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

12.18.2012 Norifumi Inagaki

XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS review by Norifumi Inagaki

Norifumi Inagaki

Born in Tokyo in 1970, Norifumi Inagaki worked part-time in a newspaper photo publishing department before becoming a freelance photographer. Beginning with China's Silk Road, he has visited over 50 countries and regions, including Antarctica. His publications include a collection of photos, Tairiku R┼Źnin (Wanderer of the Continents), and the photo essay Tabi, Tokidoki Leica (Travel, and Sometimes Leica). He is a member of the Japan Photographic Society.

A lens of this focal length range is often used to capture animals in sunset. I tried a sunset shot with XF55-200mm to find that it is free of flairs and ghosting. It has minimal loss of contrast in backlight. These must be because of the effects of the multi-coating “HT-EBC” technique. Lenses with the latest designs are setting themselves apart from older lenses, which were prone to ghosting.

I was particularly impressed with the great dynamic range. The image on the right includes black and white within the same frame. That is why I set the dynamic range at 200% and brought the ISO setting to 400. The sensor handled the scene well with no highlight or shadow clipping, reproducing the cats’ coat and facial expressions exactly as I envisaged.

The addition of the powerful companion, XF55-200mm, is sure to transform my animal photography. Inspired by the outlook, I am setting off for a photo shoot again with the X-series of camera gear in hand.

The people coming and going made beautiful silhouettes. I took advantage of the lens’ image stabilisation to get this shot in a poorly lit indoor setting that would normally make me throw up my hands in despair. Image stabilisation is a definite plus in situations like this. It makes possible shots that don’t rely on high sensitivities, although the X-E1 also shines where high sensitivity is required.

While I would usually leave my luggage at the hotel before going on a shoot, thanks to a simple kit consisting of just a camera and lens, I was able to start taking pictures in the airport lobby as soon as I arrived from Japan. Knowing that not even poor lighting can stop you inspires new ideas for photographs.

Here I took advantage of the wide perspective to get in close to my subject.
The superior resolution captures the cat’s bead-like eyes and every detail of its fur. The stand of trees in the background is softly and naturally blurred. The point light sources created by the sun shining through the leaves remain undistorted and circular right up to the edges of the frame. You can really appreciate the terrific optical performance of the lens in keeping aberration to a minimum.
Such expressive potential will satisfy even those who have until now used only single focal length lenses.

I was also surprised by the depth visible in telephoto shots.
You can expect sharp, high resolution photos without stopping aperture down too far, even at long focal lengths with correspondingly shallow subject field depths. The maximum focal length of 84mm is perfect for portraits, and you can get anything from a head and shoulders shot to close-ups of facial expressions without changing your position. The maximum aperture when the lens is zoomed all the way in is f/4, you can expect soft, gentle bokeh. Models are at a natural distance for conversation, making them easy to work with.

Model: OLGA NUNNINK
http://olnuzola.com/

Another plus is an aperture ring that can be adjusted in finely controlled, 1/3 EV steps.
With zoom lenses, you often find yourself adjusting the depth of field together with the focal length.
Placing the aperture ring on the lens lets you choose the aperture while looking through the viewfinder.
After choosing a deep depth of field for snapshots, open up the aperture to blur the background for portraits. All these adjustments can be made instantly. The lens’ ease-of-use and clear tactile “click” response identical to those of single focal length lenses feel wonderful too.
The designer’s insistence not only on resolution and optical fidelity but on portability and ease-of-use really comes through for a zoom lens worthy of the XF name.

Another plus is an aperture ring that can be adjusted in finely controlled, 1/3 EV steps.
With zoom lenses, you often find yourself adjusting the depth of field together with the focal length.
Placing the aperture ring on the lens lets you choose the aperture while looking through the viewfinder.
After choosing a deep depth of field for snapshots, open up the aperture to blur the background for portraits. All these adjustments can be made instantly. The lens’ ease-of-use and clear tactile “click” response identical to those of single focal length lenses feel wonderful too.
The designer’s insistence not only on resolution and optical fidelity but on portability and ease-of-use really comes through for a zoom lens worthy of the XF name.