My new XF 55 – 200 mm lens arrived. To just do a quick test of focusing, I stepped out on the back porch and took a picture of the far shore line. I didn’t have my glasses on and I just put the center focus point on the light brown speck (a rock) and took the following picture at 55 mm. When I loaded the picture on my computer I noticed the heron. Do you see it on the far shore line to the right of the light speck?
I also used the X-E1 in auto mode zoomed out to 200 mm, and then cropped it down to 2000 pixels wide to get what you see below. The camera chose the settings of ISO 200, f/5.6, and 1/250 sec.
I was then curious how much of a difference an extra 100 mm in focal length would make so I took the following picture with the Pentax K-5 and the 55 – 300 mm lens zoomed all the way out. I then also cropped it to the same 2000 pixels wide for the following view. Photographing in “P” mode, the camera chose ISO 640, f/8, 1/400 sec. with the center focus point on the heron.
I corrected the WB to be the same in both cameras and developed them the same. Both cameras were hand-held. Since these aren’t exactly the same it isn’t a fair comparison other than to the differences of an extra 100 mm, but I am pleased with the X-E1 and the new XF 55 – 200 mm lens so far … even though it isn’t as long a focal length. Pixel for pixel the X system appears to be sharper and to have better micro contrast.
I was planning to take some comparison pictures but there are so many variables that it would be hard to do anything meaningful. The only thing that counts is that I like what I’m getting with the X system. I have used the X-E1 camera enough to know that I really like it and that it is lighter to carry than the K-5. I now need to determine how well the system performs in lower light, how well I like carrying it around, how many shots I miss because of the focal length, and how much fun I have using the system. I think I will put the K-5 system away and concentrate on just using the X-E1 system for a while.
Just for fun … look at a 100% crop of the XF 200 mm picture (below). It isn’t sharp, but considering it is from a single hand-held picture with the heron so far away and without any thought to best aperture or shutter speed, I am encouraged to see what I can really do with this lens.
The Great Blue Herons are usually low flyers. Did you ever notice that they fly with their long necks folded? It’s flying towards the roof with its long legs straight out behind it. This one had just left the pond where I photographed the bullfrog. Hmmm, come to think of it, I haven’t heard it lately.
It was a slow day yesterday, but we were expecting storms later. I had stepped outside to see if I could find any interesting cloud formations, but there were none. Fortunately, this heron decided to fly over our house and, more fortunately, I had my K-5 in my hand. I might not like the weight of the K-5, but it never lets me down and is quick to turn on, raise, zoom in a bit, focus, and then respond instantly when I hit the shutter. I was actually able to fire off four single shots very quickly.