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The new DEFENDER

A couple of weeks ago I had to have service done on one of our cars. As we happen to have our service done by the car dealer of which our son-in-law is a co-owner, it is often possible to get a loan car a little out of the ordinary. This time I was lucky enough to borrow the new Land Rover Defender. Specifically a Defender 110 D240 “First edition”.

This car is the re-invention of the classic well known Defender. I know many people do not consider this Defender to be a “real” Defender. It is too refined, not rough enough it can not be repaired with a hammer and a roll of duct tape. Some go so far as to call it the “Land Rover Pretender”.
I will partly agree with these people. It is not the same as the old model …. but it is a great car anyway.
…. and yes, my dream car is one of the old Defenders, a 110 Crew cab which has been slightly rebuilt ….. I have a clear vision of the car in my head 😉

But this is not a car review!! This is a carlover with a camera on a small road trip in a fancy new car so not so much writing from now on….and more photos!!

A night out

I picked up the car in the afternoon and had planned to drive out to a highway bridge when it got dark. I know a great spot for car photography that I have used before https://www.instagram.com/p/BIEw9jeB6TO/

Unfortunately it started to rain just as I reached the bridge and after 15 minutes of waiting I gave up and turned the car home. On the way back I came past this gas station and it was obvious to take a few pictures there …. especially since the the X fits me with a X camera from Fujifilm 🙂
All photos are shot with a X-T2 + the 16-55mm f/2,8 and the 50-140mm f/2,8

The road trip

The next morning it was time to get out on the road ….. and on the beach. I had planned for the trip to go from the home address and out to Rømø on the west coast of Jutland.
Here is the opportunity to drive down to the beach itself which I thought could give some interesting photos of the car.
Unfortunately the weather was not the best …. pretty gray so at least there was no possibility to make any dramatic cloud pictures with the car.

I started by taking some photos at home in our courtyard to “warm up” for the day.

On the way to Rømø I passed a small forest where I could park the car. Took only a few single pictures as the possibilities to vary were limited. Instead, I tried to make a few different edits to the files when I got home.
You can get very different expressions in the individual photos depending on which editor you choose. However, I chose to go with the muted greenish toning of the images most of the time as I think it fit the car well.

On the beach

When I arrived at the beach I spent a few hours shooting photos at different angles of the car which can be seen below.

Urbex

Before returning home, I drove around the island a bit. I saw a couple of F16 fighters from the Danish Air Force who were on shooting training. But I also found an old disused factory where I got a couple of urbex photos of the car as the last ones.

The roadtrip

I sometimes like to take one or more days out of the calendar and go on a road trip around Denmark. Get my brain cleaned out and have full focus on photography. Such a day I took some time ago when my girlfriend was out of the house.
I had set the alarm clock to 0430 …. just half an hour before sunrise. I wanted a trip up the west coast of Jutland. There was no need to get up earlier as there were no obvious sunrise spots on the route.
The route was laid out a bit overall with a few fixed stops along the way and end station at Vigsø Battery (an old bunker complex from World War II.)


Along the way my photo partner Anders Keis (see his great photo blog here) would join and follow along the last part of the day. He shot mostly with analog cameras during the day.


In my photo bag I had my old Fujifilm X-T2 and some lenses but I also had a GFX100 and some G-lenses including the GF 30mm f3,5 witch hadn’t been released at that time (read my review of the 30mm here).

First stop was planned to be Lyngvig Lighthouse but I ended up with quite a few stops before the Lighthouse. When I was driving on the highway i noticed a very interesting light from the sun rising. It was not bright yellow as one could expect….it was more purple. I took the first exit and stopped the car and took a look around. I had some windmills on one side and some trees on the other….but both tings was a bit away from the road. So I took the GFX 100 and the GF 100-200mm f5,6 and stood just outside the car facing west on the first shot and east on the second.

Ringkøbing Fjord

Next stop was just south of the town of Hvide Sande. I saw a sign leading down to a small harbour and decided to have a look. It was a very small harbour with some leisure boats and small fishing vessels.

The photos show some of the small boats at Ringkøbing Fjord and are all done with the GF 30mm f3,5 lens.

Haurvig Church

Hvide Sande

Hvide Sande was not a planned stop but as I passed through the town I noticed some large nets on the “inside”….in Ringkøbing Fjord. Perfect for some long exposure shots. The town are placed on the long stretch of land that separate the Fjord form the North Sea so You can see water on both sides.

First 3 photos taken with GFX100 and the 30mm f3,5 and the last with my X-T2 and the 16-55 f2,8.

On the other side the fishing boats were going out into the North Sea.

Lyngvig Lighthouse

Now I got to Lyngvig and the Lighthouse. A nice area with low rolling sand hills with lyme grass. The Lighthouse was closed due to the corona virus so I only got shots from the outside. But the clouds was not good for long exposure so only snapshots 🙂

Lyngvig Lighthouse is the last in a series of built lighthouses along Jutland’s west coast and in 1906 it throws its characteristic, sweeping light cone over the dune landscape for the first time. The lighthouse rises well in the flat dune landscape, and with its flame height of 53 meters can be seen far away.

Bovbjerg Lighthouse

The next stop was again one of those stop that wasn’t planned. A road sign lead the way to Bovbjerg Lighthouse.

Bovbjerg Lighthouse was built in 1877 as one of the first lighthouses on the west coast. The lighthouse was to guide shipping at a time when there were an awful lot of shipwrecks. It is painted red to avoid confusion with the church towers in the nearby villages. The lighthouse stands on a cliff 41 meters above sea level. The tower itself is 26 meters high. The flame height is 62 m, and the light from the current 300 W halogen lamp through the original Fresnel lens can be seen in clear weather 16 nautical miles from the shore.
There are also some bunkers from WW2.

Oddesund

Now I got to the destination where Anders would join me. He had a small problem with his GPS so I took a 15 minute rest in the car before he came to the right spot. This place have a quit funny name. If you translate it directly from Danish to English it’s name is: Pigs Toe Cape 🙂
A piece of land formed as a pigs toe.

Here you can photograph the small lighthouse and the old iron bridge. I have been here a few times before and done some good long exposure shots here. Unfortunately the clouds wasn’t very good so I only got silky water 🙂

Architecture

On our way out to the west coast again we stopped at the small town of Hurup to get something to drink and eat…..and to do som architecture photos. In Hurup you find the biggest window factory in Denmark with around 100.000 m2 under roof.

Lodbjerg Lighthouse

The last stop before Vigsø Battery was yet another Lighthouse. This one is called Lodbjerg Lighthouse. It is located alone in the middle of a large heath and plantation area. The lighthouse was built in 1883 and lit for the first time on November 28, 1884. The lighthouse is 35 meters high and the light has a height of 48 meters above sea level.

Vigsø Battery

The last planned stop for the day was Vigsø Battery. It was time to do som long exposure shot of the concrete bunkers in the water and end it all of with a sunset.

When you do landscape photography things do not always goes as planned. And this day was no different.
The sunset never happened…or yes it did but the clouds played us and the sun disappeared down behind some massive clouds so we never got the many colours we where hoping for.

….But the long exposure turned out great!!
I use LEE filters when I do long exposure and I mostly use the 15 stop ND filter (called SuperStopper) so that I can got the 2-4 minutes exposure that i prefere.

This one has a bit of colour from the sun going down.

The last one of the day from Vigsø turned into something from a sci-fi movie or from Mars. I just love how the edit of this photo blends the sand and the water into something surreal.

It was getting late, The sunset was not going to happen so we decided to call it the day and head home. Anders had a 1 hour drive back to his place and a I had 3 hours if i drove directly with no stops.
But when I got to Vilsund Bridge I had to stop to take the last picture of the day.
I ended up home a 0115 o’clock almost 23 hours after I started the trip. A great day with at great photo buddy….and some ok photos 🙂

The last of the triplets

Review of the GF 30mm F3.5 R WR

This is my first review ever, so it will probably be a good idea to tell a little about myself before going over and looking at the lens.

My name is Kaare Bak, I am a gray-haired (yes, I am over 50) hobby photographer from Denmark. I photograph a little of every thing….however, I have my primary focus on long exposure, landscape and architecture, which the image examples in this review also will display. I usually shoot with the X-T2 and X70, so I’m not a daily user of the GFX system, but I am fortunate to lend it now and then.

Photo taken by Ricky Sam Winther from zenfoto.dk

Disclaimer

In other reviews, I often see a form of disclaimer and such one I also have to come up with so that no misunderstandings arise. I am not an official Fuji X photographer and I have no connection to Fujifilm, besides shooting with Fujifilm’s cameras and have done so since I acquired an X100T years ago.
I buy my cameras and lenses from local Danish dealers, but occasionally I am fortunate enough to be able to borrow products from Fujifilm Denmark, as in this case.
I love the vast majority of Fujifilm lenses and camera I have tried, and are therefore somewhat biased in my approach to testing this GF 30mm f3.5 lens.

The shooting

I was asked by Fujifilm in Denmark if I would be interested in doing an unofficial review of this new lens since I do a lot of wide angle photos. When I shoot landscape and partly also architecture, I often use my X-T2 with the Fujinon XF 16-55 f2.8 at 16 mm. The focal length provides an image section that is roughly the same as the test lens here provides on the medium format camera equivalent to about 24mm on full frame. Maybe that’s why it struck me as very easy to handle.

I’ve had the opportunity to shoot with the 30mm for a couple of weeks and I have to say I’m impressed with what it delivers. That you hopefully will see when it comes to the pictures later in the review.

But now over to what it is all about, the new GF 30mm f3.5 that was launched the other day. In my headline I called the lens for the last of the triangles and this is because I see the 30mm as the smallest of triangles in the range of 30 to 63mm where the other two are 45 and 63mm. The photographers who swear to zoom lenses have long had a lens that covered the focal length of the triangles, namely GF 32-64 f4.0. With the launch of the GF 30mm f3.5, the photographers who swear to prime lenses have now met that need.

Now I know that someone out there thinks that there is also a 50mm for the GFX system. That is correct but I see it more as an “adopted” lens. It is so different from the other three that in my opinion it falls outside the category. I think Fujifilm should make a GFX copy of their X100 series putting the 50mm on. A GFX 50R with fixed 50mm !! It have to be a wet dream for every street photographer!! 🙂

The lens

All the pictures of the lens are taken after a day of long exposure shooting, so yes the lens is not total clean…but then again….it’s a tool and tools should be used.
This is not official product shots…….Jonas Rask shoot those…check them and al the other fantastic pictures out on his page. 🙂

Fujinon GF 30mm f / 3.5 is designed so that it consists of 13 lens elements in 10 groups incl. 2 spherical elements and 2 ED elements, to effectively minimize the occurrence of spherical and chromatic aberration and thus provide the best image quality. The lens has an incredibly high resolution capability and is compatible with Fujifilm’s 102 mega-pixel GFX100 camera. In addition, the lens is also weather-sealed and resists dust and dirt, as well as moisture and can withstand low temperatures. All in all a great build lens for outdoor shooting.
The shape of this lens isn’t the prettiest. I think that lenses where the front element isn’t the largest look strange…but maybe it’s just me, and the lens performs brilliant so what the heck 🙂
Length is close to 100mm…99,4 to be exact. Width is 84mm and it weigh no more than 510 gram which is nice if you have it with you on a long walk.
Filter diameter is only 58mm which is smaller than most of my lenses for the X-system.
If you compare the 30mm with the 45 and 63 you will find that it’s heavier 510 gram versus 490 and 405 gram. It’s also longer 99,4 mm versus 88 and 71 mm. The diameter is the same for all 3 : 84 mm

The quality of the photos that it produces ist no less than great. There is great sharpness corner to corner. Very low….or no distortion at all as well as lack of vignetting. The image quality again is fantastic and when you put it on the GFX100….you can crop all you want and get just the frame you want.

Conclusion

So all in all would this lens be one I would buy (if I get the GFX-system) or is there better options for me in the many Fujinon G-lenses.

YES…I would buy the 30mm!!

Although landscape photographers often use very wide lenses I tend to shoot most around the 24mm FF as I mentioned earlier. Therefore this little gem of a lens would of course get a place in my photo bag.
If I put together the dream prime lens setup I would also get the 23mm for the wider shots, the 63mm for closeup and the amazing 110mm for portraits….but that will be when I win the lottery 🙂

But enough writing!! Now it’s time for some photos!!

All photos are taken with the GF 30mm f3,5 on a GFX100. The photos have all been edited in Lightroom.

I hope you enjoyed the review and the photos….happy shooting to you all 🙂

It’s ok to take Pictures, but please stay out of the field. Thanks