REVIEW: 10mm to 560mm – the pulling power of Fujinon lenses

BY JEFF CARTER – X-PHOTOGRAPHER

jeff carterIn June last year I did a blog on the pulling power of the then current line up of Fujinon XF lenses from 10mm up to 200mm.

Since then Fujifilm have added a 1.4x converter and the XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 to the line up. With just four zooms and a 1.4x converter the pulling power of the Fujinon line up is now 10mm to 560mm or 15mm to 840mm in full frame terms, which is more than enough for most photographers needs.

My current four lens zoom line up is as follows –

XF10-24mm f4R OIS
XF16-55mm f2.8R LM WR
XF50-140mm f2.8R LM OIS WR
XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6R LM OIS WR

The 1.4x converter fits on the two longest lenses taking them to 70-196mm and 140-560mm respectively but with the loss of one stop on each – f4 across the full range of the 50-140mm and f8 at 560mm.

It is difficult to visualise in your head the zoom range so I fitted each lens in turn to the X-T1, which was fitted to a Manfrotto tripod, and shot the same scene, the lighthouse at Barns Ness near Dunbar.

Here are the shots starting at 10mm and ending with 560mm.

Fujinon XF10-24mm f4 @ 10mm
Fujinon XF10-24mm f4 @ 10mm
Fujinon XF16-55mm f2.8@ 16mm
Fujinon XF16-55mm f2.8@ 16mm
Fujinon XF10-24mm f4 @ 24mm
Fujinon XF10-24mm f4 @ 24mm
Fujinon XF50-140mm f2.8 @ 50mm
Fujinon XF50-140mm f2.8 @ 50mm
Fujinon XF16-55mm f2.8 @ 55mm
Fujinon XF16-55mm f2.8 @ 55mm
Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5 5.6 @ 100mm
Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5 5.6 @ 100mm
Fujinon XF50-140mm f2.8 @ 140mm
Fujinon XF50-140mm f2.8 @ 140mm
Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5 5.6 @ 400mm
Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5 5.6 @ 400mm
Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5 5.6 + 1.4x converter @ 560mm
Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5 5.6 + 1.4x converter @ 560mm

These images were used in the #5YearsofXSeries event on the 15th of Jan 2016, to see the video, click HERE

As you can see the quality of the XF lenses is the same throughout the zoom range and the reach of the Fujinon lenses available for the X-Series now has been extended so you stand further away and still fill the frame with your subject.

The new XF100-400mm is perfect for sport and wildlife and is also useful for landscapes. You can read my review of the new Fujinon superzoom HERE.

Why do I love the XF18-135mm lens? Composition.

Good day everyone, I will have to call this a mini-blog as normally I ramble on for ages and bombard you with images – who knows, maybe I still will 😉

1504372_10154010549280534_5836271885610257265_oAs you may or may not know I’m an amateur photographer who loves to try out new types of photography – I’m sure this is not to different from many of you out there. When I first started out with photography I was educated that the more zoom you had the better. So when I was given the X100 for the first time I was quite baffled as to how to work a fixed prime lens. I felt restricted and puzzled as to why I would want one. Of course once I looked at the pictures from it, I was sold and this opened my eyes to the real aspects of what makes a great camera. The images were crisp, clear and full of vibrant colour, all I had to get used to was zooming without a telephoto lens – AKA the Hokey Cokey. Once I got this down though, there was no stopping me, I was out with my original X-E1 and 35mm prime lens and I loved every minute of it!

This leads me to the XF18-135mm. This time I had the promise of excellent image quality but with that lovely versatility of a zoom lens. When I first clicked it into position on the camera body and fired up the camera I was taken back by just how much I could see or not see depending on the focal length. It was something that took me back to the olde days of me using a camera, I was VERY excited to get out and use this new kit.

I decided upon a location in the local area that always seems to make a good picture, this being the Stevington Windmill. I looked at when the sun was going to set and got there about 50 minutes earlier to allow time for running across fields, fumbling with tripods and such like. Once I got a good position near to the windmill I shot this image.

TFST0106 - Copy
Focal Length: 49mm – f/5.6 – ISO200

I shot this image at the slightly wider-side of the lens to open up the landscape a bit – this to me gives a very peaceful feel to the shot. Compositionally (is that really a word?) I have dedicated two thirds of the frame to the sky as it is a sunset after all, and I think this really helps the landscape silhouette ‘POP-OUT’ from the skyline.

This next shot I really wanted to focus on the windmill and give a more intense feel. To do this I have used the lens at a longer focal length as this has a very clever effect on the composition. The more you zoom towards a subject, the more the background and foreground are compressed together. So this in turn pulls the Sun closer to the windmill and vice-versa. Not only that, but it also reduces the angle of view – cutting out all the peripheral stuff we perhaps don’t want in our shot.

As a side note – To get the composition I wanted using more zoom, I did have to move further back to accommodate the extra focal length. Basically this means I had to run like crazy across a field and keep checking to see if the composition was right as every moment I wasted meant the sun was getting lower and would soon disappear behind the hillside.

TFST0109
Focal Length: 98.6mm – f/7.1 – ISO200

These next two shots show this compression effect quite well I feel. It really brings the background closer to the foreground making for a more intense composition that would not have been possible with my 35mm prime lens.

And in case you were wondering, this is my better-half with her camera at her side relaxing whilst I’m running about like a madman saying things like “That’s great, just don’t move. Pretend I’m not here..” which was all great fun. Photography should be fun and if you can get your friends and family involved, so much the better.

TFST0092 TFST0089

Here’s a playful shot of some hot air balloons in the distance. I framed it up so that they sat on the furthest third of the frame to sweep your eyes across the beauty of the landscape. Because of the compression effect (pulling the background and foreground together) I could give the hot air balloons a bit more presence in the shot, especially when you consider the real distance between the main tree and the hot air balloons.

TFST0083

I really hope this inspires you to go out and have a play with your camera, shoot a sunset, bring a friend, mix up your compositions and most of all have fun. When you do all that great pictures will naturally follow.

P.S: Seems I managed to get a good ramble and bombardment of images in after all 😉