It’s hard to believe that it was August 2011 when I last visited the National Tramway Museum at Crich in Derbyshire. I was genuinely surprised to discover that I had not been to this event for six years but that is how long it has been. So much has changed for me personally during that time, so it is reassuring to discover that the event itself has changed very little, with many familiar faces to be seen, and the familiar surroundings which provide an excellent supporting role for these 1940s events.
Last time I visited this event, I was still shooting with my trusty Canon 5D, now lovingly refered to on some internet forums as the “5D Classic”. The 5D was my first full-frame camera and it was remarkable in that it always outperformed what the specification sheet would suggest it could achieve. With “only” 12 megapixels and “only” 9 focusing points (and only 1 that could be relied on), the spec would appear quite basic compared to today’s cameras but somehow it always seemed to deliver, a testament to the quality of the sensor.
Perhaps more surprising for the event back in 2011 was my choice of lens. I always enjoy the challenge of using one camera and one lens when I am out shooting, and on that occasion my lens of choice was the excellent but heavy Sigma 300mm F/2.8, not a typical lens choice that you might associate with this type of event!
Fast forward six years, and I have now switched over to Fujifilm cameras and lenses, my Canon gear having all been sold recently. Why the change? Several reasons really, a smaller and lighter kitbag being a major one, together with changing eyesight which meant that I can no longer view images on the back of a camera and determine if they were sharp or not. The electronic viewfinders on my Fujifilm cameras are brilliant for showing me exactly what result to expect before the shot, and what results I did get after the shot, including zoomed in at 100%.
My camera and lens of choice this time around was the Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera and the Fujinon XF 90mm F/2 lens. The X-Pro2 is the first camera since my original 5D to give me that same feeling of being in full control of the picture taking process. I find it an absolute joy to use and the results are exactly what I would hope for from a modern camera. The fact that Fujifilm jpegs are so good straight out of the camera, means that I spend far less time post-processing my images too, another huge bonus.
The XF 90mm F/2 lens is my favourite amongst the X series lenses that I have bought to date. It is tack sharp wide open at F/2, and I especially enjoy the rendering of this lens, with the seperation between the subject and background being particularly pleasing to my eye. It’s also reasonably small and light, certainly in comparison to lenses that I have typically used in the past, and the focusing is very fast and accurate when paired with the X-Pro2.
All the images below were taken using the X-Pro2 and the 90mm wide open at F/2. All were shot as Jpegs in camera using Fujifilm’s built-in Acros Film Simulation with Green Filter setting. That just left me with minor adjustments and cropping to do in Lightroom to tidy them up.
I hope you enjoy them.