Photography News 08

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Kit reviews

Mini tests

Our new, regular look at some of latest photographic kit to land on the dealers’ shelves

Words by Will Cheung

FujifilmXF56mmf/1.2 R £899

SPECS

PRICE £899 CONTACT

The Fujifilm X-series has had quite an impact and many experienced shooters have invested in one. The X-series cameras’ innovative sensors are obviously a big reason for this, but so too are the system’s fixed focal length fast aperture lenses. One launched earlier this year was the 56mm f/1.2. With the format’s crop factor, this focal length is equivalent to 85mm in the 35mm format so it’s ideally suited to people photography. Having a wide aperture, of course, is pointless unless it’s usable. It needs to be acceptably sharp wide open and get even sharper by f/4 or f/5.6. Well, the Fujifilm 56mm f/1.2 does not disappoint. It’s impressively sharp wide open and while stopping down does improve quality, the benefit is not that great because the bar is already high. I’d be happy to shoot wide open, but if I wanted top quality still with minimal depth-of-field, I’d use f/2. I tried the lens on a Fujifilm X-T1. The pair work well together, giving swift, quiet AF. If you prefer manual focus, the focus barrel is smooth and nicely weighted. The lens itself has a reassuring solidity and feels like it’s built to last, although it does lack weatherproofing – I used it in heavy rain with no ill effects though. The lens front is quite exposed so a protection filter is advised, as is using the bayonet-fit lens hood to avoid flare. The obvious downside of the hood is that it makes the combination look bulky.

www.fujifilm.co.uk CONSTRUCTION

11 elements in 8 groups. 1 aspherical and 2 low dispersion elements FILTER SIZE 62mm

MINIMUM APERTURE f/16 MINIMUMFOCUS 0.7m DIMENSIONS (DXL) 73.2x69.7mm WEIGHT 405g

The verdict

You can’t say that this lens is cheap at £899, but I still reckon it is extraordinarily good value. Yes, its fixed focal length does limit its flexibility and its 70cm minimum focus isn’t that close, but you do get a fabulous general purpose and portrait lens that is very sharp at every aperture.

PROS

Wide open performance, all-round image quality, AF fast, build quality

ABOVE Shot with a Fujifilm X-T1 with the 56mm f/1.2. The exposure was 1/250sec at f/1.2 and ISO 1600.

CONS

No weatherproofing

SamsungWB2200F £399

SPECS

PRICE £399 CONTACT www.samsung.com/uk/ RESOLUTION 16.4 megapixels SENSOR 1/2.3in CMOS FORMAT JPEG in various sizes LENS 20-1200mm f/2.8-5.9, with OIS ISO 100-6400, plus Auto STORAGE SD, SDHC, SDXC MONITOR 3in FEATURES Subject modes, Wi-Fi connectivity with Photo Beam and Auto Share, long-life battery, HD

All-in-one or bridge cameras have been around for many years and while they have never threatened the dominance of interchangeable lens cameras, they do offer a powerful alternative that suits people who want great versatility in one lightweight package. The Samsung WB2200F has a great many convenient and creative features, but the headline must surely be its 60x optical zoom lens. In 35mm equivalent terms, it’s 20mm f/2.8 wide-angle at the short end and an incredible 1200mm f/5.9 at the telephoto end. That sounds amazing and it is impressive as you zoom from the wide to the telephoto end to pull in distant detail. The integral OIS (Optical Image Stabilization) system helps make the most of the lens and it’s certainly needed at the zoom’s long end. The WB2200F is much more than just a wide- ranging zoom. It’s rich with features: multi-zone AF system, versatile exposure system, creative filters such as Miniature, Smart modes including Silhouette and Rich Tone, and Wi-Fi connectivity. The AF system is smooth and pretty responsive, but at the longer focal lengths, it needs contrast to latch onto and it can be hesitant in low light levels. Image quality is generally good, especially at the lower ISO settings, but it’s limited to JPEGs only. There is no Raw option.

20MM

The verdict

You can’t appreciate the power of a 60x optical zoom until you see it in front of your eyes. The pulling power of the WB2200F’s lens is awesome. Of course, it’s not perfect and AF does struggle at the longer telephoto settings so you have to be patient but it does get there. Overall, this is a capable bridge camera with plenty of features to explore and it’s portable too.

1200MM

video recording DIMENSIONS (WXHXD) 119x121.8x35.5mm WEIGHT 608g

PROS

Handgrip, remarkable lens coverage, handling

CONS

ABOVE The pulling power of the WB2200F’s 60x optical zoom is amazing, but the long end needs using with good technique.

AF hesitant at longer focal lengths, EVF design, no auto monitor/EVF switchover, no Raw

Photography News | Issue 8

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