In preparation for a recent vacation to Scotland and Ireland I had some choices to make with regards to what photographic equipment to bring along for the trip? There are a bunch of considerations, first is size and weight. My camera and I will be close travel companions for eleven days and my shoulder and neck don’t want to become a hanger rack for five pounds of camera and lens. Second, is navigating several airplane overhead compartments of varying sizes and configurations. That means cramming all your equipment into small spaces, really small spaces on short flights. Photography is not my profession just a serious hobby, so my photography equipment has to share space with the rest of my luggage.
So before my departure I had to decide what comes with me and what stays home. I have a Nikon D800 with a large selection of lens and a Fuji X-T1 also with a large selection of lenses. The selection of which camera/lenses to bring chose will also determine what other supporting items will be needed to support that choice. Camera bag, tripod, filters are just some of the items that are camera dependent. I decided on the Fuji X-T1 with my recently acquired 16 – 55 mm f2.8 lens. I also brought the 10- 24 mm and my Fuji X100T rangefinder along if the need for a wider angle of second camera was needed. However, the X-T1 and 16-55 mm was the go-to set-up for 90% of all the work. The 16 – 55 mm is not one of Fuji’s smallest (or lightest) lens but it’s 2.8 wide aperture and weather resistant sealing make it a great choice in a region known for its wet weather. Plus, the image quality produced by this lens is superb. When paired with the X-T1 its gives you powerful image making capabilities. Everything fit in my ONA Brixton messenger bag including my MacBook Air, Lee Filters, batteries, straps, and memory cards. With a tripod packed in my regular luggage I had everything I needed.
As expected, the camera and lens worked well together and the lighter load was welcome as the long hours of each day piled up
As previously mentioned, the lens is not small but fits nicely in my hand and is well balanced when attached to the X-T1. Both the zoom and aperture rings are tight and well constructed, with little chance of changing the aperture by mistake or zoom creep when pointing the lens down. The nine-blade aperture range from wide-open at f2.8 and closed down at f22 with moves in 1/3 stops. With a APS-C sensor the 16 -55 mm focal range represents equivalent 24 – 82 mm field of view on 35 mm camera. This focal length is most popular on full frame cameras because it serves all- purposes. Fully zoomed the lens is a tad over five inches and wieghs about a pound and a half. The front filter size is 77 mm which is rather large for mirrorless APS – C camera and the lens does not offer image stabilization. This is not an oversight by Fuji but an attempt to squeeze every ounce of image quality out of the lens and image stabilization mechanics can sometimes get in the way. Below are a few samples of the lens images from the trip.