N.B. I've reworked this article. Simply because the original was too negative.* See bottom of page.
This article is about the FUJIFILM FUJINON XF 27 mm f/2.8 Pancake Lens, but since I decided to take my 'pack shots' of the lens on my X-T1 with my Leica T (Typ 701) plus Sigma 50mm f/1.4 ART lens I thought I'd feature those too. As you can see, shooting at f/1.4 with this lens via my Novoflex Nikon > Leica T adapter has produced some rather nice images with some rather lovely bokeh. I don't shoot wide open a lot, but when I do it's nice if it looks like this. Makes this lens look somewhat inviting.
Anyway, back to the 27mm.
This is a really nice lens. It's my favourite focal length anyway, corresponding to a 40mm lens in 35mm. It's probably the best pancake lens I've ever owned, because of it's sharpness. And as you see from the above comparison between processing in Iridient Developer as compared to the OOC Fuji jpgs., the results can be very crisp and detailed.
It's also a really nice lens to walk around with and work with, light and small. And it works on the bigger Fuji X cameras as well as the diminutive X-M1, X-A1 /2. It's a further example of how Fuji have mined the 'old school' legacy lens catalogue to give us a modern take on the rangefinder / small film SLR design aesthetic of the second half of the twentieth century. And there's really nothing wrong with that.
I used the lens, on my X-T1, on a freezing cold visit to Charlecote Park, a local stately home. Unlike in warmer times, when the grounds are teeming with people, Ann and I had the place almost to ourselves. And despite the biting wind and temperatures close to zero with wind chill, the light was beautiful. I visit places like this several times a year and as well as getting images of the 'sights' in different seasons, i try and get as much 'generic' stock material as possible. I was particularly pleased by a visit to the fruit and veg. shop at the end of our walk. Apart from selling good fresh produce, it's also located in an old building that at the right time of year has some nice light. As you can see below I took full advantage of that.
As you might imagine, this is all useful stuff. But this is after all, me wandering around someone's shop taking pictures and that isn't always 'appreciated.' However, when I'm doing this I never try to be 'sneaky' and am always quite open about what I'm doing. The silent electronic shutter of the X-T1 is a help here. It does also seem to be the case that the huge increase in picture taking brought about by the 'smartphone revolution' has made people less suspicious of photography and photographers. Everyone is aware these days that documenting where you have been and what you have done, no mattter how banal, is a part of contemporary life. And that is nothing but a benefit for photographers. Plus while the X-T1 isn't particularly small, it's a less 'annoying' picture taking machine than some large DSLR with a noisy shutter.
How we are regarded and tolerated as photographers is always a question of perception and while I'm always up front about what I'm doing, I also make sure I don't get in the way of a business trying to make a living, something I regard as fundamental to how I work. And that's what smaller, quieter cameras give us. A low impact presence. And the 27mm fits right in with that.
When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez
And it’s Eastertime too
And your gravity fails
And negativity don’t pull you through
Don’t put on any airs
When you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue
They got some hungry women there
And they really make a mess outta youBOB DYLAN - Just like Tom Thumbs Blues from Highway 61 revisited.*I don't know what the words mean either, but they seem to fit my mood and the decision I've made. Which is I've decided to stop 'negative writing.' I don't particularly enjoy it and it doesn't seem to have any effect on my goal (doomed fantasy though it may well be) of turning the photographic internet into a 'better place' i.e. polite, analytical, helpful and free of partisan pontification. So instead of sarcasm, irony and the other methods I've been employing, I've decided to try another way, which is to write in a style that emphasises the positives about what I would like to see and not the negatives, which may well be contributing to the very situation I dislike. So expect a 'sunnier disposition'. And yes I wonder how long it will last too!!