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2 months ago 4
Posted in: Uncategorized

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I’ve had a number of readers and students ask me what I’m going to do about the new Fujifilm 80mm f 2.8 Macro lens?  What people are usually asking is it right for me!!!???

 

Let me set the parameters for you.  I do a great deal of close-up work and have, over the years, owned some of the most highly rated lenses out there.  I personally don’t want any lens unless it is spectacular in performance, nearly perfect!  Why?  I found long ago that unless you know your cameras and lenses are capable of making the highest quality images, you will always wonder was it me or the camera or lens that contributed to my failure in this shot?  If you know your gear is able to help you make the near perfect (technical) images you desire, when the results are less than great, “you know who to blame!”  It holds you accountable, since you know if used properly the camera and lens can deliver the goods!!!!

 

So, if you are very serious and want the best let’s look at some of the options I know best.  First if you buy a Macro lens just to shoot close-ups, really close and will not likely use it a lot for subjects at normal distances, a pure Macro/Micro lens will work well for  you.  They are simple to use, simply focus them and shoot, no need for extension tubes, diopters etc.

 

I’m assuming you shoot the Fujifilm X Series of cameras, but the basic principles will apply across the board.  If you need a lot of working distance because you might disturb your subject, if you are too close, (insects, snakes, frogs, etc) Then you will want a 150mm to 200 mm Macro lens, and if you shoot Fujifilm, you are “sorta” out of luck!!  I say “Sorta” because the  55-200, 50-140 and 100-400 work fabulously with diopters.  The 100-400 with the Canon 500D can get you to almost 1:1 (life size) and is fantastisally sharp, but it is not a Macro lens per se’!

 

For Fujifilm shooters I recommend the 200mm Micro lenses from Nikon with an adapter or from Canon, (theirs is a 180mm ).  Of course you will have to manually focus, but then in all serious close- up work you will be doing that anyway (or should!!!!)

 

If a mid range Macro will do the new 80mm Mcro f 2.8 is hard to beat, it is tack sharp and has a lot of wonderful feature!  It can go to 1:1 without accessories, takes the auto extension tubes, and can even be used with the Fujifilm teleconverters!  It is weather resistant, fast (f 2.8), and handles wonderfully.  Only two downsides are;  it is on the big side, and the cost is $1,095.  If it fits in your budget, it is well worth the price.

 

You can buy some of the long discomntinued manual focus Micro Nikkor lenses and they are very sharp and can be adapted to the Fujifilm bodies with inexpensive adapters I buy on Amazon.  They have aperture rings which makes them easy to use, and manual focus only, though the 105mm Macro AF will work as well, but is is the most expensive and does not focus as easy as the older purely manual focus lenses!

 

The spectaular darkhorse lens is the Tokina 100mm Macro f 2.8.  It has long been considered one of the very sharpest Macro lense out there and, brand new, runs less than $400.  It goes 1:1 and is built very well and focuses wonderfully in manual focus mode!  Truthfully, it is a steal if your budget is tight!!!

 

Lastly the shortest focal length is the venerable Fujifilm 60mm Macro f 2.4.  It reasonably priced, small and compact and is spectaculary sharp as well, (remember all these focal lengths should be multiplied by 1.5 to see the true focal length equivlent)  So a 80mm acts like a 12omm, a 105mm like a 150mm the 60mm a 90mm, a 200mm a 300mm,  and on and on.

 

One last alternative for the Fujifilm shooter is their wonderful 90mm f 2 (135mm equiv.)  It is not a true Macro lens but focuses very close and works wonderfully with extension tubes and diopters!!

 

You may be wondering why I have not shown images of photographs made with each lens?  You couldn’t tell them apart!!!!!!  Web images just can’t portray the differences, which are very minor, at best!!!!

 

So what am I doing?  I own the Nikkor 200mm Micro for long distance, I use the 100-400 a lot and it is becoming my favorite and sharpest way to shoot from good distances!!!!  I love the 60mm Macro and the 90mm which I use a lot.  The new 80mm Macro f 2.8 from Fujifilm is still not availale to purchase, though I tested one and loved  it.  I suspect I will pick one up when they become available!  I’ve got some time to think about anyway!!!

 

Hope that was helpful!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

 

2 months, 1 week ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized

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Jack and I just wrapped up the Grand Tetons Fujifilm workshop this past weekend, wanted to share some of the images!  We had fantastic sunrise light which led to so so light in the afternoons.

 

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I’ve started making images with the iPhone (7+) to share with fmaily and friends all the shots above were iPhone shots, now some of my best with Fujifilm cameras!

 

Cabin and wheat

Cabin and tetons bright small

Color against green

Tetons schwa BEST

Storm over Grand Teton

oxbow bend sunrise

 

Another great group in another great place!!!!

 

LCD shot small

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

A new angle to an old scene!!!

 

Valley and Tetons

2 months, 1 week ago 8
Posted in: Uncategorized

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Like most Americans I have been near a TV since the shooting and have heard the same curious question, over and  over;  Why did he do it?

 

I have the answer, but let me preface it by sharing something.  I did not choose to write this blog, to share my faith and to extol our ultimate need for our Heavenly Father.  Once I started to post blogs, immediately I was inspsired to share what is is written here.  I sit at my computer and it simply comes to me, inspred by the Holy Spirit.  There is nothing special about me, I simply, long ago, pledged my life to Christ and submitted to His will.  It is His will that I hold up a candle in the darkness for the world to see.  My candle is not seen by billions or millions of people, maybe not even thousands, but it is is seen and God speaks to people through it’s light.  It’s not my light, it’s not my thoughts, I take no credit or want no praise, I want God’s will to be done. All glory should always go to Him.

 

TRUTH:  Why ISIS, terrorism, murder, gangs, racial hatred, bombings of innocents, and all the other horrible things we experience everyday?  Man is inherently evil.  The secular humanists will tell  you that man is basically good and that he can be fixed with the right abount of love, counseling and government programs.  It  hasn’t worked, you can’t change a heart with man’s efforts, only God can make us new creatures without the desire to serve evil.  All you need to do to confirm these words is study history, man has committed acts of hate and damnation for centuries.  You can believe this, or be a victim of the world’s fallen state.

 

THE ANSWER:  We all must ask God to guide us, to help us be peace makers, to stop first the hate in us.  We must reach out and love the lost, and heal the sick of spirit.  We must steadfastly refuse to adopt the lies of the lost that there is no God, that we have no Hope!  Life without hope is meaningless.  God does not desire for even one to be lost, He loves His creation and wants it redeemed, but He will not force you to beleive and accept Him and His everlasting love.  You must ask Him for forgiveness and to accept you into His family.  If you do that with real repentence and faith in Him, He never says no!

 

KNOCKING AT THE DOOR:   Jesus said,  “I stand at the door and knock, if anyone hears my voice and answwers, I will come in and be with him.”  That knocking is happening right now, a new life, freedom from hate and destruction is no further away than your answer, “Yes Lord, please come i!”

 

Please answer the knock.

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

2 months, 3 weeks ago 12
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

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Yesterday my pastor preached a sermon few pastors would approach and I really appreciated it because it clarified some things all Christians should pray about and consider.  Our pastor provides a outline and we fill in the blanks, which is a good study method.  I am going ot share the outline points.

 

Sermon Title:  “There is one true God and We can know Him.”

 

Quote about Political Correctness:  “There is no idea so absurd but if repeated often enough will eventually come to be beleived”  William James

 

Two World Views:

 

The Biblical World View                      The Secular World View

Eternal Life – Hope                                         No Hope.

Jesus Christ – God’s Son                                Jesus Christ  –  religous leader

Basic nature of man is sinful                         Inherent goodness of man

Absolute Standars revealed (Bible)              No absolutes  (moral relativism

                                                                                                                and tolerance)

Creation  –  God                                             Evolution  –  ?

 

Christians believe God is the                      Secularist  believe the world evolved

designer of our world.

 

Obviously it is apparent why we are at odds with each other in this world, Chrisitans and Secularists.  After all, we have two very different world views.

But how can we, as Christians,  find peace with one another and establish civility?

 

Four Steps to take in response to the politically current emphasis today.

 

A.  Be humble, and accept God’s revealed word as truth.

 

B. Be couragous and speak truth “in love” regardless of the response from the world.

 

C.  Be a vigilant guard to the gate of your house for the sake of  your children. (teach your children the truth)

 

D.  Be confident God’s truth will prevail in the end.

 

We live in a world where some will be adamantly opposed to our Chrisitan beliefs, and a certain segment will attempt to destory us becasue of how opposed they are.  We can’t let that cause us to walk away from the basis of our faith; Love, Foregivness and Grace.  It’s hard, very hard, but their souls are worth more than the temporary satisfaction of loosing our calm spirits.  Pray for one another as we struggle with the world we must live in.

 

Thank you Pastor!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

 

Personal Note:  This sermon was very helpful to me and hope it will be to you as well.  I beleive that the only way to progress as a person,  is to seek truth and test it and then stand by your findings, and for that reason I posted this entry.  I offer it in love.