Recent Posts
3 months, 3 weeks 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.




the pilgrim

3 months, 4 weeks ago 2
Posted in: Uncategorized


So, as you know we have a new champion and on the way home I found another Wayback Burger in Spartenburg, S.C.  Sherelene and I stopped there for lunch and wow,  5.6 pickles!!!!!  The manager of this franchise was Tomika, and boy did she take great are of us!


Lots of chain burgers vary, one trip they are great, another trip not as great!!!  In trips to two Wayback Burger locations the food was identical, and identically fantastic!!!!


My  hat is off to this chain, can’t wait for location 3!!!!




the pilgrim


By-the-way;  at this location we also tried the onion rings, best ever!!!!!  These guys are on a roll!

4 months ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized


Sherelene and I have been way this week for a little R&R (me), and a Medical Conference for her.  You know me, the search goes on for the perfect burger. I’ve rated over a 1,000 burgers in the last 24  years but today I had the best one I’ve ever had!!!!!  Sorry T-Ray’s, Milt’s Stop and Eat, Top Notch, Bobcat Bite (sadly gone now), and the others, you were ll great, mouthwatering great, but a new burger now wears the crown, The Wayback Burger, particularly there Chesey Burger, I’m giving you a 5.5 on the pickle scale, that is a good margin above anything near you!!!!!!


Why the big jump?  Eating a burger is 90% the burger and 10% the times in which you enjoy it.  I so so burger in the company of good friends can raise it’s score a half a pickle for sure!  I was with Sherelene and we were having a great day, that didn’t hurt, but honestly tis burger could have topped the charts without any help at all!


So as I said, why the big jump?  The meat was cooked perfectly, juicy within the limits of our crazy laws, but nicely close to medium, certainly not charred as often happens.  The seasoning was excellent, the bread in this patty melt type configurations was wonderfully butter and toasted.   The cheese was nice and melted, but not overdone!  I picked the sea salt homemade chips as a side, best I’ve ever had and I’ve tried a bunch!


I called for the manager to praise him and his staff and he was actually really excited and pleased.  The manager, Kevin Owner was truly a great guy and we enjoyed talking burger craft!  He filled me iron the history of the franchise and i was shocked to hear they have 150 or so franchises.  You can bet I will be looking for some more of these as aI travel and with three days left in Hilton Head, I will be back to this one a few more times!  If you’re in Hilton head Island, South Carolina please check them out at their address is below!



So grab a cold beer…….



….and bite into one of these incredible burgers…..



and be sure and tell Kevin I said Hi!


Congratulations Wayback, you’ve done what few have, crafted the near perfect burger!!!!




the pilgrim



4 months ago 4
Posted in: Uncategorized


One thing about being a gun guy or gal is you will do a lot of trading.  You see something you always wanted, buy it and after a while you fall out of love with it and move it on for something different!  Carry guns are different, you don’t really take them to the gun range and shoot them a lot, but enough to be really good with them!  They are harder on your hand with their lighter weight, they often have pretty good recoil.  A carry gun is mostly for just in case situations.  Situations you pray will never happen!!


My carry/car gun for several years has been the Smith & Wesson Shield 9mm.  It is  good gun, very reliable, fairly compact, but I really hated the trigger.  I traded it for the gun above, the H&K VP9sk.  This is a bigger gun, heavier gun but with a great trigger, and not carries 2 more rounds, 10.  I may still get something very compact for t-shirt carry, but I love this pistol.


It’s hard to beat H&K quality.  This one is the LE variant, with night sights and  it came with 3 – 10 round magazines, two with the very comfortable pinky extensions.  I will try carrying it for a while and see how it goes.  At the range, in combat type firing, (one shot a second or faster), I was able to keep all shots in a 6″ area from 7 yards, 20 times.  Not sharpshooter territory, but perfectly adequate for close range emergency shooting.


I will keep you updated on how the H&K is doing for it’s intended purpose!




the pilgrim