Fuji 18-135mm Lens

I decided to try out the 18-135mm lens. I’ve been thinking about this lens since I purchased the X-T1. Just the range alone makes it interesting. My favorite Canon lens, back in the day when I was a Canon shooter, was the 24-105mm f/4 lens. Great lens. The Fuji 18-135 extends that range so it seems like a natural. However, it’s not as fast coming in at f/3.5 to f/5.6. And, as always seems to be so with variable aperture lenses, f/3.5 only at the widest focal length. The lens has OIS and is weather resistant. Fuji claims five stops of stabilization and that might be accurate. I handheld this shot at 1/7 second. The walker is blurred out but the pizza shop signs are fairly sharp. The aperture was f/4.7, ISO 3200. And I’m not that stable – talking holding a camera here – so that’s pretty good.

So, the pluses are the range, the weather sealing and the image stabilization. The negatives are the speed and the cost. I also note that some reviews note the lens is not really sharp wide open. I’d agree with that. It gets much better up around f/8 to f/11. If you’re a hard core pixel peeper, maybe it’s not for you. Still, I was able to capture quite a few images in low light that I find acceptable. I did note the lens seemed slower to focus than my others. That seems to be different than what most reviews have found. The particular copy of the lens I rented was ‘sticky’ when zooming. I assume that’s just the copy I had.

You can see my examples here and here.

Another Street – The Embarcadero

I’m adding the third street to my Streets of San Francisco portfolio. The Embarcadero is the eastern edge of San Francisco. It was, to a great extent, the home of shipping in San Francisco. Most shipping moved to Oakland years ago but the piers still exist even though most are occupied by business interests. As such, The Embracadero interests me both as a photographic opportunity and as an interesting challenge for San Francisco Bay in the coming years as global warming kicks in and the Bay rises. There are projects in place to study the best solutions but it is clear there will be significant problems in the coming years.

While I have taken many photos along The Embracadero, the new Gallery consists mostly of images taken recently. I expect to add more in the coming weeks.

Grant Vernacular

My new gallery – “Grant Vernacular” – was inspired by a visit to SFMOMA where the Walker Evans exhibition is showing. In particular, there’s a sign within the exhibition reading, “From the early 1920s, most of Evans photographs took the vernacular as their subject. The places he scouted were nondescript public spaces, highways, the main streets of small towns, city sidewalks with the characteristic signs and shop windows.”

I thought I’d give that a try even through I’m not quite at Evan’s level. 😉 The Gallery is composed of scenes from Grant Ave.

A little night photography

I wanted to add some work to my Grant Ave. portfolio so I covered a short part of the street – mostly North Beach with a little Chinatown thrown in – at night. You can see the Gallery here.

As to the more technical details, I used my Fuji X-T1, the 55-200mm lens, ISO 200 and on a tripod. Exposure times varied from 0.6 seconds up to 10 seconds. I did use some at 20 to 30 seconds but none of those made the cut.

Streets of San Francisco: Grant Avenue

The start

Some time ago, it was suggested to me that an interesting walk in San Francisco is to walk Grant Ave. from beginning to end. Grant starts at Market Street and continues to Pier 39 with one interruption – there is no 2100 block.

The End

It starts in the Union Square/Financial District, changes to the so-called “main street of Chinatown” where it is known as Dupont Gai, takes on another personality as it crosses Broadway becoming a North Beach street lined with bars and restaurants and finally morphing once more into a residential street at Filbert. It’s a great cross section of San Francisco.

I’ve started a project called “Streets of San Francisco” that, maybe, will not just be about Grant Ave. but will include other streets I find interesting. The first gallery in the project is here. This is just the first pass; I expect to add and change the gallery over the next few weeks.

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