I received two lenses from KEH today. They are in “bargain” condition according to the dealer, but they look like they have only been lightly used to me. The Fujifilm XF 10-24mm f/4 R OIS lens is a great wide-angle lens with a useful zoom range. I took my new toys, uh, tools, to the Switzer Covered Bridge in Franklin County, Kentucky this evening, trying to arrive during the “golden hour” before sunset. It probably would have been better to arrive a little earlier, or to have underexposed a little, but I am happy with the lens’s performance.
I also bought the Fujifilm XF 55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS lens, a moderate telephoto zoom. One of the pictures has some blur from not noticing that the shutter speed had dropped to 1/30 of second and I was shooting hand-held. This was too slow for the 100mm setting , but here it is anyhow.
The other picture I took with the lens was also at 1/30, but at 55mm – the short end of the zoom range. It turned out sharp.
I’m happy with my new lenses so far, even though I only got a handful of pictures in today. I saved about $700 by buying them in “bargain” condition instead of new, and that does make me happy.
The first of Ann’s sunflowers to bloom this year.
It was cool but sunny yesterday, and Ann and I took some magazines out on the deck to read. Henri had other ideas though.
It seems like it has rained most of the month. A landslide across US 23 between Prestonsburg and Pikeville has sent me on one and a half hour detours to get to and from work this week. One of the detours, on John’s Creek, revealed a good number of lovely farms, and this interesting church:
One of the interesting features of my Fujifilm X-T1 camera is the ability to replicate, more or less, numerous Fujifilm films. That’s right, the company’s cameras have built-in settings to emulate, more or less, the company’s films. Probably no film was more used by landscape and National Geographic photographers in the 1990s than Velvia, with its rich, sharp, punchy slides overflowing with color and contrast. I shot these pictures of some flowers in Ann’s garden using the Velvia setting on the camera, as one of several rain showers on Saturday was receding.
And I took these pictures a little later just below the dam at Paintsville Lake.
Henri was supposed to arrive by plane in Lexington (Kentucky) around 1:30 pm on Friday. He didn’t show. It took Delta more than an hour to find him and phone us after we reported him missing. Seems Henri missed his connecting flight in Atlanta! Actually, we were told later, there wasn’t room for him on the flight because of luggage. We didn’t get him until 8 pm. “Bobby” with Delta in Atlanta, told us that the had taken him out of his crate and cleaned and fed him and given him water. Apparently that was right as he has showed no ill effects. Which is better than Ann, who seems to have caught a flu to go with the stress. Anyhow, he loves to chew on metal and so I distracted him with my watch long enough to take these pictures before he jumped over and licked the lens!
How do I know? Well, mornings are chilly but not so cold that I won’t go out.
Things are turning green.
Pear trees are blooming.
And Ann has started planting flowers.
Ann got me a new camera for my birthday – a Fujifilm X-T1. I love it! Even though I haven’t had much time to use it yet. The build quality is reminiscent of old Nikon manual focus cameras of the 1970s. It has a metal body festooned (yes, festooned!) with knobs and buttons that save time in going through screens of menus to change options. And both lenses that I got (the 18-135mm zoom and the 60mm f2.8 macro) are both covered in metal as well. I’ve had it a few weeks now – enough time for blossoms on our tiny magnolia tree to go from above, to below.
The camera doesn’t have a built-in flash, but comes with a handy small one that goes on top and is turned on just by raising it on its hinge. We’ve been doing a lot of cleaning up, and moving things, and donating things, and just hauling off things, so we could put down some hardwood floors and get a built-in bookcase. We’ve been trying for months to find mouse traps that actually work! All of them, whether purchased as Lowes, or Walmart, or on the internet, have either been too sensitive to set, or so insensitive that they just served as mouse feeders. Finally, Ann got a bag full of these. All I could see was nothing as this was in a corner of the kitchen behind a cabinet. But I could hear movement so I snapped this with the flash. Thirty seconds or so later, there was another snap. Hey, sorry! If you knew how many mice had invaded our house, you might not feel so sorry for the furry little guys. Unfortunately, I’m embarrassed to tell you how many mice we had.
The kids came in last weekend for a belated celebration of my birthday. I handed my camera to Lauren and she just started snapping like crazy. (But notice the new hardwood floors and the new LG OLED TV in the background? :))
I guess the housecleaning wasn’t a complete success, because Oriana pointed out the epic struggle of nature in our living room window. We’ve never noticed bees like this one before and I suspect some came in as stowaways in the boxes of new floor and furniture. This sluggish one climbed up the window and into the web of a very tiny spider – they just look big here because I got to use my new macro lens to get in close. The spider won, by the way.
But enough of life and death and new floors and furniture. Getting back to the title of this post – Spring is upon us! Yes!