My most expensive lens, by far, is the Fujinon 100-400mm, which retails for $1,900. Despite the hefty price tag, I find myself not using that lens very often. Why? There are several reasons. First, the camera that I reach for the most is my Fujifilm X100V, which has a fixed lens, so I can’t use the 100-400mm with that camera. Another reason is that the focal length is very long and sometimes difficult to use; it’s not the right tool for many situations. The final reason is that it’s big and heavy, especially compared to my other lenses, and it works best when attached to a tripod, so it’s kind of a hassle to use. I paid a lot of money for this lens, so I need to use it more often.
One recent opportunity I had to use the Fujinon 100-400mm lens was photographing the sunset in Bountiful, Utah. Some distant clouds and haze created the potential for a great sunset. I set my tripod at the top of a hill that overlooked the valley below, attached the lens to the tripod, then attached my Fujifilm X-T30 to the lens. I had my Velvia film simulation recipe loaded into the camera, which is a great recipe for sunset photography because of its contrast and vibrant colors. In the film days, Velvia 50 was a top choice if you wanted stunning sunset pictures, and now with Fujifilm X cameras the Velvia film simulation is a top option.
The sunset didn’t disappoint. Actually, it was more vibrant and lovely than I could have hoped for! It was a great show that lasted about 10 minutes. Even though I had the lens on a tripod, I still kept the shutter speed high to prevent blur from shake because I didn’t tighten everything down so that I could swing the lens around. To get a faster shutter speed I had the ISO set higher than one might expect. I was doing manual exposure. I zoomed in and out, trying to find different compositions. These seven pictures were captured from that one spot within the 10 minutes of the sunset show. The 100-400mm lens allowed me to capture a variety of pictures without moving places.
These photographs aren’t in sequential order. The picture at the top of this article was actually the last exposure, and the picture above of the temple was second-to-last. The very first exposure is the last picture at the bottom of this post. The order of the rest are scrambled up. In some pictures, I think the saturation is a little too much, and perhaps the recipe too bold, but in some other pictures it was the right choice. The X-T30 is a good camera, and the 100-400mm a good lens, and they worked very well together to make these pictures possible. I need to use these together more often.