Today, in the UK is the first day of British Summer Time.

This means the clocks went forward last night and almost like a prophecy itself, the weather today was just glorious.

I was shooting a wedding at the famous Savoy Hotel in London yesterday and I actually drove back during the “time change”.  It was odd seeing my Sat Nav tell me I had two hours of driving left and it would take me three hours.

And so, on this Mothering Sunday, I thought I’d take it upon myself to add a splash of nature and colour to mirror this lovely time of year.

I popped the much under-used 60mm F2.4 lens on my X-Pro2 and attached to it the MCEX-16 extension tube.

For those that have never heard of the MCEX-16; it is a dedicated X-Mount system Macro Extension Tube; the MCEX-11 and MCEX-16,  are macro extension tubes which are inserted between the lens and the camera body and increase the distance between the lens elements and the sensor enabling users to focus on subjects much closer to the camera.

And it’s epic!

Apart from opening up a whole new world in terms of sharpness and close-up focusing, the MCEX-16 is only around sixty-five pounds.

All the images below are of objects of nature, as I found them.  They are not artificially lit, nor have they been moved or “posed”.  It’s an amazing world when we look at it close enough.

mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO2,500 mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO1,250mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO500 mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO640

mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO4,000mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO1,250mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO320mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO400mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO400mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO400 mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO250mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO320

Who needs medium format? 🙂

Kidding, of course.  I’m actually looking at getting a GFX myself for my portrait business. I’ve yet to decide fully.  One thing is for sure, I don’t see GFX as a Street or Wedding Reportage camera and so it would need to pay for itself in the world of equine and human portraiture.

Anyway…..if it’s simply image detail and sharpness that is the discussion, then I honestly can’t see much past the 60mm F2.4 and the MXEX-16.

Believe me, getting this shot below of my crazy whippet would test the patience of anybody.  But we got there and it’s an image I like.  The detail is quite incredible if you ask me.
mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO500mcex-16Fujifilm X-Pro2:  XF 60mm F2.4 ~ 1/8,000th at f/2.4, ISO400

I’m giving a whole day workshop in Switzerland in May and my next Wedding Photojournalism workshop is now available too.

  • Happy Snapping – Kevin (in my home in Malmesbury, listening to Paul O’Grady Show (BBC Radio 2))
  • A departure in style Kevin, but a great experiment.

  • Hi Kevin
    Interesting images verging on the abstract in some cases. I too enjoy taking these types of images with extension tubes.
    One thing stands out to me: why use the lens wide open at f/2.4? Why not stop down to gain more depth of field?
    Tony

    • Thanks Tony – I prefer the shallower depth of field in these types of images. Cheers.

  • Wing

    Thanks for this post.

    What was the minimal focus distance with this combo?

  • You have an admirably cooperative dog, Kevin.
    Easier to get a tomato to hold still. 🙂

  • Very interesting article, Kevin. Like another poster, I too, am quite curious as to why you shot “every” image at 1/8000th at f/2.8?? Obviously this severely limits depth of field, and can’t show the true Sharpness obtainable by this combo. I understand that as a portrait shooter, you like the look, bokeh, etc., but at least show us a few tripod-mounted images shot at, say, 1/100th at f/8, f/11. Only then can one see the worth of that lens/extension tube combo for macro photography! Thank you sir!

    • Hi Steve – these shots are taken on a dog walk. These are personal images, not intended to be a review rather just some shots that “I” like, on my site. As I said in the other comment – I like the challenge of the narrow depth of field.

  • I just bought the MCEX-16 at a “Fuji Guys” presentation we had locally here at a camera shop – I already have the XF 60 mm 2.4 and the XPro-2 -> now I’m inspired to try them out! Awesome pictures! I’ll have a go…

  • Gordon Bates

    Kevin, would I get similar results using the 56mm f1.2 and theMCX-16?

    • I’ve not tried it with the 56. Double check the chart on Fuji website to make sure they are compatible but I see no reason why you wouldn’t get similar.

      • I tried that combo out at the “Fuji Guys” presentation I mentioned – it worked great too! They said it would actually work on any of their lenses, but of course, the degree of magnification will depend on the lens you use. They actually tried it out on a wide angle lens, but not really what I would go with myself.

  • adam

    i await the inevitable macro of wedding rings….

  • Out of interest I tried to look up the Fuji table but the link would not connect.
    To me, the best use of extension tubes is with long lenses. This enables ‘macro’ shots of butterflies etc from a distance so as not to frighten them. I have a 10mm and a 16mm and find the thinner one works best.

  • Neal kemsley

    Nice article Kevin – thank you.

    Here is a link to the Extension Tube PDF document on the Fujifilm site: http://www.fujifilm.com/products/digital_cameras/accessories/pdf/mcex_01.pdf

    I have been using the 56mm f1.2 with the shorter MCEX-11 tube and the results are lovely – especially at low depth of field settings where pictures take on a whole different level of pastel abstraction.

  • Guido

    Have you tried the extension tube with any of the fujicron lenses?

    Thanks

  • frederic

    Hello Kevin, Great images. Just out of curiosity, did you try the MCEX-16 with the 50 mm F2 lens. Thanks

  • ROBERT LENNON

    Hi Kevin
    Great images as usual.i have the mcex-11 tube , i have been thinking about buying the 60mm macro.how is this lens not just for macro but as a general purpose lens
    Rob

    • The 60mm is one of the sharpest lenses Fuji have made. However, its slow to focus…..r e a l l y slow.