Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fujinon 14mm f2.8 lens Second Day Out

Adjusting to this very wide angle lens is a work in progress. When I first got the Leica 21mm f2.8 lens I had some of the same problems, and it's been a long time since I used that lens. So I'm sure I'll have to spend a few more days on the street with the Fuji lens to get comfortable again with the focal length. Oh darn.

The biggest plus so far is that I can get in really close to people as I pass them and get the subject with room to spare around them in the frame. With the 18mm lens, when I shot from the hip, I usually had to aim the lens on a flat horizontal axis or tipped slightly up so as not to crop the top of the subject's head. The difference of 4mm focal length - which translates to about 7mm for a 35mm image size - doesn't seem that large, but that small difference translates into about 1/3 to 1/4 the total focal length of the two lenses. That's quite a big difference which requires a complete rethinking of how I aim the camera. I found today that I got much better results if I tipped the camera down a bit. But then again, that creates a whole different set of issues with the autofocus and the proper focus point. Half the shots today when taken this way were out of focus. This is definitely a work in progress.

Another issue I had to deal with today when looking through the optical viewfinder arose because the image through the viewer had a 'normal' persepective - much as my eye saw the scene. But the lens, because it is so wide, created a much deeper perspective and pushed background objects further away in the resulting image. That's one of the most attractive features of using a very wide angle lens. That wasn't a problem when I shot with the Leica lens, because I used the Leica 21mm optical viewfinder which fit into the flash shoe on the top of the camera, and that amazing piece of glass showed me pretty much how the final image would look. I'm going to try using that same viewfinder in the XP1 flash shoe. In general, after going through the keeper images to decide which ones I'll process, I was very impressed with how crisp and sharp they all are.

As I walked past the Main branch of the New York Public Library on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street I was scanning the crowd, and I saw an unusually dressed gentleman coming down the steps of the library - so my interest was piqued. From a distance he noticed me observing him so he tried to look nonchalant and oblivious to my attention. When he got closer I realized it was Tom Wolfe (author of Bonfire of the Vanities and many other blockbuster hit novels). I got several shots of him as he walked past me, but I couldn't get him to look at me. I'm sure if I had approached him to say hello and tell him how much I enjoyed his books he would have been gracious and allow me to get a good shot of him. Hindsight is always 20/20.


There were a number of the 'beautiful people' out and about on Fifth Avenue stocking up their daily needs at Gucci, Armani, Cartier, et. al. 

Some wore cashmere sweaters, mink coats, and all their bling to go slumming at Bloomie's.

And there were some who were not happy about me testing my new lens on them.


  1. hi,did you use zone focusing for the close distance image of the 14mm??they are pretty close to the people that they seem to be lock on nicely :)

    1. Hi MY, I used zone focus in my days using the Leica M6, especially with the 21mm lens. That's why I love the 14mm lens - it's exactly the same as the Leica 21mm. I'm still experimenting with the lens, and will be for some time. As yet I haven't tried to do any zone focusing using the aperture ring and manual focus. But it's on my 'to do' list. These shots were taken VERY close. That's the way I really like to work, and I used the Fuji autofocus setting for them. Unlike many of the more vocal bretheren, I have no problem with the accuracy and speed of the Fuji system.