Review: The Fuji 15-45

Evening in Bar Harbor, Maine

When I bought my Fuji XT3 a few weeks ago, I splurged a bit on the 40-150 telephoto lense.

I had a whole host of options to pick from for my short lens. The one I decided on was a very small, very light f/3.2 15-45mm lens. I picked this up for under $200 after reading quite a few reviews that were positive.

But you can read all the reviews you want. What counts is the real word. If it doesn’t work there, then no matter how much or how little you spend, it either will or won’t be worth it.

Well, after taking that little lens with me to Maine a few weeks ago…it feels like a steal!

The one thing you want out of the kit you take with you on vacation, or on business, or anywhere where you’re moving around is you want it to a) take great photos and b) be light.

This 15-45 definitely hits the high points on both those scores.

Early morning, Balancing Rock

As usual when I travel on business or for pleasure, I wake up early. My family likes to sleep in, I like to get out and explore. I have an app on my phone that tracks my steps and I was generally logging 6,000 steps before they even woke up.

Our motel, the Wonder View Inn, was close to downtown Bar Harbor, so I’d get up, dress quietly, and head out to see what I could see. But I also wanted to see how this little lens performed.

It was impressive on those early morning jaunts. I loved shooting at 3.2 and shooting super wide (for me). I also loved the color palette of the Fuji – which I knew from my X100T – continued to entice me.

As great a walk-around lens it was, where it’s lightness really came in handy was during the hikes. Last year, at Yellowstone, my bigger Canon lenses did get in the way at times.

I’d be hiking a trail, and it would be swinging, or just weighing down in my pack. With this 15-45, it was so compact and light, yet sharp for me, I didn’t really notice it around my neck. And when scrambling up over rocks, I didn’t worry (much) about it banging into the side.

Top of Cadillac Mountain, as the rain clears

Liv, shooting her shots, as we hike the Gorge Trail

Otter Cove

Quick and easy, came in handy for the family shots, too.

Tripod Shot

Cadillac Mountain – Tourist Assist

Jordan Pond – Tourist Assist

This is a wonderful little lens. If you’re a Fuji shooter, or thinking about switching to Fuji, I highly recommend this affordable little beautly.

But before I mad my super semi-final assessment (the final will be the next time I’m on the pit at The Stone Pony), I still had to see how it would do as a portrait lens.

Stay tuned!

Bar Harbor Sand Bar

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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JSP Visual Week In Review ~ 09.12.20

“Ignore distractions.

Focus on your people.

Forget the master plan.

Adapt and shift.”

This isn’t original writing.

This was the caption on a Craig Cameron Olsen Instagram post.

CCO and I worked together a looooong time ago, but we still keep in touch.

He inspired me over a cup of coffee then, and he inspired me this weekend when I read this caption to a post.

There’s a lot swirling in my little corner of New Jersey right now. Challenges are upon us.

I’m trying to do every line of that caption right now.

Peace.

___________

This Week’s Links:

What I Watched This Week: Mulan

What I Read This Week: Finally finished Five Roundabouts to Heaven and started Footfalls on the Trembling Earth. 

What I Listened To This Week: Letter To You by Bruce Springsteen

9/11 Remembrance: Back in 2011, I interviewed Joe McNally about his Faces of Ground Zero project.

Rolling Stone: Right Place, Right Time: Inside the photos of Bob Gruen

NY Times Books: An Invented Artist

Artnet: Chasing California’s Wildfires

Watch (12 min): Christoph Niemann on good we are at reading images

Joe McNally: Missing Tokyo

“It could take three hours to get the lighting right. But, after that, I could make my subject younger than a plastic surgeon could.” ~ Old Hollywood photographer Cornell Lucas  (September 12,1920 -November 8, 2012)

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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Labor Day 2020

A nurse at a Central New Jersey hospital from a story I worked on back in 2010

On this Labor Day 2020, I’m thinking about all the frontline healthcare workers.

So many have put their health and wellbeing on the line during the time of this pandemic

I’m also thinking all the small-business owners struggling to survive during this time.

 

Zoe, who owns the local coffee shop in our town

Hector and Nicole, co-owners of Joe’s Allentown Barber Shop, where were closed for months earlier this year.

 

Bryan Sargent, a NY-based wedding photographer who had tons of shoots cancelled.

 

Remember Jones, an Asbury Park-based entertainer. So many of my musician friends have been hit hard by the shut downs.


Finally, I’m thinking about all the teachers getting ready to start their 2020-21 school years in-person and remotely, but in ways they never thought they’d have to.

Jen Conley, an author and middle-school teacher


And, speaking of teachers, here’s to all the parents that have decided to homeschool their children in this unprecedented time. Homeschooling, while done for hundreds of years, is no joke. I’m seeing first-hand the amount of work that goes into this.

Kudos to my wife for taking this on in addition to her personal-training business (yes, she’s a small-business owner too) and all the others things it takes to keep our household running.

Thinking about all these people, and all the other, today, Labor Day 2020.

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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JSP Visual Week in Review ~ 09.05.20

September morn
We danced until the night
Became a brand-new day

September Morn, Neil Diamond

 

September is here.

If you’ve been following this blog long enough, you know I now consider Summer to be over.

When that page turns from August to September, that’s it.

Harsh, maybe.

But it has its positives.

I view September 1 the same way many view January 1: A time to close the book on the old and start fresh. To get back on track if you’ve fallen off it, or to keep powering on.

This year has been so weird, not sure any of us have been able to really stay on a track. Much of our creative opportunities have been shut down, only to be replaced by dim replicas.

I’ve shot, what, three shows all year? Way below my norm.

I’ve shot, what, four dozen flower photos while cycling? Way above my norm.

But, as creatives, we need to adapt to the times while fulfilling our instincts.

So, here’s the task I’m giving myself: A new personal project focusing on how we will home school our two boys for this upcoming year.

Basically, a school-year long project, photojournalism style, to document this very historic school year in our family’s life.

This may the be only year we do it.

Or, it may be the norm until they graduate high school.

That said, it’ll be interesting to do a long-form PJ-type assignment. I’m still working out the parameters in my head. I already know it most likely won’t be a Photo-a-Day type deal.

Ever do one of those? I did. It’s nerve-wracking.

But I’ll see what I can see as my wife and I – mostly my wife, granted – embark upon this adventure.

My recommendation is to use now till the end of the year as your time to find some fresh to get started with.

Document your life. Make prints. Make memories.

Oh, and back up your work.

__________

This Week’s Links:

What I Read This Week: Smithsonian Magazine

What I Watched This Week: Mulan, and also Season 1, Episode 1 of Miami Vice.

Sierra Club: How one photographer is using IG to document climate change

Stars & Stripes: RIP Francis J. “Red” Grandy,

UN of Photography: What does it take to be a professional photographer?

New Yorker: The Photographer Peeking At Your Phone (My Hot Take: This is just weird. But so is Jeff, I guess.)

PetaPixel: How to Choose the Correct Focal Length

PetaPixel: How Great Movies Use the Three Color Rule

Vanity Fair: Robin Williams’ Quiet Struggle

“I don’t always know why I’m photographing something. It’s my learning machine.” ~ Bruce Davidson (September 5, 1933)

© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2020

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