15 Frames: Abandoned Gas Station in Claude, Texas — Fujifilm X-E4 + Fujicolor Natura 1600 Recipe

Out of Gas – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

While traveling through the Texas panhandle back in May, I stumble upon an abandoned gas station in Claude, Texas—a small community outside of Amarillo. While you’d miss the town if you blinked, this old service station caught my eye with its aged pumps and metal roof. U.S. Highway 287 cuts right through town, and thousands of travelers pass by each day, yet most probably don’t notice this place, and I doubt very many stop to take a closer look. I’m drawn to abandoned buildings, so I immediately noticed, and of course stopped to capture it with my camera.

I used my Fujifilm X-E4 camera with the Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 lens to photograph the forgotten gas station. This combination is perfect for travel photography, and I used it a lot on this particular road trip—not just at this one stop, but at many, many others. I had the Fujicolor Natura 1600 Film Simulation Recipe programmed into the camera, which has quickly become one of my favorite color recipes. Because I shoot with recipes, I no longer edit my pictures (aside from some minor cropping and straightening), which saves me tons of time. I captured so many pictures on this road trip that I filled up a 128GB SD card (and then some!)—I couldn’t imagine having to post-process all of the RAW files; instead, my photographs are already finished as soon as they’re captured.

I didn’t stay long in Claude. Like many west Texas small towns, there’s a lot of photographic potential, as there is a lot of character and forgotten history. I could have captured even more while I was there, but I had somewhere to be, so I left satisfied that I documented this interesting old gas station while it still remains standing. Even in rural towns, progress eventually catches up, and relics are demolished, so opportunities are fleeting. Besides, I might never pass through Claude again, but if I do, I will definitely have a camera ready.

This post contains affiliate links, and if you make a purchase using my links I’ll be compensated a small amount for it.

Fujifilm X-E4 Black    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver   Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Black + 27mm f/2.8    Amazon   B&H
Fujifilm X-E4 Silver + 27mm f/2.8   Amazon   B&H

Opportunity, Lost – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Old & New – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Sign Remains – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Regular – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Zeros – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Rusted Can – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Tired Tree – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Someone Give Me A Ladder – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Tree & A/C – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
JCT 207 – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Pump – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Copy – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Messy Office – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Sense of Humor – Claude, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Fujinon 27mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

Vintage Lens: Vivitar 135mm F/2.8

I picked up a vintage Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 lens at an antique store in Texas for $15. It was not well taken care of, with scratches on the glass and dust inside of it, but definitely still in usable condition. My copy of this lens is M42-mount, and I just so happen to have an M42-to-Fuji-X adapter that I’ve owned for several years now, which allows me to attach this lens to my Fujifilm X-E4.

Vivitar lenses are interesting because Vivitar didn’t actual make lenses. They contracted with other manufacturers (most you’ve probably never heard of, but a few you have) to produce lenses for them. My copy was made in 1978 by Komine (as indicated by the serial number), which has been regarded as one of the “better” Vivitar manufacturers. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of inconsistency with Vivitar lenses, but they’re generally regarded as decent, and sometimes good. My copy of the 135mm f/2.8 seems to be good, despite the wear.

One thing that’s surprising is how small the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 lens is despite its long telephoto reach. With the adapter attached to it, it’s still smaller than the Fujinon 90mm f/2. Fujifilm doesn’t have a prime lens that’s longer than the 90mm, except for the really big and expensive 200mm f/2, so the 135mm fills a gap in the Fujinon lineup. Really, Fujifilm should consider adding a prime lens that’s longer than 90mm, such as a 135mm f/2.8. Because of the crop-factor, this lens is full-frame equivalent to 202.5mm on my X-E4, which makes it great for wildlife or headshots, but challenging for other types of photography. Because of the focal length, unless your camera has IBIS, I recommend using a minimum shutter speed of 1/250 to ensure sharp photographs.

On my copy, the aperture ring, which has 1/2 stop clicks (that used to be common, but nowadays 1/3 intermediate stops are most common), works perfect, and the minimum aperture is f/22. The focus ring is smooth—a dream to use—and the minimum focus distance is about five feet.

The image quality produced by this lens is interesting. I’m not sure if it is the scratches and dust, or if it is simply the design of the lens, but there’s a slight “romantic softness” to the pictures. It seems to have slightly less micro-contrast compared to many of the lenses that I’ve used. It’s very reminiscent of what you get when you use a diffusion filter. I actually really like it, except for when the sun is near the frame, because the glare can be intense. I read that chromatic aberrations can be quite pronounced, but my copy doesn’t appear to be prone to it… or else the camera is automatically taking care of it behind the scenes.

I love going to antique stores and flea markets to find cheap treasures like the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 lens. It’s not for use all of the time, but this lens can be a lot of fun and highly rewarding⁠—I’m so glad that I found it and took a chance on it. For $15, I really couldn’t be happier⁠—probably the best $15 I’ve ever spent on photography!

Some pictures that I captured with the Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 lens on my Fujifilm X-E4:

Urban Cycling – Fort Worth, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600
Chevy Mirror – Fort Worth, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Classic Mirror – Fort Worth, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Green – Fort Worth, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Concrete Steps – Fort Worth, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Urbanscaped – Fort Worth, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
High Rise – Fort Worth, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
3 Lamps – Vernon, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Old House Roofline – McKinney, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Ballyhoo – Childress, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Golden Lake – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 + Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”
Lake Sunset – Culleoka, TX – Fujifilm X-E4 + Vivitar 135mm – “Fujicolor Natura 1600”

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