We had our first real recreational visit to the cabin on the May long weekend. I pointed lenses at trees and came away with pictures that charmed me but are unsatisfactory. Which offers an excuse for a bit of camera geekery. No, even better, lens geekery.

But first, the pictures. Whether you’re on the beach, or up the hill looking out over the ocean, sometimes you should ignore the ocean and look up instead.

Looking up at a big Douglas Fir

That big Douglas Fir is perched on rocks right at the water’s edge and frequently serves as a bald-eagle eagle perch and launchpad. I greet it whenever I pass it going uphill because it has a special place in my heart.

That photo, and the next, are taken with through Fujifilm’s little “kit” 18-55mm f/2.8-4 lens, previously blogged about here where I noted that it’s one of Fuji’s oldest and cheapest lenses, and while (unlike some other Fuji X-lenses) it doesn’t make things look magically better, is amazingly versatile and accurate and I use it a lot.

OK, let’s point that 18-55mm across Howe Sound at Gambier Island as dusk falls; you’re sitting roughly here looking at this.

Looking north at Gambier island as the sun sets

A bit of sun is getting through the clouds, lighting up the trees in the foreground, leaving the mountains opaque. I think that sunlit bit is pretty and want a closer look. Notice that little point near the bottom right corner with a few boats in view? Here you go.

Coastline of Gambier Island near Gambier harbour

This is taken with my decades-old Tokina SL-400 f5.6, whose acquisition was blogged in 2009 and its application to Fujifilm mirrorless in 2014.

But… that photo has an abstract look, where by “abstract” I mean “out of focus”. Mind you, it was dusky, the air was hazy, and the target is 2km (1¼ miles) away. But still.

If you’re trying for arty abstraction, well then no problem.

A forested mountainside at dusk, streaks of sunlight across ranks of trees

“But they’re out of focus!”
“Bah, Henri Cartier-Bresson said
‘Sharpness is a bourgeois concept’, so there.”

Glancing at that 2009 blog piece made me realise that I’ve been resisting lashing out on a decent long lens for fourteen years now, and if I plan to continue sitting at the cabin pointing a camera across the ocean, maybe I ought to unclench and send some money to Japan.

But OMG the choices! From Fujifilm, there’s the 70-300 f/4-5.7 (fabulous for the money, bokeh a bit grungy), the 100-400 f/4-5.6 (sharp all the way out, but an extra thousand bucks and weighs a ton), and finally the 150-600 f/5.6-8 (omg 600mm, very slick, white barrel). Fuji also offers tele-extenders to multiply the focal length by 1.4 or 2.0. Then from Tamron there’s a 150-500mm f5-6.7. The prices seem kind of volatile; right now here in Canada, the 100-400 is just slightly more than the 150-600 (?!) and the Tamron is a lot cheaper than either. If you care about this kind of thing, Cris Photography has a maniacally complete comparison.

It helps that while my cameras are a couple of generations behind the current, none of the latest Fuji camera bodies are calling out to me. Hm… stand by, maybe my pictures of what’s across the ocean will become less, uh, impressionistic.


Comment feed for ongoing:Comments feed

From: Doug Steele (May 27 2023, at 19:22)

Tim, that's a big fir, not a big cedar. However, there are a few big cedars in the background, and a little cedar in the centre foreground :)


From: Tim (but not THE Tim) (May 27 2023, at 22:31)

I'm just commenting to say that I for one wouldn't mind if you didn't do the km-to-miles conversion in your posts. I'm in the US, but I wanted us to convert ages ago, and am sorely disappointed that we didn't


From: Jason Carter (May 30 2023, at 04:58)

Consider APS-C as the crop factor can be helpful in telephoto - a Canon 90d is affordable right now, combined with some impressive used glass in the EF line now that everything's mirrorless


From: Roland Tanglao (Jun 06 2023, at 20:04)

canon full frame body plus 800mm f11 fixed lens plus 2x extender will be my jam in 2024! Can't wait for the 1600mm of collapse of context!


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