19.05.2021 Rommel Bundalian

LENS STORIES: Rommel Bundalian x XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR

Rommel Bundalian

Sehr erfahren sowohl in Film – als auch Digitalfotografie
Spezialisiert auf 360 VR-Fotografie / Reisefotografie
Die Straßenfotografie ist und bleibt meine große Liebe

Januar 2012 – heute Creative Director / Fotograf – Imageworkz
Juni 2008 – heute Fotograf – 360 Unlimited Arts & Photography Studio 
März 2003 – Mai 2007 – Freiberuflicher Fotograf / Beiträge für Magazine
April 2001 – März 2002 – Fotografischer Assistent / Künstler – ADPHOTO
Januar 1995 – März 1999 – Freiberuflicher Fotograf – Metro ManilaWARDS E
Finalist – 2001 Digital Design Competition
1. und 2. Platz – Digital Print of the Year 2001
Großer Preis und zweiter Platz Gewinner 2004 Master Digital Artist of the Year
I-MAG Photography
SEPTEMBER 2007 “Bild der Woche” bei PHOTOSHOP.COM – USA
8. Platz und besondere Erwähnung – AfterCapture Magazine beim weltweiten ADOBE-Wettbewerb 2007
Featured Artist bei der britischen Ausgabe des Corel Painter Magazine
Featured in dem in Mabuhay erscheinenden Magazine In Focus: Oktober 2011
Featured in Manila Bulletin Newspaper – App, App and Away März 2012

I remember the days when the XF18mmF2 was the only widest lens available for my first X-Series Mirrorless camera. It was the perfect lens combo for my X-Pro1 then. This focal length made me love my X-Series mirrorless system over my full frame cameras as I was able to carry it around and do my photography everyday.  My day would not be complete if I didn’t have my X-Series camera with me and it has been my everyday lens even before I became an official Fujifilm X-Photographer.

It’s been almost a decade since and I have owned and tested most of the prime lenses of Fujifilm, so I am definitely excited and eager to test what the new XF18mmF1.4 is capable of. It brings back the memories of my first XF18mmF2 lens.

With so many Fujinon lenses available now, I really miss the 18mm focal length that I’m used to. For me, it is the best focal length for my style of photography. The 27mm equivalent in 35mm format is wide enough that you lose less of your surroundings. This lets you capture anything – you can shoot street, landscape, cityscape, nature, documentary and even environmental portraits.

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (2mins exposure time at F16)

Moving to Sydney has made me excited to explore the city. With so much diversity around – from multi-cultural suburbs to different beaches, it is a playground for a photographer like me.  I will definitely enjoy shooting this project with this new lens on hand plus the versatility of wider aperture of F1.4.

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/160 F1.4 ISO 800)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/160 F1.4 ISO 400)

Fast and Capable in Low Light

First, I decided to test how fast and how good the lens handles low light by shooting at the widest aperture at night. Shooting street at night is not my usual style but the F1.4 aperture opens up new possibilities for my photography. I was surprised to see how the lens handled the night scenes beautifully – images are sharp and noise-free.

Perspective and Compression

The wide aperture and weather sealing of the new XF18mmF1.4 are just icing on the cake.  I personally love the perspective of 18mm. For me, the compression is more natural and it really reflects the way I see the scene. It’s like seeing with your own eyes.

The XF18mm captures the atmosphere of the scene really well – allowing you to shoot your subject as well as the environment where your subject is. This perspective allows me to enhance the stories of what I am trying to capture in my photos.

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/100 F1.4 ISO800)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/80 F5 ISO125 )

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/400 F2.8 ISO200)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/200 F8 ISO320)

Up Close and Wide Open

This lens also allows you to get close to your subject at up to 11cm from the front lens element. I had fun using the close up capability of this lens. I was able to shoot my subjects up close while still having space in the background to play around with.

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/100 F10 ISO250)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/100 F1.4 ISO 400)

The focusing distance of this lens is comparable to that of the XF16mmF1.4 where you can focus so close at a wide open aperture of F1.4. By doing so, this lens can produce a smooth and creamy bokeh and a good separation of your subject from the background.

Getting up close and wide open really opens up new creative options of capturing the scene. I am able to give focus and emphasis to my subject while at the same time still show a bit of the environment.

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/125 F1.4 ISO800)

Go Wider and Right Distance

Aside from street photography, the XF18mmF1.4 also excels in other shooting situations like nature photography. By being in the right place at the right time, you can capture dramatic images that show the vastness of nature because of the wide angle perspective of the lens. I am impressed that it is able to capture even the tiniest details of leaves, branches, and rocks.

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (7 secs F16 ISO200)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/320 F8 ISO 400)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/500 F7.1 ISO400)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/400 F10 ISO200)

Just the right focal length

Shooting more with this lens will definitely improve one’s knowledge in composition. I am able to engage and get close but at the same time I also need to be aware of the four corners of my frame. I need to quickly anticipate what’s going in and going out of my frame.

Ultimately, what I love about this lens is that it is the perfect focal length for my street/documentary photography. It’s just the right focal length – not too wide and not too narrow.

It really draws the viewer into the scene and allows them to experience what you experience. As a photographer, my goal is for the viewer to experience my photos, not just see them. The 18mmF1.4, along with its close-up feature, wide aperture, fast AF and incredible sharpness, allows me to do that.

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/200 F8 ISO ISO320)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/200 F8 ISO250)

X-Pro3 & XF18mmF1.4 R LM WR (1/160 F8 ISO200)