Yay Me! Based on a professional recommendation to run out and purchase either a Reikonon, or a Pentagon FF lens from a working pro, I found this lens, a 50mm 1.8 on eBay. It shipped from Stuttgart Germany and it must have been sent on a scenic tour of the world as it took weeks to arrive on the East Coast. However, for $69.00 bucks, and the quality images both in sharpness, contrast, and MICRO contrast I would have waited longer! WOW. It’s manual focus only, and I also had to purchase a M42 screw-mount adapter to Fuji for $4.99 for it but it was well worth the price. For a grand total of less than $80.00 shipped I got one heck of a lens~ If you can find one, get one! or two.
One thing I have noticed with the “fly-by-wire” or electronic Fuji (as well as others such as Nikon, Canon etc) is that an auto-focus lens, when you attempt to manually focus, just doesn’t work as well as most people say. There is too much turning of the focusing ring back and forth, and I have never been happy with the results; besides, it’s auto focus – so why would I even want to manually attempt focus? Honestly. However, this lens is a fully manual lens, using the focus peaking on the X-T2 is just amazingly easy! I can’t get over how simple, fast, and easy it is to focus. This lens is all metal and has a beautiful rubberized ring and I have to say it’s as smooth as silk.
Here are some images I took the other day while playing around with it:
I’m amazed at the clarity of the images. These are taken in Acros, Jpeg. The bokeh it produces is circular, and oh so creamy. You can’t tell the there as I had it stopped to maybe 5.6 but it’s just so darn cool!
The rendering of the background trees is Just Beautiful! The crispness and clarity of what’s actually in focus is unreal. I can’t get over not only the image quality, but how easy and how much fun it is to use. When I first purchased the Fuji X-E1 in February 2013 I mounted my old, well used Minolta 58 1.4 to use it. This was a fully manual lens and was so simple to focus and use. Today’s Fuji’s coupled with the tremendous improvements in focusing and speed via perpetual (it seems) firmware updates – especially in focus peaking, makes using TRUE manual focus lenses such a joy again!
Here are a couple of other images, photographed Indoors, Jpeg mode, just testing not only the lens, but my manual focusing capabilities:
This is part One of a very quick, down and dirty review of the ThinkTank Citywalker 30. I am at my office as I write this and preparing to leave later this afternoon for a four-day work/personal trip up north. I received the Citywalker 30 a few days ago and I have been using it for about a week now as my daily commuter messenger bag. These are just my initial impressions, and how I have it packed and ready to go on this trip.
The first thing I did upon opening the box is I took the huge insert out. I mean, it’s huge. If I were still shooting FX dSLR such as my D800e and my bevy of Nikon lenses it would be just about right to fit it all in, but man it would weigh a ton.
The bag is a ballistic nylon; very well made. I got the black with the blue piping/stripe which looks really sharp and I’ve received several compliments about it at the office. The interior is just huge– I’ll talk about that a bit more in the images which follow as to what’s in the slots but the second thing I did upon opening the box was to place my old Jill-E insert in. The bag dwarfs the insert but it works and doesn’t take up too much room. This short four day trip will give the bag a true workout. It’s the only one I’m taking with me! A normal trip for me involves taking all my gear in a backpack, then one or two smaller bags to swap gear as needed. Unfortunately I don’t always get to swap gear from the backpack into another smaller bag, especially if I’m running late getting to a location — Case in point, back at the end of March I was photographing some old pier and pilings on the North Carolina Coast and put my backpack down in the sand. An rogue wave grabbed the backpack and was dragging it back into the ocean! Thank goodness I had it closed tight; and, if it hadn’t been for my daughter that was shooting with me who snagged it with the tripod leg of her rig, the next wave that was coming in would have swamped the bag completely! Had I had my messenger bag over my shoulder as I normally do, this would not have happened. But luckily, catastrophe avoided!
Anyway for this short, four-day trip I decided to only pack a few folders I need for work with my Macbook Air, and as far as camera equipment goes I loaded the X-T2 with the 16mm, 23mm, 35mm and 60mm lenses, leaving behind my zooms. This is a first for me.. I love love love my 18-55 and my 55-200! I just hope I don’t miss them too much!
I also packed only one of my four battery chargers to go with the three batteries – instead of my usual eight. A polarizer, a ND filter, tripod and remote shutter release rounds out my rig.
Here are a few images of the bag, and what’s in the pockets. As I mentioned earlier, I pulled out the huge insert that came with the bag and am opting for the smaller Jill-E insert to see how this performs in the field and on the road. One thing about the original insert that I can say is that it keeps the bag much more rigid overall, but I wanted a more flatter, close to the body profile. In all honesty I think I made a (intentional) mistake in getting the Citywalker 30 as it has a compartment which will fit up to a 15″ laptop – instead of the CityWalker 10, or the 20 that only hold a small iPad or such. But, for the price of 79.00 brand new, and free shipping from B&H I couldn’t pass up the deal when this same bag sold from anywhere between 145.oo to 200.00 US just a few short months ago.
Overall, as a work bag to and from the office on a daily basis I think it’s absolutely fantastic! I can’t be happier. This weekend will be test of the CityWalker 30 as a camera bag first and foremost.
Not shown in these images is the rain pouch which comes standard, nor the ThinkTank strap where I can put my keys, or my ThinkTank Pocket Rocket memory card holder, etc.
Overall: An excellent value and a kick-butt utilitarian bag that will serve my purposes for many years to come. Roomy, safe, secure, large. Heck, if you are going away for a weekend you can probably pack some overnight clothing, a jacket and snacks in there and still have room for your gear!
This trip will be it’s first official outing as a dedicated camera bag instead of a to-from the office messenger bag. I’m very much looking forward to working with it and I’ll prepare an update when I return.
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.
This is THE reason I haven’t posted anything recently.
THANK GOODNESS FOR BACKUPS! I also have a 16TB Drobo with a duplicate backup of my 8TB but I don’t feel like working on that one.
I’m waiting for my replacement drive from Western Digital. The 8TB is where I keep almost 100,000 images. In addition to that, I have another 7100 images to review, and edit that I’ve taken since late September through the Thanksgiving break.
I am so far behind I know exactly what I’ll be doing during the upcoming Holidays.
I’m also moving over 40,000 other images from Apple’s Photo app to a separate Lightroom Catalog. These were stored not on my “work” workstation, but a separate iMac. This is taking H.O.U.R.S. as I’m moving the images one event at a time and making sure all keywords are accurate as I can make them. Might as well do it right, right?
So: COME ON WESTERN DIGITAL!! Ship my replacement drive already!!