I have been photographing for work for over a decade and I have always used reflex cameras, over the years the dimensions have grown, the ever brighter lenses have become heavier and heavier. Last year, yet another investment in two brand new and obviously very expensive Full Frames, I thought I had reached technological nirvana.
But last December I decided to scrap my old Powershot and I got a Fujifilm x100F, my only intention was to have a compact family better than the G15, but something happened.
After a couple of days of fiddling with the x100f, I can say that it was like giving a child a taste of chocolate for the first time, I didn't have a toy in my hands, but a small miniature bomb.
It was like feeling awakened from numbness after a long journey, when you finally arrived at your destination, a bit like smoking a pipe during a walk in the countryside after an autumn rain ... yes I'm shooting nonsense, I know.
What I mean is that Fujifilm had managed to get my attention, and I'm not talking about mental blowjobs on incredible definitions, 10m by 15m prints, 1000x magnifications, I'm talking about feeling, sensations, sentiment.
When I was a teenager, it often happened that I had a camera in my hand but not the money to buy a film, I went around the house pretending to take pictures here and there, I dreamed, I thought and when I finally could afford to take a picture on the seriously, I enjoyed it all, the Fuji made me recall these magical moments.
And here I am assailed by doubts, how could it be to do a wedding service, a corporate event, a demonstration or a news story with Fuji?
Of course, the x100F has the limit of non-interchangeable optics, and for this reason, the x-pro2 would be the choice that for now, on paper, tickles me the most.
The idea of shortening the physical distances between me and the subjects portrayed, being able to be more discreet, photographing with tools that are half the size (and heavy).
I noticed that when I photograph with the reflex camera, my face is completely covered by the camera, it could be good, some friends would say after a beer, but when photographing with the x-pro 2 which has the viewfinder on the left, half of the face remains uncovered.
Putting aside the jokes about the pleasure or not of looking me in the face :-D, I think this is not an aspect to be underestimated, at least in my way of working where empathy and human relationship is a key factor for the success of service (not for nothing I am rather reluctant to work with those who make their aesthetic appearance the foundations of their existence).
Abandon the inevitable race to those who have it longer by preening on the latest purchase, get rid of the useless and go back to enjoy the photo and the moments you photograph. Abandoning Full Frame and returning to APS-C could make many turn up their noses, on the web, it is full of testimonies, personal experiences, and discussions on the subject, and sincerely rely on the analysis of others, in the conditions in which I find myself, or give an account to whoever commissions the work to you is of little use.
Fujifilm's mom wanted to hear my prayers by lending me an X-pro 2 and an XT-2, an 80mm f2.8 Macro and a 35mm f2 for a couple of weeks.
Actually, I was expecting a 35 1.4 given that 90% or more of the weddings I shoot them with FF + 50 1.2 and 24 1.4, I expected the 35mm f2 on APS-c to be a huge disappointment, but that had passed me the convent and not it was the case to be very picky.
And thank goodness!
First of all, I would like to clarify that the XT2 is a fantastic car, fast and with a huge EVF, only that after taking two shots of it I put it back in the box and I only used X-pro 2. It's a question of feeling, sensations, and dreams, it is useless to argue but the choice is consistent with the delusional speech made before.
Obviously, dreaming is beautiful but when you have a customer who commissions you a service and pays you to do it, you need to be concrete. So I wanted to put the X-pro 2 to the test in some shoots, flash poses, couple of photos in the late evening, portraits with strong light and hard shadows, and scene photos.
Here are some shots were taken during these weeks of testing
This photo was taken in broad daylight, the 11 am Sun, and the clear sky, it created sharp shadows, I used a softbox to lighten the writer's face, and the xpro2 performed very well hooking the subject quickly and accurately. The camera was very low and I could not lie down on the tall grass soaked with water, I had to orient myself with the screen that was not very visible with such strong light:
The 35mm f2 offers great blur, I didn't miss my 50mm f1.2 on full frame:Enter a Heading
I also wanted to try some moving photos, definitely satisfied considering the unfamiliarity with the medium I was using:
But if we really have to talk about movement, I can only show you this photo, proof of the handling of the X-pro2, taken while walking backward, downhill, while carrying a backpack with xt2 + 80mm inside, flash, softbox, stand and Dulcis last but not least with my left hand I was holding the heavy guitar case (try it with a Full Frame + 50mm reflex)
Obviously, it is also necessary to try the high ISOs and here is a test photo with lights of three different color temperatures:
During the filming of the new movie by Naked Panda, I was able to take some scene photos and portraits, this one that I propose to you I took to test the autofocus in backlight, as you can see behind the subject there was a source very important, I worked without turning off the exposure preview, so I had the viewfinder completely in the dark and without AF assist light. What can I say, he hooked fire very easily and very quickly, stunning
I then tried some typical wedding portraits with natural light, again despite the f2 on APS-C I have not regretted my fifty on Full Frame:
And here is a pose shot with the help of softboxes, I must admit I was amazed by the quality of the detail:
In conclusion, my expectations were very high, the fear of change was as strong as it was terrifying, thinking about abandoning a product used for years and universally known for reliability did not make me sleep for several nights. In the Fuji X-pro 2, I found a way to express myself fully, with ease and lightness.
Today I sent everything back to Fujifilm, whom I thank for their availability, they managed to provide me with the necessary tools to be able to try and test in the field the equipment I wanted to try. The intelligence shown by this company is not common, in many years of loyalty (and tens of thousands of euros spent) with another BRAND, I have never received the slightest sign of appreciation. Fuji, on the other hand, believed in me, put herself on the line and gave me confidence. Trust that I decided to reciprocate, in fact, today I sold my Full Frame and ordered all Fujifilm items.