I have just completed a very satisfying weekend experiment. Not only fun, but useful and valuable. Plus I got to drink beer and look at cars and girls. This is science the way we like to do it.
a. The lens test was done for free as apart of my ongoing weblog column for the camera shop. I checked out a ” professional ” lens for the Fujifilm cameras I use and set it against an ” enthusiast ” lens from the same company. Fair test – the same subject – and the same conditions of light and shadow. Four hours shooting with one on Saturday at the WA Hot Rod Show and then four more hours with the second on Sunday. In both cases there was a new Fujifilm flash to add light as needed, though I did experiment a few times with ambient light.
The results were good both days. I think the pro lens auto-focused a little faster in bad light than the enthusiast one, but the difference was minimal. In any real sort of illumination they were the same.
Likewise the resolution of the two lenses seems to be similar. I daresay the German laboratories who write long and complicated lens charts would say different, but for the results I want and the size I want them, there was no practical difference.
There was a difference in the weight of the things – the pro version was quite heavy. At the same time it had less optical extension than the enthusiast lens – some areas that I could not pull in on Saturday were easily pictured on Sunday.
The real biting difference lies in the cost. I own the enthusiast lens now – the pro version is $ 1500AUD more to buy…and considering the value of the results, I think that I am more than justified in deciding to keep on using the lens I have right now and let the other one be the goal of other photographers. Score one for the frugal photographer.
b. I met a lady pinstripe painter who decorated my latest Fujifilm flash with yet another type of traditional hot rod paint design – the scallop. She took the colours for it from the braces I was wearing. While she flies back to California in a day, we hope that she might get to come back to WA later in the year – and I would dearly love to have her as a Hot Rod Honey in my studio – I would buy a special model car just for her.
c. And better still – I met another lovely retro dress enthusiast at the show as she was looking at the handbags. I had my iPad with examples of my tabletop 1:18th scale Hot Rod Honeys there and she and her husband were very kind to look at them and approve. As she is obviously a retro expert in dress, she would be perfect for the 50’s and 60’s cars. Call me opportunistic if you will, but when I see someone who has the theatrical or artistic eye to do exactly what I hope to do, I am not shy in telling them.
d. And I successfully defeated the hamburger bandits. I took my own sandwiches and bought a beer at the bar. Score two for the frugal photographer.