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Nero

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Nero last won the day on October 1

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About Nero

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  1. I have two backpacks that I use depending on the circumstances. Neither is a "photo backpack." I find that when I'm traveling, I want versatility. Most backpacks (within my price range) that are labeled as being for photography are rather poor at other tasks. If I'm going to be doing some hiking and outdoors stuff while traveling, I have an Osprey Stratos 24 with a Tenba camera insert that works really well. This combo has really performed well for me in places like the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia. Holds my camera, several lenses, accessories, rain jacket, water, etc. It also has a built-in rain cover. It's incredibly comfortable and easy to properly balance the load. I do need to take it off to put the camera away, but I don't mind that much in these situations. This Osprey-Tenba combo would fit easily within your budget. For more urban travel situations, I tend to prefer a small 15L GoRuck pack, which is a bit expensive, but it is absolutely the most durable and toughest pack I've ever owned. It's small, and not at all flashy, but it will hold a camera and a couple lenses, 13" MacBook Pro, and small accessories with room to spare for a light rain shell. I'm 5'10" and it would probably be too small for anyone taller than me. It does easily fit under an airplane seat as a "personal item" though, which the Osprey will not. That's why I took this pack and a carry-on bag for a week-long trip to the Faroe Islands this year. It did not let me down even though it's usually my preferred bag for more urban travel. GoRuck bags are rather expensive and fall outside your designated price range though.
  2. The newer f/2 lenses are probably a consistent bet among the primes. I'd go with the 50mm f/2 over the 56mm f/1.2 for video. The 56 was designed to be a portrait lens at a time when video was at best a secondary concern for Fuji.
  3. Unless you want to have two camera bodies slung over you in the open everywhere you go, I would probably bring two and carry one with the second just being a backup. This is based mostly on personal preference, so it may not apply to you at all. One of the best things about shooting with primes for me is that I get into a rhythm with a specific focal length and switching back and forth actually results in fewer good images. If I'm going to be in one city for multiple days, I'll go out with my 35mm one day, then use the 23mm on another day with a mental checklist of important things from the first that I want to capture with a wider focal length. I also don't like openly carrying two camera bodies around a foreign city unless it's a professional job. If I have a second body out with me, I'll keep it in my bag until I need to switch, but in that case it's really not significantly different from changing lenses on a single body. So for personal travel my preference is to bring a second body but keep it at the hotel as backup. And I try to just brush off the images that I miss when I'm shooting with primes without an ideal focal length for one specific scene. It's just part of the trade off that comes with the shooting style, wide maximum apertures, and quality of a prime lens.
  4. The second image seems like something is seriously off with the lens, though I would be interested to know what RAW processing software you're using. I have seen this issue on backlit subjects before, though not nearly this bad. Sometimes Iridient Developer performs a little better in these situations, though Adobe has improved their Fuji performance. In regards to the first image, I think this is actually fairly normal for astrophotography with this 16mm when shot wide open at f/1.4. That fringing is a common critique that I've read in many reviews which look at this lens for astro. That's one reason I've never used mine for astrophotography, you have to stop it down to about f/2.8 to get rid of that, which negates much of its advantage aside from being a wide focal length. That being said, I've never encountered such bad fringing as is shown in your second image.
  5. Personally I prefer the f/1.4 lenses and through firmware updates they do have okay speed compared to when they were originally released, but they are slower than the f/2 models. Either way, one of the most important things you can do aside from equipment is to get used to pushing your ISO settings higher than you might normally be comfortable with, 3200 or even 6400 sometimes. Get a feel for the amount of noise that starts coming through when you process the RAW files at these high ISOs. Some people are really averse to any visible noise in their images, but some it doesn't bother some people at all. Remember that regardless of how quickly one lens focuses compared to another, the difference between f/1.4 and f/2 could mean pushing your settings from ISO 3200 up to 6400 more frequently in some situations. Get a feel for that difference first with whatever lenses you already have and then ask yourself whether slightly faster focus or more light is most important to you. I tend to be a more patient and thoughtful street shooter, finding a scene, focusing, waiting for the right moment. Other people are the opposite, constantly moving and shooting on the fly. There's nothing wrong with either approach, but those kinds of shooting preferences are what really matter in making the right choice in equipment.
  6. Nero

    Fuji 56mm F1.2

    The 23mm f/1.4 is one of my top 2 lenses, but it does overlap with your 10-24mm. If you're thinking you'd like another prime lens and you don't want it to be redundant, I'd say look at the 35mm.
  7. Nero

    Fuji 56mm F1.2

    I have the 56mm and love it, but when people ask me about buying one, I always try to throw the 55-200mm out there as a second option to consider for a smaller budget. While the 56mm is my first choice for portraits, the 55-200mm has decent bokeh when shot wide open, is fairly versatile for longer focal lengths, and you can find a good used copy of it for under $500.
  8. The image quality of the 16mm is incredible, but I would encourage you to borrow or rent one for a few days. I found it to be sharp to an extent that wasn't always welcome depending on the subject I was shooting. Nothing that couldn't be fixed with slight tweaks in RAW, but it is almost too sharp in some cases, especially if you stop down the aperture a bit. I found that it was a very nice complementary lens to go with my 23mm f/1.4, which is my workhorse. I'd be hesitant to switch from a 14mm + 23mm combination to the 16mm though.
  9. Too much noise is made about lenses that "do it all" at the expense of what you're comfortable with. When I'm traveling in new places with new scenery, I don't want to be adjusting to focal lengths that feel unnatural and new to me. That's a recipe for bad photographs, even if a new lens will technically allow you to do "more." I'm most comfortable with my 23mm and 35mm f/1.4 lenses, so that's what I bring when I travel. Depending on where I'm going I may bring my 55-200mm or my 56mm for the remaining 5% of shots depending on where I'm going, but my top 2 lenses are always what I'm most comfortable shooting with and I only adjust my kit if I feel that it merits bringing a third lens.
  10. Big question here is whether you're going to be taking mostly candid photos or if they are planning to pose for you at all. If it's mostly candid, then the 135mm is a no go in my mind unless you are supremely confident in your ability to manually focus with high speed and accuracy. For me, I'd go with the 35mm and either the 60mm or 80mm. You've got the 23mm covered with the X100T as a more environmental shot focal length. The 35mm is a solid all around lens to document what is happening. Aside from that, pick one of the macro lenses just as an intermediate lens for portraits with a little more reach. Along the lines of what cug said, I would avoid taking anything too large or conspicuous. If they have hired a photographer, you don't want to come across as being part of that person's team. It may sound nice having photos from a friend/guest in addition to the main photographer, but you don't want your presence to disrupt that person's rhythm or perception among the other guests. If the hired photographer is good, they will get plenty of shots that have a candid feeling in addition to the posed photos. In that situation, I would consider approaching the hired photographer early and letting him/her know that you're going to be taking a few photos as a guest and ask them to let you know if you are ever in the way because you don't want to interfere with their job.
  11. That was my experience with the 10-24mm. I rarely used it as a zoom. It was more like two primes that I could choose between without switching lenses. It was set at either 10mm or 24mm most of the time and the 23mm is one of my favorite lenses that I use very frequently. That made the zoom so limited in use for me that it wasn't worth keeping. I may buy the 12mm this summer for some astro shots when I visit the Caucasus Mountains.
  12. On the wide angle side of the Fuji system I've owned the 10-24mm and 16mm. The zoom was very solid in image quality and the distortion was relatively low, but it was a clear step down from the 16mm. I sold the zoom a while ago as I just wasn't using it often enough. If I were looking at a wide lens right now, the 12mm would be at the top of my list. I've heard great things about the quality and the price point is great. You really don't need autofocus in most situations with that focal length because you're likely shooting at smaller apertures and many times when you'd want to shoot it wide open, such as astro, you'd want to use manual focus too.
  13. I strongly prefer prime lenses, which is reflected in my lineup: 16mm, 23mm, and 35mm in f/1.4 versions, 56mm, and 55-200mm. If you're not quite sure about whether you have a strong preference for zooms or primes I would consider selling the 90mm, 10-24mm, and 16mm. Then buy the 80mm and a used 55-200mm. I would never go without the 23mm and 35mm primes, they're simply too good and too versatile, but are different enough to be meaningful. On the wide end I think that the 10-24mm, 14mm, and 16mm are a bit close together. When I had the 10-24mm I found that I was mostly using it at 10mm or 24mm, but my best images with it consistently came from the 14-18mm range so I sold it and kept my 16mm. I would pick one of them and sell the others. Having one wide lens, 23mm & 35mm primes, the 18-55mm, and a macro is a pretty good lineup for most situations and you don't have to go all-in on zooms or primes. Adding a used 55-200mm on top of that really rounds things out. Even though there is some overlap between the primes and zoom, that gives you a lot of options for 2 or 3 lens combinations depending on the situation.
  14. I shoot about 90% of my images with either the 23mm or 35mm f/1.4 whether I'm traveling, on the streets, or hiking. I think there's enough of a difference to merit owning both and making them permanent residents of a camera bag. My bag typically has my X-Pro2 with the 23mm and 35mm (with one of them attached) and sometimes a third lens if I'm traveling or shooting portraits. For my third lens I pick one from the 16mm, 56mm, or 55-200mm depending on what I feel the situation will call for. Having too many lenses in your bag can be as problematic as having too few. I would probably sell the 16-50mm and pick up a 23mm and 55-200mm, but that's just my preference. If you strongly prefer zoom lenses then that might be completely wrong advice.
  15. To me it partly depends on how closely you like to inspect your images for quality. Personally, I'm not big on digging down into the pixels unless I've taken two shots of the same scene and want to decide which to keep. But it's important for some people. If that's your style, then you might be disappointed by the 10-24mm if you're comparing it directly to the 16mm. Both are great lenses, but if you like to zoom way in on your images then the 16mm is going to beat the zoom and you will notice it. I strongly prefer prime lenses because I find myself being more instinctive and focused on composition. In my mind, if you're a fan of prime lenses then you're really missing out if you don't have the Fuji 23mm or 35mm (these two in f/1.4 versions account for ~90% of my shots). If you prefer zooms, then that changes things a bit. I'd probably be inclined to trade for the 16-55mm and buy a Samyang in that case.
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