Thursday, April 17, 2014

Spring patterns in New York with the X-T1 and Fuji 56mm plus close-up lens

I set out to do this photo project last week but couldn't because nothing was sprouting in the city for spring. Today was different. The city has come alive with new spring growth. It is always a little difficult to come away from a subject like this with images that are a little different from what has been done before, but then again that is the challenge of it. I tried to integrate the city itself into the photos wherever I could.

The chose to use the Fuji X-T1, which is quickly becoming one of my favorite cameras of all time. It is no wonder it is selling out everywhere. Most of the time for my personal work I use the Fuji X cameras set to a 1:1 square crop mode.

I had only two lenses with me, the 18-55mm zoom and the 56mm f/1.2 which I often used with a Nikon 5T close-up lens. Instead of using a macro lens for close-ups, I prefer to put a close-up filter on a fast aperture lens to create extreme bokeh effects.  The Nikon 5T is equivalent to a +1.5 close-up filter, except that it is really a lens because it is made up of two elements. It is not made anymore. I happened to still have my original 52mm and 62mm sets. They occasionally turn up on Ebay. The 52mm and 62mm filter size makes them a perfect match for the Fuji system, and I have found the results to be exceptional. There are two lenses in each set. One acts as a +1.5 close-up filter, and the other +3.0. Not only are these close-up lenses sharp, they also do not lower the contrast of the taking lens, as so many close-up filters seem to do.

Tulips with a passing taxi along  Fifth Avenue taken with the 56mm lens at f/1.2 using the Nikon 5T close up lens. 

Easter Lily with the 56mm lens at f/1.2 using the Nikon 5T close up lens.

 I tried to incorporate the sun into many of the photos because of the important role it plays in the feeling of springtime.

Daffodils and a blossoming tree across from the Flat Iron Building

Daffodils in the Union Square Farmers Market. This close-up was done using the 18-55mm zoom wide open. 

Daffodil and the Empire State Building. I tried several f/stops to get just the right amount of focus on the Empire State building so it could be identified without being too sharp.  I ended up with f/11 on the 56mm lens with a Nikon 5T close up lens on it. 

Another variation of the daffodils with the Flat Iron Building done with the 18-55mm zoom set to 21mm. The tilt-out screen of the X-T1 makes it a lot easier to do these extreme low angle shots. 

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