Germany – More in the Country

More pictures from the Fuji X-E1 taken in Germany. We cycled along the main road east from Neumunster to the next place of any size – a large village approximately 15 km east of Neumünster called Bornhöved.

There was a cycle track alongside the road almost all the way. When it disappeared we took an unmarked side road which fortunately led into the village over a motorway. Almost all cyclists use the cycle paths, which most major roads have beside them. Few cyclists seem to wear helmets, except children (for whom I think it may be compulsory, though not all do.)  Outside of the towns we saw very few cyclists.


Bornhöved is a largish village and unusually hilly after the very flat area we had cycled to.  It didn’t seem a place where there was a lot to do, though it had some pretty detailed boards about its history on the edge of the car park. We cycled around it then back to Husberg, where we were staying, making a small detour on the route. It wasn’t the most exciting ride I’ve ever done, and German bikes are not like mine at home.  It did have a lot of gears, but I think I just found the right one and stayed in it almost all of the time.  But the back-pedal braking is extremely annoying, particularly in making it difficult to get a pedal in the right position for a good start. There would have been more pictures, but I’d decided to travel light and forgot to transfer a spare battery from the bag I left in our bedroom to my pocket.

The EX-1 eats batteries fast, especially if you spend much time reviewing pictures, and tend to leave the camera switched on. I had five with me in Germany, and certainly got through three some days despite not taking a huge number of pictures.  The batteries are fairly slow to charge too, I think a couple of hours. The one I’m looking at is 1250 mAH and I think supposed to last around 300 pictures. It’s not a huge problem, as non-Fuji replacements are less than a tenner on e-Bay (and seem every bit as good as the genuine Fuji item which costs a ridiculous £59.99).

The Nikon batteries are a little larger and higher capacity – 1620 mAH – but though I carry a spare in my camera bag, I’ve yet to have to change one when I’m out working. Every day when I get home I do a check, and if they are under 80% they go in the charger and are replaced by the spare from the back. Some of the cheap replacements have higher capacity and can still be at 100% after I’ve taken a few hundred pictures.

It isn’t just the electronic viewfinder that makes the difference. The Fuji X-Pro 1 which I use mainly with the optical viewfinder eats up batters as well, though perhaps not quite as fast.

A couple of days later we took a walk closer to where we were staying. Bönebüttel and Husberg are really more or less the same place. But Bönebüttel seems to have more older farms and a lot of agricultural land around it, and we were able to make  nice circular walk that took us two or three hours.  This time I took my bag with the spare batteries and lenses, though I think most if not all of the pictures were made with the 18-55mm zoom, probably because I was feeling lazy!

There were plenty of wide open spaces and somehow out in the country I feel less of a need for an extreme wide-angle than in the town, where the 15mm Voigtlander was often nice to use.


Brammerweg, Bönebüttel

and for something completely different: Designer Outlet

‘Designer Outlet’ in Oderstraße, on the edge of Neumünster “Designed for those who love to shop”

This is a kind of fake-old German town composed entirely of shops. We went in a few of them, but I didn’t see anything I wanted to buy.  All the pictures I took here were with the 15mm Voigtlander (22 mm equiv) and sometimes it wasn’t quite wide enough. But it is a nice lens on the camera, small and light. I don’t have any complaints about its sharpness, nor can I see any trace of distortion. It is a manual only lens, but that isn’t any problem on the Fuji X-E1. There were very few pictures where I needed to focus, having initially set the lens to a sensible setting by scale. Depth of field at f5,6 or f8 is pretty excessive.

Although it was ideal for this location in decent light, the maximum aperture of f4 was a little limiting for interior use, where the f2.8 of the Samyang made a noticeable difference. And it would be nice to have a lens that does autofocus for use at near distances.  So though I was very pleased with how this lens worked, I still ended up wanting the 14mm Fuji, which would have been even better.

The Fuji did a pretty good job in Germany, despite a few problems, mainly caused by the photographer. What I’ve not dwelt on in these posts is its performance shooting movies, where I think it did pretty well. It isn’t a camera of choice for fast-moving action, and it doesn’t have the flash capabilities of the Nikons, but apart from that it could replace them for much of what I do.


My London Diary : Buildings of London : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

All photographs on this and my other sites, unless otherwise stated, are taken by and copyright of Peter Marshall, and are available for reproduction or can be bought as prints.

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