The Photography Show 2015

What an exciting week that was. We were at The Photography Show 2015 at the NEC from Saturday 21st to Tuesday 24th and it was a ROARING success. This is my first opportunity to sit down and write up a review of the show from our perspective. I hope it helps you get a feel for the show if you didn’t attend yourself, or brings back warm memories if you did.

Doors open...
Doors open…

The Fujifilm stand

…or “booth” if you’re from that side of the Atlantic. We had a big stand this year – about twice the size as last year – and even still we found it packed to the rafters most of the time.

Touch and Try

Everyone wants to get their hands on the latest cameras and lenses and the Touch and Try camera bar allowed people to do just that. Our staff worked extremely hard to answers all the questions thrown at them from the show visitors.

Visitors getting their hands on Fujifilm cameras
Visitors getting their hands on Fujifilm cameras
Our Dale talking about the X-T1
Our Dale talking about the X-T1
Something to point your camera at...
Something to point your camera at…

Camera loans

We know that there’s nothing quite like using a camera to get a real feel for it so we wanted to offer people the chance to test-drive Fujifilm X-T1 cameras plus various lenses for the whole day. Our free loan service allowed people to do just that and went down a storm.

camera-loans

Quick Maintenance Service

And it’s not only the new customers we were helping out. We were also running a free Quick Maintenance Service which allowed people to drop off their Fujifilm cameras and lenses for a sensor clean, quick MOT and to also have the latest firmware installed.

A Fujifilm camera getting some TLC
A Fujifilm camera getting some TLC

X-Photographer Gallery

All around our stand we were showing some amazing images taken by professional photographers that use Fujifilm equipment. Take a look at the gallery below:

Fujifilm Photowalk

On Saturday evening we took to the streets of Birmingham for a Street Photowalk with Matt Hart leading the way. We met up in Victoria Square and Matt shared a few of the tips he mentioned in his talk earlier that day before setting off to try to put some of the techniques into action. It was a great experience and was fantastic to meet so many people to talk to along the way.

You can see some other blog posts about the event here:

Matt Hart’s #FujiTPSWalk blog
Mirrorlessons #FujiTPSWalk blog
Dave Young’s blog

photowalk-meet

photowalk-group

photowalk-damien

photowalk-group2

Talks

To me, the talks are one of the parts of the show that really make it a great place for visitors. Lots of different photographers from lots of different backgrounds, all under one roof and sharing their own experiences, tips, hints and advice about the widest variety of photographic subjects. We were able to invite a few of our ambassadors to come to the show and pass on their thoughts to visitors.

Here is a bit about each of the Fujifilm X-Photographers. We also recorded the talks and will publish them soon.

Matt Hart – Street Photography

Matt was on the Streetscape stage on Saturday and Sunday. He has been a professional photographer for many years and still likes to shoot film. He runs workshops and hosts talks and training to help people become better reportage-street photographers. In his presentation, Matt gave lots of helpful advice and techniques for shooting street photography. He talked about the distinction between “Street photography” and “Street portraiture” and believes that true street photography involves images captured without the subject being aware.

Matt’s talk can be found here.

Matt describing the gear he uses for his street photography
Matt describing the gear he uses for his street photography
Lots of people turned up to listen to Matt's talk
Lots of people turned up to listen to Matt’s talk

Matt's talk will be uploaded for your viewing pleasure soon

Visit Matt Hart’s website here

Bert Stephani – commercial portrait photography

Bert is a commercial portrait photographer from Belgium. He believes that photographers need to limit the barrier between them and their subjects and part of doing this is to have smaller gear. Bert gave a brief talk about his own style of photography, what he used to be like and what he tries to be like now, before then doing a live portrait shoot on stage. On Monday he was shooting the lovely Hannah from Fuji and on Tuesday the equally lovely Jeannie (also from Fuji).

Bert Stephani talking on The Live Stage to a huge audience
Bert Stephani talking on The Live Stage to a huge audience
Bert Stephani live demo shooting the lovely Hannah from Fujifilm UK
Bert Stephani live demo shooting the lovely Hannah from Fujifilm UK
Hannah from Fujifilm UK, shot by Bert live on stage
Hannah from Fujifilm UK, shot by Bert live on stage
Bert likes to use whatever (and whoever) he can to block out disturbing coloured lights.
Bert likes to use whatever (and whoever) he can to block out disturbing coloured lights.
From left to right, Kevin Mullins, Hannah from Fuji and me

Visit Bert Stephani’s website here

Kevin Mullins – reportage wedding photography

Kevin is a professional wedding photography from Wiltshere. His style is very much reportage. He wants to provide his clients a “guest’s eye view” of their happy day capturing images that shows the real human events that take place at every wedding. In Kevin’s talk he focused on the importance of identifying potential moments and ensuring he can be in the right place to capture them without disturbing them.

Behind the Lens talk with Kevin Mullins
Behind the Lens talk with Kevin Mullins
Kevin Mullins
Kevin Mullins
Packed house. Lots of people wanted to hear what Kevin had to say
Packed house. Lots of people wanted to hear what Kevin had to say

Visit Kevin Mullin’s website here

Paul Sanders – landscape photography

Paul Sanders is a professional landscape photographer from Kent. His talk is about the way he used landscape photography as a form of therapy to help deal with his own personal emotional issues. It was very deep, personal and inspirational and it’s hard for me to give it any justice here in form of a brief text description. Check back for the video which we will upload soon.

As my camera was being used to shoot the video footage, here ars some lovely images by Anthony Upton who was also at the talk.

Paul Sanders-1181 Paul Sanders-1227

Visit Paul Sanders’ website here

Don’t forget to follow this blog as we’ll use it to let you know when the videos of all of the talks will be online.

Until next year?

It really was a great few days and the best part is always getting the opportunity to meet so many photographers from keen enthusiasts right through to full-time working professionals. The Photography Show organisers have confirmed next year’s dates already – 19th-22nd March 2016. We hope to see you there!

Story behind the photo – The drizzle in Sevenoaks

I’ve worked with professional landscape photographer Paul Sanders on various projects and he knows about my recent falling in love with landscape photography. I saw this image by him on his Facebook wall and had to learn more about it because I was completely blown away by it.

One quick email later and Paul told me everything I needed to know:

Photography for me is emotional, it is a reflection of my state of mind and the reaction I have to a certain place at a certain time.

These trees sit in a boating lake near my home in Kent, it’s a place that is surrounded by the M25, A25 a bustling village and noisy schools. However when I go there I hear none of the bustle of the world.

I had this image in my mind last year, so it has been a long time coming to fruition. I rarely plan my shoots but having revisited this location a number of times I knew exactly what I wanted and the conditions that would make it work.

The weather was drizzle, mist and gloomy. Strangely it largely reflected my state of mind! On the off chance that the mist and drizzle would continue I headed down to the boating lake and stood listening to the birds.

The drizzle intensified and the mist thickened a little over the lake, perfect for me, ideal for my island of trees.

To get the image I had in my head I used the Fuji X-T1 and XF50-140 lens, shooting upright which I’m starting to do more of, but I still find challenging.

I wanted the trees to be virtual silhouettes against the mist, sort of isolated but stark.

For this shot I exposed for the darkest part of the island, this intentionally overexposed the back ground exaggerating the misty feeling, shooting at F9 on telephoto also helps by utilising the shallower depth of field the 50-140 has over a wide angle lens.

Of course the joy of using the X-T1 is that the EVF means I can pretty much see the exact image I have in my head at the time of shooting, making the whole process more about the final image than the camera and the technical aspects of photography.

I didn’t want hard reflections on the water and the choppy conditions combined with the an exposure of 2 minutes rendered them as I hoped. There was very little in the sky so I added a .75 soft grad to hold the tone. I used a Lee Big Stopper increase the exposure to two minutes from 1/8th of a second.

The first shot I took was the one that nailed it for me, I did a second one but forget to release the remote until about 5 minutes later I was so lost in watching the mist moved over the lake! I often get lost in the moment and totally forget why I am there.

Once I got home, I loaded the image into Lightroom, converted it to monochrome in through Silver Efex, selecting to develop it with an blue filter to increase the tone in the trees in the foreground, increased the contrast marginally added a platinum tone from the finishing menu and saved it – five minutes of post processing!

With every picture I create it’s all about pre-visualisation and connecting my emotions with the landscape and feeling the photograph.

Long exposure of Chipstead, Sevenoaks, Kent
Image © Paul Sanders. X-T1 with XF50-140mm. 120 sec, F9, ISO200

About Paul Sanders

Paul will be speaking at The Photography Show on Monday 23rd March at 17:00 in the “Behind the lens” theatre.

You can see more of Paul’s amazing work on his website, or following him on social media.
Paul Sanders’ Official website
@wiggys on Twitter
@wiggys on Instagram
Paul Sanders Photography Ltd on Facebook

Interview with Mr Soga – the man responsible for the XF lens roadmap

Mr Soga
Mr Soga holding an X-Pro1 with XF16-55mmF2.8

The best thing about the CP+ show last month was getting access to people I wouldn’t normally have access to. One individual I was particularly excited about meeting and interviewing was Mr Soga – the man behind arguably the best part of the Fujifilm X system – the lenses.

We spoke about the new XF16-55mmF2.8 lens, as well as the roadmap update that was announced on the 10th February 2015. Here’s how the interview went:

Could you tell us what your job covers generally?

I am in charge of the lens product brand.

Ok, so are you responsible for the lens roadmap in general and final signoff to which lenses are added?

Yes, I am.

Starting with the newest lens to hit the streets, what was the overall goal when creating the XF16-55mm lens?

Our goal was simply to achieve the best image quality possible.

The cross section of the XF16-55mmF2.8
The cross section of the XF16-55mmF2.8

And what sort of photographer would you see using this lens?

The main images we expect to see shot with this lens are landscapes, portraits and fashion images.

Is there a specific reason why the lens does not have optical image stabilisation (OIS)?

Yes, there is a trade off relationship between OIS and image quality.

Lens shift caused by OIS can sometimes be seen in this focal length, 24mm-84mm (35mm equiv.). Since we aimed to develop our best flapship zoom, we have prioritised image quality and decided not to employ OIS for this lens.

Edit: added more information

OIS needs to move the lens inside to compensate for camera shake and as a result can cause loss of resolution in the edges of the image.

In long zoom lens such as the XF50-140mmF2.8, the angle of view is narrow enough to not show this negative effect of OIS in the edges.

However, the angle of view of the XF16-55mm, when set to the widest setting, is large enough for OIS to affect resolution at the edge of the image.

Considering this trade-off, because we wanted this zoom lens to start wide at 16mm and F2.8, and we wanted to best edge-to-edge quality throughout the entire zoom range, we decided to not employ OIS.

A question I’ve been asked a lot: was there a reason for the focal length overlap between the XF16-55mm and the XF50-140mm lenses?

We planned this product to be very useful lens for both landscape shooting and portrait shooting. 24mm (35mm equiv.) is good for landscape shooting. 84mm (35mm equiv.) is good for portrait shooting. We consider to include both focal length when developed.

Moving on to the products in the recent roadmap update, this new XF35mm F2 is a very interesting product. Is it aimed as a step up lens for an XC zoom user or would this be for the high-end Street & Reportage photographers?

This lens is aimed towards the professional or serious amateur photographer that wants to increase the mobility and speed of their photography. With the original XF35mm f1.4 lens, its speed was not as efficient due to its many lens elements moving together.

So this new lens would have increased focusing speed?

Yes that’s correct. We wanted to make a lens that could be the next step for a photographer who already knows and loves the quality of the XF lenses. We think of this lens as a mobility lens due to its clever design.

X1000024
The new XF35mmF2 will be smaller and lighter than the XF35mmF1.4. It will also have faster auto focus due to there being fewer moving lens elements inside

I understand that the newly announced XF1.4x tele-converter is not compatible with all of the existing lenses. Is there a reason for this?

Due the ergonomics of the converter, it physically will not allow other lenses to attach.

The design of the XF1.4 X TC means that it will only fit  on lenses that have enough space between the camera and the rear elements
The design of the XF1.4 X TC means that it will only fit on lenses that have enough space between the converter and the rear lens elements

Are there plans to create other sizes? For example a 1.6x or 2x?

This is very much a possibility, we may create a 2x converter in the future although this has not been confirmed.

Do you know what the aperture options are for the XF100-400mm?

This is still under consideration.

XF100-400 zoom lens
XF100-400 zoom lens

Related links

Fujifilm XF Lens roadmap – updated 10th February

Fujifilm Photowalk @ The Photography Show, Birmingham

logo_tps15 Saturday 21st March 2015, 5:00-7:00pm
#FujiTPSWalk

You are invited to a FREE Photowalk, hosted by Fujifilm X-Photographer Matt Hart on the streets of Birmingham during The Photography Show 2015.

Meet new friends, shoot alongside other keen professional and enthusiast photographers and learn some tips and tricks for shooting on the streets of this beautiful, bustling city.

There will also be a few members of Fujifilm staff on hand in case you have any questions about your products at all.

Meeting point: Victoria Square

5:00pm – Meet at Victoria Square in Birmingham. It takes roughly 25mins by car or 30 mins by train from the NEC. Click to see map.
5:10pm – A prize will be drawn and handed out (see further down for more info)
5:15pm – We’ll take a group shot and then start the walk!

The route

We’ll leave Victoria Square along Pinfold St to Navigation St and then towards Royal Mail St, Down Severn Street to Commercial St, then down the Birmingham Canal Old Line. We’ll cross over at the bend in the Canal and make our way over the to Library.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

Due to potential issues relating to weather and road closures, this route is only a guide. The actual route may change on the day.

The finish

7:00pm – We will finish at  the Library and try to take a group photo that we’ll share on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. There’s a few coffee shops and bars in the area if people want to break off for a drink (or shelter from the rain if there is any!).

Share your images from the Fujifilm Birmingham Photowalk

We’d love you to share any images you take on the Photowalk. Include the hashtag #FujiTPSWalk when you post to your favourite networks to link them all together!

Win a black Fujifilm X30

Learn more about the Fujifilm X30 compact digital camera
The Fujifilm X30 is the perfect digital camera for reportage-style street photography

It’s free to attend and there’s no requirement to register, but if you do register below you will be entered into a draw to win a brand new solid black X30 digital camera and memory card – ready to use on the Photowalk.

Terms
You must registered below with your real name as that information will be used to call out the prize winner. Only 1 entry is allowed per registered name and the winners MUST BE PRESENT or the prize will go to the next participant chosen that is present to receive it.
Entering this competition will also add you to Fujifilm’s mailing list for new product information. You will be able to unsubscribe from this list with one click and we will not give or sell your data to anyone else.
Entries must be placed before 15:30 on 21st March 2015. Entries after this time will not be entered in the draw. Good luck and we hope to see you at the Photowalk!

Enter now

Disclaimer

Attending our free Photowalk means that you agree to the following disclaimer. The “Event” is the “Free Fujifilm Photography Show Photowalk”, the “Organiser” is “Fujifilm UK Ltd” and the “Event Staff” consist of professional photographer Matt Hart plus some Fujifilm UK Ltd employees.

1. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

1.1 I am 18 years of age or older. Anyone under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult that agrees to this disclaimer on their behalf.

1.2 I understand that participation in the Event is entirely at my own risk.

1.3 I will comply with all instructions given to me by the Event Staff.

2. RELEASE

2.1 I hereby acknowledge and accept that the Organiser and the Event Staff shall not be liable to me for any loss or damage arising from my participation in the Event, including indirect or consequential loss or damage.

2.2 Nothing in this disclaimer shall be construed as limiting or excluding the Organiser’s liability for:

(a) death or personal injury which arises as a consequence of the Organiser’s negligence, or the negligence of the Event Staff; or

(b) fraudulent misrepresentation; or

(c) any other matter for which it would be illegal or unlawful for the Organiser to exclude or attempt to exclude its liability.

3. AGREEMENT

3.1 I have read and fully understood all the terms of this disclaimer. I confirm that I am not relying on any statements or representations by any person or entity as an inducement to my fully and voluntarily engaging in the activities at the Event and assuming the risks and obligations stated above.

3.2 I give permission to the Organiser to use photographs of me and any other record of my participation in the Event for any legitimate purpose. I understand that any and all likenesses of me captured during the Event by the Organiser or Event Staff shall become the sole property of the Organiser.

3.3 If any court or competent authority finds that any provision of this document (or part of any provision) is invalid, illegal or unenforceable, that provision or part-provision shall, to the extent required, be deemed to be deleted, and the validity and enforceability of the other provisions of this agreement shall not be affected.

PARTICIPANTS MUST BE OVER 18 YEARS OLD TO TAKE PART IN THE EVENT UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY A GUARDIAN OVER 18 YEARS OLD WHO TAKES RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEM.

Image credit

The image at the top of this blog post was taken by Naomi Locardi during the Fujifilm Photowalk in Cologne at photokina 2014.

CP+ 2015

It’s that time of year again.

Japan’s annual photography convention sees all of the big players in the photography market under the huge roof of the Pacifico Convention Centre in Yokohama, just south of Tokyo. Obviously the reason I’m here is because Fujifilm have once again put on an amazing stand, showing off all aspects of the business.

In 2014, we took a bit of a gamble by placing four European photographers on a stage and asked them to tell the Japanese public what they did. The talks were in English and then translated into Japanese by the lovely Hiroe Kubuki from Fujifilm Tokyo. This meant that the photographers were not able to talk as freely and as flowingly as they would normally like and we were not sure how the crowds at CP+, which is a very Japanese show, would take to this.

It turns out they took to it incredibly well. Large crowds, lots of questions at the end, laughs at the jokes throughout, and rapturous applause at the end helped us see that the gamble paid off.

Fast forward twelve months and we’ve done it again.

The Fujifilm X Photographer stage

Issaque Foujita talking ay CP+
Issaque Foujita talking at CP+

CP+ opened today and the X-Photographer stage has proved extremely popular. The program kicked off at 13:00 with Japanese photographer Issaque Foujita taking the audience through a number of his favourite shots, explaining the thought process both technically and artistically that went into each.

Chris Weston on the CP+ stage
Chris Weston on the CP+ stage

At 14:00, Switzerland-based wildlife photographer Chris Weston introduced himself with this video on the large screen, before giving some great advice about telling stories with your images.

Masaaki Aihara standing next to one of his prints on the CP+ stage
Masaaki Aihara standing next to one of his prints on the CP+ stage

Japanese professional photographer Masaaki Aihara took to the stage at 15:00 and spoke about his natural, minimalist approach to photography.

Finally, Japanese photographer Shinichi Hanawa presented the last talk of the opening day and explained his style of photography and how he uses Fujifilm X system to help him realise his vision.

Friday’s stage schedule includes Japanese photographers Tsutomu Endo, Yukio Uchida, Rei Ohara and Yoshihiro Enatsu along with Swedish photographer Knut Koivisto and British photographer Damien Lovegrove.

On Saturday, Polish reportage photographer Tomasz Lazar will be joined by Japanese photographer Sachi Murai. Chris Weston, Tsutomu Endo, Yukio Uchida and Rei Ohara will also make a second appearance on the stage.

The show will wrap up on Sunday with Sachi Murai, Masaaki Aihara, Issaque Foujita, Tomasz Lazar, Knut Koivisto and Damien Lovegrove all making their second appearances.

Interviews

Mr Soga, the man behind the product planning team for X mount lenses
Mr Soga, the man behind the product planning team for X mount lenses

I’ve been lucky enough to interview each of the photographers, plus a few other key members of staff from Fujifilm Japan, and I’ll look to getting all of these interviews and more images posted online soon. We’ve also recorded all of the talks so we’ll try to get these up as quickly as possible so you can watch them and be inspired.

What else is happening on the Fujifilm stand?

Following the lens roadmap announcement earlier this week, we displayed mock ups of the new XF35mmF2, the XF100-400, the XF120mmF2 Macro and the XF1.4x tele converter.

The new XF35mmF2 lens, as modelled on my X-T1
The new XF35mmF2 lens, as modelled on my X-T1
The new XF120mmF2 Macro
The new XF120mmF2 Macro
The new x1.4x Tele Conversion adaptor
The new x1.4x Tele Conversion adaptor

Fujifilm “touch and try” let’s members of the public try out our new products. Lots of interest in the XF16-55mmF2.8

Testing an X-T1
Testing an X-T1
Testing an X-T1
Testing an X-T1
Something to test the cameras and lenses on
Something to test the cameras and lenses on

 

XT1A0141
The X User Gallery showed off some great images taken by real X users, captured and printed using Fujifilm products.

 

The Quick Maintenance service, that was amazingly popular at Photokina 2014, makes another appearance, much to the delight of many Fujifilm camera owners that were able to get a free sensor clean and camera check-up.
The Quick Maintenance service, that was amazingly popular at Photokina 2014, makes another appearance, much to the delight of many Fujifilm camera owners that were able to get a free sensor clean and camera check-up.

My perfect travel kit

DSCF2398

CP+, an international comprehensive camera and photo imaging show presents the latest products and technologies, all in order to help further the development of the photo industry and photographic culture from Japan — the heartland of the photo imaging industry — to the world

CP+ Camera and Photo Imaging Show 2015 will be taking place in Yokohama, Japan next week and I’ve been lucky enough to be invited to go along to help out.

I’ll be there for a week and I’ll be shooting for work pretty much constantly, but will hopefully also get the opportunity to shoot for myself, something that will be made especially amazing since I’ll be in great company with an amazing bunch of professional photographers:

Damien Lovegrove – portrait photographer and lighting guru from the UK
Chris Weston – wildlife photographer from Switzerland / UK
Knut Koivisto – portrait photographer from Sweden
Tomasz Lazar – reportage photographer from Poland and winner of a World Press Photo award 2012.

So now I’m left to decide what gear to take…

 

Documenting the show

DSCF2400
The “show bag”. Everything I’ll need to shoot and share at the show.

I want to travel light during the day, and at the show I will be looking to capture images that will reflect what is going on. I’ll be writing some blog posts and I’ll want some images that will help convey the general atmosphere and feeling of the show. For this I can’t think of a better option than my trusty X100S. (Actually an X100T is a better option for the wireless transfer but my Eye-Fi card lets me work around this). If I can get hold of one before next week, I’ll also be packing the WCL-X100 as it’s tiny yet that slightly wider angle of view can make a big difference when I don’t have any more space behind me to step into. Finally, I’ll also be using my trusty Gordy’s camera strap to hold my camera secure and close to my hand at all times.

Shooting for me

My wife has challenged me to help her decorate the living room. This basically means she wants some nice landscape shots (that I took so there’s a personal attachment) to print and frame. I’m not entirely convinced how plausible this might be looking at my schedule, but assuming I’ll get at least some free time in either Tokyo or Yokohama, I’ll need to make sure I’m prepared.

 

Camera + lenses

DSCF2402
Fujinon XF35mmF1.4 and the X-T1 with XF14mmF2.8

 

For this I’m going to pack an X-T1 and XF14mmF2.8. I know the XF10-24mmF4 is also a great choice, firstly for the flexible focal lengths, and secondly for the pretty amazing OIS for handheld shooting in low light, however the smaller size and the focus scales on the outside of the lens, as well as the ability to shoot wider than f/4 if I really need it, mean the XF14mm is going to be my wide lens of choice.

I think I’ll also take an XF35mmF1.4, mostly as a backup. If I find in the evenings that I could really use the wider apertures, you can’t go far wrong with any of the “trio” (soon to be “quadro”) of fast primes. As much as I love the XF56mmF1.2 for portraits, I find it fairly inflexible for general use, and since I’ve already got the equivalent focal length to the XF23mmF1.4 in the X100S, process of elimination leads me to the super all-round XF35mm.

 

Remote Shutter

DSCF2403

The Fujifilm RR-90 will come along for the trip to avoid any camera shake for any long exposures. Which brings me onto…

 

ND Filters

DSCF2404
LEE Filter Seven5 Deluxe kit plus rings to attach to X100S and also the XF14mm lens

 

I will certainly afford a bit of space in my luggage to hold my LEE Filter Seven5 deluxe kit. It’s small and gives everything I need for my level of photography. It comes with the holder, a polarising filter, a 0.6 ND Soft Grad, 0.6 ND Hard Grad and a 0.9 ND Hard Grad, and finally the 10-stop Big Stopper. Whether I’m fighting off the glaring sun to balance the exposure across my images better, or just trying to slow everything down to capture a more peaceful scene, I should hopefully have whatever I need.

 

Tripod

DSCF2407

My 3LeggedThing “Brian” will be coming along. He’s small and light and still stable enough for what I’ll be shooting. I’ve also got the smaller AirHed 0 ballhead that not only compliments the size of the X100S and X-T1, but also carries our own “X” branding! (almost)

 

Bag

DSCF2412
The “show bag”. You can also see the little felt camera bag that keeps the X100S extra safe inside the soft bag

 

I’ll actually take two bags. I have a lovely little bag called “Daniel” made is a collaboration between my faithful emploters and Millican that will serve as my “show bag” for when I know I’m only working. It’ll hold my X100S, WCL, wallet, iPad and other sundries like spare memory cards, spare batteries and charger very comfortably. It doesn’t add much in the way of protection – I learnt this the hard way when I discovered a broken filter that had been in the bag for one afternoon – but for what I’m carrying perfectly suitable, not to mention very light and (if I may say so myself) rather stylish.

DSCF2418
The “full kit bag”. This’ll basically be what I’m carrying when I’m out specifically shooting.

I’ll also be taking a ThinkTank Retrospective® 7. Although it’s a lot bigger than the Millican bag, this is a seriously good bag that pretty much lives on my hip if I go anywhere I know I might want to shoot. It’ll more than comfortably hold everything I’m taking, including the contents of the Millican bag, so if I do get the change to go out specifically to shoot, I’ll have everything with me at all times.

 

Other bits

I’ll take the EF-X8 (the one that comes with the X-T1) and EF-X20 flashes “just in case”, although I tend to just try to shoot with natural light. Also 2x spare batteries for each camera, chargers and pin adaptors.

Full list:

Fujifilm X100S camera
WCL-X100 Wide Conversion Lens for X100 series
Fujifilm X-T1 camera body
XF14mmF2.8 R wide-angle prime lens
XF35mmF1.4 R standard fast prime lens
Fujifilm RR-90 Remote Release cable
LEE Filter Seven5 Deluxe kit
3LeggedThing “Brian” tripod
Fujifilm X Millican “Daniel” camera bag
ThinkTank Retrospective® 7 camera bag
Fujifilm EF-X20 TTL flash (plus spare AAAs)
Apple iPad for uploading images in real time to Instagram
2x spare NP-95s for the X100S, 2x spare NP-W126s for the X-T1

So what about you?

I’d love to hear your feedback in the comments below. In fact, if you post it soon enough I might even have a chance to change my mind if anything is recommended that I hadn’t thought about. What would you take if you were planning a similar trip?

Notes

The use of third party products here is as result of my own choice, not that of Fujifilm’s. This blog post is not an official endorsement of any of these products from Fujifilm. It is simply my own opinions on which camera gear I will take on a trip, and why.

Follow me at CP+

I’ll be posting regularly on the following pages, as well as hopefully on here as much as I can.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

See you soon!

First look – Fujifilm X-T1 firmware version 3.00

Merry Christmas, season’s greetings and all of that. If you have not received any Christmas presents this year, let Fujifilm be the first!

The long awaited firmware update for the X-T1 is finally here and you can download it by clicking right here.

Now if you’re still here, then you must be at least slightly interested in the opinion of a (mildly biased) X-T1 user regarding how the firmware update has changed his camera.

So, in order of how much I value them, here’s my low down:

Classic Chrome

I really like this Film Simulation mode. I had previously used the X100T and loved to just stick it on Classic Chrome, change EXP Comp to -2/3 and shoot. No need to do anything to the shots after because the JPEGS straight out of the camera are just superb.

Here’s a few shots I took recently+. All shot as RAW and then converted in-camera to Classic Chrome (left) and Provia standard (right)

I also want to add this one which is one of my favourite shots from the Alex Lambrechts street workshop. This was taken on an X100T using Classic Chrome straight from camera.

X100T Classic Chrome
X100T Classic Chrome

Interlock Spot AE & Focus Area

I never quite understood why Spot Metering only ever worked in the centre of the image. The beauty of it was that you could quickly expose perfectly on a specific subject rather than tweak with the EXP Comp dial, but then you had to re-frame every shot once you lock the exposure by half-pressing the shutter. This was a quiet change that made it onto the X100T, so I was delighted to see it also on the X-T1 FW update.

Shots below show spot metering on the focus point. If you look close you will see that they also demonstrate the next feature – changing the size of the AF square in MF

Change the size of the AF square in MF mode

This is one that lot of people have asked for over the last year or so. Personally I like to use MF for everything, and just use the AF-L button to autofocus. (TIP: Shoot B+W mode with Red of Blue focus peaking and it makes it SOOOOO easy to see the focal plane. Don’t forget to save RAW files in case you don’t actually want B+W images!). This little fix allows me to have the AF accuracy of normal AF mode while continuing to shoot how I prefer.

Electronic Shutter

Since my favourite prime lenses are the XF23mm and XF56mm, shooting wide open in bright conditions often causes me to need to stop down, not because I want a deeper depth of field, but because I don’t want to massively over expose my shots. Now I no longer need to worry as the shutter will just automatically adjust. And it’s surprising just how often it does this, even shooting around f/2.

Additionally, I like to use the remote app and leave the camera hanging around my neck for the ultimate “candid” shots on the streets. Manually activating the Electronic Shutter makes every shot completely silent.

Instax printing

This one doesn’t actually affect me right now, but I hope it will in the VERY near future. I love the prints you get from the instax cameras and to be able to send images from a top quality digital camera, straight to the printer will go down a treat around the dining table on Christmas day!

Button lock

This is a feature I’m sure a lot of people will like. You can basically choose to either lock ALL settings, or just select certain settings to lock. For now I’ve locked the Movei Record button that I so frequently accidentally press, although if I thought about it I could just change that function button to something more useful than Movie Record. However, the position of it does make it one I do often press by mistake. I’m used to having that particular function button either work as ISO or ND filter (both for using on X100S) and neither are needed on the X-T1. I’m sure I can find something useful to put there.

And everything else…

I’ve only mentioned the things that I think will change the way I shoot with my X-T1. There’s loads of other things that all seem great and I’m sure lots of people will use. Perhaps one day I will too. Here’s the full official list of changes:

1 Electronic Shutter
2 New Film Simulation “Classic Chrome”
3 LCD Brightness、EVF/LCD Color Control、Preview PIC. effect
4 Direct selection of AF area
5 Unlocked AE-L/AF-L Buttons
6 Variable Focus Area during MF
7 Direct selection of Macro mode
8 Q.Menu customization
9 New Video Frame rates (50P/25P/24P)
10 Manual Shooting in Video mode
11 Phase detection AF support for Instant AF
12 Interlocking of Metering and Focus areas
13 Expansion of shutter speed in Program Shift mode
14 Add Flash compensation in Function setting
15 Instax Printer Print
16 Lock Function
17 Three Custom White Balances
18 Expand EVF/LCD displaying types in manual exposure mode
19 AF+MF
20 PC tethered shooting support

To save your mousewheel the effort of scrolling back up to the top, here’s the link again to download the Fujifilm X-T1 update.

Hope you enjoy!

About the author

I am a full-time employee of Fujifilm UK but this post is not the official word of Fujifilm, simply just the opinion of a guy who just happens (rather conveniently) to love Fujifilm cameras!

Fujifilm at Photokina 2014!

Last week we were at photokina, the world’s largest imaging fair, from Tuesday 16th to Sunday 21st September. It’s been a complete blast and this post will hopefully highlight the bits you missed if you couldn’t make it to Cologne this year.

Our booth was big. It was made up with lots of different sections covering many different areas of our business, all with the same common goal – helping people with photography.

The X-Photographers Gallery

We had images from many different photographers displayed how they were always meant to be seen – printed.

Some were printed on FUJIFLEX Crystal Archive Printing Material and others on Fujicolor Crystal Archive Digital Paper but they were all amazingly good to look at. We’ve combined our X series cameras with many years’ experience of printing and finally the creativity of real users of our cameras to create a truly awe inspiring array of beautiful prints. Many visitors to the stand told us that they thought these were the best prints on display at the show.

The X-Photographers Stage

For me the stage was the real star of the show.

We had 23 photographers from all over the world talking about a wide range of subjects. Some were very inspirational, other educational, but all were very interesting. We will post another blog post shortly with more detail on each of the photographers and what their talk was like. Sign up at the top-right of the page to receive notifications when it is published.

“Touch and Try” section

On the stand we had the new X100T and X30 cameras and the new XF50-140mm F2.8  and XF56mm APD lenses available in our “Touch and Try” section for people to use. We also made sure there was something beautiful to shoot in the way of a BMW i8 and some lovely models so everyone had something to shoot.

The X100T is an evolution from the X100 and X100S with the main upgrades being a 1/32000th electronic shutter, digital rangefinder and new Classic Chrome film simulation.

Shot by Kevin Mullins at f/2 and 1/32000th in bright sunlight using Classic Chrome film simulation
Image by Kevin Mullins using the X100T at f/2 and 1/32000th using Classic Chrome film simulation

The X30 takes the popular X20 and gives it a new high-resolution Electronic Viewfinder, tilting LCD, new control ring, lots of new customisable Function buttons and the same awesome Classic Chrome Film Simulation as sported by the X100T.

Image by Alex Lambrechts using the X30 with new Classic Chrome film simulation
Image by Alex Lambrechts using the X30 with new Classic Chrome film simulation

The XF50-140mm is our first weather resistant constant aperture lens. It boasts f/2.8 throughout its focal length range and contains a lot of amazing technology to make sure the results are comparable to prime lens quality

The XF56mm APD is a fast, sharp prime lens that contains an Apodisation filter that helps produce an even smoother bokeh affect than the standard XF56mm.

The final new product people could get their hands on was the new X-T1 Graphite Silver Edition pictured below.

The full X line-up

Additionally, behind a glass cabinet we had the entire range lined up (click the image below for a larger display)

Full X series lineup. Click to enlarge
Full X series lineup. Click to enlarge

Notable products were:

The XF16mmF1.4 has the same focus ring as the XF14 and XF23 with focus distance and depth of field guide on the barrel itself.

The XF16-55mmF2.8 appears to have OIS dropped from its name suggesting that the final lens will not have OIS, but instead aim for absolute optimal image quality. This is still to be confirmed though.

The XF90mmF2 looks like it’s going to be a big bit of glass. Similar in length to the XF56mm but a bit thicker.

Finally, previously known as the Super Tele-Photo Zoom Lens on the roadmap, a lens with no label underneath. However, it had an inscription bearing the specifications “XF 140-400mmF4-5.6 R LM OIS WR”. I’d like to point out that these are not 100% final specifications. They just needed to put something on the front of the mock-up lens to give a better idea of what the final lens would look like. Either way this gives us a guide as to what sort of spec the final lens is likely to be, and also how big it will be.

Free maintenance and camera loan service

maintenance

We offered a FREE maintenance service and a FREE camera loan service for the six days of photokina, In total we were able to service 510 cameras and loaned 433 cameras and lenses combined.

Technologies

We showcased a few of our technologies – some current and some in development

Film simulation
Fujifilm Film Simulations
Film is our heritage and therefore we spend a lot of time developing (pun not intended) our film simulation modes for our digital cameras. The latest film simulation mode we have released is Classic Chrome and it is available on the new X100T, X30 and will be made available via a firmware update for the X-T1 later this year.

Electronic rangefinder
tech-x100t-viewfinder
Here’s what the Hybrid Viewfinder in the X100T looks like. Learn more about the X100T Electronic Rangefinder here.

Lens coating demo
Nano GI comparison demoAlthough it’s pretty hard to see in this photo, here we demonstrate the lens coating on the new XF50-140. It has a special coating applied to reduce the amount of light that is reflected away.
Learn more about the technology that goes into the XF50-140mm lens, including Nano GI technology, here.

Remote “Multi-shooting” application
tech-multi-shoot Here’s a new app we’re currently working on that allows you to wirelessly control and shoot up to three cameras at one time using the same tablet computer.

Applications for this could be for recording video, creating 3D imagery or shooting event photography.

Since the launch of the X-T1 we have seen some amazingly creative uses people have found for the existing remote shooting app so we hope that this will allow people to be even more creative with their photography.

 

The Cologne photokina Photowalk

photowalk

On Saturday night we held a photowalk with X-Photographers Elia Locardi and Ken Kaminesky. 213 people showed up, despite the threat for heavy rain beforehand. Most people brought their own equipment to shoot with and Fujifilm X-T1s and lenses were available for people to borrow if they wished.

We met at the Dom and then walked as a very large group around the cathedral and then across the river to watch the sunset from the East bank. It was a great event and we’re sure everyone enjoyed themselves and made a few new friends that share their love of photography.

These guys even won some prizes by having their names drawn at random:photowalk-prize-winners

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Fabiano Dallmeyer , Richard Powazynski, Jens Fricke, Ken Kaminesky, Carl Nasman, Patrick Mayon, Elia Locardi, Florin Lucian Patras and Michael Magner

Participants soohting the padlocks on the bridge (image by Naomi Locardi)
Participants shooting padlocks on the bridge (image by Naomi Locardi)
An after-dark image by Naomi Locardi
After-dark (image by Naomi Locardi)
Me, being mocked by Justin from Fujifilm USA... (image also by Naomi Locardi)
And finally me, being unwittingly mocked by Justin from Fujifilm USA… (image also by Naomi Locardi)

Many more photos from participants of the event have uploaded and will continue to be added to the Google Plus public event here: https://plus.google.com/events/chu5ri84smk6smt9ags8inu36l4

Fujifilm X Live

For more photos from the whole photokina event, and to keep up to date in real time with future events like this, please check out our Social Media accounts:

– http://www.facebook.com/FujifilmXLive
– http://twitter.com/FujifilmXLive
– http://instagram.com/FujifilmXLive

The X100T – from concept to product announcement in seven short months

In February 2014, during my first ever trip to Japan to attend the CP+ Show in Yokohama, I was also lucky enough to be present at one of the early planning meetings for the X100T, along with a few carefully selected professional photographers – Yukio Uchida (Japan), Bert Stephani (Belgium), Gianluca Colla (Italy) and Kevin Mullins (UK). Each one of the photographers used Fujifilm CSCs for their work, but also an X100S for personal work, and some professional work where it suited. After spending a few days talking about how our equipment affects their working lives in a positive light, they were given very specific instructions to tell us exactly what they didn’t like about them.

Less than seven months on and I’m holding in my hands a pre-production version of a camera that was based on many of the subjects discussed in this meeting.

How do you make something “more perfect” ?

There were two sides to the meeting. First up, the Japanese developers worked through a list of their ideas to understand what the photographers thought of them.

I paraphrase of course but here’s kind of how the conversation went:

Developers: Do you want a full-frame sensor?
Photographers: No because the camera would need to be bigger and that would degrade the purpose of the camera

Developers: Would you like an f/1.8 or larger aperture lens?
Photographers: As above. No because the camera would need to be bigger.

Developers: Would you like a tilting screen?
Photographers: As above again.

At this point you could see that the Japanese product developers are getting a bit nervous. How can you further evolve and develop a product if the users of the product are already perfectly happy with the existing one?

Developers: Does it need an Electronic Shutter?
Photographers: Not sure… what would be the benefits?
Developers: Shooting much faster shutter speeds, even with the aperture wide open – no need for the ND filter

OK finally we have our first TICK!

Developers: Would you like better movie functions? More frame rate options, manual exposure control?
Photographers: Yes, as long as it doesn’t have any effect on the camera’s ability to shoot stills

And another TICK. We’re really cooking now.

Developers: What about Wifi?
Photographers: Would be useful, as long as the camera doesn’t get any bigger

Developers: How would you like to be able to use manual focus while shooting OVF?
Photographers: We’re listening…

The developers pulled out a concept modified X100S with a special LCD panel installed outside the Optical Viewfinder. They went on to explain how this LCD display would actually be inside the camera and the user can switch on or off the ability to fine-tune the focus without switching from OVF.

I’ve had a go with this on the pre-production version and I can really see the value. I’m a big fan of coloured focus peaking so to be able to have it while looking through an OVF is really nice. It’s quick to toggle on or off, much faster than switching between OVF and EVF, so you can pay attention to the frame and just check the focus when you need it.

They then went through a pretty long list of changes / enhancements etc… of which a lot made it into the X100T I’ve got in my hand.

“We will consider”

In my experience, one thing that Japanese people hate to do is to outright say the word “no”. Every suggestion for a change to any of our cameras always gets one of these two responses:

  1. “We will do this” – this actually means “We have already done this”
  2. “We will consider” – And they do!

Next up in the meeting it was the photographer’s turn to suggest changes, all of which met one the answers above. Here are a few things I remember our guests asking for. This is not to say that these were not already in consideration by the development team.

  • Ability for the user to customise the Q menu – check
  • Standardise the main layout of the camera controls – time will tell on this but the X100T button layout is more like the X-T1 than the X100S, particularly on the user’s right thumb.
The rear controls of the X100T are more like an X-T1 than an X100S
The rear controls of the X100T are more like an X-T1 than an X100S
  • Various different film types to be considered to be added to the list of Film Simulation modes – Classic Chrome making it into the range
  • More Function (Fn) buttons – check
  • Black version available at launch – check
  • Everything above, but retain the same size, shape and pretty much weight as the X100S and X100 – check

It’s not to say that the entire product was built from that one single meeting. Of course not. The team in Japan do an amazing job considering requests from Fujifilm staff and professional photographers all over the world. It is this constant ability to listen to feedback and then build on it that makes this an incredibly exciting and rewarding place to work.

On top of these changes, here are a few others that I’ve heard customers ask for that have made it in:

  • Allow users to select the AF area with the 4-way controller, without pressing the Fn Key.
  • AUTO ISO “profiles”
  • Ability for Exposure compensation to still work when the camera is in M mode, as long as the ISO is set to AUTO
  • Aperture ring moves in ⅓ increments.
  • Increase the grip on the manual focus ring

And finally some nice changes that made it over from the X-T1:

  • Coloured Focus Peaking
  • Remote shooting / wireless image transfer
  • Awesome updated GUI that rotates based on camera orientation
  • Interval Shooting
  • 3 stops Exposure Compensation
Here's what my X100T will look like when I get it. Much love for the WCL-X100
Here’s what my X100T will look like when I get it. Much love for the WCL-X100

Conclusion

The whole experience opened my eyes to what an amazing company it is that I work for. Staff and customers alike have a voice that is constantly helping to shape future development to produce the perfect products.

Many of these changes have been added to already-released cameras via free firmware updates. In my opinion this is a great move by Fujifilm as we are relatively new (this time round) to the professional end of the market and building trust is very important to help us gain a good reputation.

But whether we’re able to update existing models, or evolve the models with newer, improved versions, the reason it is working well is because everything is being carefully developed based on what actual users want. I’ve now seen this with my own eyes, and hold the proof in my hands.

改善 (kaizen) – Good change.

Come and see the X100T

The Fujifilm X100T will be available to get your hands on in the Touch & Try section of the Fujifilm stand at Photokina 2014 – Tuesday 16th September to Sunday 21st September at the koelnmesse Trade Fair and Exhibition Centre in Cologne, Germany.

http://fujifilm-x.com/photokina2014/en/whatson-touch-and-try.html

Oh and I’ll be there too if you fancy coming along and saying hello 🙂

Links

X100T
Learn about the new X100T camera
Read the X100T announcement

X-Photographers website’s
Kevin Mullins
Gianluca Colla
Bert Stephani
Yukio Uchida