Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS

Fuji 23mm Examples

I have been using the excellent Fuji 23mm f2 with the X-T2.

The shots below were taken using the Fuji Film Simulation ACROS and are un-modified straight from camera unless otherwise indicated.

Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS
Aperture f5.6, ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS
Aperture f5.6, ISO 200

Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS
Aperture f5.6, ISO 320 - Cropped

Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS
Aperture f5.6, ISO 200 - Cropped

Busker

The shot of this young busker was taken in a gloomy tunnel under the railway line. The 23mm f2 allowed me to capture a sharp image in the low light. The X-T2 did a great job of capturing the image in challenging light.

Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS
Aperture f5.6, ISO 1600

Full Size Crop

Full size crop from the original ACROS JPG. Click on the image for the full-size version

Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS
Aperture f5.6, ISO 1600 - Full Size Crop

Fuji X-T2 23mm f2 - ACROS
Aperture f5.6, ISO 200

Summary

I highly recommend the Fuji 23mm f2. It is a versatile focal length on the cropped sensor Fuji bodies. It is ideal on the X-Pro bodies but pairs very well with the Fuji X-T2 forming a lightweight and weather proof option

Fuji X-T2 - Bluebells

I got a chance to grab some shots of this years Bluebells. I was only able to get out and about around mid-day so the lighting was a little bland... but the Bluebells looks good this year.

All of these shots were taken in the grounds around Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2
Bluebell Woods - Polesden Lacey

Fuji X-T2 - London Graffiti

I took the Fuji X-T2 and Fuji 16mm f1.4 around London this week and captured some of the interesting graffiti in an around my office and around London Waterloo Train Station.

All images were taken on a Fuji X-T2 in RAW using the Fuji 16mm f1.4 lens. Post Processing in Adobe Lightroom using the Fuji Classic Chrome Pre-set. Images have been cropped and perspective corrected in some cases.

Near Brick Lane, London

Near Brick Lane, London

Leake Street Tunnel underneath London Waterloo Station.

Leake Street Tunnel underneath London Waterloo Station.

Leake Street Tunnel underneath London Waterloo Station.

Near Brick Lane, London

Near Brick Lane, London

Further reading

A friend of mine runs an excellent blog featuring some very cool examples of graffiti... 

Fuji 16mm f1.4 Depth of Field Scale

Depth of Field Scale

I've been taking photographs with digital cameras for over 12 years and have never got around to learning how to read a depth if field scale!

The depth of field scale can be useful for setting the focus to maximize the front to back sharpness or hyperfocal distance.

There are other methods for calculating Hyperfocal distance using charts or mobile phone Apps and I have included some comparison test shots and 100% crops to illustrate my experiences.

This is a fairly un-scientific but real world test of these two methods

Fuji 16mm f1.4 Depth of Field Scale

Fuji 16mm f1.4 Depth of Field Scale

Hyperfocal Distance - Using Depth of Field Scale

Set your lens to an aperture - say, f/16 (NOTE: Too small an aperture can result in diffraction effects that result in progressively less sharp images at small apertures so generally aim to for f8 or f11 depending on lens quality)

Since your lens is set at f/16, find the "16" markings on the depth-of-field scale on the lens. Position the infinity symbol below the "16" mark. This brings infinity just within the depth-of-field at f/16

Now, you are no longer focusing directly on infinity. Depending on the lens, you are now focusing on a distance of around seven to ten feet away and everything from around half that distance to infinity should render acceptably sharp.

Example Images

Fuji 16mm @ f16 with lens manually focused using the Depth of Field Scale.

The RAW file has default sharpening in Adobe Lightroom and exported to 1500px wide JPG
Click on Image to view full size

100% crop of foreground element - Click on Image to view full size

100% crop of mid ground element - Click on Image to view full size

100% crop of background element - Click on Image to view full size

Hyperfocal Distance - Mobile App Calculations

I used the DoF Plus App on iPhone to calculate the Hyperfocal Distance for the Fuji 16mm lens at f16 on a Fuji X-T2. 

The App gave me a focusing distance of 81.6cm which I measured out and focused to using the Lens Auto Focus.

81.6cm seems pretty close and gives a good option if you have foreground objects that are very close (as close as 40.8cm) to the camera sensor.

 

Hyperfocal distance calculations take into account the camera model, focal length of lens and aperture as well as a sharpness factor known as the circle of confusion (CoC) the CoC is based on the premise that only objects directly on the focal plane are in critical focus and the CoC informs you that objects nearer or further away are acceptablty sharp. I understand that the value is based on whether objects in a certain sizes print appear sharp over a given viewing distance.

Example Images

Fuji 16mm @ f16 with lens focused at 81.6cm based on a Hyperfocal Distance value calculated by DoF Plus App.

The RAW file has default sharpening in Adobe Lightroom and exported to 1500px wide JPG
Click on Image to view full size

100% crop of foreground element - Click on Image to view full size

100% crop of middle ground element - Click on Image to view full size

100% crop of background element - Click on Image to view full size

100% combined image with Depth of Field Scale image on the top half

100% combined image with Depth of Field Scale image on the top half

Conclusion

Like most things in Photography there is no right answer and there are always compromises to be made. In the case of the precise Hyperfocal Distance gained from the Mobile App what you gain in near object focus you lose in overall front to back sharpness. 

I have gotten by over the years focusing about a third of the way into the scene but I think I will give the Depth of Field Scale method a try in the wild. It is not always the case that everything in the scene needs to be sharp front to back but when it does it's useful to have options to try.

Fuji X-T2 - 16mm f1.4

Fuji 16mm f1.4

I recently picked up the Fuji 16mm f1.4 Prime

I work close to Spitalfields Market in London and took some photos at lunchtime yesterday. The effect of having a wide-angle prime is that I was compelled to leave my comfort zone and actually speak to some of the stall holders and ask them if they would mind if I took their photos.

I met some interesting characters

The X-T2 seems to suit primes and while I miss the versatility of the zoom... I think using the prime might help improve my photography...

Fuji 16mm f1.4 Examples

These images have been cropped from the original and converted in Silver Efex Pro2 or shot in ACROS JPG straight from the X-T2

MeFoto Backpacker Air

Purple Tripod

Mike 'Sharky' James over at Petapixel has a Purple Tripod. He argues on his podcast that security personnel will ignore the photographer with a Purple Tripod because it doesn't look like the choice of a 'professional' - Nothing screams amateur like a brightly coloured tripod right?

MeFoto Backpacker Air and ONA Prince Street Messenger Bag

The rule with tripods is meant to be "buy cheap, buy twice" but like camera bags my tripods continue to multiply.

I have been looking for a compact model that will fit in my ONA Prince Street Messenger bag along with my X-T2.

The MeFoto Backpacker Air fits that requirement. It closes down to an incredibly compact Folded Length: 10.4 in (26.5 cm) and weighs in at 0.9kg.

 

MeFoto Backpacker Air - Height

A tripod that closes down to 10.4 inches is going to struggle to extend to eye level. This is not an issue with the Fuji X-T2 as the articulating LCD makes it comfortable to compose with the camera much lower down. The tripod seems very solid and the extension of the legs is simple and fast. 

There is an extension to the central column as shown in the image on the left but the stability will be compromised. This option really only comes in to it's own if supporting the camera at higher shutter speeds (e.g. for a group portrait) or for supporting items such as flash guns.

Bright Red MeFoto Backpacker Air Tripod

MeFoto Backpacker Air - Comparison

The MeFoto Backpacker is extremely compact. It closes down smaller than the compact SIRUI T-025X (shown Below) which is quite a feat. My Gitzo is shown for further comparison.

MeFoto Backpacker Air - Summary

I have not had a chance to take the MeFoto through it's paces but it feels solidly constructed and represents a good compromise on price, weight, compactness and maximum height.

The MeFoto has a very modern feel. This is demonstrated by the number of colours available and the built in removable selfie stick and remote release for mobile phones :)

I will be testing this tripod out in the comming weeks and will post my thoughts

MeFoto Backpacker Air and ONA Prince Street Messenger

MeFoto Backpacker Air and ONA Prince Street Messenger

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm - Examples

Fuji 18-135mm Super Zoom

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm
St Pauls Cathedral at night

I swapped the excellent Fuji 'kit' 18-55mm for the 18-135mm 'super-zoom' after reading a number of strong reviews of this lens.

I came to the Fuji X-T2 from Nikon and I've shot with the Nikon D3 and D800 with Nikons excellent 24-70mm f2.8. I am frequently tempted to invest in the Fuji 16-55mm f2.8 which is the closest APS-C match to the 24-70mm on full frame.

Versatile

The trouble is that the 18-135mm is so damn versatile. It's hard to replace in my workflow. It's not small but is compact enough to sit nicely on the X-T2. The combination fit nicely into my ONA Prince Street Messenger along with the items that I need to take on my commute to the office.

I guess I could invest in the 16-55mm and keep the 18-135mm but wonder if I don't think that I would find a place for both lenses in my workflow.

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm
Tower Bridge Silhouette

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm
Backlit Tulips

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm
Color in Spitalfields Market, London

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm
Characters of Spitalfields Market, London

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm
Characters of Spitalfields Market, London

Fuji X-T2 and 18-135mm
Tower Bridge at Sunset

Lightroom Mobile HDR

I continue to be impressed by Lightroom Mobile HDR RAW capture. There was some great light in London this morning as an early mist cleared. I didn't have time to stop but captured three interesting photos as I walked along Southbank towards London Bridge. The HDR and mist have made these shots reminiscent of paintings by Turner.

Adobe Lightroom Mobile HDR RAW - City of London

Adobe Lightroom Mobile HDR RAW - City of London

Adobe Lightroom Mobile HDR RAW - City of London

Fuji X-T2 - English Coast

I had the opportunity to spend a couple of days at the South Coast of England. The wind was blowing at up to gale force and my Sirui tripod was struggling a little. I attached my camera bag to the g-clamp on the base of the central column which helped to anchor the tripod.

I used a Hoya 10 stop ND filter to allow for very long shutter speed to add movement to the sky.

The images were converted in NIK Silver Efex Pro2

Fuji X-T2 

Fuji X-T2

Fuji X-T2
Interior of Canterbury Cathedral

Adobe Lightroom Mobile HDR

Adobe have updated Lightroom Mobile to allow HDR RAW (in DNG format) from certain newer mobiles. I tried it out today on my commute in to London and it seems to work very well. The resulting DNGs have good range of exposure for post-processing and there does not appear to be much in the way of ghosting...

Adobe Lightroom Mobile HDR Example

Adobe Lightroom Mobile HDR Example

Adobe Lightroom Mobile HDR Example

Fuji X-T2 - MIOPS Triggers - Laser Trigger

I set up a little bit more of an aesthetic test of the MIOPS Smart Trigger. I dropped a small strawberry onto a spoon of milk

Strawberry Splash

Fuji X-T2 35mm f2 - Strawberry Splash in Milk
MIOPS Smart Trigger - Laser Trigger

MIOPS Smart Trigger Laser Pen and MIOPS Smart mounted on small tripods in a bath tub

MIOPS Smart Trigger
Laser Pen and MIOPS Smart mounted on small tripods in a bath tub

MIOPS Smart Trigger connected to Cactus V6 II Flash Trigger

MIOPS Smart Trigger connected to Cactus V6 II Flash Trigger

Fuji X-T2 - MIOPS Smart Trigger - Laser Triggering

MIOPS Smart Laser Trigger

Fuji X-T2 - MIOPS Smart Trigger using Laser Feature.

I spent about 10 minutes setting up a quick test of the MIOPS Smart Laser Trigger functionality. Please excuse the use of my bathroom sink for the test shots :)

I attached the MIOPS via it's standard screw thread to a Tripod to the left of the sink and used a lighting clamp (Anwenk Super Clamp w/ 1/4"-20 and 3/8"-16 Thread) to hold a laser pen in place on a second tripod to the right.

The X-T2 and 35mm f2 was mounted on a third tripod.  I focused on the water in the sink below the line of sight of the laser.

I connected the MIOPS to a hot-shoe adapter connected to my Cactus V6II and placed two RF60 flashguns either side of the sink to provide the light.

As with previous flash tests I turned out the lights in the room and took a 3 second exposure whilst firing the laser pen at the MIOPS sensor. I dropped a strawberry from around 6 inches above the water and as it broke the beam the flashes fired. I experimented with various delay options but found zero delay worked well for this set up.

The MIOPS worked consistently in this test (after I charged it up properly) and I was able to easily achieve the right timing for multiple drops. I made about 5 attempts and I think that the shot above is the best capture. I shot in RAW and brought the color temp in to a blue tone in post processing. 

Gallery of additional Test shots