Monthly Archives: September 2019

10 months, 2 weeks ago 7
Posted in: Uncategorized


I came across a interesting test on youtube and I would love to see what your thoughts are!  Andrew shows a series of images A thru E of a similar shot.  Two are from a Fuji X-T3, one in Acros film simulation and one in monochrome, two are from two Leica cameras one a regular color camera that has a monochrome setting and one from the Leica monochrome only camera and the last from a  film camera.


It’s easy, get a piece of paper and pen and then play this youtube video writing down your pick from each sequence of shots.  I picked my two favorites and the shot I thought was the worst.  PLEASE share your results with the rest us and I will do the same!


Be sure to click the full screen symbol to make your selections easier!!!




the pilgrim

10 months, 3 weeks ago 4
Posted in: Uncategorized


In two weeks I will be leaving for three weeks of photo related trips; a speaking engagement, for Fujifilm, in Houston and then workshops with Jack Graham in the UP of Michigan and Acadia N.P.  The Houston trip is easy, a laptop and chanbe of clothes!  Two straight workshops without returning home is another thing altogether!


For the last two weeks let’s look at the photography gear first:


Because I will be flying to Detroit, then on to Portland, Maine and then back home, all the gear must fit in a bag that will store in the over head compartment.  I am flying Southwest for two of the three flights so I know I will have the space of a Boeing 737 and my rolling Think Tank bag fits fine in their over haead compartments.  This is what will be in that bag:


Fujifilm X-H1 body

Fujifilm X-T3 body

All lenses are Fujifilm lenses:


80mm macro



The following Fujicrons:  16mm f 2.8. 23mm f 2, 35mm f 2, 50mm f 2 & a TC-14

Nikon Diopters in 62mm

Canon 500D

An extra polarizer


Why this specific gear?  First, since I’m flying and rolling a bag anyway, I can take my favorite lenses and have them available even though I won’t use some of them very much!  The Fujicrons are my pet favorites since they are small they usually are along for the ride!  The 100-400 is my one long piece of glass and is great for reaching out and compression work, it’s also extrememly sharp!  I do not shoot a lot of stuff very wide but the 10-24 serves that purpose well.  The new kid onthe block is the 16-80 and i am falling in love with it, it will most likely get 80% of the work on this trip!  I will share a few images from last year’s trip to the UP and everyone of these could have  been made with the 16-80!



All of these were made with the 18-135 and the 16-80 will replace that lens for me now.  I also will put the 80mm macro to work on leaves this year, it is one of the sharpest lenses Fujifilm has made so far!


In another rolling Pelican case I will take my projector and small sound system and will of course check that with my rolling duffle bag.


When planning a trip in the fall up north it is good to be prepared for all kinds of weather so I will carry several layers in case of rain, snow and very cold weather.  Don’t forget gloves and something to cover your head!  Working along the cost of Maine also brings it’s own special weather cirumstances so I pack to be prepared for almost anything.  A rain parka shell, a polarfleece jacket, medium weight, and a goose down jacket can all be layered to deal with almost any tmeperatures I’m willing to stand out in to shoot!!!  Good Goretex boots and heavy socks will protect  your feet in the field.



Acadia National Park has it’s own special magic and I can’t wait to return there too!!!!


So the flighs are booked, the gear is packed, batteries charged, and the pack list checked three times, now it’s just time ot watch the forecasts and get ready for an exciting fall!




the pilgrim


11 months ago 6
Posted in: Uncategorized



When I adopt a new lens into my carry system I do a few things right off the bat; I find a screw in metal hood, so the polarizer can be turned easily while retaining the benefit of a metal lens hood, and I find a suitable polarizer for the new lens. The hood I found for this 16-80 is a metal JJC 72mm screw in metal lens hood from Amazon (below). It also works on the Fujifilm XF 10-24 f 4!




The polarizer I got for this lens is the Breakthrough 72mm (below)




I keep, in my gear box, a large assortment of step up and step down rings for attaching filters and polarizers.  One of my favorite diopters for close-up work is the Canon 500D.  It comes in 77mm size so I used a 72mm to 77mm step up ring to adapt it to the 16-80.  Below are some close-up shots using this combination, all shot at 80mm.




This further extends the utility of this lens. The Route 66 globe is about 1.5 inches across.  This makes this combination approachs life size reprodution and the sharpness is certainly there!


A word on polarizers.  I have almost always used Singh Ray and Nikon polarizers through out my career.  When Bob Singh died I started to use the Breakthrough brand, which I’ve found to be neutral and very well made, and they are priced about right for the quality they offer.  It is always a bad idea to try to save money on your polarizer,  you spent top dollar for a sharp lens, don’t degrade it with a cheap polarizer. Just my two cents worth!


….and yes, it is tack sharp at 16mm (24mm equiv)!!




More later!




the Pilgrim

11 months, 1 week ago 8
Posted in: Uncategorized



This is the one we have been waiting for!

Jack Graham was visiting me last week and Fujifilm, knowing that, was kind enough to send me the new “Production” 16-80 f 4.  I was told only three were in the U.S. and I was honored to get my hands on one and test it for myself and all of you!  Both Jack and I are excited to have this an option for that critical mid-range zoom slot in our bags.  I will cut to the chase and tell you now it will replace the 18-135 as my standard middle zoom.  In fact for my upcoming trip to the UP of Michicgn and Acadia N.P, it and the 10-24, and 100-400 will be my three zoom package.  Added to that will be the 80mm  Macro, the four Fujicrons, 23 f 2, 35 f 2. 50 f 2 and the new 16mm f 2.8. a TC-14 teleconverter for use with the 100-400 and 80 Macro will complete my rolling Think Tank Airport Advantage bag for those trips and the two Smokies events in November.


The new lens is shorter than the 18-135, a little lighter and very solidly built.  It takes 72 mm filters and stops down from f 4 to f 22.  The feature I like the most is that it focuses close enough to shoot 1/4 lifesize for those near close-up shots!  Illustrated below with the shot of the Overhad door handle, one with my thumb in the shot to show size perspective.



This will make the 16-80 a great lens for walking around and shooting everything from wide angle 24mm equivilent images to tight shots close in!  The images above were shot at 80mm (120mm eqvuiv.) and they are tack sharp!  Another big plus is that it has 6 (yes six) stops of image stabilization and it remains on all the time, so no need to rurn it off whens shooting from a tripod, and I tested it, tack sharp hand held and on a tripod!!!!



My T-Ray’s hat in the car window, the best burger on the East Coast of Florida at Fernandina Beach, Florida!



Several shots from the Col. Sanders Downtown Park in Corbin.



Downtown they have painted a street scene under the railway viaduct.



What would a lens test be without a couple of brick walls!



Yes, bitingly sharp!!!!  Finally, Chester resting!  You’ve come ot expect a Chester image in most of my blogs, he’s a good boy!  His hair also makes good sharpness test!!!



As soon as we get rain the Smokies I’m going to head down there and take some images in the Park.  For now I can tell you that the 16-80 will become my go to lens.  It is tack sharp, has great rich color fidelity and is a sturdy, well built, close focusing zoom for permaent residence on my X-T3 or X-H1.  I loved the 18-135, but this lens will become it’s replacement in my system!


Once again I must say to Fujifilm’s engineers in Japan; “Well done guys, just what I wanted and I suspect so will thousands of other photographers shooting the X-System!!!!  It’s a Grand Slam Home Run, folks!




the pilgrim


Technical Note:  Please lkeep in mind these images are 100 dpi images for the web, the 300 dpi full res images are even sharper and richer!!!!