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11 months, 1 week ago 6



Our Savior was crucified yesterday afternoon, 2,016 years ago.  His followers were devastated, the Master was gone, but they failed to remember His own words that he would come back to them from death in just three day!!!!  Tomorrow morning will mark the anniversary of His Resurrection!  That this really happened alone is a miracle, but the best part is why He died and what He accomplished in His supreme act of love for us!


Celebrate tomorrow that you are forgiven of your sins, that you can have a hope of eternity with your Heavenly Father.  We live in uncertain times, we face danger and catastrophe on all sides, but our Father promised He would be with us always, even unto the end of the age!  Rejoice!!! He is Risen and if you believe and accept Him you can inherit the Kingdom and have peace in all circumstances!


Blessings and Happy Easter,


the pilgrim

11 months, 1 week ago 7



Carl Turner’s questions led to a few emails from folks asking, “really, the 18-135 is your go to lens???!!!” Yep, Really!  I decided to go through my recent trip images an pull a few that haven’t been published that show the versatility of this great little lens!  Enjoy!




I know a few of these were previously published but I think they provide  good cross section of the lenses capability!




the pilgrim

11 months, 1 week ago 12


Old truck 18-135


Ideas for blog – since you have just come from a major shooting experience…

Carl Turner


What lenses did you use most?  


18-135 80% of the time.   10-24  15% of the time, the other 5% split between the 16mm f 1.4 and the 90mm f 2, sorry use the 100-400 a couple of times, 1%    I know that’s 101%


What lenses did students use most?


I would say 24-70 equiv. 75%   70-200 equiv. 10%   Super wide zooms 10%


What lenses were most “fun”?


I love the 16mm f 1.4 and the 90mm f 2 shot wide open, and the 18-135 is just so handy and so sharp and the OIS works great.  The 10-24 is the bomb when  you need to go that wide and the 14mm f 2.8 is tack tack sharp, but then all of them are!!!!  Can you all tell I’m having fun!


I personally love:


The 90mm f 2, just so great a lens, and feels wonderful in your hands!!!  The images are just something special, it is my favorite lens, but a 135mm f 2 does not fit every situation!!!



Any lenses surprised you? If any?


I’m pretty familiar with all these lenses, but the 100-400 continue to amaze me, when you consider that at 600mm it is only one stop slower than Nikon’s 600mm f 4 and is pretty close to just as sharp wide open and the cost difference is nearly ten grand, it is an amazing piece of glass at a bargain price.


What lens would you never leave home without?


The 18-135, without a doubt.  I use it so much I’m considering buying another just as a back-up, just in case, can’t imagine being out there without it!!!!!  I wasn’t even going to buy one until Mike Roberts loaned me his, in 15 minutes I was hooked, had one ordered that night!!!!  Thanks Mike!!!!



What did you shoot the top 5 photos with?


I haven’t decided what my top five are yet, I know one was the old Hudson the two tepees in Monochrome that was the 10-24, I loved the Watson Bar B Q sign as an American flag that was the 18-135, several images in the motorcycle museum were favorites they were with the 16mm f 1.4 both at 1.4 and stopped down to f 16, that lens is sharp through the whole range of apertures.  One image of folding hills is one instance I made great use of the long end of the 100-400.  I will come back to this question after I do more looking at the 17 day take!


There you go!!!




the pilgrim


…..and thanks Carl, for asking!!!!

11 months, 1 week ago 15



Almost 6,000 miles, 55 giga-bytes of images, over a hundred locations or photographic spots, all add up to a good test of the New Generation Fuji X PRO 2!  There are tons of reports that go over every feature, and they are numerous and wonderful, but I wanted to give you a photographer’s hands on, extended shoot, evaluation of this wonderful instrument.  First let me apologize to the Nikon F5 film camera, it was rightly called “A Picture Making Machine” and in it’s day, it surely was, today I’m deeming the new X PRO 2, (and it’s associated internal parts), the current “Picture Making Machine!”  When you consider what else is out there on the market that is an unbelievable statement, so let me back it up.


Let’s start with the other contenders; the Nikon D810, the Canon EOS 5DS, and the Sony Alpha a 7RII.  Why these three?  Medium format is out of the reach of most photographers, ($$$), While the Panasonic and Olympus make some wonderful cameras and lenses, the 4/3rd sensor limits ultimate quality, especially at high ISO. To service all our needs, an APS-C or full 35mm size sensor is needed.  These three cameras are supported with a full range of optics (except for Sony – which is slowly getting up to speed on lenses, not there yet.)  All of these are well made, with excellent sensors and of very high resolution catagory.  So the battle is set.


The single most important factor, (for me), in any camera is IMAGE QUALITY.  Image Quality is the combination of color quality, sharpness, gradation, and the lack of objectionable noise at higher ISO settings. Fort he record the new X-Trans CMOS sensor in the X PRO 2 is great our to 6400 and beyond!



The image above is my evidence of why the X PRO 2 stands out against the competition.  The image above at a motorcycle museum is shot at ISO 800 even at a higher ISO, the gradation on the red fender is amazing!  Gradation is tone to tone smoothness, in the words the red fender has the feel of the tonal texture (smoothness).  This is a factor that in high enough resolution shows minute changes in tone.  In detail, noise, gradation and color quality (admittedly this one is an individual thing, I love Fuji color).  I declare the X PRO 2 the winner.  (o.k. you got me, I did not shoot this scene side by side with all four.)  I am very aware of the quality of all these cameras, and I know that the X PRO 2  does not take a back seat to any of them in these qualities, so why is it the winner?  For me two things;  1. the color quality (remember that Fuji offers a bewildering choice of film simulations that are very handy, including Acros monochrome with several different filters, add to that you can, in jpeg, shoot any three every push of the shutter release. ), and 2.  Price;  Sony $3,198. Nikon $2,796., Canon $3,599.  to the Fuji X PRO 2’s  $1,698.  in other words you could buy a pair of the X PRO 2 bodies for the price of one of the others!  Twice the reliability!!!!!  Seriously, a second body is a back up!!!!



Had to show this image, just sells my color prejudice or Fuji X cameras!  Factor two; Lenses.  Nikon and Canon have a very large selection of pro quality glass with some very specialized lenses.  If you need those highly specialized lenses and are willing to carry large full frame capable lenses then Canon or Nikon might win the battle for you.  Sony is woefully behind the parade on the number and types of lenses available at this time.  Fuji has a secret weapon, not only are there lenses a very complete set of the 95% most used focal lengths and zooms, but there quality is second to none.  The Fuji lenses are mostly solid metal construction, smaller and lighter and faster than almost any competing lens for Nikon and Canon or Sony.  They also feature the most effective Optical Image Stabilization of any brand, hand down.  The image below was shot by a shaky 70 year old man, hand held at 1/60th of a second, it Fuji’s new 100-400 f 4.5-5.6 zoom @ 400 (600mm equivalent!!!!)



Enough said!


Next we need to look at functionality in the shooting situation.  For many years we all shot DSLRs (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras.  With a  DSLR you look through a prism to a mirror and through the lens, seeing exactly what the sensor will see, but not what the final image will look like.  A DSLR does not take into account any user settings, like white balance, color quality, sharpening or exposure compensation , unless you are using the back camera’s LCD which is a video image.  The view through the eye level viewfinder in a mirror less camera is alway a video image that shows all the above information about the final image, in other words what you see is “truly” what  you get, and I find this trumps all the other except Sony which is mirrorless as well.  Another very important fact is mirrorless cameras allow the viewing of real time depth of field in a viewfinder that does not darken, as you stop down the aperture you simply see the increasing depth!!!!  Winner Fuji and Sony!


Another factor favoring the mirror less cameras is that the video image is still clear to see in low light conditions.  The video image is amplified making composing easier as in the image above at pre dawn. Advantage Fuji & Sony.




The two images above illustrate more than all the statistics why I love the Fuji X System, it is a shooter’s camera, it feels right in the hands, substantial but not too big and heavy, the lenses are tack sharp, the OIS works almost magically allowing an old man to go back to and hand held shooting for the first time in decades.  The Acros monochrome (above is stunningly beautiful) and Nikon, Canon and Sony have nothing that can touch it or create the rich color of Velvia film simulation!  It costs less, Fuji offers more affordable, incredibly sharp fast single focal length and zoom lenses!  The new 100-400 (equiv. to a 150-600) is take tack sharp and has magical OIS and is under two grand!!!!


If all this were not enough, the X-T2 will surely come later this year with all this magic for and more for those that prefers a DSLR style body with all the advantages of mirror less.


Fuji has brought us the best of all worlds in this ground breaking, “Picture Making Machine!!”




the pilgrim


Now I need to go back to the pool, hot tub and my bride!!!!!!