The Photography Show, Birmingham NEC. / by Dawn Webb

I decided to head upto The Photography Show this morning, formally known as "Focus".

The annual photographic show is a must for all concerned with the imaging industry, both Pro & Amateur.  It is a great chance to see and experience what is happening at the sharp end of the trade, to see new gear and listen to lectures from industry leading experts.

Held within the confines of the NEC, Birmingham - The Photography Show is held over 4 days, with Monday predominantly classed as "trade day".

It was great for me to catch up with old colleagues from my military background and to network with those I hope to collaborate with in the future.
Busier than ever, crammed into halls 11 & 12 the walk ways were brimmed with enthusiasts and seasoned snappers and traders packed in like Sardines.

My main interest this year was to visit Fuji, noteably Mark Reynolds- sales manager, Government Markets UK. Mark was part of the team back in 2004 when I was part of the integration and introduction of the Fuji S5 into the military and surveillance sector. Shortly followed by the Fuji IR Pro.

Since the switch to the Fuji X System, I have included this gear more and more into my commercial work yet have been pained by it lacking it's ability for my commercial interior and property consignments.

For now I have to stick with Nikons offering of the 14-24mm lens, a stablemate for this genre of work.
I did however get my hands on a pre-production model of the new Fuji 10-24mm.

Some observations I could feel straight off - It was well balanced on the camera, ever so slightly front heavy, yet very poised. ( I will mostly be using this on a tripod so weight and balance are not much of an issue.) as I imagine a large majority of landscape snappers.
Comparing Nikon 14-24mm images they look very similar in sharpness with the Fuji a bit better in the corners perhaps.They both have the same field of view. The 14-24 Nikon has long been regarded as the king of ultra wide lenses and to this date really has no competition at F2.8 except the Zeiss 15mm F2.8.
I also noticed it has no markings for the aperture ring, this feels strange yet is in keeping with the rest of the zoom lens range - aperture can only be confirmed by looking through the viewfinder - why this was decided over the conventional aperture ring markings beats me.
A good stiff zoom ring ensures no accidental slippage whilst hand holding the lens.

So the Fuji has done incredibly well here and I prefer the rendition and colour so far of the Fuji (veyr early days though). The Fuji is very compact - about the same size as the 35mm. It has a nice manual focus lock which will be handy for me for nightscapes, seemingly no distortion, great colour, flare resistant, takes filters and is light! It also costs about 40% of the Nikon although to be fair the Nikon is a full frame lens.
Edge sharpness is on par if not better than the Nikon, far less post production should also be need with converging verticals and the fish eye effect you get from the Nikon - a time save for interior shooters.  matched with the in camera horizon/level meter I know I will get more accurate images in camera.
Over hearing a conversation it seems the Fuji lens won't be on sale here in the UK until 29th March!  With my commercial work racking up it can't come to me quick enough and give my poor old shoulders a break from humping heavy DSLR kit around on the underground.

Here is an image I made with the lens at the show-