Mar 13, 2013

Interior shots with the XF 14mm

_DXP3456wHotel entrance (ISO 200, f/8, 1/80s)

During our recent family mini-trip to Granada, we stayed at the picturesque Hotel Palacio De Santa Inés, in the Unesco World Heritage Albaicín district. Its 35 rooms are located in two small 16th century Mudejar buildings, restructured and renovated in 1995 and 2001 respectively. The hotel fascinates by its courtyard beauty because of its fountain, columns, balustrades and in particular, of Renaissance frescos painted by two of Rafael’s disciples.

What better setting can you imagine to learn more about how well the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 lens handles interior and architectural shots?

_DXE3677wHotel lobby (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/25s)

_DXE3674wLobby courtyard (ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/40s)

With no side windows at ground level but a lot of bright daylight coming in through the courtyard’s skylight, these images challenge the dynamic range of the X-Pro1 and X-E1 X-Trans sensors. Fortunately, these raw (RAF) files provide a lot of room for optimization in post using Adobe’s Lightroom 4.4RC, and combining detailed highlights as well as low-noise shadow areas is not to hard at all. Just pull’em sliders…

_DXP3300w Second courtyard (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/5s)

_DXP3301wSecond courtyard (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/9s)

Working in small, cramped spaces with a 21mm-equivalent wide angle will often require tilting the camera, resulting in the well-known converging vertical lines. These may become an interesting compositional element, as in the following two shots (that again challenge the dynamic range). Alternatively, state-of-the-art post-processing tools like Lightroom incorporate perspective correction features, which were moderately applied in most of the other pictures.

_DXP3459wSkylight in lobby courtyard (ISO 400, f/6.4, 1/75s)

_DXP3299wSkylight of second courtyard (ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/40s)

I will point out once again that on this family leisure trip I did not bring any tripods, bubble levels etc. as you would normally use for this kind of images. All shots were made hand-held, in a minimum of time, occasionally resting the camera against whatever column or railing was appropriately available. Using a tripod would have allowed smaller apertures (and more DOF) as well as lower sensitivities (and thus lower noise and better dynamic range). But hey, these are X-cameras, so higher ISO settings are no problem, and the 14mm lens gives a large depth-of-field at almost any F-stop!

_DXE3672w Upstairs (ISO 400, f/9, 1/30s)

_DXE3675w Stairway (ISO 800, f/4.5, 1/30s)

The least I can say is that the XF 14mm prime has not disappointed at all! Just as with the exterior pictures shown in my earlier posts, this little gem keeps amazing me. It has rapidly become a favorite of mine, and will find itself in my bag on many, many occasions. I am really looking forward to give it a run at some ‘real’ architectural work, working from a tripod and taking all the time required for optimal image quality.

_DXP3303wBreakfast room (ISO 800, f/3.2, 1/25s)

In the next posts-to-come, we will have a look at that other excellent travel companion, the Fujinon XF 18-55mm zoom. Stay tuned!

Gear notes: Fujifilm X-Pro1 & X-E1, Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8

Click on the image(s) to see a larger version

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