Looking Thru The Fujinon XF 60mmF2.4 R

I’ve been wondering lately if the XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro is as good on the Fujifilm X-T2 as it was on the X-T1. The XF 60mm was one of the first lens released for the X-Trans series and there has been quite a bit of good glass released since the XF 60mm.

XF60mmF2.4R Macro Fujifilm X-T2 – XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR
XF60mmF2.4R Macro Fujifilm X-T2 – XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

So I did a bit of shooting around the yard as well as with my friend Spot.

New Growth Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

I really didn’t get that close with the lens to try it’s true macro close focus and I didn’t attempt to add any extension rings. Just shot some pictures.And in small images it seems sharp enough.  But if you zoom in I’m not finding the absolute sharp spot that I was hoping for.

Fern Details Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

Wide open the fall off is quite pleasing.

Apparition Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

One thing I was pleasantly surprised about was it lens focus ability. If you want to find out your camera and lens work well together see if it can focus on wispy clouds in the sky. I had no problem with this lens on the X-T2.

Dragon Fly Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

I was even able to capture the dragon fly in the foreground in this image. Probably have to click on it to see it.

Spot Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

Working with flash with Spot as the model. The color rendition seems to be a bit off.  The spot on Spot’s hand is supposedly the same color as his body but seems washed out.  Possibly because its nearer the flash.

Spot Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

Opening up the aperture to F2.4  shows how the lens handles the fall off. It was pretty good but the the clothes pin isn’t as sharp as I wanted it. Probably the fault of the photographer.

Spot Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

And you can get pretty close.

Spot Fujifilm X-T2 XF60mmF2.4R Macro

Another shot without flash at F11 for 10 seconds ISO 200. This time the color rendition is better too.

Spot Fujifilm X-T2 XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

For comparison this was shot with the XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR lens. Both were shot raw and had the Provia/Standard profile applied in Lightroom.

There have been some really phenomenal lens coming from Fujifilm recently like the XF16-55mm and the XF50-140mm.  I’m really waiting for the promised XF80mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR Macro lens coming the year. While it will probably be more money I expect it to be a much better lens than the XF60mmF2.4 R

Visiting An Old Friend

Revisiting an old friend, the Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 lens. I forgot how nice this lens is. It was actually the first XF lens I bought other than the kit lens that come with the cameras, yeah I did mean cameras. It’s lightweight and sharp. And shallow depth of field can be so effective. As you advance in the Fujifilm world and upgrade to bigger more expensive glass, you need to remember that all the Fujifilm XF lens are pretty spectacular and somedays the simple lenses are best.

In the Rocks lounge at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. A good lobby bar is a think of beauty. This one not my favorite.

Time to Update Your Camera

Twice a year you should, in theory, change all the clocks, ahead in the Spring and back in the Fall. Most of our electronic devices are smart enough to make the adjustment for us. Not my Fuji cameras. So twice a year we have to remember how to reset the time which is always buried somewhere on the camera’s menu system. Getting the time correct may come in handy if you are going back to a particular location several years later in hopes of duplicating the lighting you had way back then. If you know the actual time you got the great sunset by the beach is saves you from going back at the wrong time.

Here is a handy cheat sheet for the Fujifilm X-T1 and X-T2. This should be good until they decide to update the menu systems on these cameras.

On the Fujifilm XT-1
Move the cursor down to the first icon on the left with a wrench (or setup 1).
Use the dpad right key to enter the date/time setup.
Now use the dpad to move left and right and then up and down to adjust each field.  Push the OK button in the center of the dpad to lock save the changes.

Now on the Fujifilm X-T2 the same thing except the menus are slightly different.


From the Wrench icon go into user settings into Date/Time

From there changing the time is basically the same as the change time on the X-T1.

Or you can just leave the time the same all year and just mentally adjust for the time changes as needed.

Low Cost Product Photography Strip Lights

If your studio is small, you don’t need and don’t have room for big expensive lights and light modifiers.  My space is so small I don’t think a 53″ octobox and I would fit in my office/studio at the same time.

For lights I have what I think are two of the least expensive monolights you can buy. They are 150ws Westcott Strobelite Monolights that I bought in a kit with an umbrella and a 2×2 foot soft box.

I’ve done quite a lot of shooting with these lights and they have plenty of power for what I have been doing. That plus at $149.00 they are cheaper than most flash guns and have three times the power.

I can do quite a lot with the umbella and square soft box but there are sometimes where an more defined light is needed.  In the past I’ve flagged the soft box with some black cloth to make a strip box (about 9″x24″) that does work for really directing the light as in like in this mixer shot.

Mixer

But it is a bit awkward attaching the cloth and because the panel is flush mounted it is hard to get it to lay flat.  My kingdom for a inexpensive strip box.

When you spend $150 on a monolight it doesn’t make much sense to spend $200 on a modifier, the necessary Bowens style mount, and ideally a grid for some directional control.

The other day I discovered a rather inexpensive strip box that met all my needs (or so I hoped) at a very reasonably $50 per unit which included the mounting hardware and a grid. I ordered two. For that price I wasn’t sure if there any quantity to the materials but I figured I could always return it.

Two days later and I was a real photographer! I am very happy with the quality of the LA Softbox 8″x36″ soft boxes that I received. The units come  unassembled (of course) in a nice travel bag that included all the promised parts.

Assembly was a lot easier on the second box once I figured out the correct way as the instructions were written in some language other than English and somewhat translated. The materials in the box are sturdy and the ribs are quite strong. The Bowen adapters were a bit rough and challenge to fit into the lights especially if you try turning them the wrong way.  I’m not sure how many times I want to assemble and dis-assemble these lights but you can if you need too.

The units are advertised as hair lights, to be put behind a portrait subject to kick some light on the hair, but work just as well in product photography as a main light and or fill light.

Fujinon XF 50-140 F2.i R LM OIS WR

Here is the setup I used  although not the final position of the lights on the lens above. I moved them in and more at an angle.  You will also see that I need to get rid of the card table for something more of a pedestal for holding my subjects.

LA Softbox 8" c 36" with bowen moungIf you are doing product photography you can get by in a small space and you don’t need a lot of expensive lights and modifiers.

Doing small product photography of things like lenses and bottles or most thing cylindrical really requires a long narrow light source.  The LA Softbox is a good inexpensive choice.