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Night and Snow with the X-H2 and Viltrox 13mm

One of the old challenges with Fujifilm was access to unique lenses like the Viltrox 13mm f/1.4. There’s nothing native in the Fujifilm lineup, and while adapting lenses is always something that can be done, it’s just nice to stick the lens on the camera and know it will work the way it’s intended.

I rarely shoot with the 13mm, however. I’ve had it for a few years now, but rarely take it out for a test spin. Luckily, the conditions warranted a quick trip to get some night shots after a snow, so I grabbed my Fujifilm X-H2 with the Viltrox and headed out with my friend Jeremy to get some shots.

For starry-night photos, a wide aperture is much appreciated, which is where the f/1.4 maximum aperture of the lens comes in.

F/8 – 8 Second exposure – ISO 200

I’m not even remotely an expert on night or star photography, so I just brought along my Peak Design Tripod and a few extra batteries (they run out of power more quickly in extremely cold weather).

I stuck my tripod in the snow, made sure it was stable, and shot away. You can see that my ISO is fairly low – this is because of the incredibly bright moon we had to work with that night.

In the above shot, the moon was so bright it acted like a spotlight, casting distinctly hard shadows throughout the scene. I love how it looks.

And with the f/1.4 aperture of the Viltrox, I can also decide what I want to be in focus. In the above shot I chose the old abandoned schoolhouse to be in focus, with the foreground out of focus.

In this one, with the same settings, I just changed the focus to be on some grass in the foreground:

Like I said earlier… I am not great at this stuff. I’m mostly lazy and I go to sleep early… so trying to know what was going to be “good” or not wasn’t easy. I’m just versed at how to get the most out of these kinds of photographs.

For instance, I really dig this photo:

F/1.4 – 10 Second Exposure – ISO 400

But when you get in closer, it’s too grainy, and since I was focusing on the stars, the foreground is out of focus, and overall the photo is a little grainier than I’d have liked. I also underexposed the photo a bit, so when I edited it, bringing out the shadows makes the grain much more apparent, lowering the overall contrast of the photo.

Oh well! I still love the photo, and I think it would still look great printed, so I’m still happy!

F/1.4 – 2.5 Second Exposure – ISO 200

In the above photo, a farmer came to see what the heck we were doing on the side of the road. He was great and chatted with us for a bit. His truck blasted the scene with light, which was much appreciated for a different shot.

I did bring a small light with me to put inside the house. I”ll have to do it more… although I like this photo and think it kind of leads us into the windows… I also think I could have done something a little more dramatic with the light.

This photo is a little different because I changed my white balance in Lightroom. The glow comes from the nearby cities of Blair and Omaha, Nebraska.

The entire trip was a blast, and both Jeremy and I captured some cool imagery…

The X-H2 didn’t handle higher ISO values very well… but I kind of knew that going in. The Viltrox and its f/1.4 makes thing smuch easier, and overall I think the system handled the situation well.

I’ll have to keep going out to get better at this stuff!

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anja Jepsen Fotografie

    Thank you for sharing such good content on your blog. Your approach to showing the intricacies of photography makes your posts truly engaging.
    It’s clear that a lot of passion and expertise is invested in your work,
    which makes it a valuable resource for photography
    enthusiasts like myself. Please keep on delivering such quality content,
    and thank you for deepening our appreciation of photography.
    Warmest regards, Anja

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