Coos on the doorstep, seals in the combe and deer in the quarry.

Posted on April 2, 2020

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The March trip to Lundy was an ideal time for testing my new bit of Fujifilm kit; the 200 mm f2. It comes with a matched 1.4x extender and is meant to be ‘stepping- razor’ sharp and all the lab charts agree, but is it ‘dangerous’ in a real world situation. Like in a sodden, windswept granite lump of an island with not much cover that usually needs a lens with the reach of 5/600mm in full frame terms. We gonna have to walk and dont look back.

Now I have always used full frame cameras, the Canon AE 1 was my first (and I still have it) but when I was earning money from photography, especially ‘sport action’ style photography a little extra reach was always welcome and the Canon 1d mk2 with its 1.3x crop which stretched the 600mm f4 into a 750mm or so equivalent, was my favourite. Built like a brick and squeezing every once of detail from the massive 8.2 megapixel sensor, it had enough detail to nail me several covers and lots of money spinning double-page spreads. Think about it, that’s A3 from a 8.2 megapixel sensor.

Fast forward 20 years and undoubtably technology has moverd on, so much so that your iphone camera could probably get a covershot. Maybe. Not quite but it is very close..

Anyway, back to the 200mm f2, it is a 35mm equivilent of 300mm on the 1.5 crop XT-3 sensor and if you add the 1.4x converter, it brings it up to 400mm. Is that enough? Well the XT-3 has a sports finder mode that crops the image by 1.25x and make the effective 35mm equivilent 525mm. All this, however, is imaterial as to how that the image you take is gonna be used. If youre gonna share it with your internet friends and family then it only has to match their screen resolution. If you are going to print it for yoursel the most printers work on 150 dpi but most photo editors require 300 dpi. My first double page spreads were stretching the small sensor to the max but were compensated by the large pixel sites of the sensor that gathered more light per pixel, comparing that to a sensor that is 3x bigger (but with more tech) is up to the viewer. In the end it’s not down to sensor size or pixel peeping; it is, do you like the image?

So, dear reader, I put it to you that we’re not looking at reach we are looking at image quality. See for yourself and let me know in the comments box below. Click on the image to make it bigger (PC and Mac, not phone).

Close up coo

Yea

Coo on the doorstep

Are you looking at me

Seals at Gannets combe

Are you looking at me

Mmmmm

Just hanging around

Yeah

Oi

Boys keep swinging

Mum and daughters (same family from the June shoot last year).

Click on the picture to zoom in, Mac and PC only – get off your phones….

 

Well there you have it. It doesnt quite have the reach but blimey is it sharp, just count the hairs on the coos brow or the eye lashes on the deer. I still have my 100mm – 400mm which is very versitile and the made in Japan build quality is superb. If you look back to my Lundy visit last June, I was pleased with the Razorbill and Puffin pix, especially the birds in flight shots. It will be interesting to see the (rumoured) new 300mm f4 and 500mm f5.6 lens from Fuji but the 200mm is going nowhere, it really is – the great white sharp.

Posted in: Lundy