So yes, the rumours were true: Fujifilm has announced a new, different version of their stellar XF 56mm f/1.2 R lens — the XF 56mm f/1.2 R APD. I’m stressing the word different as opposed to better and I’ll explain why in a bit. APD stands for apodized. This is a process by which an optical filter is introduced inside the lens assembly to modify the way it renders out of focus areas — specifically, to make them smoother. And because this filter gets gradually darker at the edges, it also adds a slight vignetting effect. And I do mean slight: light falloff more than any real darkening. I was fortunate to again be hired by Fuji to shoot samples for this version as I had done for the previous model last winter, along with my Canadian colleague Nathan Elson from Calgary (his stunning images are here; very cool shoot). But the deadline and turnaround were a lot tighter this time and I barely had a few days with it. The lens Tokyo sent in was a prototype with nothing but a yellow sticker to distinguish it from my own “normal” 56mm. Since it wasn’t anywhere near a production model, this isn’t a review at all — just a look at the photo shoot and a few personal notes. And btw, these images aren’t the same versions you’ll find on the official product page: we send in unprocessed raw files for sample use. No retouching, no sharpening. Nada. It’s a humbling experience if there ever was one. The photos here were processed in LR5 with my usual methods (although Capture One was used as well for some of these; more on that eventually)……..
Looks familiar right? Fuji have remained faithful to the sleek retro design that we first saw with the introduction of the X100 over four years ago. The Fuji X100T is distinguishable from the X100S, aesthetically, in only a few places on the chasis of the camera. Most notably, on the back, the Fuji X100T now boasts a much more uniformed button configuration that I’m hoping we will see rolled out across all newer Fuji cameras. One of the biggest feedback comments I get is that the cameras should all share the same ergonomics where possible and it seems Fuji are heading in that direction. The command dial has been replaced with a four-way button system. There are no issues with the tactility of the buttons and they are responsive and quick to depress. Lesson learnt from the X-T1! To my hand, the “grip” side of the camera seems larger too – and certainly feels more ample when holding it. The Fuji X100T boasts seven programmable buttons which are handily placed throughout the camera body. Somewhat confusingly, the button labelled with the “bin” (delete) icon on my camera was actually pre-configured for Photometry. This is how I would prefer it and it remains in a similar position to the X100S default configuration. In my hand, the camera feels almost identical to the X100S. The viewfinder selector has returned to the more vertical orientation which I prefer and, apart from the button configuration, and the slight size and weight loss the Fuji X100T is very similar to the X100S……
I have had a pre-production copy of the new Fuji X100T for a week and I have been putting it through the paces to find out how much this camera has evolved since the first X100 was introduced at Photokina in 2010. It was the original X100 that started my love affair with Fuji cameras, and I haven’t looked back since selling my DSLR gear in favor of the Fuji X series for my small format cameras. Yes, I’m going back to film days and saying that 35mm full frame sensors and below are “small format.” That’s not a dig at full frame sensors. That’s just calling 35mm and below what it is. But, before I digress into hyperbole and enrage the trollz, let’s jump into this new camera and why or why not you might be interested in it. I have had a pre-production copy of the new Fuji X100T for a week and I have been putting it through the paces to find out how much this camera has evolved since the first X100 was introduced at Photokina in 2010. It was the original X100 that started my love affair with Fuji cameras, and I haven’t looked back since selling my DSLR gear in favor of the Fuji X series for my small format cameras. Yes, I’m going back to film days and saying that 35mm full frame sensors and below are “small format.” That’s not a dig at full frame sensors. That’s just calling 35mm and below what it is. But, before I digress into hyperbole and enrage the trollz, let’s jump into this new camera and why or why not you might be interested in it…..
I have since moved on from the Fujifilm X-T1 for my professional work. You can read my reasons in an earlier blog post. Despite my transition away from the X-T1, I wish to make it clear that I continue to rate the X-T1 as a fantastic camera. It most certainly is appropriate for professional work. The caveat however is knowing the limitations of the X-T1 and working around them. For the record, my XF14, XF23, XF35 and XF56 have all been sharp. In fact, my main critique of the Fujifilm system is not of Fujinon, but rather the AF technology of Fujifilm’s mirrorless cameras … I am a big fan of shooting in raw format for my kind of work (namely preweddings and wedding days). I do not have time (nor the skill) to adjust for changing ambient light colour casts. I also tend to leave my white balance on daylight for most of the time (unless there is strong tungsten or fluro light). Then there is the issue of dynamic range. It is not possible to pull detail from a compressed jpeg. I was never formally trained in photography. I learnt from looking at the back of the screen and in Lightroom. Sure, one can nail the shot every single time but really? Really? Every. Single. Time? Not me. Hence raw…….
…. The main reason is that I don’t see the general DSLR market being around in the long term. Yes, I know it’s always been there. Yes, I know that millions upon millions of people own them. Yes, I know lenses are forever (despite the fact that I’ve just sold all of mine, But still, I have no faith in the DSLR market. And when you have several lenses worth around the $5K mark (used) each, and bodies that need replacing for several thousand dollars each, it’s a serious consideration/bet that you’re making. (Don’t get me wrong – the DSLR as an entity will be around for a while yet. But the market is shrinking, and that shrinkage is speeding up as the DSLR market becomes more and more specialised (ie will stop buying the consumer and prosumer models). Really, if you’re buying a camera today and have no compelling reason (sports with long lenses, etc.) for a DSLR, you’re just not buying one (if you have a clue)……..
- solid casing,
- very good image quality in the frame centre,
- good image quality on the edge of the frame at shorter focal lengths,
- slight chromatic aberration for most combinations of focal lengths and apertures,
- good control of spherical aberration,
- moderate astigmatism,
- good performance against bright light,
- silent, fast and accurate autofocus.
- too weak image quality on the edge of the frame at 24 mm focal length,
- bad distortion correction,
- huge vignetting at the shortest focal length,
- exorbitant price
The Fujinon XF 10–24 mm f/4R OIS is undoubtedly a good lens – still we admit its performance left us a bit dissatisfied. As one of the most expensive ultra-wide angle device on the market it should have been beyond reproach in every category; instead we got several slip-ups which simply shouldn’t have happened at this price point. If this lens cost about 2,000-2,500 PLN I would recommend it to anybody but with its current price tag it would be really difficult to do so……..
I have been aware of the Fujifilm X-T1 camera ever since assisting Zack Arias at Gulf Photo Plus 2014 yet never made the switch from DSLR to mirror-less. Now seem’s to be the perfect time to invest in the X-Series system just before some serious professional lenses are due to release in late 2014 / early 2015 which will most likely continue to eat away at the DSLR market. As a user of the Fujifilm x100s I know how good these camera’s are. The JPEG’s are remarkable straight from camera and the colour reproduction will blow you away. I’m keeping my main camera, the Canon 5D MARK 3 (primarily because I love to dabble with video as well) but I have a feeling it won’t be long before all my Canon gear will be replaced with much smaller alternatives…….
The X100 was Fuji’s first attempt at a large sensor, compact, mirrorless camera. Despite rave reviews, the X100 had a list of quirks that made it difficult to wield. Among them, slow autofocus and a poorly designed manual focus system. Fuji listened to feedback from its dedicated following and released the X100S. Better. Faster. Stronger. The Fuji X100S is the ultimate digital street photography camera. It has it all: outstanding build and image quality, usable features, and great controls…all wrapped up in a sexy compact body. There are some big name photographers singing the praises of the X100S as well. In a very candid review, Zack Arias wrote, “Fuji is the new Leica.” In a follow-up review, he addressed the flak he received: I stepped on some toes when I claimed that Fuji is the new Leica…I’ve had a Fuji in one hand and a Leica in another. Hand on my heart…I’d chose the Fuji………
When I penned my review of the Fujifilm X-T-1 camera several weeks back, I based my thoughts on a few months worth of shooting with the camera. I’ve kept at it and now I feel the need to follow up on my review with some additional thoughts and some honest adjustments to my previous opinions. First off, I want to address the issue I found with the foliage “smudging” in Adobe Lightroom. I found something interesting when I began looking at my raw files in both LR CC and Capture One Pro. Let me step back a couple of years first… When I began using Adobe Lightroom, I watched a video by Adobe evangelist Julianne Kost. In the video she made a strong case for converting raw files to DNG when importing into LR. I began doing just that and whenever I imported from my Canon camera I would convert the raw CR2 files into DNG……..
A few weeks ago, I posted a first look review of the new XF18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 OIS WR lens, which is Fujifilm’s first weather resistant lens. Although it can be used on any X-Series camera body, the 18-135 was designed in conjunction with the rugged, weather sealed X-T1, and it lets you shoot in out in the elements without having to worry about rain, heavy snow, water splashes or the spray from waterfalls getting inside your lens. In addition to the 20 points of weather sealing which have been incorporated into the barrel, the 18-135 also features a special ventilation system that helps prevent dust from being sucked into the lens when you zoom in and out. This is a really nice addition, because if you shoot in dusty conditions long enough, you’ll eventually see some of that dust work it’s way inside your lens. Believe me……..