I’m free from lugging heavy photographic gear around the streets. Continue reading
Tag Archives: fujifilm x-pro 1
Beginning in the fall of 2012, Fujifilm will introduce two new bright and fast aperture prime FUJINON XF lenses: the XF14mm (21mm) F2.8 single focal length lens and the XF18mm-55mm (27-84mm) F2.8-F4 lens. Continue reading
Three main things that evoke the fans of Anime Expo®, AnimeCon and Comic-Con are the colorful merchandises, the ludicrous cosplay characters and the photographic opportunities for both the coplayers and the photographers.
I don’t know exactly how or when cosplay slipped into America and progressed into a type of performing art; nonetheless, the trend quickly spread and became a subculture revolved around roleplay. These gatherings are not only attract the cosplayers and their fans but also photographers. While the cosplayers show off their elegant costumes and accessories, the photographers demonstrate their skills and their newest gears. A win-win situation for both groups.
Beside hunting for pictures, I come to these events to learn about this subculture. And sometime, to conduct experiments on my new gears. Events like this are also good opportunities to meet other local photographers. To my surprise, I’m the only one who walks around this second year conference of AM2 —Anime, Music, Manga— at the Anaheim Convention Center with the Fujifilm X-Pro 1.
Numerous Canonians and Nikonians stop me with a similar question, “How do you like it?” Jokingly, I reply, “I like it enough to throw away my Canon gears.”
In my previous entry, I mentioned that I learn to use the camera by experimenting and taking notes. I find ways to control the X-Pro 1 more efficient, along with tricks to modify its film modes to get the color tones that I want. I actually have more fun shooting with the X-Pro 1 than any other cameras I have; including the Leica M9-P. It’s now the chance for me to test my previous notes and gather new ones.
As I drift through the Exhibition Hall, a group of teenagers catch my attention with their bright pink and yellow hair. How they dress for their roleplay characters are just as quirky as some characters of the Fujifilm X-Pro 1.
Come to think of it, we’re all born with a few quirky traits. They are the aspects of our personalities that we’re self-conscious about. The aspects that we usually too shy to display in public. Quirks make us special. It makes others pay attention and remember us. I call them memorable quirks.
A Nikonian strikes up a conversation on the slowness of the Fujinon XF lenses. To show him that the lens isn’t that bad, I walk by the group and snap the shot above while he’s still focusing and composing and let the awkward movement of the teen in the photo slips away. Compare to the AF of the Fujinon XF lens, human reflex seems to be much slower.
The Fujinon XF 35mm 1:1.4 R is perfect for small group shots, portraits, close-ups; both indoor and outdoor. More often, I choose to shoot at two stops smaller than the largest f stop available to achieve the optimal image quality. In comparison to Leica, Zeiss & Schneider optics, I choose the Fujinon XF lenses for their prices and fineness. Although the AF speed of the XF lens can’t beat any of the AF lenses from other brands, it’s still one of the best optics on the market at the moment.
Since I plan to shoot the entire gathering using high ISO to bring up the noise —shoot me. I love noisy photos; especially, when it comes to black and white, I decide to attach a Fader 52mm Mark II Variable ND filter to the Fujinon XF 35mm 1:1.4 R. The ISO for these photo were set at 1250.
The Fader Mark II Variable ND filter is indeed a fine product. It works much like the traditional circular polarizer filters; in the flick of a wrist, I can cut out from 2 to 8 stops of light. However, its front end is slightly larger than 52mm, the Fujifilm duckbilled hood won’t fit once the filter is attached to the lens.
My main uses for the Variable ND filter are,
- To enable slow shutter speeds to create smooth, fluidlike movement in subjects such as waterfalls, clouds, or cars
- To decrease depth of field by allowing wider apertures to be used
- To enable ISO above 800 setting and allow the setting to be used in brightly lit scenes
Once I satisfy with my exposure setting, instead of adjusting the aperture or the shutter speed, I turn the Variable ND filter to alter the amount of light if needed.
By design, the LCD screen will automatically adjust its brightness. To be able to view the effect of the Variable ND filter, I assign the Preview Depth of Field feature to the Fn button.
The X-Pro 1 menu may appear as chaotic as the exhibition hall during a cosplay event, but it will become organized after you learn its layout. I appoint certain settings to the seven Custom modes and the most used feature to the Fn button. Then, I use the Q mode to switch my Custom Settings during my shoot. Take your time to memorize the X-Pro 1 menu. It will pay off some day. Trust me.
Toward the end of the day, I hope that Fujifilm will soon produce a 23mm lens—equivalent to 35mm/135 format. Even better if they make it a pancake lens version and another with f/1.2. As much as I enjoy the equivalent 53mm focal length, I feel that a Fujinon 23mm lens would be more proper for street photography and event reportage.
Now that I have found a way to handle the Fujinon XF 35mm 1:1.4 R, it’s time for me to move on to the 60mm Macro lens.