New Years Weekend: Ben’s New Fuji X-T2 and a trip to the Air and Space Museum

So Ben finally picked up a new camera…

How it went down:

Sometime on Wednesday, Brian was finally free from his post-Christmas activities with his in-laws and we all decided to meet up for dinner and drinks near Tysons Corner.

We were shooting the shit, fondling our camera gear and joked around about Ben picking up a new Fuji X-T2 mirrorless camera, but it was pretty much sold out everywhere at every major retailer. While we were sitting in Ben’s car at a red light, I’ve made a phone call to our local camera store (Ace Photo) and what did you know, they had both versions of the X-T2 in stock.

Ben’s reaction to this phone conversation was epic to say the least.

Full caveat: We had a couple of drinks and a heavy discussion at Clydes prior to driving out to Ace Photo. Nothing like a little bit of mental lubricant to make a purchasing decision.

Unfortunately, Brian had to leave since he had plans so it was just Ben and I that made the drive to the store.

(Photos taken with my iPhone 7)

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Massive Selection (not including the inventory in their backroom)

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Memory Cards, Lens Filters, USB sticks galore

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Ben’s new Beast

Granted, this trip was meant for Ben’s X-T2 but I couldn’t help but ask if they had a lens I’ve been looking for: the Sony Zeiss FE 35 F/1.4.

Lo and behold, they had it…but not just one…but two.

One was a brand new copy and the other was a pre-owned copy (their pre-owned is “like new” since they have the most anal return policy). I was shocked how lucky I was to find a used Zeiss 35 F/1.4, but then I remembered that Ben was with me and he was my open-box lucky charm (ALL of my previous open-box lens deal findings were with Ben in tow).

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Tucked away in the top corner – right next to the Zeiss 24 F/1.8 for Sony’s APS-C cameras.

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MASSIVE: I couldn’t hold back my joy – I quickly mounted it to my A7II and walked out of the store like this. This was the largest prime lens I’ve ever owned.

I quickly threw money at the gentleman behind the counter and finally acquired one of the holy trinities for Sony F/1.4 primes available for a fantastic price.

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FUUUUUU – BOKEH

Needless to say, we drove back to my place to play with our new toys and we were very satisfied with our purchases.

You can check out Ben’s photo album with his new X-T2 and 18-55 lens here.

New Years Eve

It wasn’t until the weekend when we finally had time to really test our setup, so I’ve decided to drive to the Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum in Dulles, VA since I’ve never been there before (shocking I know).

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

The poor lighting inside the museum (or hangar) was killing us (I had the 24-70 F/4 at the time) and my ISO was cranked up to 6400 while Ben was redlining at 3200. I wished I had a FE 24-70 F/2.8 G Master due to the wide angle and low light performance. The Zeiss 24-70 F/4 I had attached was just too “slow” for low light.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

I switched over to the newly acquired Zeiss 35 F/1.4 and it made all the difference in the world with the ISO barely hovering above ISO 200.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Minimal Focal Distance: 0.3M

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Ben uploading pictures onto his phone from his camera. Both of our experience with our native phone apps were sluggish, but the Sony app was quicker at uploading.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

This is not a Transformer.

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Processed with VSCO with a5 preset

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Zeiss 24-70 F/4

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Catwalk – Zeiss 24-70 F/4

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Zeiss 24-70 F/4

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Zeiss 24-70 F/4

Photo by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.comPhoto by Tae Kim @ www.cosmotographer.com

Overall, it was an enjoyable trip and the Zeiss 35 F/1.4 proved its worth thanks to it’s amazing low light performance and image quality.

Ben was getting used to the manual control dials on his new X-T2 and struggling with low light with the 18-55 kit lens, but I think we’ve both learned a lot about our gear from this trip.

Every gear has its strength and weaknesses, but high quality gear can help improve the overall experience.

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Happy New Years

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