APS-C Tag

It's been a long time since I first saw the announcements about the Nikon Z-fc camera - and since I watched Michael Phillips juggle three dummy demonstration bodies at a photo trade fair. I've looked at the dummy cameras in Murray Street and Stirling street since then, but this is the first time I've gotten a real-live working one to play with  It is fitted with a 24-70 f:4-6.3 lens. The lens is an average zoom range  - but for this APS-C-sensored camera that equates to 36-105mm fields of view when you compare it to the other Z full-frame cameras. Never mind - there are all sorts of Z-mount lenses for the Nikon cameras and you can go wider, too. You can also get Z lenses that capitalise on the style of the camera body...

I am inclined to take things at face value if I can see their faces.I believe in new equipment when I see it in the hands of our local wholesaler's representatives and when I can find it on the shelves of the shop. Until then the novelties are nice to speculate about but to be honest there have been promises made in the past that are still pending. It is much the same in my other hobbies...

Yesterday's column introduced a lens for the Fujifilm X mount that was positively tiny. Today brings one that is positively not. They illustrate two different mindsets when it comes to wide-angle photography - you must see with which you find yourself in agreement. The Fujinon XF 10-24mmF4 R OIS lens has been the widest of their offerings for some time, but is going to joined by an even wider 8-16mm lens shortly. It'll be an f;2.8 job and you can expect it to be physically bigger and heavier than this one - but we'll be playing with this one for the time being. The packaging is straightforward Fujifilm - internal egg carton and separate lens and lens hood. The build quality is exactly like every other Fujifilm XF lens and the design style is identical to their other zooms. The lens features standard auto and manual aperture control and an optical image stabiliser system. This is somewhat of a surprise in a lens of such short focal length, but no-one who uses it will be disappointed with the steadiness. Thankfully, the lens does...

Now that you have returned to consciousness, or back from the pub, you can begin to look at the coming year with a bit more equanimity. I want you to cast your mind back to the bald, skinny Frenchman we mentioned before; Henri Cartier-Bresson. Remember that name, and go to the bookstore or the library and hunt out a volume of his pictures. You may also find essays in some books that he has written. They are fine, in a way, but do not have the impact of his pictures - these are truly universal in their communication, and point you toward some part of your choice. HCB - as opposed to JCB - used standard lenses. Lenses that were prime ( As he was shooting in the 40's and 50s you can presume pre-zoom...

If you are a keen amateur photographer you must have a thrill of jealousy when you see the professionals given the task of testing out new photographic equipment. The thought of them driving their vans up to the factory gate and loading new bodies and lenses in with a grain shovel must be maddening. Well, don't get too green-eyed - there are pitfalls to the thing as well. I know - I got to play with a wonderful camera and lenses a couple of months ago and I discovered that it was a nervous experience. To start with, the wholesale representatives are business-like and thorough. They check out everything that takes off and make sure that it lands again. In one piece, too. You sign for each test item. And then you have the problem of keeping that gear pristine while squeezing it through the professional wringer. I left with a box full of camera and lenses that was worth more than the car that bore it away. You have to think about how you can do the thing - about what sort...