Astley Hall in Lancashire is the type of location that Fuji’s 10-24mm lens and X-Pro1 were made to cover. Astley Hall is a Jacobean mansion on the edge of Chorley and it has bags of character.
There’s no doubt it’s a great building to photograph. I spent a little while walking around the outside waiting for the sun to break through the clouds. I’m not keen on boring skies so was aiming for a bit of sun on the building with plenty of detail in the sky. Thinks changed quickly and the sun was sometimes only out for only seconds. Some of the pictures taken close to the house gave the images impact with the converging verticals as I tilted the camera up, while on other pictures I tried to keep things straight and used a bit of correction in Lightroom.
Inside the house, you are free to wander around and take pictures. The light levels were quite low in some rooms and it was a good test for the image stabilisation capabilities on this lens. No need to worry because even with the lens wide-open at 1/15 second the images are sharp.
Another advantage of this lens is the fact that it is a zoom lens rather than fixed focal length. In these houses there is often a rope barrier from where you can view the room. The zoom allows you some flexibility with the composition and that’s a bonus when you can’t reposition yourself.
So any niggles from my day out with the 10-24mm? Only one and that relates to the lens hood which I find to be a bit loose. If it is not quite fitted right you get vignetting in the corner of the picture and I found it moved too easily.
Astley Hall is a 17th century house with plenty of history and some striking architectural features. What’s more it’s open to the public and it’s free to look around. The house is situated on a huge park with good gardens and a cafe too. It’s also only about 30 minutes drive from home, yet it’s years since I last visited. Funny how you often neglect the gems that are closest to you.