Last updated on December 7, 2020
I haven’t travelled this autumn. I haven’t even left the Gower peninsula (south Wales, UK), but I’ve stayed creative, or at least tried to…
All photos taken with the “magic” Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R lens (image samples and review below) on my Fuji XT3 in October and November 2020.
As always, I carried my camera with my at all times, reached for it as and when something struck me as beautiful, or worth remembering.
The following words and photos act as a time capsule, documenting a change of season and a change in my life. They’re for me really, a sketch, a journal.
They’re not my finest photos, nor my most inspired words, but they’re meaningful to me. We may have left summer behind, but, as we enter autumn, my world is very much in full bloom.
PS ~ If you’re interested in my Fujinon XF 35mm F1.4 R lens review, you’ll find my thoughts at the bottom of this post. Also note that all of these photos were taken with the Fujifilm XF 35mm f/1.4 R, so if you’re looking for sample images, you’re in the right place!
The truth is that you can’t help but feel a sense of relief as summer ends.
That feeling that you need to be ‘out there’, ‘doing things’, ‘making the most of it’… there’s only so much you can take.
Autumn comes at exactly the right time, just before the burden of summer in full bloom begins to overwhelm us. Just as we start to rust and wither.
They say it’s the dark nights of winter that drag on too long, but at least you know how to fill them. With paperbacks and candles, with Chet Baker and endless glasses of wine twirling between your fingers.
But what are you supposed to do with eternal summers? Those relentless sticky nights that go on and on and on…
No, I’d choose autumn every time…
Summer is scorn, an insatiable temptress. Summer is guilt and obligation.
But Autumn greets you like a great aunt in a wooly jumper and scarf, insisting you do little but sit down and put your feet up and drink tea and eat biscuits.
Autumn is mercy.
Autumn. That’s when summer is at its best, while it’s still fresh and present in your memories, while clumps of grass still cling to your shoes, while grains of sand grind away in the darkest corners of your pockets.
Autumn. That’s when you can really appreciate summer.
Just as you realise it is about to be taken away.
Photography Talk: My Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R Lens Review
I like to spend a decent amount of time with a new lens before deciding what I think of it. You can’t really get a feel for a lens in a day or two. And though I haven’t really travelled anywhere to really put the 35mm f/1.4 through its paces, I’ve definitely come to a conclusion after spending autumn with it glued to my Fuji XT3.
In short, Fuji’s legendary 35mm f/1.4 primes lens everything they say it is. It’s beautifully sharp and, at f/1.4, renders gorgeous images with the depth of field you’d expect from a full-frame camera/lens. I’ve missed this depth – it was the only thing I felt was missing from my Fuji camera setup.
You’ve heard it all before, of course. That the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 prime lens is magic, that it’s a “must have” lens. And, frankly, it’s all true. It’s also true that it’s slow to focus and a comparatively noisy lens, but it just doesn’t matter.
It hasn’t left my camera since I put it on, and I can’t see myself finding another lens I’d rather shoot with.
So yes, if you want my opinion, the Fuji 35mm f/1.4 really is a must-have lens for photography (thought possibly a little too noisy and slow to focus for videography).
I only wish I’d bought it sooner (I sold off my 27mm pancake lens to buy it and would recommend you do the same).
My lens kit is now more or less complete: the Fujinon 23mm f/2 (for wider shots), this Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 and a vintage (manual focus only) Canon 50mm f/1.8.
Make it happen: If you shoot Fujifilm, you really should have the 35m f/1.4 prime in your kit bag. It truly is the only lens you really need. Buy it here.
I also love the Fuji 18-55mm and 55-200mm zoom lenses for video (both are stabilised, plus I love the weight they add for more stabilised footage). You can see examples of these lenses in action below and on my Youtube channel.
Now Watch ‘Of Red and Gold ~ Autumn on the Gower Peninsula’
More Photography Talk / Lens Reviews
Sarah Drove ~ A Photo Journal (Fuji XT3 + 23mm F2)
Canon 50mm f/1.8 with Fuji XT3 ~ Manual Focus for Analog Style Digital Photography
Cine Scenes from Summer 2020 (on the Gower Peninsula, Wales) ~ A 2.35:1 Aspect Ratio Photography Journal
Get the Analogue Film Photo Look in Lightroom with the Earth Preset Pack (+ Sample Images)
Celebrate International Beer Day ~ A Photo/Video Homage
I bought the 35mm f/1.4 Fujifilm lens after having used the f/2 version for a couple of years. I kept reading reviews mentioning intangible things like “magic” and “pixie dust”, but I also read reviews mentioning focus speed and “hunting” for focus. I finally gave in and bought one, and I’m so glad!
The focus speed has not been an issue for me. The image quality is equal to the hype.
It has not left my X-Pro2 for months and I don’t think that it has been off of f/1.4 for 20% of the thousands of images that I’ve made with it. “Magic” and “pixie dust”?… Yeah, could be.
Glad that you like yours too.
Hey, thanks Albert! Yes, I totally agree – haven’t taken mine off my XT3 either, and could quite happily shoot with nothing else from now on haha! Magic indeed. I think the point is that it’s still more or less silent, and still lightning fast in the grand scheme of things.
I also love the 23mm f2 for shooting a little wider.