Photography Within Music

For my last birthday, i was given a subscription to a very nice photography magazine.  This was a gift from my sister and the magazine comes every couple of months.

If you would like to take a sneak peak at some of the issues, you can go to their website: http://www.photolife.com.

In the April/May edition that i just received, Guy Langevin (I am assuming this is him: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/guylangevin) created a list of 16 songs that all have photographic themes to them, whether in the title of the song or in the lyrics.

I must admit, i have never heard of any of the songs in his list.  But then again, i am no music aficionado.  Anyhow, i thought it was pretty cool (apparently, he has done a similar list for movies) and i wanted to share it with everyone.

All of these songs can be found on iTunes:

1)  Polaroid Girl ……………………………………….. Massive Attack

2)  Photograph ………………………………………….Air

3)  Invasion of the Polaroid People ….Add N to (X)

4)  Get Free ……………………………………………….The Vines

5)  The General ………………………………………..The Rifles

6)  Picture Book ……………………………………….The Kinks

7)  It’s My Fault for Being Famous ……The White Stripes

8)  Photo Jenny ………………………………………..Belle and Sebastien

9)  Flashbulb Eyes ……………………………………Arcade Fire

10)  Photo Booth …………………………………….Death Cab for Cutie

11)  Negative Blues ………………………………..Serge Gainsbourg

12)  Beautiful ……………………………………………Belle and Sebastien

13)  Your Picture …………………………………….Camera Obscura

14)  Camera ………………………………………………The Editors

15)  Taking People ………………………………….Cat Power

16)  White Moon …………………………………….The White Stripes

All that there is to be done now, is to download these songs and listen to them.

Happy shooting and listening!

THE FUJINON XC 50-230MM F4.5-6.7 OIS: Part II

The pondering, the switching back and forth, the research… it’s all over.  I finally made the decision to go with the 50-230 and it arrived today.

Why did I decide to go with the 50-230 over the 55-200?:

The only reason i went with the 50-230 over the 55-200, was because of the extra 30mm.  It was as simple as that.

When i had my 55-200 Nikkor, i was always wanting just a bit more when i was doing my plane spotting.  Because of that “want”, i ended up trading in the 55-200 for a Tamron 70-300.  Therefore, i did not want to be in the same position with the Fuji 55-200.  I have learnt from the past.

f/6.7 at the long end:

Some people are so worried about it being f/6.7 on the long end, but not me.  I will only ever use this lens during the day on the most part.  Even if i were to use it in dimmer light, the XP1 performs just fine at high ISO numbers, plus the lens has OIS.

The OIS will enable me to shoot with lower shutter speeds, which means i will not have to necessarily bump up the ISO.  But again, i really don’t see myself using this lens at night.

Even with f/6.7, you can throw the background out quite nicely if your subject is far enough in the foreground.  I’m really not fretting at all.

Plastic mount:

It is still a pet peeve of mine when it comes to lens manufacturers.  If it costs you an extra $2 to put on a metal mount, so be it.  I will gladly pay the difference.

The 50-230 has a plastic mount.  Though, after having two Nikkors with plastic mounts, i am not to worried about it.

Those two Nikkors came on and off my cameras more times in a year then there are days in the year.  The 50-230 will really only be used for plane spotting and some nature shots; therefore, it will not be going on and off my camera that much.

Unboxing:

The lens is packed in a nice, black Fuji box.  Inside, you have the lens sitting in a nicely molded cardboard “bed”.  Its wrapped in a plastic bag and is covered by a cardboard lid, which holds the paperwork.  The box is not as fancy as what you get with the XF lenses.

Small??  More like tiny!  I must admit, i was expecting something bigger.  Though, i suppose i am used to the size of DSLR lenses.  My Tamron 70-300 would have dwarfed this lens.  It would have been like David & Goliath.  Now i am wondering, “why do DSLR lenses have to be so big?”.

Construction of the lens:

Since i am in the office, i have only been able to handle the lens for a few minutes.  I must say, it feels a hell of a lot better than any of my Nikkor lenses or my Tamron.  Yes, it is all plastic, but it does not have that “plastic” feel, if that makes any sense.

Focus ring and zoom ring feel very smooth, as is to be expected.  No aperture ring.  Aperture is controlled from the camera.  Oh the horror!!

I think it’s just me, but i don’t know why some people make such a big deal about not having an aperture ring on the lens.  You really only need one for certain circumstances, which i have covered in a previous post.

I am really looking forward to shooting with this lens.  I should be able to get out and about this weekend.

Happy shooting!

 

 

Cross Stich At The Macro Level

Did a little “macro” photography this evening for fun and i used my wife’s cross stitch as my subject.

The thread and the needle were perfect subjects.

I used my X10 for this.  The lens was set at 28mm (in the super “macro” setting, it will not work beyond 28mm) and i set it at f/2.0.

With the lens at an angle to the cross stich, i was able to get the center in focus and the surrounding area out of focus.

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Happy shooting!

Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 R Macro

I really like getting up close to a subject and capturing the detail, hence my love of macro photography.  I have not done to much lately, i guess i have just been lazy.  My X-10 can do really good “macro” shots, but you have to get up really close and that is not so good for all subjects.

When i had my DSLR, i never had a dedicated macro lens.  I was close to purchasing a Tamron 90mm when i had my Nikon, but i made the switch to Fuji before i did.

Ever since switching to Fuji, i have only ever owned one lens.  With the X-E1, it was the 18-55mm, which did a good job of “macro” photography.  With my X-Pro1, i have been using the 35mm ever since purchasing the camera.  You can do close-up photography with the 35mm, but it certainly does not equate to “macro”.

Remember, real “macro” photography is 1:1 reproduction.  However, many “macro” lenses out there are only able to do 1:2 reproduction, which is good enough for a hobbyist like myself.

After nearly 4 years of being seriously into photography, i will be getting my first “macro” lens: the Fuji 60mm f/2.4 R.  I took the plunge today and placed my order with Henry’s.

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Why didn’t i purchase it locally?:

 Well, because, i only had to pay the GST when i ordered from Henry’s.  Not paying any PST saved me a whole lot of money and the shipping was free.  On top of that, the Fuji rebates are still on, meaning the lens was discounted by $200.  So, a $650 lens for $450, no PST and free shipping… it’s a no brainer.

The lens:

As with all other XF lenses, the 60mm is very well built.  I have read some people saying that it may even be slightly better built than the 35 or 18.  I guess i will be the judge of that when i get a hold of my copy.

Apparently, the AF motor is loud and some people have complained about it online.  Again, i will have to be the judge of that.  I know loud.  I have owned a 50mm Nikkor AF-D lens and the AF motor sounded like a robot taking a crap.  On top of that, the image stabilization on the Tamron 70-300 that i owned was not very silent either.  So, it will be interesting to see, or should i say hear, what people are complaining about.

In addition to the above, i have read about slow focusing.  I really don’t see this as much of a problem when doing “macro” photography, but it could become an issue when using it as a small telephoto.  But again, i will have to be the judge of it.

With all of the above, you may be wondering why on earth i would bother buying this lens.  Simple: don’t believe everything you read on the internet and you be your own judge.

The “snout”:

This lens is a bit of an oddity.  When you focus the lens more closely to a subject, the inner barrel of the lens protrudes out like a little snout.  All the more reason to use the lens hood when using the 60mm.  By the way, the lens hood for this lens is quite big.  From the photos i have seen, the lens hood seems to be taller and wider then the 60mm itself!

Nuts & Bolts:

Here is a break down of the specifications of the 60mm:

– Lens construction: 10 elements, 8 groups (1 aspherical, 1 abnormal dispersion element)

– 35mm equivalent: 91mm

– Angle of view: 26.6 degrees

– Maximum aperture: f/2.4

– Minimum aperture: f/22

– Number of aperture blades: 9 rounded

– Stop size: 1/3 EV, 20 stops.

– Focus range: 26.7cm to infinity.

– Filter size: 39mm

– Maximum magnification: 0.5x (1:2 reproduction ratio)

Review:

If you want to read a full blown review of the lens, go here:

http://kenrockwell.com/fuji/x-mount-lenses/60mm-f24.htm

Obviously, i can’t really say anymore since i don’t have the lens in my hands yet and have not tested it.  Once i do get the lens, i promise to write a follow-up post.

Thanks for reading.  Happy shooting!

 

 

 

 

Update On Upcoming Fujinon Lenses

That are quite a few new Fujinon lenses in the pipeline at this moment.  Some will come sooner than others.  Apparently, three of the five new lenses will start to hit the store shelves this year.

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16-55mm XF f/2.8 R OIS:

This lens is supposed to come out in September, just in time for Christmas.  I am assuming you will be able to get a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the focal range, which is quite nice, especially at the long end.

Build quality will be the same as all other XF lenses and it will have an aperture ring.

Though, to a certain degree, i don’t see the point in having an XC and an XF lens with pretty much the same focal range.  Yes, i do realize that the XC is “slower”, especially at the long end when compared to the XF lens.  But, what if Fuji made just one 16-50(5) lens and priced it in the middle?  Just a thought.

Weather sealed XF 18-135 f/3.5 – 5.6 R OIS:

This lens was supposed to come out this spring, but it has been delayed until June at the earliest.

This certainly will be a great travel lens or a lens that you can take with you instead of three or four different ones.  Again, i can really see it for those folks going on vacations.

Though it is weather sealed and was made so because of the X-T1 coming onto the scene, you will of course be able to use this lens on any X camera.

50-140mm XF f/2.8 R OIS:

Here again, we have a telephoto lens that will give you a maximum aperture of f/2.8 throughout the focal range.  However, in my opinion, Fuji should have made this lens a 70-200 f/2.8.

Though, perhaps because i know nothing about optical formulas, a 70-200 f/2.8 may become far to large for an X camera.  In addition, as has been told to me once before, my lens “knowledge” stems from using DSLRs for many years.  if i would have been using rangefinder cameras for the same amount of years, i just might understand the focal lengths/ranges that Fuji is putting out a bit better.

Again, having f/2.8 on the long end will be very nice.  In the lens road map above, you can see that the lens has a tripod collar.  This would indicate that the lens is going to be somewhat front-heavy on the camera.

None of these lenses are going to be cheap.  With weather sealing, telephoto ranges, constant maximum apertures, maximum apertures of f/2.8 and XF lens quality, you better start saving your pennies now.

If the price of a Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR is any indication, the 50-140 is probably going to be a couple of grand.  The 18-135 will probably be around a grand, give or take.  The 16-55 will also be close to a grand.

Those are my guesses on the prices based on similar lenses out there already and factoring in the build quality of XF lenses.  On the other hand, i could be totally wrong, which does happen at times 😉

Two more XF lenses on the horizon:

The two other lenses that are in the pipeline, are a high-speed wide angle lens and a super telephoto lens.  As far as i know, there has been no official announcement of the focal lengths/ranges of these lenses.

However, some have guessed that the super telephoto may go out to 400mm.  In regards to the high-speed wide angle lens, it may be a 16mm.  We already have a 14, 18, 23 and a 10-24.  It would seem logical to squeeze in a 16mm to round things out.

If all the XF/XC lenses of today are any indication, these upcoming lenses should be wonderful performers optically.  Though, they will not be so wonderful on your wallet.

Happy shooting!

 

 

A Little Monday Morning Pick Me Up :)

Be happy and forget about the “first world problems”.

The below video was put together by the United Nations for The International Day of Happiness.  After the worlds biggest Typhoon in history, you would think people’s spirit would be crushed.  Not so.

The Filipino spirit is amazing.

Happy shooting!