Tag Archives: #zoom lens

New Orleans Streetcar—December 2018.

It was a little more than six months ago that I made this view of a heritage streetcar in New Orleans, Louisiana while walking to the New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal to board Amtrak’s Sunset Limited.

I exposed this digitally using my FujiFilm XT1 with my zoom lens set at 110mm.

Lately, I’ve shied away from using the zoom and instead prefer to work with my prime lenses. However, the zoom is well suited for street photography owing to its variable focal length.

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Zoom Lens at Millers Falls.

A ‘zoom lens’ is a lens with adjustable focal length. Often the term is confused with a telephoto. Where a zoom lens may be a telephoto, it isn’t necessarily so.

In the case of my 18-135mm Fujinon lens, this is a wide-angle to medium telephoto range zoom.

I used this to good advantage the other day at Millers Falls, Massachusetts to make a sequence of photos of New England Central’s southward road freight 611.

Both of these photos were exposed from the same vantage point. All I did was adjust the focal length of the zoom as the train approached.

Telephoto view; 18-135mm zoom lens set at 116mm (equivalent of 174mm on a 35mm film camera).

Wide angle view from the same vantage point. 18-135mm Fujinon zoom lens set to 23.3mm (equivalent to a 35mm lens on a traditional 35mm film camera.) Incidentally; when making these comparisons it is crucial to distinguish between historic  film size and the focal length of the lenses. Both photos were exposed digitally.

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Trenitalia Double Deck at Roma Trastevere; Zoom versus Prime

It was a bright morning last week when I exposed this view of a Trenitalia double-deck suburban train approaching its station stop at Rome Trastevere en route to Roma Termini (Rome’s main station).

I worked with my FujiFilm XT1 with 90mm f2.0 lens for this photo.

Exposed using a FujiFilm XT1 fitted with a Fujinon f2.0 90mm lens.

Regular readers may have noticed that I’ve been making regular use of this camera/lens combination.

I have four lens for my FujiFilm XT1; 12/27/90mm fixed focal length (prime) lenses, plus an 18-135mm zoom lens. Lately the 27 and 90mm primes have been the most useful.

Why not use the zoom lens more? Here’s three reasons:

1) The 18-135mm zoom not as fast as the primes. My 90mm f2 is 2.5/3 stops faster that the 18-135mm.

2) The 18-135mm zoom isn’t as sharp.

3) I find that the discipline of working with a fixed focal length lenses lends to stronger images. This is an abstract notion, but often seems to be true.

Over the years I’ve gone back and forth between a preference for zooms over primes. It’s the toss up of convenience over image quality. There’s no one ‘right’ solution. But when I look back at my images that I prize the most, many of them have been exposed using prime glass.

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