Thursday, 3 September 2020

2500 on the X-T2



Fujifilm X-T2, Fujinon XF 55-200mm f3.5-4.8 LM OIS

I passed 2500 shots on the X-T2 today, after less than 2 months ownership, making it my most used Fuji body (I have shot more with X-T1's, but that's evenly split across two bodies with ~2250 shots each). It simply continues to deliver a great shooting experience in a compact and mostly well thought out package. I don't regret at all making it my primary body. The handling is excellent, the IQ is very good and it just makes me want to shoot.

I've been shooting a lot lately with the 55-200, it's a good flower and bugging lens and that's all I've been able to do lately due to work, I'm in the middle of a major project release and it will be at least 2 weeks before I can get out for a real hike again so shooting lately has been in the neighbourhood or in Cedarvale Ravine. But for the work I've been able to do, the 55-200 is doing very well and I look forward to trying it out in the bush. So far the handling is good, the images sharp and the OIS is surprisingly good, I've gotten good results down to 1/20 handheld at 200mm. The only thing I'd knock is the merely average close focus ability, it's enough for what I need but I'd love a little more.

I've done a bit with the XC 16-50 OIS II as well, and confirmed I have another good copy of that small but competent lens. It won't win any awards, but it does what it does quite well and for not much investment. I'd call it probably the best all-round kit lens in its class, being wider than the Olympus or Panasonic 14-42's, quite sharp, good close focus, it's big enough to handle well even on a larger body and small enough that it's non-collapsible operation really isn't that much of a downside. The only knock is it's not pocketable on a body, unlike the 15-45 or the various pancake zooms from the competition (everybody but Canon makes a collapsible pancake in at least one mount).

In terms of workflow, I've been doing everything on the iPhone/iPad Pro combo for the last week and have sorted out most of the challenges. I'd kill for a good Blogger app though, right now I have to edit in the browser which is less fun on a tablet and definitely need to get a keyboard cover & Apple Pencil 2 for editing. LR Mobile has been giving good results with the 24MP X-Trans files so far, so fingers crossed that I won't run into any issues, of course if I do, I can just edit on the desktop. I am still working on the best way to handle sync back to the desktop for Archival purposes. I don't trust Adobe Cloud as the sole repository for my RAW files. I'd also like finer grained control over on-device caching with LR Mobile. It's supposed to manage it for me automatically, but until I see it clean up old cache files to allow a big import, I won't trust it entirely.

I have actually found import to iPhone useful when out shooting. I can dump the card, do a quick edit for Instagram on the phone and post it while on the move, then let it sync when I get home and do selects/edits on the iPad. The only annoyance is that I need to proxy any posts through Photos, rather than sharing directly from LR Mobile. LR Mobile can DM a pic, but not post to my feed.

Right now it seems with both Instagram and Flickr I have to post then edit to do some key stuff. When posting to Instagram, right now I'm blocked on editing hashtags with suggestions and direct to Facebook flow. With Flickr it's groups, I can add to Albums but not Groups on upload. I also can't get BBCode or an Embed link from Flickr's app, have to use the browser for that. For the most part it's not more difficult, just different.

I have been following the recent announcements. Panasonic's S5 looks killer for landscape work, between the highres multishot, Live long exposures and that 20-60mm compact zoom (the perfect wide zoom for hiking). And Panasonic is bringing a set of f1.8 primes, hopefully at reasonable prices.

The S5 is pricey though, plus the EVF is low spec for the pricepoint. The video features keep the price up (it's worth it if you care about the video). We'll see what a 2 lens kit ends up looking like after their 70-300 ships later this year and frankly if the free Sigma 45/2.8 deal comes to Canada it's a lot better value.

The Nikon Z5 looks great and has much better pricing on the body, but honestly I'd rather a 20-60 than a 24-50 any day of the week, especially since the 20-60 costs the same. Still have an interest in the Z5 though, it's a steal for its price already and will only get cheaper. A pity that Nikon is so lacking in the cheap but good Z lenses the Z5 deserves. The current Z lineup is great, but none of them are inexpensive and Nikon needs some consumer glass to go with their consumer body. Z5 customers just aren't interested in spending $800CDN for a nifty fifty.

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