My wife and I took our second trip to Hawaii Island last month for some rest and relaxation. Since the point of the trip was mostly for us to hang out and enjoy the beach, we didn't venture out nearly as much as we did during our first visit to the Big Island. The two short excursions we did make brought us to the Mauna Kea Visitor Information Center and the Pololu Valley Lookout. These were both places we visited before but both were well worth returning to. Even though I didn't spend much time shooting, I did manage to bring back a few images I really liked. Here are a few of my favorites.
We took a road trip to Santa Cruz last month and I thought it would be a good opportunity to rent and try out the Fujinon XF 18-135mm lens. Even though I generally prefer prime lenses, the XF 18-135mm intrigued me because it's the first weather resistant lens from Fuji and because it covers a very useful focal length range. Being someone that spends a lot of time shooting near the ocean, the idea of having a weather resistant lens that covers most of my shooting situations sounded quite appealing.
During the week I spent with the lens, I was impressed with almost everything about it. While it's bigger and heavier than the lenses I'm used to shooting with, it didn't feel as unwieldy as I expected. In fact, it felt quite well balanced with the X-T1. I don't have the battery grip for the X-T1, but I think those that do will find that they pair nicely with the XF 18-135mm lens. All the images I captured with the lens were plenty sharp for me and the image stabilization came in handy on numerous occasions.
The only issue I had with the lens was with vignetting while using my Lee Seven5 filter system. With the lens zoomed out to 18mm, there was noticeable vignetting in the corners when I had the filter system mounted on the lens. Zooming in to about 24mm seemed to have taken care of the vignetting in my images. This wasn't a huge issue for me since I had the XF 14mm for my wide angle images, but it's definitely something to keep in mind if you plan to use this lens for long exposures. With that, I'll leave you with a few images shot in and around Santa Cruz using the X-T1 and XF 18-135mm lens.
Stanley Park is a beautiful destination in the heart of Vancouver that is frequented by visitors and locals alike. During our time in Vancouver, we explored the park in our car, on foot, and by bike. The fact that the park is mostly surround by water made it an ideal place for me to shoot long exposures. Having the luxury of time also meant I could scout the locations I wanted to shoot and return later with my tripod and other long exposure gear. Here are three of my favorite long exposures from Stanley Park shot with the Fujifilm X-T1 and XF 14mm lens.
I ordered the Fujinon XF 27mm pancake lens at the beginning of April when Fuji was having their latest round of lens rebates. Unfortunately, the lens has been backordered since that time and I wasn't going to have it for our trip to Vancouver. Since I was hoping to use the XF 27mm in Vancouver as a general purpose, walkaround lens, I decided to rent one.
Having read numerous reviews, including this one at photozone, I knew that the XF 27mm was a well regarded lens amongst Fuji X users. Now having spent a week with it, I must admit that I too am quite impressed with this nifty little lens. In fact, the XF 27mm was on my X-T1 most of the time during our trip. I only switched to the XF 14mm or XF 35mm when I needed to go wider or wanted images with a more shallow depth of field. Essentially, I used the X-T1 and XF 27mm combination in the same way I normally use the X100S.
In all honesty, I didn't really miss the X100S (which my wife was using) during our trip. On a few occasions, I would've liked to have the built in ND filter on the X100S or to be able to shoot at f/2. But in general, the X-T1 and XF 27mm worked out very well as my light, general purpose, walkaround kit. To give you an idea of what I used the XF 27mm for, here are some of my favorite images shot with it from Vancouver. If you'd like to see more, check out the images in my Granville Island and Lynn Canyon Park posts, which were all shot using the X-T1 and XF 27mm.