night.  More images to come from St. George Island soon!

MORO2366

 

Finally Arrived!

I’m finally up in Maine!  Yay!  I left New Jersey in 115 degree temperature, and when I shot this image it was 58 degrees!  Can you believe that!  I’m standing in a fine wet mist, with heavy fog rolling in off the ocean in a polo shirt just enjoying the weather and there are people all around me huddled together in sweatshirts and hoodies.  If they only knew…

This image is one of the first two or three I took.  It is the “Bug light”  Lighthouse in South Portland Maine.  I stopped in Portland for fuel and food;  My goal was to hit the Two lights state park but I arrived so late due to traffic and such that I missed the sunset. However, I feel this blue hour image of the Bug Light is so much better (IMHO)

So, it’ll be a busy week.  I’ll try to post further.   JLM_1350

I Thought it was a Gimmick

The screen at the back of the X-T1.  Yup.  I was “one of those” that thought I would never use that.  Wrong.  I have found myself using it on quite a few different occasions.

Case in point: this image.  Instead of having to lay prone on the ground, or kneel oh so painfully, i merely placed the X-T1 on the ground and popped out the rear LCD panel to have a better look.

X-T1, 18-55, 1/9th F11, ISO 200, camera sitting at edge of dock, Classic Chrome finish in LR via the raw file (click for larger view)
X-T1, 18-55, 1/9th F11, ISO 200, camera sitting at edge of dock, Classic Chrome finish in LR via the raw file
(click for larger view)

More of my work can be seen at Drama King Images or at my Flickr

Incoming Tide at Dusk

One of my last images on my photo trip up to Maine.  This was on the banks of the Penobscot River.  And you have to admit — that Fuji Green is freakin’ amazing!

Hence why when I shot film — even as recently as five years ago with my medium format gear I opted for Fuji Velvia!!  Eye-popping color for sure especially the greens!

The Fuji film emulations as I mentioned in my previous post are one of the many reasons I love the Fuji cameras!  Heck, even going back to one of my first Fuji dSLR’s a Fujifilm S1Pro.  That was a beast of a camera. Used Nikon lenses on it.  The skin tones were to die for, and the greens and yellows:  unfathomable color depth.  I remember it was 3.1MP and I basically shot in jpeg only.  The BASE ISO was 320!  The low light performance up to around ISO 800 was pretty darn good!  Fuji has had it going on for quite some time now!  Their Ju-Ju sauce just works.

Incominig Tide. Penobscot Bay at dusk. Fuji X-T1, 18-55 lens @ 55mm, 14 seconds, F14, ISO 200, 3 stop ND, and Polarizer, Tripod, Remote (click for larger image)
Incominig Tide. Penobscot Bay at dusk.
Fuji X-T1, 18-55 lens @ 55mm, 14 seconds, F14, ISO 200, 3 stop ND, and Polarizer, Tripod, Remote
(click for larger image)

You can see more images at Drama King Images or at my Flickr page

X Marks the Spot

The Penobscot Bay with the new Penobscot Narrows Bridge in the background at dusk. I was photographing the meteor showers but those stars… Oh My. Don’t see that in South Jersey for sure…

Fuji X-T1, Zeiss 12mm F2.8 @ 2.8, 28 seconds, ISO 1600, Tripod, remote. RAF processed as Velvia
Fuji X-T1, Zeiss 12mm F2.8 @ 2.8, 28 seconds, ISO 1600, Tripod, remote. RAF processed as Velvia

Meteor Shower, Milky Way, and an errant flashlight

Well I just returned from my second photo trip to my second home, Maine, for a shooting session with the Meteor showers forecasted last weekend.  I set up along the Penobscot river and shot away on 28 to 30 second exposures. I figured I would just merge some photos together.

So two of us turned around to look around and saw the Milky Way above and behind us so we did a 180 and photographed the Milky Way in addition to the meteor showers.

I’ll have more photos later.

Fuji X-T1, Zeiss 12mm F2.8, 28 seconds, F3.2, RAW FILE
Fuji X-T1, Zeiss 12mm F2.8, 28 seconds, F3.2, RAW FILE