Tested: XF 56mm review (photozone) + Touit 50mm review (photographyblog)

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IN STOCK AT: Pictureline / AmazonUS (via third party and more expensive) / DigitalRev

pre-order at:  BHphoto / AdoramaeBay

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The Fujinon

The XF 56mm review of photozone can be read here.

The rendering of the bokeh is impressive thanks to a smooth blur and good out-of-focus highlights. There is, of course, some bokeh fringing but that’s true for the vast majority of lenses in this aperture class.

The build quality of the XF 56mm f/1.2 R is very high and as such in line with the other Fujinon XF lenses. It is mostly made of metal and precisely assembled although we miss a weather sealing which should be standard at this price point. The AF is pretty fast on the X-T1 although the combo is still stays a little short of what we can experience on similar DSLRs-based combos.

As already mention, the Fujinon is a bit pricey in absolute terms but high speed simply comes at a price. However, when looking at the results, it is a fair offering and simply also an obvious choice for Fujifilm users looking for an ultra-fast lens for street or portrait photography. Therefore highly recommended!”

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The Zeiss

The Carl Zeiss Touit Makro Planar 2.8/50mm T* Review of photographblog can be read here.

The Carl Zeiss Touit Makro Planar 2.8/50mm T* is the only lens in the Fujifilm X-Mount and Sony E-Mount ranges that offers true 1:1 maximum reproduction, so it’s something of an essential purchase if you absolutely require that feature, especially as it delivers superb image quality with lovely bokeh.

The Carl Zeiss Touit 50mm lens is remarkably sharp in both the image centre and at the edges throughout almost the entire aperture range. The fast maximum aperture of f/2.8 makes it easy to creatively throw the background out of focus, with the nine-blade iris diaphragm achieving some lovely bokeh effects for such a wide-angle lens. Vignetting is very well-controlled, chromatic aberrations are hard to find, and there’s some very slight pincushion distortion, but certainly nothing to worry about.”

Pre-order at Adorama and BHphoto

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The IN (X-T1) & OUT (XF 56mm) of stock X-gear check!

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And finally, after several months the X-T1, body and kit, is in stock everywhere! But there is still some X-gear hard to find on the market. So here is an overview of what’s available at the moment in the USA.

X-T1 body: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline
X-T1 kit: AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline
XF 56mm: OUT OF STOCK (or more expensive via third party at AmazonUS)
XF 35mm: OUT OF STOCK
XF 27mm black: AmazonUS via third party (1 left) /
XF 27mm silver: BHphoto / AmazonUS /

US-X deals

X-PRO1 body (save $200): AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline /
X-M1 (body OR super combo kit) (save up to $300): AmazonUS (Superkit: silverblackbrown)/ BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline /
X20 (save $50): AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline
XF 18mm (save $100): AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline
XC 50-230 (save $50): AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama /
X-A1 (save $100): AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / Pictureline
X-E2 body and kit (save $200): START MAY 25th

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True Passion: (re)discovering photography with a giant camera-cube!

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image courtesy: cubestories

This is a story of pure and genuine passion for photography. Exactly the same passion we X-shooters have, when we take our time to compose the image, to look for the right light, to wait for the proper moment. Or, to say it like the little prince: “It’s the time that you spent on your rose that makes your rose so important.” We could say that it’s the time we spent to create our images, that makes photography so important for us.

It doesn’t matter which tool we choose to express our creativity and passion. For X-shooters like me, the “X-factor” might have helped us to (re)discover photography! But the X-system can not meet the needs of everyone.

And it definitely didn’t meet the needs of 3 friends, who call themselves the “cube photographers“. They went a more unconventional way to re-discover their passion for photography.

In a world, where cameras have to be smaller, faster, feel comfortable in the hands and images have to be uploaded instantly to the iPad and the social networks, the Cube Photographers choose to go the opposite path.

They built a big cube that works as a camera obscura and traveled through Europe with it, photographing ghost cities and mountain lakes, people and forests. And it’s likely the only camera on the planet where photographers don’t stand behind the camera, but INSIDE it!

For the best quality, they decided to buy the last 16 rolls of the famous Ilfochrome (Cibachrome) paper in order to be able to shoot 1×1 meter pictures in direct positive.

And whereever they want to take a picture, they have to dismantle the Cube first, and then assemble it again… a lot of work, as you can see in the images here.

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But it’s worth the effort… before even taking a shot, it’s the Cube itself that becomes a quite spectacular piece of art and, as Mike Kobal said, “a true reflection on photography“.

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But this story has no happy end.

In fact, there is just a limited number of this special film worldwide (16 rolls, all in the hands of the cube photographers), so the Cube won’t take pictures for long. The film rolls will also expire soon, and therefore, in order to mantain the best quality, the 3 friends have to diligently use all the 16 rolls within a year.

The sad truth is: the Cube will take 300 more images, and then its travel around Europe will be over.

So what can we do? Well, we can support these 3 guys, their passion for photography and the last year of life of the Cube with a donation. Or we can buy a unique photo taken by the Cube or, if you prefer, an image of the Cube itself.

And no, I have no affiliation, I won’t get a single penny on the donations or the prints (in fact I just made a donation). For what it’s worth, I decided to give a little help also with my small space in the world wide web.

So, dear X-shooters, check out more about the Cube at cubestories and feel free to support this little project:

How to support the project:

1) With a one time donation of $10 you can (if you want) get your name on the official Cubestories Supporter page:





2) You can buy one of these five limited edition prints for $150. These are the pictures of the cube (not taken by the cube). Only 25 prints per picture are available and are numbered and signed by the Photographers (Martinelli,Pizzini,Salvà) who built the camera. These are 30×30 centimeter (unframed) high quality ink prints that will be shipped in rolls within 3-4 weeks of the purchase. Click on the image to enlarge. Every picture has a history you can read here: http://www.cubestories.com/cube/.

Buy option is at the end of the picture list:

Picture Nr.1
Picture Nr.2
Picture Nr.3
Picture Nr.4
Picture Nr.5

Select the picture



Note: You can buy more pictures but only one at a time because PayPal doesn’t offer the possibility to select more than one picture for every purchase.

3) On special request you can visit the Photographers in Merano (Italy) to get photographed (or take a photo of your wish) with the camera. Contact them here: cubephotographers@gmail.com.

Thank You All

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TCL-X100 review at thephoblographer + pre-order now also at Adorama!

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TCL-X100
AmazonUS / BHphoto / Adorama / DigitalRev

phoblographer posted its TCL-X100 review here: From the conlcusions:

The lens attachment is a nice addition that helps extend the capabilities of the X100 and X100s without sacrificing image quality. Although the lens gives the X100/s some more reach and adds the portrait perfect 50mm focal length, it does not feel like essential piece of kit owners of either camera need. Whereas the WCL-X100 added a wider field of view that can only be achieved with a wide-angle lens, the difference between a 50mm and 35mm is far more negligible. In some ways photographers can reproduce this extended focal length by simply getting closer to their subject.

Adding in significant dead weight this attachment adds to the camera’s AF system, we can hardly recommend users pick up this attachment for $349.95 [admin: $339 at DigitalRev]. But for photographers who feel a 50mm lens is absolutely essential to their craft, they won’t be disappointed with the lens’ quality or its ability to produce stunning images.”

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