Skip to content

Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR Goes To The Zoo

Blue necked Tanager

Eastern blue necked tanager (Tangara cyanicollis)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/240
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 1600

I was in San Diego for a quick meeting and figured an open morning would make for a good trip to the San Diego Zoo.  It would also be a good workout for the Fuji 100-400 f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens.  I have said that this lens was my new favorite birding lens, as there is not another equivalent camera/lens combination that could give you the performance, sharpness, zoom, and color fidelity in such a compact package than a Fuji X-mount camera connected to this lens.

The plan for this trip however, was not to use this lens for birds…

 

Zebra

Plains zebra (Equus quagga)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/180
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 800

 

Tiger Tiger

Bengal tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/320
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 1600

The plan was to go for a certain degree of intimacy in the imagery, so I paired the Fuji 100-400 with the 1.4x teleconverter.  Up close, abstract and black and white was what I was pre-visualizing, like the Zebra or the tiger image above… but the birds!  The birds were amazing like the blue necked tanager in the intro image at top.  So, the initial plan was thrown out and I spent a couple hours just photographing birds.  I figure that I cannot really put any of them in my birds category as they were observed in a zoo, and not in the wild, but look at that blue necked tanager!  The colors, patterns and diversity of these birds will blow your mind.  So, the plan went out the window and I ended up shooting color and lots of birds that morning.

 

Turquoise tanager

Paradise tanager (Tangara mexicana)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 1600

 

Spotted Tanager

Spotted tanager (Tangara punctata)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/160
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 1250

 

White Crowned Robin chat

White crowned robin-chat (Cossypha albicapilla)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/140
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 2500

 

Black Spotted Barbet

Black spotted barbet (Capito niger)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/180
Aperture: f/7
Focal Length: 393mm (589mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 1600

 

Golden collared manakin

Golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/240
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 421mm (632mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 3200

 

arctic Duck

Smew (Mergellus albellus)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/550
Aperture: f/7.1
Focal Length: 379mm (568mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 800

 

Flamingo

American flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/750
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 800

 

West African Green Mamba

West African green mamba (Dendroaspis viridis)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 3200

The other place where the Fuji 100-400 lens stands out is the image stability.  It is absolutely silent when operating unlike my Canon zooms which is important for birding in quiet places, but it is also reported to be worth 5-stops.  I had no way of quantifying how many stops I was getting, but the exhibits where many of these reptiles were in had wildly varying light levels from bright spots to very dark corners.  All of these images were handheld and many/most of them were made at 840mm equivalency in fairly dark places.  Needless to say, I was pretty impressed.  Also, the minimum focus distance on the Fuji 100-400 lens is 1.75 meters or 68.9 inches.  Presuming you can get that standoff distance, you can optically get in pretty close with this lens too, particularly given the 1.4 teleconverter that magnifies the image a little bit.

 

Rowleys Palm Pit Viper

Rowley’s palm pit viper (Bothriechis rowleyi)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/80
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 3200

 

Untitled1

gator-in-water

These animated gifs of gharial (Gavials gangeticus) also give you an idea for how beneficial the image stabilization is.  These were made again, at full zoom and handheld with the camera on high burst mode.  I’ve done some minor image registration of each frame, but the whole scene effectively was kept nicely stable with the image stabilization of the lens.

 

African Spurred Tortoise

African spurred tortoise (Centrochelys sulcata)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/950
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 800

 

Black Mangabey

Black mangabey (Lophocebus aterrimus)
Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/240
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 560mm (840mm equivalent) Fuji 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR with 1.4x extender.
ISO: 1600

I would have like to have spent some more time at the zoo, but schedules forced me to make a run for it so I could make the next meeting.  There is so much to see at the San Diego Zoo, that I suspect it would be a full day’s outing.  There were a number of exhibits I did not get to see including some new cheetah cubs, polar bears, primates other than the mangabey above and more.

Next time…

Categories: Birds, Gear, Travel.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Comment Feed

10 Responses

  1. Loved your photos Bryan. I’ve been thinking of purchasing the 100-400 for my X-E2 and was wondering if you’ve found the converter softens the results slightly? Although your photos appear tack sharp, they’re all with the converter.
    Once again, great shots!

    Leigh SpigelmanApril 14, 2016 @ 2:45 pmReply
    • Every photo I shot in that entry has the 1.4TC on it. I’ve not done any real pixel peeping with it, but looking at the feathers of the birds, they are tack sharp. Better optics than my Canon TCs… Way better.

  2. Hi Bryan, stumbled across your 2013 blog and read about your bad back, searched later and read the good news about the op outcome- that’s great, I will bookmark your page just for that info.
    I own Canon APS-C cameras and a Fuji X100-S, your zoo shots convince me that Fuji can do it – I find my X100S colours and DR gorgeous. With my Canons, I have to shoot RAW, select in Canon DPP, sharpen using Perfectly Clear or else fiddle around in Lightroom, .. it takes me forever. With the Fuji JPEGs, I need do nothing except lighten photos taken on heavy dull days, and crop.
    Jim, Canberra

    Jim FennerApril 24, 2016 @ 2:40 amReply
    • Hey Jim,

      Thanks for the comment. Yeah, I’ve been totally impressed with how Fuji handles color and also from how they handle white balance. With the Fuji cameras, I simply set them to auto-white balance and they always figure out what the proper white balance is. It is surprisingly effective. Sometimes the white point is a place you would never expect, but it ends up looking just right. I do almost no post with the Fuji images.

  3. Nice blog and fantastic images!
    I particularly appreciated that you included the latin name for each species.

    BubobuboMay 17, 2016 @ 2:42 pmReply
  4. Terrific blog entry, Bryan. Just got the Fuji 100-400 mm and was able to test in the Rockies (Glacier Banff, Jasper) and now you have tempted me to spring for the 1.4 teleconverter. Seems like a slightly better option than the 2X. Have you tested the 2X teleconverter yet?

    Robert W WilliamsJuly 23, 2017 @ 9:15 pmReply
    • Thanks Rob!
      Good to hear from you. The 1.4XTC is an amazing addition. The 2X cuts sharpness ever so slightly, but the 1.4X is almost hard to tell its there. That said, there are times where the 2.0X is completely worth it and I do have both.

  5. Ah, now I will need to think more. I was hoping it would be an easy call in favor of 1.4X with cropping to bring up to 2X equivalent.



Some HTML is OK

or, reply to this post via trackback.