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Showing posts from February, 2017

Review: Testing the X-T2 and XF100-400mm at International Rugby

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For the past month I have photographed three top flight rugby matches to put the Fujifilm X-T2 and the Fujinon XF100-400mm f4.5/5.6 through their paces.  After shooting at the Scotland v Ireland international (4th February) and Sale Sharks v Wasps Aviva Premiership matches (19 February), the final test was last Saturday (25th February) when I was on the touchline for the Scotland v Wales RBS 6 Nations international at Murrayfield.

Shooting in a stadium environment, even in daylight, provides some unique challenges on the lighting front.  Even with the floodlights switched on, the challenge for any photographer is to keep the shutter speed high enough to capture the action while keeping the ISO as low as possible to minimise the sensor noise.  

Can the X-T2 and the XF100-400mm shoot fast action sports in a  stadium environment?  Yes it can.  Is it as good as the current crop of pro DSLRs and fast telephoto primes - no it isn't, but it is damn close! 


The X-T2 is excellent with it'…

Snowdrops at Hailes Castle

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This afternoon we took a trip out to Hailes Castle to see the display of snowdrops that surround the ruins on the bank of the River Tyne.

Snowdrops are a wild woodland flower than comes into bloom at the end of winter.  With the mild weather of late, the carpet of snowdrops at Hailes Castle is earlier this year.


Galanthus (snowdrop; Greek gála "milk", ánthos "flower") is a small genus of about 20 species of bulbous perennial herbaceous plants in the family Amaryllidaceae. The plants have two linear leaves and a single small white drooping bell shaped flower with six petal-like (petaloid) tepals in two circles (whorls). The smaller inner petals have green markings.  Snowdrops have been known since the earliest times under various names but were named Galanthus in 1753. 
Here are some of the shots I took this morning on the Fujifilm X-T2 with either the XF35mm f1.4, with extension rings fitted to enable closer focusing, or the XF10-24mm f4 wide angle zoom.






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Tarbert Castle

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Tarbert is a small fishing town on the main route down to Campeltown at the end of the Kintyre peninsula.  Sitting high above the pretty harbour is the ruin of Tarbert Castle, one of the most important castles in Scotland at the time of Robert The Bruce and later in the reign of James IV

Tarbert Castle is located on the southern shore of East Loch Tarbert at the north end of the Kintyre peninsula. Tarbert Castle was a strategic royal stronghold during the Middle Ages.  It overlooks the harbour and although pre 14th century in construction, the tower dates back to 1494 and the visit of  James IV to the Western Highlands. 



The castle is now a ruin with just the remains of the tower still standing but you can still see the outlines of the building and curtain walls that made this such a strong fortress.




Today the castle is surrounded by walks and is part of the Kintyre Way that runs down to Campbeltown.  We didn't have that much time so we went for a walk up the hill to an outcrop ove…

X Series Telephoto Prime On Its Way

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GREAT NEWS!!  This morning Fujifilm sent out a press release to announce some new developments for the X Series and GFX systems.  The thing that caught my eye is the one item I, and my fellow sports photographers, have been asking for ever since the 100-400mm telephoto zoom was launched last year and that is a fast telephoto prime lens has been added to the road map for 2018.  

Now if you have been a regular reader of this blog you can't have failed to have seen my rugby images and the issue with having to crank up the ISO under the floodlights due to the limits imposed by the f5.6 maximum aperture.  The Telephoto Prime Lens will solve this issue and the other prime consideration and that is background separation in the images.  

Now Fujifilm haven't said what the maximum aperture will be on the new lens but the Fujinon primes to date have all been f2.8 or wider. The standard lens for a sports photographer is either a 300mm f2.8 or 400mm f2.8 so we should expect the new lens to …

Calm before the Storm

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Living on the Scottish coast provides a great variety in the weather. This evening the clouds were gathering to the south west as a new weather front came across East Lothian with the forecast predicting high winds and heavy rain.  

However this evening, just before sunset, the seas were relatively calm.  I took the Fujifilm X100T along with the Manfrotto Pixi Evo mini tripod and a cable release down to the rocks below Dunbar Castle to capture a few long exposures as the light faded.



Two of the fishing boats returned to Dunbar Harbour as I was sitting enjoying the view, so I managed to grab a few images as the boats passed in front of me before entering the harbour.

All of these images were taken on the Fujifilm X100T using the cameras fixed 23mm f2 lens.




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