X-T1

Cottage Life

A truly Canadian thing in the summer is head to the, or a cottage. Many own cottages in to the north in Ontario, while others will rent.

This week, my son’s friend’s family rented a cottage on Big Gull Lake, a couple hours outside Ottawa. He was invited for the week. We drove him up on Tuesday and spent a couple hours there before heading home. Pick up will be by the weekend.

Now, me, I don’t really get owning a cottage. It must be my Scottish roots or something. All I see is the additional costs of owning. However, having said that, I do see the appeal. The quiet, the scenery and the automatic unplugging from the every day.

Knowing where I was going, I brought along my Fuji X-T1, the 10-24 f4 and 60 f2.4 for a few shots. Here are a few. The last one is with the 60mm. The rest are with the 10-24.
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Riding the Miniature Rails

This past weekend we went to the Cumberland Museum in the other end of the city. They had a railroad theme. Most of it was focused more on children, but there was some things I was interested in.

The museum is on a large grounds with many period buildings and structures such as a working sawmill, forge and printing press. The main entrance area is actually an old railroad station. One of the features was sending telegraphs. In the station, one could send a telegraph and pick it up in the caboose elsewhere on the grounds. While my son was composing a message, I grabbed this photo of the old school train tickets.

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XT013558But the one thing that I was looking forward to was the live steamers club. These guys (and possibly gals) have model steam trains that actually run on steam. All the principles of steam apply. Water, coal and fire. All locomotives are built to scale from milled metal. And to operate them, you ride them!

And they were giving rides. I took advantage and had a couple of rides, soot in the face and all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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There are a number of different models and types from North American and European steamers from various eras.

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A good time.

All photos taken with the Fuji X-T1 and the 16-55 f28.

Sunset in the Garden

After a number of days of rain and somewhat cooler temperatures, summer graciously reappeared for the weekend. Most of my Saturday was spent cutting back the grass (requiring two passes and some raking), and planting greens for our rabbits (a significant cost savings).

As the sun set, the various solar-powered LED lights started to come on. On days like these, I loathe to be inside, but rather, outside and enjoy nature, even if it is in a small backyard.

I had my X-T1 out with the 16-55 lens and tripod, itching to do some sort of long exposure thing. This was the result of a few earlier failed attempts. The Honeysuckle is glowing from the LED light, while the sun goes down, creating a brilliant colour palette.

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And then the mosquitos came out, and it was time to go inside

Tiny Bubbles

XT013300Inspiration comes from from anywhere. This was a glass of water on the bedside table. The water had little bubbles in it, and the light from the sunshine outside gave it a nice backlight. I grabbed my X-T1 and used the 60mm macro.

 

50 Years

My parents celebrated their 50th anniversary on April 10th. How cool is that?

They asked me to make a portrait for the occasion. Of course I said yes. A simple setup. A Nikon SB900 camera left with a shoot-trough umbrella using the Fuji X-T1 and 16-55 f2.8.

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Inner Geek

Last weekend was Ottawa’s Geek Market.

What is that? Its not quite ComicCon, but still has the trappings of things geeks like – Star Wars, Lego, video games, super heroes, steam punk and anything else sci-fi.

I took my son, a gamer, to the event, thinking it would be fun to see what’s there. I must admit, there is a small geek within that likes sci-fi, Lego and other similar things. As hoped, there was plenty to see, people in costume, and some neat deals from vendors. I brought along the X-T1 and the 35mm 1.4, anticipating not great lighting. I only wish I had brought the 18mm as well, as some wider shots would have made things easier, while still travelling light.

Lego is awesome. It’s truly the best toy ever. There was a selection of thing from the ParLUGment club:

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And I’ve only recently reacquainted myself with Dr. Who. Amusingly, I had just watched the episode with Churchil in WWII and the Daleks, so I was very pleased to see this replica make out of styrofoam from the Dr. Who Society of Ottawa. They also had a “working” Dalek – a person in side, with a voice simulator like a vocorder.

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Like I said, it’s a reacquaintance. I watched the show in the 70s/80s when Tom Baker was the Doctor. A society member made a mobile version of K-9. Really neat. (note the Dalek in the background that was moving around as well.)
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Rockraiser and the 16-55

When Fuji announced its 16-55mm f2.8 lens that was weather resistant, I was very happy.

I bought the X-T1 partly because of its weather-sealed body, but without a lens equally sealed, it was not quite there. the long telephoto came out, but this one was in the focal range and aperture I wanted, and the bonus was the weather sealing.

I pre-ordered it, and it came right away when it was officially released. Of course, its winter here in Canada, and its dark early, and everything around is in a range of white and grey. And when there is a blue sky, its frightfully cold. (I just read that Ottawa has had a record 45 nights of colder than -15 Celsius, the last time like this was in 1888.)

I was chomping to get some real colour and use out of this lens. Happily, I was asked to be one of the photographers at RockRaiser, a benefit concert for the Ottawa Independent Living Centre.

The lens was awesome and worked well. Coupled with the X-T1 and its battery grip, it was a perfect balance, and the combo was not heavy at all over the six hours of shooting. My equivalent Nikon would have been more of a burden.

The range was great and the final images, some shown here, worked well. The X-T1 was fine in the crunch of shooting the bands. I’ve read a number of commenters complaining about size and specs. Well here is my comments for that:

Size and weight: yep, its bigger than the typical Fuji lenses. But given what is involved, to make it work, you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Overall, the weight is not oppressive, and the size not that bad. Compared to some of the primes, yes, but its not a prime.

Image Stabilization: Nope, there is none. But I’ve never needed it – never had it with my Nikon 24-70. No big deal. I find it more of a crutch in smaller focal lengths. Need a stable image? Boost the ISO or grab a tripod. Use what you have and make the pictures.

I can’t wait to get out and use this some more. I like the lens. The real bonus to me as well is the filter size. Bigger, yeah, but it means I can continue to use my polarizer and ND filters with it.

So here we are, a few shots from the event. More are in my Gallery > Performance area.

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The Speed of Light

When we went downtown to see the lights on Parliament Hill, I put the X-T1 on the dashboard and set the exposure for a full 15 seconds, stopped down the aperture and kept the ISO low, and shot away as we travelled down the highway.

Of course, I wasn’t driving.

Fuji 10-24 f4 IOS at 10mm, iso 200, f16, 15 seconds

Fuji 10-24 f4 IOS at 10mm, iso 200, f16, 15 seconds

Christmas and such

Ahh the holidays. Christmas. Noel. That time of year when everyone is frantic to get gifts, buy gifts, spend money! Boxing Day!! All the calamity that goes with it.

This year we took some time to remove ourselves from that and went downtown to Parliament Hill. There is always a great display of lights around it and the city in general. As a bonus, it was warm (well, for Ottawa) and no wind.

As usual, a nice display, although I’d like to know who’s idea it was to stick a projection trailer behind the eternal flame. See, there is an eternal flame on Parliament Hill. It would make an awesome photo to have it in the foreground, and the lit up parliament buildings in the background. But someone thought it better to stick a big, white trailer in between the two. Yes, the result (as you see below) is nice. But I think the alternative I mentioned would be better.

Oh well. It was a nice, quiet evening just the same. Shot with a Fuji X-T1 and 10-24 f4 OIS lens.

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After

As with each year, I attend the Remembrance Day services downtown Ottawa. More so important this year, given all the happenings recently, and it being the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Great War (something I’m totally fascinated with and have read many books on).

For a change, the weather was really nice; sunny and warm (usually cold and damp) as if the gods above said, “have a nice day, you all deserve it”.

Since the installing of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, it has become a custom after all the dignitaries have left, to have everyone come up, leave their poppy and have a personal moment of reflection. While we typically will do this, this year I suggested we not, again, given the recent events and overly large crowd (estimated at 55,000). On our exit, I took the time to take this shot, with my X-T1 and 10-24 wide angle lens, showing the masses swarming the memorial.

We Canadians are very proud of our armed forces, what they do, and how they represent this country.

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