Today was a bit rainy, but I decided to not let that stop me. So my friend and I headed to the Ecotarium in Worcester. I've been there a few times so I knew there were some nice exhibits indoors as well. I headed there equipped with my X-T1 and 60mm macro. This is the slowest lens to focus in the Fuji line-up, but I was curious to see how the new X-T1 would handle it.
I must say I was very pleased. It did hunt from time to time, but it was not as hesitant as I was used to. Actually I even bumped into my cousin and daughter there. Its super family friendly place and I can't think of many other places in Worcester that fun to go to on a rainy day.
This is a Red Fronted Macaw. He was very friendly and kept walking around.
This little guy was just hanging out on a stick.
This guy looks awesome, but I'm glad there is glass between us.
I was lucky enough to be there when they did a presentation/introduction of this little guy.
Ha. He looks like he's ready to go for a stroll.
And of course I had to look around for some details. There really is a lot to see at the Ecotarium. So wandering around I saw some interesting things. There are lots of educational stations as well as interactive stations to learn hands on. Often you will find dozes of children walking around having a blast. So of course I didn't want to interfere with their fun. But I did find some details to capture. Here are a few.
This goes to show that you can hand me a camera and a macro lens and I'll be happy for hours. I'm really happy with these results and am very pleased with the Fuji system. Today was a shorter visit to the Ecotarium, but I will be back as there is so much more to see.
The Fuji 60mm lens is one of the three original lenses to come out for Fuji. The lens line-up began with the 18mm 2.0, 35mm 1.4 and the 60mm 2.4 macro. This gave us photographers a wide lens, a normal lens and a portrait/macro lens.
I must admit that my first lens purchase was the 35mm 1.4 lens as it is a great focal length, but was priced really well for being a 1.4 lens. Previously, with Nikon, a comparable lens was over $1,000 which meant I had to be super sure I'd make good use out of it. I did own the 1.8 version and was very happy with it, but being able to afford a 1.4 lens meant I could use it in lower light and hopefully a sharp piece of equipment. I was not disappointed. At the time of purchase I already had the standard zoom lens 18-55mm 2.8-4, which I was also very happy with.
My next purchase was the 60mm lens. My style of photography is very candid and I also enjoy doing some macro work. I had read a lot online that the 60mm was not a true 1 to 1 macro as my previous macro lenses, but without trying it out I wasn't quite sure what that meant. So, I purchased it and knew that it wouldn't focus as closely as I was used to, but I felt I'd be ok with that.
First Impressions (recap):
- Given that its longer than the 35mm it was still very light weight and of good build quality.
- The hood that comes with it is a tad long as it almost doubles the length of the lens, but I like my lenses to be protected.
- The AF is clearly slower than all the other Fuji lenses I owned at the time and it was discouraging at first.
- It was very well balanced on my X-E2 and very easy to carry.
- The macro abilities were very good. I could get as close as I wanted to without wishing I could get closer. I shoot all my macro work without tripod and almost never shoot at full macro as it is very hard to keep the camera steady. So, I was quite pleased.
- The manual focusing took a little getting used to as I had to turn the focus ring much more than I have had in the past, but it only takes a little practice to get used to.
- THE LENS IS SHARP! Of course most of us look for this aspect immediately and I never had to question the optical performance of this lens. Colors look contrasty and it is sharp even at F2.4.
Now, by the time of my purchases there were other lenses in the Fuji line-up as well. One lens was about to be released that had me very curious. The Fuji 56mm 1.2! Now, if you are a gear head just hearing the word 1.2 makes you do a double take. Like, where, what, how much?! 1.2 lenses are generally pretty rare as they tend to be large, specialty lenses and really expensive. In this case the 56mm lens was twice as expensive as the 60mm lens, was a 1.2 (means its better in low light) and was supposed to have very fast AF. But, the focal lengths were just so similar.
Like many of you it was time to decide whether to keep my macro lens, which I loved, or to sell my 60mm lens to be able to purchase the 56mm lens. On paper the 56mm lens looked like the perfect portrait and wedding lens for me. But, I also loved doing macro work for personal work and for detail photos.
Fast forward a little and I did end up picking up the 56mm lens and I absolutely love it! But, I also decided to keep my 60mm lens. You can't fake a macro lens. Sure you can buy extension tubes and adapters, but having a dedicated macro lens is just a must, for me. I have learned to live with the slightly slower AF speed of the 60mm, but I know sharpness and close up photos are so my style that I had to keep them both. Each is used for different situations, but my 60mm has a permanent place in my kit.
So if you are deciding whether to purchase one or the other, or if you should replace your 60mm lens with the new 56mm figure out what's important to you. For some macro work isn't important and bought the 60mm because it was the longest lens initially offered. Not to worry there are many eager photographers willing to take it off your hands. But for some, like myself, it makes a lot of sense to own both.
Please enjoy a few photos I took using the 60mm lens.
Please note that this cup is about 3 1/2 inches tall. And this next photos shows you the close-up capabilities of the lens.
These are some small plant branches.
This is another macro shot which shows you shallow the depth of field can get when you are that close to your subject.
Thanks for visiting. Please let me know about your experience with your 60mm lens in the comments section.