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My favourite lens: Jon Kerrin on the Fujinon XF16mmF1.4 R WR

As a landscape and astrophotographer, Fujifilm ambassador Jon Kerrin has used a number of lenses. But ask him about his favourite and you get a quick reply – the XF16mmF1.4. We chatted with him around all things lens related.

The XF16mmF1.4 R WR has a strong following among Fujifilm shooters. As a landscape photographer, why do you think this is?

The XF16mmF1.4 is loved by landscape photographers for several reasons – first and foremost, for its sharpness! Landscape photographers often appreciate the ability to capture intricate details in landscapes, ensuring clarity from the foreground to the background. And this lens is known for its exceptional sharpness and overall image quality.

I can also mention the weather sealing feature. The ‘WR’ designation indicates weather resistance, a crucial feature for landscape photographers who often find themselves shooting in diverse and sometimes challenging weather conditions. This adds to the lens’s durability and reliability in the field.

Finally, it’s because of the fantastic build quality. The lens is well-regarded for its robust build quality, providing a sense of reliability for outdoor and adventure photography. The metal construction contributes to its durability, making it suitable for various landscapes and terrains.

Have you used it for astrophotography at all?

Absolutely! This is one of my go-to lenses for astrophotography. The wide aperture f/1.4 is sensational in these extreme low-light conditions, both for single images and panoramas.

Is there a trick you’ve noticed to get the most out of the lens?

While this fixed focal length lens may initially appear limited, often perceived as not wide enough, I’ve discovered a trick to achieve expansive shots – creating panoramas. This method not only allows me to capitalise on the sharpness this lens offers but also takes advantage of its absence of distortion and vignetting, making it an ideal choice for crafting multi-image wide vistas.

Where does this lens’s sweet spot lie?

In my experience, the sweet spot sits at around f/7.1 – a fantastic aperture for wide landscapes on the APS-C sensor.

When shooting landscapes, do you incorporate hyperfocal distance?

No, I do not consider that too much. Although I will shoot within a specific aperture range (f/7.1 – f/16) to make sure my landscapes are sharp throughout. Instead, I use the focus stacking method, as this gives me better control over the sharpness of my entire image.

The recommendation has always been not to shoot at the smallest aperture – is this a truth you follow?

While I generally avoid shooting at the smallest aperture, there are two specific scenarios where I find it beneficial. Firstly, when shooting into the sun to intentionally create a sunburst effect. The second instance is when I don’t have my ND filters with me, and I want to extend my shutter speed for long exposures in water. However, these are situational considerations and I typically prefer not to push the 16mm beyond f/16.

Are you happy to use autofocus, or are you particular to using manual?

I’m comfortable using the autofocus feature on this lens, but I get greater control when opting for manual focus, particularly given the pace of my photography style. This preference aligns well with the fact that, typically, my frames don’t involve moving subjects when using this lens.

To see more of Jon’s work, or to learn more about the tours and workshops he offers click on the links below:

Website: https://www.jonkerrin.com

Tours & Workshops: https://www.venturekj.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jonkerrinphotography/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wherethelight_is/

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