Friday, May 15, 2015

NEW! Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4R WR

The new XF 16mm f/1.4R WR (second from the right)

Update [May 15, 2015]: Due to an unexpected delay in shipment, we did not receive our stock on the 14th as hoped for. According to tracking, we should be seeing a partial shipment arrive on Tuesday, May 19th. Unfortunately, the first shipment is not quite covering our pre-orders either. Hopefully we'll see the balance in a couple of weeks...

The good news is that I have had an opportunity to thoroughly test a production sample of the lens and have posted a follow-up review and a gallery of images on my personal blog here:


A couple of weeks ago, Fujifilm announced a new, fast wide-angle 16mm prime lens, equivalent to a 24mm in full-frame terms. Notably, this is Fujifilm's first prime lens with the WR designation, meaning it has dust and water resistant construction. I had the opportunity to test a pre-production sample of the new 16mm and while I cannot share any photos from it, I will say that I was extremely impressed. Compared to the Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4R, which I consider one of the very best wide-angle lenses I have ever used (regardless of brand), I would say that even the preproduction 16mm held up to the 23mm as far as image quality.

Like the 23mm and the 14mm f/2.8, the new 16mm seemed 100% corrected optically for distortion, therefore no software correction will be needed; straight lines render straight with no apparent barrel or pincushion distortion, even at the very edges of the frame. In addition, I could see no evidence of any chromatic aberration either. With its Nano-GI anti-reflection lens coatings (which the older prime lenses do not have), it proved extremely resistant to lens flare when shooting into the sun as well, something that fast, wide-angle primes are often not very good at. Corner sharpness on the preproduction lens was exceptional as well, and once the lens was stopped down to /2.8, the corners were already essentially as sharp as the centre. Even wide open at f/1.4, the centre of the frame is tack sharp, the edges were very good and only the extreme corners showed some obvious softness. Even the wide-open bokeh was surprisingly smooth and pleasing, not something one would necessarily expect from such a wide lens.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Meet A Scientist

This weekend was fun! Kathy and I got to do an event at Science World called 'Meet A Scientist'. Of course Kathy was the scientist, I was her assistant.

We showed kids and adults alike what's inside an instant photograph using the same technique that we teach people when doing emulsion lifts. First, we needed some photos to take apart so I ran around Science World shooting instant photos, much to the delight of the many onlookers who were there for the Dragon Boat races!

To create an emulsion lift, cut the frame from an Impossible photograph, then peel the back from the front protective plastic. After doing this you'll notice the emulsion has stuck to one of the sides. Submerge the side that holds the image in warm water. After a few minutes you'll see the image layer rise up off the plastic.


Then remove the plastic from the water and you are left with a gooey gelatin layer, which is the emulsion. Next we put a piece of paper into the water and poke the emulsion around until it floats over the paper. Using your fingers, pin two corners of the emulsion to the paper while pulling the paper and emulsion from the water. The weight of the water will help pull the emulsion flat over the paper.

After it is laying on the paper just the way you want, leave it flat on paper towel to dry.

If you're interested in doing a workshop on emulsion lifting please email We hope to have another emulsion lift workshop in early June.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Review! Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8R LM WR

Please click on the above image to go to my personal blog for a review and gallery of images shot with the Fujifilm XF 16-55mm f/2.8R LM WR zoom...

-Mike Mander