Thursday, December 20, 2012

More on the Fuji 18-55mm zoom lens

After reviewing my images from my outing on the streets of New York, one thing is very clear to me. I need more time with this lens to get my zoom/longer focal length chops back to snuff.

Drat it! I guess I'll just have to go out and shoot a lot more. Just to recap what I said yesterday: the focus speed is very good at 18mm and 35mm but a little slower (not by a big factor) at 55mm, the IOS (image stabilization) works extraordinarily well so that I can hand hold at 1/30th second and get good shots, I miss not having the aperture indications on the aperture ring but as this is a variable aperture lens (f2.8-f4) those indications would be meaningless, and the lens hood mounting leaves something to be desired in terms of a secure fit on the front of the lens.

The images below were shot RAW, processed minimally in Lightroom and then put through my workflow with NIK filters. The first two shots below were at a focal length of 18mm, f6.4, and 1/125th second. Since I keep my camera set on auto ISO it varies - the first shot was at ISO 5000 and the second at ISO 6400. In my film days an ISO of 6400 would have resulted in practically no definition in the small details. The first NIK processing is with Dfine to manage the contrast noise, then into Color Efex Pro 4 to optimize the color contrast with my special (wink wink) tweaks, and lastly into Silver Efex Pro 2 for the conversion also with my special (wink wink wink) tweaks.

In the first two images, the woman on the right was quite striking looking (nothing gets my camera finger more twitchy than a pretty lady) and yet so sad.





After playing with focal lengths all afternoon I noticed on the barrel of the lens that 23mm was specifically indicated. I thought that was a bit unusual, and then I realized that the fixed focal length Fuji X100 has a 23mm lens. Many X series Fuji fans (should have been Fuji series X fans, but the alliteration wouldn't have worked) have been clamoring for an equivalent lens for the XP1. It corresponds to a 35mm focal length on a full frame camera. That and 21mm were my favorite Leica lenses to use, so I played for quite a while at that focal length. C'mon Fuji, let's get that 14mm lens out already! The image was shot at 1/250th sec, f5, ISO 2000 and put through the same processing as above.