On Sunday I headed down to the Photography Show in Birmingham. Plenty of good gear on show and lots of interesting stalls to see. One such stall was the guys at USB2U. They produce customised USB memory sticks, with an impressive selection of styles and materials. All printed with a design of your choosing. The wooden products, especially, looked amazing and would certainly make a beautiful addition to any promo or marketing material. I haven't quite figured out how best to use them in my marketing strategy, but they would be perfect for wedding and family photographers. Check them out.
I also visited the guys Paramo Clothing. I had heard some really good reports about their outdoor gear and one item in particular had caught my eye. The Haicon Traveller Jacket. I had read about this jacket on a blog post by Jacob James, and it looked like something that would be useful when travelling. Light weight and breathable, but tough. I had headed straight to the stall on arrival, and on inspection the jacket was all I had hoped it would be, so bought it there and then. The rest of their gear is also excellently made and although on the expensive side, the gear is made to last and the Paramo guys really know what they are talking about. The Haicon Traveller has brilliantly designed pockets (yes I am getting excited about pockets!). They can take my fuji x100s with ease, which is nice for the times I don't want to carry a bag.
New Fuji Lenses!
There were a couple of lenses I wanted to have a look at for the fuji x-system. The first was the new Fuji 56mm f1.2. This lens is an 85mm equivalent which has always been a favourite focal length of mine for portraits. I already own Fuji's 60mm f2.5 which is, generally, a pretty good performer, but it is nothing special and the focusing is pretty slow (ironically mine has also developed a bit of a fault now). I didn't know what to expect, this is Fuji's attempt at high end, professional lenses for the x-system and marks the beginning of a range of high profile releases. In the short time I spent with the lens, I can safely say, I was blown away. Apart from the Nikon 85mm 1.4G, this is probably the best portrait lens I have used. The auto focus was snappy and accurate, build quality was exceptional and optically the lens is razor sharp. The lens has beautiful Bokeh too, something that fuji has struggled with in the past. The image below is just a quick sample shot using the fuji B&W jpeg setting. I apologise for the lighting and the subject matter (sorry Nigel). The Image was shot at f1.2.
I also had a quick look at the new Fuji 10-24 f4, 16-35 equivalent. Not a range I would normally go too, but I though I would check it out. I was very impressed. It is another beautiful lens. Very sharp and shows minimal distortion, certainly can be easily corrected. For landscape photographers using the X-System this would be a must buy.
These are really exciting times if you are an X system user, they had mock examples of the upcoming 24-70mm f2.8 and 70-200mm f.28 equivalents. These along with the 56mm 1.2 really show that fuji are aiming for the pro market. Theres also rumours of a 300mm f4 equivalent coming out which should be brilliant.
Thanks for reading, any thoughts on the show or the fuji system leave a comment.