Earlier this year, I posted about using image stabilization with the Fuji 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 OIS Fujinon lens. Actually, I posted about how turning OIS on ended up creating softer images than hand-holding at moderate to fast shutter speeds. It’s frustrating to me because I really like the overall sharpness and versatility of this lens, but I was at the point where I’d only turn stabilization (IS) on when I was shooting at very low shutter speeds (slower than 1/60s).
Today I got a message from a friend asking if I’d tried setting stabilization to Mode 2, as he’d heard this might solve the softness issue we were both seeing with the Fuji 18-55mm lens.
Huh? I had to plead ignorance on that one. I knew there were two stabilization (IS) modes with the Fujifilm X-T1, but I didn’t think they’d cause any major differences in sharpness. Why? Here’s what the manual says about the two image stabilization options: Continue reading →
File this under “just for fun.” I have both a Nikon D4 and Fujifilm X-T1. Both cameras are roughly 16MP resolution, but the Fuji uses an APS-C sensor while the Nikon D4 is a 35mm sensor. I performed this quick ISO comparison simply to see how well Fuji’s sensor stacked up against that of my D4, which is a low-light champ. Before I go on, please understand that these are two very different cameras, for very different uses. I like them both for different reasons!Continue reading →
The standard kit lens for most of the Fujifilm X-mount cameras, including the X-T1 I just purchased, is the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4.0 R LM OIS zoom lens. There’s a lot of alphabet soup going on with that name, but the main feature here is OIS, or Optical Image Stabilization. This in-lens stabilization system is intended to improve the sharpness of hand-held images of static subjects at lower shutter speeds. As someone who’s used Nikon’s VR lenses for nearly a decade now, I’m very much happy with the feature, especially when shooting indoors. Keep in mind that no stabilization system will prevent subject motion blur at low shutter speeds.
I was doing some test shots with the 18-55mm lens, and I just wasn’t getting satisfactorily sharp results. As I was shooting hand-held, I had OIS enabled. Just for fun, I thought I’d test my lens with the OIS turned off. What I saw was amazing as my image sharpness rivaled that of my 24-70mm f/2.8 AFS G Nikkor lens. It is true that in certain situations, stabilization systems can actually introduce softness when using fast shutter speeds, but it’s not something I found to be an issue with my Nikkor glass. But with this particular lens, it makes a huge difference! Continue reading →
Since I bought my Fujifilm X-T1 system, all of my camera bags were suddenly too big! I purchased a Think Tank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i to carry it in. It’s perfect for walking around with the camera and a couple of lenses plus accessories. I still may get a slightly larger bag for times when I want to pack the entire kit, but right now, the Mirrorless Mover 30i is a good fit for me. It’s small, well-built, and can carry the X-T1 plus four lenses and accessories, including my iPad. For vacation travel, that’s a perfect combination!
Check out my review of the Think Thank Photo Mirrorless Mover 30i bag on YouTube:
This is one of my favorite test subjects: Kindergarten Rock in Garden of the Gods. I wanted to try the 18-55mm kit lens again. Yesterday, I’d seen some soft results when compared with my Nikon 24-70mm. Of course, the Nikkor is one heck of a lens, and it wouldn’t have been surprising if the Fujinon wasn’t quite as sharp. But after reading many online reviews of the 18-55mm, I was wondering why my results were soft when others gushed about the sharpness. It turns out that the image stabilization system (OIS) can introduce softness at fast shutter speeds, just like Nikon’s VR system can.
I went back to Garden of the Gods, turned OIS off, and got this result. It’s pin-sharp and holds its own against my D4/24-70mm combo (I use this comparison because both are 16MP cameras).
So there you have it. The 18-55mm f/2.8-4 Fujinon is one heck of a lens for outdoor photography! Just be sure to only use OIS if you absolutely need it, like indoors with slow shutter speeds.