The Streets of Sydney Through a Fisheye Lens

November 11, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I have been shooting for many years but I never had any interest on getting a fisheye lens until earlier this year when I stumbled upon an ad on gumtree. Someone was selling a 7artisans 7.5mm f2.8 fisheye lens (Fuji mount) at a bargain price that's very hard to resist so I ended up purchasing it!

The lens is in brand new condition with very smooth manual focusing ring. The only thing I dislike about is the declicked aperture ring. It's also small yet well balanced when mounted on my Fujifilm X-S10 or on the X-T2.

 

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I packed it with me to work one day just to test if I'd be happy with the fisheye field of view for street photography. Most would prefer a 50mm or a 35mm equivalent for shooting streets but I like to experiment.

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 200 | f/8 | 1/25 sec 

Long ago, when I started my photography journey I was a big fan of ultrawide angle lenses. The past few years, my style has shifted more into intimate landscape photography using medium telephoto to long telephoto lenses. The first few images I took with the 7artisans 7.5mm lens, I found myself struggling to compose the shot. There's just too much going on in the image. 

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 320 | f/8 | 1/900 sec 

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 160 | f/8 | 1/70 sec 

Then I started playing with light and shadows to create visual direction. I also had to embrace the crazy amount of distortion. After all it's a fisheye lens. The two images below where taken just an hour after Sunrise around Sydney.

 

   

     Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 320 | f/8 | 1/150 sec   

 

  

      Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 320 | f/8 | 1/40 sec             

There's always a camera and a lens in my office bag every time I go to work. Sometimes when I get to the city early, I'd walk around for an hour before going to the office. Most of the time specially in the autumn and winter months, I'd prefer to walk around with the camera during my lunch break. With the camera always with me, there's always a photo to be had even in the train or at the train platform!

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 1600 | f/8 | 1/10 sec 

 

    Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 160 | f/8 | 1/3 sec 

I also find this lens great for shooting architecture and interiors provided you like the 'creative' and unique fisheye look!

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 160 | f/8 | 1/4 sec

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 160 | f/8 | 1/8 sec 


   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 320 | f/8 | 1/60 sec 
 

    Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 320 | f/8 | 1/100 sec 

Although ultra wide angle lenses like this one is easier to handhold at slower shutter speeds, I find that when paired with my Fuji X-S10's the internal IBIS works really well to help me achieve some creative motion blur in my images.

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 160 | f/8 | 1/3 sec 

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/7 sec

It's probably obvious by now that all the images here were taken at aperture of f/8. I find that it's the sweet spot for this lens. At least for my copy. At its widest (f/2.8) the corners can be a bit soft but it gets better starting at f/4. I prefer to set mine to f/8 for shooting streets and architecture. 

 

   Fujifilm X-S10 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 160 | f/8 | 1/2 sec 

So it is it worth keeping??

Fisheye lens is not for everyone. And it can get a bit boring  (at least for me) when used a lot! I like switching to different focal lengths from time to time but there's a lot of creative possibilities that this lens can offer. And besides, I got it used for just over $100 so to me it's definitely worth keeping! It's a fun lens to use after all.

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | 7artisans 7.5mm f/2.8 | ISO 400 | f/8 | 1/40 sec 


All the images in this blog and in the Gallery are copyright protected. Please feel fee to contact me if you want to purchase or license my images.
 


A Practical Review of the Fringer Pro EF-FX adapter

October 26, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I have been using Canon gears for more than 12 years and needless to say that I have collected a good number of quality EF lenses to date. My first Fujifilm mirrorless camera body was not acquired by choice but rather by luck or maybe a blessing in disguise?! Yes, I received a Fujifilm X-T2 and an XF80mm f/2.8 macro lens back in 2018 as a winning prize from Australian Photography Awards photo competition (wildlife category). I already own an equivalent macro lens in my canon system so the 80mm Fuji lens was sold within a few days after receiving it. I wanted to convert the X-T2 to cash and I already found a buyer but I pulled it out last minute as I was curious to try it.

At first, I bought a 'dumb' EF-FX adapter for $20 off ebay just to test the quality of images that can be produced using my Canon lenses on the Fuji body and I was happy with the results. The big issue with using a dumb adapter for adapting Canon EF glass is the lack of lens external aperture control. I had to use a separate Canon DSLR to change the aperture then unmount the lens while pressing the DOF preview button then mounting it on the Fuji camera. It's a tedious process so I started looking for an alternative adapter with electronics. 

I came across the Fringer Pro EF-FX mount adapter. There's some great reviews at that time from Canon users and so I ended up ordering one to give a try.

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I did not want to go out shopping for Fuji lenses so I thought the adapter would help me test the Fuji camera while using the existing lenses that I already own. I did purchase the XF 18-55mm though when it was on sale so I would have at least one native lens to play around with.

There are 2 versions of this adapter. The one that I bought was the version with external aperture control ring though it's slightly more expensive but I thought it's worth the extra dough.

All my canon lenses worked flawlessly with the adapter including the lens IS (Image Stabilisation) function. The EF 100mm 2.8 L IS is one of my most used lens on my X-T2 specially at home in the backyard where most of my macro images are created.

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100mm 2.8L IS | ISO 400 | f/14 | 1/125 sec | Manual Focus | Handheld

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100mm 2.8L IS | ISO 200| f/8 | 1/8 sec | Manual Focus | Handheld

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100mm 2.8L IS | ISO 200| f/5.6 | 1/250 sec | Manually Focused | Handheld

One of the features of the Fuji mirrorless cameras that I really like is the Focus peaking. It does help with the manual focus and it makes shooting in manual focus fun and way less painful when compared to adapting lenses on DSLR!

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100mm 2.8L IS | ISO 200| f/2.8 | 1/900 sec | Manual Focus | Handheld

 

    Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100mm 2.8L IS | ISO 800 | f/2.8 | 1/210 sec | Manual Focus | Handheld

The other favourite canon lens that I like using on my X-T2 and now on X-S10 is the EF 24-70 mm f/2.8 L. It's my walk around lens in my canon System and it's also a fantastic performer for Infrared imagery (zero hotspot). I brought it with me when I went to New Zealand back in 2019 and it did help me create some of my favourite landscape images from the trip.

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 24-70 mm 2.8 L mk2 | ISO 200 | f/16 | 5 secs | 28mm | Manual Focus | Tripod Mounted

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 24-70 mm 2.8 L mk 2 | ISO 400| f/16 | 20 secs | 70mm | Manual Focus | Tripod Mounted

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 24-70 mm 2.8 L mk 2 | ISO 200| f/10 | 1/26 secs | 24mm | Manual Focus | Tripod Mounted

The other favourite wide angle lens that I like adapting on Fuji camera bodies is the EF 16-35mm F4 IS L. The IS also works seamlessly using the Fringer Pro and also it can focus really quick although I don't use AF when shooting landscape 99.9% of the time anyway.

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM | ISO 400| f/10 | 1/300 sec | 22mm | Manual Focus | Handheld

 

    Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 16-35mm f/4L IS USM | ISO 500 | f/13 | 1/280 sec | 24mm | Manual Focus | Handheld

I am getting a lot of questions regarding the AF performance when using this adapter. On my X-T2, the AF works but not great on longer lenses like my EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 IS L MK2, EF 100mm 2.8 IS L and also with my EF 70-200mm 2.8 IS L MK 2. I realised that it's also because of the slower AF in X-T2. In Fringer's website I believe they also mentioned this one. 

Earlier this year I acquired an X-S10 and this time it's by choice! I did some tests using AF and found out that it's better than X-T2 in terms of accuracy. I am still getting a few out of focus shots though specially for fast moving subjects. But I am getting so used to using Manual Focus that it's my default mode even for birds in flight these days!

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS mk 2 | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/1800 secs | 400mm | Manual Focus | Handheld

My hit rate is getting better and better each time - I like to work around the limitation of my gears. In this case, I challenged myself to develop my reflexes and relying on the Focus Peaking to nail focus. I can only imagine how challenging it was to shoot sports back then! 

 

    Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS mk 2 | ISO 500 | f/5.6 | 1/220 sec | 400mm | Manual Focus | Handheld



    Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS mk 2 | ISO 400 | f/5.6 | 1/4400 sec | 278mm | Manual Focus | Tripod Mounted

 

    Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM | ISO 800 | f/4 | 1/450 sec | 290mm | Manual Focus | Handheld
 

My Kenko 1.4 extender also works and I like using it when shooting macro or when I needed the extra reach. 

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS mk 2 | ISO 1600 | f/7.1 | 1/240 sec | 400mm | Kenko 1.4 Extender | Manual Focus | Handheld
 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS mk 2 | ISO 200 | f/5.6 | 1/480 sec | 400mm | Kenko 1.4 Extender | Manual Focus | Handheld

 

   Fujifilm X-T2 | Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS mk 2 | ISO 400 | f/6.3 | 1/950 sec | 400mm | Kenko 1.4 Extender | Manual Focus | Handheld

I have been using the Fringer Pro for almost 2 years now and it never ever failed me. I believe I have enough experience to share my view and answer the most common questions I always get around the AF and reliability.

So is it worth it?? 

I don't use AF when I am adapting my canon lenses on my Fuji Cameras. That's mainly because I liked the focus peaking so much that I feel like I trust it more than the camera's AF. Even when using XF native lenses (YES! I own a few now), I still use Manual Focus. So that said, in my own testing, the AF works more reliably and quicker on my wider lenses than the longer lenses. But it's also worth noting that I am comparing it against my canon cameras which is an unfair comparison to start with - comparing a native lens against an adapted lens performance.

I have not tried any other brand of EF-FX adapters so I can't really compare. But I have no regrets getting it and if you are like me who owns and shoot using both Canon and Fujifilm, I believe it's the cheaper way to enjoy both worlds! I only wish that is has a weather sealing considering that all my Canon lenses are weather sealed as well as the X-T2. But still, for me it's worth it. 

If AF performance is very important for you then there's no better way than shooting using native glass. 
 


All images in this blog and in the Gallery are copyright protected. Please feel fee to contact me if you want to purchase or license my images.
 

 

 


Misty and Foggy Landscapes

October 16, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

I like chasing mist and fog during the colder months. In fact it's one of the reasons why I like Autumn and Winter here in Sydney. And a lot of times, I didn't have to travel too far to be able to create some pleasing images. Fog could turn ordinary places with distracting background into something special. It hides the background and helps simplify the composition.

A lone horse on a foggy morning. The trees can still be seen in the background but less distracting.

Mist and fog can also add depth to the image.

Copyrights Ryan Mark Ostrea Photography

And because it helps to diffuse the light, it makes shooting into the sun much easier and safer. (Caution: Looking into the Sun can cause damage to the eye). I would normally use Live view when composing a shot with the Sun in it. Direct Sunlight could damage the sensor in the camera. Mine seems to be fine til now but I would only do it when the light is so diffused similar to the two images below.

 

Autumn colours work really well with mist too.

And last but not the least it can help make some dramatic black and white images!

Occasionally with the right amount of humidity and lower temperature, we also get some nice misty mornings during Summer but it's more frequent in the colder months. This year's winter was mostly spent in lockdown. Hopefully next year there'd be more freedom to travel.


All images in this blog and in the Gallery are copyright protected. Please feel fee to contact me if you want to purchase or license my images.

 

 

 

 


Backyard Macro Photography

October 09, 2021  •  Leave a Comment

Macro photography is one of my favourite genres of photography (just second to Landscape)! In fact it's the first genre that I learned when I started my photography journey many years ago. Even though one can take closeup images of pretty much anything, I tend to look for interesting subjects in nature.

Since the Covid pandemic started and with all the imposed lockdowns and restrictions from time to time, I find myself looking for subjects in the backyard.

Early mornings are my favourite time of the day to chase bugs and tiny creatures as they are less active. Also, it's less windy and the morning light is softer - even better!

In the colder months, say autumn or early spring there's also the morning dew which could add that extra appeal to the images.

Autumn and early Spring are the seasons of the year when my macro lens would get a lot of workout. Here are some Spring flowers. One thing good about flowers is you can plant them in Autumn in pots or garden bed then in a few months, you'd have some beautiful subjects to photograph in the comfort of your own backyard. (Tip: I prefer potted flowers so I could move then around easily for best lighting and background.)

Copyrights Ryan Mark Ostrea Photography

 

And flowers would attract other insects too...

...and even arachnids. And yes, I love spiders. They always fascinate me. This little fella below was enjoying a big catch!

And then more snails. They are all over the place but when I could not find any other creatures in the backyard, they make good subjects too. This was taken in the afternoon with the warm light hitting the maple tree leaves.

So with macro and closeup photography, the imagination is the limit and there's really no need to travel far. All the images here were taken at home during lockdown.

 

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