Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Pittenweem



After our visit to Anstruther we stopped off just down the Fife coast in the smaller fishing port of Pittenweem for a short visit before heading back over the Forth Road Bridge.  

Pittenweem is mainly a working fishing port with the fleet moored up when we visited on Sunday afternoon.  Along the front is a line of brightly coloured houses with craft and art studios as well as cafes and an ice cream palour come sweet shop.

Using the Fujifilm X-T1 and 18mm f2 or the 56mm f1.2 prime lenses I wandered around the harbour area to get some images.















For more information on Pittenweem CLICK HERE

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Monday, 29 September 2014

Across the Water to Fife


Everyday when we walk to the end of our road we look across the Firth of Forth and can usually (when it isn't foggy or chucking it down with rain) see on the far side the shoreline of the Kingdom of Fife.  On Sunday we finally decided to visit the coastal town of Anstruther, which is almost directly opposite Dunbar.  The journey by road across the Forth Road Bridge is 82 miles, the journey straight across the water is just 16 miles.

After a couple of hours in the car we arrived in Anstruther and explored the small coastal town lined with colourful houses and a beautiful harbour full of working boats and pleasure craft.



We stayed for a few hours; had some 'award winning' chips from the local chippie, walked the narrow streets and along the harbour wall and generally took in the atmosphere of the place.  








We could see the East Lothian coast but it was covered in shadow and mist and we couldn't make out Dunbar.  However we could see the smoke from the cement works at White Sands.  We could also see Bass Rock and North Berwick Law (in the picture above) rising up from the coast line.






We then headed down the coast to Pittenweem for a quick stop before driving back to Edinburgh (I will do a blog post on this in the coming days).  A great day out and one I am sure we will repeat in the future at some point.

For more information on Anstruther CLICK HERE

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Sunday, 28 September 2014

The Flying Dutchman


On Saturday afternoon a sailing ship called the Flying Dutchman moored off the harbour entrance in Dunbar.  The 111 year old ship was built in 1903 as a herring drifter and 100 years of service was converted by her owner into a luxury schooner for hire.

CLICK HERE for more information on the Flying Dutchman

SCHOONER
A schooner is a type of sailing vessel with fore-and-aft sails on two or more masts, the foremast being no taller than the rear mast(s).

Such vessels were first used by the Dutch in the 16th or 17th century. The most common type of schooners, with two masts, were popular in trades that required speed and windward ability, such as slaving, privateering, and blockade running. They were also traditional fishing boats.

Schooners were popular on both sides of the Atlantic in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, but in Europe they gradually gave way to the cutter.

CLICK HERE for more information on Schooners


Images taken on a Fujifilm X-T1 + Fujinon XF55-200mm f3.5/4.8R (top) or Fujinon XF56mm f1.2R (bottom)

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Saturday, 27 September 2014

REVIEW: Converting the X100 - Adding a TCL-X100 to the Perfect Travel Camera


Earlier this year Fujifilm announced that they had developed a tele conversion lens for the X100 / X100S that would turn the Fujinon 23mm f2 lens into a 33mm (50mm equivalent) by multiplying the focal length by 1.4x.  I already own the wide angle converter (WCL-X100) that converts the focal length to 19mm (27mm equivalent) and the addition of the TCL-X100 completes, what is for me,  the perfect lightweight travel camera kit. 

I decided  to take the X100 and the converters down to Dunbar Harbour to demonstrate the differences between the three focal lengths now available on the X100.

19mm - WCL-X100

23mm - no converter

33mm - TCL-X100

As can be seen from the images above, the difference is not dramatic but then this it is not meant to be.  


X100 with TCL-X100 Tele Conversion Lens fitted
When using the X100 I tend to choose the focal length I will be using and then leave that lens on the camera for the duration mainly because the method for changing the lens is a bit long winded when compared to a lens swap on the X-Pro1 or X-T1.  Let me explain -

To swap from the standard 23mm to the new TCL-X100 involves unscrewing the lens hood adapter from the front of the 23mm lens and then screwing on the converter.  Once that is done you need to go into the camera menu and select 'Conversion Lens' and then select 'Wide', 'Tele' or 'Off' depending on what lens you are using.  Then you are ready to shoot.


The menu on the X100
The Fireware on the X100 needs to be updated to V2.10 to be able to select the TCL-X100 in the menu but this is available as free download from the Fujifilm website HERE

One thing though, if you forget to select the correct converter in the menu the results are still excellent, as can be seen from the image taken at the qualifying press conference in Texas last weekend.  The only downside is the camera data says this shot was taken with the 23mm lens, not the 33mm.

Qualifying press conference for the FIA WEC 6 Hours of CoTA in Texas taken on the X100 + TCL-X100
Conclusion
The TCL-X100 increases the flexibility of the X100 / X100S / X100T by giving the photographer an extra focal length option without weighing down the camera bag.  The good news is that both the WCL-X100 and TCL-X100 is compatible with all three variants of the X100 so you don't need to but a new converter should you wish to upgrade to a later model.

To be able to take one camera, two further focal length options, the small EF-20 flash and a spare battery and memory card in one small camera bag is perfect on some of the trips I take.  The X100 has never been a compromise between size and quality and the original X-Series photo machine still continues to be my 'go-to' camera when I want to travel light and be a little stealthy. 


Here are three more comparison shots between the three focal lengths and for more information on the TCL-X100 CLICK HERE

19mm - WCL-X100

23mm - no converter

33mm - TCL-X100
The Fujifilm Finepix X100 with the standard 23mm f2 lens

The Fujifilm Finepix X100 fitted with the WCL-X100 wide conversion lens
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Friday, 26 September 2014

56mm f1.2 One Lens Challenge: Dunbar Harbour


A one lens challenge is a good way to get the creative juices flowing and this is something I have done many times myself.  Last week I received the new Fujinon 56mm f1.2 lens, which is a very fast, short telephoto (85mm equivalent) prime lens and a lens I have already have used at the recent FIA World Endurance Championship race in Texas.  Yesterday lunchtime I went for a walk around Dunbar Harbour, which gave me plenty of photographic opportunities to test out the 56mm on the Fuji X-T1.

The biggest issue is the fact that with a lowest setting of ISO200 to capture RAW files and a fastest shutter speed of 1/4000s, it isn't possible to shoot this lens wide open in bright sunshine and I had to resort to f2 or f2.8.  When the sun went behind the clouds, or I was shooting in the shade, I was able to set f1.2 or f1.4, but most of these shots were taken between f2 and f5.6 depending on the subject.  

The firmware upgrade coming in December will give the X-T1 a maximum shutter speed of 1/32000s, which will allow wider apertures to be used but I will also put a 3 stop 62mm screw in ND filter on my shopping list, like the 52mm Hoya ProND filter I have for the 18mm and 35mm Fujinons.

Anyway here are the images I took around the harbour using just the 56mm f1.2.  This lens is very versatile and while it makes a perfect portrait lens, it is also great for landscapes and subjects like the ones captured here.




























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