Tag Archives: fuji

Samyang 12mm f/2.0 lens

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Regular readers and other such mythical creatures may have noticed some wiiiide images appearing here lately. These come from my latest add-on to my Fujifilm X-T2 – it’s another manual-focus lens from Samyang[1], which is also available for other camera makes, but I can’t comment on those, so everything here relates to the Fujifilm x-mount version.

I’d read a few reviews and seen some sample images which led me to think that this  relatively cheap lens might be a nice addition to my kit. It’s a lot smaller and lighter than my Fuji 10-24mm, and unlike my lovely little Samyang 8mm fisheye lens, it doesn’t produce insanely curved images, which aren’t always what you want.

So, I ordered it from Amazon just in time to have day after day of either rubbish weather or no time or energy to take it anywhere. But that changed today. It’s been bright and sunny and distinctly not cold, which gave me a chance to take it to a couple of my favourite places.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. The box contains the lens, complete with hood and a soft pouch you can use to carry it around should you be so inclined. It fits securely to the camera (paper metal mount, not nasty budget fittings) and is ready to use. If you’re thinking that manual focus might be a pain, it’s really less of an issue with wide lenses – for most use cases, you’re going to be working with a large enough depth of field for “near enough” focusing to get you there, and the camera’s  focus aids should get you the rest of the way. I leave mine with the default “focus peaking” on, which shows highlights on the in focus parts of the image. If you’re doing finer work, getting up close with the lens wide open, more care will be needed.

Anyway, enough wittering and on with the images. Here’s a view of Tynemouth Priory

Tynemouth Priory

Tynemouth Priory

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/300s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0521′ 0″ N 1° 25.0197′ 0″ W

And of course, there’s one thing I have to do when I get a wide lens:

Wide bridge

Wide bridge

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/640s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 24 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0521′ 0″ N 1° 25.0197′ 0″ W

Not quite wide enough to get the whole of the Millennium Bridge in from its centre, but still gets a lot in.

This one’s a repeat, but shows that it’s not just for longer distances:

Wide-angle Tigger

Wide-angle Tigger

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/1
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 8mm
ISO: 400
Taken: 18 March, 2018
Location: 55° 1.0521′ 0″ N 1° 25.0197′ 0″ W

So far, I like what I’m getting from this lens. I’ll have to let it take me to some more places and see what it does with them. I do feel some landscapey type thingies coming on…

[1] The same lens is also sold under other names, such as Rokinon

Fujinon XF 80mm F2.8 LM OIS WR Macro lens

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In the early days of my Fujification, I bought the 60mm macro lens. Well, techincally it’s not actually a macro lens, as it doesn’t match the strict definition of being able to create an image on the sensor that’s the same size as the actual object. But it still managed some quite nice close up shots. But Fujifilm being Fujifilm, they’ve now rectified that with the shiny new 80mm actual macro lens that I accidentally bought yesterday. Well, it was like this. I’d seen some reviews, and some sample images and thought I might put it on my shopping list. But I was in Jessops in the Metrocentre and there it was in the cabinet. Ooooooooh. So, I wandered off for a bit, thought about it and went back in and sort of bought it. They made me do it! They forced me!!! I’m innocent, I tell you!

While I was at it, I added a bit of light, the usual UV filter to protect the front element, and took the unusual step of accepting the offer of repair insurance, on the grounds that with the various discounts I was being given, it was effectively free.

I’ve been doing a bit of playing, making maximum use of the new light and not taking the trouble to set up a tripod, and so far I really like what I’m seeing. Here are some more examples.

First, just to show just how close this thing gets:

It's a matter of scale

It’s a matter of scale

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/7.1
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 80mm
ISO: 1000
Taken: 25 February, 2018

I don’t think I need to tell you the actual size of what you’re seeing there.

There’s always a Dalek around somewhere:

Exterminate

Exterminate

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 80mm
ISO: 2500
Taken: 25 February, 2018

And where there’s a Dalek, you just know who’s going to show up:

Eleven

Eleven

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/4.5
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 80mm
ISO: 800
Taken: 25 February, 2018

And the other thing you’re likely to find here is a dragon, of course:

Dragon

Dragon

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/7.1
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 80mm
ISO: 1250
Taken: 25 February, 2018

So, seems like a nice lens.

Weight and Stuff Report – 20 January 2018

Weight: 220.5 pounds (15 stone 10.5 pounds, 100 kg)
Steps: 10,659

Would you believe it, down again to yet another new low for the year, a whisker away from being under 100kg, another whisker away from having dropped half a stone this year, and get this, a really quite significant 21.3 pounds (1 stone 7.3 pounds, 9.7 kg) lower than this time last year.

After the now usual early shopping, I took myself and the X-T2 out for the day. I wasn’t sure where to go, but when I got to the station, I could see it wouldn’t be long before the next train to York, so that’s where I went. Having started the day quite early, I was in York before 11am, giving me plenty of time for a wander. It was a bit dull and grey at first, so I decided to use one of the Fujifilm Acros film simulations for a bit of monochrome stuff, including this lovely bit of stonework on the Magistrates Court, taken at the short end of my 100-400mm lens:

Justice?

Justice?

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/4.5
Shutter speed: 1/60s
Focal length: 100mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 20 January, 2018
Location: 53° 57.3904′ 0″ N 1° 4.8803′ 0″ W

As ir was a bit grey, I decided a visit to the Castle Museum might be a good plan. I bought a card that gets me in there, the Yorkshire Museum and the York Art Gallery for a year, which seemed like a good deal at £22. It also gets me a 10% discount in their cafes and shops, though I didn’t take advantage of that today.

While I was in the museum, the weather brightened up a bit, and I continued my Yalk Work, errr, York Walk, with a nice wander around the streets and a look at the Minster. I was thinking of going in, but the queue was a bit long, so I didn’t. Not long after that, I started to hear my legs telling me they’d done enough for one day, and I came home.

Peak Design Cuff (new version)

When using a smaller camera, and sometimes with a larger one, I like to use a wrist strap. This gives a bit of security against dropping the camera or indeed having it snatched from your hand (not that anyone’s ever tried, but hey…).

After trying a few things, I’d settled on the Peak Design Cuff, which like its larger sibling the Slide Lite, which I mentioned last year, uses Peak’s innovative Anchors to attach to your kit. These are loops of very strong cord attached to a disk which clips in to the strap. Here’s the Cuff I’ve had for a while:

Past its peak

Past its peak

As you can see, it’s a basic thing – just a loop of webbing with a pretty standard adjustment. But it worked well enough. If I had one gripe, it was that the cord on the anchors was just a wee bit too thick to go directly through the eyelets on my Fujifilm cameras, so I had to connect them to those awkward dangling triangular metal puzzles that Fujifilm supply.

But it seems Peak Design have  been listening (even though I didn’t say it out loud) and have come up with a new!! improved!!! better!!! cuff with new!!! improved!!! better!!! anchors.

Dealing with the anchors first, the cord is now thinner, and they now work with the eyelets on Fujifilm and other brands. They also have a taper on the top, so they’re just a little bit easier to connect and disconnect. Nice. The new anchors are compatible with existing straps, so you could get some of those as a quick upgrade.

But the new Cuff is, well, tons better than the old one. Loads of design work has gone into making something that’s more pleasant to wear, and nicer to look at. It arrives in a nicely simple box:

Box

Box

This opens up to show off the goodies

Open the box!

Open the box!

And once unpacked, you’ll see you have the wrist strap, two anchors and a pouch to keep things in. And a sticker.

Contents

Contents

You’ll see that the Cuff now has a leather strip (artificial version on the black model, I think) over some rather nicely made webbing. The metal piece is the new adjustment device which simply slides along to make the Cuff tighter or looser. It also automatically tightens up if you let go of your camera, making sure the whole thing won’t slip off your wrist.

If you’re moving around and keep taking the camera off your wrist and putting it away, you might like another new feature – you can wrap the loose end around and it’ll fasten to the magnet concealed under the leather, turning it into a bracelet – and the magnet can be easily moved to adjust for the size of your wrist

I took it out this afternoon, and found it very comfortable, and even tried the bracelet mode.

It’s a nice bit of kit – takes the basic idea of the original model and improves on it enormously. Well worth a look if you want a wrist strap for your camera.

You’ll notice that there are no instructions included – partly because it’s a very simple thing, but mostly because there’s a video available that covers it very nicely, in the usual Peak Design manner:

And if you just want the ooh shiny, there’s the design video:

Having been suitably impressed with the new Cuff, I’m quite likely to be getting the new Leash neck strap – and I’ll give it a similar review if I do.

Woo, hoo, yay, Fuijfilm strike again

OK, I still haven’t done a review thingy on my Fujifilm X-T2, possibly because I’ve just been enjoying it. But even the best toys can be improved upon, and that’s exactly what Fujifilm are doing. There will be a major firmware update for the X-T2 and X-Pro2 within the next week or so which will make various improvements, many of which are things that users have been asking for, including some I’m quite keen to have:

  • Adding copyright data in the camera, so you don’t need to add it in software
  • Giving names to Custom Settings – which means I might finally use them (I would never remember what settings I’d added to sets 1, 2, 3, etc. Names are good.
  • AE bracketing up from three frames to nine – great for HDR fun and games
  • Vertical display of menus – so when you’re shooting in portrait mode you don’t need to bend your neck to read the screen

And much more.

And just to show that they really like looking after their customers, there will be another update in May, which adds a bunch more features including tethering to a computer using Wi-Fi.

Nice, though I should mention that some of the new features will not be available on the X-Pro2 – check out the link for details.

Source: New firmware updates for FUJIFILM X-T2 and FUJIFILM X-Pro2 coming soon.

Weight and Stuff Report – 23 March 2017

Ooops, up again…

Here’s an old one – so old that it was taken in my pre-Fujification days. I needed to dig this out for a thingy I’m working on…

Nice texture

Nice texture

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter speed: 1/250s
Focal length: 88mm
ISO: 100
Taken: 2 March, 2013

Weight and Stuff Report – 13 March 2017

Bother. Up again today.

A few weeks back, I posted a 2013 photo taken with my old Fujifilm X-E1, and muttered about how I needed to go back with a longer lens and a bigger sensor. So that’s what I did on Sunday:

Seahorses!

Seahorses!

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/8
Shutter speed: 1/1250s
Focal length: 400mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 12 March, 2017
Location: 54° 58.6526′ 0″ N 1° 36.6878′ 0″ W

That’s the tower of Newcastle Civic Centre, for those not familiar with the area. The larger seahorses are visible from ground level with normal vision, but the smaller ones fall under the heading of “exuberant detail that’s there for the birds”. You might just make out that there’s something up there (and if your eyes are better than mine, maybe you can see them, and the preceding sentence is complete nonsense, which would make it fit in well with the rest of this site. Either way, the 100-400mm lens on the X-T2 has resolved the detail quite nicely.

Weight and Stuff Report – 1 October 2016

Up by the teeniest amount today., ho hum, heigh ho, and all that.

Today was the annual Scott Kelby’s Worldwide Photo Walk, which is always a Good Thing. For a short time, it looked like I would either have to miss it, or at least miss part of it, but the thing that would have caused that turned out not to take any time at all, and so I made it to the starting point just in time. Organiser Nigel did his usual excellent job (and we managed to keep most people together this time, more or less, give or take) and a pleasant walk was had.

It was, of course, my first time out with my new Fujifilm X-T2, and was an ideal opportunity to start getting to know it. Lots of photos taken, some which need some work, which will happen later, but for now here are some that didn’t need much (if any) work. The black and white ones are again using the Acros film simulation (with the red filter option for any detail-obsessed Fuji-using readers).

This friendly face can be found at Newcastle Central Station, but I’m not telling you exactly where, so there:

Station Face

Station Face

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/300s
Focal length: 140mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 1 October, 2016

It’s been years since I photographed the statue of Basil Hume:

Hume

Hume

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/3000s
Focal length: 55mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 1 October, 2016

These clouds didn’t look anything like as dramatic in colour:

Approaching Storm

Approaching Storm

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/4
Shutter speed: 1/7500s
Focal length: 50mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 1 October, 2016

So, i think the X-T2 did pretty well on its first day. And it looks like the battery life may be slightly better than the X-T1. I was actively using the camera for around three hours – not just taking photographs and previewing them, but fiddling with menus a lot more than usual. With the X-T1, I’d have expected to change the battery twice in those circumstances. With the grip fitted, the camera drained one of the external batteries and the second is showing as roughly half-way to empty. Which does confirm that getting the grip was a good plan, quite apart from the improved handling in portrait orientation.

More photos and muttering about the camera will follow…

Les does the new camera happy dance

Well, it’s been three weeks since I said goodbye to my Fujifilm X-T1, leaving me without an interchangeable lens camera for the first time in a decade. While I’ve really missed having it, it did give me the opportunity to get to know the dinky little X70 a lot better, and to really appreciate what it can do. But it can’t do everything that I need, so the whole waiting thing was dragging a bit.

But yesterday, while I was enjoying myself in Sunderland, I got an email on my phone from those lovely Wex people telling me my order was in stock and would I please reply telling them when I wanted it. I immediately replied with a “as soon as you like” message, which got a “OK, with you tomorrow” response.

And so, being a bit sad like that, I kept an eye on the Parcelforce tracking site much of today. I’d arranged for it to be delivered to work (where I’m not), so the plan was to go into town when it arrived and pick it up. But I decided I’d go in anyway, wander around a bit and be ready as soon as the tracking site showed it had been delivered.  And being a bit sad like that, I kept an eye on it while I was on the bus, and woo hoo, it suddenly changed to “delivered”.  :bouncy:

So, I popped into the office, picked up my parcel and came home.

Full unboxing and reviewing stuff will follow, but for now, here’s the beast:

Preciousssssssss

Preciousssssssss

And before I’ve done any setting up at all, here’s the first photo taken with it:

My usual model

My usual model

Camera: X-T2
Aperture: ƒ/2.8
Shutter speed: 1/40s
Focal length: 20.6mm
ISO: 320
Taken: 30 September, 2016

Tigger insisted on being my first subject, of course  :tigger:

The things you see when you don’t have a long lens

When I got to Cardiff Bay today, I noticed some people on the roof of the Millennium Centre. This is the sort of thing that can lead to interesting photos, but being restricted to the X70’s wide lens made this a bit of a challenge. Here’s about the best view I could get:

Millennium Centre

Millennium Centre

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/340s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 21 September, 2016

Well, there is one thing to be said for even little Fuji cameras. They capture a lot of detail, as we can see in this close crop of the same image:

Wash and brush up

Wash and brush up

Camera: X70
Aperture: ƒ/10
Shutter speed: 1/340s
Focal length: 18.5mm
ISO: 200
Taken: 21 September, 2016

And now we can see that the roof is getting a bit of a clean.

Would have been nice to have a longer lens, though.