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Experiences Using The Fujinon XF60mm | George Greenlee

Experiences Using The Fujinon XF60mm | George Greenlee | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

The XF 60MM lens has a bad rap. Reviews around the web will tell you that its sharper than a scorned woman’s tongue, but slower to focus in low light than a politician is in making a decision. I have had the 60mm lens since it was released, but I have not used it that much as I tend to use the 35 and 18mm most of the time. I went to San Fran for christmas and it seemed like a good opportunity to get to know the lens better. I wanted to see if the lens deserved the rap and were there ways to overcome any short comings? So this is not a lens review, just some experiences in using the lens. First let me say I cut my autofocus teeth on sport photography with a Nikon F5 and then the D2Hs, D3 etc. It was a bit of a learning curve at the start but now its second nature. My default approach is to use the AF-ON button to separate the AF  from the shutter release button. I tend use AF-C with 9 point dynamic setup. This set up gives you so much control its a godsend, I can pretty much focus and track anything and I seldom have focus failures. Now the X-Pro1 is a different beast and requires a different way of working. For the XF 35MM and 18mm for candid work I use AREA + AF-S with a single focus point. Not only does this mean I can move the focus point around to suit, it reduces focus errors. The most common Auto Focus error, and I suspect why one sees so many people on the internet claim back focus issues, is the failure to fill the focus point(s) with the subject. The AF system will then focus on the point of highest contrast, which may not be on the subject. Using a larger number of focus points with a wide angle lens means a lot of the FOV is fair game for the AF system and  the camera decides where to focus, using a single focus point means I stay in control. I only get failures on these two lenses if I can not cover the subject with that AF sensor. Note for landscape I would tend to use hyperfocal focusing biased to give better focus at infinity. This set up works well for the XF 60mm lens in high contrast situations, but in lower contrast situations it causes it to hunt a lot and fail often. There is just not enough data for the AF system to make a decision..a bit like a politician and just as annoying. Fortunately the solution is quite simple, just use more focus points and make sure to fill the frame. You do this by hitting the AF button and rotating the selector dial left to increase the number of focus points. For night time candid photography I have found that rotating it two clicks left from the single focus point setting works really well. During my night shoot in Avignon I only had two focus failures where the camera could not capture focus at all. Both of these were caused by the fact that there was no real contrast in the subject…well it is a contrast based AF system after all. Clearly you still have to make sure the subject covers the focus points or you may be disappointed, but it deals nicely with lower contrast situations. Locking focus is one thing, the speed with which it locks is another. The Fujinon XF 60MM focuses quickly in when there is lots of contrast even in low light like the night shots below, not DSLR speed but fine for candid work and I would have no hesitation in recommending it for that purpose.  For sports….well there is always the Nikon. Overall I am really enjoyed using this lens. It does not deserve a bad rep, you just need to find your own rhythm with it.....

 


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Nick Chaldakov-photographer's insight:

Thank you Gorge Greenlee for information and advice on Fuyi XF 60mm lens. 's Very useful.

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A Very Brief Review of the Fujinon XF 35mm 1.4 lens | Colin Nicholls

A Very Brief Review of the Fujinon XF 35mm 1.4 lens |  Colin Nicholls | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

I'm just going to focus on the lens for this review, so the same goes if you have this on a XPro 1, XE1, XM1 or any other X camera, either way this lens is awesome, just incredible. As with the other reviews I'm gonna go mostly images on this one with a brief bit about why you should get this lens and just how awesome it is. It is sharp, damn sharp even at 1.4 and for the price it is a steal, sure its more expensive than your standard 50mm prime but its in whole other league, this is what you need if you have an X series system, if you gave me one camera and one lens to shoot a whole wedding I would do it on this, well I have done it on this albeit as a second shooting but I would be more than comfortable rocking this and only this for any wedding.....

Sharpness:

Peoples main love of this lens comes from its outstanding sharpness, I'm not going to make tests and charts, but show two examples of just how good it is, even wide open, which is how I shoot this lens most of the time. You can click the images to get a full screen view, with the crop the images start to soften up and grain becomes a bit more noticeable, but it really doesn't matter, you shouldn't have to crop this aggressively anyways, but if you ever need to the option is there. I do like a nice sharp lens, for me an images that are as crisp as the ones this lens produces are the kind that I want to create for my clients......


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Fujifilm X-T1 | CNet

Fujifilm X-T1 | CNet | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


If you're going to spend $1,700 on a kit, there's a long list of alternatives available, from full-frame dSLRs and ILCs like the Nikon D610, Canon EOS 6D and Sony Alpha ILCE-7 to fast APS-C models like the Nikon D7100 or the Micro Four Thirds Olympus OM-D E-M1. I think the X-T1 offers the nicest shooting experience without sacrifices, but still like optical viewfinders for fast action, and the E-M1 performs generally faster overall. It's a tough call, but the X-T1 does deserve a place on your short list......


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Fuji xf 18-55mm vs Fuji xf 14mm | Régis Lessent

Fuji xf 18-55mm vs Fuji xf 14mm | Régis Lessent | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


Yesterday, I had the chance to try both the 18-55mm zoom and the 14mm prime. Therefore I thought it might be interesting to publish some pictures to show the difference, in term of field of view, between 18 and 14 mm. In my opinion, those little 4mm make quite a big difference. I like very much the extra dramatic effect the 14mm produces. I warn you, I wasn’t there to make a comparision between the lenses. It’s just afterwards, looking at the pictures I took, I realized I took nearly the same shots with the two lenses. Therefore, I wasn’t exactly on the same spot when I took the different pictures. Anyway, I think it still gives a good idea of the two field of view. On the technical side, I was surprised how the AF of the 18-55 felt so different from the 14mm or the 35mm I own. I would say it’s less « brutal » and less noisy. You don’t feel the lenses moving while the AF is working like it does on my 35mm. The 18-55 is also slightly heavier than the two others. To end, I’d like to thanks the Wshop in Woluwe (for belgian readers) who lent me the lenses. I think it’s great they let you borrow the lenses for a couple of hours for free. As well, it’s the only shop I know in Belgium where you can rent the Fuji lenses. Great to choose wisely the lens that suits you the best.......


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Olympus OM-D E-M1 review | Digital Camera World

Olympus OM-D E-M1 review | Digital Camera World | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it
Olympus OM-D E-M1 review: will this new Olympus camera appeal to both Micro Four Thirds and Four Thirds users? Find out in our review video.
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Olympus OM-D E-M1 review @ Dpreview

Olympus OM-D E-M1 review @ Dpreview | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it
Digital Photography Review: All the latest digital camera reviews and digital imaging news. Lively discussion forums. Vast samples galleries and the largest database of digital camera specifications.

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Review: Olympus OM-D EM-1

Review: Olympus OM-D EM-1 | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

“GP tests the new Olympus micro four-thirds flagship and discusses the merits of a smaller sensor. (Tested: the new @getOlympus OM-D EM-1 and the merits of a smaller sensor.”


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Fuji XF18-55mm F2.8-4

Fuji XF18-55mm F2.8-4 | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it
Nick Chaldakov-photographer's insight:

 

@' 2013 Photography © Nick Chaldakov. 

 

Camera: Fujifilm X-E1
Lens Fuji XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM

F5, S 1/320, ISO 200, in camera sharp+1
Post processing: Photo Shop + Sharp

The original file is a little soft. The structure of the image is good for processing. The end result is good. But with a sharp lens like Fuji 60 Makro would be better.

Conclusion: Sharpness of Fuji XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R is a little lower than I would like. Lens have good reproduction of black. This is very important. Good zoom lens. But for art images you need a Macro Fuji 60/2.8 ore new Carl Zeiss 50/2.8 Macro. I hope it will be better...

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Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Review | PhotographyBLOG

Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Review | PhotographyBLOG | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


The Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS is much more than just a standard kit lens. It's remarkably sharp in the image centre almost throughout the entire focal range, except at full 55mm telephoto where optimum sharpness isn't achieved until f/8. Similarly edge sharpness is also commendably high at most settings, with the same exception of the 55mm focal length. The fast maximum apertures of f/2.8 at 18mm and f/4 at 55mm make it easy to creatively throw the background out of focus, with the seven-blade iris diaphragm achieving some appealing bokeh effects. Vignetting is practically a non-issue, and chromatic aberrations are present but very well-controlled. There is some barreling at the 18mm wide-angle focal length, but no pincushion distortion of note at the 55mm setting. The lens' macro performance is rather unremarkable but its close-focus point of 30cm still comes in handy when including a foreground interest in the image, as you often do in landscape and architectural photography. The lens also benefits from a fast and quiet auto-focus mechanism, generously wide zoom ring and a welcome aperture ring which makes it quick, easy and precise to set this key element of exposure. The lens mount is, thankfully, made of metal and, thanks to an internal focusing (IF) system, the front element and filter thread does not rotate on focus, which is very good news for those using polarisers and ND grads on a regular basis. The only real fly in the ointment is the price - at around £599 / $799 this isn't exactly a cheap lens, which may hold back many enthusiasts, especially in the current economic climate. Compared to a similarly specced DSLR lens with fast apertures, however, it could be viewed as something of a bargain, especially when you consider that the Fujifilm 18mm and 35mm primes are even more expensive. And if you're looking to buy a body to go with it, then the new X-E1 and 18-55mm kit is a veritable steal.

Ratings (out of 5)
Design: 4.5
Features: 4
Ease-of-use: 4.5
Image Quality: 4.5
Value for money: 4


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Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R | Roel

Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R | Roel | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity to test a pre-production copy of this new prime to provide some feedback to Fujifilm.  This article will discuss my experience with it plus provide you with some of my initial images taken with this lens.

Before you can use this lens with your X-Pro1 or X-E1,  you will need to upgrade the firmware on the camera body (which allows for lens corrections plus enables a few other features).  I was supplied with (non-public) beta-firmware from Fujifilm (V2.02 for my X-Pro1) but I suspect when this lens is publicly released, a new firmware version (V2.03 or higher) will be available for download.

Final Thoughts

Here is a quick summary of this lens:

 

Pros

- excellent build quality and lightweight

- fast f/2.8 aperture

- the AF/MF clutch is a welcome feature to move quickly from AF to MF

- focus ring responds nicely when using manual focus (as opposed to the original focus by wire)

- Depth of Field markings

- Distance Scale markings

- aperture ring feels solid with discreet 1/3 stop settings

- sharp, even wide open

- very little distortion

- surprisingly flare resistant

- the petal lens hood is an improvement over the previous ones made by Fujifilm

 

Cons

- the $US 899.99 price tag might put some people off

- 14mm (21mm equivalent) is very wide and will challenge any photographer’s composition skills

- the focus ring could use more dampening, but that may change in the final production units


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Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8R - First Tests | Mike Mander

Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8R - First Tests | Mike Mander | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

These are the first tests I shot with the new Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8R wide-angle on my X-E1. All shots were processed in Phase One's Capture One Pro v7.02 with some slight post-processing in Adobe Lightroom v4.3. Some perspective distortion correction was applied on a few of the night shots, but no corrections for barrel distortion were applied, nor were they needed. Note that it was windy, so there is some movement and blur in trees and foliage on some of the night shots. The XF 14mm is equivalent to 21mm on a full-frame body and quite simply, this new lens is very nearly the best ultra-wide prime I have ever shot with. The only lens I've used that is in the same league optically, and that is wider than 24mm (full-frame equivalent), is Canon's EF 17mm f/4L TS-E and it, of course, is manual focus as well as big, heavy and very expensive. As mentioned, none of these photos have had any barrel distortion correction. The XF 14mm seems essentially free from any sort of field curvature, there is virtually no detectable chromatic aberration and only the barest hint of purple fringing along extremely high-contrast boundaries, for example, with power lines or branches against a white, blown out sky. Even the edges of the frame are essentially tack sharp wide open at f/2.8, with the extreme corners following by f/4 already. There is also no green/magenta bokeh fringing and what little background blur one can get with an ultra-wide at f/2.8 (see frame 9), looks to be very smooth and pleasing as well. Internal reflections seem well controlled, contrast is good... although I have yet to see how it performs in daylight with the sun shining on the front element or when the sun is included in the frame. The only noticeable flare spots I saw in all these photos that were due to the lens itself, are below and the bright light in frame 22 and over the pillar in frame 33, although there are a few shots where there is some reflection off the inside of the front protective filter (frame 32 for example). The resolution of this lens is so consistent and even, that one can take a series of tripod shots, zoom into an extreme corner and flip through images shot from f/4 to f/11 and there is virtually no detectable change or improvement in corner sharpness, presuming there are no depth of field issues there of course. Only at f/2.8 in the extreme corners, is there a hint of contrast and sharpness loss, and beyond f/11, diffraction starts taking a visible toll across the entire frame. I would say it is actually sharpest in the f/4 to 5.6 range, which is truly superb for such a wide-angle lens. The XF 14mm f/2.8 R has exceeded my wildest dreams and is truly an exceptional performer!


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Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS (Fujifilm) - Review | Photozone

Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS (Fujifilm) - Review  | Photozone | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


Unlike other mirrorless system providers, Fuji follows a top down approach in terms of target audience. Thus they are creating interest among professionals and prosumers first. After the release of 3 high quality prime lenses they are now tackling the mainstream market with a standard zoom lens - the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS. You may argue that it is just another kit lens but unlike its remote cousins it is obviously one stop faster. If you buy it as part of a camera kit it is pretty affordable but its naked price tag of more than 650EUR/US$ makes it obvious that Fuji still doesn't want to play in the low end market. Interestingly the lens features an image stabilizer which is the first time Fuji has implemented this in a XF lens.....

Verdict

 

The Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS may be the hottest reason to enter the Fuji system. It is amazingly sharp throughout the zoom and relevant aperture range. The amount of lateral CAs is generally quite low with the exception of 55mm @ f/4. The Fujinon is not without flaws, of course. Technically it suffers from a high barrel distortion at 18mm and the vignetting is a bit too high at max. aperture. However, these aspects are taken care of either by the camera itself or external RAW converters so you don't need to worry from a user perspective. The quality of the bokeh (out-of-focus) blur is pretty good for a standard zoom lens but it cannot rival the best prime lenses, of course. The build quality is on a very high level but then you also expect no less from a lens in this price class. It is a bit worrisome, however, that this is the 2nd out of 5 tested Fuji lenses with a rather significant centering defect. We hope that this is not a trend that we will have to confirm once more in the future. Interestingly Fuji has modified the AF mechanism in this new lens. Unlike the gang of 3 prime lenses (18mm, 35mm, 60mm) it is quite fast and basically silent so Fuji is definitely on the right track here. Fuji's new image stabilizer is, of course, also a welcome new feature. In a nutshell - you can't go wrong with the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS ... if you can get a good sample.

 

Optical Quality: 3.5 to 4 / 5   

Mechanical Quality:4 / 5

Price/Performance:4 / 5


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Fuji XF 14mm f/2.8 Review | Ken Rockwell

Fuji XF 14mm f/2.8 Review | Ken Rockwell | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


The Fuji XF 14mm f/2.8 ASPH is an extraordinary lens. When a lens is just about optically perfect, there isn't much to say.

If you have an X-Pro1, you need one for general telephoto use. Forget slumming with LEICA or other off-brand lenses; you can't get anything sharper and any other lens won't autofocus or autoexpose or log data, and no other tele lens will have a diaphragm that opens and closes automatically as needed for focus and shooting.


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chris's comment, September 8, 2012 10:23 AM
Ken has never seen or held the lens - yet has a review! It's incomplete, inaccurate, and full of pre-formed opinions.

Business as usual for Rockwell - take with salt!
ian's comment, September 12, 2012 6:39 AM
If you read it carefully its a work in progress text copied from the 60mm review as I would never consider teh XF14mm as a telephoto lens
PhotoMadd's comment, November 12, 2012 5:17 PM
Absolutely ridiculous. KR is just an opportunist wanting hits and clicks. The 14mm doesn't even exist as a review sample, but yet he somehow has managed to review it! Strange that his review of it is a copy and paste of his apparent 60mm review - which by the way he also describes as an f/2.8 when it is actually an f/ 2.4! If it's a work in progress as he suggests then why has he published it? I'll give you one guess why!
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X-T1 + 56 1.2 impression from a X-E2 user | Albert on Digital Photography Review

X-T1 + 56 1.2 impression from a X-E2 user | Albert on Digital Photography Review | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

Got to play with X-T1 at the local Fujifilm store, together with Zeiss 12mm, Fuji 14mm, 23mm, 27mm, 35mm, 56mm 1.2 and 55-200mm lenses.  Coming from X-E2 and have used XPro1/X-E1/X100, here are my impressions:


The EVF is not as lag free as everyone was saying here.  It feels about the same as X-E2.  Blurring still occurs when I pan the camera horizontally.  The blurring is more noticeable with wide angles lenses and less with telephoto.The EVF sure looks big and the uncluttered display is nice (Fuji should have done this since day one).The handgrip design is very nice.  It feels solid and secure.  I'm using the Fuji grip with X-E2 and I'm pretty sure I can skip the additional handgrip with this one.The EV compensation dial is not as stiff as someone was reporting here, about the same as X-E2 and I have no problem changing it with just my thumb.The 4-way controller is sure hard to press.  The buttons are sloped/recessed towards the center which makes them harder to press compared to having flat buttons.The shutter dial detents do not feel quite as positively as X-E2, it has a bit of a mushy feel.  Same with the dials for changing metering and drive mode.The tilting LCD has a solid feel.8fps is fast and I can keep shooting without any slow down.  With X-E2, high speed shooting slows down after a second or two.During the high speed shooting mode, there is no live view between frames.  All I saw were 8 frames presented within the second.  This is the same as X-E2.AF seems about as fast as X-E2.  It could be a little bit faster (hard to tell), as the X-T1 seems to drive the AF motor faster.Shutter sound is quiet, which is the same as X-E2.
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The most comprehensive Collection on Fuji X-Pro1, X-T1 and X-E1/E2 articles on the Web ... | Thomas Menk

The most comprehensive Collection on Fuji X-Pro1, X-T1 and X-E1/E2 articles on the Web ... | Thomas Menk | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


Aspects of Digital Photography focusing on the Fuji X-Pro 1, X-T1, X-E1/E2 and X100s - photographer, reviews, samples and more.

The most comprehensive Collection on Fuji X-Pro1 and X-E1 articles, reviews and X-Pro1 Photographer on the Web!


____________________________________________________________

Curated by official Fujifilm X-Photographer Thomas Menk

____________________________________________________________


Following Thomas Menk on Twitter: http://twitter.com/fuji_x_pro


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Thomas Menk's curator insight, June 24, 2013 6:17 AM


If you would like to support my work - you can do that via Flattr.

Thank you :-)


Doug Chinnery's curator insight, October 17, 2013 10:27 AM

very useful collection of information on the X Pro 1

Ariel Gonzalez's curator insight, February 21, 9:42 AM

Great stuff from an  X Photographer 

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Thoughts on the Fuji 23mm f1.4 VS the X100s 23mm f2 | Ed Dombrowski

Thoughts on the Fuji 23mm f1.4 VS the X100s 23mm f2 | Ed Dombrowski | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


I recently had the Fuji 23mm F1.4 lens shipped to me. I pre-ordered it the day it was officially announced and it got to me last week. I have been shooting with it for a week or so but am not going to do any sort of image quality review at this time other than to say it is at least as good as all the other Fuji lenses. It is very similar in fit and finish to the 14mm.  I was more interested in writing about the debate that has gone on in my head since it was added to the roadmap. The thought was that when the 23mm f1.4 was released sales of the X100s would dry up. Why would you buy an X100s when you now have a fast 35mm equivalent offer for the X-Pro1 or X-E1?......


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Liquid Photography by Marcel Christ

Liquid Photography by Marcel Christ | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it
Here, we are featuring here some amazing art shot of Marcel Christ. He is Amsterdam, Netherlands based photographer.
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The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Full Review. The most versatile Mirrorless Camera ever.

The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Full Review. The most versatile Mirrorless Camera ever. | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

“The Olympus OM-D E-M1 Full Review. The most versatile Mirrorless Camera ever. Inspiration: a person or thing that inspires. The E-M1 with 17 1.8 at 1.8.”


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Fuji XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Hands-on … plus more interesting news about the X system | MirrorLessons

Fuji XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS Hands-on … plus more interesting news about the X system | MirrorLessons | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

I was given a mere ten minutes to try it, as other people were waiting in line to test it as well, and it was the only sample available. Also, the lens was a prototype, very close to the final version. In that brief time, I used it on an X-Pro 1 and took a couple of pictures around the block. The lens is not too heavy and I find it well balanced with the X-Pro 1 in terms of both weight and ergonomics. The zoom ring wasn’t as smooth as others I’ve tried, but it could be related to the sample I used. Also, the aperture ring, as with other XF lenses, is a little bit too soft and you can inadvertently change the aperture. Since I had such a short window of time, I concentrated on bringing home some interesting shots. I wanted to try the zoom at its fastest apertures but I didn’t realize that I had accidentally changed it to 5.6 the whole time I was out with the lens. Anyway, the blame’s on me! This lens is the first telephoto lens for the X system and Fuji seems to have made it right: the quality is there. It is very sharp, with a nice bokeh that seems to be more pleasant to the eye than traditional telephoto zoom lenses without the constant aperture like this one. The lens is stabilized and while I didn’t try it much, I took a few shot at less than 1/100s and it responded very well. The minimal focus distance is more than acceptable for this type of lens, but don’t expect close macro performance here. It is indeed an interesting lens for those interested in chasing animals in the park or for portraits. Its non-constant aperture won’t make it ideal in low-light performance. As for the autofocus, the X-Pro 1 handed to me had the latest firmware on it that support this new lens, and that is suppose to enhance the autofocus on the X-Pro 1 as well. Again, 10 minutes isn’t enough to judge a lens, but it seems that it possesses the normal Fuji autofocus speed found in the X-pro line, so nothing terribly fast.....


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Heather Broster's comment, May 12, 2013 4:50 AM
Thanks for sharing Thomas!
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Liverpool Sunrises with the Fuji X-Pro 1 | Liverpool Photographer

Liverpool Sunrises with the Fuji X-Pro 1 | Liverpool Photographer | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


For me, taking the time to watch the sunrise is a spirit-lifting experience in itself.  Every day is new, untold and full of possibilities.  To be out there facing that iconic view, seeing the day being born out of the darkness and lighting up the city where I’ve spent my entire life is quite an evocative thing to witness. That said, it’s not always such a calming experience because as the sun rises and its rays dance over the clouds, occasionally, and perhaps only for a few fleeting seconds, the sunlight skims the atmosphere at just the right angles and your eyes are treated to a fantastic explosion of colour.  It’s at those times when my sleepy mind is suddenly very alert and I’m most likely darting between two cameras I’ve got set up on tripods making sure their shutters are firing and the exposures are looking good.  And when I see those rear LCD previews glowing with same radiance, well, that’s when I don’t mind losing a bit of sleep so much. My usual kit for these sunrise shoots has been a Nikon D700, Nikon 24-70mm with an assortment of Lee filters (ND grads and a Big Stopper), a Fuji X-Pro 1 with the 35mm and 18-55mm XF lens and B&W 10-stop filter.  Let’s not forget the many layers of warm clothing, a flask of something hot and many hours to stand around waiting! The 4-year old D700 still has a place in my heart despite higher resolution offerings from younger siblings and rivals.  It’s reliable and predictable in so much as I know I can get extremely satisfying results from it.  Like a faithful old dog who knows where my favourite slippers, newspaper and pipe are. The Fuji X-Pro 1 on the other hand is still a very new camera, fashioned with classic and retro lines, but underneath its cool, dark exterior lies technology  which would make the Borg salivate.  The X-Trans sensor is innovative with its lack of anti-aliasing filter and funky colour array filter, but software companies have had decades to perfect their algorithms to render ‘traditional’ Bayer pattern sensor data so it’s no surprise there are still improvements to be had.  It’s not all bad news, though, and the X-Pro 1 still has a legion of fans with me being one of them.  Personally, I don’t find the raws that bad when processed in Lightroom.  Certainly, not as bad as some might claim. The styling is great, the handling is great, the autofocus is decent for a contrast detection based system, the sensor is relatively huge for such a small body and in my opinion packs just the right number of megapixels (16).  Crucially, the lenses are excellent (aherm, Sony) which makes the XF system such a great one.  To me, great lenses are the foundation of any system because they’re the pieces of equipment you carry over from one body to the next.  The JPG processing in-camera is good, but I’m still going to continue shooting raw because that leaves me the option of processing in-camera afterwards and because I believe raw support will improve. With all that said, what matters is the end result and whether I like it. I do. Very much so.


Via Thomas Menk
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Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS (goes to the Bahamas) | Roel

Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS (goes to the Bahamas) | Roel | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it


It is the first zoom lens for the Fujifilm X camera system and unfortunately, I did not have a chance to use it as it was not available when I received the X-E1 for testing.  At a trade show in Toronto later that month, I did have a very brief opportunity to use the 18-55mm at the Fujifilm booth, but I could only view the images on the camera’s rear LCD screen (and not a calibrated computer monitor) so I did not feel that I had sufficient data to present an informed opinion. I really wanted to see how this lens performed – especially since I have been spoiled by the superb optical quality of the Fujifilm X prime lenses.  But I was just going to have to wait a bit longer before I could get my hands on this new zoom lens. As I was heading off for a much needed vacation in the Bahamas in December 2012, Fujifilm sent a production copy which I took with me on this trip. This is not an in depth review as I tend not to be a pixel peeper but I wanted to pass on my thoughts – plus, show you a few sample images.....

Final Thoughts

Here is a quick summary of this lens:

 

Pros

 

- excellent build quality

- fast for a variable aperture lens (f/2.8 to f/4)

- focus ring is dampened nicely

- aperture ring feels solid with discreet 1/3 stop settings

- sharp, even wide open

- incredibly sharp when stopped down

- OIS works well

- AF is extremely quiet in operation

- the petal lens hood is a much needed improvement over previous lens hoods

 

Cons

- the $US 699.99 price tag might put some people off

- Linear Motor provides adequate AF speed, but I expected it to be faster


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Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R: will it be wide enough? | Mike Kobal

Fujifilm XF 14mm f2.8 R: will it be wide enough? | Mike Kobal | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

“Will it be wide enough or should I wait for the 10-24mm OIS f4?” This is a good question. I paired the Tokina 11-16mm with the Fuji X-E1 and went to Grand Central Station.

It is impossible to answer this question and give a satisfactory answer for everyone. It will mainly depend on how you plan to use it and your subject matter. I for one am very excited about the Fujifilm 14mm F2.8, not because I think it is an ultra wide angle, by current standards it certainly is not, but I find the angle of view very appealing and I like the idea to have a depth of field scale for hyperfocal distance settings. And what we have seen so far from Rico Pfirstinger’s first tests, distortions are not a problem at all, the 14mm appears to be a stellar performer!  The Tokina 11-16mm is probably the best ultra wide angle zoom currently available for APSC sized sensors. Cinematographers are spending big bucks on having it converted to PL mount. The reason? Minimal distortions at every focal length and constant aperture value.

Kudos to Fuji for bringing us an almost distortion free 14mm prime , nothing is more frustrating then trying to correct complex, mustache style, barrel distortion during post-processing, especially when shooting interiors.

As for difference in angle of view, compare the two shots below, at 14mm (21mm equiv. FF) angle of view 89 Degrees, at 11mm (16.5mm equiv. FF) angle of view 108 Degrees. On ultra wide zooms like the Tokina 11-16mm and the Nikkor 14-24mm I find myself usually at the widest end. A notable exception is the Canon L 17-40mm, because it covers true super wide to normal on a FF sensor. The Tokina 11-16mm is a big and heavy lens, especially when mounted on the Fuji X-E1. I found it produced fantastic images and mf wasn’t a problem due to the brightness of 2.8. If you can’t make up your mind about the Fujifilm 14mm, here are a few things to consider:


Pros:
1) “distortion free” prime
2) fast 2.8
3) fast AF, MF with depth of field scale for hyperfocal focusing
4) smaller and lighter then a high quality ultra wide zoom

 

Cons:
1)not really ultra wide
2)the lack of zoom could be a problem in a confined space
3)wide is never wide enough
4)image stabilization (this is debatable on an ultra wide, but can come in very handy shooting dark castles/churches)

 

If you happen to own a Tokina 11-16mm for a different system it might be worth spending approx $25~30 bucks for and X-adapter, it might save you lots of cash! Do a search on Ebay.
I will be getting the 14mm not as an ultra wide zoom replacement but as an alternative to the 18mm when I need something wider. I really hope this lens won’t be too heavy, lots of glass in there


Via Thomas Menk
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X-E1 Firmware Update Ver.1.04 | Fujifilm Global

X-E1 Firmware Update Ver.1.04 | Fujifilm Global | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

The firmware update Ver.1.04 from Ver. 1.01 incorporates the following issue

1.    Adding the compatibility with "XF14mmF2.8R".
    You will get the full performance of "XF14mmF2.8R", including Manual Focus function.
    
2.    Newly added function
    Shutter release button can be active even if an external microphone or a remote release is connected to USB mini terminal or MIC/REMOTE terminal (Φ2.5mm) of the camera.
    
3.    Improvement in performance
    (1)Accuracy of auto focus performance has been much improved under a various shooting condition.
    Shooting with XF35mm lens, Shooting for the target with relatively high frequency, One-push AF by pressing AE-L/AF-L button,
    
    
    To enable more accurate AF performance with XF35mm lens, please update the firmware of your Fujinon XF35mm lens at the same time. Firwware version must be Ver 2.02 or later.
    
    (2)Audio performance has been optimized for Stereo Microphone MIC-ST1 (sold separately.)
    (3)Improvement of unexpected pixels recorded in the top far-left taken with XF18-55mm Lens under the condition of middle range focal length.


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Experiences Using The Fujinon XF60mm | George Greenlee

Experiences Using The Fujinon XF60mm | George Greenlee | Art Photography Nick Chaldakov | Scoop.it

The XF 60MM lens has a bad rap. Reviews around the web will tell you that its sharper than a scorned woman’s tongue, but slower to focus in low light than a politician is in making a decision. I have had the 60mm lens since it was released, but I have not used it that much as I tend to use the 35 and 18mm most of the time. I went to San Fran for christmas and it seemed like a good opportunity to get to know the lens better. I wanted to see if the lens deserved the rap and were there ways to overcome any short comings? So this is not a lens review, just some experiences in using the lens. First let me say I cut my autofocus teeth on sport photography with a Nikon F5 and then the D2Hs, D3 etc. It was a bit of a learning curve at the start but now its second nature. My default approach is to use the AF-ON button to separate the AF  from the shutter release button. I tend use AF-C with 9 point dynamic setup. This set up gives you so much control its a godsend, I can pretty much focus and track anything and I seldom have focus failures. Now the X-Pro1 is a different beast and requires a different way of working. For the XF 35MM and 18mm for candid work I use AREA + AF-S with a single focus point. Not only does this mean I can move the focus point around to suit, it reduces focus errors. The most common Auto Focus error, and I suspect why one sees so many people on the internet claim back focus issues, is the failure to fill the focus point(s) with the subject. The AF system will then focus on the point of highest contrast, which may not be on the subject. Using a larger number of focus points with a wide angle lens means a lot of the FOV is fair game for the AF system and  the camera decides where to focus, using a single focus point means I stay in control. I only get failures on these two lenses if I can not cover the subject with that AF sensor. Note for landscape I would tend to use hyperfocal focusing biased to give better focus at infinity. This set up works well for the XF 60mm lens in high contrast situations, but in lower contrast situations it causes it to hunt a lot and fail often. There is just not enough data for the AF system to make a decision..a bit like a politician and just as annoying. Fortunately the solution is quite simple, just use more focus points and make sure to fill the frame. You do this by hitting the AF button and rotating the selector dial left to increase the number of focus points. For night time candid photography I have found that rotating it two clicks left from the single focus point setting works really well. During my night shoot in Avignon I only had two focus failures where the camera could not capture focus at all. Both of these were caused by the fact that there was no real contrast in the subject…well it is a contrast based AF system after all. Clearly you still have to make sure the subject covers the focus points or you may be disappointed, but it deals nicely with lower contrast situations. Locking focus is one thing, the speed with which it locks is another. The Fujinon XF 60MM focuses quickly in when there is lots of contrast even in low light like the night shots below, not DSLR speed but fine for candid work and I would have no hesitation in recommending it for that purpose.  For sports….well there is always the Nikon. Overall I am really enjoyed using this lens. It does not deserve a bad rep, you just need to find your own rhythm with it.....

 


Via Thomas Menk
Nick Chaldakov-photographer's insight:

Thank you Gorge Greenlee for information and advice on Fuyi XF 60mm lens. 's Very useful.

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