Saturday, January 24, 2015

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Gallery: Nicole with the Fujifilm XF 56mm f/1.2R APD

Fujifilm Canada was kind enough to recently lend me both variations of their 56mm lenses, the XF 56mm f/1.2R and the XF 56mm f/1.2R APD. What the term "APD" stands for, is that variant's internal apodization filter, essentially an inbuilt radial ND filter that is darkest at the outer edge and feathers to clear part way in towards the centre. The effect this has, is to smooth out the transitional edges of the out-of-focus areas of an image and has its strongest effect wide open at f/1.2. I will go into more detail in a future blog entry that will also have some animations, comparing both 56mm lenses at various f-stops.

For now, if you click on the above image, you'll get a gallery of images of my colleague Nicole, all shot handheld at night with my X-E2 and the 56mm APD wide open at f/1.2. Hopefully this will give you a feel for how the lens will perform in some situations and whether or not the "look" is worth the price premium over the regular 56mm. If I was a regular portrait shooter, I would definitely have to strongly consider this lens since I feel it does perform very nicely in that capacity. Some more technical details of how the images were shot are in the gallery's introduction as well.

Finally, this gallery is the first of 2015 and will represent a slightly new look. All previous galleries linked from my blog basically appeared as though on my regular website, however the sad truth is that I have not updated the gallery link pages on my website since 2009! I am way behind and since I have been posting all my galleries in recent years as links from my blog, I thought it appropriate to have the galleries appear more integral to the blog, with the same banner, links back to the originating blog posting (the -back to post- link you'll see at the top centre of each gallery) and so on. Also there will be a link to allow you to see all galleries posted for the year the gallery you are currently in was posted, for example the "2015 Image Galleries". At some point I do plan on updating my website, but in reality it might all end up being integrated with either this blog, or perhaps even a newly designed one. For now, hopefully this is a slight improvement...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

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Gallery: Testing the Fujifilm 50-140mm f/2.8 Zoom

I finally had a chance to really put the new Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8R LM OIS WR zoom lens through its paces on this past Christmas day. For some weird reason, I had thought the gallery was already posted to my blog, since I had uploaded it shortly after Christmas, but obviously I hadn't - oops! In any case, you've probably already seen my preview blog posting of this lens at this link here, but for that one, I only had the lens briefly and took maybe a dozen shots with it. On the 25th, I took nearly 300 shots and you can see some of the selected images in the gallery you can get to by clicking on the above image. The high-res images are nice and big, 3000 pixels in the long dimension, so you can get a better idea of how good the image quality is on a wider range of shots.

My conclusions hold by and large: the new professional zoom from Fujifilm is spectacularly sharp, focuses very quickly and has effective image stabilization. On my X-E2, with the added Fujifilm handgrip, I actually didn't find it to be unpleasantly heavy, although it is certainly a large lens. Following are some additional comments about this lens, now that I have tested it more thoroughly. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

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Happy New Year! And some images...

The last rays of sunlight fall on Vancouver, on New Year's Eve 2014, shot from the Granville Street Bridge. There is a gallery of images from the beautiful afternoon of December 31st, which you can get to by clicking on the above image, where my first gallery of 2015 shows my very last photos of 2014...

I had used the opportunity to shoot with the new Sony A7 Mark II and most of the images in the gallery were taken with Sony's new Zeiss 16-35mm f/4 OSS, a body and lens I had not yet really had much of a chance to test out yet. I also shot with a few other lenses and the below image of the moon is a 100% crop from Lightroom, showing how impressively sharp Sony's 70-200mm f/4 OSS for the FE mount is. It was also an exceptionally clear evening, which helped too...