I thought I would share some of my experiences with using the X-T1 for 12 days in Iceland. I come from a full frame Nikon background and all the big heavy f/2.8 lenses, etc. I always shot in raw, adjusted in Capture NX and never used live view. The X-T1 has changed the way I work. I’ll outline some of the things I liked and disliked about the X-T1 and point out a few mistakes I made on the way. Hopefully this will be of interest to new X-T1 owners…….
At last count I had visited Iceland a total of three times, the first I was an amature photographer and went with a Nikon D60 + 18-105 lens, the second I had got better and went with a D90 +24/50/135 lenses, the last time was after I fell for Fuji and went with 2 XE1’s; 8mm, 18mm, 35mm, 60mm and 50-230mm lenses. I’ve blogged about my time in Iceland before but have decided to put this post together to keep it all in one place and show you some photography of this awesome place! One thing that keeps me coming back to Iceland is the quick changing nature of the weather and the raw unspoilt landscapes that greet you around every bend, as this was my third time out I was very much ready for what would be in store and some very good ideas of places I wanted to visit. All the photos here were shot on 2 Fuji XE-1’s the size and weight of these cameras make them great for travel and the image quality is just incredible, at no point did I feel the need for anything more that the gear I had and would be happy to travel anywhere in the world with just this small bag of gear…….
These days my zoom range is the “general purpose” 24-70mm (Olympus M.Zuiko 12-40mm F2.8 Pro), not too wide and not too long but more or less suitable for a wide range of subjects. In my 35mm days that was the Canon EF 24-70mm F2.8L. I shot for about a year with that as my only zoom lens and when I needed something wider I would rent or borrow the EF16-35 F2.8L. Both of these lenses were useful but had issues with focus accuracy and sharpness. I hear-tell Canon has released a new version of the 16-35 (it’s now a 16-35mm F4 with image stabilisation). I’ve personally used the latest version of the 24-70mm F2.8L MKII (awesome but expensive!). If you want to make images with a little something special then you need to go wider than that general purpose zoom. You need a wide angle prime lens or a wide angle zoom. I’ve previously used the excellent XF 14mm F2.8 but stuck at one focal length in that range can be limiting sometimes. I was particularly interested in the XF10-24mm Fuji lens because of an upcoming assignment which will require me to take a series of wide angle shots and combine various elements into one composite image……
I haven’t blogged for a while now, but loads of things happened in the last couple of months. Couple of photo shoots, weddings, holiday, new website and a new camera… What, new camera? Oh, yeah. I finally said good bye to my Canon kit and got an X-T1 with a 56mm lens to accompany my X-Pro1 and X100s. Wasn’t an easy decision, but time will tell. So far I’m loving it, but because I have plenty of editing to do, I haven’t spent huge amount of time with it. My lovely wife and I spent a week in Tokyo in the middle of July and it was amazing. It wasn’t hard to fall in love with the city and the people in it. The following images are just a little preview from our trip. All photos were taken with the Fuji X100s and the new X-T1……
This last May, I was lucky enough to spend my honeymoon in Italy. I couldn’t go on a trip of this scale without some serious photography (luckily my wife already knew this) so I put a lot of thought into what gear I wanted to bring. I’ve been enjoying my Fuji X-T1 lately and, although the last trip I did of this length was with my full-frame Canon gear, this time I wanted to bring a much lighter kit. So what gear did I bring to Italy? The problem is, I’m a lazy photographer and changing lenses is sometimes a deterrent from shooting. In addition, my instincts from my African photo safaris mean I’m nervous unless I have backups. So even though I feel like I packed light, it’s all relative and some of my more hardcore street photographer friends will raise an eyebrow at my kit. I decided to bring two Fuji X-T1s (one mine, one rented from LensProToGo), each with a lens attached. I then brought a couple of other lenses to fill out my range…
The X range of cameras has received a huge amount of critical acclaim and their fair share of criticism too. There are an awful lot of both professional and enthusiast photographers out there making some wonderful images with the Fuji line up, across a wide range of disciplines. One group of photographers that I think the Fuji line up makes particular sense for are wedding photographers. I’ve been using Fuji X-cameras as secondary cameras at weddings for about a year now and have found them to be very useful as an addition to my regular Canon 5d3 setup. Inspired by Kevin Mullins excellent wedding reportage work, I’d used both the Fuji X-Pro and Fuji X-100s, with mixed success. To be honest, while I loved using them as a backup and in some of the quieter moments of the day, I didn’t feel that I could completely convert to them from my DSLR’s…….
This is not a contest to see which lens is best. They are both exceptional at what they do, but do have differences that make them suitable for different tasks when shooting portraits. For this very reason, for my Nikon system I keep both the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 and the Nikon 105mm macro lenses for photographing beauty and portraits. I do comparison shoot-out like this with new equipment so I can gain experiential knowledge I can apply to later shoots. It helps me decide quickly what lens I need in any given situation. For most portrait situations it isn’t going to make much of a difference, but when you need a distracting background thrown completely you’ll be wishing you had the f/1.2 aperture of the Fuji 56mm, and when you try to move in for a tighter composition with the model’s face you will appreciate the macro capabilities of the Zeiss Touit 50mm allowing you to get as close as 1:1…..
I wanted an ultra wide lens since I bought my little Fuji X-E1, the kit lens was a good lens overall, and while for street photography it’s definitely a great lens, for landscapes 18mm (equivalent to a 27mm on a 35mm) are not enough to me, I always felt like it was too long for me. So three weeks ago I decided to sell it in favour of a new ultra wide lens from the Korean manifacturer Samyang (or Rokinon in the States, Walimex somewhere else), the 12mm f/2 NCS CS. I generally read thousands of review before buying a lens, but in this case I couldn’t find much as this lens came out on the market just a few months ago, but the few reviews I found were all very positive, and I often read good things about Samyang lenses, so I decided to give it a try……..
What’s a visit in India without visiting a palace? Right after the Charminar we went to see the Chowmahalla Palace which is located almost next door. There is a restriction you should be aware of: no professional cameras and tripods allowed! Good thing is that I neither had a tripod nor a professional camera with me. Just my Fuji X Pro-1. I was entitled to enter but I got a tag for my camera for whatever reason. It seems that though India is a paradise for photographers it is not the most photographer friendly country I can think of. But the people are great. I talked with this gentleman who restored the furniture of the palace. Before I walked on I asked if I could take his portrait. He agreed and luckily he did not smile into the camera but just got back to his work. A true craftsman! …..
The Fujinon XF60mm macro lens was one of “starter” lenses introduced with the X-Pro1 early 2012. I guess everyone ever has used this lens was surely happy with the overall picture quality, detail sharpness and the lightweight and excellent build body. But many of these users may also complained about the very slow and noisy autofocus and the limited magnification factor of ‘only’ 1:2. In the meantime the autofocus performance was subsequently improved by firmware updates and is in my opinion on the par with full frame macro lenses with noisy micro motors. What of course could not be changed through firmware is the magnification factor…