Over the past weekend I managed to abdicate most of my domestic responsibilities and get out with my cameras. Over the two days I shot bluebells on my Nikon cameras with a macro lens, sweeping views of the bluebell carpet with a wide angle lens and more intimate landscapes with a 300mm telephoto. Some informal portraits of the grandsons with a 105mm lens occupied the period between the bluebells and a walk along the canal with the X-Pro1 (“pick me up!”) and the 23mm prime lens.
Day two saw me shooting urban landscapes in challenging light (lack of) with a full frame Nikon, an extreme wide angle and mid-range (24-70) zoom lens. A momentary panic at the start of the shoot when after my third exposure the camera returned an “ERR” message which I could not immediately resolve but other than that a pleasant stroll even if we weren’t blessed with much light.
So, just a taster of two days shooting mainly with the Nikon D750 and D7100 but with the Fuji X-Pro1 and Fuji X-T1 sneaking in the bag too. Final shot is of Dave’s drone capturing a birds eye view of Elland Bridge.
Back home after a few days relaxing in the Forest of Bowland, where we sat, read, ate and took the odd snap along the way. Oh, and looked at the stars. I have never seen so many stars as I saw on the one clear night we had whilst we were there; even well known clusters such as the Plough became harder to pick out amongst such a multitude.
I was aware of the Forest’s status as a Dark Sky Site so had read up on photographing the night sky before I left home. I just need to work out how to get the most from the files which is my job for tomorrow. In the meantime, still stuffed from three man-sized breakfasts and three family-sized evening meals I have posted these few to be going on with.
We are going back in August =- and as for where to stay – easy ..
Do you get frustrated when domestic responsibilities mean that you can sometimes go weeks without getting out with your camera? I know I do and I often find myself fitting a macro lens and prowling the garden (well, it’s more like a back yard to be honest) after a few days without getting out with a camera. The macro capabilities of my Nikon D750 and Sigma 105mm lens are one of the reasons why I’ve kept my DSLR kit. I’ve had an on/off interest in macro photography from my earliest days with a camera but never settled down to a prolonged period of serious work on the subject. Over the last few years I’ve managed a few half-decent bugs and several reasonably decent flowers but nothing to write home about really.
I dusted the Sigma off again this week for some macro work with a difference – water splashes. My last two blog posts were basically just a few snaps from experiments at the start of the week but the end of the week saw a new piece of kit, and it doesn’t have a lens or a sensor! Enter the Splash Art II kit purchased for the sole purpose of exploring the world of water drops. Besides providing some interesting images it will I hope provide me with a creative outlet when confined to barracks, give me something new to train the macro lens on, test my ingenuity and creativity in building sets and also hone my lighting skills. Not that I expect a lot from this kit!
So here are a couple of images from the first couple of days. I will write up my early experiences and post those in the next day or two as well.
Well, this weekend has been characterised by thinking, reading and exchanging views with fellow photographers on the subject of how far am I presently prepared to go in my move towards Fuji. The launch of the X-T2 this weekend makes the Fuji bodies even more competitive to my mind and no doubt triggered the thought process that has occupied lots of the past two days for me.
One of the biggest plus points of the Fuji system for me is the size and weight. My “first to hand” camera this morning was the Nikon D750 with the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 attached. I wanted a camera to quickly snap some candids of the kids (grandchildren) in the garden prior to breakfast. The set up did a fabulous job, see above, but I really noticed how heavy it all was compared to the Fuji X-T10 I was using yesterday and indeed used this afternoon. Speed of operation is a complex mix of ergonomics, personal preferences and the amount of experience the user has with handling the gear. I can work very quickly with the Nikons and indeed can do so much more quickly than I can with the Fuji at present although I’m catching up fast.
As I’ve probably mentioned before I’ve been blown away by the image quality and the handling of the X100T and the X-T10. As net result of this weekend’s brain strain is that I’ve decided to rationalise my Nikon kit and leave myself with just the bodies, the “Holy Trinity” of lenses, my macro lens and the 300mm that I reviewed here not so long ago. The reality is that apart from one occasion, sorry, two counting this morning, when I grabbed the 70-200 and D750 (my “nearest camera” philosophy) I’ve only used the Fujis during the last couple of months. I’ve even invested in the Seven5 system to complement the full size Lee system.
This hasn’t always been a case of first-to-hand as I’ve been out several times specifically to take landscapes and chosen the Fuji X-T10 in preference to the Nikon D800E which is my usual landscape camera especially when teamed with the Nikkor 14-24 f2.8. The simple truth is that the two Samyang lenses (8mm fisheye and 12mm f2.8) are excellent on the X-T10 as is the 35mm f1.4, so my everyday shooting is very nicely covered especially when you add the excellent 18-55 “kit” lens.
And the JPEGs are awesome!
Until the Fuji system catches up in terms of a decent macro lens and something to rival the Nikkor 70-200 f2.8 (above) in terms of image quality then the Nikon kit will continue to have a place in my kit bag.
In fact, when Fuji catches up (and I do thinks it’s when not if) then I will have a tough decision I think. In many ways it’s going to be an easier decision than switching from Canon to Nikon as I’ve not yet built up an emotional attachment to the NIkons.