Personal Thoughts On Fuji’s XF 100-400mm Lens

As the title states, what follows is merely my personal thoughts on Fuji’s latest lens.  This is NOT a review.

Anticipation:

For quite a few years now, many X shooters (myself included) have been waiting for Fuji to produce a telephoto lens that would go beyond 200mm.

From the beginning, Fuji seemed to concentrate all to much on producing primes.  When the X-Pro1 was introduced, the only three lenses that you were able to buy, were three prime lenses: 18, 35 & 60mm.  From there, they somewhat broadened their horizons with some zooms, but there still seemed to be a focus on primes.

After a few years, people were scratching their heads and asking, “Fuji, what about the long telephotos?”.

If you know anything about Fuji, they tend to put a lot of work into their lenses and they don’t produce any duds.  They put a lot of thought into the entire line of XF lenses, as well as the two XC lenses that are out there.  In short, Fuji makes awesome lenses.

With that being said, i was quite sure that when Fuji did produce a telephoto/telephoto zoom lens, it would be one that was well worth the time waiting for.

Why the demand?:

Simply put, you can’t have a camera system and call it “complete” without zooms or telephoto lenses.

Take a look at the two largest names in the camera industry, Canon and Nikon, and you will see how well rounded their lens line-up is.  Of course, both companies have been around for well over 100 years combined; so needless to say, they no doubt have been able to develop a lens line-up with great depth.

When you’re Fuji, who is not new to the camera market by the way, you have no choice but to notice what other camera manufacturers are doing or have already done.  Seeing what the competition has in their arsenal, you can’t ignore the fact that having a lens line-up with depth is the only way you will be able to compete, let alone survive in the market.

Enter the 100-400mm:

After 4 years of developing the X series of cameras, Fuji has (finally?) come out with their most ambitious and furthest reaching lens yet: the XF 100-400mm.

Would i like to own this lens?  Yes, i would love to have this lens on my X-Pro1.  However, i would never be able to justify paying the cost.  I’m not a professional photographer and i don’t have the disposable income to waste on something i may only use a handful of times.  As it stands now, i only use my 50-230mm a few times a year.

Plane spotting…….  mmmmmmmmm, i am drooling just thinking of how nice this lens would be to use to take photos of aircraft.

Plane spotting, birding, nature photography, this is what the 100-400mm lens would be great at doing.  Really, any photography where you want to get close, but can’t physically do so, is where this lens will be the most welcome.  You can’t always, “zoom with your feet”.

One big bonus for anyone buying this lens, is that it is weather resistant!  This will only make it more appealing for those photographers who want to take it out into the elements and shoot nature or do some plane spotting.

Of course, coupling the lens with an X-T1 or an X-Pro2 is going to give you a completely weather resistant set up, ready to take on anything that mother nature may throw at you (it is highly recommended to use this lens with a weather resistant camera if you want a fully weather resistant package.  Only having a WR lens will not protect your camera from water damage if it is not WR).

If you need more reach, the 100-400 is compatible with Fuji’s new 1.4x teleconverter, which is also weather resistant. Adding the teleconverter to the lens will give you a focal range of 140-560mm at f/6.3 – f/8.  Now that is looong!!

If for some reason you are after more reach, Fuji is in the process of developing a 2.0x teleconverter.  That would give the 100-400 a maximum focal range of 800mm!!  Very nice indeed.

But, the size?:

Sure, it’s a big lens and many people will start to wonder, “what happened to the lighter/smaller hype that was so rampant with mirrorless marketing?”.

I think at this point, marketing mirrorless cameras solely based on size & weight, is a thing of the past or at least it should be.  Yes, the cameras themselves are still smaller compared to their DSLR counterparts and they are even lighter in comparable set-ups.  But, to continually  go on about size & weight as the top benefits of mirrorless, is really just shooting yourself in the foot.

Personally, i see mirrorless cameras as a different “form factor” or a “progressive technology”.  Mirrorless cameras have proven that you don’t need the bulky mirror box of a DSLR, to get DSLR results.  It’s a technology that will continually progress to the point that DSLRs will be seen as redundant, not to mention “old technology”.

Though, in the end, the whole “size & weight” debate is usually played out by people who are camera snobs on one side of the debate or the other.  What it comes down to, is using the right tool for the job and choosing a camera that fits your personal style of photography.

Final thoughts: 

I am very pleased to see Fuji move along at the pace they have been.  This latest lens release shows that they are committed to their camera system and want to produce a lens line-up with lots of depth.  It also shows that they listen to their customers, who have been wanting such a lens for a while now.

Listening to customers aside, the release of the 100-400 shows that Fuji is not idly sitting on the sidelines and watching the camera market go by.  They have looked at the playing field and have determined that if they want to be a serious competitor, they need to elevate their game.

More to the point, Fuji has started to realize that if they want to attract new photographers or even take photographers away from the DSLR market, they need to continually develop their X camera system and make it well rounded.

Who dares wins.

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I Was Mentioned On FujiRumors.Com

Okay, so no, i was not personally mentioned on FujiRumors.com by name, but my website was, so close enough.

Personally, i like FujiRumors.com.  I always find the articles posted there to be interesting and good reads.  I actually go to FujiRumors.com every day to see what is new.

Today, i was checking out my statistics to see what sites were referring people to my site and i saw FujiRumors.com was one of the referrers.  That made my day for sure.

Out of all the websites about Fuji cameras on the internet, it feels good that someone picked yours to refer people to.

Here is the link to the page on FujiRumors.com where my website is mentioned, not once, but twice: (http://www.fujirumors.com/mixed-zone-fuji-x-t1-vs-sony-a7r-a7s-10-days-with-the-90mm-riflessifotografici-x100t-review-more/)

You have to scroll all the way down and you will find the mentions just above the YouTube video with Billy from FujiGuys.  Here is a screen grab for you:

Untitled

Thanks FujiRumors.com!  It’s a pleasure to be mentioned on your website.

Thanks for looking.

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The Case Of The Triangular Split “Rings”

It seems like when you purchase a camera these days, the manufacturer gives you triangular split “rings” in order to attach the neck strap to your new camera.

There is a problem with this though.

Not long after i purchased my X-Pro1, i started to read about the camera lugs on some Fuji cameras being worn out by these triangular split “rings”.  The reason why the lugs were getting worn out, was because of the split “rings” shape.

The split “rings” in question are triangles and when put on the camera lug, the lug sits right in the “crook” of the triangle – the “crook” being the same as the crook of your arm when you bend your arm to 90 degrees.

Therefore, the lug would sit in the “crook” and when the camera would swing or move, the lug was rubbing against the split “ring”, but the split “ring” was not moving because of it’s shape.  This would eventually result in the camera lug getting worn down to the point of almost having the split “ring” come out from the lug.

Trust me, this is a real issue and i have seen the evidence.  It’s a scary sight, especially considering that the wearing of the lugs can result in your $1500-$2000 camera smashing to the concrete below you.

Since i first read about a number of incidents where camera lugs were wearing out on peoples cameras, Fuji has come up with a remedy.

What Fuji has done to prevent the wearing out of the lugs, is not provide circular split rings, but rather they have inserted a small piece of metal within the lug that acts like a lining between the lug and split ring.  I have noticed this on my X100T.

I am not quite sure what Fuji has against circular split rings, but perhaps it is because they don’t want the ring moving around to much within the lug.

Anyhow, it did not take me long to change out the triangular split “rings” on my X-Pro1, with actual circular split rings.  I have had the circular split rings on my X-Pro1 for a while now and i have had no issues.

I have not changed the ones on my X10 yet because it is a pretty light camera and i am not very worried about the lugs wearing out.  Though, i do check them every once in a while.

However, i do think i will change out the rings on my X100T, even though the lugs feature Fuji’s “fix”.  I like the look of actual split rings anyhow.

If you have not done so already, i would check to see if there is any wear on your cameras lugs.  If you see it starting, change the split “rings” to circular ones.

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:

XPRO3985_2448x1632
Velvia/Vivid Film Simulation
XPRO3977_2448x1632
Astia/Soft Film Simulation
XPRO3978_2448x1632
Pro Neg. Hi Film Simulation
XPRO3976_2448x1632
Provia/Standard Film Simulation
XPRO3982_2448x1632
Monochrome/Red Filter Film Simulation
XPRO3979_2448x1632
Pro Neg. Standard Film Simulation
XPRO3981_2448x1632
Monochrome/Yellow Filter Film Simulation
XPRO3980_2448x1632
Monochrome Film Simulation
XPRO3984_2448x1632
Sepia Film Simulation
XPRO3983_2448x1632
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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Another Phone App For Fuji Lovers

I came across another app for Fuji X cameras.  Well, it’s more of a magazine actually, but an app nonetheless.

The app is called, “Fuji X Magazine” and is available in the play store on Android devices.

I can’t say much about it, except that it downloaded to my phone with no problems.  Beyond that, i have not been able to use it.

I have no idea if it has something to do with my phone or if there is a real bug with the app itself, but i have not been able to download the magazine.

Basically, the app is a gateway to the magazine, in which you download the magazine to your smart device.  Every time i tried to  download the magazine through the app, the app would stop working.

I have tried the app on different internet connections and i even re-installed it.  It still did not work.

The app may well work just fine on your phone or device, so i can’t say that it is a terrible app.  It just did not work for me.

Thanks for looking.

One Tough Little Camera

XPRO3617

Every morning, i go through a ritual of stopping by at some of my favorite websites.  The majority of them are photography related and out of those sites, most are Fuji oriented.

I stopped by at one of the Fuji forum websites that i read and came across a very interesting story about a woman who had lost her Fuji X-20.

Being an X10 owner myself, i took immediate interest in this story.  Here is a quick synopsis:

A woman by the name of Claire who lives in Colorado, was hiking one day and somehow lost her Fuji X20.  She does not go into detail of how she lost it, but it was not to be found after hours of searching.

Three months later, Claire was hiking on the same trail.  As she was walking along, she spotted the camera on the ground.  Unbelievable!  It was a bit beaten up, complete with tooth marks perhaps from a bear.  

Along with the tooth marks, the camera survived three months of Colorado weather, which included rain, hail and snow.

Amazingly enough, the camera still worked upon charging the battery!

You can read the full story, with pictures, at Dan Bailey’s photo blog:  (http://danbaileyphoto.com/blog/fuji-x-camera-survives-3-months-out-in-the-elements/).  Claire is one of his readers and she sent her story to him.

This story is a real testament on how well Fuji cameras are made.  Despite the X20 not even being weather sealed, it survived all that moisture that was thrown at it.  Further, if it were not for it’s full metal body, the bear most likely would have cracked it open like a walnut.

Thanks for looking.

Throwback Thursday

Well, i have not done one of these in a while.  Life and the desire to concentrate on other matters, gets in the way at times.

Fuji’s “X” mount is nothing new.  However, as we know it today, it is new.  Are you confused yet?  Let me explain.

Fujifilm developed a line of SLR cameras in the 1970’s, called Fujica.  The Fujica line-up of film SLR cameras included the following cameras:

– AX-1

– AX-3

– AX-5

– STX-1

-STX-1N

-STX-2

Along with the new line of cameras, came a new mount format, the Fujica X mount.  This mount design replaced Fuji’s earlier screw mount design that was found on previous SLR’s.

Here is a close up view of the Fujica X mount on a 135mm Fujica lens:

FujinonEBC_135_01d

The Fujica mount is a bayonet type, with a 65 degree clockwise lock and the flange focal distance of the Fujica X mount was 43.5mm.

In 1985, the Fujica SLR came to it’s demise as the advent of auto-focus took hold in the world of photography.  In the same moment, the Fujica X mount became obsolete.

In 2000, Fuji returned to the SLR market with digital SLR’s.  However, these “new” SLR’s released by Fuji, were really Nikon cameras with an F mount and a Fuji label on them.

In total, Fuji released twenty X-Fujinon lenses in this mount.   The line-up included everything from a fish-eye, to wide angle lenses, to zooms.  It was a pretty well rounded line-up.

Thanks for looking