Personal Thoughts On Fuji’s 1.4x Teleconverter

In the last year, Fuji has given us some high-end telephoto lenses, notably the Xf 50-140 and just recently, the XF 100-400.  Though, they did not stop there.

No, they did not come out with a longer reaching lens; rather, they developed the very first teleconverter for XF series lenses: the XF 1.4x TC WR.

For anyone who uses long lenses, such as the 100-400, the fact that Fuji has come out with a teleconverter, is a Godsent.  Not only does the teleconverter give you a lot more reach, but it also puts the XF lens line-up somewhat on par with Nikon/Canon.

Being on par with what Nikon/Canon have to offer a photographer in regards to long reaching telephoto lenses, is a very important aspect in terms of attracting a different segment of the photography demographic.

Fuji couldn’t simply sit on it’s laurels and hope to grow it’s market share with a line-up of prime lenses and short zooms.  No.  It had to start to attract sports photographers and wildlife/nature photographers if they wanted to keep growing and somewhat compete with Nikon/Canon.  The only way to do that, was to come out with some very attractive glass, hence the 50-140 and 100-400.

However, Fuji couldn’t just leave it at that.  I am sure that they asked themselves, “What is it that Nikon/Canon have, that is complimentary to telephoto zoom lenses?… teleconverters of course!”.

Adding the 1.4x TC to the 50-140, gives you a new focal range of 70-196mm.  Now, you are probably saying, “But we already have a 55-200 lens in the XF line-up.”  That is true, but you would somewhat be comparing apples to oranges when comparing those two lenses.

The 50-140 is a constant f/2.8 throughout the focal range and it’s weather resistant.  The 55-200 is not weather resistant and it is slow compared to the 50-140, with a maximum aperture range of f/3.5 – 4.8.

Combining the 1.4x TC with the new 100-400 lens, you will get a new focal range of 140-560mm.  A very nice birding lens or a lens for any situation where you can not physically get very close to your subject.

Probably the best feature of the new TC, is the fact that it is weather resistant.  That means that in combination with any of the two lenses mentioned above and an X-T1 or X-Pro2, you will have a completely weather resistant set up.

By Fuji developing the 50-140 and the 100-400, they put themselves on the heels of Nikon/Canon and they have also started to attract the attention of a market segment that they had not attracted in the past.

With the 1.4x TC, they have just put themselves into Nikon/Canons wheel house.

Who dares wins.

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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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Review Of The K & F Concept Canon FD To Fuji X Mount Ring Adapter

I have been in possession of the K&F Concept adapter for a few weeks now and here is my review.

Packaging: 

The adapter ring comes in a little black box, with graphics, that is not much bigger then the adapter itself.  The adapter is wrapped in a small bubble wrap pouch.

I received my adapter from Amazon and they had put the boxed adapter inside of a small, brown, bubble wrap lined envelope.

Build quality: 

I must say, for the price, i am very impressed with the build quality.  I’m going to assume that the material used, is aluminum and it is very nicely machined.

The black finish on the outside is very well done and matches up to the black finish of my camera just fine.

What lettering there is on the adapter, is done quite well and seems as though it will not come off very easily.

Fit:

The adapter sits nice and snug on the cameras mount.  There is no play and it positively locks into place.  I have not noticed any sort of light leak, confirming the tight fit even more.

In regards to the fit of the adapter to the Canon FDn lens, it is just as good.

In a future post, i will explain how to attach the FDn lens to the adapter.  Unfortunately, it isn’t just a matter of mating them together.  There are a few things that you need to line up first.

In Conclusion:

For $16.99, I don’t think you could possibly go wrong.

There are plenty of other adapters out there, for a lot more money.  However, I don’t see the point in paying more when you have such a quality adapter with the K&F.

Who dares wins.

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A Little Teaser

After i received my K&F concept Canon FD adapter last week, i was able to get a hold of a 50mm f/1.8 Canon FDn lens.

I purchased the lens from Camtec here in Montreal for $45.00.  It is in great condition, with no signs of wear and no scratches on the front or back elements.  No dust or fungus are visible either.

There has not been much time for me to go out and take photos with the lens, but i have taken some test shots indoors.  So far, the results are pretty darn good.

Here is the adapter and the lens, attached to my X-Pro1:

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(Photo taken with my mobile phone.)

At the moment, i am thinking of how i will write the review on the K & F Concept adapter.  Trust me, it will not be a bad one.

A review on the lens with some sample photos, will come when i have a chance to get out and about with my camera.

Who dares wins.

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K & F Concept Canon FD To Fuji X Mount Ring Adapter

For some time now, i have been thinking of getting into adapting lenses to my Fuji X-Pro1.

I put it off for a long time, forever looking at adapters, thinking of which lenses i would get and so on.  This week, i finally ended my internal debate of whether to pursue adapting lenses or not.

Casually perusing Amazon the other night, i decided to take a look at what was available in terms of Canon FD to Fuji X mount adapters.

I came across an adapter from K&F Concept, a company that i had never heard of before to be honest.

The adapter looked like any other adapter out there and the one review that was associated with the product, gave it a pretty good rating.  What was even more attractive, was the price.  It was $16.99, on sale from $31.99.  I thought, “Heck, i will order it and if worse comes to worse, i will return it.”

Well, i received the adapter today (I ordered it on Tuesday night with Free Super Saving Shipping, so it was pretty fast on Amazon’s part) and i must say that i am very pleased with the product.

In my next post, i will do a full review of the adapter.  Until then, i have to get myself a Canon FD lens to fit to it.

Who dares wins.

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Fujinon XF 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR – First Impressions

Back in June of last year, i shared with you the first photos that i took with my new Xf 18-135mm here: (https://d7100shooter.wordpress.com/2015/06/25/first-photos-from-the-18-135mm/).

After using this wonderful lens for nearly 7 months, i wanted to share my impressions with you.

As i had mentioned in my post featuring the first photos i took with the 18-135mm, some people may avoid this type of lens.  After all, cramming in umpteen different focal lengths into one lens, there will be compromises.  However, i feel that Fuji has done an excellent job with this lens and any of the “compromises” are extremely hard to see.

Packaging:

Well, i did not get a box with the lens.  When i purchased it, Camtec did not have an 18-135mm available all by itself.  Therefore, they graciously broke up an X-T1 bundle in order to get me one.

From having a few other Fujinon lenses, i can assure you that the lens is well protected by the packaging that Fuji provides.

Build quality:

Once again, Fuji does not disappoint.  As with all of their other XF lenses, the 18-135 has a metal lens mount.

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The 18-135 is also weather sealed, which is nice if you are going to attach it to an X-T1 – not so much if you have an X-Pro1, like i do.

As far as i can tell, most of the outside of the lens is metal, including the rings, the zoom ring having a rubber grip.  The inside barrel of the lens is plastic.  Though, i do believe that the filter ring is metal.

The 18-135 is somewhat of a bulky lens; therefore, getting the extra grip for the X-Pro1 or the X-T1, is advisable.  Having that extra grip will make it far more comfortable to shoot with this lens.

Features:

As i mentioned above, the 18-135 is weather sealed.  It is Fuji’s first lens to be so.  Keep in mind that weather sealed does not mean waterproof.  So, if you are thinking of submerging this lens in water for a few days because you want to prove a point, don’t.

The lens does have OIS.  This is very helpful in two areas or a combination of both: 1) when shooting in low light at the top end of the focal range and 2) shooting in low light using the maximum aperture of the lens, which does not afford a tremendous amount of light to come through.  Therefore, if you can not obtain a decent shutter speed, the OIS will help keep things stable for you.

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One really neat feature of this lens, is it’s ventilation system.

Fuji has incorporated a ventilator at the bottom of the lens where air is expelled.  This not only gives you a nice, smooth zooming range, but it also prevents dust and moisture from getting into the lens.

Mounted on the X-Pro1:

It looks really damn good when mounted on the X-Pro1.  Along with the extra grip, the camera is well balanced.

You obviously will not be able to use the OVF with the full focal range of the lens because of parallax.  From 18 to 60mm, you will be fine.  Though, beyond 60mm, you will want to switch to the EVF or even use the EVF exclusively when using the 18-135.

The AF while mounted on the X-Pro1 is decent, but i can only imagine how snappy it would be on an X-T1 with phase detection AF points.

Image quality:

I am not a pixel peeper, so don’t look for any 100% crops, side by side comparisons, ISO tests, MTF charts, etc.  Look at your photos as they were meant to be looked at.  If you are worried about being able to see fine detail on a flies ass from 40 yards away, then perhaps photography is not for you.

The 18-135mm lens is not going to be as sharp as the prime lenses that Fuji has in it’s line up.  Though, you would have to look pretty hard at your monitor to notice any significant difference.  If that’s your thing, then knock yourself out.

What i concern myself with, is overall image quality when looking at a photo as it should be looked at and i am very pleased with the results that the 18-135mm has given me.  I am quite confident that any prints would hold plenty of detail to appreciate.

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Protecting the front element:

The 18-135mm does come with a flower petal lens hood, as seen in the photo below.  However, if you want to protect that front element even more, you are going to have to purchase a 67mm UV filter.

Who is this lens for?:

Many people don’t like these “all-in-one” lenses, simply because the ones that have been made by the likes of Nikon & Canon, are not that good.  Well, i can assure you that Fuji has done a great job on this lens and it will not disappoint anyone who is looking for a versatile lens.

If you are someone who does not have a lot of money to spend on lenses, then this lens just might be for you.  For example, if you were wanting to purchase the original 3 lenses that came out when the X-Pro1 came out, you would have to lay out $2147.00 CAD for those 3 lenses (18, 35, 60).

The 18-135 covers all three of those focal lengths, for just $999.00 CAD.  That is a considerable difference in cost.

Though, don’t get me wrong.  The 18-135 at let’s say 35mm, is not going to be as good as the 35mm prime.  Therefore, if superior image quality is important to you, you will most certainly want to invest in some prime lenses.

If you are looking to travel light and want to be able to have a broad focal range at your finger tips, then the 18-135 would be a great lens to take on any trip.  It will also serve you well if you want a good walkabout lens for those days that you just want to go out and shoot, but are not sure of what you may come across.

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Who this lens may not be for:

Obviously, anyone who does not take to these types of lenses, will not purchase this lens.  Simple as that.

There are folks out there who strictly like to use prime lenses – for obvious reasons; therefore, probably would not take a second look at this lens.

In the end, it is not going to be a lens for everyone.  Heck, some people don’t like zooms period, no matter the focal range.

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Conclusion:

Personally, i like the 18-135 for it’s broad focal range, OIS and the great image quality that it delivers.  It’s not to big and with the extra grip, it is well balanced on my X-Pro1.

If you own an X-T1, this lens would be a great companion for it and would give you a completely weather resistant set up.

If you are looking for the best image quality that a Fuji lens can give you, i would suggest investing in some prime lenses.  Prime lenses are masters at their focal lengths.

On the other hand, if superior image quality is not the most important aspect of your photography and you are looking for an everyday/travel lens, the 18-135 will most certainly fit the bill.

Who dares wins.

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First Photos From The 18-135mm.

A few weekends ago, we went down to the old port to have a look at the science fair they had going on.  The fair was held by various schools and government agencies, in order to promote the learning of science by kids.

As mom and daughter went around to the various tents at the outdoor science fair, i went off to go and test the XF 18-135 on my X-Pro1.

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I had actually traded in my lenses this same day.  Aside from the 35mm, i also traded in my 60mm for the 18-135mm.

In getting the 18-135, i simply wanted a walk around lens where i would be prepared for anything if i did not have one particular subject in mind.  The 18-135 will also be a great lens for going on vacation with, instead of bringing multiple lenses to cover the same focal range.

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I had to get used to using a zoom again as an “everyday” lens.  I have been so so used to using only the 35mm for so long, it was somewhat strange to have a big hunk of glass on my camera.

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Despite it’s size, it is far more versatile then the 35mm or the 60mm.  The focal range of 18-135 pretty much covers the normal focal lengths that most people will use on a daily basis.

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Along with the X100T, the X-Pro1 with the 18-135, will make a killer combination.  The X100T will be the camera i will go to for when i don’t want to stand out, when i want to shoot in silence, when i want the razor sharpness of a prime lens and when i want to go extra light.

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So far, it has been a joy to use and shoot with.  I really do miss using zooms.  Obviously, with zoom lenses like the 18-135, there will be some compromises made, especially in respect to sharpness.  However, you will have to pixel peep to see any noticeable difference between this lens and some of Fuji’s prime lenses.

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Unfortunately, Canon and Nikon gave the “all-in-one” lens, such as the 18-135, a bad name.  Their attempts at making a really good lens with this focal range somewhat failed in my opinion.  This is the reason why so many people are hesitant in buying this lens.

Well, the Fuji 18-135 has broken the trend of “all-in-one” lenses being mediocre.  From this shooting experience and from shooting with the lens again this past weekend, i can tell you that Fuji has set the bar very high when it comes to this type of lens.

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In a later post, i am going to write about my first impressions of the XF 18-135mm, just as i did for the XF 27mm.

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One thing that i must warn you about, is the weight of the lens.  It is a heavy piece of glass and when mounting it on any X camera, you are going to want to use a grip.  You can certainly shoot with the lens without using a grip, but i find it far more comfortable on my X-Pro1 when i use the grip.

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If you are looking for a versatile lens for your photo walks or to take with you on vacation, the XF 18-135mm is the lens for you.  Combined with an X-T1, you will have a weather-proof kit that you can use in all the elements.

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Thanks for looking.

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