This website uses cookies. By using the site you are agreeing to our Privacy Policy.

10.02.2021 Kiko Arcas

FUJINON XF70-300mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR Impression

Kiko Arcas

Vigo, 1975

I am a photographer from Vigo and a bird enthusiast for more than twenty years, many of which I have spent as a scientific bander, collaborating in ornithology courses with the University of Vigo. I have also done various scientific works on the ecology of species like the common sandpiper or the red-backed shrike, all of this together with my brother José Arcas, doctor in Biology and a nature artist.
My photographs have been published in different books and publications, such as El Rio de la Vida, Fotografiando Aves, Ptaki Otop, Visión Salvaje and Guía de las Especies Marinas de Canarias, among others.

I am currently a contributing photographer to the prestigious nature documentary producer NaturaHD Films. I also work with FUJIFILM España, giving presentations all around Spain, such as at the Delta Birding Festival, Urdaibai Bird Center and the International Ornithological Tourism Trade Fair in Extremadura, among others.

A year ago, when Fujifilm España asked me to make the change over to mirrorless cameras, I contemplated it as a big personal challenge. Not only because I have been using reflex equipment for more than 20 years now, but also because everything that goes along with it: a new system, electronic viewfinder, smaller equipment, and so on. After this year, this challenge has turned into satisfaction, comfort and guaranteed success to tackle any job. The qualitative (and let it be said, quantitative) leap has been more than remarkable.

I improved in terms of quality, but also I lightened the weight of my equipment by a few kilos, which is really important in nature photography, because we spend a lot of hours with backpacks on our backs. It has been a year in which I was able to try the X-T2 and X-H1 bodies, as well as the excellent and famous FUJINON lenses. All this was under the most challenging conditions in the field and different weather conditions, which have led to my unwavering conviction to use FUJIFILM equipment.
As a photographer of nature, and especially birds, I use the X-H1. It’s a camera that provides me great ruggedness, grip and quality, which combined with the XF100-400mm zoom lens, guarantees unbeatable image quality. 

Awards: Some photography awards in prestigious national and international competitions: Montbarbat 2003 and 2005. Finalist and fourth prize, respectively.
Ateneo Ferrolán 2008. First prize.
Parque Nacional Islas Cies 2009.
First prize. BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2010. Finalist.
Montphoto 2011. Second prize.
Glanzlichter 2011. Honorable mention.
Narava 2012. Finalist.
Festival de l’Oiseau et de la Nature 2015.

The arrival of a new addition to the already extensive range of Fujinon lenses is a cause for celebration. The new FUJINON XF70-300mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR, is a small, compact and extremely versatile zoom lens that will delight any photographer just starting out in the fascinating field of nature photography, whether their speciality is wildlife, landscape or macro photography, or other disciplines such as social-documentary, street photography, etc. Advanced and professional photographers looking to add a medium zoom lens to their kit will find that this lens, with its various focal lengths, will greatly expand their potential to take great shots and increase their composition options.

Crested Tit (Lophophanes cristatus) 1/140, F8, ISO1600, zoom 300mm + 1.4x

QUALITY BUILD

It boasts an attractive design and excellent build quality, as is the custom with this brand. It has a metallic body and mounting ring, a lightweight, compact design and is exceptionally well weather-sealed to withstand the most adverse conditions (rain, dust, etc.). It is also image stabilized with an EV of up to 5.5. It also comes with a zoom lens lock, another plus, as it prevents the barrel of the lens from extending and accidentally knocking against other objects when carried over the shoulder, and it also prevents zoom creeping when working at the shortest focal length (70mm). This lightweight lens is ideal for taking on trips into the countryside, camera in hand, allowing the photographer to work swiftly and with complete confidence.

When using with the X-T4, X-T3 or the new X-S10 camera, a focal length of 140-450mm F4-5.6 can be obtained, since, as we know, these are APSC format cameras, which expand the focal length of the lens by 1.5x. If we combine it with a 1.4x teleconverter, the focal length can be extended even further, to a not inconsiderable 196-630mm f/8. This is without considering the crop factor that is available on the X-T3 and X-T4 cameras in their sport finder mode, which will expand our focal range by 1.25x, to obtain a maximum focal length of 800mm.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) 1/110, F4.5, ISO1600, zoom at 97mm

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major), 1/60, F5.6, ISO 1600, zoom 300mm

Field Trial

As you can see in the photos in this article, the superb quality of this new lens can be appreciated when working at any of its focal lengths. It picks out the vivid details at both its shortest focal distance and at its maximum zoom of 300mm. The autofocus function is fast, accurate and instantaneous. With respect to the mechanical parts, the zoom action is exceptionally smooth, allowing you to zoom in and out gradually and to turn the zoom ring confidently. One of its outstanding features is undoubtedly the excellent quality of the bokeh it produces, resulting in images of extraordinary quality that will satisfy professional photographers and fastidious amateurs alike. 

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus) 1/140, F7.1, ISO 1600, zoom 300mm

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis) 1/4000, F 7.1, ISO1000, zoom 300mm

When using longer focal lengths (300, 400 and 500mm) in wildlife photography, particularly when capturing birds, our aim is to achieve a soft, out-of-focus background so that our focal point stands out sharply. This can only be carried off with a lens that produces a bokeh that is up to the task, and I believe that the new FUJINON XF70-300mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR more than meets this challenge.

European Greenfinches (Carduelis chloris). 1/550, f5.6, ISO 1600, zoom 300mm

European Robin (Erithacus rubecula) 1/240, F5.6, ISO 1250, zoom 300mm

MACRO PHOTOGRAPHY

In addition to the longer focal lengths, used in wildlife and landscape photography, the lens also offers the possibility of taking macro images at a minimum distance of 80cm. The results are excellent; the images have a great bokeh with no loss of sharpness, thus enabling the photographer to produce a wide range of appealing shots. Trips into the field will be a much more all-round experience and will generate a wide variety of images to take home (a small bird on a branch, a flower, a spider’s web bathed in the morning dew, and perhaps even a fox bounding across a field).

Spider’s Web 1/680, F8, ISO 500, zoom 300mm, OIS activated, freehand

Oak leaves. 1/180, F11, ISO 400, zoom 300mm, OIS activated, freehand

Fly Agaric (Amanita muscaria) 1/38, F5.6, ISO1600, zoom 300mm, OIS activated, freehand

The possibilities are endless with this new zoom lens. The only limit is your imagination.