The Long Problem: Part 1

My theory was, like the iPad post and the Focus post, this post would be a single post with maybe updates in the future. However it is not, it’s just the start.

At the moment the longest Fuji lens is 300mm equivlent (the 55-200) which is fine but not long enough for some of the jobs I do. There is a long lens in the roadmap (due for early next year) but this is not soon enough and of course I need a solution now.

HRH The Prince of Wales prepares to lay a wreath at the drumhead. X-T1/55-200mm

The solution in my mind and tested initally is the Nikon 300mm/F4 on a Nikon to Fuji adaptor. Of course I had tested this before the switch and it seemed to work fine. In fact a few years ago I mounted it on the front of my X-Pro1 using a fotodiox adapter to photograph a Bryan Ferry concert when I knew our position was a fair way back. Focusing was not easy back then, the old EVF is not quite up to the job but those I did get were really quite nice; sharp and contrasty.

Nikon 300mm F4 with Fotodiox Nikon G - Fuji X
Nikon 300mm F4 with Fotodiox Nikon G – Fuji X

I had purchased the Fotodiox as a cheap solution back when I first got the X-Pro1 so I could play with my Nikon Wide lenses and also an old shift lenes I have. Back then I did not really foresee the route I have taken an the facr it would become a part of my working kit.

A few weeks back, there was a full moon and again I tested the solution and it seemed fine but come last week, when I had a “proper” news job that really required a long (Horse Guards Place in London is reallydeceptively  big), I tested again.

Nikon 300mm F4 with Fotodiox Nikon G - Fuji X
Nikon 300mm F4 with Fotodiox Nikon G – Fuji X

The results were hit and miss. Testing on “my” beach, images I was sure the peeking was showing in focus  were soft, with some sharp and I coulp not work out the reason. Looking carefully i could detect some play in the connection between the lens and the fotodiox adapter (the adapter to body connection was fine). I cannot work out wether the play is just sliding in the plane of the mount or if it is actualy rocking slightly. I’m also not totally rulling out my technique.  I would not call long lens work my strongest work and if may just be that the sensor on the Fuji is more sensitive to movement on the long.

Actor Charles Dance. X-T1 / Nikon 300mm

The job went fine, I refined how I worked and made sure I was able to file a good set of images using this combination  but it was still too hit and miss.

X-T1/Nikon 300mm

My first port of call though is not my technique, its the adaptor. The fotodiox item is really quite cheap and although it does seem well made I think replacing it as the weak link is my first port of call. If I continue to have the same issue when using the Metabones adaptor I have just ordered, then it must be my technique.

Part 2 will be a review and notes on using this new adaptor.

Footnote: Just as I was publishing this the Metabones adaptor was delivered. If the packaging is anything to go by, this is going to be a very good investment.


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