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Tuesday, 19 July 2016


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I am in total agreement about the Fuji files. I got an X100T about a year ago and have produced some of the best prints in the last few years with that camera. It's fun to use (I came up on film)but I can't get used to the focal length. Much as I've been resisting it, I think that I'll get an XPro2 with a 50mm equivalent lens. I'm not very fond of sitting in front of a computer doing post processing and find that, with a little care, this camera can produce quite good b&w files and the XPro2 should do even better with it's menu of film simulations.

Without farmland, none of us would have food.
Mind your cropped Fudgee image is also a form
of good food.

Some of my favorite light, underneath heavy clouds from the side. Easy to get a ridiculously saturated look so I sometimes have to reduce it a little. It's the kind of light where I will often play with contrast and clarity and then realize I made the photo worse and go back to the beginning.

In an earlier post you mentioned a desire for image stabilisation. Might not the well regarded Fujinon 55-200 f3.5-4.8 OIS fit the bill?

Edward Hopper called. He wants his pictures back.

I recommend that you use the 56mm f/1.2 as your 'drive to market' lens. You will be amazed by the files this lens can yield.

I'm not seeing anything unique to Fuji in the small web images. But I like the shot and have a soft spot for farm/rural landscapes myself. I also agree on the usefulness of a longer lens. Though, curiously, I've been thinking recently how nice it would be to have a camera like the RX10-III, with it's 600mm equivalent on a decent sensor, and then when I saw a very recent post by Kirk Tuck featuring street shots from San Antonio taken with it, they all look like voyeuristic "stalker" shots to me ... it's obvious from the perspective that they were taken from far away with a long lens, and I fear that having such a long lens handy all the time might tempt me to use it more than I should. Really, I'm comfortable with 24-200 for most things; 300 can see a lot of use on vacations, and a longer lens (which I used to own, but don't any more) would be for nature & wildlife, which I just don't find much time to do.
The net of all this is that as much as I'd love to simplify everything down to a fixed lens camera or a single camera with a couple lenses, I just want different cameras & lenses for different things.

In camera JPEG? I've just discovered that shooting in camera TIFF on my Olympus E1 is producing creamy full bodied results with my Zuiko OM lens. I know it's just the result of CCD sensor + processing firmware + saturation/contrast/sharpness settings + particular version of this Zuiko lens, but it's nice.

Funny, not so many years ago my normal was a 28mm on 135 format (still a favourite).

Now that I've a 50mm F1.8 glued to my E1 4/3 format camera I seem to have found a new normal with that 100mm equivalent FOV.

I'm surrounded by farmland so it's an everyday subject. Last year I produced a photo essay based around the annual harvest for my website. Shameless plug - sorry.

I understand the picture and it's lovely. I've been completely amazes at the files from the XP2. Add the 2/35 and it's just about perfection really.

Beautiful image, Mike!
Feels a little like what George Tice would produce if he worked in color. Brings this native upstate New Yorker back home...

That's very nice! Reminds me of Hopper. Thanks for a lovely start to the day...

Here's your Fujifilm image stabilization, for only 10 grams of additional weight over your 23mm lens.


You can see what I Photoshopped, obviously.

Yes, clearly the rickshaw with 3 men has gone missing from both photos.

Ah, a Wisconsin boy at heart. While captive to cacti and high mesas, those rolling fields of silos and barns rock my boat, too.

I like the full shot better. I like the contrast between the mowed field and the dark bushes in front of it. With the full dark sky it is very impressive full, and really gives the viewer the feel of this flat broad part of our country.

I'll go out on a limb and say I can't see what you Photoshopped. Either it is obvious and I am being dull in missing it or it is not as obvious as you think it is.

[Sorry Scott. There's a guardrail in the top picture that you can't see in the bottom one. I would have left it in in a larger version of the bottom picture, but when I reduced the size of the JPEG so much it became unclear what it was. --Mike]

Nice photo.

I have a great fondness for the unusual and compressed perspective one gets with longer lenses. A fresh way of seeing and composing.

You like farmland, I like sky. (Some nice lighting on the farmland, there.) So what surprises me is how all the good parts of the sky got cropped out (transition between first and second bands, and detail in the third band out on the horizon). I don't think I could have done that. (They don't really fit in the composition with the farmland, so I can see why you did.) Maybe I'd have shot from somewhere else -- or failed to come back with an interesting picture at all.

I prefer the cropped version. I can see what you mean about photos being further away if this is a representative sample of the land in your neighbourhood.

I've been a wide boy for years. I found a 28mm lens to be either too long or too short, and found 24mm to be my first choice of focal length. After a while I bought a 17mm lens for when I needed an even wider view.

This pattern of behaviour continued when I bought a digital DSLR, I even bought a fisheye lens, but recently I've been favouring longer lenses. It was just time to do something different, especially when I found myself copying the composition of my own photos.

It's funny, but the crop made me think of Minor White. I know you hate IR, though, and I guess White wouldn't have been out shooting his IR photos of barns and farmland in that light :)

The cropped version is beautiful. Very Hopper-esque. All you need to do is get a bit closer and use a Fuji 35 or 50mm lens. I think it is better when you see the picture while taking it instead of looking on your screen and cropping it later. Just an opinion.

[Hi David, I did see the cropped version before I took the picture. That's what I was saying in the post--that I tend to see pictures that are farther away in this country--ones that would require a tele zoom, which I don't own. It's gotten kind of annoying, actually, because it happens a lot. --Mike]

I too often felt that I needed to crop a lot back when I used a Fuji X100 almost exclusively, but never as extreme as the example you posted.

I suggest you to try the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS, it's by far the best zoom I've ever used. It's useful to have one good versatile zoom lens in the bag for situations like that, and this one is small and light enough to use as a carry-around lens.

100-200mm lenses in 35mm were always my favorite for landscapes. I guess my brain tends to fixate on small things far away.

I love the photograph. My favorite summer activity has been riding my bicycle with my camera on the back roads of CNY. I stop too often to get much productive exercise but I am definitely getting a lot of photography practice.

I'm not seeing anything special in the rendering of that photo, though I do like the skies (it's the skies I often enjoy most in landscape photography).

The only camera I've ever used that made me go "wow!" at the jpegs was an Olympus. I'd always heard their in-camera colour jpegs were special, but not until I used one did I understand just how special. My Fuji X-E2 is nowhere close on that front, but then again, people have different tastes.

Took me a while to find what you'd photoshopped out; I kept looking for a car or an Amish buggy on the road...with 3 people riding in it ;-)

[Hi David, I did see the cropped version before I took the picture. That's what I was saying in the post--that I tend to see pictures that are farther away in this country--ones that would require a tele zoom, which I don't own. It's gotten kind of annoying, actually, because it happens a lot. --Mike]

Mike, just zoom with your wheels.

Oh, I misread originally, and thought something had been removed from the cropped version. And was going crazy being unable to find it. But eventually noticed it was actually missing from the uncropped version instead.

I can see how that guardrail might have been a random blotch in the wider version.

Fuji files really are impressive.

I got my first Fujifilm camera about the same time as I started using Lightroom and I've been learning both since then. I was a bit timid to start, going mostly for JPEGs instead or Raw files. Many people were saying they preferred the Fuji JPEGs to shooting Raw, so that's how what I tried in the beginning.

At first the out-of-camera JPEGs and film simulations really impressed me but it didn't take long for me to remember the film days and how I switched back and forth between Kodak and Fuji. I had used Kodachrome for years but I got caught up in the Velvia wave like a lot of other photographers. After shooting Velvia, Provia and Sensia for a while, I discovered Fuji colors could become fatiguing--florescent greens, orange reds and overly warm tones. Kodak had, by then, introduced their Ektachrome 100VS and Elite Chrome emulsions as a response to Fuji. Although grainier, I found I much preferred these Ekatchrome colors to the Fuji films I had tried so I bounced back to Kodak. I used Kodak films right up to the day I totally went digital.

I had the about the same experience with the Fuji JPEGs and film simulations. I liked them at first but soon went to using Raw (and Raw+JPEG since sometimes the Fuji colors were preferable). Lightroom can do so much with Fuji's RAF files.


I've always had a similar visual appreciation for farmland. A few months ago, I found myself in the Palouse region of Washington state, as I was taking my daughter to visit a university up there. Wow... farmland with all kinds of beautiful undulations and patterns. Earlier this month, I was fortunate to be in the Val d'Orcia region of Tuscany. Talk about beautiful farmland! Could have spent weeks there...


Nice shots - be they of farmland or not; not all of us are urban dwellers and not all candid shots are of people, buildings, or urban sprawl... I see a lot of farm shots, garden shots, etc., in my own work.

I cannot comment on the good/bad/otherwise of Fuji gear (Pentax shooter), but it would seem that you make the most of your equipment.

Once again - nice work!

The road looks beautiful, like a ribbon laid down on the land.

Mike, it is so good to read about seeing the picture first instead of choosing a lens and then trying to shoe horn pictures into that lens. Not too much online forum scanning will yield some version of "What lens should I use for landscapes"?
I submit that if the situation permits, the preferable order is:

• Find the picture
• Find the camera position
• Select the lens that best covers.

The lens selection will follow the rest; instead of dictating them.
I certainly didn't invent the approach but I'm glad I learned it.

Is that a localised rain shower, falling directly behind the white property to the left?

Out at sea or on flat moorland that's a common sight, you see the squalls and the rain showers tracking all around you. Weather's the missing ingredient in many landscapes, nothing brings authenticity to a landscape like a nice dollop of weather!

I love that kind of light too but I'm not sure I'd crop as heavily into the image because I like what almost appears as a muted reflection in the field in shadow on the other side of the road. I wonder about more of a letterbox/panoramic format even though it's perhaps not as traditional an aspect ratio?

I'm with you on the look of files that come out of Fuji's but I also agree with David Cope above - if I really want to do colour, then I think my Olympus E-1 with its Kodak sensor (the only digital SLR I kept) would give just about anything released since a really good run for their money. The images from that comparatively ancient camera jump out of my folders when I'm looking through old photos - there's a distinctive and very appealing look. Sadly the newer Olympus cameras with Panasonic or Sony sensors never quite managed to replicate it.

Clearly the lenses we use reflect our geography and your local geography is very photogenic.

Living in a city, I find 23 a little too long most of the time. The 14 and 18 are more suitable. In fact I really like the 28mm equivalent for street work.

Try the XF50-200. It is a surprisingly good lens - IS is awesome, lens Is not huge when at its 50mm length and sharp. Michel Reichmann spoke highly of it too. This image is a great example of why I too switched to Fuji. Hope you print this one. It is lovely.

Rumour has it the new Olympus E-M1.ii will have an Olympis E-1 simulation mode....
PS. I second the use of a different aspect ratio. I often use something as 'wide' as 1:2.35, 'Cinemascope style', if it suits. And quite a bit of telephoto for landscape. Sometime it works that way.

I'm originally from Amsterdam, NY and still return there as frequently as work allows, to visit. Now I live on the seacoast of NH. As much as I find NH to be more "like" NY than not, landscape-wise, that part of NY and neighboring states has a rural charm that exceeds expectations. I'll be visiting Schenectady this weekend but that's not the same, obviously. My favorite focal lengths have always been 35/40 and 135. (wide enough to scoop up a little more than the eye and long enough to isolate the '64 Chrysler rusting in a field without seeing the '84 Cavalier next to it.

Heading out to the country here(Australia) for a holiday next month, and considering this same dilemma.

The cheapo Fuji 50-230mm lens can be owned here for a mere $158 plus free shipping. its not a fast lens, but I've heard it is very sharp and the stabilization is top notch.

Kangaroos, flowers, old sheds, winding roads, the photographic possibilities seem endless.

Owning a telephoto zoom might be really nice for my frequent trips down the surf coast where compression can create some very interesting scenes.

I'm in the camp with Mike. I've looked at thousands of images from various cameras on large, very high quality displays and on prints, and there is just something about Fuji files that I really love. Others may disagree, but boy, they sure work for me. Absolute magic. As Mike pointed out in his post, often times web pages (Facebook is notorious for this), crunch down images in a way that will take out that special something that is so evident on 27" NEC PA-series or Retina iMac displays. Or, in print.

Mike, just a question...if your cropped version was your vision for this photo, I'm curious why you didn't drive a bit further down the road to get the framing you wanted "in camera".


[The light was changing fast. After a few exposures the sunlight on the field was gone. --Mike]

Very nice photos. More please.

Mike, a nice gentle "painterly" image. Where exactly do you park ? Not much of a shoulder there. Are you blessed with very little traffic there ?

That kind of open prairie scene almost demands a long lens. It's the opposite of an intimate landscape of a forest or canyon. Subjects, like barns and roads, are scattered widely and spotted for a distance. Often you have to foreground to speak of. Big empty distances are hard to make interesting in a flat image. Tele lenses compress that distance quite usefully.

Of course, every time I do a deep crop on a Fuji image, I wonder is long lenses are necessary anymore. I'll happily crop my 18-55 to 100 mm equivalent or beyond. I'll run out of pixels before the image runs out of detail, of course, so a 150-200mm lens would be handy... to be able to see what you're looking at, way over there.

I parted with Fuji and went Olympus after running both for awhile. I appreciate the Oly files a lot more with Fuji out of the picture. There is a transcendent look to the Fuji images, while the Oly ones are simpler and plainer. I have an image in my head (A side lit whiskey glass on an aircraft tray table some time in the 1960's or '70's, you know the one) that I always feel would be a better Fuji rendered image than by any other brand. Light, glassy and transcending the process. Happy enough with my choice, but the Fuji flavour is real and missed.

I'm not much of a farmland shooter m'self, but it is sometimes hard to resist when occasionally swanning about the countryside. And, well, neither am I typically a sunrise / sunset shooter, but here we are. This was begging to be shot, of course, and shows just what that wonderful 23mm and X-T1 combo can do under a pretty tough lighting situation with little correction on my part. (Extra bonus: looking through the viewfinder directly into the sun without all that annoying permanent damage to one's retina.)

I agree about the Fuji files, they struck me just right from the moment I got the X-T1 compared my old Canon files. Though I'm wondering how much the intervening 5 years of sensor development and lack of AA filter played into that impression out of the gate. I don't have any more recent Canons to test against. As you said not too long ago, there's something about the Quality of File out of a Fuji that speaks to me.

This is my favourite light: low afternoon sun, storm clouds gathering. The only time I photograph scenics if I have a camera at hand.

When you have a camera that consistently delivers files that make you happy, it's crazy to change. There will always be features that entice, and the grass can always appear greener across the road -- but on close examination, everyone's lawn has a few weeds, they are just in different places....
You can always rent to do reviews - until you find something you like even better.
Re where you live, some places have "big sky "others don't, they haveDifferent attributes. It is not at all uncommon in my experience for certain lenses or fields of view to get more or less appealing in different places. Big sky can make some folks reach wider to fit it all in while others may reach for a narrower field because there is endless room to be selective.
I have observed it in myself and others but don't know why it is - other than that we all see a bit differently.
But I think it's a good thing, because we are looking and responding rather than imposing a point of view.
Truly something to be enjoyed.
It's an indicator that we are taking what is given, rather than looking for what we expect.
Enjoy it.

I watched a short documentary recently on a French-language Quebec TV station about the state of grocery shopping in the hinterland east of Montreal. They interviewed people who have to drive 60-70 km to the nearest grocery store, when only a generation ago, their town and every other town had food stores. Did the structure of the economy really change that much? People grow food, others eat it, what's so complicated?

We (the royal we) accepted this silly trend toward big box malls because we swallowed hook line and sinker that BIG meant savings. What a crock of sh*t. Maybe you save 10 cents on that apple, but that's only because the transportation costs of that "last mile" to get the apple to our houses was transferred to us. So now, we all have to own more than one car (on average) because we all have to drive farther. Where's the savings in that?

It's NOT us who save money in the Big Box world, it's the Big Boxes who save money.

In that documentary I watched, they told the story of a service in Montreal of school buses converted to moving grocery stores that made stops at assisted living residences for people who no longer drive but still cook for themselves. They had nowhere close by to buy food. Public transit service to their residences are so lame, it's a pain for them to go buy food.

I don't know what this is, but it is not civilization. What is the point of a system that cannot bring food easily to our doors? Just what do we think we're here for, to make Big Farm richer?

And it's our fault. We watched it happen, we allowed the zoning to happen this way, we gave our freedom and money away, because we fell for some phoney marketing.

We have been made stupid.

Peter before buying a XP2 with 50mm equivalent lens .... Might be worth trying the TCL X100 teleconverter lens. F2 great results .... On your x100t ...the downside being that the lens gets in the way of the optical viewfinder.

Just a thought.

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