Fuji 16 55mm f2 8 R LM WR Review: Worth upgrading from the 18 - 55?

The Fuji 16-55mm f2.8 R LM WR is a professional mid-range zoom lens that is equivalent in 35mm to 24 - 82.5mm giving you a very versatile lens for every day shooting. In this video I test it out and decide if it's worth upgrading if you already have the 18-55 f/2.8 - f/4 kit lens.

Buy this lens now using this link and help fund the channel at no extra cost to you: https://amzn.to/2QYbp2F

Top 5 Mobile Photo Editing Apps 2018

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With more cameras these days offering a way to wirelessly transfer your photos to your phone or tablet for instant sharing, and the cameras in these devices themselves getting better all the time, having the right app to edit your pictures on the go and share them around on social media is just as important now, as having the right editing software on your computer. And this is particularly true for travelling when you might not want to carry a dedicated laptop with you, opting instead to edit a few photos on the fly and save the bulk of the post production work for when you get home or back to the hotel at night. 

Here's my run down of 5 great photo editing apps that will get your work looking great.

1. Snapseed. 

Snapseed Framed Planet

This is the one I use all the time. It is extremely powerful app that uses AI to detect faces and give portraits a great jumping off point for further post production. With local brush adjustments as well as global ones, perspective control and a whole host of other easy to use features, this Google owned app is always popular among both hobbyist and serious photographers looking for a fast way to get down and dirty editing done on the fly. 

2. VSCO

VSCO Framed Planet

I originally knew of VSCO for their plug in lightroom filters of classic film stocks a few years ago. They were good, and very popular as a great jumping off point for further editing work. The app offers this too but in premium paid for guise). The free version still has all the editing tools you'd want though, and with the ability to edit RAW, GIFS and even video this is a very handy tool. 

3. Filterstorm Neue. 

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Filterstorm Neue is a powerful app that offers near desktop app level of performance to rival something like Lightroom and Photoshop, 

As well as the usual tools for adjusting colour, exposure, etc. Filterstorm Neue also comes with one of the best and most powerful curves adjustment tools of any app on the market today.

Also setting Filterstorm Neue apart as a cut above is the ability to apply local adjustments through a number of tools, including a powerful masking brush as well as radial and linear gradient filters.

4.TouchRetouch

touchretouch framed planet

This simple to use app is dedicated to removing unwanted objects from your photo. While more apps are including this feature these days, TouchRetouch remains one of the most intuitive and easy to use. Simply run your finger over the area you want to tidy up and the algorithm analyses the surrounding pixels to fill in the area with a best guess of what it should look like. The app works best when the object you are trying to remove is on a simple background, and may take a few tries to get right, but this still remains one of the best tools on the market for doing this one job. 

5. AfterFocus

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Another app dedicated to one single function, AfterFocus is designed to replicate the look of the shallow depth of field you get from a larger sensor camera with a wide aperture lens. It's particularly good for separating your subject from the background, especially if there are distracting elements back there. The software also transforms points of light to bokeh balls and does a decent job of deciding what is subject, and what is background. While it can never compete with a dedicated camera, this app allows you to use the phone to grab quick portraits of other people or yourself and make them stand out from the traditional phone selfie! 

A Not Comprehensive Review of our Rental Citroen C3

 The Citroen C3 from  Avis Car Rentals  shot at Messolonghi with the Fuji X100F. 

The Citroen C3 from Avis Car Rentals shot at Messolonghi with the Fuji X100F. 

Rental cars are an inevitable part of travel photography. They might not be the most glamorous cars on the road, but they get you and your gear to the locations you want to shoot. Some do it better than others. Here's my review of this one.


If you can’t be bothered to read the whole article, then the highlight is this: It’s better than the Peugeot 208 I reviewed last time in EVERY WAY.

Ok, you’re done now, but for those of you still killing time, here’s why. Firstly, look at it! It’s cool looking in a chunky sort of way. With those big wheels, and weird dent thing in the side it is obvious someone at Citroen has paid attention to the details. And this continues on the inside too. With leather straps to pull the doors closed like a 1960's Le Mans race car, a sporty rev counter and lots of piano black and chrome trim, this little hatchback looks and feels quality throughout. And the exhaust note is properly fruity too. I don’t know if they’re piping in fake burbles through the speakers or if it’s just clever acoustics, but either way they’ve made it sound like there’s a little V8 in there rather than the weedy little 4 pot you actually find hidden under the bonnet.

But let's not get carried away here. It's still just a family hatchback, not an all out driving machine. The manual gearbox is functional, but not exciting, and there is not as much travel in the brake pedal between on and off as I’d like. The steering is fairly agile, albeit a little on the light side and exceedingly numb, Ride quality is good until you hit potholes and then it feels like you've fallen down a flight of concrete stairs while carrying bricks.

The boot is big enough to carry 3 large camera bags and still close the parcel shelf over the boot space so no-one can see in. That's paramount when hauling expensive gear. The visibility out of the letterbox rear window is poor and made worse by the gigantic headrests on the front seats. I felt like Harry Houdini trying to get out of a straight jacket craning around them to reverse. 

I liked the touch screen infotainment system. All small cars these days seem to excel in this department. You can use the sat nav from your phone, play music, adjust the climate control and listen to the radio all with easy to read buttons on screen. 

It's front wheel drive and low powered so it isn't useful for off roading, but if you need to get four people and their camera equipment about comfortably and not use very much petrol this is a solid choice. 

We rented the car from Avis as we usually do. The customer service there is always excellent with friendly staff and plenty of options for bringing the cars back at weird times or to different cities and they always manage to accommodate our oddball requests. 

This is not a paid endorsement for Avis or for Citroen. 

A not comprehensive review of the rental Pug we got for this road trip through Greece

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We got the automatic version of the Peugeot 208 because I thought driving in endless Athenian traffic jams would be much nicer without having to use the clutch every 8 seconds which hurts my ankle because I had a motorbike crash a few years ago and it doesn't like that sort of thing. 

I was wrong. I would rather break my ankle again and then go pogo sticking than deal with this sludgy, unresponsive gearbox. I have to say this is the older 5 speed version, and it's possible the newer 6 speed is less shite, but if you see one of these for sale somewhere just take your shirt off, soak it in petrol, light it and chuck it into the passenger seat. The seller will thank you. 

And it's a pity because it overshadows some really cool features that should come as standard on every car. The lights shut off automatically when you switch the car off instead of just beeping at you. The mirrors fold in automatically when you lock the car instead of having to find a button to do it. The large touchscreen display and USB charger put my Continental GT to shame and make it's dated infotainment system feel as up to date as the Antique Roadshow, transcribed onto the Dead Sea Scrolls. 

Don't get the diesel either, It sounds like Louis Armstrong gargling lawnmowers and will barely pull the pug up anything steeper than your driveway. 

The seats are very comfy, the boot is very cramped and the not round steering wheel makes you feel all cool and modern and stuff. Get the petrol, get the manual...actually fuck it: Get the VW Golf instead!

Using the Fuji X-T2 as a Travel Camera.

 One of my Fuji XT-2's set up to shoot the sunset at Chania Lighthouse in Crete last month.

One of my Fuji XT-2's set up to shoot the sunset at Chania Lighthouse in Crete last month.

For those of you that don't know, I am a travel photographer. I travel around the world shooting and teaching. I'm currently spending 6 months travelling around Europe in a van. It's fair to say then, that my idea of the perfect travel camera has been fairly well honed. Or at least the idea of the right travel camera for me. Your mileage may vary of course, but here's why I think the Fujifilm X-T2 comes pretty damn close, but falls short of the mark in some major areas. That being said, I have bought two of them for this trip and I don't regret it at all. So lets start with the positives.

 Even with the older 35mm f/1.4 the X-T2 has no trouble focusing on subject that move quickly and erratically.

Even with the older 35mm f/1.4 the X-T2 has no trouble focusing on subject that move quickly and erratically.

It is much faster at focusing than my X-T1's. For all intents the focus is instantaneous in 95% of shooting situations. The continuous AF works really well (it didn't work at all with the X-T1) and the accuracy is near perfect. Fuji have gone from being well behind the competition in this regard to producing something absolutely stellar. 


Build quality and handling is so much better. The crappy doors are gone, the dials work properly and the buttons on the back are much nicer to press. 


The image quality far exceeds what I was able to get from the T1 sensor and I love the Acros film simulations for black and white. I prefer the look of Velvia in this camera to how it was implemented in the T1 too.

 There is so much crisp detail in the X-T2 files even when you extract it from deep shadow like this shot of Athens taken just before sunset.

There is so much crisp detail in the X-T2 files even when you extract it from deep shadow like this shot of Athens taken just before sunset.


To keep the weight down for ease of travelling I tend to just throw the 35mm 1.4 on the front if I'm just wandering around shooting. I think I'll pick up the 35 f/2 though so that the whole thing is weather sealed in case of a sudden downpour. 

If I've gone out to shoot something specific then I'll pack the 10-24 f/4, 16-55 f/2.8, 50-140 f/2.8, two bodies with battery grips and maybe a prime or two, depending on what it is I'm after. This does add a considerable amount of weight, but it allows me to capture pretty much anything I want and is still lighter than the equivilant full frame dslr rig.

And yes ok dual SD, weather sealing etc all good too, but that's obvious. I won't waste your time explaining the merits of these things here. 

But the not so good stuff, really sucks. I really wanted this camera to be my primary camera for the YouTube channel. But the lack of fully rotating screen makes it hopeless for this. I gave up using it after it shut down twice while I was recording and I had no way of knowing that it had done it until I looked at the back of the screen. Come on Fuji, sort it out guys. Video is a thing now, and you have the hardware so nearly there too. With the battery grip you can attach headphones to monitor audio levels and record 30 mins of 4K to the card. The quality looks great too, and they did away with that stupid 2.5mm mic jack in favour of a standard 3.5mm one. 

Then there's the lock ups. The camera will sometimes not turn off when you switch it off. And when you lift the camera back up to your eye to take another photo you miss it because the camera is frozen. Sometimes it shuts down after a while, sometimes it's a battery out job. Utter bullshit in a pro/prosumer oriented tool. I never want to miss a shot because my camera isn't ready. If I'm ready I expect my gear to be ready too.

So it's been a love hate relationship for sure. But I would still recommend the T2 as a travel camera. It ticks so many boxes and it's hard to imagine another camera coming close for a while. I am definitely not going to be selling these bodies and getting something else. But I hope the T3 sorts out these issues. 

 I'm a huge fan of the Acros film simulation. Especially when it's raining!

I'm a huge fan of the Acros film simulation. Especially when it's raining!

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Lume Cube: The most versatile continuous lighting for photography and video?

The Lume Cube is on the face of it, just another powerful LED light. We've seen plenty of those over the past few years as technology has come on leaps and bounds with LED and battery offerings. But the diminutive Lume Cube has a few extra tricks up it's sleeve allowing you to pair it to a mobile phone, trigger it with an optical slave mode and use it up to 100ft under water. It's robust and stylish design make it easy to use and something you want to carry in your kit bag as every day carry. It's been really useful just to have such a bright light available to use as a torch and it's pocket sized so can go with you wherever you go. Lume Cube Specs: Constant video light (20+ minutes on full power) 45+ minutes on 90 percent brightness, 120+ minutes on 50 percent brightness. Fully waterproof down to 100′ Optical sensor built-in to operate as a slave to other flashes/light sources.

Nissin i60A Speedlight Flash Review

Nissin i40 Review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z3uEQ56maJU To get the Nissin i60A from Amazon click here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Nissin-I60-Flash-for-Fujifilm-Black/dp/B01F5JAU8C/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1478181357&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=nissin+i60a+fuji The Nissin i60A is available for Fuji, Sony, Nikon, Canon and Micro Four Thirds cameras. With a Guide Number of 60 it is much more powerful than the i40 and this makes it a much more capable unit.