More images with the X-T2/ FUJIFILM Event in Seattle this week!

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I just returned from a workshop on the southern Oregon Coast (Bandon South). Below are some images made during this event. I am still amazed at what the X-T2 is producing.

I’ll be one of 3 FUJIFILM “X”Photographers speaking ( along with my partner in crime and dear friend Bill Fortney.. and one more Fujifilm “X” Photographer) on Thursday night in Seattle at a VIP, invitation only event at AXIS in Pioneer Square. I’m honored to be asked. Continue reading More images with the X-T2/ FUJIFILM Event in Seattle this week!

FUJIFILM X-T2—-FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Images and Text ©Jack Graham, all rights reserved

The lone anticipated FUJIFILM X-T2 has just been announced. I have been fortunate to have been one of the “Chosen” Fuji “X” photographers to have a pre-production model of this new among camera for about quite a while. Impressive is certainly not enough to label this camera. It’s been one of the hardest things not to be able to talk at length about the new FUJIFILM X-T2 but finally, the time has come! Continue reading FUJIFILM X-T2—-FIRST IMPRESSIONS

The FUJI “X”SYSTEM 2016..watch the video !

Folks,

As FUJI “X” Photographers, Jack Graham & Bill Fortney , we are constantly asked “Whats coming”, “What do you guys hear from Fuji”. Well this video (CLICK HERE to WATCH) can answer lots of your questions. It also will give you an look into the quality of the products and how Fuji really cares and listens to its customers as well as potential customers. It’s all about the image. The results are in and there is NO disputing that the Fuji system makes things easy and fun. But most of all it allows us to be photographers and artist first and technicians and menu readers second. Check out this video by our friend Justin Stailey from Fuji.

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Pictured above (L to R) Justin Stailey (Fuji) Bill Fortney, Jack Graham, Geoff Hinze (Fuji West Coast Sales, Luis Navarro (Fuji Tech Rep, west Coast). Image from Fuji “X” Photo workshop at Mt Rainier 2015.

2017 Fuji “X” Photo WORKSHOP SCHEDULE–NEW LOCATIONS!!!

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2017 Fuji X Photo Workshops

COLUMBIA RIVER GORGE, OREGON
March 16-19, 2017   Portland, OR

THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
April 6-9, 2017     Townsend, TN

THE PALOUSE REGION of EASTERN WASHINGTON
June 8-11, 2017   Colfax, WA

FALL in GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Sept 29-Oct 1,  2017  Jackson, WY

AUTUMN IN THE GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK
Nov 9-12, 2017 Townsend, TN

Fuji-X-Registration-Form    ( all information included)

jack graham and bill fortney

Hi Everyone….. There is a lot going on with Fuji this year..new products, new experiences . Fuji just keeps plugging along bring us one after another of new image making equipment. All Bill and Jack can say today is just wait—-you all are going to be very happy folks in the coming year and beyond. Continue reading 2017 Fuji “X” Photo WORKSHOP SCHEDULE–NEW LOCATIONS!!!

The FUJI “XF 2X TC’ TELECONVERTER

Images and Text ©Jack Graham

Back in October while on the east coast I stopped by Fujifilm’s USA Headquarters in Valhalla NY(just north of NYC –about 45 minutes). We had a great lunch and some interesting discussions. It was great to meet some new folks I had not met before . Just as I was leaving, Justin Stailey, Fuji’s Sr. Product Manager held in his hand something he just received from Japan. It was the 2x converter. One of the things I love about working with Fuji is that I don’t have to say things just to say them. If there is something that I really don’t like they want to know it. In other words.. they get it.. they listen. I told Justin that in my 25 or so years, “I’ve seen 2x converters come and go. Some were terrible, some we just passable and if Fuji could make one that really works and maintains the optical performance of the original lens ….That would be a first in my book”. He smiled and told me I would be surprised—I was!

OK… the verdict it in.. they did it! It was fun testing this product. First, I noticed no real aberration..NONE! at any apertures. NONE!!!! I bet someone will test this with high quality testing equipment and write “See there some aberration with this teleconverter”…. but folks.. it isn’t AT ALL VISIBLE TO  THE EYE!.

pic_03In addition, I put it to the ultimate test, photographing moving objects.  Now those of you who know me know I’m really not a wildlife or bird photographer, though I love those kinds of photography as well when the opportunity is there, but I went out to my local airport as well to Whidbey Island where the US NAVY has a huge air station. I mounted the 2x on my 100-400mm and went to work. The results were astounding.

Contrast detection Auto Focus is still maintained when using he 100-400mm. I was amazed on how well  and how accurate the auto focus performed at shallow depth of fields.

In the image below( a modified F18 that the Navy calls a “Growler”) I use ISO1000 since I had plenty of light. This was shot at 1/4000 at F5.4 using the 100-400mm lend on a tripod.

This image was not cropped–full frame. The plane was moving, I would estimate about 4000-500MPH

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Here are a few other images—notice the sharpness

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_JGP1419-Edit-Edit    (left) using the Fuji 50-140mm –no teleconverter—below –I used the 2x on the 100-400 to get in tight.

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Finally—THIS IMAGE (the EAGLE)IS HAND HELD!–yes the IS ( image stabilization) unaffected WHEN USING THE 2x CONVERTER. The eagle below was shot at ISO 1250  1/450 at F 6.4

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FINAL THOUGHTS: This teleconverter will perform ONLY with the

  FUJINON XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR or XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

The 2X converter is the same price as the 1.4!–even better–$449.00 MSRP.

It’s a winner and is part of my arsenal of Fuji Lenses and accessories!—Jack Graham. May 2016  http://www.jackgrahamphoto.com

FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR … IT’S HERE!

I am going to write my views on this magnificent lens without going overboard as to its quality, both in build and image quality – believe me it won’t be easy! The much anticipated FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR is actually more than I expected in many ways … so on to some observations and results!

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

I know it’s not probably good to give the “Bottom Line” early in an article, but, the “Bottom Line” here is that the FUJI 100-400mm f4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens is right up there as with the 50-140mm F2.8 R LM OIS WR, and that’s saying something. This new ultra-zoom combines a really impressive construction quality with some outstanding optics; the 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 OIS WR zoom lens, along with the Fuji crop sensor will give the same angle of view as 150-600mm on a full frame camera.

Below are two images. The first is with the lens at 100MM and the second at 400MM.

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When I unboxed this lens I was quite surprised by the size and weight – frankly, I was expecting a much heavier lens.

Placed inside the new FUJI 100-400MM lens is an astounding 21 elements in 14 groups (including 6 low dispersion elements and 1 extra low dispersion element.)

Comparable sizes and weights:

FUJI 50-140mm F2.8 –1093 grams, 6.9” Length

FUJI 100-400mm F 4.5 -5.6 — 1375 grams, 11.4 x 7.7 x 5.2″ Length

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The body of the lens contains the same aperture and OIS controls as the 50-140. There’s also a focus range selector. When in restricted mode the autofocus is somewhat faster when focusing on subjects more than 5 meters away.

FULL= 5M TO INFINITY         RESTRICTED= 5M TO INFINITY

_DSF0566The lens comes with a sturdy collar mount, front and rear caps, a dedicated lens hood and Fuji’s cloth wrapping. As with the lens hood that comes with the 50-140mm, the hood for the new 100-400mm has an opening where you can adjust your polarizer rather than having to stick your hand deep into the hood. Leave it to Fuji to improve even the lens hood! The lens hood on the 100-400mm slides back and forth whereas the one on the 50-140mm has to be removed and can be lost.  Little things like this is why I am a Fuji shooter. If they do this to a lens hood, you know they’re thinking the same way when developing cameras and lenses.

Even more surprising is that the lens takes 77mm filters. If memory serves me right, the rumor was the filter size was supposed to be 82. This in and of itself was worth the wait for me. Now I can use my 77mm filters on this lens along with my 16-55mm. I love shooting long exposure and use the Singh Ray Mor Slo ND’s which I own at 77mm – even more reason the 77mm thread size made me really happy.

The lens is also both water and dust resistant and can operate in temperatures as low as -10°C, so it’s suitable for use in a wide range of outdoor shooting conditions. A fluorine coating has also been applied to the front lens element to repel water and dirt, further improving the toughness of the lens. The lens features 13 water and dust resistant seals at 12 points, allowing you to shoot with confidence in tough outdoor environments.

I made some images with the Canon 500 D Diopter, which kind of turns this into a macro lens … again very impressive!

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(Above) Without the Canon 500D diopter
F22.  421mm (in 35mm film)    1/20 sec, f/5.2

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(Above) With Canon 500D diopters
F 22.  579mm (in 35mm film) 0.7 sec, f/16

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(Above) I made this image hand held with the OIS on, 1600 ISO …. 1/480 sec at F11 … fully extended to 600mm (in 35mm film)

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(Above) 421mm (in 35mm film)   1/20 sec, f/5.2

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(Above) 579mm (in 35mm film) 0.7 sec, f/16

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(Above) 378mm (in 35mm film)    1/12 sec, f/16

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(Above) 579mm (in 35mm film)  2.6 sec, f/22

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(Above) 764mm (in 35mm film—using the Fuji 1.4 teleconverter)           1/400 sec, f/8

BUILD QUALITY

_JGP7934True to form, the folks at Fuji design have really outdone themselves on this lens. The 100-400mm is constructed every bit as well as the 50-150. It is weather resistant (sealed) which is important to me living in the Pacific Northwest and recently spending a good amount of time in Iceland and Norway. The aperture ring has that feeling of quality when I click it.

The zoom ring is the larger of the two rings placed above the focusing ring. Both are just loose enough to allow for exact zooming and critical focusing. There is even a lock to keep the lens in the 100mm position if you want to secure it for travel.

The tripod collar is just a bit different than that of the 50-140. I happen to like this (lower profile) design a bit more.

(Above right) 600mm (in 35mm film) 1 sec, f/16

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 (Above) 365mm (in 35mm film) 1/30 sec, f/16

 

FIELD USE

_JGP8026As I mentioned, I was expecting a somewhat bigger lens and was pleasantly surprised to see and feel the quality construction, size and weight. It is certainly no more difficult to manage than any of the current 70-200mm lenses. I use a Really Right Stuff tripod along with the RSS BH 55 ball head. I also use the Fuji MHG-XT grip on my Fuji X-T1 camera.  The tripod collar is really a benefit in stabilizing the lens as well as allowing the weight of the lens to pull down on the camera when mounted on the tripod. Fuji XT-1. I found myself cradling the camera and lens like a baby before mounting it on the tripod!

_JGP8030I shot this lens out past 150-200mm most of the time. This maybe because I had been used to the 50 -140mm when shooting in that 100-150mm range.

What separates one zoom lens from another? To me it’s the ability to move in close, closer and then even closer while maintaining sharpness. The Fuji 100-400mm truly exceeded my expectations in this department. Again, I was pleased on the tightness of the focus ring. It was just right for me. No focus creeping here!

I shot subjects using the manual focus system along with the auto focus tracking system. Both performed equally as well as the Fuji 50-140mm. I was very impressed by the sensitivity and accuracy of the manual focus system even out beyond 400 mm.

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(Above)  452mm (in 35mm film) 1/8 sec, f/11 .       468mm (in 35mm film)   1/5 sec, f/11

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(Above) 150mm (in 35mm film)     1/15 sec, f/16

I can honestly say that this lens is as sharp as the 50-140mm F2.8 at comparable focal ranges. I made many images stopping down at long focal lengths to obtain max sharpness with great success.

I am not a sports or action shooter but I did take some images of moving things. The autofocus was as expected based on Fuji’s prior lenses and it updates the auto tracking system on my X-T1.

Winter is not prime time for wildlife here in the Pacific Northwest but I did manage to get in on some bald eagles and a great blue heron. For these opportunities I combined the 100-400 with the Fuji 1.4 teleconverter. At 400mm, along with the teleconverter I was out equal to 840mm (600mm x 1.4)!

I experimented with some close-up images both with and without the teleconverter. Again the lens performed better than I thought it would. Images were very sharp and well defined even on the edges. The first two images below did not use a teleconverter. What detail!

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(Above)  352mm (in 35mm film)   1/5 sec, f/16

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(Above) 295mm (in 35mm film)  1/5 sec, f/16

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(Above) No teleconverter  – 275mm (in 35mm film)   1/900 sec, f/8

_JGP7881-Edit-Edit-Edit-Edit(Above) With teleconverter – 800mm (in 35mm film)  1/1000 sec, f/7.7

 

RANDOM THOUGHTS

_JGP7830-EditWhy not make a 400mm 2.8? Yes, I am sure some folks will ask for that lens, perhaps believing that this one is too slow.  Believe me, Fuji could produce this as well. It would be much bigger and way more costly. Using the Fuji “X” camera system and having the benefits of low noise at high ISO’s make this lens just fine for me, thank you. It’s just the right size and fits in my camera bag just great.

(Right) 600mm (in 35mm film)   1/18 sec, f/16

The new Fuji 100-400 F 4.5 5.6 OIS WR will be priced very aggressively. As of today you CAN buy the Nikon 500mm F4 FL ED VR lens (weighs about 7 pounds) at B & H for … $ 10,295.95. I challenge anyone to justify the price difference!

We Fuji “X” photographers are quite spoiled by having some great glass to choose from. This year, I bought the 90mm 2.0. What a lens! The 50-140mm and 16-55 are truly amazing. Now this 100-400.  In my pack I can now shoot from 15mm to 840mm with the best quality available. Thank you Fuji Film!

Conclusions: Fuji XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Lens

Here is where we usually do our pros and cons. Frankly, I have no cons. Here are the quick points on what makes this lens a must have for me:

  • Amazing weather sealed construction and solid build. Much smaller in size and weight than I expected
  • Fast autofocus speed when mounted on the X-T1
  • Includes well-constructed tripod collar which stabilizes the weight when on my tripod
  • Solid, just right feeling zoom and focusing rings
  • Great OIS control when hand holding
  • 77MM filters
  • Very impressive image quality when using the teleconverter
  • Superb close-up performance
  • Priced so it won’t break the bank

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(Above) 485mm (in 35mm film)    1/40 sec, f/11

 MORE IMAGES


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 150mm (in 35mm film)

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300mm (in 35mm film)

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150mm (in 35mm film)

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300mm (in 35mm film)

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539mm (in 35mm film)    1/30 sec, f/16

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199mm (in 35mm film) 1/50 sec, f/11

XF 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR. Yes Virginia…….There is a Santa Claus!

 

INTRODUCTION:  OK … he either came a little late or really early!  So, before I gush like a teenager, and sadly I’m going to,  let’s go over the physical information on the new Fuji XF 100-400 f 4.5 – 5.6 R LM OIS WR .  Above is the lens mounted on a  tripod with the X-T1 Graphite body.  The first great news is that the new lens takes 77mm filters, far smaller than we had guessed it would, most rumor sites were thinking around 82mm! This means polarizers and close up diopters, (like the Canon 500D work great!),  more on that later!  Below is the 100-400 with the lens hood attached, which bayonets on very positively and has a cut out for adjusting a polarizer, with a handy sliding door, much better than the removable, and easy to misplace, one for the 50-140!

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The lens is not much larger than the 50-140 and when it extends out to 400mm it only grows 2.5 inches!  It is solidly made and feels good in the hands, and trust me, with the great OIS you will shoot it hand held, sometimes!!!

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THE SIDE CONTROLS;  Top to bottom, the focus limiting switch that allow you to choose full range or 5 meters to infinity.  The Program or Aperture Priority switch and finally the OIS (Optical Image Stabilization on and off switch).  Between the zoom ring and the aperture ring is the Lock switch for keeping the lens locked in the 100mm position.

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PHYSICAL IMPRESSIONS:  The lens is solid, and wonderfully finished.  The zoom is butter smooth but with the perfect amount of resistance, it does not feel like it will get loosey, goosey!  The tripod collar is a near mirror image of the one on the 50-140 f 2.8. which is good, because it is well finished and solid.  The two thumb screws that hold the bracket to the lens could use a very small (very, very small) dab of blue Loctite,  beats constant re-tightening.

DOES IT PERFORM IT’S INTENDED PURPOSE?    For me a long lens is my tight landscape lens, my wildlife and bird lens, my shooting things I want to shoot close up and tight but want working distance from, (like poisonous snakes!), my compression lens for tightening the scene, and my sports lens, even though I do little sports anymore.  I took the lens down to St. Augustine, Florida this December and captured some tight wildlife images, I’ll let you be the judge.  All shots at the long end 400mm (600mm equiv.)  All of these images, except the wood duck and the monochrome alligator, were shot from a  tripod.  Those two were handheld.  With wildlife you either can’t get as close as you would like, or you don’t want to be any closer!!

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OPTICAL PERFORMANCE: The lens is tack sharp wide open and at every focal length.  At maximum aperture the edges are a tad less sharp, but they sharpen up nicely as you stop down a couple of stops!  The lens is remarkably sharp across the board!  Below are a couple of images of a historic billboard on old US 25 shot at 100mm and at 400mm.

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HOW DOES IT DO WITH THE 1.4 CONVERTER?   The image below was shot by my dear friend and killer shooter Jack Graham, it is the 100-400 with the new Fuji 1.4 Converter, he is posting a vertical of this same shot on his blog post today that shows, even more clearly, how sharp this lens is with the converter!   Below there are a few other examples of the 100-400 with the Fuji 1.4 converter.

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The following three images are images of one of my favorite places to test lens for sharpness and old wooden door with peeling paint and a door handle with great detail.  The shots below are;  first, the 100-400 at 100,  second is the 100-400 at 400 and the final image is the 100-400 at 400 plus the new Fuji 1.4 converter making it an equiv. 840 mm lens!!!!

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AUTO FOCUS TRACKING SPEED:  I shot some cars on a  local street going around 45 mph at 10 fps and got sequences of 15 and more images all tack sharp.  Here are a few from each end of the sequence and the middle shot.  Admittedly this isn’t NASCAR,  but for the kind of action shooting most X-Shooters do, this is great performance.  I shot some interstate traffic at almost twice that speed and they were tack sharp as well.

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CLOSE UP PERFORMANCE:  Below are examples of a penny taped to my small Route 66 mini license plate. The first shot is the lens at 200mm at the close focus distance, the next at 400mm at the closes focus distance with the Canon 500D diopter.  The distance from the front of the lens to the penny for this shot is an amazing 16 inches. By-the-way, both were hand held!!!!!

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HOW ABOUT THE OPTICAL IMAGE STABILIZATION?  I would never consider hand holding a lens of this focal length, however in the interest of giving the OIS a fair chance, I shot the penny above at near 1:1 (life size).  Ready for this…. at 1/67th of a second.  Think about that, this lens at 400mm is actually the equivalent of a 600mm lens, and the penny images above is shot at high magnification, and it’s tack sharp.  A remarkable performance, it also works very well with the Fuji automatic extension tubes.  The image below is of a CD case on my office desk shot with the 100-400 at 400 at the closest focus distance at 1/400th of a second wide open f 8 with OIS turned on.

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O.K. SO WHERE DOES THIS LENS FIT INTO MY SYSTEM?  One of the best things about the X-System is the incredible selection and quality of the lens line.  The only big hole in the system just got filled with the 100-400.  I can now have coverage from 15mm to 600mm and beyond thanks to the 1.4 converter.  Would I like a 400mm f 2.8?  Not really, don’t want to carry it, pay for it and actually don’t need it.  The 100 to 400 is a 5.6 at 400, or (600mm equiv.) and the overall performance is just stunning.  Now, what is  most exciting to me is we have now seen Fuji come out with twenty one lenses and there is yet another on the Road Map for this year.  I own the vast majority of them, and I can say without any reservation that I’ve found each and every one to be spectacular!  When I bought my first three, (18-55,  35 1.4 and the 60mm Macro f 2.4) I never thought that I was going to see the parade of great glass we have been treated to!  What I appreciate most is that Fuji has taken my advice and that of  many other dedicated X-shooters, don’t compromise your high standards for their optics!  I hate to admit that for a while I held my breath with each new release.  It didn’t take long for me to realize they were keeping their promise.   They certainly have with the 100-400!

Featuring Jack Graham and Bill Fortney