Saturday, January 25, 2014

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Testing Fujifilm's telephoto zooms...

I recently had the opportunity to borrow both of Fujifilm's current telephoto zooms for their X-system, the Fujinon XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8R OIS zoom ($699) and the XC 50-230mm f/4.5-6.7 OIS zoom ($399). While sharing a similar zoom range, these lenses are distinctly different when it comes to features, build quality and price. Amazingly enough though, when it comes to optical performance, much to my surprise they are both very nearly tied. In fact, if I had to pick one over the other purely from a resulting image quality standpoint, I would actually choose the less expensive 50-230mm zoom… and in fact, I did. I recently bought the 50-230mm for myself and while it certainly does not best the 55-200mm by a very substantial margin, there were a few other factors that led to my decision.

For 25 sample images from these lenses, click on the gallery link above. Note that while I had both lenses with me on numerous occasions, I ended up using the 50-230mm more, both for its slightly greater zoom range and for its lighter weight and lighter zoom action. As a bonus, I discovered the cheaper and lighter zoom was actually a little sharper too! Therefore, the gallery is heavily biased towards the 50-230mm, which is the one I bought after all...

Sunday, January 5, 2014

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Thrunite TN32 comparison...

The trees lit by the TN32 are 400 meters away!

So I just received my new Thrunite TN32 flashlight, a sort of belated Christmas present. It is physically the largest light I own now and it also has, by far, the tightest focus and greatest throw potential of all of my flashlights. In fact, it has been reviewed and tested by others and measurements indicate it should throw a visible beam up to 950 meters. The above photo was taken in Minnekhada Park the other night, and from that same spot, I could also clearly light up trees right by the High Knoll lookout, and that is about 800 meters away, so I would say that the 950 meter estimate is pretty close... although one would need ideal conditions to achieve that - really dark, no dust or haze etc.