Sunday, 26 July 2020

Random Thoughts on a Lazy Sunday

Highland Red
X-T2, XC 35mm f2

The above shot is from Highland Pond at the Torrance Barrens Dark-Sky Preserve. I do need to get up there and shoot some daylight shots on the hiking trails, as well as some night shots when the Milky Way is on the horizon (rather than in the middle of the sky). Really nice spot with some unique landscapes and should be fun when it's not over-run by comet watchers.

I've realized that I do shoot a lot more with the cheap little Neewer 25mm f1.8 than I do with the XC 35mm f2. It's sort of a pity, as I do love the XC35, but my tastes in an everyday lens have really shifted from a normal to a wide normal. I also do love the excellent close-focus performance of the Neewer 25mm, something unexpected for a <$100CDN lens and the one spot where it beats the pants off the XF 23mm f2 WR (great lens, except at MFD). The XC35 is a gem though, and I need to spend more time with it. 

One interesting aspect of the X-T2 is that the 24MP sensor has lost a fair bit of the X-Trans signature rendering that made the 16MP X-Trans bodies so controversial (it's really a love-hate thing, I'm a rarity in that I neither love nor hate that X-Trans look). This is largely a good thing from my perspective, as I always like the rendering from the bayer Fuji's better and the X-T2 renders closer to the X-A1 than the X-T1. 

The Nikon Z5 has got me looking seriously at where I'm going kit wise. The reality is that if Nikon had released the Z5 last year, I likely wouldn't be shooting Fuji right now. The Z5 is the Z body that hits all my needs, and it's shortcomings (speed mostly) are irrelevant to a guys who lives in manual focus and 3fps Cl or single-shot advance 95% of the time. However with the X-T2 in my kit now, the Z5 doesn't really bring much to the table for me beyond being a potential replacement for the D750 at some point. My D750 is quite high mileage (250k shots) and likely not economic to repair if the shutter fails. I just can't justify the spend on a Z5 as just a body for adapting my legacy Nikkors, especially not when I could just buy another A7II for half the money and I already have the adapters for the A7II (and it has better lens selection anyways). The one downside for the Z5 is for a photographer like me, all it brings for the cost difference from an A7II is a smaller and better kit lens and some ergonomic improvements. 

The thing is that all my UWA options are on the D750 right now. For wider than 23mm-e right now my only options are the Laowa 15mm and my Nikkor 20mm AF on the D750, as those become 23mm-e and 30mm-e on the Fuji's and D300. So the D750 remains a key piece of kit for me for landscape work until I can get some ultra-wide options on the Fuji side. It's also the best AF telephoto setup I have for ad-hoc wildlife shooting when hiking when paired with the 70-300D. Not the perfect setup, but it gets the job done.

What that means for the most part is that I need to concentrate on getting UWA options for the Fuji. The obvious one is to get the 7Artisans 12mm f2.8 ASAP, that's already on my list for the Cheap Lenses on Fuji series I've been posting, but I'd intended to get it after I wrapped the mild tele posts with the 7Artisans 55/1.4 and 60/2.8 macro. I'll be swapping that and getting those afterwards. Long-term there will be a Laowa 9mm f2.8 for sure, and probably a Fuji 10-24 eventually. 

I also need to get an AF telephoto zoom for the Fuji's. I'd always intended to get both the XC 50-230 (to pair with an XC 16-50 to have a 2 lens loaner kit based around my X-E2) and the 55-200 with the latter being the second lens in a 2 lens hiking kit paired with the 10-24. I think I'll have to accelerate that as well.

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