The One I’ve Always Wanted

X-Photographer strip BLACK

By Bill Fortney

As a Fujifilm X-Photographer and dedicated fan of the Fujifilm X Series System, I had a feeling that something new was coming!  The X-T1 was a terrific camera, one that has served me very well for the past few years, but when I experienced an early prototype of the X-Pro2, I started wishing and praying the X-T2 would have those fantastic improvements if and when it arrived.Long flowing streamFor just a minute, let’s pretend (I love to pretend, so let’s pretend) that Fujifilm called me and said, “Bill, what would you like to have in the new X-T2?”  Well, when I got the chance to shoot an early prototype of the X-T2, I realized just how innovative and talented those folks at Fujifilm really are: it’s as if the X Series engineers could read my mind! Wormsloe State Park 2.jpgFujifilm doesn’t make life very easy for us, choosing between the already incredible X-Pro2 and the now newly released X-T2.  The new X-T2 is the perfect option for people like me that do a number of different kinds of photography: nature/landscape, wildlife, travel, close-ups and Americana.  The newly developed viewfinder in the X-T2 is the best electronic viewfinder of any Fujifilm camera so far – and that’s saying a lot!  With increased magnification and resolution, the X-T2 is a pleasure to see the world through – and with that viewfinder, it’s a beautiful world.Sunrise - Dead Horse Point FujiOne of the new features that is especially valuable for capturing a variety of moods in landscape photography is the new ACROS Black and White film simulation.  I shoot in jpeg file mode and shoot Velvia, Provia and Acros as my three film simulations.  When studying a landscape’s potential, I need the three options for capturing the best scene in the most effective way. The X-T2 is wonderful in how easy it makes it for me to do just that: this camera is the perfect instrument for all landscape photographers.DSCF0246The newly developed X-Trans CMOS III sensor gives a great boost in resolution with its 24.3 megapixels. It has gorgeous gradation and maintains superb low noise performance as the previous X-T1 sensor, actually even around a stop better.DSCF0112Another sheer joy on the X-T2 is the placement and action of the buttons and dials, all making the use of the camera sleekly enhanced. The new joystick is a great improvement for moving the focus points and one improvement I can’t live without now that I’ve experienced it.Frosted Ruby HeartHey, all this is wonderful but the bottom line for any camera is the image quality and the new X-T2 delivers in spades. Team the new X-T2 with those incredible FUJINON XF lenses and the results are simply amazing. Once again, Fujifilm has delivered up a fantastic tool for us to go out into this beautiful world and capture it all.Multiple falls

A journey to Marrakesh

9. DSCF5376 mercato medina - sitoby Jesper Storgaard Jensen

About me

Jesper Storgaard Jensen bwI’m Danish, born in 1964, and have been living in Rome since 1997. I have always loved writing and at a certain point, after my arrival in Rome, I started to collaborate with magazines producing travel articles. It was from this that the Danish Daily wanted to publish a travel article of mine from an Italian island. Unfortunately the PR-photos were of a too poor quality. In other words, I had to do the photos myself. This is when I purchased my first ever 5-mega-pixel camera. That was back in 2003, and since then, my interest in photography has been steadily increasing. I had been working for the Danish Embassy in Rome for ten years, but in 2009 I took the jump to become a full time freelance journalist and photographer shooting travel, culture, food & wine and interviews. Everything with my own imagery.

The journey to Marrakesh

We – a total of eight persons – were doing a 7 day on-the-road-trip round Morocco, two days of which were spent in Marrakesh. As I needed to travel light, I packed only my Fuji gear – Fuji X-E2, the 18-55mm kit lens and the 35 mm lens for portraits & food. I must say that I find this a excellent combination and the overall weight is significantly reduced compared to DSLR gear.

7. DSCF5387 medina - sito

Travelling in a country with a completely different culture to my own I wanted to play it safe. So I asked most people if I could take their photo, especially regarding portraits, which I guess is quite obvious. There were occasions where some scenes were too good to miss, and in these circumstances I fired from the hip, looking elsewhere.

6. DSCF5536 Amir Marrakech - sito

5. DSCF5591 street portrait marrakech sito

8. DSCF5345 pink all over - sito

Generally speaking, Marrakesh is a very photogenic location. There are so many varied situations, so wonderfully exotic, with such incredible faces, emotions, the colours, the textures. Everything seems to be calling you to be immortalized.

3. DSCF5470 butcher marrakech - medina

11. DSCF5408 medina nr. 2 - sito

2. DSCF5480 man with hat - sito

1. DSCF5566 medina - sito

Future projects

Aside from my daily work, I like to have detailed, lengthy photographic projects and I’ll soon be leaving Rome for my summer holidays. I’ll be driving through the south of Italy to the island of Pantelleria, south of Sicily. During that month of holiday I’m planning on doing a project called “People I met”, taking portraits of people I’d casually meet during that month. On a long term basis, I’m working on a project where I’ll be photographing different kinds of Roman artisans in their working environments. This project will be continuing into 2016.

Contact

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Fujifilm XF18-135mm Weather Resistant lens first impressions

So I got my hands on the new XF18-135mm lens a few weeks ago and I had planned to prepare a blog post about my thoughts and also contain some images showing off just how versatile a lens this was.

However, my colleagues in Japan politely asked me to hold it off because the sample lens I was using was a very early pre-production version and the image quality it would produce wouldn’t do justice to the full production version.

Personally, I think this was just a typically Japanese polite way of saying “don’t publish those images, they are terrible” 🙂

So instead of posting my thoughts (which I will do in time once I have a REAL lens to use) I am simply posting the thoughts of a couple of photographers who have also been using pre-production lenses, but were not politely asked to not publish any image 😉

Please bear in mind that all images on both of these 3rd party blogs were NOT shot on final versions, but I am sure you will find David, Ben and Kerry’s comments interesting:

David Cleland

Image taken by David Cleland
Image taken by David Cleland

When Fujifilm make announcements about new cameras or lens I always react with acute excitement. Ever since the release of the weather sealed Fujifilm X-T1 I have been longing for the release of their first weather sealed lens. When Fujifilm announced the XF 18-135mm lens with image stabilisation I couldn’t wait to have a completely weather sealed system for out in the Northern Ireland mountains.

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Ben Cherry

Image taken by Ben CherryImage taken by Ben Cherry

I was lucky enough to be contacted by Fujifilm UK to use one of the prototypes of the XF18-135mm F3.5-5.6 R OIS WR lens to obtain some wildlife shots. Being a part of the Fujifilm X-Photographers is a real honour, and to be asked to try out a prototype lens is an opportunity I am extremely grateful for. Within two hours of the first email being sent I had thought up some ideas on how I could get some wildlife shots.

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Kerry Hendry

Images by Kerry Hendry

I am not going to write a super in-depth technical assessment of the lens – there will be many who will do that once the fully finished product is released. But, I have been using the lens on almost every shoot over the last 6 weeks or so. I’ve shot racing, polo and also some landscapes – so have given the lens a real ‘hands on’ test. And I love what I’ve seen.

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