6.18.2019

Two more from Immortal Longings, the play by Terence McNally.


I seem to be having a love affair with several of Fuji's lenses. Today it was all about the 56mm f1.2 APD lens. But a week or so ago it was the 50-140mm f2.8 lens. It's a great set of focal lengths with which to shoot live theater productions. It's fast, sharp wide open and the range is perfectly suited for capturing the essence of most plays. The OIS in the lens works well with the IBIS in the X-H1 and the capper, for this kind of work, is the availability of the Eterna color profile to help flatten out the contrast  during capture. If a file is too flat you can always add a bit of pop to it. It's harder to go in the other direction; once the blacks are set, and the highlights are on the verge, trying to bring down the contrast in post is almost a fool's errand. 

Please click on the images to see them larger. 


This morning the star of the photo shoot was the kids. The co-star was the new (to me) 56mm f 1.2, the only lens I brought along.


©2019 Kirk Tuck. Please do not republish. 

I spent the morning photographing some of the Summer programs for kids at Zach Theatre. I left the camera bag at home and brought just one camera and one lens. It was a Fuji X-H1, and the very speedy Fuji 56mm f1.2 APD lens. I did something I've never tried before in all the years I've been photographing; I shot everything with the lens at its widest aperture ---- f1.2. 

I knew that the lens would be sharp because I've seen the MTF curves and read a fair number of reviews. I also knew it would be sharp because I shot test images in the studio before pressing the lens into service. But I was a bit apprehensive about how well it would focus; because of the anodization filter inside the lens it's only able to use contrast detect autofocus, not phase detect autofocus. I'd read stuff all over the web which presented the lens as slow and kludgy to focus. I figured that if the lens was truly dreadful at focusing I could just call it a day and come back sometime in the future to photograph. We weren't under any sort of onerous deadlines and I was willing to take a chance.

I wanted to use the lens wide open because, like almost every client's locations, there's always some clutter and junk in the backgrounds and if I can use shallow depth of field to minimize the visual chaos it's a plus for the art directors who will end up using the images.

So, how did it work out? Well, it exceeded my expectations. In decent light (areas in which I could shoot at full aperture using ISO 1600, or better) the camera and lens were quick to focus and lock in. I could even successfully use face detection in the majority of settings. If I did my part correctly and put the little green AF focusing square on the right spot I found the files to be extremely sharp. I don't care about corner sharpness and didn't look at it because in 99% of cases my main subject is in the center or in the sweet spot of the frame and my corners were part of the out of focus areas which were nicely smooth, and that's why I bought the lens in the first place. 

The kids were sweet and cute, and having fun with all the programs. I spent a couple hours shooting and knocked out about 1200 frame which I edited (selected or deleted) down to about 600 which I then post processed lightly (most just exposure tweaks) before outputting from Lightroom and sending the final files to Smugmug.com.
©2019 Kirk Tuck. Please do not republish. 

©2019 Kirk Tuck. Please do not republish. 
©2019 Kirk Tuck. Please do not republish.