Time for another edition of Photography in Fort Wayne - Taking out the Viltrox 85mm f/1.8

What an odd focal length to take to the city to shoot around, the Viltrox 85mm Fuji X Mount lens is a full frame lens that works out to 128mm equivalent on the crop body Fuji X-T30, it’s a behemoth of a lens on the small X-T30 so not something you would typically casually carry around. 

If you’ve read any of my other posts, you know I do and don’t…usually don’t, go out with a plan when I go to take photograph’s in Fort Wayne. I…didn’t have a plan at all, other than I knew that it would be good for detail shots so that’s what I warmed myself up with.

So, when I first parked and got out of my car it took some warm up to get used to how far away I had to be to keep my subject and composition where I wanted it. 

After warming up, I walked through the Barr Street Market, hand-made crafts and jewelry, organic fruits and vegetables, home-made goods really great place to support local small businesses.

As the morning went on, I quickly realized that I wasn’t going to be using the lens like I though I would be. I’ve been photographing people more and more, and what better to shoot people with than a longer lens?

As I progress more into photographing people I am finding different way to capture people doing people things. I always liked shooting into windows, you get a little chaos, getting to see a little of what is going on inside the window you are shooting into and you get it mixed with whatever is reflecting off the window from the outside world. Adding people to that mix gives you the chaos that people sometimes feel as they wander through life.

Once I got around to working out that focal length to just walk around with, I really started enjoying using it, despite it’s size. 

Now, a few thoughts about the lens, not really a review but I do like to throw in a couple thoughts about a lens as I use it more. Optics are excellent for this budget lens. Build quality is very good, it’s all metal and being a full frame lens it is pretty hefty at  636g (1.4lb). There’s no aperture ring which is kind of a bummer, but it’s a cheap lens so sacrifices have to be made. The manual focus ring is nice and smooth, it does move freely enough that you can bump it out of focus fairly easily if you’re not comfortable. I bring the manual focus ring up because, despite the lens having AF, my copy must be a bum because it misses focus about 40% of the time or better when using AF. It seems to be ok when using eye detection AF, but just single focus AF it misses focus way more than it should, so I find myself manually focusing this lens most of the time. I know it’s not a huge issue with Viltrox, but I have read about this lens missing focus in a few other blogs and I’ve read about the new Viltrox offering for Fujfilm can have the same issues.

I’ll add my favorite shot from the day to the home page, have a different favorite, let me know in the comments! And, as always, be sure to follow me on Instagram @dan_adams_snaps

As always, links to the gear used are affiliate links. If you’re contemplating any of the items in this post and these images possibly swayed you, please click through this page, it won’t cost you anything.

Testing out Fujifilm’s XF16mm f/1.4 in a photography walk in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana

It was actually two days of photography in downtown Fort Wayne, but the title was already getting drawn out, so meh. At any rate, I was nice enough to get myself a new piece of glass for my Fujifilm X-T30 and had a Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 R WR delivered this week. I did snap some shots when I got it earlier in the week, but just your typical snaps of nothing in particular and a couple pet photo’s. 
But, to put the lens through it’s paces, I wanted to take it out and use it on the streets and some landscape and cityscape type shots. Headed into downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana on Friday evening in to the night, and then again on Saturday morning. So, 2 days and roughly 3.5 hours of testing this weekend, not a lot of time with the lens but I am pretty blown away by the quality of this lens, though I feel like I’m body shaming my little X-T30 putting such a hefty lens on it…but away we went.

Starting Friday evening I wanted to walk around for a while before sunset, and then see how the lens did once the sun went down. I’m in no position to review this lens, and it has been done by many MANY people but I will echo a few of the things I heard the most when reading and watching reviews. Optics, excellent…so SHARP, even shot wide open…Fuji build quality…loose aperture ring…clutch focus. 
I did notice on more than one occasion that I had accidentally bumped my aperture while walking around, so that aperture ring is pretty loose and a lot less ‘clicky’ than my f/2 lenses from Fuji.

And that clutch focus! I love it, and I’ve never shot in manual focus mode much but it almost feels natural when I started with this lens, I can’t explain it. So, I can’t speak much on the AF, seems speedy enough but I didn’t use it to rely on any decisive moments but I don’t see why it wouldn’t be fast enough under most conditions. Ending Friday’s walk looking back at the city on my way back to my car.

Moving on to Saturday morning, I wanted to test the Fujinon 16mm f1.4  on one of my favorite things to shoot, a sunrise. Sunrise was OK, but my favorite sunrise image on this day was just before the sun came up, blue hour was fading out and the color was coming in. 

This was a shorter photography walk in downtown Fort Wayne, but it my short time using this lens, it’s spectacular! It’s a bulky, heavy lens but it doesn’t balance too terribly on the small body X-T30.

You can view the rest of my snaps from this weekend below to see this lens used in various different ways, just click on an image you want to view in the grid.

**And, as always, the links above ARE affiliate links to the camera and lens used in each blog post. If you’re interested in the camera or that particular lens then it doesn’t cost you anything to click the link and check it out.**

Street Photography in Fort Wayne

If you look at my last post, I wrote about going out all weekend without any kind of plan. This weekend was different as I’ve been wanting to work on my street photography, so the goal….street. I only just started doing street photography less than 6 months ago, but I love it. Problem with that is, I love it but I’m still not really comfortable shooting people it still intimidates me but the more I go out, the more I chip away at that particular insecurity of mine.

Street photography in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana can be a bit of a challenge as there’s only a handful of blocks in the downtown area that stays somewhat busy. This does provide more of a challenge to find different scenes, the good thing is you can typically come up with several completely different images from the same location. But the name of the game in a smaller city with less of a spacious downtown area is patience, find a scene you like and wait for someone to walk in to that scene. 

I’ve really been drawn to the high contrast images in the street photography genre, something about the shadows that fall into black bring a different mood to an image. When I have those photography walks with no plan and I’m out there shooting lights and shadows, I’m also looking out for different places where I can make a high contrast images. Some of the images I take during these walks are reference photo’s that I can keep in the back of my head to use to further learning street photography.

I took my XF50mm f/2 out for the weekend, it gives me enough reach to let me catch scenes but allows me to stay a bit further away and reinforces my insecurities about shooting people. I do have to say, after having used the XF50mm for several months in several different ways, I am ecstatic about this lens. 

Want to see more, make sure you follow me on Instagram @dan_adams_snaps 

Full disclosure, affiliate links below to the equipment used for these photo’s.
Fujifilm X-T30

Fujinon XF50mmF2 R WR Lens