Union Pacific Big Boy 4014 + U.P. 844

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4014 Flag – Barstow, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill – April 2014

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4014 Crowd – Barstow, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill – April 2014

Have you heard? The Union Pacific Big Boy #4014 locomotive, along with the Union Pacific #844, are heading west out of Cheyenne, Wyoming, towards Ogden, Utah, for the 150th anniversary of the Golden Spike. The Big Boy locomotives were the largest steam locomotives ever built. Their service ended 60 years ago, and a few were kept in museums. None of them were operational, until now.

Five years ago my son and I drove across the Mojave desert to the dusty town of Barstow, California, to witness the U.P. Big Boy #4014 move from Los Angeles to Cheyenne where it was to be restored. People came out in droves to see the huge locomotive, even though it was being pulled by a diesel and could not move on its own. It was a neat event from a historical perspective. My son, Jon, who was only four-years-old at the time, still remembers it.

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Flare & Flag – Barstow, CA – FED 5C – Velvia X-Processed – April 2014

Three years after that, we saw the Union Pacific #844 at the Ogden Union Station. It’s not nearly as big as the Big Boy, but still large and impressive. A lot of people might be unaware that the Union Pacific still owns and operates steam locomotives. I knew this because many years ago I used to be a train dispatcher for the U.P. Railroad. They have three steam locomotives now: the Big Boy #4014, an almost-as-big Challenger #3985 (which currently doesn’t run because it is due for an overhaul), and the Northern #844, which was the very last steam locomotive delivered to the Union Pacific. The two that are currently in operation, the #4014 and the #844, left Cheyenne towards Ogden today.

Over the last five years the crew at the Cheyenne steam shops have been hard at work restoring the Big Boy to operation. And they completed it just barely in time for it to make the Golden Spike anniversary celebration, which marks 150 years since the completion of the first transcontinental railroad at Promontory, Utah. For those outside of Utah, this might not seem like a big event, but I can assure you there is a lot of buzz here! I look forward to seeing the two steam locomotives, and capturing a few pictures of the historic run. Most of all, I look forward to my kids witnessing the train, an event that will undoubtedly stick in their minds for many years to come.

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Joe Cool – Barstow, CA – Sigma DP2 Merrill – April 2014

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Tender Wheels – Barstow, CA – Sigma SP2 Merrill – April 2014

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Alco Steam Locomotive Monochrome – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – April 2017

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U.P. Steam Engine No. 844 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – April 2017

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X-844 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – April 2017

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Union Pacific Steam – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – April 2017

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No. 844 – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – April 2017

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Everybody Loves Trains – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-E1 – April 2017

Current Fujifilm Deals

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There’s not a lot of blockbuster deals currently available for Fujifilm gear, but there are some items that are discounted. The biggest one that stands out to me is the X-T20, which can be had for only $600 for the body, making it an excellent option if you’re looking for a new camera. The lenses listed below are all $250 off, which is a pretty good discount. There are many GFX items that are $500 off for those who want to get started in medium-format.

The Fujifilm X-T100 with 15-45mm lens is $500, the Fujifilm X-T20 (body only) is $600, the Fujifilm X-T20 with 18-55mm lens is $1,000, the Fujifilm X100F is $1,200, the Fujifilm X-H1 (body only) with power grip is $1,300, the Fujifilm X-T3 (body only) is $1,400, the Fujifilm X-Pro2 (body only) is $1,500, and the Fujifilm X-T3 with 18-55mm lens is $1,700.

The Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro is $400, the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 is $650, the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 is $650, and the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 is $950.

Fujifilm GFX $500 Savings:
Fujinon GF 23mm f/4
Fujinon GF 63mm f/2.8
Fujinon GF 110mm f/2
Fujinon GF 120mm f/4 Macro
Fujinon GF 250mm f/4
Fujinon GF 32-64mm f/4
Fujinon GF 100-200mm f/5.6
Fujifilm GFX 50R (body only)

As always, nobody pays me to write the articles that you find on Fuji X Weekly, so using my affiliate links is pretty much the only way to financially support this website. I would never ask you to buy something that you didn’t want, but if you were already planning to purchase something, it’s greatly appreciated if you did so using my links. It definitely helps. I want to give a special thank you to those who have done this already. You have made several improvements to the Fuji X Weekly experience a reality, and more improvements are in the works. Thank you!

Weekly Photo Project, Week 38

Another week of black-and-white pictures! I captured a lot of color images this week, too, but I stuck with monochrome for this post. They’re mostly mountain pictures. The first five were captured from my yard. The last picture is the one that doesn’t match, but it was the best black-and-white image from that day, so that’s why it’s included with this set.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

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The Disappearing Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 50-230mm @230mm – 1/200, f/8, ISO 400

Monday, April 22, 2019

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Illuminated Snow Cap – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 50-230mm @90mm – 1/750, f/8, ISO 160

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

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Black & White Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm – 1/3200, f/5.6, ISO 320

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

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April Wasatch – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm – 1/4000, f/4.5, ISO 250

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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Silver Cloud Behind The Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm – 1/4000, f/4.5, ISO 160

Friday, April 26, 2019

Processed with RNI Films. Preset 'Ilford Delta 100'

Oquirhh Rain – Salt Lake City, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm – 1/4000, f/4.5, ISO 800

Saturday, April 27, 2019

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Another Brick In The Wall – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm – 1/450, f/6.4, ISO 160

Week 37  Week 39

Times Have Changed

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Airport Lobby – McKinney, TX – I captured this picture about 20 years ago.

I was thinking about how things have changed significantly in photography over the last 20 years. I have been doing this picture-taking thing for 20 years, beginning when I enrolled in Photography 101 in college. I remember that it started because, in the summer of 1998, I took a trip to New England, and brought along my dad’s Sears 35mm SLR and a bunch of film. I didn’t really know how to use the camera, but how hard could it be? When I returned and had the film developed, the pictures were extraordinarily awful! There were only a few frames that were correctly exposed, and the ones that were exposed alright had other issues, such as improper focus or were poorly composed. My desire to learn photography came out of the frustration of not understanding how to capture a descent picture. That fall I enrolled in college and signed up for a photography class, and soon fell in love with the art of creating pictures.

While it’s easy to say that the biggest change in photography over the last 20 years is technology, I don’t know if that’s completely true. Gear has changed a whole lot. When I started, it was all about film and darkrooms. Now it’s about sensors and software. However, there’s some carryover between the two methods. Technology has made things easier for the most part. I think it’s possible nowadays to throw a camera into auto and get good results, and one-click software has made editing much simpler. The prerequisite knowledge of how stuff works and why is no longer required, although it can still be very useful. I guess what I’m trying to say is that the learning curve for digital isn’t necessarily less–it’s definitely different–but there are technologies that will allow you to appear to know what you’re doing even when you don’t. Because the camera and software will take care of many things for you, you don’t have to know what you’re doing to capture a decent picture. Today’s cellphone cameras are more capable than many DSLRs were 15 years ago, and are one-click wonders. Advancements in photography technology has opened up photographic possibilities that weren’t conceivable before. It’s incredible what the modern camera can do! Another aspect of all this gear change is that cameras have become throw-away. People often “upgrade” their gear every year or two, and many don’t keep a camera more than five years. A ten year old camera is ancient. It used to be, in the old film days, that people kept their gear much, much longer, and typically only replaced their camera if it broke.

Another big change is the number of photos being created. Over a trillion pictures are captured worldwide each year now. When I started out the number was around 85 billion, so that’s a pretty big increase–about 12 times, in fact! Not only are there a ton more pictures being captured, but the ability to share those pictures with an audience worldwide is much, much easier (that’s a gross understatement). Everyday, each of us are bombarded with pictures. It’s become overwhelming! It’s to the point that it is difficult to get noticed among all the noise. You have to be extraordinarily great, do something especially unusual, have great marketing skills, or have amazingly good luck to get noticed. Or cheat. A lot of people buy their way to success nowadays, using questionable or downright unethical methods. Despite the fact that it’s more difficult to get noticed or create an iconic image, the number of great pictures being captured now is significantly higher than it used to be. Since there’s a heck-of-a-lot of quality pictures available, it’s a great time to be a photography consumer.

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Clearing Rainstorm – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – I captured this yesterday.

While way more photographs are being captured now than ever before, the number of pictures being printed is way down. Most photographs are only seen digitally via a computer monitor or cellphone or tablet. The physical print is significantly less common than 20 years ago. While the number of digital pictures is high, the number of physical pictures is low. However, with print-on-demand services, it’s very easy to obtain a print of almost any subject, if you should ever need a photographic print of something.

I bring this up because, in my opinion, the biggest change in photography over the last twenty years is the photographic market. It’s much harder to make good money as a photographer now than it used to be. Everybody with a camera–and everyone has a camera–is a photographer. It’s incredibly easy to start a photography business nowadays. Buy a camera, which will take decent pictures in full-auto mode, take a few snaps of family and friends, create a (free) website to look professional, then post a portrait or wedding photography business ad on Facebook Marketplace. I have seen a lot of people do this. And they make money, but not a lot. The photographers who are actually talented, which is a minority group, can do well for themselves, but many earn much less than they should for their efforts. The stock photo business is pretty much dead, replaced by micro-stock, which sells images for cheap and gives photographers peanuts at best for their work. They get away with this because a huge number of “photographers” willingly participate, trying to earn something from their pictures. The photojournalist has been replaced by onlookers with cellphones. The travel photographer has been replaced by the “influencer” who probably cheated his or her way to success. A lot of photography jobs that were good jobs have been replaced by things that don’t pay much, if anything at all.

I’m not saying this because I’m bitter. I’m just pointing out how the photographic industry in many genres has changed a whole bunch, which has made it more difficult for the photographer to make a decent living. There are still plenty of people who are making good money at photography. There are new opportunities that didn’t exist before. If you really want to become a successful photographer, I believe that if you keep trying really hard and are determined to do so, you’ll likely see your dream fulfilled. It won’t be easy and won’t likely happen overnight, but it can certainly happen. If you are doing photography for the love of the art and have no interest in the financial side of picture making, you’re doing it at an extraordinarily great time.

It’s an interesting era in photography. Gear has changed, becoming more impressive with each year. People across the globe are capturing pictures at an unprecedented rate. If you like viewing photographs or creating photographs, there’s never been a better time. If you want to earn money from making pictures, competition is extremely fierce, and you might find it as tough as it’s ever been to be successful. There are opportunities, so it’s far from impossible, but making good money from photography is not an easy task. It never was easy, but it’s more true today. You have to discover your niche and market the heck out of it. Those who don’t need to earn money from photography, but can create simply because they love to, are the lucky ones. They have it good. In fact, they’ve never had it better.

The Ultimate Fujifilm X Kit?

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What would be my ultimate Fujifilm X camera and lens kit? What would I have in my camera bag if money was no issue? I have been asked these types of questions several times, and I don’t really like to answer them because, like many of you, my resources are limited and I’ll probably never own an “ultimate” kit. Some of you might have the money, so perhaps you’re trying to assemble such a thing and are seeking advice, so this will be my attempt to answer the question of the ultimate Fujifilm X kit. Hopefully my opinion will be useful to someone.

I’m going to limit this to APS-C Fujifilm X, and not the medium-format GFX system. In all honesty, if I were independently wealthy, I’d likely own a GFX camera. That would be amazing! My best hope for that, perhaps in five or six years, is to buy one that’s used and is being sold at a bargain basement price. I can always dream, right?

What cameras would be in my bag? Well, probably the Fujifilm X-T3, which is the ultimate X camera right now (I know, an argument could be made that the X-H1 is the top X camera). Later this year the X-Pro3 should be released, and I’d prefer that over the X-T3, but it’s a close call between the two, and since the X-T3 is available right now, that’s the camera that I would own. I would have a backup interchangeable-lens camera, one that’s smaller and lighter and better for walk-around and travel, and that would be the Fujifilm X-T30, which is a camera I already have, so I suppose that’s a start to my ultimate kit. I would also own a compact fixed-lens camera for travel and street photography, and that would be the Fujifilm X100F, which is an incredible camera for that purpose. The X100F is not essential, but it is an extraordinarily enjoyable camera, and so it would definitely be in my ultimate bag.

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I would have a number of different lenses to go with those cameras. My choice for Fujifilm primes would be the Fujinon 16mm f/1.4, Fujinon 35mm f/2, Fujinon 56mm f/1.2, and Fujinon 90mm f/2. I would also own the Rokinon 12mm f/2. I would have a telephoto zoom, probably the Fujinon 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8, and maybe even a wide-angle zoom, perhaps the Fujinon 18-55mm f/2.8-4. I prefer primes over zooms, but occasionally zooms are preferred for their versatility, so having a couple of them would be important.

All of those cameras and lenses are going to add up to a lot of money. This would not be a cheap kit! Of course, that’s the point, as this would be a money-is-no-object situation. Most people, myself included, are on a tight budget with limited resources. So I will give alternative suggestions for a more budget-friendly ultimate kit. Maybe this will be helpful to some of you.

If you still want an “ultimate” Fujifilm X kit but the suggestions above are out of budget, I would choose instead the Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-T20, which will save you several hundred dollars right off the bat, and will get you essentially the same exact thing. If that’s still too much, get the X-T20 and the Fujifilm X-T100, or skip having a second camera body altogether. You could skip the X100F and purchase the Fujinon 23mm f/2 lens and get similar results to that camera without actually owning it, which will save some money. Alternatively, if you really want the X100F, buy one used or get the X100T, or even choose the Fujifilm XF10 instead.

For lenses, you could save money by choosing the Fujinon 16mm f/2.8 lens over the 16mm f/1.4, and the Fujinon 60mm f/2.4 instead of the 56mm f/1.2. Or just skip those lenses altogether, and get the Fujinon 16-55mm f/2.8, which would cover those focal lengths pretty well. If you chose carefully, you could have an almost-as-good ultimate kit for probably half the price as my suggested ultimate kit. There are certainly options for those on a small budget. And don’t be afraid to buy a lens here-and-there when you can, slowly building your glass collection. Nobody says you have to buy everything all at once.

Weekly Photo Project, Week 37

The theme this week is black-and-white. While I did capture a number of color images, overall I felt more monochrome and so I captured a lot of monochrome images. Black-and-white is more abstract in nature and relies on contrast. It’s important to carefully consider highlights and shadow in order to create a successful monochrome image. You’ve likely seen several of these pictures in other articles, but a few of them are new. I hope that you enjoy!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

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Shopping Carts – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/200, f/2, ISO 5000

Monday, April 15, 2019

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Mountain Obscured – South Weber, UT – Fuji X-T30 & 50-230mm @230mm – 1/1600, f/7.1, ISO 640

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/300, f/8, ISO 640

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Cloud Over The White Ridge – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/1900, f/10, ISO 640

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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Bud & Blossom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/105, f/5, ISO 6400

Friday, April 19, 2019

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Wasatch Ridge In April – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/750, f/5, ISO 160

Saturday, April 20, 2019

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White Clouds Over Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 90mm f/2 – 1/900, f/5.6, ISO 160

Week 36  Week 38

Kodak & Fujifilm Unite! Sort of….

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When I first started out in photography, two big names in the industry were Kodak and Fujifilm. While they both made cameras, it was not their gear that they were famous for. Kodak and Fujifilm were known for their photographic films. Kodak was the long-standing big dog on campus, while Fujifilm was the distant runner up. Back then, almost everyone used film, as digital capture was new and not particularly good, and so there was a lot of business to be had. These two companies were rivals, and they both battled very hard for your business.

When the film industry collapsed, it was very abrupt. Within a couple of years, both companies went from record profits to full-fledged panic. Film sales dropped about 25% each year for many years in a row. Kodak, the giant in the industry, fell especially hard, eventually going bankrupt. What remained was divided and sold, and Kodak today, in its various forms, is mostly insignificant in the current photographic industry. Fujifilm, on the other hand, made some smart decisions, such as diversifying by applying their unique knowledge to other fields (such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals), which allowed them to not only survive, but grow. Now photography is a small part of their overall business model, but nevertheless it is a successful and profitable arm of the company. While Kodak had the upper hand for a long, long time, Fujifilm won in the long run.

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A Kodak Moment – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T20

When I purchased my Fujifilm X-T30, I wanted to upgrade to a better camera neck strap than the one that came with the camera. I browsed the web for different ones, and I ended up going with a vintage Kodak strap. A cool feature is a built-in film canister holder (it can hold up to three), which is completely useless in today’s photographic world, but would have been handy 20 years ago. I’m not completely sure how old the neck strap is, but it was in great condition, like it was barely used, if used at all. It adds a retro touch that nicely compliments the retro-inspired design of the X-T30.

It might seem strange to put a Kodak strap on a Fujifilm camera. At one time these two companies were serious rivals. Back then I used film made by both of them, as well as other companies like Ilford and Agfa. I supported these companies with my hard-earned dollars. It’s sad that film has become a small niche market. It’s sad that the mighty Eastman Kodak Company experienced such a big fall. I’m happy to display their logo on my gear in honor of the pictures that I made with their products. I’m also happy to use a Fujifilm camera today, as it’s such a great photographic tool. While it may seem unusual to unite these two brands together in this way, I feel privileged to do so, since both have played an important role in my photography.

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My Fujifilm X-T30 Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

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Mesa Trail – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

I already have a Velvia film simulation recipe. I’ve been using it for about a year-and-a-half now and I like the recipe. It’s designed for X-Trans III cameras. With the Fujifilm X-T30, which has the new sensor and processor, including the new Color Chrome Effect, I decided to revisit Velvia. Can I make Velvia better on an X-Trans IV camera?

I don’t know if this recipe is better than the old one. It’s a little bolder with slightly more contrast and color saturation. It’s probably a little more accurate to Velvia 100 than the old recipe, and a tad closer to Velvia 50, too. I do like this recipe more than the original, but the old one has its place, too. I don’t think this replaces the old recipe, but more supplements it when the situation calls for something punchier.

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Red Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

I have grain effect set to weak on this recipe, but I only like to have grain on when using ISO 1600 or below. Above that the digital noise acts as a grain effect, so I like to turn the grain effect off when working with higher ISOs. Depending on the image, +4 color can sometimes look better, so don’t be afraid to bump that up when needed, but I think +3 works best as the standard setting. This recipe has a stronger shadow setting than the old one, and if you find that there’s too much contrast, simply set Shadow to 0. The original Velvia recipe called for DR200, but I went with DR-Auto on this one. If you’d prefer to use DR200 instead of auto, feel free to do so.

Velvia
Dynamic Range: DR-Auto
Highlight: 0
Shadow: +1
Color: +3
Noise Reduction: -4
Sharpening: +2
Grain Effect: Weak
Color Chrome Effect: Strong
White Balance: Auto, +1 Red & -1 Blue
ISO: Auto up to ISO 6400
Exposure Compensation: +1/3 to +2/3 (typically)

Example photographs, all camera-made JPEGs, captured using a Fujifilm X-T30 with this film simulation recipe:

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Rock Balanced – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Red Hill – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Water & Stone – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Cactus Noon – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Dead Tree Point – Dead Horse Point, SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Desert River – Dead Horse Point SP, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Peak Through The Thin Clouds – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

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Sunset Red Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 – Velvia

Weekly Photo Project, Week 36

Some feedback I have received is that some of you out there would appreciate knowing some of the technical information about my pictures. I thought that this weekly series would be a good place to try it out. You’ll notice that, in addition to the usual information, I have included the lens, aperture, shutter speed and ISO. Most of these pictures you’ve likely seen already in other articles (especially the Eterna film simulation post), but I hope you enjoy them anyway.

Sunday, April 7, 2019

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Neon Reflection – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/200, ISO 200, f/5.6

Monday, April 8, 2019

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Kodak 35mm Film – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/170, ISO 6400, f/4

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

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Spring or Autumn? – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/200, ISO 2000, f/6.4

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

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Evening Orange – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 50-230mm @230mm – 1/200, ISO 1600, f/6.7

Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/120, ISO 6400, f/5

Friday, April 12, 2019

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100 North & Main Street – Kaysville, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 35mm f/2 – 1/1100, ISO 320, f/4.5

Saturday, April 13, 2019

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Sunset Red Mountain – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & 50-230mm @80mm – 1/120, ISO 320, f/5.2

Week 35  Week 37

Lens Review: Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR

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When I purchased my Fujifilm X-T30, I took advantage of a bundle deal that was being offered, and added the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR prime lens to the camera for an additional $100. What an incredible bargain! This lens normally sells for $400. I didn’t do any research on the 35mm f/2 lens prior to the purchase–I just knew that I wanted it because of the focal length and price–so what arrived in the mail was a surprise. When I opened the box and saw the lens for the first time, I was disappointed by how ugly it was. I know that one shouldn’t judge a book by the cover, so I didn’t hesitate to attach it to the camera and put it to the test.

The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens is a “standard” prime lens on Fujifilm X cameras, giving a full-frame equivalent focal length of about 52mm. It’s neither wide-angle nor telephoto, but sees roughly the same as the human eye, which is why it’s known as the standard lens. This focal length is very common, and is often the first prime lens that one purchases. I’ve used standard prime lenses off and on for twenty years now, although this is my first Fujinon lens with this focal length.

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Something that I’ve heard said many times over the last five or so years is that the 50mm focal length (or, in the case of this lens, the 50mm equivalent focal length) is the most boring of all focal lengths. There are people who will never purchase this lens because they believe that it’s not possible to create interesting photographs with it. I completely disagree with that sentiment! It’s only boring if you create boring pictures with it. If you think this focal length is boring, that should motivate you all the more to use it and prove the statement wrong. Many of the greatest photographs ever created were captured using a standard prime lens. The only limitation to creating interesting pictures is the photographer, and not the camera or lens.

I’m not going to talk a whole lot about the technical aspects of the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens, as that information is already plentiful on the internet. I want to spend most of my time discussing my experiences using this lens to create pictures. Is it a good lens in real world use? Is this lens worthwhile to own?

The first thing that I noticed is just how sharp this lens is. The quality of the glass is obvious. It’s corner-to-corner tack sharp, even at f/2. There’s a barely noticeable amount of vignetting wide-open, but that quickly goes away as you stop down. Bokeh (which is an overrated aspect of lens quality) is creamy and otherwise excellent. This is a nearly flawless lens from an image-quality point of view. The 35mm f/2 is a great example of why Fujinon lenses are renown.

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Note how the bottom of the picture seems to curve up when in reality it is a straight line.

I did say “nearly flawless” in the last paragraph, and if there is one complaint, it’s some obvious pincushion distortion. Don’t expect straight lines to be perfectly straight. This would be most noticeable when shooting a brick wall. It’s not uncommon for lenses to have some barrel or pincushion distortion, so I wouldn’t get too worked up over this, but it’s good to know what to expect.

How this lens handles lens flare might be seen as positive or negative, depending on if you like flare in your pictures. It’s definitely prone to flare, but it has a lovely quality to it if you like that sort of thing. If you don’t like flare, I recommend getting an aftermarket hood to help prevent it.

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You might really love or hate all that lens flare.

The minimum focus distance is about 14 inches, which isn’t great or terrible. You can’t do any macro photography, but this isn’t a macro lens, either. Auto-focus is fast, quiet and accurate. It’s also a good lens for manual focus with a smooth focus ring. The 35mm f/2 is fairly small and lightweight, and so it’s good for walk-around and travel photography. It seems to be well built and durable. It’s weather sealed, which is great if you have a weather sealed camera to attach it to. The Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR is a quality lens, and not much negative can be said about it.

While this isn’t the best looking lens ever made, once you get past that, it is high quality glass, and one of the best prime lenses that I’ve ever used. It’s not perfect, but it is very, very good. If you are looking for a quality prime lens to add to your camera bag, this is one you shouldn’t overlook. In real world use it excels and it is indeed worthwhile to own. You can purchase the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens by clicking here, which helps to support this website.

Example photographs, captured using the Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR lens attached to a Fujifilm X-T30:

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Monochrome Mesa – Castle Valley, UT – f/10

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Frozen Reservoir – Causey Reservoir, UT – f/8

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Dead Desert Tree – Moab, UT – f/8

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Two Pots – Layton, UT – f/5.6

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It’s Lit – Layton, UT – f/4

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Hand Held Phone – South Ogden, UT – f/2.8

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Microwave – Moab, UT – f/4.5

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25th Street – Ogden, UT – f/4

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Joyful – South Weber, UT – f/2

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Kitchenscape – South Weber, UT – f/5

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Trapped Inside – South Weber, UT – f/3.6

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Gathering Raindrop – Layton, UT – f/9

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Castles To The Sky – Castle Valley, UT – f/7.1

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North Window Arch – Arches NP, UT – f/9