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  • Writer's pictureSteve Gemmell

Cows are facinating creatures | XT4 plus 16-80mm

Updated: Sep 12, 2020

I photographed these cows using the Fujifilm XT4 and XF 16-80mm F4 lens. For many years I used two Fujifilm XT1’s to photograph weddings. Back then I had an assortment of Fujifilm XF lenses to go with these cameras. My favourites were the 56mm F1.2 , a superb lens, and the 23mm F1.4.

The 16-80 F4 isn’t in the same league as the prime lenses I used to use professionally. It is more of a general all-round kit lens covering a generous focal range. It is also stabilised as is the XT4 body so there will be opportunities for handheld shots in low light. It should also prove useful for video work when I get around to it.

Having used other X system cameras the ergonomics of the XT4 are therefore very familiar and I soon felt at home with this camera. With previous X cameras, I used to enjoy using the exposure compensation dial allowing me to make adjustments “on the fly” very quickly and accurately. This was particularly useful at weddings where fast reactions made the difference between getting or losing a shot.

Shot with the Fujifilm XT4 and XF 16-80mm F4 lens

This dial on the older cameras moved very easily responding to a slight movement from my thumb. However, with the XT4 I have found that I need to use both my thumb together with my forefinger to achieve the desired level of adjustment. This I do find a bit cumbersome to use. So far that is my only disappointment with this camera. Early days as yet so I am still getting to grips with the outfit in daily use.

Shot with the Fujifilm XT4 and XF 16-80mm F4 lens

The slightly larger difference in size compared to the XT1 hasn’t caused any problems. In fact, I haven't really noticed it at all. As much as I love the GFX, this camera is obviously a lot lighter and more convenient to carry around all day.

I like to work quickly with either camera and adopt different ways of using the controls to achieve this on either one.

The front wheel on the GFX I find very convenient to use to adjust the ISO setting “on the fly.” This allows me to set the aperture and shutter speed first, making a rapid adjustment to the ISO to get the best exposures as the situation changes.

With the XT4 I tend to set the minimum speed and ISO settings range in the setup menus. This leaves the camera to auto adjust those two variables. I set the aperture I want to use and then adjust the compensation dial to get the required exposure effect as the scene I am shooting changes.

Two different cameras and two different ways of working.

River Beane Hertfordshire

I often take a walk alongside the River Beane at Waterford Marsh. During the summer months, I will see a herd of cattle, sometimes out in the fields and sometimes along the pathway. It got me thinking about these wonderful peaceful animals so I decided to do some research on them. Here are a few of the fascinating things I discovered.

Cows at Waterford Marsh shot with Fujifilm XT4

  • They actually have “best friends” and can get upset if separated.

  • Cows can remember things for a long time.

  • They can learn how to push a lever to get drinking water, or press with their heads to release grain for example.

  • Figuring out these kinds of challenges makes them very excited when they solve them, just like us really when we solve a puzzle.

  • If they can’t understand something they are prone to worrying about it.

Cows at Waterford Marsh near Hertford shot with Fujifilm XT4

  • Each cow can recognise fifty or more members in a herd.

  • Cows share 80% of their genes with humans!

  • They have an almost 360 degree angle of vision so don’t try creeping up on one!

  • Cows average eight hours a day eating, eight hours chewing cud and the remaining eight sleeping.

  • They can spend ten to twelve hours laying down ( see this post for more info on this).

  • No two spot patterns are the same, bit like fingerprints on humans.

  • You can tell the age of a cow by it’s teeth.

Cows at Waterford Marsh shot with Fujifilm XT4

Cows at Waterford Marsh shot with Fujifilm XT4 and 16-80 lens

Cows average eight hours a day eating, eight hours chewing cud and the remaining eight sleeping

l also photographed this same herd of cows with the Fujifilm GFX 50R and you can see that post here. It also contains more interesting information about the lives of cows!

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