David Cleland

10 Reasons to own a Fujifilm X Camera | David Cleland

I have been a big fan of the Fujifilm X range of cameras ever since I bought my first X100 back in June 2011. It was a big change from my DSLR, and although it had its quirks it was a joy to use. Fast forward a few years on I am literally hooked on the small form factor, versatility, performance and image quality offered by the growing Fujifilm X range of cameras. Two or three times per week I receive emails from photographers asking advice on things like, “Would the X range replace my DSLR?”. They are hard questions to address as, everyone’s needs are different, I only sporadically use my DSLR but when I do it tends to strengthen my draw to the X-range of cameras. For this reason I have decided to list just ten reasons why the Fujifilm X range is my first stop camera system…….

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Fujifilm 27mm Review | David Cleland

I have been using the Fujifilm 27mm pancake lens for almost a year and I am yet to actually give the lens the attention or acknowledgement it deserves. The Fujifilm 27mm lens has in a sense, become my much loved ‘off duty’ lens, tending to be my go-to lens for general days out exploring. As one of Fujifilm’s least expensive lenses the 27mm is deserving of attention especially by those photographers who really want to travel light. During this year’s annual holiday I used just the X-T1 and 27mm to document days out to the beach, amusements, walks and outings, with the 27mm making the X-T1 feel more like the X100s in form factor but with the option of additional lenses. That said the Fujifilm X100s will always remain an exceptionally special camera in my mind. ….

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Fujifilm XF 18-135mm First Impressions | David Cleland

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When Fujifilm make announcements about new cameras or lens I always react with acute excitement. Ever since the release of the weather sealed Fujifilm X-T1 I have been longing for the release of their first weather sealed lens. When Fujifilm announced the XF 18-135mm lens with image stabilisation I couldn’t wait to have a completely weather sealed system for out in the Northern Ireland mountains. Please note:  that all of the images in this post were captured with a pre-production version of the lens and, Prototype 7 (as I knew it) felt as close to a finished product as I would imagine and a great lens it was to. Weather sealed, image stabilized and a range of 18mm through to 135mm (f/3.5 to f/5.6) it is a versatile beast. Having updated the firmware on my X-T1 to 1.10 it was time for some initial testing. I should say I am not going to get into the technicals of the lens, it is pre-production, the images are processed in Lightroom and for a number I have used the “upright” correction as no lens profile exists at this stage. For a preproduction lens I have to say it performed amazingly well and the images required very little work……

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Dunluce Castle Long Exposure with the X-T1 and 10-24mm |
David Cleland

Dunluce Castle on Northern Ireland’s Antrim coast is said to be the inspiration for CS Lewis and the royal castle of Cair Paravel. More recently the castle (with a number of other Northern Ireland locations) was featured in the brilliant Game of Thrones television series. I had a fifteen minute opportunity to capturing the castle during a family visit to the coast. I was only able to capture six images in total so I am considering these photos to be test shots given the extra struggling of capturing during the mid afternoon sun. Using the Fujifilm X-T1, the 10-24mm lens and the lee filter system I decided to try some long exposure photography………

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The Fujinon 56mm – Bokeh Master | David Cleland

In Conclusion

If you are looking for a lens that captures sharp images and stunning bokeh the 56mm is definitely the lens to go for. The perfect partner to the 23mm it has to be one of best lenses I have used in terms of performance and image quality. The 56mm is a bokeh machine that is perfect for people photography. It is a joy to use and will be a firm favourite on my X-T1 for sometime to come. I have set up a 56mm flickr set here that will grow over time……..

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Belfast and Donegal with the Fujinon 10-24mm lens | David Cleland

There is a school of thought, I think incorrectly suggests that landscape photography needs to be a wide as possible. Although I disagree with this school of thought I’m aware there are times that an ultra wide field of view is essential to capture a scene. Sometimes the need to go ultra wide is down to an inability to get the correct distance from the subject other times it is about capturing the vastness of a scene. I’ve been using the Fujinon 10-24mm as the only lens locked to the Fujifilm X-T1. You can see just how wide you can go with this photograph of Poison Glen in Donegal. You can just spot the church in the left hand side of the frame and this was shot at 19mm!! …..

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The Fujifilm X-T1 Review | David Cleland


Conclusion

Does the X-T1 deserve the hype? Definitely. The X-T1 is a powerhouse that delivers stunning, pin sharp images with the almost breathtaking dynamic range we have grown to associate with the Fujfilm X-Range. I struggle to find fault and I hope you understand what I mean when I say I could look at it for hours, it is a remarkable piece of technology. The controls are extremely accessible on the body of the camera and there isn’t hardly an aspect of the device that isn’t customisable or adjustable. The viewfinder and LCD screens are stunning and if that isn’t enough you can even control the camera via live view on a mobile device. The X-T1 has all the bells and whistles and underneath is a powerful, remarkable image maker that is as usable in the hands of a new photographer as it is in the hands of a pro. The X-T1 is not only a top performer but it is a joy to use and the ergonomics are excellent. I am in awe of the Fujifilm X-T1 and don’t have the capacity to see where the company will take the X range from here. I know the lens roadmap is very exciting and I can see the X-T1 making a considerable dent in the digital SLR market. Notable is the fact that every photographer I have spoken to (who has used the X-T1) has nothing but love for what has to be the most desirable camera of 2014…….


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Remote Photography with the X-T1 | David Cleland


Cameras featuring WIFI connectivity are a relatively new phenomenon. The X-M1 was the first camera I used that offered a wifi connection to a mobile device such as iOS or Android phone. The Fujifilm mobile app enables the user to use the GPS feature on their phone to add geo-location data to images via wifi. This is quite a useful feature and I have been using it ever since the Freedom Through Photography project. See my review of the X-M1 for more information. Fujifilm have taken the wifi feature a step further with their latest app “Fujifilm Camera remote” for both iOS and Android. Although I have the other Fujifilm mobile apps (Fujifilm Photo Receiver etc) installed the new Camera Remote App is my personal favourite. The image below shows the X-T1 on a tripod with what the camera is seeing displayed remotely on my phone…….


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Silent Valley and the X-T1 | David Cleland


Having shot some music photography with the X-T1and 35mm Fujinon lens it was time to head to the stunning Mourne Mountains. The X-T1 is so fresh the major photo editing applications are yet to support the RAW image files. I far prefer shooting RAW and although I have used a number of different RAW processing applications I have a workflow in Lightroom that works so well I have decided to shoot JPG until Adobe roll out their X-T1 support. The purpose of the day was to get out into the hills alongside Silent Valley and on to Ben Crom reservoir so snapping JPG files with the X-T1 along the way made perfect sense. I packed my Lee filters, a small travel tripod and I was happy. It was a cold, dull day, I captured a couple of long exposure images of silent valley before we made our way to Ben Crom Reservoir. The colour of the surrounding landscape was as cold as the day. Using X-T1 for long exposure photography was a pleasure. (If you want to know about this technique check out the long exposure ebook.) I was able to use the T-mode shooting 20 second exposures at f/8. The dial to adjust the exposure duration is on the front of the camera and it feels like a really natural place for it to be…….


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Harland and Wolff at Night | David Cleland

Famous for boat building and not just the Titanic, the Harland and Wolff cranes (Samson and Goliath) are an established trademark of the city of Belfast. I had paid the area alongside the also famous Titanic film studios in the past, see here but I have never seen it quite like this. In December the Norwegian oil rig, the Blackford Dolphin, arrived all the way from Brazil following a three month journey. The sixty day contract to allow 600 workers to embark on a complete refurbishment under the Samson and Goliath cranes is worth millions. It could be a unique view for Belfast and definitely one worth seeing at night if you around the Titanic area. The Blackford Dolphin oil rig lights up the Belfast sky and even on a Sunday night, sparks from the welding work fall like snow….

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