On today’s blog, we have Musu and David. Musu is a social worker and David is a professional cricketer and car detailer. When it came to planning there-wedding shoot, the couple wanted their personalities to be portrayed in the shoot. Musu loves cars and has an eye fashion, whilst David loves cricket and has a passion for classic and modern cars. We decided to go for a fun-filled shoot, with a romantic and classic feel.
Musu suggested implementing cricket, David being a cricketer, thought of sweater’s, cricket bats and cricket balls. David mentioned contacting one of his clients, to obtain one of his classic cars, a Mercedes 350 SL. Musu and David provided the theme and I chose the location, we shot in Coombe Woods and a nice field in gravel hill.
Shooting with Musu and David was an amazing experience, the energy between them, their chemistry and most of all their care for one another. Usually people look for sings of love between a couple, but to see a couple that care for one another on and off the camera is a beautiful thing to witness. Their patience and understanding for one another, was amazing. The day was perfect, with laughs, jokes and magical moments.
Musu and David thank you for choosing me to document your wedding and pre-wedding shoot.
Welcome to my review of the Fujfilm X-T1 and Fujinon XF 56, ’the big guns’ combination. As stated in my last review, I wanted my review to be organic, realistic and useful for photographers. I am not going to give you a large list of the technical specifications but rather my review on using the X-T1 as a camera and how it performs.
It’s important to note that I wrote this review (X-T1 section) before the december firmware release and I added the 56 mm section after the release.
One of the thing’s that I love about the Fujifilm community, they listen to there buyers, if something isn’t great with the current firmware they endeavour to fix it within the next update. As a photographer, I feel this is important, it makes you feel like your opinion is valued and not resolved in the next camera release, with a significantly higher price tag.
Before we get into this; I am NOT paid by Fuji; I am not an ambassador. I love the direction in which Fujifilm are going with the X-Series Cameras, their response to the fuji community and the cameras which they are currently producing. However, I will give a balanced review of the X-T1. Note: This review was initially written on 6th October 2014, i felt like i hadn’t used the camera thoroughly so i delayed the release, fast-forward 17months+ and here it finally is.
Physically, the Fujifilm X-T1 is slightly different to my X-E2. The X-T1 is Slightly heavier and taller than the X-E2 and also features an upgraded d-pad, it’s smooth and unobtrusive. Important to note, the weight difference, the X-T1 weighs in at 435g with battery and card, whilst the X-E2 weighs in at 350g, however the X-T1 is still very light.
Regarding size, the X-T1 is a small yet powerful machine. An absolute beast, in my humble opinion. I love the grip, fuji got it right, it sits in your hand and your thumb rests comfortably on the rear grip; well done Fuji. As mentioned in my X-E2 review, I haven’t experienced neck pain or sore shoulders since switching to the Fuji systems; the weight distribution is perfect and as a wedding photographer, shooting for 10+ hours in a single day, weight plays a major part in my day.
Regarding looks, the X-T1 is gorgeous, it looks very appealing. Following suit with my X-E2, I purchased the all black model and I do not regret my decision. Note, the X-T1 sports a weather resistant, dust resistant and water resistant body.
Regarding dials and controls, the d-pad is a nice upgrade, I prefer it over my X-E2 d-pad.
The dials are an amazing feature and were truly designed with the photographer in mind, the X-T1 has an added ‘ISO dial’ and it comes in handy, very handy. The dials gives me the ability to change my settings without having to take my eye off the viewfinder.
As with my X-E2, the Q button is a really good feature, it allows me to easily change my settings through a very simple menu, it did take some time to get used to. Also, I can not leave out the tilt LCD screen, I passionately dislike tilt screen or pull out lcd screens, until I found myself crowded by 70+ wedding guests and needing to shoot the couple, I pulled out the lcd screen and was able to shoot from above. The X-T1’s lcd screen is sharp and resourceful, very handy when needing to shoot at awkward angles.
Regarding customising buttons. I am an avid back button focus user, I’ve been shooting like this with my canons for years. With the Fujifilm X-T1, you have four fn buttons, all of which are reprogrammable. Concerning back button focus, if you shoot in manual mode you can use your autofocus lock button to focus and your shutter button to shoot, enabling the user to focus and shoot the image faster. You can also use the AF-L button, to lock focus whilst in continuing focusing mode and single focus mode. It’s important to note, whilst in manual mode with MF assist set to ‘[DIGITAL SPLIT IMAGE]’ you can not select focus points.
Fuji bosts of its autofocus system being the fastest in the world at 0.08 sec. But how does it perform?
Very Quick. The autofocus system is quick and precise. I find, it performs very well and is very reliable. Whilst on this subject, I may as well touch on focus points. The Fujifilm X-ET1’s auto focus area is divided into a 49-point matrix, simply meaning the X-T1 has 49 focus points and the ability to change the AF frame size.
I’m not trying to sell you dreams, but in my opinion the X-T1 is up there with the great Nikon’s and Canon’s.
Note: Firmware 4.0 saw an improvement in low-light autofocus performance. Note: Firmware 4.0 also saw the addition of new autofocus modes, namely ‘Wide/Tracking’ and ‘Zone’ modes, which feature 77 AF points across a wider area.
Note: The Zone mode features, different focusing options, users can select clusters of 3×3, 5×3 or 5×5 out of the 77 AF Points.
The Wide/Tracking mode features, the ability to track moving subjects across the full 77-point AF area.
Autofocus Improvement: Firmware 4.0 saw a major boost in the autofocus department. The XT1 is more reliable in low-light conditions and now focuses faster in low light conditions also.
Firmware 4.0 also saw Eye Detection AF, which enables the XT1 to detect and focus on the subject/subjects eyes.
The Viewfinder on the X-T1 is amazing, the most pleasant experience I have ever had with a camera. Whether you’re an avid Optical Viewfinder (OVF) shooter, or Electronic Viewfinder (EVF) shooter, looking through the viewfinder of the X-T1 is beautiful.Fuji boasts of the X-T1 having ‘The world’s highest* viewfinder magnification ratio of 0.77x and The world’s fastest** display with a lag-time of just 0.005 sec’ in my opinion Fuji have every right to boast.
When I first played with my mate at Vince Opoku’s x100s and he introduced me to the viewfinder switch level, I simply fell in love. When I started using my Fujifilm X-Series camera I didn’t realise how helpful electronic viewfinders (EVFs) were, they are so helpful that I switched to shooting with the EVF exclusively. The ability to see a live view of the exposure and then changing whatever setting I need to produce the perfect image and seeing those changes in real-time is an absolute pleasure. It’s like seeing the final image without pushing the shutter. This is most helpful especially shooting in conditions were lighting is inconsistent or harsh light.
What I absolutely love about the Fuji X Series Cameras is the consistency, they all produce amazing results.
Regarding Tones and Colour Reproduction, I love how fuji recreates skin tones and renders colours. I love the fact I can shoot at a high ISO and not have my highlights and tones blow out.
Regarding white balance, the auto white balance setting is amazing, more accurate than every camera I’ve owned and shot with. Also, the Fujilfilm simulation mode, is pretty cool. Basically, Fuji have included their historic film roll types in the form of a film simulation mode that you can select and shoot with, and the simulations are pretty impressive.
Battery life on the fuji is okay, I use 3 batteries for my X-T1 as I do with my X-E2 and they last me the whole shooting day. Battery indication on the other hand is a problem, its just not accurate.
Stealth mode. When I was shooting with my canon’s I frequently encountered one problem, people found my camera intimidating. I didn’t shoot with zooms, I’m a prime shooter, yet people would be very afraid of me getting close up’s. With the X-T1 I find that I can blend in, I can shoot without obstruction or awkward face-pulling when I move in for a close-up even with the 56mm attached. People barely notice me when shooting.
Fujinon 56 1.2
When I used to shoot Canon, I owned a 5D Mk II + 50 f1.4 and a Canon 5D Classic + 28 f1.8 and 85 f1.8. The 5D Classic and 85mm was my go to portrait lens, we captured moments and made great portraits. Switching to Fuji my biggest worry was finding my equivalent portrait duo and then Fuji announced the 56 1.2, I searched Flickr and 500px to see results. Safe to say, the 56 1.2 is a fantastic lens, the optics are beautiful and the results are stunning.
The 56mmis one of the biggest prime lenses in the X-system line-up, weighing 405g and measuring just over 7cms in length. It is a big lense, but for what it produces the size is worth it. This lens is amazing, an absolute work of art. It is smooth, the focus ring is smooth and the aperture ring is smooth; high 5 fuji! On the other hand, the lens hood is terrible, plastic rubbish, it cheapens the lens, I like the metal hold on my 35 1.4, I would love to see a metal lens hood for the 56 1.2.
The 56mm doesn’t exhibit any major distortion whatsoever, in my humble opinion.
The 56mm lens has an internal focusing system. The focusing system is very fast and very reliable.
Fuji seemed to have nailed it with their lenses. The same consideration that they put into their camera bodies, they have also put into their range of lenses. The 56 1.2 is an absolute beast, in a good sense that is. It is reliable, consistent, fast, in terms of bokeh – out of this world. The lens works, it just works and when coupled with the X-T1, it is a brilliant combination, the two work together, very well together. The X-T1 handles the weight of the 56mm and they produce absolutely stunning images when paired together.
Enough of me rambling on, lets get into images and you can see the duo at work:
17 months on, the infatuation stage has passed and i’m sill in love with my X-T1. It is the Marcus Rashford to my Manchester United, the custard to my apple crumble, the secret weapon in my arsenal.
The X-T1 for me is one of the best cameras made to date. With the consistent firmware updates, the X-T1 stay relevant and punches within the pro-camera category. It is a really great camera and with the 56mm it is a great combo. Coming from the Canon 5D’s was a really big switch, from DSLR to CSC was a scary step, but it’s a step I do not regret. The X-T1 is truly a great piece of work, the dials are an amazing feature, the sensor and processor are really great, they produce great images, with lovely tones and highlights. The X-T1 sealed the deal for me, I believe it is a great indicator of the intent, passion and innovation that Fujifilm possess and plan to continuously produce. The 56mm is an amazing lens, the equivalent of the ‘Canon L lens range’ really great piece of glass.
This combo, is a match made in heaven, they work, they were made for each other.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to hit me up.