Friday, August 14, 2015

Shooting lifestyle with the Fuji 90mm lens

If you've been following this blog for awhile, you know that for the past month I've been recuperating from hip replacement surgery, which has kept me somewhat limited in how far I can venture out to take new photographs.  I'm happy to say that this past week I was finally able to do a couple of low key lifestyle shoots in my studio. Being able to get back to my shooting schedule was exciting enough, but having an opportunity to battle test the new Fuji 90mm f/2 lens was even more exciting. I had already had enough experience with this lens to do a hands-on review, but I was chomping at the bit to put it into my normal lifestyle shooting workflow.

These two lifestyle shoots done with the 90mm lens on a Fuji X-T1 re-confirmed many of my initial assessments, but also let me know that under actual in-use conditions the lack of a vibration control mechanism in the lens can cause problems. At 90mm (135mm full frame equivalent) this is a fairly long lens, and, as such, is going to require at least 1/125-1/250 second shutter speed to safely avoid motion blur when hand held. Modern vibration reduction systems have spoiled me. It wasn't so long ago in the neolithic age of film cameras that I would never even consider using a lens this long hand held. The day of the first lifestyle shoot was overcast and I found myself shooting around 1/60th of a second -- not much of a problem with a VR lens -- because I didn't want to boost the ISO above 400, but definitely problematic without. Needless to say, I lost a lot of shots to motion blur. Lesson learned.

I already knew from my previous tests that the lens worked well at full aperture so I used it almost exclusively at f/2. Focusing was fast and accurate on the X-T1 with the new firmware update. Even in a shot like the one above the camera and lens were able to get past the loose lock of foreground hair and place an accurate focus on the model's eyes, and at f/2 there wasn't any room for error. 

One thing I particularly liked about using the 90mm lens over the Fuji 56mm is its close-focus ability. Not only can you do full frame, cropped head shots, but you can get in even closer for detail shots of just the eyes or lips without resorting to a close-up attachment.

An added plus to a fast f/2 aperture on such a long lens is the background and foreground bokeh effect in the out-of-focus areas. Using this long lens in conjunction with something shorter like the 35mm or 23mm enabled me to pick up extra shots that looked quite different from each other.


 All in all, I have to say it was fun to be back shooting again, and made all the more so with the new addition to my Fuji lens arsenal of the latest 90mm f/2 lens.

Because it is a telephoto lens, albeit a short one, it displays the telephoto characteristic of comressing space, as in a shot like this where the lineup of wall hangings are compressed from front to back. 

1 comment :

  1. Thanks for this review and nice set of images - pity there is no VR.