Tell us about yourself and what got you into photography
Photography has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. I still have packets full of black and white negatives taken on 127 roll film with an old Brownie box camera – memories of family holidays and school trips from way back when. At the University of Edinburgh my interest in photography developed when I used still images and Super 8 film to back up field research on the feeding behavior of Ringed Plover, the subject of my Zoology Honours Degree dissertation. Having completed a second degree, my scientific “career” took a series of slightly disjointed steps through various biological research jobs, mainly ones with a wildlife theme. My interest in photography matured during this time until Continue reading BBC & NatGeo wildlife photographer Ben Osborne switches to Fujifilm
Recap – My name is Ben Cherry, I’m a Fujifilm X-Photographer focusing on environmental photojournalism. Currently I am part of the WWT Flight of the Swans conservation project, where Sacha Dench is flying from Arctic Russia back to the UK; following the declining Bewick’s swan as they migrate to overwinter in warmer climates.
Well we eventually got out of Russia, after a 19 hour border crossing. Estonia was instantly different. It had a significantly different feel to it, from seemingly greener, richer forest to just a different culture. It was all quite refreshing!
For music & concert photographers, restrictions have meant it’s become harder and harder over the years to get those great shots. So seeing the Fujifilm XF100-400mm lens come into the fold is a very welcome addition to the Fujifilm lenses lineup.
Along with bad photography contracts thrust upon us as we collect our photo passes, and image right grabs on the pictures we capture, we’re now being forced further and further back within a venue, which restricts what we can actually capture due to the distance we’re expected to shoot at. This makes the XF100-400mm essential to achieving good results.
Bruce Springsteen – Manchester
With Bruce Springsteen performing in Manchester, I looked forward to using Fuji’s new beast of a lens the 100-400mm. Even though we were expected to shoot from the ‘Golden Circle’ barrier at around 50 meters (164 feet) from the stage, it’s still quite a distance.
The size & weight of this new lens was inline with all the Fuji X series cameras/lenses, well made, light in weight and weather sealed.
The one thing that did concern me though as I arrived at the City of Manchester stadium was the weather…… It was absolutely pouring down. I knew this would be a good test for both this new lens and my Fuji X-T1 camera!
Once in position, I had 3 songs in which to capture images from the ‘Golden Circle’ barrier. Even from here it was difficult to gain a vantage point above the sea of waving arms, mobile phones and homemade signs that swam through the crowd as Springsteen performed.
Even though it is a larger lens than other Fuji lenses in their range, in comparison to Full Frame it’s still relatively light and having to shoot without a mono pod (as I was constantly moving to dodge the arms blocking my shot) I was able to do this and keep my camera steady without much shake.
The camera and lens handled the heavy rain perfectly, no problems there, and I also found that the lens focuses very quickly and especially when Bruce was standing directly in front of the big video screen (which can be challenging for cameras).
Once home and after a bit of time spent editing the pictures, I was extremely happy with how the 100-400mm lens performed.
It helped me capture some great moments in the allotted 3 songs slot I was given to shoot in, and the distance the lens covers from 100mm to 400mm was a massive plus as right at the end of the third song Springsteen stepped onto the lower stage and I was able to capture that moment too!
In 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.
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.
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.