Monday, 30 April 2018

Photographing East Lothian: Barns Ness


In a new series of features I will be focusing on some of the areas I take guests of the MacLean Photographic workshops, starting with Barns Ness Lighthouse.

Barns Ness is located a couple of miles to the east of Dunbar.  The area features two sandy beaches, one at White Sands and the other sweeping around the bay to the east of the lighthouse towards Torness Power Station.


The lighthouse was built in the early 1900s, with the light going operational in October 1901.  It was built, like many of the lighthouses in Scotland, by a member of the family of lighthouse engineers, David A Stevenson, cousin to the author Robert Louis Stevenson (Treasure Island).  The lighthouse at Barns Ness was deactivated in 2005.



For more information on MacLean Photographic workshops please visit the MacLean Photographic website HERE





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

If you like what you see on this blog please follow us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAMTWITTER or FLICKR

Sunday, 29 April 2018

VIDEO: Rockhopper of Percuel Part Two - In Full Control



The second full Rockhopper of Percuel episode has been published on the MacLean Photographic Vimeo channel. In part two Skipper Barry Brunton explains the various controls, dials and screens he has in front of him in the Rockhopper's wheelhouse.

As well as the controls and dials for the engines, he explains the chart plotter and GPS system, the auto pilot, a must for him as he is single handed on the 32 foot fishing boat, and the radios, including the emergency system.

The video was shot on a Fujifilm X-H1, a GoPro Hero 5 Black and the aerial images on a DJI Mavic Pro drone.



The Rockhopper of Percuel has a new web presence with the launch of the Rockhopper pages on the MacLean Photographic website HERE.

The site has all of the Rockhopper videos shot to date, seven in total - two episodes and five 'shorts'.

It also features a new online shop for Rockhopper of Percuel merchandise where you can purchase items such as baseball caps, cotton shopping bags, beanie hats, polo shirts and even your own 'Rocky' mascot.  All of the money raised goes into maintaining the Rockhopper of Percuel.

The new site also includes a short history of the Rockhopper from her launch in 1975 and the early years down in Cornwall under her first owner/skipper Rob Curtiss.

More information and pages will be added as the project progresses throughout 2018.  





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MacLean Photographic runs Photography Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  
CLICK HERE for more details and availability
If you like what you see on this blog please follow us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAMTWITTER or FLICKR

Saturday, 28 April 2018

REVIEW: Testing the Fujinon XF80mm f2.8 Macro


The XF80mm f2.8 macro was unveiled last year and is the first 1:1 macro lens for the Fujifilm X Series.  With an equivalent 120mm focal length, this lens can double up as a short telephoto / portrait lens as well as magnify small objects.

As someone who does a little bit of macro work I was intrigued to see if the 80mm was a better option than the 90mm f2 Fujinon prime which I use with extenders to allow me to shoot macro shots. There is a cost factor here as well.  The 90mm f2 is £879 compared to £1249 for the 80mm on the Fujifilm UK online shop, so does the 80mm justify the extra £370?  I suppose it depends on the amount of macro work you do.

There are two obvious advantages that the 80mm has.  First it has OIS, the first XF prime to have this, and it can also accept the 1.4x and 2x converters, also the first prime lens to do this after the 50-140mm and 100-400mm zooms.

As a portrait lens the 80mm is fantastic, but it isn't an f2 and this is where the 90mm shines for me.  I use my 90mm wide open in the pitlane and in the paddock fro that beautiful shallow depth of field when shooting portraits of the drivers and candids of the teams as they work on their cars.  The f2.8 of the 80mm also gives a very nice shallow depth of field with nice Bokeh but it just isn't an f2.  This might be me being really picky but I know what I like. 


The close focusing ability of the 80mm does have it's advantages for portraits but for me the 90mm is still my favoured option.

While quick to focus, the AF on the 80mm didn't feel as snappy as the 90mm either when shooting portraits. Having said that the shot above was taken through the window of the car and the 80mm went straight to the drivers face and the AF wasn't fooled by the reflections in the glass window.

The switch on the side of the lens does allow you the ability to use AF when shooting macro or closer to objects but I found it rather hit and miss so I would revert back to my standard way of doing things when shooting macro and that is selecting MF. I have found using focus peaking on the X-Series to be the best way to focus accurately with such shallow depths of field.  


For macro work the 80mm has the advantage here - obviously.  The 90mm with extenders can produce a close focus image but it certainly isn't as close as you can achieve with the 80mm.  However for me who rarely does any macro work the extenders can be used on other lenses as well, such as the 35mm f1.4, and this does give me almost 1:1, so again it comes down to cost.


All in all the 80mm f2.8 is a stunning lens, but then it is an XF Fujinon lens, so you would expect it to be.  

For my work I can't justify £370 extra for a lens that I would rarely use in its primary function, as a macro lens when I already own the 90mm f2.  While the 80mm is a great portrait lens, it can't beat the quality of the images produced by 90mm with it's f2 maximum aperture, but it is certainly close.

If you don't own the 90mm f2 and are looking for a portrait / macro lens, then I can highly recommend the 80mm f2.8.  

CLICK HERE for more information on the Fujinon XF80mm f2.8R LM OIS WR Macro 

CLICK HERE for more information on the Fujinon XF90mm f2R LM WR











All images shot on a Fujifilm X-H1 and the XF80mm f2.8R LM OIS WR
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MacLean Photographic runs Photography Workshops in East Lothian and the Borders of Scotland.  
CLICK HERE for more details and availability
If you like what you see on this blog please follow us on FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAMTWITTER or FLICKR