30 Days with the Fuji X100F: Day 9

Chicago, 2017; Fuji X100F; 1/180s; f/8; ISO 200

I mentioned yesterday that the X100F is a great travel camera. One of the reasons for this is the versatility of the 35mm focal length. Obviously, a camera with a zoom lens would provide more versatility, but it would come at the expense of sharpness and all the benefits of the creative constraint of a fixed lens. Leaving the fixed vs. zoom debate aside for now and staying within the realm of fixed lenses, I don’t think there’s a focal length that I’d prefer over 35mm (23mm in the Fuji APS-C world) for travel.

The only other serious contender to a 35mm focal length is the 50mm focal length, and although I absolutely love this perspective on the world I don’t think it’s very good for traveling. When I’m traveling, I find myself shooting at wider focal lengths than usual. When I’m in an environment that’s very familiar, I like to shoot with longer lenses to force myself to notice the little details that I’d normally ignore. But when I’m traveling I like to shoot wide to make sure I’m establishing context. I’m honestly not sure if this is a good thing of if it’s reflective of a shortcoming in my creative vision…regardless, it’s a huge reason why I prefer 35mm over 50mm.

Today’s shot is a good example of why the 35mm focal length is so great when traveling. Landscapes (or, in this case, cityscapes) are right in the wheelhouse of 35mm lenses. This image isn’t so wide that the contents of the frame are too tiny, but it’s wide enough to capture the foreground elements along with the massive skyline in the background. This X100F seems to be just right for the sorts of shots I find myself shooting when I’m on the road…

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