About Cars and Lenses

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (18.2mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO1600)

In my last post I admitted that I’m attracted to beautifully designed houses but of course I’m even more attracted to cars. At the end we are all boys.

So one of the best places for us is the Peterson Car Museum in Los Angeles. A wonderful place. It even has a restaurant. Johnny Rockets, a burger restaurant in the design of an old dinner. The choice makes a lot of sense as a vegan restaurant would be totally out of place here. This is all gasoline and beef.

And beautiful design of course like in the car below that if I remember it correctly was only a design study.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO2000)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (19.4mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO2000)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (17.6mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO1250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (22mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO2500)

Regarding gear I kept things simple again. I just took my X-Pro2 with my brand new XF 16-55/2.8 WR. The perfect lens for the task. Flexible, just fast enough and super sharp at its wide end even at f2.8.

Followers of my blog know that I shoot both: zoom and primes but usually prefer primes for anything but landscape. But in a car museum you need to be flexible. Sometimes you need to use a wide lens because there is simply not enough space to use a longer focal length. The XF 18-55/2.8-4 R would have been an option too but I have sold the lens long time ago because I rarely used it. With the XF 16-55/2.8 WR it is different. Despite its little awkward size I shoot with this lens a lot.

The kit lens would have the advantage that it is an OIS lens which of course would help indoors to keep the ISO low. But I’m not hysterical regarding ISO values anymore since I shot so many high ISO images with my Fujis and never had a problem with the results.

At the end what really counts is the result. I occasionally had a totally fuzzy shot with the kit lens for no apparent reason. OIS or AF malfunction? I don’t know and I don’t care. On this vacation I shot mainly with the XF 16-55/2.8 WR and I have lost exactly one shot where the AF got tricked by a reflective surface.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (21.3mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO640)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (18.2mm, f/2.8, 1/80 sec, ISO1600)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (55mm, f/2.8, 1/250 sec, ISO800)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (29.2mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1000)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (16.5mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO640)

I’m not going to tell you that the XF 16-55/2.8 WR gives you a lot of subject isolation because of course that’s not the case. It is still only f2.8 and the sensor is APS-C. But you can get some at its long end and it also gives the impression of better subject isolation because it is super sharp wide open.

The motorcycle shot above is what you get at 55mm and the image with the sweet little Mazda shows what I mean. Shot wide open at 29mm of course there is only a small amount of background blur but combines with the very sharp subject it gives the impression of a better subject isolation. To use an American expression I think this lens “punches above its weight.” Yes it is rather big but for a good reason. It reminds me of the XF 23/1.4 R which also gives an surprising amount of subject isolation even if it is stopped down a little. It has much nicer Bokeh at f2 than the XF 23/2 WR. So it seems that all the glass is there for a good reason.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (41.4mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO500)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (18.2mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO3200)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (20mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO1250)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (17.6mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO2000)
FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (31.1mm, f/2.8, 1/125 sec, ISO4000)

Maybe it’s time to talk about the cars in the museum. There was a temporary special exhibition dedicated to Porsche but for me the US cars of the 60s and the small Japanese cars were the bigger attraction. Especially the small Mazda or the Fuji Cabin. Seems that Fuji knew already back then that small is beautiful.

And I have to admit that I’m also attracted by the low riders like the “defender of the cheeseburger” above. This was already our second visit of this museum and I think it is a must see when in LA. Just like the Getty museum.

But the real beauty of being in California is that when you come back to your hotel in Santa Monica in the evening you find a muscle car parked right in front of it. I know that we have a lot of luggage and yes the SUV that we rent is more comfortable but some day I will rent one of those.

FUJIFILM X-Pro2 (18.7mm, f/4.5, 1/250 sec, ISO500)