Photographing the Autumn leaves in Nikko

A few pictures from a day-trip to Nikko last Autumn that I did not have the opportunity to post on this blog earlier (this article has been in draft mode for 3 months now!). This was not my first trip to Nikko, so, rather than trying to hit all the “must-see” spots in the area, I took my time to explore the area above the Ryuzu waterfalls, though I did not have enough time to go hiking in the Senjogahara Marshland (戦場ヶ原, Senjōgahara) and will have to go back for that.

Gear: Fujifilm X-T1 + XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

If you are visiting Japan, Nikko is really worth the trip (for a long day or 2 days) if you are worried you allocated too much of your time to Tokyo. Unfortunately, some of the shrines are being renovated at the moment, so make sure you double-check for that before planning your visit. For an exhaustive guide of “What to see” in Nikko, check the excellent

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Why the XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR is in my bag

When someone or something really gets on my nerves, I have found myself on a few occasions irrationally buying a lens that I did not need or found too expensive for what it was. A compulsory purchase that cleanses me of my inner fury – for a while at least… The middle-age crisis for photographers I guess, rather than driving a Porsche like Duchovny in Californication.

The XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR (no-OIS…) is one of those lenses. Absolutely did not need it. Did not lust for it. Had more important things to spend my money on. Yet, it is now in my bag while my bank account is now feeling lighter. Hashtag #firstworldproblem I guess.

To be precise, it’s actually not inside my bag, it is still mounted on my X-T1. I got it on the day it came out (it’s almost my birthday was the official justification…), and ironically I have only been shooting with it ever since. Mind you, I don’t count the pictures I have been taking with it these past few weeks as my finest body of work: if I think portfolio, when I shoot wide I want to shoot really wide… and when I shoot tight, I want to shoot really tight!

However, I certainly have been enjoying my time with it. i found it to be a perfect travel companion, or  to take with me while walking through the city or meeting friends. As expected (and as priced…) it is optically perfect and produces beautiful images. More importantly for me, it just never gets in the way. I can just shoot with it through the day and never have to think about it or worry thanks to the weather resistance.

So does that mean I now think i was stupid not to want this lens in the first place? Not really. I am certainly glad I bought it, and i do enjoy it. But i still believe that such a lens produced in 2015 should come with OIS. While I hear the arguments of Fujifilm’s engineers regarding the better optical quality of the lens without OIS, I am still thinking that i’d rather have a not optically perfect but sharp picture than an optically perfect picture but blurry if the shutter speed was to slow, or noisy if had to crank up my ISO too high. Also, I know that video sucks on the X-cameras, but nonetheless OIS is mandatory if you want to be able to film handheld without making all your viewers seasick. Who knows, Fujiflm’s video capabilities might get better somedays