Category : Uncategorized

2 months ago 24
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

 

 

I got an email that was disturbing for me.  Someone, who will not be named, suggested that I was in the tank for Fuji after reading my review of the new 200mm f 2 lens.  It’s fair that if you blog and share your “opinions” that someone might think you have ulterior motives.  So please let me address this criticism up front.

 

When I was asked to be a Fujifilm X-Photographer, I was honored, but before I accepted I asked one question, “Do you expect me to promote your products, or may I continue to be totally honest about my opinions on any equipment or service from Fujifilm?”  The only reason I said yes, was they said, “we would not want you to be anything but honest and up front about our products or services.”

 

The only reason I blog is to serve My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, to share His love with others and to share about photography and other interests in my life.  I get no special favors from any manufacturers who make the products i reviews or share about.  Fujifilm does allow X-Photographers to buy some of their lenses and bodies at a discount.  When the X-T2 came out they gifted a body with our names as the serial number to each X-Photographer.  In spite of these kinds of acts on Fujifilm’s part, I would never review a product favorably because of my friendship with or association with Fujifilm.

 

Let me tell you why.

 

When I was a tech rep for Nikon I knew that if I was always honest with my clients and they came to know they could trust me, I could truly help them.  The moment they would have discovered that I was lying on behalf of the company, I would have lost all credibility with them and could no longer help them or Nikon!  That’s why I never lied to them, or  have I ever lied to any of you.

 

The reason I chose the picture above is that I know that is how Jack feels and in this image of us we look pretty serious, and we are, we hold each other to that personal standard.  I also owe it to my wife, my children, grandchildren and dear friends that expect only the best of me.  Nothing that could ever be given to me could ever be enough for me to sell out my integrity,  just to get it!

 

I promise you  that when you come to this blog, you will get my honest opinions and feelings, I will not lie to you or ever try to misguide you.  I hope most of you that come here already know that, if you don’t I’ve failed you and all the others that have honored me by coming here for information and inspiration!

 

You can take that to the bank!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

2 months ago 1
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

My dear buddy, John Gompf asked about the bokeh, so, here is a couple of examples. This is the 200mm f 2 at f 2, of a subject with distractions right behind it,  within inches,  a tough task and the 200mm f 2 makes the background buttery smooth.

 

By contrast this image below is the 100-400 shot wide open at f 4.5 still a nice images  but the background definitely inserts itself!

 

 

That is the difference!

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

2 months ago 4
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

Optical Performance:  Above is a section of a file from the 200mm f 2 wide open from a tripod.  The file was then blown up to 4 X 6 feet at 300 dpi.  On my computer a 5K iMac 27″ this file is razor sharp and remember it is 4 X 6 foot enlargement!!!!!  Needless to say this is groundbreaking performance, below is the file from the 100-400 which I consider an exceptionally good lens and more than capable for my work.  Honestly the 200mm f 2 blows it way.  Now if you made two 4 X 6 foot prints and hung them on the wall, and viewed them from 8 feet away, they would look pretty much the same, but the edge would still go to the 200mm f 2.  Step closer, and it’s no contest.

 

 

AUTOFOCUS PERFORMANCE:  I then took both lenses to the interstate and photographed cars coming at me (from the side of the road – in a safe place) traveling at 75 mph or faster.  In 15 shot bursts both lenses made tack sharp images, the edge again going to the faster 200mm f 2. but, I could see no good reason to show you 30 images that were, for the most part, identical!  Fujifilm in recent bodies, with the latest firmware, now has outstanding follow focus performance. If Fujifilm is calling you, you can no longer use autofoocus performance as a reason to stay away, just saying……

 

SUMMARY:  Is it worth the money?  Yes, if you need the sharpest possible long lens, the fastest focusing long lens and the fastest (wide open aperture) lens, a profound YES!  Is $6,000.  a lot of money, it certinly is to me, but if you are a wedding shooter or outdoor portrait person, sports photographer or journalist, then this lens is pretty much a must own…… if you can afford it.  It is one of those lenses that will make you money.  If you’re paid to do that kind of work!

 

Is the $6,000. price tag too much to pay?  Not if you need tack sharp images with dreamy dream like out of focus backgrounds, this is one of the few Fujifilm lenses that can give you that.  The 90mm f 2 certainly can, and the 56 f 1.2 can, but no matter how hard you try the 100-400 wide open just cannot deliver this kind of bokeh.  Do you need that kind of bokeh?  You need to decide that for yourself, but if you do, this would be the lens, if  you need a longer focal length lens for your work.  The price is in line with others lenses from Nikon and Canon that do essentially the same kind of work.  The bonus is this lens comes with a matched 1.4 converter making it a 450mm f 2.8 equiv. and that is worth some serious money right there!  Yes it is a lot, but for what it can do, it’s not out of line at all.  Think of this.  With this lens you have a 300mm f 2 and a 450mm f 2.8 right in the box.  Later add a matching 2X converter and  you would have a 600mm f 4 (all equiv. with your APSC sensors).   If you shoot Nikon and want the same here is your costs:

 

Nikon 200mm f 2       $5,696.   1.4 converter: $496.    2X converter  $496.

Nikon 400mm f 2.8   $11,196.

Nikon 600mm f 4      $12,296.

 

Canon is in the same range.

 

How does it compare to similiar lenses from other systems?  If you shoot with Fujifilm bodies and do not plan to switch systems it really desn’t matter, but just for giggles; the best 200mm f 2 I ever shot was the Nikon 200mm f 2 and I believe this lens equals or betters it!  That is saying something!  I always thought the Nikon 200mm f 2 was an astounding piece of glass, well now, Fujifilm, you have one too!!!!!

 

Hope that helps you sort out your thoughts on this new addition for our Fujifilm family….

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim

2 months ago 1
Posted in: Uncategorized

 

 

Fujifilm USA was kind enough to send me the new Fujifilm  XF 200mm f 2 LM OIS WR for me to evaluate, make images for them, and blog about for you. I plan to do a several part review, so in today’s Part 1 lets talk about the lense’s physical properties!  Above is how you will recieve then lens when you lay down the $5,999.95 asking price.  Included is a very nice ballistic nylon case, a matched 1.4 converter, the lens and a lens hood, and caps.  It weighs 5 lbs 8.5 ounces but on the camera balances very nicely and does not feel that heavy.  I remember when I worked for Nikon and they made a 200mm f 2 it was hard for anyone but a well tuned athlete to lift it to their eye!!!!  Remember this lens is, on a Fujifilm camera, the equivilent of a 300mm f 2 and with the included 1.4 converter a 450mm f 2.8!!!!!!!!!  Nikon once made that focal length for full frame cameras ( back then film)  and it was gigantic and sold for around $23,000. if I remember correctly.  So now the $6,000. price tag on this lens doesn’t seem so bad!

 

 

 

Above is a comparison of the new 200mm f 2 and the current long zoom from Fujifilm, the beloved 100-400.  The 100-400 weighs in at 3 lbs 9.25 ounces.  The 100-400 takes 77mm filters the new 200mm   f 2  105mm filters.   Get out your wallet for a polarizer!!!!

 

 

BUILD QUAITY:  The new 200mm f 2 is very well finished and all the controls (below) are positive and smooth, probably,  the best feeling of any lens from Fujifilm yet.  The focus ring and aperture ring are butter smooth and offer the right amount of resistance.  The supplied lens hood is very well made, better than any I can recall from any of the other big lenses I’ve seen in the past and it attaches securely.

 

 

 

Switches control the OIS, focus range, and AF preset controls.  The lens had four buttons around the front of the lens to set pre-set focus distances.

 

Auto focus was ultra quick and responsive, and I will test that in PART 2, Optical quality and focus speed and accuracy.

 

The 200mm f 2 focused at it’s closesest focus distance at a physical distance from the front of the lens of 5′ 2″.  The image below shows what my desk microphone looks like at that distance. The mike face from top to bottom is a little over 3 inches.

 

 

For reference the 100 to 400 focuses from 4’6″, because it can zoom I made the image below at 300mm (equiv. 450mm) and it gets even closer at 400mm (600mm equiv.).  For tight close in work the 100-400 wins that battle.

 

 

In Part 2 I will test the 200mm f 2 for sharpness, speed of focus, tracking and general impressions of using it in the field.  I have to say after just a little time with the lens, I’m very, very impressed.

 

Blessings,

 

the pilgrim