The Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR is by now one of the legendary lenses in the Fuji-X ecosystem. Some time ago I had the pleasure to have it at my disposal for a few weeks (courtesy of Fujifilm Hellas) and shoot with it extensively.
Christina has been my colleague for a couple of years now, performing make-up duties for a number of projects. She’s also a dancer as well as an all-around great kid.
After all that time, she finally managed to persuade herself she should try standing in front of the camera, instead of being somewhere behind, usually shooting embarrassing backstage footage on her smartphone.
After a rather long intermission, here comes the second part of my real-world evaluation of the Zhongyi Lens Turbo II adapter, for Fujifilm cameras. You can find the first part of this review here.
In practical everyday terms, the first thing we should discuss is any concern about manual focusing with Fujifilm cameras and vintage manual lenses. Fact: if you are new to manual focusing you’ll need a degree of adaptation. The good news is that (a) focal reducers introduce zero additional difficulties and (b) current Fujifilm cameras are awesome for manual focus lens use.
It is now more than two and a half years ago that I published a review of the Camdiox/Roxen focal reducer for Fujifilm cameras. I never suspected that this particular blog post (and a couple of follow-ups) would become so massively popular. During the years it gathered views in the hundreds of thousands and, even today, attracts lots of visits almost daily.
This is a solid proof that Fujifilm users (and mirrorless shooters in general) are particularly interested in such devices. What started some years ago by Metabones and their famous Speedboosters, is definitely not a fad but a solid and very useful option.
Here are some samples from a photo-shoot we did some time ago with A.M.
We set it up in a theatrical theme with the masks introducing the element of identity, truth, and interaction. Are the masks we wear our habitual protection from reality? What about the faces we wear every day? And how about, even, the naked skin: does it reveal or conceal the truth in us?
At last, here is where we’ll wrap-up the hands-on report on the X100F. In the few weeks that I had the camera at my disposal, and shooting it daily, I had the opportunity to appreciate its virtues and character. I have written extensively in parts one and two of this review, and I sincerely hope I managed to describe the camera from a real-world perspective.
Testing of the X100F continues, and by now the camera has become my daily companion. And it already feels like an old friend, it’s so simple, intuitive and effective to use that it always feels familiar.
Here is a number of remarks and thoughts from my ongoing daily use
Historians of the future studying photographic technology will undoubtedly herald the original Fujifilm X100 as the gateway drug to what became the wildly successful Fuji-X system.
I would venture into saying that the X100 was probably the first modern Fuji camera for more than 50% of current Fuji-X shooters. In all truth, it was a camera that its time had come: a modern look at a timeless design that was also highly practical and certainly affordable for many people.
Battery life is traditionally considered a weak point for any mirrorless system. To be honest, many complaints with battery life stem from users handling a mirrorless camera just like a DSLR; chimping after each shot while, at the same time, leaving the LCD screen on all the time.
There is no arguing that smaller batteries –usually a standard situation with mirrorless- as well as the need to feed an LCD/EVF constantly, aren’t helping with battery life. Typically one would carry 2-3 spare batteries for a day’s worth of shooting, while a DSLR user could marginally make do with one.
This is a vintage lens I have previously tested, in another system (m43) quite some time ago. I had also used it a bit on the X-E2 and X-T1. I thought of re-appraising its qualities when used with the latest generation of Fujifilm cameras, such as the X-Pro2, X-T2 and X-T20.
This is a M42 mount lens, which can be easily adapted on Fujis using a cheap and widely available ebay adapter (lower than 20 euro/dollars in most cases).
Danai Maltezou is a hugely charismatic aerial performer, which I had the pleasure to meet (and shoot) a few months ago, in the Nefelopetra Aqua live performance. This time we arranged for a more “formal” shooting, where Danai performed a number of highly impressive routines; which I tried to capture in the best way possible.
he Athens Circus Festival is a yearly institution now in its 6th year and counting.
The event is organized by Circus Dayz in association with Technopolis of Athens, an open venue in the heart of the city. The aim of the festival is to produce an event where all circus acts can be showcased, being a home for different international and Greek artists and collectives. For them, this is a chance for ideas and thoughts to be exchanged but, furthermore and most importantly, to showcase their craft to the Athenian public. In the duration of the Festival, workshops, concerts and shows are held, for the pleasure of the discerning audience.
A few days ago I had the chance to shoot on assignment at a very exciting music event. The occasion was the Greek version of Battle of the Bands, jointly organized by Panik Platinum Records and the Kremlino venue.
In fact, as I've written in an older post, Fuji ought to continue this trend with the smaller lenses. The 23mm f/2 is on the cards, it seems. Why not see a 16mm f/2 or even a 56mm f/2 in the road-map? Smaller, WR lenses, that sacrifice a stop of light but not optical or use performance. And if the 56mm f/2 seems an odd choice, consider historical examples, such as Zeiss, which had f/1.4 as well as f/2.8 lenses at 85mm. The slower lens was always better edge to edge, smaller and lighter. Ultra shallow DoF is not the only requirement from a high-end optic.
I had the opportunity (courtesy of Fujifilm Hellas) to test-drive the latest addition to the X-cameras line, the new XT20. During the few days I had the camera at my disposal, I tried to use it exactly as I’d use my “regular” bodies, so you can rest assured this is as “real world” review as it gets.
I have used this camera’s predecessor in a few instances in the past, but, to tell the truth, the difference with the latest X-Pro2/X-T2 capabilities was getting quite apparent lately. The X-T10 was certainly a success in the market, as it appealed to shooters in search of a small, well build, highly capable mirrorless body, with the popular “SLR” style. It is also more than obvious that the X-T10 was targeting the medium-level cameras from the Olympus/Panasonic and Sony competition. Cheaper but still close to prosumer level bodies are desirable to a lot of users, either as nice enthusiast primary camera, or as a secondary body for DSLR and high-end mirrorless shooters.
A couple of days ago, from the 10th to the 12th of March, we had a large Photography and Technology equipment exhibition in Athens, the 1st Image+Tech Expo. Fujifilm Hellas was participating, and I was honored to be one of four Greek X-Photographers to be featured. We all had a small exhibition of our photos plus a hour long presentation of our work and connection to the Fujifilm X-System.
A few weeks ago I introduced a project done with the amazing team at AcrOdance. You can read all about the performers, as well as the project itself in the original blog post. Following up on that, we have here the first part of the story.
A few days ago, I had the great pleasure to shoot at an exciting performance, expertly comprising elements of dance, aerial acrobatics, live music and audio-visual feeds, all carried out by a very talented team of artists.
The group in question is called “Nefelopetra” (which is, of course, Greek, and could be translated as “Cloudstone”), and was formed in 2009 by Nefeli Markaki and Petros Politis. At this point I will let their own words describe the modus operandi:
I’d like to present a simple project I’ve embarked on since the beginning of this year, and I’d like to believe it could prove inspirational to a lot of other photographers too.
It all begun from the realization that I didn’t get to see my photos printed as much as I’d like. Since I’m old enough to remember when we only had film, I’m sometimes nostalgic of the times we used to eagerly await until our film was developed, and we had prints of our photos in our hands. The old adage was, and in a lot of ways, still is, that “it is not a photograph until it has been printed”.
During my trip to Amsterdam last summer I had the pleasure of shooting at the happiest day in the life of a friendly couple.
I should make it abundantly clear that I’m not a wedding photographer; only a few times I have shot weddings as a second/third shooter, to help a photographer friend, or at the weddings of friends and relatives.
This is the first part from a project I did a few weeks ago, with the extremely talented team from Acrodance.
Acrodance by Anna Omiridi is a brilliant combination of acrobatics and creative dance. Acrobatic routines are integrated seamlessly into choreographies with emphasis on guided improvisation. The main concept of this approach is that movement and exercise, as creative expressions, hold a significant role in human lives and help in structuring positive self-awareness and knowledge of oneself. Thus strengthening your body and building your muscles will allow you to experience mental uplift.
I have shot in the Hellenic Motor Museum before (for example, check out this link) and it always has been a real pleasure being the vintage car enthusiast that I am. Moreover, since the management takes care in rotating the cars several times per year, there’s always a fresh piece of automotive history to see and photograph.