Monthly Archives: July 2019

4 months, 3 weeks ago 1
Posted in: Uncategorized


I got an email yesterday that I decided to answer with this blog entry,  so, thank you Steve!  The question was; “How do I decide on whether to buy a new lens or not?  That’s a good question and one that deserves a thorough answer!


FIRST:  Lenses are not cheap!!!!  They can range anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars, or more!  Depending on your financial situation, it’s a big decision.


SECOND: You can only carry so many, so it matters that what you buy, is something you will actually carry and use!    * Caveat: I’ve broken that rule many times myself!


THIRD Do you really need it?  This is a tough one becasue we often make “want” the equivalent of “need”!


So, let’s consider that you have already determined that you can Afford it, will Carry it, and really Need it!  On what basis do you know you are getting a good lens?  Here are a few tips:


A.  Listen to others that own the lens, or people that have tested it say.  I have a few sources that i trust to do real testing of lenses and I often consult them early in the hunt.  (DP Review,,  Lenses develop reputations and often your freinds who own a particualr lens will be a good judge of how good it is optically.


B. How well is it constructed?  After all, the lens is the most used part of your camera system and if you are a heavy user, mechancial quality will really matter down the road after years of use.  Grasp the mount end of the lens and the lens barrell and gently twsit it to see if their is much give or flex in the lens.  If there is now, new, it will likely be loosey goosey in a few months or years of hard use, avoid these lenses.  The lens body and barrell should be metal or a very high quality polycarbonite material.  The mount should always be of the best metal materials and afixed to the lens with several screws, I prefer 4 or 5 to give lateral strength.


How many aperture blades does it have and how rounded is the aperture pattern when stopped down?  This is very important to the avoiding of chances of defraction.


Does the lens have quality multi-coating on it’s elements?  Does it have a lens hood?


C. How to buy a lens.  This is my advice, take it for what it’s worth.  Find a dealer that allows returns so you cna buy the lens and carefully test it before you decide to keep it or not.  Treat the lens as if your best friend loaned it to you and you intend to return it like new!  This will allow you to know if the lens is going to fulfill your needs!


D. Once you buy your lens take good care of it.  Protect it in your camera bag or backpack.  Keep it clean, but don’t over clean it, optical glass will often be fine with just a blower to get the dust off.


Well that’s it, buy good lenses, use the ones that work for you and try to keep it down to a few, unlike me!!!




the pilgrim

4 months, 3 weeks ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized



For some time we have known that Fujifilm was going to release this lens, and now we know the release date, September!  The real question is where does this lens fit into 0ur camera systems?  Based on the early reviews of the prototype, it looks like it will be a stunner!  If, in fact, it is, then it opens some very interesting doors!


Let’s talk focal lengths.  24mm to 122mm is a near perfect range for 90% of general photography.  I can imagine carrying this lens, a much wider lens, say the 14mm f 2.8, and then the 100-400 to cover all the longer focal lengths.   I can’t imagine traveling with out the Fujifilm 80mm Macro f 2.8, so when knowing close-up work in on the menu, that will have to come along.  It sounds like the 16mm to 80mm will focus very close all the way down to .25 of life-size, so that might solve that issue for all but extreme close work!


The bottom line is that this new lens will be wonderful for those of us that are trying to pair down their kit.  I can’t wait!




the pilgrim





5 months ago 2
Posted in: Uncategorized



Join Jack Graham and Bill Fortney and third, to be named, X-Photographer for this incredible summit in Moab Utah!!!!!   February 26th – March 1st, 2020


Also this fall a few spots are still available for these great Graham/Fortney Events:



Again to register for these great events contact:


Lastly the stars are really aligned this fall for the Great Smoky Mountain Nature Phototgraphy Sunmmit!  Please join us for this affordable and fantastic event!!!




Get out this fall or next spring and jon us for all the fun!!!!




the pilgrim