Monthly Archives: April 2016

Playing with the Ricoh Theta S

This is pretty cool.  You can move around this photo by grabbing it with your mouse.

 

Take a look around by moving the image with your mouse or finger. – Spherical Image – RICOH THETA

Fuji 100‑400mm f/4.5‑5.6 Samples

Yesterday, I picked up the brand new Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 lens along with the Fuji 1.4 teleconverter.  I have to say, I’m quite impressed with this lens.  Weighing only 3 pounds, compared to my Nikon 200-400 f/4 at almost 8 pounds, and costing one third of the price ($1899 vs. $6799), this lens is extremely sharp, lightweight and well built.

I took it out to the bridge deck above the Mt. Baker tunnel to shoot downtown Bellevue from across Lake Washington.  This is about 3 miles away.  Unfortunately, there was definitely a haze in the air as you could barely see Mt. Rainier so keep that in mind.

This first shot is taken hand held at 400mm at 1/150sec f/5.6, ISO 200.   The image is quite sharp for hand held at a fairly long shutter speed.  Fuji states that the image stabilization gives you 4-5 stops and I believe it.

DSCF2397Here’s one taken hand held at 1/1800 sec at f/8, ISO 800 with the 1.4x Teleconverter.  There is very little loss of sharpness using the teleconverter which was released along with this lens.

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This one is quite remarkable.  I was hand holding this shot of a sailboat about midway into the lake.  Taken at 1/400 sec at f/20, ISO 800 and the 1.4x teleconverter..  Again, not bad!

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I’m very impressed, I have to say.  The shots at ISO 200 are tack sharp!  These were taken with the Fuji X-Pro2.   Stay tuned for more on this lens.

 

Gear Review: Think Tank Urban Appoach 15

tank (1 of 1)In my opinion, nobody makes better, more thought-out, camera bags than Think Tank.  They just seem to think of everything when it comes to the needs of a photographer.  They seem to be one of the few bag makers that are gearing up for the mirrorless market.

I’m going to come right out and say that the Urban Approach 15 backpack is an outstanding bag for your mirrorless system.  This bag is specifically designed for mirrorless gear and includes an outside, zippered pocket for a 15″ laptop or tablet.  Visually, this is one of the nicest looking backpacks I’ve seen.  It’s has a matte black finish and is accented with bits of leather.

The bag includes backpack straps and a foot pocket on the side that holds a travel tripod firmly and securely.  The front flap has an outside zippered pocket that’s perfect for a lens cloth, keys, memory cards are anything else you may need quickly.  It’s not huge, but holds enough.  Inside the flap are two more zippered pockets with plenty of room for batteries and other accessories.

The interior itself is completely configurable.  As you can see in the photo, I’ve got it filled with my Fuji X-Pro 2 with a lens attached plus five additional lenses including the 100-400 zoom!   There’s still room for a flash and another lens if needed.  All this in a bag that’s only 18 inches long and 11 inches wide.  All this gear and the bag weighs less than 23 pounds.  The zippers are sturdy and come together so that you can lock them with a TSA lock, if needed.  You can even put a 16 oz water bottle in the side pocket.

The Urban Aproach 15 is a backpack, which means you have to remove it from your shoulders to access the gear.  I don’t mind since my camera is usually out anyway.  The back of the bag, like all Think Tank bags, is beautifully padded for comfort with a larger lumbar support.  It’s vented so it doesn’t get too hot.  The shoulder straps are nicely padded as well.  This is one comfortable bag especially with the lighter weight of the mirrorless systems.   There are loops on the front of each shoulder strap for attaching a modular pack, water bottle or anything else you need.  I like to use the Black Rapid backpack strap when hiking.  It attaches nicely to these loops.   And, get this… there’s even a pull-out handle on the back so you can slip the bag over your luggage roller handle or rolling camera bag when you travel.  Really, they did think of everything!  Oh, and it even has a rain cover that protects the entire pack from moisture.

This has quickly become one of my favorite bags and my go-to bag when carrying a lot of mirrorless gear.  I absolutely love it and you will, too.

Check it out here!