I recently acquired two little, vintage dinky mini cars and normally would have reached for a 50mm lens and a sub f/2.0 aperture to create a miniature world effect. The Fujinon 35mm lens at f/1.4 is equivalent to a 53mm lens at f/2.0 on a full frame camera so I began to wonder if I need to turn to 50mm to achieve the depth of field I was looking for.

[box]All photos were captured on the Fujifilm X-E1 and either the 18-55mm zoom lens or 35mm prime lens. Click on any of the photos to view large on flickr.[/box]

Starting of with the Fujifilm X-E1 & 18-55mm zoom lens I shot a number of photos of the car (setting the X-E1 on macro mode). You can see from the following two images to get the scale right meant framing at 35mm-55mm.

Mini

At this focal length I was unable to get below an aperture of f/4 so much of the surrounding area is in focus. I was pleasantly surprised and pleased with the resultant DoF and scale.

The Journey Home

Convinced there was no need for a full frame camera and 50mm I moved to the Fujinon 35mm lens which offers an aperture of f/1.4. I started shooting at the maximum aperture of f/1.4 as the car was face on.

Parked Under a Tree

I focused on the front grill and captured the images using the ultra bright LCD screen which meant I didn’t need to get right down close to ground to see what I was shooting. This next shot is my favourite of the set and as the car is at a slight angle I wanted to get more of the body in focus so moved the aperture to f/2.

Crashed

To add a little bit of adventure I decided to use a mix of flour and icing sugar to freeze the scene. I felt the flour with too thick and sat too heavy on the frame of the car. I should add attempts to make it look like it was actually snowing failed miserably. This next image is captured with an aperture of f/2.2.

A Mini Winter

You can see that moving between the 18-55 zoom and 35mm prime offered different focal lengths and I could adjust the scale of the car. I think both the 18-55mm zoom and 35mm prime worked well to achieve a ‘slight’ sense of reality.

I am genuinely beginning to wonder if I really need to retain a full frame camera given the quality of photographs I can achieve with the fujinon lenses. I know there is an even finer DoF offered with f/1.4 on full frame but I am just not sure how often I actually need it.

You can view the full set of Mini Adventure photographs on in the flickr set or 500px set. I am going to try and grow the Mini Adventure series and add photos of the cars in different locations. The next challenge is to incorporate Long Exposure Photography.

Links:

The Mini Adventure Flickr Set
The X-E1 Review
The Long Exposure

About The Author

David is a documentary and landscape photographer covering everything from dramatic long exposure landscape photography through to live music. David is also an official Fujifilm X Photographer.

  • http://csafotography.wordpress.com CSA

    Mini Adventure is inspirational. Awesome!!!

  • Stephen McCullough

    Nice post. My impression is that Fuji are keeping up the quality game; this ‘kit’ zoom has higher specs, and from what I have read, better performance, than most such glass.

  • http://felix-sanchez.dk Felix Sanchez

    Wow, this is amazingly inspiring.
    I would want to do something similar to this, but have only this equipment. A Canon 550D with a Canon 50mm f/1.8.

    What settings would you advice me to use when doing a similar project?

    Thanks :)

  • http://www.mattafoto.wordpress.com Mike

    Love this series. Great look with the mini.

  • http://blog.thomasfitzgeraldphotography.com Thomas Fitzgerald

    Great shots and great idea. Love it! That’s a surprisingly detailed model too. How big is th model? Is it matchbox size or is it one of the larger scale car models you do see? Looks great. Looks like a commercial for something

  • http://www.flixelpix.com David

    Thomas, it is just a dinky car. I am just playing with scale and DoF to create the images.

  • Manfred

    Amazing shots!

    I just trip over “Fujifilm X-E1 & 18-55mm zoom lens … setting the X-E1 on macro mode”
    My X-E1/18-55 combo doesn’t behave any different when in macro mode. What am I doing wrong?

    Cheers

  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/nwalch/ Nick

    Wow what a great series. Fantastic for a winter project. Did you shoot outside or is it fake snow?

  • http://www.flixelpix.com David

    flour and icing sugar but it was outside.