All posts by Jack Graham


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 the video !


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.

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.


fujifilm tag logo


2017 Fuji X Photo Workshops

June 8-11, 2017   Colfax, WA

Sept 28-Oct 1,  2017  Jackson, WY

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 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!!!


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


Here are a few other images—notice the sharpness


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


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


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

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!


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.



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


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.


_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!


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


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


(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)


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


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


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


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


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


_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


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



_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.


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


(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!


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


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


(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



_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


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



 150mm (in 35mm film)


300mm (in 35mm film)


150mm (in 35mm film)


300mm (in 35mm film)


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


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

Success of first Fuji “X” Photo Workshop posted

“See Why Fujifilm’s X Photo Workshop Has Expanded to Three More Locations” by Bill Murray, ResourceMagOnline


sunset in mt rainier national park by jack grahamI can’t tell you how much Bill Fortney and I appreciate having other authors writing about our photo workshops and this article especially so.  It’s about the great success of our first Fuji “X” System photo workshop, held at Mt. Rainier National Park (Washington) last August. Both Bill and I had a wonderful time showing our workshop attendees how to take this wonderful new technology Fuji is providing, and using it to make better photographs.


We have three more Fuji “X” workshops coming up in 2016: the Great Smoky Mtns in April,  Olympic National Park in May, and Acadia National Park in October. Check them out … we’d love to have you come along!

by jack graham, forest greenery, mt rainier

Timing is Everything!

Recap of our recent Fuji “X” Photo Workshop on Mt Rainier, Washington – August 2015

Images and Text ©Jack Graham

Timing is everything. That kind of sums it up for me for this past weekend’s workshop on Mt. Rainier.

While driving through the Columbia River Gorge in Oregon last year, Bill Fortney and I began planning our very first workshop dedicated only to users of the Fuji “X” system.  We announced this event mid-2014 and it quickly sold out.  Basically this workshop is no different from the ones we have been doing together for the past few years, but with heavy emphasis on the Fuji cameras and amazing lenses.

(Left to Right) Justin Stailey, Bill Fortney, Jack Graham, Geoff Hinze, Lewis Navarro

We were fortunate and honored to be joined at this event by Justin Stailey, Fuji’s Senior Product Manager from their head office on the east coast, Geoff Hinze, one of Fuji’s National Account Directors (Geoff lives here in Washington) and Lewis Navarro, Fuji’s West Coast Tech specialist. What a line-up! Thanks you guys and thank you Fuji.

sunset in mt rainier national park by jack grahamFolks, this company (Fujifilm) really gets it. They know their customers. They listen. They are doing the right thing, as well as making some of the best products anywhere for us. I have no doubt they will continue to bring us cutting edge cameras and some amazing glass. As I always say, having these tools just gives us the chance to make a good image. We still have to work hard to grow as photographers.

As always we had our “meet and greet” on Wednesday night, where we get to know each other, go over goals for the workshop and have some good company. Typically we don’t go out to photograph on that evening, but due to a few factors I suggested we take a quick ride and make a few images. First, the mountain and adjacent valleys were shrouded in smoke from a nearby fire south of the park. Second, the weather forecast was looking iffy as the weekend progressed.

mt rainier forest by jack grahamWe all came back to the hotel that evening with some great images with some amazing color as well as excitement for the coming sunrise on Thursday morning – we were not disappointed! Thursday was a transition day for us weather wise. In the high Cascades weather changes feature dramatic clouds. We had them for sure. Numerous lenticular clouds were in the sky making for amazing drama. At times it looked like we were being invaded by space ships. Timing is everything! We all nailed sunrise at Reflection Lake on Thursday morning. As Thursday progressed so did the incoming weather system and with it the dramatic clouds and light. We spent the balance of the day up at the “Sunrise” area in the northeast part of Mt. Rainier National Park,  at a few locations and then driving back to Paradise in the dark.

stream in mt rainier national park by jack grahamSunrise was about 6:30 AM. I walked out of the Paradise Inn (at about 5,500 feet elevation) about 5:10 and was greeted by a downpour. Bad news … no sunrise, but good news was this rain put a good amount of water into the small streams, creeks and waterfalls. It’s been a long hot summer here in the Pacific Northwest and the rain was welcomed by everyone. (Especially the folks east of the Cascades who were and still are dealing with a 400+ square mile forest fire). We all ate a good breakfast and by about 7:45 the rain stopped. We had a great morning and early afternoon photographing the landscape with the low hanging clouds and fog as well as flowing waterfalls and streams. Timing is everything.

There is no Internet or mobile signal where we were staying at the Paradise Inn. However, up at Sunrise we located a signal and were able to access the weather forecast. This was a good thing as by Friday the forecasters were predicting a major storm for Saturday with very heavy rain and wind. They were correct.

jack graham photo workshop classSaturday morning was dry but overcast. You could feel the storm approaching. The rain held off until late morning as did the wind. Fortunately, we were all inside doing our image reviews and presentations during the worst of the storm. Again, timing! Saturday evening cleared until late, when the rains returned in earnest. By the time we ended our workshop on Sunday it was pouring rain, windy and cold on the mountain. When Bill and I departed Mt. Rainier on Sunday it was 38 degrees and raining.

We were extra fortunate with the weather. Seattle forecasters called this storm “The Strongest Summer Storm in West Coast History.” Click HERE for a great synopsis. We had great light, dramatic clouds, great waterfalls and stream locations, etc. All in all it was a great event.

mist in the trees, mt rainier, jack grahamWith Bill, me and three Fuji folks, we were able to give our attendees a lot of personal time. We worked with customizing their cameras to take advantage of everything Fuji has to offer. We had numerous Fuji bodies and lenses for our attendees to try out. Again, having the folks from Fuji with us was a great experience for everyone.

What’s ahead? In 2016 Bill and I are scheduling three such Fuji “X”-only events: The Smoky Mountains in mid-April, Olympic National Park in early May and Acadia National Park (Maine) in October. Stay tuned for some major announcements regarding two of these three events. Yes, they will sell out quickly!

Mt Rainier, Reflection lake by Jack GrahamTo add to the “Timing is everything” thought, tonight it’s still showering here in Washington and the prediction for later this week for Mt. Rainier is cold, rain and even snow! Has winter arrived on the mountain? Probably not, but things are definitely in transition.

Below is today’s forecast—Guess where I’ll be tomorrow!!   —-JG

417 AM PDT TUE SEP 1 2015

417 AM PDT TUE SEP 1 2015