18-55mm Night and Low Light Shots!!!

Started Dec 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
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Al Valentino
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18-55mm Night and Low Light Shots!!!
Dec 16, 2012

I received my Silver XE1 with 18-55mm zoom the other day and decided to take it for a spin around New York City to see how well the camera and lens perform. One of the reasons I purchased was to get the kind of shots my Nikon D300 can’t, in particular capture scenes with greater dynamic range and let me shoot at high ISO. Below are some sample shots that put the the high ISO to the test, as well as focusing ability in low lights and lastly, how well this lens performs wide open.

I can sum up that this camera lens combo performed admirably on all counts. At first it was a bit tricky since it is new to me, smaller to hold, and I still learning the little things. I shot mostly bracketing film simulations. Standard/Provia has the greatest dynamic range, Velvia I just don’t like in almost all situations, and overall I did tend to prefer the Pro Neg High more often than not as it is colorful and contrasty.

More specifically, this lens is remarkably sharp, and I had no problems shooting wide open on low light at very high ISO and getting sharp results. Much sharper than my old Nikon 17-55 f/2.8 wide open - wouldn’t be nice if the zoom was a constant f/2.8! Also, regarding focusing, I can honestly say that I did not have any tangible problems at all (on still subjects). I am not saying it always focused, it didn’t, but I learned that it is about finding the right focus target - like any other camera, but each has its own personality. When I did have problems, which was rare, it was a matter or changing the focus size, twisting the camera a bit to find contrast, or simply focus on something else of a similar distance then recompose. Actually the latter, focus and recompose it what seems to work the fasted, especially since my subjects are landscapes or architecture. If I was going a f/1.4 with a thin FOV this would not work as often since I would need something to be the exact same distance. In any case, I had no problems worth mentioning.

Anyway, enough talk, a picture is worth a 1,000 words... Most of these are at or near wide open. In camera sharpening set to normal, White Balance set to Auto. I just wish I had a wider lens at times but that will have to wait for now.

Most of these will might look much better if you view originals as the compression off smaller picture can make them look soft.

Street Vendor - 55mm, f/4, ISO 800 Pro Neg High

St Patricks Alter - 18mm, f/2.8, 1/40, ISO 4000, Pro Neg High, Keystone Correction, ran through Topaz DeNoise at lowest setting, slight sharpening - looks fantastic full size

Alter w/Candle - 18mm, f/2.8, 1/170 sec, ISO 3200, Pro Neg High, - SOOC

Bride and Groom - 55mm, f/4, 1/10sec, ISO 6400. Under a overpass/tunnel with low/mixed lighting. Corrected color balance, ran through Topaz DeNoise at lowest setting. Provia. Usable for print. Perhaps sharper if handheld at longer shutter speed but OS really works.

Poets Walk, Central Park, 18mm, f/3.6, 1/8 sec, ISO 6400, cropped bottom, ran through Topaz DeNoise at lowest setting. Cropped off part of bottom, Pro Neg High

Skating Rink, 18mm, f/2.8, 1/40 sec, ISO 5000, Pro Neg High - SOOC

Reflection of Buildings - 18mm, 1/13sec, f/2.3, ISO 5000. Corrected for keystoning/perspective, ran through Topaz DeNoise at lowest setting. Pro Neg High

Rockefeller Center Tree - 34mm, f/3.6, ISO 1250, Pro Neg High

Giant Red Balls - 22mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO 5000, Pro Neg High - SOOC w/pinch of sharpening

Giant Red Balls - 22mm, f/5.6, 1/30 sec, ISO 5000, Monochrome Red filter - SOOC w/pinch of sharpening

 Al Valentino's gear list:Al Valentino's gear list
Fujifilm X-E1 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +8 more
Fujifilm X-E1 Nikon D300
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