A day with Fuji - part 1 - X-E2, 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f1.2 lenses

All images - Fuji X-E2 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f1.2 lenses

While I'm no great fan of extremely shallow depth of field and bokeh which renders the out of focus sections of an image as an unidentifiable blur, I do like what I call the 'large-format' look. I call it this because it reminds me of results from large-format film cameras (10x8", 5x4") with which it's virtually impossible to get everything in focus and achieve extensive DOF. Ansel Adams didn't use f/64 for nothing! So why would I use 'fast' lenses? Well because lenses with very wide maximum apertures tend to be very good at apertures like f/2.8 and f/4, which is exactly what is needed with an APS-C sensor to achieve this limited depth-of-field + recognisable detail look that I describe above.

It may also seem strange to use 23mm f/1.4 and 56mm f1.2 lenses. But that's only strange if you follow the cliched dogma that exists on the photographic internet. Much as I appreciate what it allows us to do, it does very often repeat and promote closed mind stereotypical thinking. 23mm (35mm) f/1.4 lenses are for 'street photography' 56mm (85mm) f/1.2 lenses are for portraiture. Well only if you have no imagination. You can of course use any lens for any purpose and the exploration of what the combinations of focal length, aperture and shutter speed can achieve is what photography is all about. I've always liked fast 85mm lenses for landscape, architecture and nature photography and have been using them (and their approximations / equivalents) ever since my film days. And I like using wide aperture wide angles for those subjects as well. 

The Fuji lenses I used gave me the opportunity for this exploration and yesterday morning it was a pleasure to go out with what are regarded as 'classic' type optics and use them in a way that works for me and allows me some creative opportunities. And yes, for the majority of what I do, I will be using f/8, f/11 and f/16, but it's nice to try different things and produce different looking images from time to time. It's also nice to do it with beautifully made, high quality lenses that reflect the history of photography, while at the same time take full advantage of where we currently are in terms of technology. And it's exactly that marriage of the tried and trusted and the innovative that attracted me to the Fuji X system in the first place.

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N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.


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