Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R WR

Fuji is set to announce a new zoom lens, the XF 16-55 f/2.8.  According to sources, it should be announced next week on January 6th.

However, some people may be wondering why on earth Fuji would announce such a lens seeing that they already have the 18-55mm in the line-up.

Fair enough question.

For one, the new 16-55 will be weather sealed to compliment the X-T1, which is also weather sealed.  I can see this being a trend with any future Fuji lenses, it only makes sense.

Secondly, the lens (judging what has been published about it), will have a constant aperture of f/2.8 through out it’s focal range.  Very nice.  This is in contrast to the 18-55 which does not have a constant aperture throughout it’s focal range, but rather goes from f/2.8 to f/4 as you go up in focal range.

Thirdly, the lens will give you 2mm more on the short end, increasing your field of view.  2mm may not seem like a lot, but it does make a noticeable difference when photographing distant subjects.

One feature that is still in contention, is whether or not OIS will be included.  Some people feel it is a necessity (the 18-55 has it) and others feel that there is no need for it since God invented tripods.  Personally, if i were to get the lens, i would prefer having OIS because you can’t take your tripod everywhere you go.

In sum, when comparing it to the 18-55 with what little information i have, the 16-55 will have two practical advantages: wider at the short end and a constant f/2.8 throughout the focal range.  Weather resistance will not help me much since my X-Pro1 is not weather sealed.

One fellow who has been testing the lens, came out on Facebook and said this about the lens:

Fantastic lens, sharp sharp & sharp whole range, wonderful bokeh […] PROS: Excellent photo quality Superb AF. CONS: heavy & Bulky like DSLR (nikon & canon 24-70 f2.8) no more lightweight

Therefore, the 18-55 may have an advantage over the 16-55: size.   Of course, i can not say anything about how sharp one lens is against the other, but i can say that i was very pleased with the sharpness of my 18-55 when i had it.

Having a constant aperture and weather sealing, the 16-55 is surely to be more expensive then the 18-55 by a couple of hundred dollars.  There is no surprise there.

I look forward to the announcement of this lens, as well as full reviews.  if you don’t have an X-T1, the only real benefits this lens will give you is wider at the short end and f/2.8 throughout.  It will be hard to justify those extra dollars based on those two aspects, especially since the 18-55 is such a great performer itself.

Thanks for looking.

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Tamiya Jordan 191, Part III

Over the Christmas break, i have been able to make some good progress on the Jordan.  Though, the decals have been giving me fits.

For a certain part of the car, i have had to resort to painting on the color rather then using the decal.  When i applied the decal, it became hard to re-position and it cracked.  That was that.

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It became to far gone to salvage, so i took the whole decal off and painted the area instead.  The blue does not quite match up to the blue of the decal, but it is on a part of the model that is not very visible.

Decal softener would have helped, but i had run out.  I will have to make a trip to the hobby shop sometime.

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I have started to work on the engine and a few other parts that go under the cowling, but nothing really to show yet.

So far, i am pleased with the results.  Yes, the decals have been somewhat disappointing (some came off the paper already cracked), but i have been able to manage so far.  At times, you just have to adapt and improvise.

With another week in my Christmas holiday to go, i hope to have the cockpit and chassis put together and the engine in place as well.

Photos taken with the X10.

Thanks for looking.

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My Blog In 2014: A Review

I received an email from WordPress this morning containing an annual review of my blog.

The review contains some pretty cool statistics, such as how many people visited your blog over the year, where they came from, what they viewed the most, what blog posts were the most popular, etc.

It’s a very good email to go over so that you can take in all the numbers.  From reviewing the stats, you can see what people like to view/read the most and continue to produce that type of content.  In sum, the stats can help you make your blog better.

I’m looking forward to 2015.

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 44,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 16 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Christmas Textures

Had a lazy Sunday today.  My mind really is in holiday mode with just a few days more left at the office.

With all the “to do’s” to be done around the house, i have kept myself quite busy and have not really been able to take the time to go out and take photos.  Therefore, i have been thinking of other ways to satisfy my shutter finger.

Tonight, i thought it would be fun to take some close-up shots of some of the Christmas decorations around the house.

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I took these photos at f/2.0 and at varying ISO settings.  It was not easy to get a decent shutter speed in such low light.  Holding the camera steady was a chore.

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I really like the close-up feature of the X10.  You are able to get up to 1cm from the subject and still focus.

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Since the X10 uses CDAF to focus, it was not always easy to lock focus on some of the subjects where there was not much variation in contrast.

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I thought these photos would end up with far more noise.  As i have said in the past, the X10 does great up to ISO 800.  However, beyond that, the noise is more prominent, but it is reasonably controlled and is not going to make your photos unusable.

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Thanks for looking.

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Coming Together

It has been a while since i posted the first progress report on my Jordan 191.  Since then, i have been able to take a few hours out of the day during the weekend to work on it a bit.

I have been somewhat slowed down by cutting out the decals.  I like to trim off the excess decal “film” around the edges of the decals so that it looks more like part of the paint job.

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There really is no rush to complete this car, but i do want to be able to be consistent in it’s building.  I am thinking through every step before i move forward so that i can forsee any hurdles that i may encounter.  “Dry fitting” parts and even decals, is a good way to go.

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The first yellow decal that you can see on the inside of the wheel, was somewhat of a challenge to place just so.  This set of decals seems to be a bit thin and some have already cracked when placing them on the model.  However, i was able to hide the crack as best i could by overlapping the pieces a little.

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I am hoping to take a few hours this weekend to continue the build and make more progress.

Photos taken with the X10 at f/4.0 and ISO 400.

Thanks for looking.

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Firmware Update For X-Pro1 (3.40)

download

It’s Kaizen day today.  Fuji just launched new firmware updates for the X-E1/E2, X-Pro1 and X-T1 cameras.  Though, they have not been equally generous with all the cameras.

Since i own an X-Pro1, i will focus on that camera.

As opposed to the other cameras (except for the X-E1) which were given a bunch of little goodies in the new updates, the X-Pro1 only received one new function in it’s update.  Sorry folks, no Classic Chrome for the X-Pro1.

So, what does the X-Pro1 get?  Well, the new update enables you to manually adjust focus while in an AF mode.  This means that you can now auto focus on a subject, then turn the focus ring on your lens to manually fine-tune the focus.  Okay, okay, stop jumping up & down in excitement (insert sarcasm where you wish).

Is the AF system on the X-Pro1 so bad to the extent that someone would need to override it and adjust manually?  No, it is not.  The AF system on the X-Pro1 is extremely good and it always gives me sharp, clear photos with the area focused on, in focus.

Personally, i don’t see myself using this, unless i was going to do some very specific work where the DOF is so thin, that you just may have to fine tune the focus manually.

Aside from the AF-MF feature, firmware 3.40 for the X-Pro1 does not incorporate anything else significant.  It would have been nice for Fuji to at least include the Classic Chrome film simulation, but they are being Scrooges about it.

On the other hand, if history is any indication, Fuji’s firmware updates always seem to include some minor tweaks that aren’t always advertised.  So, it may be worthwhile to install firmware 3.40 just to see if there are any little tweaks hiding in there.

If you would like to download the firmware, you can go either here (http://www.fujifilm.com/support/digital_cameras/software/firmware/x/xpro1/download.html) or here (https://d7100shooter.wordpress.com/2014/03/21/fuji-firmware-dropbox/).

As always, read the instructions on how to install the firmware update.

Thanks for looking.

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Fuji Film Simulations

If nothing else, Fuji is famous for manufacturing 35mm film.  I would imagine that most people know Fuji for this.  During the heyday of 35mm film, Fuji was well known among photographers and was one of the biggest manufacturers of film.

In the last 4 years, Fuji has been well on their way in taking a large piece of the pie in the mirrorless camera market.  Not only have they come out with unique cameras and some ground breaking technology, but they have also seen fit to keep the old film colors alive by incorporating film simulations into their cameras.

Honestly, i myself have no idea if these film simulations come close to what the actual film showed in regards to colors.  From what i have read though, most people seem to agree that the film simulations are very close to what was represented by the respective 35mm films.

I can’t see it being very easy for Fuji to “simulate” the colors that were represented by their various flavors of 35mm film; therefore, i will give them a pass if they are not exactly spot on.

Both my cameras have the film simulations built into them.  I am not sure about my X10, but my X-Pro1 has a total of 10 film simulations that you can choose from:

1) Velvia/Vivid

2) Provia/Standard

3) Astia/Soft

4) Pro Neg. Hi

5) Pro Neg. Standard

6) Monochrome

7) Monochrome/Yellow Filter

8) Monochrome/Green Filter

9)Monochrome/Red Filter

10) Sepia

When shooting in RAW, you can choose any one of these film simulations when converting the RAW file in-camera.

In order to give you a sample of each film simulation, i took a photo of some decorations on my Christmas tree.  I thought this was the best way to incorporate as many colors as i could.  I took the photo in RAW and then converted it into JPEG in-camera, while applying the film simulation at the same time.

And here they are:

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Velvia/Vivid Film Simulation
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Astia/Soft Film Simulation
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Pro Neg. Hi Film Simulation
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Provia/Standard Film Simulation
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Monochrome/Red Filter Film Simulation
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Pro Neg. Standard Film Simulation
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Monochrome/Yellow Filter Film Simulation
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Monochrome Film Simulation
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Sepia Film Simulation
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Monochrome/Green Filter Film Simulation

Personally, i shoot with Velvia/Vivid most of the time since i like a little bit of saturation in my colors.

I took the photo (again, i only took one photo and converted it in-camera to each film simulation) with my 60mm set at f/2.4.  The ISO was at 4000 and i had the shutter speed at 60s and hand held.

As i said before, i have no idea if these film simulations come close to representing the actual colors of their 35mm film counter parts, but i really do like the look & feel of all of them.

Thanks for looking.

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