Thursday, 31 March 2016

WEC Press Conference in Black and White

2015 FIA World Endurance Champion Mark Webber (Porsche)
While at the recent FIA World Endurance Championship test at Le Castellet in the South of France a short press conference was held to promote the first race of the season at Silverstone on the 15-17 April.  I attended in my capacity as the FIA Media Delegate and took some shots of some of the participants. 

However I decided the colour shots were a bit 'meh' so I converted the images to monochrome using NIK Silver EFEX Pro2 software and I am much happier with the results.

All of the images were shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and the XF50-140mm f2.8.

FIA World Endurance Championship CEO Gerard Neveu
2014 FIA World Endurance Champion Anthony Davidson (Toyota) 
Three times World Touring Car Champion and Ford works driver Andy Priaulx
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ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

In June 2015 Jeff Carter was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

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Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Seeing A Picture With a Difference


When working at a motorsport event it is very easy to get caught up in the 'big picture' capturing that racecar out on track or taking a dramatic image of a pitstop.  I occasionally like to step back from this and look for images that are not the norm or objects that lit by the sunlight.

Take the shot at the top of the page.  This was a photocall for the no12 Rebellion Racing crew of Nelson Piquet Jr, Nico Prost and Mathias Beche.  I took some shots from the side on the pitfall and then I saw Rebellion on their race suits and decided to take a close shot of their legs and race boots.  this was captured on the X-Pro2 and XF50-140mm f2.8.

The image below was also captured on the same combination of camera and lens while walking back to the pitlane from the multicar photoshoot at the last corner of the track.  The sun was very low in the sky and relaxing off of the red stripes that are painted on the inside of the last corner.  The colours and textures caught my eye.


This shot was taken in Race Control at the Circuit Paul Ricard and it is those colourful lines around the circuit captured on the various monitors while the staff are busy on the radio that caught my eye.


Seeing Union flags at a French circuit may seem a bit strange but this was in the press conference on Thursday evening to launch the 6 Hours of Silverstone in a few weeks time.  All of the regular motorsport press and all the teams and drivers were attending the FIA World Endurance test at Paul Ricard so the promoter decided to hold a press conference for the UK round of the championship.  The room was dressed accordingly!  


I love shooting close ups of the race cars, especially the new GT cars.  This is the nose of the new Ferrari 488 with the equally new Ford GT in the background. 


Look Up!   After the press conference the British drivers (and an Australian based in the UK and married to a Brit) gathered for a picture in front of the cars.  John Rourke, the official photographer, was up high on a lift and was instructing the drivers to look up together so he could get a clean shot of them and the cars.  The drivers were finding this difficult in the bright sunshine and it took several attempts to get one that worked.


Another shot I spotted was a mechanic working on the refuelling tower outside the team garage.  The sun had just set and the silhouette was perfect.




All images taken at the FIA World Endurance Champion 'Prologue' at the Circuit Paul Ricard.  For more information on the WEC visit www.fiawec.com 


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ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

In June 2015 Jeff Carter was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'





Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Using the 1.4x Converter With Fujinon Lenses


The Fujinon XF 1.4x TC WR has been available since autumn 2015.  The converter is a useful addition to the camera bag for any photographer using the X-Series system who has either the XF50-140mm f2.8 and /or the new XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 as it extends the focal length of these two lenses at the expense of one stop of light.

The 1.4x converter only works with these two zoom lenses due to the fact that part of the converter protrudes and fits into the back of the lens.  

The advantage is it keeps the profile of the converter very small - it only increases the size by 16mm - but it means that lenses that have enough clearance to the back element can accept the converter.  

This means the two cheaper Fujinon telephoto zooms - the XF55-200mm f3.5/4.8 and the XC50-230mm f4.5/6.7  - cannot be used with the converter, much to the disappointment of owners of these lenses.

Fitting the 1.4x converter to the 50-140mm f2.8 turns it into a 70-196mm f4 (or 105-300mm f4 equiv) and the 100-400mm f4.5/f5.6 becomes a 140-560mm f6.4 / f8 (196-840mm equiv).  

Some tele converters have been known to impair image quality and slow down the auto focus function but the Fujinon 1.4x converter doesn't do either of these things and aside from the loss of one stop of light there is no downside to using the tele converter if you need to increase the pulling power of either of these Fujinon zoom lenses.

The WR in the title means the 1.4x converter will maintain the weather resistance of the two premium zoom lenses if fitted to an X-T1 or X-Pro2, which are both weather resistant.

I used the 1.4x converter on both the 50-140mm f2.8 and the 100-400mm f4.5/5.6 at last weekend's FIA World Endurance Championship Official Test at the Circuit Paul Ricard in France with some excellent results. 

Due to the fact that the maximum aperture is f8, using the converter on the 100-400mm in tricky lighting conditions does become a challenge for shooting sport or wildlife if you want to maintain an 'action freezing' shutter speed but because the X-Trans sensors handle high noise extremely well I have no problem pushing the ISO to maintain a shutter speed that will allow the action to be captured.

The autofocus on the 100-400mm using the X-Pro2 was just as 'snappy' with the converter fitted and I was able to follow focus cars through some of the fastest corners on the circuit. At the end of the long Mistral Straight the cars were travelling at over 340kph (210mph) and the autofocus was able to follow the cars as they swept past my position.

I also used the X-T1 with the 50-140mm f2.8 and the teleconverter and again the autofocus was unaffected by the addition of the extra lens.

Here are some examples of using the 1.4x converter on the 100-400mm :-


X-Pro2 + 100-400mm f4.5/5.6 + 1.4x converter - 1/1250 @ f8 ISO1250 - lens at 560mm
X-Pro2 + 100-400mm f4.5/5.6 + 1.4x converter - 1/1250 @ f8 ISO1250 - lens at 560mm
X-Pro2 + 100-400mm f4.5/5.6 + 1.4x converter - 1/250 @ f8 ISO400 - lens at 560mm
X-Pro2 + 100-400mm f4.5/5.6 + 1.4x converter - 1/1000 @ f8 ISO1250 - lens at 560mm

Here are some examples of using the 1.4x converter on the 50-140mm


X-T1 + 50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter - 1/150 @ f11 ISO400 - lens at 196mm
X-T1 + 50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter - 1/210 @ f8 ISO400 - lens at 196mm
X-Pro2 + 50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter - 1/2000 @ f4 ISO200 - lens at 175mm
X-Pro2 + 50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter - 1/1100 @ f4 ISO200 - lens at 70mm
X-Pro2 + 50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter - 1/150 @ f14 ISO200 - lens at 70mm
X-Pro2 + 50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter - 1/280 @ f7.1 ISO200 - lens at 196mm
CLICK HERE for more information on the Fujinon XF1.4x TC WR

CLICK HERE to see the video of the Fujifilm press conference in Tokyo with some images showing the various focal lengths of the four premium Fujinon zooms, which includes shots taken with the 1.4x teleconverter.

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MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

In June 2015 Jeff Carter was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'

Sunday, 27 March 2016

The New Ford GT at The Prologue


Ford have entered two of their stunning Ford GTs in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship to challenge the might of Aston Martin, Ferrari and Porsche for the world title.

2016 is a special year for Ford as it is 50 years since the American manufacturer took a famous 1-2-3 at the 1966 24 Hours of Le Mans with New Zealanders Chris Amon and Denny Hulme taking the win for Ford.

Here are some shots from the last few days at the Circuit Paul Ricard where the teams and drivers have been testing.





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ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

In June 2015 Jeff Carter was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'




Friday, 25 March 2016

The Prologue - Start of the 2016 FIA WEC

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200
Today was the first time the teams and drivers taking part in the 2016 FIA World Endurance Championship had the opportunity to take their cars on track at the same time to compare their pace against the opposition.  The venue is the Circuit Paul Ricard on the Cote d'Azur and I was attending the event - The Prologue - in my capacity as the FIA Media Delegate for the World Endurance Championship.

This afternoon I decided to go out on track to get some images to accompany the reports and interviews I would be producing for the FIA official website and also give the Fujifilm X-Pro2 its next big test and that was to shoot motorsport.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 +1.4x converter - 1/250 @ f8 IS0400
As regular readers of this blog will know I have been attending different sporting events to test out the X-Pro2 and the XF100-400mm lens and a couple of weeks ago I attended the 6 Nations Rugby international at Murrayfield where Scotland beat France.  

The blog demonstrated the X-Pro2's capabilities as a camera that could be used for team sports.  Now I wanted to test the combination of X-Pro2 and 100-400mm on fast cars, and they don't get much faster than the Le Mans Prototypes and Grand Tourers that race in the World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

I also used the 100-400mm with the 1.4x converter fitted to bring the cars closer but also to see if the AF performance and image quality was affected by the use of the converter.  I am pleased to report that neither were adversely affected and this can be seen in some of the images below. 

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/1000 @ f5.6 ISO640
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200
I also used the X-T1 with the XF50-140mm f2.8 and for some of the shots I also used the 1.4x converter.  

Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140mm f2.8 - 1/180 @ f8 ISO200
The X-T1 does feel slower than the X-Pro2 and the EVF blackout is more noticable on the older camera.  In fact I don't notice any blackout when using the X-Pro2.

The other advantage of the X-Pro2 is the viewfinder which allows me to use my left eye to look past the camera to see if any cars were approaching while my right eye was glued to the viewfinder and following the subject.  With the central EVF on the X-T1 this technique isn't possible.

The results from both the X-Pro2 and the X-T1 were very much up to scratch and my hit rate with either camera was above my acceptable level of 70%.

All of the shots were taken handheld using the OIS on both zoom lenses.  The exposure was set manually and the AF set to AF-C with single focal point selected.  The drive was set to 8fps.

Once again the X-Series cameras have been proven to be quite capable of operating in a fast moving sports environment.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200
Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 +1.4x converter - 1/1600 @ f8 IS01250

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 +1.4x converter - 1/1600 @ f8 IS01250

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 +1.4x converter - 1/500 @ f8 IS0800
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4x converter - 1/120 @ f11 ISO400
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140mm f2.8 - 1/210 @ f6.4 ISO200
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140mm f2.8 + 1.4 converter - 1/200 @ f8 ISO400
Fujifilm X-T1 + XF50-140mm f2.8 - 1/125 @ f7.1 ISO200

Fujifilm X-Pro2 + XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 - 1/60 @ f16 ISO200
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ALL IMAGES ARE THE PROPERTY OF MACLEAN PHOTOGRAPHIC AND CANNOT BE USED FOR ANY PURPOSE WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION

MacLean Photographic run Tours and Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  CLICK HERE for more details and availability

In June 2015 Jeff Carter was named as a Fujifilm brand ambassador and you can view his profile and gallery on the Fujifilm website HERE

If you like what you see on this blog please visit our Facebook page and click 'like'




Monday, 21 March 2016

The Colours of Paul Ricard


The colours of the kerbs and buildings on and around the Circuit Paul Ricard are vibrant and bright. Today was the set up day for the European Le Mans Series ahead of the two day test that begins tomorrow. 

Using the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and 50-140mm f2.8 or 10-24mm f4 lenses I took some shots around the facility.