image courtesy: Tony Bridge (Fujifilm X-E1, Fujinon 55-200mm)
It’s autumn in New Zeland, and Tony Bridge went with his pre-production 55-200 to his favorite place to take some pictures in the dawn. Read the in field test of Tony Bridge at his website here. I’ll post just a short extract:
“Fitted to either an X-Pro 1 or X-E1, it sits nicely in the hand and balances well, and the fit and finish is Fuji-superb […] The stabilisation really works, and I found myself able to handhold at 1/50 second in damp and unpleasant circumstances. […] The scene I photographed is rich in micro-detail, including power pylons, farmhouses, trees of various species and fine lines from intense agriculture. They are guaranteed to test any lens, and I wondered if the lens would deliver what I was the asking of it. It did. […] the lens is sharp right out to the corners, and contains a remarkable sense of three-dimensionality. The files required little or no sharpening, and micro-detail requires little or no extra work. If anything the lens is a little too sharp, and I found myself applying softening in places to create a greater sense of distance-reality. Colouration too seems a little on the cool side, but it is particularly responsive to reds and yellows. […] I was more interested in how the lens would cope in the field, how it would resolve detail, its flare and contrast characteristics, and above all whether it had that indefinable X factor, that sense of character and colour and light and space which marks a truly great lens. It has all of them. In spades.”
The brand new X100S has already been updated with a new firmware (1.02). I was curious to know why Fuji seems to release firmware updates more often than other companies. So I made a little search and stumbled across this article at fujifilmxseries.
According to the author “some manufacturers might be reluctant to update firmware, as it represents, in a sense, an admission that things were not correct or perfect at the time of product release“. This isn’t the case of Fujifilm, as they frequently release firmware updates to improve their cameras. This philosophy can be summarized in one word: KAIZEN… and, unless you are a Japanese reader, many of you probably won’t know what “kaizen” means. Fujifilmxseries looked for the definition:
“kaizen […] My iOS dictionary […] defines kaizen as “betterment, improvement.” It then expands thusly, “kaizen (Japanese business philosophy of continuous improvement). […] Thus, strictly speaking, I’m not sure that firmware updates in of themselves are an example of kaizen. However, the frequent refinement of the firmware itself most probably is, and Fujifilm can only be applauded in extending this concept out to cameras already in the hands of consumers, rather than waiting for the cycle of new generation releases. If nothing else, an understanding of kaizen might offer a convenient framework for interpreting why Fujifilm frequently updates firmware, rather than attempting to ‘get it right’ the first time round. It was ‘right,’ now it’s ‘more right.’”
There is always something to improve. Now, just add in the comments what you would like to have fixed (or added) with the next firmware update: faster autofocus, focus peaking for the X-E1/X-PRO1, set minimum shutter speed when in Auto-ISO, customizable “Q menu”… just extend this list in the comments.
Over at uservoice you can vote a X100S firmware-poll (thanks Fredrik).
– “During a recent trip to the USA, Sam Krisch arranged a trip to a GORGEOUS old theatre. This is a little story about the fundraising project to restore it.” Almost every image you’ll see has been taken with the X-PRO1. The rest with a D800. Read the article, look at the video and see the beautiful images here.
– Was Zack Arias exaggerating when he said that the X100S is the best camera he has ever owned? According to kevinmullinsphotography no! “The Fujifilm X100S is a wonderful camera, and I genuinely mean that. Zack Arias said it is the best camera he has ever owned and you know what, I think I may well agree with him.” Read why here.
– It’s a mere specs comparison, but if you are interested in it, see how the X100S deals against the brand new ultra compact, cheap APS-C Ricoh GR (check price and specs at BHphoto and Adorama). The winner is the X100S, but check it out by yourself here. Over at mirrorlessrumors you can read a comparison of the GR against the rest of the world high end compact cameras (including X-PRO1).
– A few words and a lot of images… but pay attention, “the X100s’ review LCD shows a pretty bad representation of the actual photograph. So don’t delete in camera immediately! Wait till you import them onto your computer!” Read danielkcheung’s review here.
– X100S photoreview here. They say that the X100S is “good for landscape photography, group portraits, street photography, (especially scenic shots) shooting in low light levels travel (provided you can tolerate the fixed focal length lens and not so good for shooting sports and action, close-up shooting and shooting movies.” Check it out here.
– confessionsxl posted his X100S video review here. Take a look at it!
“Our photos, however, looked wonderful — with lots of resolution and detail (partly due to the absence of a low-pass filter). And thanks to the X-Trans sensor technology, there was also a low incidence of moiré despite the lack of the LP filter. While we didn’t expect much from the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 kit lens — which is the first zoom for Fuji’s X-series interchangeable lens cameras — it produced images with impressive sharpness and professional looking background blur (bokeh), which is great for portraits. The X-E1 also really stood out against the competition in low-light situations and higher ISOs (especially in the 1,600 to 3,200 range). The camera’s operational performance was a mixed bag, however, with some full AF shutter lag and shot-to-shot speed issues. The X-E1 was also painfully slow to wake up from sleep mode, which resulted in some missed candid shots. Bottom line though, there’s not a lot to complain about with the X-E1, especially considering its more budget-friendly price tag.”
– Grimmy vs Plummy: “Love your site! Always on it to check up on your latest rumors. I use my X-Pro1 everyday practically and started my own little challenge with my Fiance.. She owns the OM-D and started our own challenge that lets people vote who takes better shots. If you have time please check it out here. Keep up the great work with your site!”
– cameras.about.com review here: “The Fujifilm XF1 is one of the more interesting looking cameras currently on the market. Not only does the synthetic leather covering give the XF1 a unique design, but its boxy shape and aluminum trim contribute to a retro look for this camera”
– Pcmag review here. “The Fujifilm XF1 is a neat retro-look compact camera with sharp optics, but its light-gathering capability diminishes as you zoom.“
The development of photographic tele-lenses cannot be complete without Carl Zeiss AG. Today we speak about digiscoping on digital camera’s, however do you know, even the word “digiscoping” did not exist, but Carl Zeiss already in the nineteen fifties offered the solution for connecting and using a monocular on a photo camera. The longest tele-lens Zeiss offered as early as 1958 was the 4.0/250 mm Sonnar. The mounting of an 8 x 30 B monocular on the Contarex camera and lenses was offered in 1960 and creates with the 4.0/135 mm Sonnar a 1080 mm tele.
The Fujinon XF lenses are newly designed for the APS C sensor. Al other lenses in my book however are originally designed for film. Many new lenses for the digital cameras today are a modification of film design lenses.
The scores for the lenses are given on a scale of 1 to 10 for sharpness and brilliance, 10 is best. For Color fringing and color aberration the score is also on a scale of 1 to 10. 10 equals totally absent.
All material is produced in a timespan of about 2 hours and no post-processing for aberrations or sharpness is performed. All files are .jpg from Photoshop and/or the Fuji .jpg in camera engine.
The Fujinon XF lenses are newly designed for the APS C sensor. All other lenses in the book are originally designed for film. Even many new lenses on the digital market today are a modification of film design lenses.
The Monoculars and the Adapters
Zeiss offered in 1960 the 8 x 30 B monocular which was mountable on the 50 mm Contarex Planar & Tessar and on the 4.0/135 mm Sonnar lens by means of a ring (number 20.1633) fitting into the ø 49 mm filter mount and to the monocular with a ø 27 mm thread. Later in 1969 Zeiss introduced a Contarex B56 ring (number 20.1642) fitting on the 8 x 30 B monocular with the same ø 27 mm screw.
For the picture above: The left ring (20.1633) protrudes 7.6 mm into the lens mount and does not touch the front lens of the 4.0/135 mm. However the ring at the right (20.1639) protrudes 9.9 mm into the mount and is not suitable anymore for the 4.0/135 mm. It will hit the front lens! The B 56 ring (20.1642) not pictured here) will fit all Contarex lenses.
In order to show you the shooting point you see here the 50 mm standard lens photograph.
The Contarex Monocular 8 x 30 B combinations in this article
The lens/monocular speed is determined by the monocular front lens diameter only! The distance setting for the camera lens is set at infinity. Focusing for the combination is done with the monocular’s focusing. Of course you will need a tripod, the more weight creates the better stability. For the release it is best to use a cable or the self-timer. Heavy wind or traffic can be quite disturbing, a minimal vibration is noticeable immediately!
Originally in 1960 Zeiss introduced a prism monocular, later the strait type monocular came available. I have tested the Zeiss monocular, but any monocular that mounts well will do the job.