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Monday, 12 August 2019


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You might consider this for a one year, one camera, one lens exercise. But only for one frame a day, then go back to what you normally use.
It would force you out of your comfort zone which is a good thing in the arts and build upper body strength.

the 50-140 and 100-400 have amazing OIS, much better than the 55-200 that I owned, briefly.Having admitted that getting a truck was a brief, stupid, obsession, I think I'll be obsessive and plan for this beast. I deeply miss my 300/2.8 from my =Nikon gear, while this is not that, I can handhold this like my younger self managed to handhold that (non-VR) Nikkor monster.

Always thought that Eos cameras were named after the Greek goddess of light. Just like Kwanon, the original name of Canon, was the buddhist goddess of mercy. Even if I am wrong, a goddess of light seems so much more poetic. Electro Optical System sounds like a security company.

The perspective of long teles is so pronounced that people photos look like surveillance photos. It just looks "creepy".

We accept that perspective with sports and stage performances because that is the only way those events can be photographed (so we see it as "normal").

We are also used to seeing that perspective in advertisements. But that is intentional. There is an interest in giving the viewer a perspective of spying on privileged lives and the products they wear/use.

In short, the photos you would get of the Mennonites with a long telephoto, won't have the same appeal as a photo done, close-up, with a short lens.

The Moon is too big at 180mm?
It would have a diameter of only about 1.6mm on a 24X36mm frame.
I dunno, maybe it’s just a visual perception while looking through the viewfinder.

Thanks for the review Mike. I'm going back to Africa on Safari next year and I think that might be a perfect combination for wildlife photos while on a game drive in a land rover. My X-E3 and the 55 - 200mm did not have quite enough reach on my first Safari trip.

I think you are required to get a picture of the moon when testing a long lens like that.

You meant to write 'less', right?
"...the equivalent lens in the Fuji XF lineup is the XF 50–140mm ƒ/2.8 (76–213mm-e), which by the way is considerably more expensive than the full-frame Nikon FX (full-frame DSLR) or Canon DSLR equivalents."

I know you have no patience for tripods Mike, so this is for the benefit of others: a reasonably sturdy tripod is a major asset when shooting with long telephoto lenses, even if the camera and/or lens are image stabilized. First, a tripod greatly simplifies framing by eliminating the visual jitters. Second, it relieves the physical stress of having to support and steady several pounds of equipment. None of this is to say that one can't get impressive images (yours, for example) without a tripod, just that it's a lot harder.

That Fuji 100-400 has become, my very most favorite birding lens. If you attach a 1.4x or a 2.0x converter, you can get crazy reach in an incredibly compact package. I also use it for some astrophotography: https://prometheus.med.utah.edu/~bwjones/tag/fuji-100-400mm/

That's a nice shot of a subject perfectly suited to the lens Mike. Maybe you are a long lens man after all but just didn't know it. I bought that lens in a moment of weakness. I like to take aircraft pictures now an then. It's a bit specialist and,as you say, the 55-200 would probably be the one for you. I use my 55-200 a lot. The ois in the 55-200 is not in the same league as that in the bigger lens though.

There are two diferent modes of operation for the stabilisation, shooting only and continuous. If you choose continuous it stabilises the image in the viewfinder. Unfortunately I cant tell you where to find the setting as I have an x-t2.

Yes the 100-400 does indeed use a lot more power and is really meant to be used with a grip.
I also have the Cube 2. It's a nice charger but don't take too much notice of the capacity (mah) readout, it's not very accurate.

If you're thinking of full frame equivalents of the 50-140 Fujinon being the 70-200/2.8 image stabilized versions, then the Fujinon is less expensive. At B&H the Fujinon is $1599 and the current Nikon and Canon equivalents
are both over $2000. The Canon you linked to does not have IS.

Interesting question about the ethics. Generally for public event photography, if someone asks me not to take their photo, I won't deliberately do so, but I'm not going to fuss if they are in the background of a shot. My take on it is expectation of privacy. If I know someone does not want their photo taken, either as an individual for personal reasons, or as part of a group for religious (or whatever) reasons, I think it's an invasion of their privacy to deliberately do so, even if they don't know because you've got a really long lens. Think of yourself working on your all over tan in your private yard, and someone flies a drone overhead while you snooze.

Just a quick comment - typically it's the Amish who do not like their photos taken, not the Mennonites. Other than that, I can appreciate your unease with long lenses. I do like them and use them for work and for fun. If you want to try handholding a long lens without stabilization control, heft the 400 2.8 Nikon Ais.

Hi Mike,

To answer your Mennonite question, I would respect their wishes and not photograph them without their permission. If I really,


wanted to do some portraits, I might consider asking one of their elders if it would be okay to shoot from a distance. Not surreptitiously, just respectfully. Even if they elder says no initially, you might just strike up an acquaintance that could develop into mutual respect and trust somewhere down the road. Just a thought.

I've lived pretty much all my life in and around Chicago, and I can attest that very long lenses aren't much use around here for anything besides sports, birding, and spying on your neighbors. I never gave it much thought, but maybe that's why I was never drawn to them.

In addition to the attributes you mentioned at the "***" footnote, the landscape is mostly very flat, and the few hills we have (yes, there are some, especially southwest of the city) are heavily forested, which makes vistas like the one in your first image in this post vanishingly rare. In the summer the air tends to be hazy; in the winter, the skies tend to be a leaden gray. Unless you have ready access to a high-rise (like Ken Tanaka, for example), Chicago is definitely not a landscape shooter's paradise.

On the other hand, if you like architecture or street portraiture, you've got subject matter to last you a lifetime. :)

Glad to hear you're having fun "outside."


...where "-e" means angle-of-view equivalent

I find this mildly insulting—I can do the math and chew bubblegum, while walking 8-)

I had an 100mm f/2.8 Zeiss Jena Olympic Sonnar in Pentacon mount. A great lens—you should get one for your Exacta. The Crop Factor for 6X6 is 0.55, so 180mm = 99mm FF.

I've hand-held a EF 400mm f/4 DO IS USM/40D combo (= 640mm FF, =896mm FF with Extender 1.4x II). No IBIS, but Canon's IS works well.

I like either wide or long. I'd be happy with only a 14mm f/2.8 and a 135mm f/2.0 on a full frame. Devide by 1.6 (135 ÷ 1.6 = 84.4) for my preferred Canon-crop-camera.

Leica used to make a rifle-stock camera mount for Visoflex long lens use. Something like that should make hand-holding a long-lens easier. It should be an easy DIY project. BTW rifle-stocks are available in bright non-menacing colors, including pink https://www.americanrifleman.org/media/2562637/gunsforgirls.jpg

Re: Eamon Hickey's comment …

I agree that the first meaning of "organic" as it is used today sounds a little wrong. However the second meaning(s) make more sense in terms of a camera system. And using "organic" that way in 1991 may have been more common.

o forming an integral element of a whole
o having systematic coordination of parts
o having the characteristics of an organism : developing in the manner of a living plant or animal


It almost sounds like good marketing-speak.

The last time I used a long telephoto, in the later 1990s, it was a Nikkor 180mm ƒ/2.8...

The early version of that lens was manual focus; the current version is AF. The manual focus version is an excellent lens for astrophotographers.

Battery Charger - Mike, you probably already know this (but for others): The Grip for the X-H1 acts as a charger for its enclosed 2 batteries. Just plug in the supplied power adapter. I wish all camera manufactures would include this handy feature!

Thoughts abot this charger:

1. I wonder about its effect on longevity/health of the batteries. The Panny charger that came with my GX7 has an output spec of 430 mA. They have since've cut costs by only including an AC to USB adapter and charging in camera, at least with mine. The adapter outputs 1.0 A @ 5 V. If all delivered to the battery, that would be about 600 mA. My guess is that losses in the process and power to the camera reduce that to under 500 mA.

Diddling around with specs from other chargers for these batteries that I have, it appears that the Hähnel ProCube2 must deliver something between 1000 and 1250 mA. The uncertainty is due to lack of info about the energy remaining in the battery when the camera shuts off.

The question in my mind is why Panny limits charging current. Why would they make charging any slower than needed for battery health and life?

2. The Watson Duo LCD Charger with Two Battery Plates does much the same thing, for the same price. Depending on what cameras and batteries one has, it could be more useful than the Hähnel, as its plates are individual, not dual, so one could be charging a Nikon xyz2 battery ast the same time as a Sony abc3 battery. Watson is also far more familiar to me as a quality brand.

Although the Watson specs pre battery output of 1000 mA, it also gives minimum charging time of two hours. Perhaps it's actually smart, and varies charge current, depending on level of charge?

3. I can't find a size spec for the Hähnel, nor clear weight. If I did most of my battery charging at home, it wouldn't matter. As it is, I do more on the road than at home. The Hähnel is clearly much larger and heavier than I want to be hauling about the world.

I've taken an Oaproda dual battery charger around New England, Bhutan and Ireland, and been very pleased with its performance. It's tiny, weighs nothing, is powered by a 2.4A USB outlet, via AC or 12V adapter. I've not timed it, but it's MUCH faster than the Panny charger, less than twice the time for the Hähnel, I'd guess. It's also MUCH less expensive that either Hähnel or Watson.

Although the Mennonite will tell a stranger that they don't want their photo taken for modesty reasons when you are their friend you'll find that many have no issues with being photographed and will happily accept a photo as a thank you gift. When you are trusted and accepted by them and ask about their prohibition of photos the answers will center around exploitation. Some of the slightly more liberal Mennonite are okay with being photographed by strangers as long as they are working. I need to make clear that the Mennonite are a very diverse group. The so-called "horse and buggy" Mennonites are frequently mistaken for Amish. There also Mennonites that are frequently mistaken for Methodists and Presbyterians.

I think if you stuck with the Lumix G9 you would be just as impressed with the stabilization on its 100-400mm lens. I certainly am with mine.

Ahhhh, "Jazz At The Philharmonic" is a perfect sound accessory for photography viewing.

I'm a long lens guy from the beginning, the second individual lens I owned (not built into a camera and not removable) was a 200mm. I first had a 400mm in about 1973 or 1974 (a preset, f/6.3, Pentax screw mount).

And yeah, one of the real joys of Micro Four Thirds is the 40-150/2.8.

400mm-e is, however, nowhere near long enough for shooting the moon; the moon is just a small portion of the frame at 400mm.

I find 200 to 400mm lenses very useful for event photography (weddings, conventions, etc.) and for band photos, as well as athletics. The main problem at 400m is how slow they are; I really need to play with my 40-150/2.8 with the 1.4x, because that hits 420mm-e at f/4, over a stop faster than the other two 400mm lenses I've owned over the years. (My 500mm lens is f/8. Yes, the actual classic Spiratone.)

The ethical quandary is philosophically interesting. (Since some people say it's another group than the group you mention that actually has these rules, I'm going to just talk about the rules themselves.) If the rule is that it's prideful, which is sinful, to be the object of attention of others -- you are still being that object of attention even if I'm photographing you with a long lens without your knowledge. Maybe it's not actually prideful if you're doing it entirely accidentally? It also seems to imply that you must always refuse requests to photograph you. I find the premises weird and silly, and I suspect that refusing to be photographed to show your humility is in fact a demonstration of over-weening pride, but that's me. In practice, I don't ask for permission to photograph people doing things in public, unless I'm in talking distance anyway, and often not even then.

Enjoying these pictures, particularly the first one—I know it's just a test shot but the perspective works well. Remember to change the info that the camera puts into the EXIF section of the photos—it's still set to its previous owner (to whom many thanks—this is a present to you and your readers).

I just returned from a safari to Serengeti. I had rented 100-400 from LensRentals, and I was glad I did. Otherwise I couldn't have gotten shots like this, a Nile crocodile attacking a wildebeest in the Mara river.


When we lived on the farm, one of my Oly bodies always had the Pana 100-300 on it - my “critter cam.” It was ideal for birds, of course, but also for butterflies, bees and insects because it focused close. Look around your yard, Mike.
My results on the moon was so-so. You can try using a high shutter speed on manual, necessary because the disk is very bright compared to the sky, and to prevent using small aperture which causes diffraction. Most of the sharpness problem appears to be atmospheric turbulence. And you need a telescope motor drive to shoot stars and nebulae.

The 100-400 is quite a nice lens, certainly miles better than the original Canon 100-400 from a while back.

I've used the Fuji 100-400 quite a bit for my racing work; it was nice to be to need to carry one lens around the track and get everything I needed w/o need to swap lenses during a race.

As we all know, with heavy cameras there are no pictures more than 300 steps away from your car.

Really? I wish I knew that all those years I hiked the better part of a mile out to Turn 7 to shoot the start of race...

Some examples here:



It was also nice not to have to schlep a monopod around as well, though, for your jet ski photo, I'd recommend one for you, Mike (sorry, but he's soft 😉)

So...the 100-400 is a pretty nice lens.

It's no Fujinon 200mm f/2.0, though....



Have fun with your new glass (and get a monopod...).

[300 steps...it's a joke Stephen! An old one. I guess I can understand though, because I'm so serious all the time and never ever crack wise.

But I don't see why you think that 200mm f/2 is so great. I can't even read the big yellow lettering on the tires!! --Mike]

One use of longer focal lengths in shut in areas such as urban areas is photographing small details you could not otherwise get close to.

I'm fond of picking little graphic design type shots from architectural details. Typically, some small detail or combination of details often high up a building.





If you are shooting from the car, you can keep your Fuji battery topped up from a USB socket in the car.

I take advantage of the USB charging and Bought a power bank for much less than a replacement battery.

Just to correct a couple of comments if I may.
The collar that the foot is connected to has a locking knob. Losen it to rotate the collar and foot to any position.

The current taken by a circuit is normally decided by the load, in this case the battery, and not by the source. The current drawn will depend on the voltage difference between the charger and the battery and is unlikely to be limited by the charger. You never know though, but I have been using the Hahnel for around a year now with no problems.

I've had the rough m4/3 equivalent to this for a few years now (the Panasonic 100-300). While I bought it for wildlife, my favourite picture from it is probably an 18-shot panorama, so it pays to experiment.

Another tip for the 100-400, or 400/5.6 in general, is that you can attach a 77mm diameter 500mm f.l. (2 diopter) closeup lens and have an almost-macro lens. As long as you use a doublet closeup lens the image quality holds up pretty well compared to a real macro, though soft if you pixel-peep. It is limited to that half-meter lens-to-subject distance with just a little leeway via the lens focus, and it's a bit fiddly to attach and remove for close and normal subjects. Even so I find it worthwhile instead of carrying both the 100-400mm and 180mm macro. A 400mm will give about 0.8x magnification at the image plane with the 500mm closeup lens, so the 100-400mm zoom gives about a 0.2x to 0.8x range.

Thanks for the insights into the “big Fuji zoom” I don’t use long lenses much (I have the Fuji 50-140 and 300mm was the longest I had with previous systems) but I find them more useful for getting close to things that are in some way inaccessible rather than just far away. 600-e is at the extreme end of course. I also worry about atmospherics if you’re taking shots of distant objects.

I’ve thought about the 100-400 but I doubt I’d use it much.

Mennonites don't like having their picture taken, but the reason is modesty—they consider it prideful to be the object of attention from others.

What about talking to them, seeing them or merely noticing them?

“where "-e" means angle-of-view equivalent”

This strikes me as a very strange sentence. Ik know its meaning, that is I think I do.
X mm (lens) can have a Y mm equivalent in a different system/mount, meaning lens X in system X has a comparable place as lens Y in the systems Y line up. Not identical, but comparable, hence the term equivalent.

X mm can have a Z angle-of-view.

Back to your sentence: “where "-e" means angle-of-view equivalent”
Please explain this to me.

[It means one lens on one format has the same field of view as another lens on another format. I can't see what's ambiguous about that. Various readers ask me to explain initialisms and abbreviations occasionally, so I sometimes write them out. --Mike]

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