Saturday, June 8, 2013

Fujinon 55-200mm Zoom Lens Test Run

I don't usually talk about equipment stuff or technical settings on this blog, but today will be an exception. I'm off to a bluegrass festival on Sunday to meet up with some old friends from Nashville who will be performing. One of the reasons I splurged on the new Fujinon zoom lens is to be able to shoot concert and festival performances, so this is the first opportunity to put this puppy to the test in a real life situation. I spent the afternoon today in the Chelsea district an the High Line of Manhattan to test out various functions and settings, and to get comfortable with using the EVF. Most importantly to see how sharp the IQ is at the full zoom distance, and to see just how many stops the Optical Image Stabilization will buy for me. I've got a bit more learning to do with using the EVF and the image stabilization, but I'm really pleased with the results I got today. I examined all the images at 100% and was quite surprised to see that I can easily hand hold the camera at 1/60th second. In some cases down to 1/30th second, and in one example below even to 1/15th second (although in a real life situation I wouldn't go slower than 1/60th second).

All the images below were shot RAW and turned into jpegs in Lightroom with no other processing, so there's some noise in the images shot at faster shutter speeds. I'll be posting some of the individual shots in the next few days after I process them for noise and do my usual b/w conversions. First the individual shots:

ISO 500, 70.5mm, f5.6, 1/250 sec

ISO 1600, 200mm, f5.6, 1/250 sec

 ISO 1000, 200mm f5.6, 1/200 sec

ISO 1600, 200mm, f8, 1/500 sec

ISO 6400, 155mm, f8, 1/500 sec

For the following series I'll post only the shutter speed since these were shot with the intention of testing the OIS. The last image is blurred because I need more practice at being patient and waiting for the camera shutter to actually take the photo before I move on to the next shot:





With this sequence the shutter speeds are the same as the previous:

There are five shots in this next sequence. The shutter speeds are as before with the addition of the last shot at 1/30s. A tiny bit of blurring at that speed:

The next sequence has six exposures. The last one was hand held at 1/15s. I was quite surprised at the results:

The last sequence of four shots is by far the best. The four shutter speeds as the first groups, and all quite acceptable.

Friday, June 7, 2013

A Dog's Best Friend

I've been deeply immersed in a project that I began last year. It was only in the past few months, after returning repeatedly to the same area of Manhattan, that I decided to really concentrate on making it into a coherent presentation. I need to lighten up a little and visit other of my favorite parts of the city just for a change. And so I can get some images to post on the blog.

On Tuesday I received my latest new toy for the Fuji X-Pro1 - the new 55-200mm zoom lens. Translated into FX terms it's about 80-300mm. This is not a focal range that I customarily shoot with, but for concert photography it's perfect, I think. I'm hitting the streets this weekend to give it a spin, and on Sunday I'm hoping to get to a bluegrass festival to really test it out. I shot with it on Wednesday for a little while, but nothing serious, just some test shots. Since I always use the OVF with my current lenses, shooting at the long end of this new lens is going to take some adjustment - I have to use the EVF. I was particularly interested in checking to see how effective the OIS (optical image stabilization) worked so I shot at 300mm with a shutter speed of 1/60th second. That's about three stops slower than what the minimum should be. The OIS is a blessing for an old guy with slightly shaky hands. More to come about this lens after the festival.

I took this image on Bleecker Street in Greenwich Village several months ago - with my favorite 14mm lens. I'm a sucker for dogs, can't help it. I never met a dog I didn't like. And in this case his transportation was also easy on the eyes. I'm old, but I'm not dead!