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Everything posted by Nero

  1. I have the 10. I don't think the 13 will fit. The 10 fits tightly into the bottom of the pack, which is good because it won't get shaken around.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Yes, the flights in September were remarkably inexpensive and the weather is still supposed to be great. For a trip like this I have to take 2 bodies. I'll have my X-T1 with the 55-200 and then my X-Pro2 with a pool of primes to rotate between, 16mm, 23mm, and 35mm.
  18. I'm going to be spending a few days in the Svaneti region of Georgia the first week of September. I'm thoroughly immersing myself in reading about the region and did a lot of research before making a decision on where to go for this trip. What I'm looking for are recommendations on things to see that might not be in the typical travel articles. I'm hoping to turn my few days there into a relatively concise photo project about the history, landscape, and people of the region. I'll be in both Mestia and Ushguli. Due to limited time I have to be somewhat selective, but I also like to partly see where things take me when I'm actually on location. I don't like to plan too much, but I do like having a good pool background knowledge to inform the instinctive choices I make whenever options are presented. I'm also open to any advice you might have on under-the-radar gear accessories that could make things easier. I do a lot of international travel and I know what lenses work best for me in a variety of situations, but every place has its own little quirks where certain very specific, small accessories can make a big impact. Those are the types of things I'm interested in getting some feedback on.
  19. I've used a Billingham Hadely Pro for a few years now and it's a great bag, but I recently picked up a Filson Harvey Messenger bag that I love. The Billingham is what I use if I'm just carrying camera gear. My typical kit is an X-Pro2, 35mm f/1.4, 23mm f/1.4, and 56mm f/1.2 lenses. Plenty of room for those and a few random small accessories. However, when I travel overseas I usually put my 12" Macbook, passport, etc in my camera bag as my "personal item" on the flight and the Hadley Pro has felt a very crowded even though everything fits. Plus, the computer easily slides into the space between the insert and the bag, but it has no padding on the outside. I now prefer the Harvey bag for international travel. It has just enough extra space to feel roomy without being too large, has a laptop sleeve, and it looks fairly inconspicuous on the street. As far as weather resistance, Filson is one name that you can absolutely trust and this bag lives up to the reputation. This is one of my major concerns with camera bags. I never want to feel that protecting my equipment is getting in the way of enjoying a place. Even if the weather turns bad enough that I'm not comfortable shooting, I don't want to feel like I should go running for shelter. Another big plus for me is the end pocket that will fit a small water bottle. I have a blood clotting condition and being careful to stay hydrated is an important consideration for preventing blood clots. I travel light when I'm out shooting and could fit a water bottle in the Billingham, but I always disliked putting it in the insert with my gear. The common complaint about this bag (that I agree with) is the lack of additional velcro to customize the dividers in the bag. There's just one that mostly cuts it in half. For me this really isn't a big problem because I only carry 3 lenses, one of which is on the camera. I just put the other two in pouches and toss them in one side of the bag together. I could see this as being a serious dealbreaker for people who carry more lenses than I do.
  20. I use an Osprey Stratos 24 with a Tenba BYOB 10 insert. I find that it's far more versatile than camera backpacks if you want something that will serve many purposes. It's also incredibly comfortable and you can buy a hydration insert too. All around great solution if hiking and photography are equal priorities for you. The Tenba BYOB 10 holds my X-Pro2, 16mm, 23mm, 35mm, and 56mm lenses. Cleaning kit and spare batteries go in another pocket. Plenty of space for snacks, jacket, etc. If you want a tripod you can attach it to the outside of the pack.
  21. My typical kit is the 16mm, 23mm, 35mm f/1.4 plus either the 56mm or 55-200mm. The 23mm and 35mm never rotate out because I could flip a coin to pick one, shoot all day with it, and find a way to make it work even if it's not ideal. The 16mm may or may not come along depending on where I'm planning to shoot. I'm partial to primes over zooms though, which is just personal preference. I owned the 10-24mm for a long time and sold it. It has very good image quality, but the OIS can make it soft in the corners, so most of the time I would turn off that function. I found that I was (somewhat unconsciously) using it as a "scouting lens" and then returning to re-shoot the best images with a prime. Toward the end it sat on my shelf unused for almost 3 months before I finally sold it. I wouldn't discourage anyone from buying it if you really like having an ultra-wide zoom option, but I definitely would not sell the 18-55 in your situation.
  22. The only one with that much range in focal length is the 18-135mm, which most people say has very good image quality. I owned a copy that I pre-ordered and was a little disappointed. It was FAR better than the equivalent 18-135mm Canon kit lens that I had some experience with, but anything in the distance seemed to lose contrast, especially when zoomed. I sold mine because I usually shoot with primes anyhow and was almost never using it. If I shot zooms more frequently, there's a good chance I would have kept it just because of versatility. That being said, I have seen many photos taken with this lens that don't appear to have the issues that I had with mine. That points to the possibility of some quality control issues with the early production that have since been worked out. If it fits your needs, I wouldn't discourage anyone from buying it based on my experience because it was still a very good lens. Just approach it with the right expectations.
  23. One thing that I have noticed that I think your experience backs up is that when traveling I almost always take the 55-200mm instead of the 56mm (or 50mm for some people). For the space and weight it takes up, the 55-200 is much more versatile and in a pinch it can be used as a perfectly serviceable portrait lens even though the bokeh isn't as good as the 56mm.
  24. The 23mm and 35mm f/1.4 lenses account for close to 90% of my photography. After I sold my 18-55mm, I didn't miss the 18mm focal length at all. I find 23mm to be the sweet spot where it's wide enough to be clearly different from the 35mm, but not too wide for me to be happy putting it on my camera and shooting with it all day if I want.
  25. Personally, for me the debate would be the Samyang/Rokinon 12mm f/2 or the 10-24mm. Zeiss is a good company, but most people I know who have their Fuji lenses seem to feel like they don't quite live up to expectations at their price point. I owned the 10-24mm for several years and I really liked it, but rarely used it because I tend to prefer primes and 16mm is wide enough for almost everything I do and the 23mm is my main lens that's almost always on my camera. I didn't use the zoom enough to keep it any longer, but I was very pleased with it overall. My one criticism of it was that it loses a little sharpness in the corners, but if you watch your shutter speeds and turn off OIS when its not necessary that helps a bit.
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