Primes in Portugal

First and foremost this was a little break for my better half and myself to relax and explore an exciting city. City breaks aren’t usually my thing, most of the time I like getting lost in the middle of nowhere exploring somewhere a little wild, so this was a bit alien for me! Lisbon is full of character, excitement and history, all the hallmarks of a great city, full of welcoming people who were happy to help.

Because this was a city break I couldn’t carry large amounts of gear, as that certainly wouldn’t have matched the relaxed theme of the trip. Instead I took along the X-T1, X-Pro1, XF14mm, XF23mm and XF56mm in a little shoulder bag to document our visit. This worked out perfectly as it meant I could carry this around all day and not be exhausted as a result. These three primes are in my opinion, a great set up for this kind of trip. They cover a good focal range and offer a wide apertures to encourage creativity. When I use prime lenses I find that I think more about my composition, which in turn makes me think more about the picture.

I tended to use the 56mm on the X-T1, because the X-T1 was particularly fast and accurate. Then the 23mm on the X-Pro1, to take advantage of the rangefinder style, which seems to work very well with the 35mm equivalent focal length. See the X100 series as a case in point! I could have brought along the X100s but I really wanted to use the XF23mm F1.4, which is a wonderful lens but has the problem of competing with the X100 series.

This was a really good mix, with both cameras opening up different photographic opportunities. The tracking ability of the X-T1 and the tilting screen opened up opportunities that weren’t possible with the X-Pro1. While the rangefinder brought out an even more discreet type of shooting that was also fantastic.

We really enjoyed exploring Lisbon, from tasting various quaffable ports to gorging on Portuguese custard tarts (a heavenly mixture!), the experience was divine. I wholeheartedly recommend Lisbon to anyone looking to explore and take in a new city.


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