Fujifilm Red Badge Zoom Lenses XF16-55mm & XF 50-140mm in Action - Joe Ng
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2015-09-08

Having lived in Vancouver for almost 20 years now, I have developed a love for many of the outdoor activities that this place has to offer. Whether it be hiking up Garibaldi Lake in the summer or skiing down Whistler when it’s snowy out, people in Vancouver love the outdoors.


BC Superweek is one of my key sports assignments. During this time, there are 9 races over 10 days, all of which are very exciting to watch and shoot. There were already many technical reviews out there by the time I asked Fujifilm Canada to test-drive the XF 50-140mm and XF16-55mm Red Badge Zoom lenses. I had read a lot of these reviews before testing out the lenses, so I had no doubt about the quality of them.


As I already had the XF55-200mm lens and most of my sports assignments wouldn’t start until June or July, I wasn’t in a big hurry to dive in with the crowd to get them when they were first released. Another reason being that I wanted to wait for the latest firmware upgrade that would improve the autofocus performance before trying out the lenses. Last year, I wrote a blog post on my experience with the AF-C for the X-T1, which didn’t quite measure up with professional-grade DSLRs. So Fujifilm’s announcement of the new X-T10 and the improved autofocus features for the X-T1 was perfectly timed since it came right before BC Superweek.


I carried the X-T1 and the X-T10 fronted with the two zoom lenses when shooting at BC Superweek. It was great shooting with them, and not to mention how much weight I was able to cut down compared to my old DSLR days.


Shooting outdoor sports can prove difficult at times, especially when covering fast-paced sports where you need to anticipate the game and move from location to location in order to capture peak moments. Because of all this moving around, I believe that carrying less is more.


Shortly after the starting line, there is a sharp hairpin corner in the Gastown Grand Prix racing route. Some cyclists try to take the lead but are caught in the turn and tumble over their bikes while other riders behind them quickly swerve to avoid being swept away as well. It is a waiting game, similar to fishing, where I wait and observe the scene. Luckily for me, I am able to witness this moment and catch it with the X-T1 & XF16-55mm AF-C mode with Zone focus.

Denise Ramsden, a 25-year-old Vancouver native, gets an early lead in the race. The ground between her and the rest of the pack keeps growing as she tries to pace herself in order to finish the race strong. She reaches the finish line 30 seconds before Annie Foreman-Mackey, the second place cyclist, and takes home the $12,000 grand prize.

The men’s race started immediately after the women’s. It is getting dark out but the X-T1 autofocus is still going strong when locking the subject. As the professional men’s race begins, the cyclists are packed in tight and each is fighting to get ahead. Many onlookers hold up their cameras and tablets to try and get a good shot.


Knowing Your Gear and Exploring New Angles


Most press photographers have lined themselves up on the right-hand side of the finish line with their big lenses. I know that my maximum focal length is 210mm (full frame equivalent), so I decide to go for a wide shot with the XF16-55mm by positioning myself on the left-hand side of the finish line. This way, I am also able to capture the cheering fans as Ryan Roth crosses the finish line.

You may have guessed, after reading this post, that I enjoyed using these lenses very much. Since then, I have already purchased the XF 50-140mm for my next assignment.

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