APS-C Tag

I proceeded to the Murray Street premises of Camera Electronic and interviewed the store manager, Domenic Papalia. He opened the Canon show cabinet and took out a Canon Macro EF-S 35mm f:2.8 IS STM lens and a Canon 70D camera. After ascertaining that there was a charge in the battery, Mr. Papalia admitted that the lens had an inbuilt lighting system that could be actuated by a button on the side. Subsequent tests showed this to be the case  - the button has three positions: high power, low power and off. The lens has aperture stops ranging down to f:29 - which is quite unusual for many small digital lenses. It autofocuses, as well as manually focusing once you release the locking. It contaains internal stabilisation. The picture of the SD card may not be art but it is science enough to show you how close and big it will go. The advantage of the two LED lights is seen when you are this close - otherwise, it is nearly impossible to obtrude other lights in front of the lens at such a distance....

Well, you cannot fault the makers of cameras for being dull bodies - they let their design departments run with the colours and in the cameras we've seen this week we've had a different shade each day. The Fujifilm XF10 today is Champagne Gold. How the Fujifilm people got away with using the word " Champagne " when it is debarred from local winemakers is a mystery. Perhaps they have better lawyers. Whatever, they do have an attractive pocket product here. It's the newest of the quartet and probably contains the newest circuits - but it also has one design decision that the others did not make - no zoom lens. This camera has a fixed 18mm lens feeding onto an APS-C Bayer-pattern sensor. Due to the nature of prime lenses over zooms, and fixed construction over erecting lenses, as well as that large sensor...

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...