Glass, Stone, Metal And Light

Janelia Farm Atrium

Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/600
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 14mm
ISO: 1600
Filters: B+W 092 Infrared Filter, >695nm bandpass

Rain does have a way of getting in the way at times, however…  You make it work.

It rained incessantly for two of the three days I was at Janelia Farm last month and the image above was made on one of those rainy days in an effort to get something that popped when the light outside was totally flat and grey.  To get the right combination of light and contrast for the image above, I used an infrared filter which explains the high ISO rating and wide aperture for an architectural image.  Once I had the exposure locked in where I wanted it, all that was left was composition.  Fortunately, as I’ve noted before, the architects of Janelia Farm thought quite a bit about that which becomes evident before you even walk through the front doors.


100 percent crop

Though the introductory image was shot wide open at f/2.8, I did not have to worry much about sharpness.  With the Fuji lenses, in this case the 14mm f/2.8 R you are not giving away much for an architectural shot by opening up the aperture all the way.  They are amazing lenses.  This image immediately above for instance is a 100% crop from the intro image and it is tack sharp, even down to the rain dripping down the glass in front of the sculpture.


Janelia Farm Atrium in Color

Camera: Fuji X-T1
Exposure: 1/110
Aperture: f/4.0
Focal Length: 10mm
ISO: 200

The last day I was at Janelia, it stopped raining and I was able to get outside during the day for some images.  That is not to say that there were not images made in the rain, but those are for another post…  There are many images from this visit yet to come.  However, the image above shows off more of the atrium with the second light-well to the left.  The space is amazing and shows off some of the structural glass at the front of the building as well as in the light-wells.  Janelia Farm has more structural glass than I’ve ever seen before in my life.  Gerry told me that it is one of the largest installations of structural glass in the world and I believe him.

This particular image was made with Fuji’s new 10-24 R OIS lens and what a lens it is.  My friend David found this lens to be pretty special and was claiming it was incredibly rectilinear.  His samples were impressive enough, but until you’ve shot with it, you have no idea of what a nice lens it is.  It is truly rectilinear and is waaaay sharper, particularly at the edges than my Canon 16-35mm f/2.8 which is the equivalent full frame lens focal range.  Fuji apparently had decided that a better solution to this particular wide angle zoom was to move to f/4 with image stabilization instead of f/2.8 and Canon seems to have agreed as their new 16-35 is also an f/4 with IS.  I’ve not yet shot with the Canon f/4 lens, but Fuji has given Canon mighty big shoes to fill.  I’ve got a bunch of “behind the scenes” images to come with the Fuji 10-24 lens that show off some of what makes Janelia tick and I was incredibly impressed with its performance.

6 Replies to “Glass, Stone, Metal And Light”

  1. I think I can guess the answer already, but I want to ask anyway. Is that last color shot a single exposure? Shows a lot of detail in the dark floor as well as the bright sky outside. I really like that you made this such a wide shot to show off the glass.

  2. Lovely shots! Looking forward to seeing some more from Janelia. It’s nice to see somewhere where science is truly valued.

    Is the 14mm a non-retrofocus design? I’m not finding much information on the optical formula. It would make sense if you can shoot photos like this wide open without much of an issue.

    Fuji’s doing some tremendous work with their X system though. I frequently regret letting my X100 go. The AF was a dog on the camera, which tarnished the experience for me. I have some real gems from that camera, but a number of lost chances as well. The lack of true MF was hard to work around. I’d had it almost 18 months past the original release date before I sold it, only to find out a month or so later they were releasing new firmware to bring it somewhat on par with the rest of the X system. This was after release the X100S and two or three of the other X cameras. That alone made me rethink my decision. While I’m a little too heavily invested in the Nikon stuff right now to switch, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to Fuji when the time comes.

    1. Hey Nathan,

      Thanks for the comments. As for the lenses, they are non-retrofocus designs as there is no mirror that is flapping around to have to clear. David Hobby *swears* by the X100s camera and says it is his desert island camera… the one camera he would take with him to a desert island which, while not quite a desert island, he did take just that camera to Cuba on our trip. He absolutely kills it with that camera…

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