Random Recipe Challenge: 10 Frames with LomoChrome Metropolis

The Fuji X Weekly App has a brand-new feature that’s super fun: Random Recipe! When you tap the criss-crossed arrows at the top-right, the App will randomly select a Film Simulation Recipe for you.

If you are a Fuji X Weekly App Patron and you have various Filters selected (such as Filter by Camera, Filter by Film Simulation, Filter by B&W, etc.), the Random Recipe selector will only choose from the list of filtered recipes, so you can have it select from what is compatible with your camera. In my case, I chose “Filter by X-E4” prior to tapping the Random Recipe selector, so only the recipes compatible with the X-E4 were considered.

Here’s a fun way to use this new feature: the Random Recipe Challenge! The rules are 1) use the App to select a Random Recipe for you⁠—whatever it selects you have to use (if you are not a Patron and the App chooses a non-compatible recipe, you can try again until it lands on a recipe that is compatible with your camera)⁠—and 2) shoot with this recipe for 24 or 36 frames (your choice), like it’s a roll of film, before changing recipes. If you post to Instagram, use the hashtag #fxwrandomrecipechallenge. I hope that you have a lot of fun with the Random Recipe Challenge, and I can’t wait to see what you capture!

When I tapped the Random Recipe icon, the App chose for me the LomoChrome Metropils Film Simulation Recipe. I shot 36 frames with this recipe on my Fujifilm X-E4 with a Vivitar 135mm f/2.8 lens attached to it. Below are my favorite 10 pictures of the 36 frames. Enjoy!

Lather – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Malnatis Pizzeria – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Cheese ‘n Stuff – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Local – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Umbrella – Phoenix, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Empty Hummingbird Feeder – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Daylight Bulb – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Tree Leaves – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Spraying Water – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm
Palm Tree Top – Gilbert, AZ – Fujifilm X-E4 & Vivitar 135mm

Find the LomoChrome Metropolis Film Simulation Recipe and over 200 others on the Fuji X Weekly App! Don’t have the App? Download it for free today! Become a Patron to unlock the best App experience.

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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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