Understanding the Advanced Multi-Hybrid Viewfinder on the X-Pro2

When photographing different events under extreme lighting conditions it is good practice to understand how your camera works before the start date. The Fujifilm X-Pro2 is new on the market and the…

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A Practical Review of the XF35mmF2

I’ve recently been selected to review loan equipment by Fujifilm Australia, the first of those was the acclaimed XF35mmF2. When Fujifilm announced the XF35mmF2 it was well received throughout the Fuji community but I believe that’s largely due to the reputation of the original XF35mmF1.4 which was and still is an amazing lens. Although they both share the same focal length they are different in almost every respect, having used the lens for almost a good solid month I will share my experiences with using this lens. As with all my other reviews, there’s no charts or pixel peeping here, I’m only concerned about real world performance and user experience.

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A Practical Review of the XF16-55mm F2.8

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With an equivalent focal length of 24-84mm on a full frame and a constant aperture of f2.8 the XF16-55mm falls in the same category as other 24-70mm lenses including the prestigious Canon 24-70mm f2.8 L lens which many consider as the pinnacle of this focal range and is also seen as the benchmark for others to follow. Can Fujifilm’s XF16-55mm keep up with the heavyweights?

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A Practical Review of the Fuji XF27mm F2.8

DSCF6973-2Let’s face it, a pancake lens is not something you would normally go out and buy as your first lens however if I could turn back time the XF27mm F2.8 would have been one of the first lenses I’ll add to my kit. This won’t be your typical lens review with charts and numbers instead I’ll discuss the lens in practical everyday use, the Pros, and Cons along with sample photos.

Introduction

The 27mm falls in the same family as other pancakes such Canon’s 24mm & 40mm, Olympus 17mm and the Nikkor 10mm just to name a few. In the past pancake lenses haven’t been known for their image quality and are rather slow with apertures usually set between F2 and F2.8, they are like an acquired taste, you either like them or you hate them. Those that do like them do so for their size and portability so naturally when Fujifilm’s 27mm was released there wasn’t much love for this lens.

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5 Quick Tips To Help You Get Into Street Photography

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OK so you’ve been thinking about doing some Street Photography but never got round to it, I don’t blame ya as it is not a genre typically embarrassed by many especially if you’re only just getting into Photography. Hopefully, these 5 quick tips will help you in your transition or if you’re already an aspiring Street Photographer these will help improve your game while out on the streets.

There’s no doubt that you would have read your fair share of blogs and articles on how to approach Street Photography so I’m not going to repeat them here but instead, share some with you the things that helped me overcome the many obstacles that one faces in this genre of photography.  Continue reading “5 Quick Tips To Help You Get Into Street Photography”

Shooting the Streets of Hong Kong

 

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This is a quick post on my recent travels to Hong Kong and my experiences while exploring this urban jungle. Known for its dense urban environment, hidden alleys, tight laneways and busy streets, it is obvious why Hong Kong is a haven for street photography. I traveled with my wife and together we visited a close friend of ours who was also kind enough to take some time from his busy schedule to take us around and point out some hot spots in Hong Kong.

I’ll be honest and say that I was reluctant to bring my zoom lens (16-55mm f2.8) and instead use the two primes (14mm & 27mm) however as it turns out I found myself reaching for the zoom lens a majority of the time. Given that both the primes had the same aperture of f2.8 and that the zoom lens only looses 2mm over the 14mm and combined with the weather resistance seals, it was obvious that the 16-55mm was more suited for the streets of Hong Kong as well as its unpredictable weather (similar to Melbourne). Despite the hefty weight behind the 16-55mm, the versatility and weather resistance outweighed this and there were a few occasions where I found myself shooting in light drizzle and just knowing that I can continue shooting without worrying about my gear is a great feeling.

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First Impression: X-Pro2

Disclaimer: This is not a review, in fact, it probably shouldn’t even be called First Impression granted that I’ve only had it for approx 20 mins of solid use. So if you’re expecting fancy charts and mathematical equations please stop reading.

Background

Fujifilm Camera Australia and DigiDIRECT held a workshop that showcased the highly anticipated X-Pro2 and X70. The people at Fujifilm Camera Australia were also kind enough to share the full range of XF lenses to try from the 10-24mm through to the 100-400mm. Unfortunately as there was only 1 unit of the X-Pro2 we had to share it around so most of us only had a good 20 mins or less of solid use, so this is purely my impression of the camera after 20 mins.

First Impressions

While holding the unit my first thoughts were its size, it felt big in my hands compared to the more familiar X-T1. Unfortunately without having used the X-Pro1 I cannot compare their sizes, it feels bulky and solid like a  miniature tank. Personally, I prefer the DSLR-like style and design (hence the X-T1 is my preferred camera) just a personal preference.

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X-Pro2 – Shot with 56mm f1.2

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Applying Fuji Film Simulations in Lightroom

One of the great features with all Fuji X Series cameras is the ability to apply various Film Simulations. However when shooting RAW and importing in Lightroom, the Film Sim effects are not carried across. Fortunately Lightroom has added Fuji profiles to allow you to apply these Film Sims in post production.

For those new to Lightroom simply launch LR and go into Development mode, from the right-hand editing pane scroll down to the bottom until you see the Camera Calibration module.

Camera Calibration

All the Film Sims can be found under the Profile menu, simply select the desired Film Sim and the image will apply the selected effect.

Camera Calibration - Menu

 

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How I Have My Fuji X-T1 Set Up.

I’ve been asked a few times what my camera settings are so I thought I’ll just share them with you here. Just remember that these are settings that work for me and my style of shooting and may not appeal to you. I’ll also try and explain where I can what some of the settings actually do so here we go…

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Bracket Settings: As I shoot JPEG about 90% of the time, I’ve set my bracketing mode set to Film Simulation. The three Film Sim brackets I have set are Std, Classic Chrome and B&W+R.

Auto-Focus Settings

  • Focus Area: The focus frame has 5 sizes with 1 being the smallest and 5 being the largest, I have mine set to size 3 and positioned to the center of the screen. The size of the focus frame has an impact on the AF speed. Example if you’re shooting a portrait and fill the frame with the subject’s face, you’ll set the size to its smallest point and focus on the eyes. The camera will easily focus on that point, however if you’re about 10 meters away the subject their eye’s become more difficult to focus on, therefore if you have it set to its smallest size and try to focus on the eyes the lens will often at times hunt back and forth on the focus frame. You’ll also run the risk of blurry images as the camera may focus on the nose or cheeks over the eyes. Therefore setting the size to a slightly bigger focus frame will increase the speed AF and reduce the chance of blurry images.
  • Release/Focus Priority: I have both AF-S and AF-C set to focus priority. If you’re all about capturing the moment and not worried whether the shot is in focus then set it to Release priority.
  • Instant AF Setting: This settings allows those shooting in manual focus mode to still use the auto-focus functionality by simply pressing the AF-L button. I have mine set to AF-S.
  • AF Mode: I’ve got mine set to Single Point but switch to Zone when shooting street photography especially when shooting from the hip.
  • Face Detection: On only when shooting portraits otherwise I have it switched off to save battery. This works well in conjunction with Eye Detection AF.
  • Eye Detection AF: This allows you to set the priority between right eye and left eye. I have it set to Auto
  • Pre-AF: All this does when switched on is constantly focus at the focus point regardless if the shutter-release button is pressed. This is heavy on the battery, I recommend disabling this feature.
  • AF Illuminator: OFF unless you’re in a pitch black room 🙂 If you’re taking candid photos I recommend turning this off, you don’t want to draw attention to yourself.

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Shooting Bali with the Fuji X-T1

One thing to be mindful when traveling to places like Bali is the humidity level. The humid environment will easily fog up your lens unless you exercise some precautions. Although the X-T1 is weather resistant I noticed that the on/off switch would stiffen up making it difficult to switch it to the on position.

On this trip, I only had 3 lenses with me however whenever I’m out shooting the streets I ever only select one and leave rest behind. It’s difficult to do I know but what usually happens when you’re carrying multiple lenses is the urge to change lens, when you see something unique your brain will automatically start telling you things like “oh that would look good with an ultra-wide angle lens”. Not only is it going to add to the weight you’re carrying around but in humid conditions such as Bali, changing lens will risk trapping moisture between the sensor and the rear element of the lens which increases the chances of fungus.

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