Return from Italy

Yes it’s leaning and not my photography. Fuji X-T2 with 18-135 lens, ISO200, f/8.0.

For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been in Italy. Much of the time was trekking in the Cinque Terre but I also spent time in Genoa, Florence and Pisa. Technology proved the usual problem with my email playing up frequently and sometimes not being able to access the websites I needed

Before I left, I had the difficult decision as to which camera and lenses to take. In the end I went with the Fuji X-T2 as it’s great for trekking, but I agonised over lens choice. When I’m walking I hate changing my lens, so the 18-135 is ideal. The only problem with this lens though is that I worry about performance.

The 18-135 has never been known as a great performer and it’s possibly one of the weakest lenses in the Fuji line up for sharpness and resolution. The first copy of this lens that I owned was quite a poor example. Although the next one which I purchased new is much better, I still feel a little nervous with just this lens.

Eventually, I decided to take the 18-135mm lens and used this exclusively. What changed my mind was rather surprising and something I’m going to share in a future post. But for now, it’s nice to be back home and dealing with the emails and queries I couldn’t answer whilst away.

12 thoughts on “Return from Italy

  1. My trusty Olympus EM1mkII and 12-100 PRO lens would have meant you could have travelled worry free (and with an even lighter setup!

  2. Hi Robin

    Hopefully we will be able to see some great shots from the Cinque Terre and some tips about to go.

    I agree with RogAH and will be taking my Oly EM1MkII/12-100, when I go trekking in the Annapurnas, later this year. I will also include the Pana 8-18 and no more!

    Best wishes


  3. Nice picture, Robin. I use the 18-135 almost all the time on my X-T2 because, like you, I don’t like having to change lens and I haven’t had problems with sharpness. The only other Fuji lens I’ve got is the 23mm f/1.4 which I like, but the 18-135 is just so much more convenient for landscapes.

    Best wishes,


    1. Thanks Roy. It’s not so much that the 18-135 isn’t sharp, it’s that Lightroom doesn’t seem to resolve the details all that well. Fine detail seems to be smoothed out. But, it’s such a useful lens.

  4. Very striking photo of the tower. The 18 to 135 range sounds great. I shoot an EM1 (when not shooting film) but have yet to add a good zoom to my EM1.

    1. Thanks. The 18-135 is a good travel/trekking lens but it’s a bit of a compromise at the wide end. If I’m shooting micro 43 I tend to take two lenses, the Olympus 12-40 and the Panasonic 45-150. It makes for a very versatile travel kit.

  5. Thanks, Robin. It’s nice to see you were in my part of the world (we live in Florence). Lovely shot of the Leaning Tower. Next week I’m heading down to the Abruzzo mountain region of Italy, east of Rome, for a landscape photography workshop with Hans Kruse. This is the second time (Lake Dist. in Feb) I’ll be doing a workshop with just my X-T2 and my three main lenses (10-24, 18-55, 55-200), but I just bought a 35mm f1.4, so that will come, too. I’m extremely happy with the quality of the images I’m getting.


    1. Thanks Bob,
      I was in Florence on Monday – lovely city. I had a walk up to the cemetery on the hill overlooking the city. What an amazing place.
      Enjoy your workshop. It sounds like you have the ideal kit for it ;-).

  6. Hi Robin. Will be interested to read your post on the 18-135. I’m one of those people that falls into the indecisive pendulum category of: buy the 18-135 for travel / lightness/ versatility / minimal lens changes and accept fair image quality or 55-200 for sharpness and extended reach and accept lens changes when the 18-55 runs out…. hmm.

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