What To Expect with Fujifilm’s Latest Firmware Updates

By now its common knowledge that Fujifilm are famous for bringing the best functionality to X Series equipment through firmware updates.

Today is a day you most likely have been waiting for – a huge release of updates to a range of X Series cameras and lenses. Online right now, you will find a total of 18 different updates, which have been released for a line up of current and older camera bodies and lenses. These products range from the older X-Pro1 to the newly released XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR lens.

In order to get the most from your Fujifilm X Series camera body or lens it is recommend you update the firmware as soon as possible. Below you will find a short summary of what you can expect when you perform the firmware update on the relevant piece of gear. If you are unsure on how to perform a firmware upgrade read this article here.

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Summary of updated change to X Series Cameras

If you own a X-E1, X-E2, X-E2S, X-Pro1, X-T10, X-T1 or X-Pro2 and you update the camera body firmware (see firmware link section below) to the newest version plus you update the firmware for the listed lens (see firmware link section below) you can expect the following changes…

For the:

  • XF35mmF2 R WR & XF90mmF2 R LM WR- The accuracy of the manual focus adjustment to be enhanced when photographing using manual focus.

For the:

  • XF10-24mmF4 R OIS
  • XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS
  • XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR
  • XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS
  • XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS II
  • XC50-230mmF4.5-6.7 OIS II- The accuracy of the manual focus adjustment to be enhanced when photographing using manual focus.
    – Tracking performance of AF will be enhance when zooming
    – The accuracy of the image stabilization will be enhanced on various shooting scenes.

For the:

  • XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR- The accuracy of the manual focus adjustment to be enhanced when photographing using manual focus.

For the:

  • XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR
  • XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR- The lenses will deliver superior performance in combination with FUJINON Tele Converter XF 2X TC WR.
    – The accuracy of the manual focus adjustment to be enhanced when photographing using manual focus.

Please note all improvements will only work if you update the camera body firmware as well as the lens firmware (see firmware links below).

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FIRMWARE LINKS

 

X Series camera body firmware updates

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Fujifilm X-E1

Current Update:        Ver.2.60

New Update:             Ver.2.61

 

Fujifilm X-E2

Current Update:        Ver.4.00

New Update:             Ver.4.01

 

Fujifilm X-E2S

Current Update:        Ver.1.01

New Update:             Ver.1.02

 

Fujifilm X-Pro1

Current Update:        Ver.3.60

New Update:             Ver.3.61

 

Fujifilm X-T10

Current Update:        Ver.1.20

New Update:             Ver.1.21

 

Fujifilm X-T1

Current Update:        Ver.4.30

New Update:             Ver.4.31

 

Fujifilm X-Pro2

Current Update:        Ver.1.01

New Update:             Ver.1.02


XF & XC Lens firmware updates

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XF35mmF2 R WR

Current Update:        Ver.1.00

New Update:             Ver.1.01

 

XF90mmF2 R LM WR

Current Update:        Ver.1.00

New Update:             Ver.1.01

 

XF10-24mmF4 R OIS

Current Update:        Ver.1.01

New Update:             Ver.1.10

 

XF16-55mmF2.8 R LM WR

Current Update:        Ver.1.00

New Update:             Ver.1.10

 

XF18-55mmF2.8-4 R LM OIS

Current Update:        Ver.3.12

New Update:             Ver.3.20

 

XF18-135mmF3.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Current Update:        Ver.1.01

New Update:             Ver.1.10

 

XF50-140mmF2.8 R LM OIS WR

Current Update:        Ver.1.11

New Update:             Ver.1.21

 

XF55-200mmF3.5-4.8 R LM OIS

Current Update:        Ver.1.12

New Update:             Ver.1.20

 

XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR

Current Update:        Ver.1.01

New Update:             Ver.1.11

 

XC16-50mmF3.5-5.6 OIS II

Current Update:        Ver.1.00

New Update:             Ver.1.10

 

XC50-230mmF4.5-6.7 OIS II

Current Update:        Ver.1.00

New Update:             Ver.1.10


 

Shooting amazing nightlife with New York-based social photographer Jay “Electroblum”

pic30333by Jay Blum

Photographic style and foundation

pic19895My style of photography is social and intimately in your face. I’m not sure if it’s because I don’t feel close enough with my 18mm f2 lens. My goal is to capture your alter ego raging or to strip you of it to show a contrast between you and the environment. Depending on the parties, I aim to capture shots that one may never want to show their parents. I have heard a comment that my work is a cross between the board game candy land and blade runner. I love neo-noir and post apocalyptic films and I am a drop out toy designer so maybe that explains? Other inspiration draws from the 90’s X-Men cards by Fleer company, the color on those illustrations just popped.

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My weapons of mass (“Oh god, can you please take down that pic! I don’t want my boss seeing that”} destruction!

I use Fujifilm X series cameras for all my EDM adventures. I shoot manual and control my flashes manually as well. I started out with a Fuji X10 because I loved the manual look and feel of the camera.
I soon followed with an X-E1 and recently to an X-T1. The X-E1 really gave me the results I was looking for and though the focusing was not as quick as it’s successor it still gave me satisfying results.

I currently use a X-T1 and the results are just art. This camera really gave me the courage to shoot on an ISO higher than 400. There are photos I do not have to adjust color or clarity. This camera is so on point that it locks on to the subject quickly and the results of the shots are crisp and clear.

On average my settings on the X-T1 are currently ISO 640, F5.6 at 1/4 on Velvia film simulation mode. My two flashes are set to 1/4 @ 23mm as my main light and my fill light set to 1/8 at 23mm (I set my second flash to 1/8 so the light fills the bottom of the portrait but not as bright as the main light on the subject). I always direct the main light on the upper body as one might usually do when shooting a portrait with an external flash. If the subject has an amazing outfit I set both my main light and fill light to f1/4. Mind you, these settings work for me in a dark venue that has disco lights and it also depends on how great the venue’s light is.

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I use an assortment of light diffusers and pieces from old video rigs I have acquired over the years. However, nothing beats having an assistant to help you out with positioning lights.

I use X-T1’s new WIFI connection and use it with the Fuji apps along with an app called shutter snitch. I use these apps to beam a photo to my iPhone in which I can upload to instagram immediately. An event photographer is like a journalist and a club promoter. You can upload a photo to social media with a hashtag and convince people to say “This looks wild and crazy, we’re going there for the night.”

As mentioned earlier I shoot with an 18mm f2 lens and it’s really made me a better photographer than any 50mm on a crop sensor. The lens has made me get up close and personal with my subjects because there is not much room to move around with in a packed club or concert.I had a 35mm f1.4 but that was stolen off my belt one night during a DJ set. I used it only a few times for those moments where I had space to focus on a portrait. I am currently taking in donations for a 56mm 1.2 lens so I can achieve some “bokehlicious” photos and take my work to new places!

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Shooting night life and what I’ve learned “so far”.

Night life is so fast paced, the emotions and energy people bring out with them are intense. What is not intense is their attention span.

Situations escalate and fade out quickly so pay attention because you may miss out on interesting photos.

You have at most 15 seconds to compliment your subject, tell them what you like about them, and be their friend. The faster you can relate with your subject and construct a relationship the better your love life might be (Just kidding, I mean your photos).

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Also, get lost on tumblr, pinterest, soundcloud and see what is inspiring people to express themselves. This will also inspire you and your work.

Use a prime lens. You aren’t shooting wild life. Night life is a social activity, get in there and meet people.

Want to take a photo of a hot girl with a boyfriend who doesn’t seem too excited to be out? No problem! Respectfully make your intent clear that you would like a portrait of the lady followed by a photo with her boyfriend. This will almost work 99% of the time and smooth out any uncertain feelings.

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Have a side pouch to store extra batteries, gum, mints, and SD cards.

Smile and look relaxed. If you’re nervous and timid this will reflect on your subjects and onto your photos like a mirror. Keep positive and remember that your goal is to get great shots of the night.

If you don’t want to take someone’s photo just tell them you’re out of film and walk away like you really got to reload film.

That’s all for now!
happy shooting and partying X-Toggies! <3

ElectroBlum

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Cuba with X-Photographer Chris Upton

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by Chris Upton

Cuba, the largest island in the Caribbean is a stunning and diverse location. The noise, hustle and bustle of Havana, teeming with brightly coloured vintage American cars contrasts with the quiet verdant plantations and gorgeous beaches. The wonderful Spanish architecture is at odds with the decaying beauty of some of its poorer areas.

Cuba has had a turbulent history from Spanish colonial rule and the slave trade to Batista’s dictatorship and overthrow by Fidel Castro and it’s subsequent economic struggle. Throughout this it’s culture, music and arts have remained as colourful and vibrant as ever.

I have recently returned from a trip visiting Havana, the plantations in the west around Vinales and the towns of Cienfuegos and Trinidad on the south of the island.

What you were looking to capture?

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Cuba is simply a photographer’s paradise, there is so much to photograph. I wanted to capture the spirit of the country, it’s unique feel, from it’s people, architecture, landscape, crumbling urban beauty, to it’s political heritage and, of course, the wonderful array of vintage American cars.
From my research, the colour and the vibrant feel to the country captivated me and my goal was to reflect this in my images.

There was clearly going to be an emphasis on Street, People and Architectural photography whilst in Havana, Cienfuegos and Trinidad with more traditional landscapes when in the west of the country around Vinales.

I also wanted to capture the incidentals, the detail shots that “shout” Cuba. The American cars topped that list, but signs, revolutionary slogans, images of Che Guevara, graffiti and of course the famous Mojitos and Daiquiri’s were in my plans too!

How did you plan your adventure?

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Of critical importance to successful travel photography is the research before you go. The more planning you put in the greater the chance of capturing great images. Having the best technique is no use if you’re not in the right place at the right time or you return home and realise you have missed some great locations.

Before I discuss how I planned the trip it is important to understand the objective. You need to be so well planned that when you arrive on location you should feel like the place is familiar, as if you’ve been there before. You will then find that you are comfortable in your surroundings, already having some shots planned in your mind. You can then concentrate on shooting those and then look around for other shots, for your own personal interpretation. This approach saves you time and helps ensure that you don’t miss important shots.

Not surprisingly the first port of call when planning is the internet. Whatever did we do before?! I will look at Tourist information / Government sites, Google images, Flickr, 500px and Stock Libraries. It is important to note that this is not to simply copy pictures that have been shot by others but to give you an idea of what is possible and to help you then put your own stamp on a place.
Good guide books are also an invaluable source of information and offer plenty of hints, tips and recommendations, especially for food and hotels. Well you’ve got to be comfortable when you’re out shooting all day! They also provide you with some basic language, very important to break the ice with the locals. I prefer the Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness Guides as they have sufficient historical and background information but are also much more visual than some of the other guides.

Not only is it imperative to have a list of planned shots but you also need to have locations for sunrise and sunset. The best source for these timings is the Photographers Ephemeris, a web app which shows you not only what time the sun rises and sets for any place in the world on any particular date but also the direction of the sun. This makes it an invaluable tool in your planning armoury. I planned my pictures taken on the Malecon (seafront) by using this app.

I also looked at Travel brochures and the Travel sections in newspapers.

You will also need a good Weather forecast so that you can amend your plans to suit the conditions. If the weather is really bad spend time inside buildings or churches though don’t miss out on the opportunities that bad weather presents by shooting outside, you might be really surprised at what you achieve and it will most likely be very different from the standard shots.

From all this information I prepare a Shoot List including all the details. This is invaluable and I check it every night. I always buy a decent street map and mark the key locations to ensure that I cover all the shots when in that area.

What kit did you take?

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One of the most common questions when I give my Travel Photography lectures is: “What kit do you take”?

So here is a list of the equipment I took:
• Fujifilm XT1 and XE1 bodies
• Fujifilm Zoom lenses XF10-24, XF18-55, XF 55-200
• Fujifilm Prime lenses XF35 f1.4 and XF56 f1.2
• Nissin i40 flash
• Lee Seven5 filters
• Cable release
• 6 spare batteries
• 80gb SD Cards in a Think Tank Pixel Pocket
• Giottos Vitruvian Carbon Fibre travel tripod with Really Right Stuff B30 ballhead
• Gorillapod
• Cleaning cloths, rocket
• Headtorch
• Think Tank Urban Disguise 50 shoulder bag

• 13” Macbook Pro and Lacie Rugged Hard Drive
• i-phone
• 4 gang adaptor.
• Twin Battery charger

Here is some background to my choices.
I always take two bodies with me, primarily for insurance in case one fails or doesn’t survive being dropped onto a marble floor as happened to me on this trip! Thankfully the XE1 and 55-200 must be made of sturdy stuff as they survived and continued to work perfectly, but it just goes to show how important this is.

My lenses needed to cover wide angle, for interiors, to long telephoto to capture detail or compress the perspective. My three zoom lenses 10-24, 18-55 and 55-200 zooms are ideal for this. On this trip I also took along the XF35 f1.4 and 56mm f1.2 primes. These are stunning lenses superb for portraits, with their wide apertures, and great when the light is low.

The Nissin i40 flash is a fairly new acquisition and complements the Fuji form factor superbly, being extremely small and light and with enough power for most tasks. I tend to use it mostly for fill in flash on portraits.

My Lee Seven5 filters include a polarizer, ND Grads and ND filters for long exposures.

Tripods usually cause much debate. There simply isn’t a perfect tripod as the conundrum of size, weight, robustness and price cannot be solved! That said I am very happy to pair my Fuji cameras with the Giottos Vitruvian tripod (a few years old and I think there is a newer version) and Really Right Stuff Ball head. This tripod packs down small, with it’s legs folding back over itself, is light and sturdy and best of all weighs little over 1kg. The RRS ball head is superbly engineered and holds the camera in position really well with no droop even with the 55-200 lens.
In certain places the tripod police are only too keen to assert their authority preventing you from using your large tripod. In these situations I have a Gorillapod which I can attach to a support, chair, barrier or even place on the floor.
I use the Arca system of quick release L brackets on both my cameras for ease and speed of use.
When the power supply is unreliable it’s vital you have sufficient battery power. Therefore I took 6 spares plus the ones in my camera. I always take a lightweight 4 gang adaptor and a twin battery charger. When you need to charge your batteries quickly, together with your phone and laptop you need the extra sockets and hotel rooms usually have a dearth of wall sockets.

All of this packs into my Think Tank Urban Disguise bag and weighs in at less that 10kg! Think Tank products are superb, so well made, extremely functional and they are like the tardis, you can just keep filling them up! On this type of trip I prefer a shoulder bag to a backpack both for security reasons and ease and speed of use.

Any general tips?

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When you arrive at your destination familiarise yourself as quickly as you can, good planning will help here. Look for interesting viewpoints and check to see where the sun rises and falls. In Cuba the streets are laid out on a grid system so I found streets that ran east / west where the sun would backlight my subjects early or late in the day.

When you photograph buildings or churches always snap the sign when you finish, you won’t remember the names of the places you visited.

You will need to work quickly, the lighting is challenging, very contrasty in the middle of the day and the sun rises and sets very quickly so you don’t have too much time to get your shots. Be in place an hour before sunrise and stay at least 45 minutes after the sun has set.

It will help if you have practiced other techniques that you might find useful such as panning. You don’t want to be learning and missing great shots whilst old American cars are speeding by on the Malecon.

If you are shooting a panorama to stitch together later I always shoot a frame first and last of my hand so the pictures in between can be easily identified as a pano set.

Walk, walk and walk more. If you find an interesting background in the streets, wait a while until someone interesting walks into the frame, it will happen.

Finally, the most important tip, always carry a camera. You never know what might present itself at the most unexpected time!

How did you get those stunning portraits? Did you ask them. etc.

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The people in Cuba were full of character and life and capturing this is a must.

There are various ways of approaching this. A street approach using wide lenses and getting amongst the action to achieve reportage type, unposed, images. Using a long lens and shooting without the subjects knowledge or getting posed shots after asking permission to take a photograph. Many photographers find walking up to total strangers and asking to take their picture very difficult. However if you can overcome this and your subject agrees, the pictures you get will be far better than any long distance grab shots. This is my preferred method with which I have found most success. Sure you will get some rejections in which case I simply smile, wish them a good day and move on. But get a willing, interesting, character and you will get some stunning shots.

My technique when I see a subject, before I approach them, is to check my camera. I will select the appropriate lens then check camera settings, battery level, memory left on the card and my flash settings if appropriate. Only when that is completed do I walk up to them keeping my camera to one side. I smile introduce myself and ask if they speak English. I try and learn these words in the native language which immediately breaks the ice and often makes them laugh! I might ask a little about them before asking to take their picture. If you are already prepared you can get to work straight away, you don’t want to be checking your screen or fiddling with your settings. Don’t just grab one shot and move on, take several, some people will move to a different area for you or pose as you request. It’s important to show them some images on the back of your camera and thank them before moving on. Children love to see their pictures and the best shots are often when you’ve just shown them so be ready!

So to the thorny subject of payment. My rule is generally not to pay money as I think it simply sets a precedent for other photographers and encourages the practice of begging. However I will sometimes take pencils, pens or soap and shampoo and sweets for children. This rewards them without actually paying them cash. If I have worked with a person for say 10 minutes or more and they have been really helpful then I may give them a small tip but usually I try not to.

I had wanted to visit Cuba for some years and often such high expectations can be cruelly dashed. However this was definitely not the case here, it is a stunning destination perfect for photographers. My recommendation is to go soon, before it changes too much.


To see more of Chris’ images from Cuba see his website www.chrisuptonphotography.com

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Guest post: My Wedding Photographer Mindset. Or: How I learned to stop worrying and Love Fujifilm.

By Mick Servodio

Ok. Let me start by saying: that this is not another fanboy drooling over his Fujifilm gear. I won’t be talking Tech in this Post. I will be talking from the heart. About me, my experiences. I know you know about the cameras (those Fujifilm cameras). So, no drooling here. This is a bit more than that (and hopefully not less than that!).

Let me start by telling you who I am. I’m a bit like you. I love photography. I love the arts. I sort of fell into it. You see, I’m a cook by trade, and have had photography as a hobby. But I do now consider myself a working, semi-professional, whose main focus is wedding photography. I lived in Brisbane, Australia, where I built up my business, but now I live in Perth (for about 18 months). I’m working under the name of Velvet Photography (Check out my website)

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In that short time in Perth, I have pretty much built up my business from scratch. It’s doing Ok. But luckily I know how to cook for a living while I continue to lock in those bookings (and I am).
I’ve come from Team Nikon. Starting with a d80, then a D700, and all that great glass that came with the cameras. It was my gear, and I was used to shooting with it.

So what happened?

I wanted a personal camera. Something for my own. Something that didn’t remind me of a workhorse. That’s when I found the Fujifilm X100. It was the camera that got me totally hooked. I loved everything about it. The retro Chic styling: the Hybrid viewfinder. Just everything. And once I got used to it, I even got used to its quirks. But you know, most of all, it got me loving my craft again: Photography felt passionate again to me. It was more than just work

Now I’ve read this a lot from other photographers. But why do we hear it over and over? We seem to hear this commonality because it’s a common truth for so many of us. I can say for certain that it was 110% true for me.

Initially this was just going to be a camera just for me. I needed something to be separate from the job. Something to take to all those family functions without cringing every time someone asked me to bring my camera with me.

The X100 was my loved personal camera right up until I sold it, and bought a 2nd hand X-E1. This camera made the addiction serious. When I brought it along to a wedding, I became surprised with how much it was getting used. The client ended up getting about 40% of their images with the X-E1, and the 35mm lens.

But the transition for me wasn’t as easy as I thought it would be. The real challenge was breaking away from the headspace of what it means to be a Professional Photographer, and how one should look. And in my mind, it had to be a guy with BIG cameras, and massive, long, heavy lenses. That was it. There was no other look. And all I could think for ages was what would people (that is: paying clients) think when I rocked up shoot their Lush wedding with some tiny cameras that were smaller than Uncle Bobs Gear. It was on my mind so much and often that I almost put it out of my mind. There was no way I could pull this off. How could I be taken seriously as a pro? It shouldn’t have mattered, but it did. I wanted to work through this. And this is how it did it:

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I used my D700 as a security blanket of sorts. It was hung over my shoulder as I shot with the x-e1 at my next wedding. This was my way of working through this Image I was (self) programmed to project. For me, the Image of Velvet Photography (me) was everything. I had to look the part. But in the end, I worked through it. The new mindset was: “I’m making choices for both myself and my client. These cameras make me happy, and so, if I’m happy to shoot a wedding like this, then my clients will benefit”. Or something like that.

But like any addict, I wanted more. That’s when the X-T1 came in. And then that WAS it for me. This was the game changer for me, and I didn’t care about Nikon. Suddenly it was a paperweight. Suddenly I was drooling (but not like a fanboy). I was enamoured with the dials. OMG: the dials spoke to me. And suddenly I wished I had grown up shooting on Film. Because this was what it would have been like. All this control at one finger tips.

The images coming from the X-T1 were great, and best of all the response time from this camera was something that I could finally take more seriously than the previous two cameras I had owned.

There seems to be a consensus that the focusing of all the Fujifilm cameras just are not fast enough (well, this is what I keep reading on forums and blogs), but for me, and for what I’m doing, the X-T1 is fast enough for me. And this is what this line of cameras has taught me: to slow down as a photographer, and to think about everything I shoot a little more. There is no more “spray and pray” mentality here. This camera was all about increasing the percentage of keepers. And there were more keepers than ever before, even though I was shooting less than before (totals, I mean).

So what’s my new line-up now?

Well, there’s the X-T1, with the 18-55 the 35mm 1.4 (which gets a lot of use), and the 56mm 1.2 which is without a doubt the nicest lens I have even owned. I don’t have to worry about shooting wide open because I know the images will be tac sharp. TAC. SHARP.

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Back by my side is the X100S with its fixed field of view (23mm). I had forgotten how much I loved shooting with this. After all, it was a little sentimental buying this camera that looked identical to the first camera that had started it all for me. And yes, I admit it, I LOVE the retro chic look of it.
At the time of writing, I’ve just ordered the 23mm Prime for my X-T1. I’ve only heard good things about it, and I can’t wait to add it to my bag.

Having this new line-up of gear means a little retraining for myself. You see, I was used to shooting with the Nikon 24-70 , and the 70-200. The longest lens in my bag now is the 56mm, but I have found this to be enough reach. It just means I have to think differently. Time to freshen up the approach to my business, and my craft as an artform.

And as far as what people think? Well, all I know is that the X100S was a great conversation starter at a couple of weddings. Stuff like: “How old is that camera?” and “Is that a leica?”

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The transition wasn’t smooth sailing, but it’s been great. For me and the Photographic journey I’m on, it’s all been about getting out of a rut, getting into a new mindset, and believing in a new system. The system may not be right for everyone. Some may not even have an interest in what else is out there, but the Fujifilm range of Bodies and Lenses works for me. It really does. It’s not about Pepsi or Coke anymore, I keep saying to anyone who will listen. I needed to change the way I was working, because I’m not getting any younger, and the idea of carrying around gear that was optically on par with what I was using, not to mention lighter was more than appealing. But in reality it was a lot more than that. I needed to find that spark again. I didn’t have it (even though I was producing some very fine work with my Nikon line up). I’ve found it now, and I stand tall and proud with these cameras over my shoulders as I work. I thank Fujifilm. My back also thanks you.

Related links:

View Mick’s site here: http://www.velvetphotography.com.au
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/perthvelvetphotography
Instagram: http://instagram.com/velvetphotography_perth
Blogger: http://velvetphotography.blogspot.com.au/

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All of the images in this blog post are © Velvet Photography.

“Why the X series?” with Martin Castein

Why choose the X-Series? Read our guest blog by Martin Castein to find out.

About Martin
Martin has achieved 18 gold awards at SWPP (Society of Wedding and Portrait Photographers) which is one of the largest international photography organizations in the world. Is the 2013 SWPP architectural photographer of the year and has also been nominated by the judges as the SWPP overall photographer of the year for 2013.

The Fuji X-series journey for me began with the excellent X-E1 and now the X-Pro1. The weight-saving advantage of the X series is obvious. But let’s look a little deeper than that.

EVF and Sensor
For the type of photography I do, I like to bring out a lot of detail, colour and contrast in my images.
So for me it is vital that I get my exposures absolutely perfect and that the sensor of the camera is truly capable when it comes to delivering detail, dynamic range and the tone the sensor produces, particularly skin tones.
Let me give you an example. This image was processed in Lightroom. The sensor can handle the complex lighting easily, in fact better than some current top end DSLRs I have owned.

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XF-18-55mm – ISO200 – f/2.8

Colour
I work mostly in colour. I love colour.
We live in the digital age where colour can be so expressive and powerful.
The Fuji X-series sensor can match and in most instances beat other manufacturers when it comes to these issues.

When the X-trans sensor is combined with the live exposure of the Fuji X-series EVF, we have the recipe for a very high hit-rate of usable images.
This next image was taken with a wall blocking half the image, the flare on the left is from a window, not post production. I could see this in viewfinder before I took the image, this aids creativity. Post production in Lightroom again, very simple with the brilliant colour of the X-trans sensor.

XF18-55mm - ISO640 - f/4
XF18-55mm – ISO640 – f/4

Manual focus
I really love the ability to use manual focus and then have the back button do autofocus should I require it. I use this all the time. It is like manual focus with auto focus override. With other systems we have auto focus with manual override.
This works because it is so easy to see what is in focus in the EVF.
I can see the focus peeking, working all the time. This way I can fire off shots freely, capturing moments and know immediately when it is time to change my focus. That’s the benefit of not needing to take the camera away from your eye. What you see is what you get.

LCD screen
Additionally, it is an advantage to have a rear LCD screen that can focus the same way as the viewfinder can. This allows me to get unusual angles and shoot from angles that wouldn’t be easy to manage with a DSLR. In the past I went through a lot of trial and error with a DSLR to get the same angles.

Advantages
So for me the biggest advantage of the X-series is the combination of the incredible performance of the X-trans sensor with Fuji’s brilliant implementation of the electronic viewfinder and manual focusing. Of course coupled with the savings in size and weight.

Lets remember
We are artists. As photographers we rely on our equipment to allow us to fulfil our artistic vision. The urge that drives us to create, that is what we are all about as photographers. The tool we do that with, our camera, ultimately either enhances this ambition or it stifles it.
The fact is our choice of camera affects how we feel about photography.
Fuji made that t-shirt we all like to wear, they made the camera that speaks to the photographer in a way that is hard to verbalise other than it feels right.

XF35mm - ISO200 - f/5.6
XF35mm – ISO200 – f/5.6

To see more of Martin’s work, please visit his website here or follow him on Facebook

 

X Marks the Spot: Paris, France

A classic camera in a classic location – see why the X-E1 and the French capital make the perfect combination

Al Arthur

“I love the beauty and elegance in Paris: the architecture, the open spaces and the people. But it’s the small details that I like as much as the famous monuments and chateaux.”

Alastair documents Paris with a Fujifilm X-E1, which he started using last year.

“I chose the X-E1 after hours of research into mirrorless cameras. I was using a DSLR and a bridge camera previously but I haven’t touched either since getting the Fujifilm. It’s been a pleasure to use.”

13th Arrondissement

XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/300sec at F5.6, ISO 800
Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/300sec at F5.6, ISO 800

This is the ground floor of a nine-storey apartment block in the 13th Arrondissement. It’s due to be demolished, but before that happens 102 street artists were given full access to do as they wished with both the interior and exterior. This was one of my first shots of the exterior of the building. I liked the combination of the three elements to the picture and the X-E1 does a great job of capturing vibrant colours. I queued for over five hours to get this shot, but it was worth it. To be surrounded by artistic creations on floors, walls and ceilings was stunning.

Métro

Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/4sec at F8, ISO 1600
Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/4sec at F8, ISO 1600

I don’t often have my camera out on the Métro as thefts are not unknown. The stations make fascinating subjects for photography though. I wanted to experiment with capturing the moving train as it pulled into the station, and I like the effect of being able to see through the train windows to the opposite platform. I can’t remember whether I intended to include the woman looking along the length of the train. I’ll claim it as good composition, but it may have been luck. The exposure is 1/4sec and it’s hand-held so I don’t know what kind of magical trickery Fujifilm have managed to incorporate into their image stabilisation. But it works!

T-Rex

Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/1900sec at F13, ISO 200
Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/1900sec at F13, ISO 200

This seven-metre, metal Tyrannosaurus Rex sculpture overlooks the Seine on the platform of the Bateaux-Mouches boating company. I’d walked past it plenty of times before but on this occasion the sky was more dramatic and the sun was offering the chance of backlighting the dinosaur. Initially I had the sculpture in silhouette but the Fujifilm RAW files give so much flexibility for changing the exposure and I prefer being able to see the amazing details in the chrome finish.

Monmartre

XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/450sec at F4, ISO 200
Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/450sec at F4, ISO 200

Sometimes you just notice a scene and know immediately that it will make a good image. The X-E1 is great for this as you can shoot really quickly. This is in Montmartre, and I noticed the woman taking a few photos. As well as her striking red coat, I like her stance as she leans against the wall. Hopefully my photograph makes you want to know what she’s pointing her camera at, but I’ll leave that to your imagination.

City view from Sacré-Cœur

Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/45sec at F22, ISO 1600
Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 1/45sec at F22, ISO 1600

I really enjoy watching other residents and visitors enjoying Paris. This is the view over the city from Sacré Cœur. I took a few shots of this couple but this is my favourite, and the only one that’s pigeon-free. I like the idea of sharing the view with them. Initially I converted it to black & white since none of the colours are particularly important to the shot. Then I tried just removing some of the colour saturation so that the colours are more subtle without being distracting, and this was the end result.

The Louvre at dusk

Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 20secs at F16, ISO 200
Lens: XF18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Exposure: 20secs at F16, ISO 200

It was a clear afternoon so I decided to head to the Louvre for dusk. With the X-E1 on a small tripod, I set the ISO to 200, switched off the stabilisation on the lens and choose the aperture. The X-E1 does a great job of exposing accurately so I’m usually happy to leave the shutter speed on automatic. All my photos are shot in RAW (although the X-E1 JPEGs are also excellent), with conversion and post-processing in Lightroom 5. My processing is usually minimal; this shot was cropped slightly to better fill the frame, with some minor exposure adjustments and a light vignette applied.

See more of Alastair’s work HERE

Guest post: Infrared photography in Yellowstone National Park

By Simon Weir

Yellowstone_SW_XEIR1209-Edit

I started 2014 leading a workshop in Yellowstone National Park for Chris Weston‘s safari company “Magic Is” – I am now working regularly with them as a group leader and instructor.

Yellowstone in winter turned out to be an IR photographers paradise and my IR modified X-E1 with the 14mm did great service as the images below show. This camera blows me away every time I use it and there was a great deal of interest from the 12 photographers in the group – so much so that I ended up doing a full presentation on Infrared photography one evening while we were there.  My X-Pro1 and the XF55-200 also did good service as shown in the two bison shots at the bottom of this post.

Also pleased to report that both Fuji cameras worked faultlessly down to temperatures as low as -30C – even the batteries held out really well.

Here’s a selection of shots from the IR modified X-E1 using the XF14mm lens:

Yellowstone_SW_XEIR1046-48_Panorama-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1082-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1088-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1102-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1120-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1127-Edit-Edit-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1153-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1192-Edit
Yellowstone_SW_XEIR1269-EditYellowstone_SW_XEIR1282-Edit

The following 2 shots were taken on the standard X-Pro1 and converted to B&W in Silver Effex Pro2:

Taken on the standard X-Pro1 and converted to B&W in Silver Effex Pro2

Taken on the standard X-Pro1 and converted to B&W in Silver Effex Pro2

About Simon

Simon Weir specialises in photographing live performance (particularly classical music), contextual portraiture and nature. To see more of his work, check out his website http://www.simonweir.com/