Put Some Color Into Your Life

We can’t always have a smile on our face or be happy every day.  Whether it is due to the weather or the fact that life is throwing us a few curve-balls, we sometimes go through periods where we are a bit down.

One of many cures to relieve the “blues“, is to put a little color into your life.

I took these photos with the X10, with the “super macro” feature.

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Hope you enjoyed the explosion of color and that it put a smile on your face.

Happy shooting!

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Paradise In The Middle Of The St. Lawrence River

If you appreciate nature and tranquility, you will most certainly appreciate Ile Sainte Helene.  However, if you want the “tranquility” part of the equation, i would go and visit before the summer festivals start.

You don’t necessarily have to walk all that far to get a piece of solitude.  However, i would not expect total privacy, especially at the height of summer.

Many people stop and sit for a while at the side of this path.  The path runs along the shore line of the river.  There is plenty of shade and is a good way to spend a lazy afternoon.

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This is swan lake.  Though, i did not see any swans on it.  This lake is at the very western end of the island.

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Here are some small waterfalls, which can be found not far from the main event area of the island.  It was a shame to see the amount of garbage people had left though.

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Sorry, i did not blur the waterfalls.  I really don’t understand that effect and why people do it, but that is just me.  I would rather see a natural waterfall.

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There is a picnic bench in one of the little collection pools at the base of these falls; that way, you can have lunch on a hot day, while having your legs submerged in the cool water.  Reminds me of Villa Escudero in the Philippines.

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I hope to go back to Ile Sainte Helene more often this summer.  There are so many things to do and many more photo opportunities to be had.

Thanks for looking.

© d7100shooter.wordpress.com, All Rights Reserved

The Official Fuji Photographers Guidebook To The X-Pro1

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It’s very rare that you get anything for free these days.  Even if you do, there is always a catch.

The other day, i was reading a popular Fuji related website and came across a free offering from Fuji:  A photographers guidebook to the X-Pro1.

Here is the link (Okay, so there is a catch.  You have to enter your email, but you can just enter a “junk” email address, one that you don’t care about what emails you get.  I entered my Sympatico email, but i can manage “junk” pretty good.  I have not received anything out of the ordinary… yet):

http://offers.fujifilm.com.au/photographers-guidebook

I have skimmed through it already and i must say, it is quite good in terms of content.  The one part that i am interested in most, is the section on how to use the Silkypix RAW converter – finally, a “how to guide”.

I will certainly go into more depth with it as time permits.  I hope you will enjoy it to.

Happy shooting!

Piper Super Cub

While walking along the shore line of Ile Sainte Helene, this Piper Super Cub was buzzing up and down the river, towing an advertisement.

Registration is: C-GNZC

Model #: PA-18A-150 Super Cub

Year built: 1956

C/N #: 18 4222

It is registered with a company in Sutton, Que.

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He did not go very far up or down the river.  He went about as far as La Ronde, turned around and went just past the Cirque du Soleil tents and turned around again.

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Whatever he was advertising, i had never heard of it before.

Thanks for looking.

© d7100shooter.wordpress.com, All Rights Reserved

Boats Out On The St. Lawrence River

Today was the first day of summer and it was quite evident that the warmer weather is here to stay by witnessing all the boats out on the river today.

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These boats go zipping up and down the river, do three-sixties and i am sure get you soaking wet.  It looks really fun.

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A Canadian Coast Guard Ship

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A cruise boat from AML.  You can have a nice meal aboard while enjoying a leisurely cruise on the river.

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A catamaran.

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Le Bateau Mouche.  This is another dinner cruise boat.  You can have short cruises with a drink, or lengthier cruises with a full course meal.

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This is the island ferry.  It goes from Montreal, Ile Sainte Helene, then onto Longueuil.  Summer operation only, as are the cruise ships mentioned above.

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I took most of these photos from the ferry terminal on Ile Sainte Helene.  They have a row of bench’s you can sit on, facing the river.  It’s quiet and there are trees that provide you with shade as well.  I could have stayed at this spot all afternoon.

If you want to get away from the hustle & bustle of the city, you don’t have to go far.  Ile Sainte Helene is a great place to have a relaxing afternoon on a warm summers day.

Happy shooting!

 

Wildlife On Ile Sainte Helene, Montreal

We went for a picnic on Ile Sainte Helene today.  The weather was pretty good, except for some cool breezes and the sun hiding behind the clouds at times.

As we walked around the island, we came across all sorts of wildlife.

Below is a Groundhog (Marmota monax).

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Here is a Common Garter Snake (Thamnophis sirtalis sirtalis).

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And below is a Red-Winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).

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Last, but never least, the Mallard Duck (Anas platyrhynchos).

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Happy shooting!

The Fujinon XF 18-135MM F/3.5-5.6 R OIS WR

Just recently, Fuji announced it’s very first weather sealed lens, the 18-135mm.

Honestly, i really thought that the 10-24mm was going to be weather sealed, but it turned out not to be.  This makes me wonder something:  with all the XF lenses that have come out previously and are not weather sealed, is Fuji going to re-release those lenses as weather sealed lenses?

But then what happens to all the first generation XF lenses that people already own?  Would people who own the X-T1 all of a sudden try and sell off their old XF lenses, just to buy the new version?  It will be interesting to see what will happen.

Even though Fuji will perhaps never re-release all their XF lenses (i do doubt it), i ask the above questions for a few reasons:

1) Not everyone (X-T1 owners) will be happy with an 18-135mm lens.

2) Using any other lens on the X-T1 is kind of pointless if you are going to shoot in wet weather.

Many people do not like the “all-in-one”, “Swiss Army knife” type of lens that the 18-135 is.   These “all-in-one” lenses are not known for having great performance when it comes to IQ.  There are also compromises made when manufacturing this type of lens – overall sharpness throughout the focal range, falloff, etc.

However, it just may be that Fuji has broken the mold and have developed something that will change the notion of an “all-in-one” lens forever.

Though many people will not touch the 18-135 with a ten foot pole, they will only have to wait a while longer for something more appealing: the 16-55mm f/2.8 WR.

The 16-55 is somewhat further ahead on the lens roadmap from Fuji; therefore, i suppose we should expect to see it sometime at the end of the year.  Aside from the 16-55, the only other weather resistant lens on the horizon (according to the roadmap), is the 50-140mm.

So where does this leave X-T1 users who would like to take their camera out in wet weather?  Well, if they are not considering the 18-135, they will either have to wait for the 16-55 or have a plastic bag handy.  After all, a weather sealed camera only stays weather sealed if you are using a weather sealed lens.

My feelings on the 18-135:

In regards to the focal range itself, i think it will be a great travel/walk-around lens where you may not want to be carrying 2-3 different primes and constantly changing them.

However, i lived with the 35mm for my XP1 as my only lens for about 6 months.  Was i wanting anything longer?  Not really.  In the end, it really depends on what kind of photographer you are, or more to the point, what kind of person you are.  It boils down to “different strokes for different folks”.

If you really want this lens, go and get it and don’t let anyone tell you any different.  Will it be as good as the XF 35mm at 35mm??  Perhaps not, but i hardly think it will be shabby.

The only lens that i have owned that is somewhat equal to the 18-135, was the Nikkor 18-105.  It was a decent lens and was great to have on your camera if you were walking around and did not really have a specific “theme” in mind to shoot.

If i were to purchase the 18-135, i would be afraid that my 35 and 60 would never see the light of day again.  I would certainly keep my 50-230mm.

Though, since the 18-135 is a “slow” lens, i don’t think i would ever give up my 35 f/1.4 or my 60 f/2.4.  For someone who likes to take photos of church interiors, those extra stops are valuable.

On the other hand, i did fine when i had my 18-55mm, which is just as slow, but has a great OIS system to compensate.

You see how difficult it is to decide?

For me, i think the one real advantage of a prime lens, is that they are so damn good at their focal length.  You tend to lose this in a zoom.

The other advantage of the primes, is their light gathering capability.  You loose some of that with 18-135, but then you have the wonderful OIS system.

Anyhow, i don’t want to turn this into a full blown, zoom vs prime debate.  It’s really up to you and what your needs are.

The 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R OIS WR:

As stated above, this is Fuji’s first weather sealed lens and the only lens that will go along with the X-T1 to make a fully weather resistant camera kit.

In terms of construction, it has the same quality and feel of all the other XF lenses in the Fujinon stable.  Markings and switches are also the same as on other XF zooms.

Some claims by Fuji:

– A 5.0-stop image stabilization system.

– The lens is “weather sealed” in over 20 areas of the lens barrel.

– The lens has a fast AF, max 0.10 seconds (complies with CIPA).

Aside from the above claims, what else are we to expect of this lens:

– Lens Config.: 16 elements in 12 groups (4 aspherical elements and 2 anomalous dispersion lenses)

– Field of View: 76.5 degrees to 12 degrees at the long end.

– Max Aperture: f/3.5 – 5.6

– Min Aperture: f/22

– Number of blades: 7 rounded

– Step Size: 1/3 EV, 17 steps

– Focus range, normal: 0.6m – infinity

– Focus range, macro: 0.45m – infinity

– Filter size: 67mm

– Weight: 490g

For any sample images, you can do a quick Google search and come up with some.

So far, so good.  From what i have read and seen, this lens should be a winner.  It will be great for those who want to travel or take walks with just one lens.

It will be even more fantastic for those who have an X-T1 and have been waiting for a complete weather sealed kit.  I can only think that the 16-55 will be just as popular with X-T1 owners as well.

I was not wrong when i said in a previous post, that 2014 will be an exciting year for Fuji and for Fuji users.

Happy shooting!