A Mini Adventure

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.


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.


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.


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


  1. 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.

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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

  4. 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?


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

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