244 Days with the Fuji X-T2

During this review I will talk about the fuji x-t2 Samyang lens review and show plenty of images I have shot

If you told me this time last year I would no longer be lumping around my 21kg camera bag full of Canon gear, I would have most likely have laughed at you. Thanks to a loan of the Fuji X-T2 over a long weekend in September 2016 and a promise I would not be disappointed, here I am now with my second blog about the camera. You will notice a few things with my blogs….. I am rubbish at writing (cheers dyslexia)…. I dont like writing a lot…. And I do not write blogs very often.

 It has been 244 days since I got my Fuji and had sold all My Full frame Dslr gear and still to this day I do not miss it in the slightest. The only thing I miss is the lens selection that I did have, but that is only due to me having not built up my collection of Fuji lens yet, they are getting there now though.

I have used the camera primarily for Landscapes, cityscapes, seascapes and night sky shots. I have been using it out in all elements and it has not given me any issues. I have had it out in the rain and high winds of the Peak district in the middle of winter and it keeps on going fine. The camera has even been knocked about while using it and I have still not noticed any scratches on it yet.

The best user functions on the camera for me have to be the very responsive Live view, viewfinder and the tilt screen. Next up has to be the dual slot sd then it has to be the Focus peaking. This I have found to work best for me in  low red. It would appear that you can get the focus most accurate with that

My X-T2 Loves having a photo taken in the local environment as you can see below

Padley Gorge Febuary 2017… Raining
Holme Pierrepont Hall, Nottingham. Febuary 2017. Hiding away from the rain.
Holme Pierrepont Hall, Nottingham. Febuary 2017. Raining
Torside Reservoir, Peak District, March 2017. Nice and sunny
MamTor. Peak district. March 2017. Very very windy and raining

Here are a few of the images that were shot at the locations above.

These were all shot using the Fuji 10-24mm Lens. In my opinion if you are going to be going out to shoot a lot of landscapes then make the investment, it is reliable, sharp and most often found on the front of my camera.

Fuji 10-24 mm @10mm, iso 100, f/11 and 1/8th sec. Shot with a Formatt Hitech Filters Firecrest .9 (3 stop) soft grad on the older 100mm
Fuji 10-24 mm @11mm, iso 100, f/8 and 0.5 sec. Using the with the Formatt Hitech Filters 0.6 soft grad Firecrest
Fuji 10-24 mm @10mm, iso 100, f/9 and 30 sec with Format 10 stop Firecrest and 3 stop soft grad resin filter
Fuji 10-24mm @10mm, iso 100, f/8 and 1/3 sec. Also using the Formatt Hitech Filters .9 resin nd and .6 soft grad

 

3rd party lens

I also mentioned earlier that I shoot other subjects too. I like to shoot a lot of night skies and architecture.

For this style of shooting I have found the Samyang 12 mm f/2 lens to again be worth every penny I spent on it.

As you can see on the below image, edge to edge sharpness and the colour that flows through the shot makes it a great wide angle lens that is not going to cost you a fortune. This lens is always in my bag and normally comes out at night.

Samyang 12mm at f/8 iso 100 and 15 sec exposure

My Masters uni shooting

For part of my Masters studies work I am shooting some odd subjects that you can read about else where on my. For this it involves a lot of studio light and a nice wide angle lens for the job. Luckily Samyang have just launched the Fuji fit tilt shift lens that is now next on my list to add to the collection

RAF Colitishall with the 10-24mm lens
RAF Colitishall with the 10-24mm lens
RAF Colitishall with the 10-24mm lens

I like to shoot a lot, but who does not. I also like to take my time, creating work for me is not about taking as many photos as possible, it is about getting the right one. That is what I like about the Fuji, it is is small and discrete but still produces that image you need. I have found that people dont notice you with it as much. Having Just shot a local festival in Norfolk where I used the Canon 5dmkIII and the Pentax 645z last year, if I am completely honest I was a little interested and also worried about how well the camera would perform with fast moving subjects in varying lighting conditions

So next stop was the Norfolk and Norwich Festival

For this I had a selection of lens but I found I was mostly using the 16-55mm and the 100-400mm as this was covering most of what I was needing to shoot.

I found the camera to be responsive with keeping up with the action and when I needed it to take a image it was ready. The nicest part of the shooting for me has to be the detail and the colour that is captured in each shot

100-400mm lens @243mm. iso 500. f/5.6 and 1/1600th sec
35mm lens. iso 200. f/1.8 and 1/2500th sec
100-400mm lens @115mm. iso 200. f/4.6 and 1/640th sec
16-55mm lens @53mm. iso 100. f/4 and 1/640th sec
16-55mm lens @16mm. iso 640. f/4 and 1/2000th sec
10-24mm lens @10mm. iso 250. f/6.4 and 1/160th sec

Fast things.

Raf Marham and Raf Conninsby

A good way to play with lens is to head to the nearest MOD airfield and have a session with the lens there. Fast yet, lots of noise and  a great subject to shoot. It was after shooting here that I realised that I was going to have to think a bit more about how the Auto focus would work at its best.

Fuji 100-400mm @ 243mm, iso 250, f/5.6 and 1/1000th sec
Fuji 100-400mm @ 158mm, iso 400, f/5.6 and 1/1600th sec
Fuji 100-400mm @ 400mm, iso 250, f/6.4 and 1/800th sec
Fuji 100-400mm @ 153mm, iso 400, f/6.4 and 1/1250th sec

British Super Bikes

The next stop to talk about was the British super bikes free practice at Snetterton Race circuit

For this I took the Fuji 100-400mm lens

For this session it was going to be a challenge. It was a very nice warm day but the wind was blowing a good one all day. To the point that it was bowing you about when trying to pan. Having now had a good mess about with the focus settings on the camera, I concluded that best for me to shoot with the lens were the focus set on Af-C and then set on zone 5 with single point focusing being the way I got the best results. And if I am honest I also found that  with the burst rate on CL it was more than adequate for what I needed

Fuji 100-400 handheld at 132mm.  Iso100. f/8 and 1/250th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 148mm.  Iso100. f/8 and 1/320th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 301mm.  Iso100. f/7.1 and 1/320th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 400mm.  Iso100. f/8 and 1/320th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 400mm.  Iso100. f/8 and 1/320th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 176mm.  Iso100. f/4.8 and 1/320th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 400mm.  Iso100. f/7.1 and 1/500th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 124mm.  Iso100. f/4.6 and 1/400th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 138mm.  Iso100. f/7.1 and 1/500th sec
Fuji 100-400 handheld at 312mm.  Iso100. f/5.2 and 1/500th sec
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Swapping over to the Fuji X-T2

Back in early September I borrowed my friends Fuji X-T2 and a few lens to see what all the fuss was about. I knew how nice the colour came through in their images as I had got myself an X30 for a family holiday in 2015, so I had been keeping a careful eye on what they were manufacturing since then.

Having shot Canon since 2009 and all my equipment being set up for that I did not think that after a weekend of playing with the XT2  I would find myself putting all the Canon gear up for sale just a few weeks later. I even had a 5d MK4 sat there waiting for me to buy and collect from Wex Photographic where I work, but to be honest I think after seeing how well the Auto focus and ISO performed and let’s not forget how much less the weight of the Fuji is in comparison to the Canon that order got cancelled and I found myself parting with my money for a whole new experience with the Fuji system.

2 days after it arrived and I had only had time to mess about with it in the house due to work and UNI commitments, but on the Friday I was running a workshop with the model Bernadette Lemon taking centre stage and managed to find time to take a few handheld shots with various lens. One thing I found easy to use was the Wifi and the fact that all the dials are just in the right place to allow quick use, just like they are with the Canon I had been using.

From this I instantly realised that the A/F on the camera is reliable and also not a problem to be using either .

Shot with the Fuji 14mm

Shot with the Fuji 14mm and a Bowens Light and beauty dish off frame to the left

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Shot handheld with the Fuji 14mm and lit using the Westcott Icelight 2

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Shot on a tripod with the Fuji 56mm @f/1.2 and lit with the Westcott Icelight 2

Next stop with the Camera was a Full Day Landscape workshop I was running with my 2 good photography mates on the Norfolk Coast with Through the lens workshops. I will hold my hand up here and say when I like to shoot landscapes I am probably like the rest of you all and like to spend plenty of time composing and thinking about the shots I am taking, quality over quantity and all that…..

We had paying customers on the session so the time aspect was not going to happen and since that session time nor the weather has been on my side to get out and have a real play about and shoot my favourite style of photography. All the shots I took were with the Fuji 10-24mm and using a selection of different Formatt Hitech filters.

The thing I really struggled with on these shots was getting the focus pin sharp so that when I go into the shots in Photoshop and zoom into 100% the focus is bang on. Some were really good and I was happy with, some were just ok and below what I would be happy to print off. But hey I have just changed camera system completely and I reckon it will just take a bit of getting used to.

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters 3.0 firecrest nd to slow down the water and a .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters 3.0 firecrest nd to slow down the clouds .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters 3.0 firecrest nd to slow down the clouds .6 resin grad

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Shot using the Formatt Hitech Filters .6 resin grad

If I am honest I will say when I got home I was a little worried about how well the focusing had performed, I was having a few doubts about what I had done buy moving over to Fuji. But in for a penny and in for a pound as they say. The fact that I had got images as sharp as I like did reassure me a little that the camera is going to do what I wanted it to do, so all I needed was a little more time to go out and shoot some more and get up to scratch with how I want the images to look.

I  just purchased the fully manual Samyang 12mm f/2 lens for shooting astronomy images over the winter and landscapes and I am a bit of a wide angle junky so this lens will sit well in the kit bag. I look after my gear so the fact that it is not weather sealed is not an issue for me in the slightest. So what is the 1st thing you do after 12 hrs at work, you take the lens and photograph anything that will let you. In this case it was the dog that I had just woken up. I used the Icelight2 in my left hand to illuminate her and held the camera and focused the shot with my right hand and captured this.

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Samyang 12mm, @f/2, 1/200th sec, iso 400 and handheld

My next trip out was scuppered by even more rain so I opted for a day of photographing church interiors instead of some nice landscapes with the autumn colours. This time round rather than just relying on my eye for the focus being spot on I used focus peaking, I highly recommend this to anybody that uses manual focus a lot. I set it to red high and away I went with photos just how I like them.

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Shot with the Samyang 12mm at f/8 on a tripod

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Shot with the Samyang 12mm at f/8 on a tripod

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Shot with the Samyang 12mm at f/11 on a tripod

So for me did I make the right choice…….. Well, one week after the camera getting delivered I could not be happier. You just have to remember….Like any new bit of equipment or software we use for work, you have to get used to it and this camera is no exception to that. You can’t just expect to pick it up and get the results in an instant. Reading the manual (something I have never done before) was a great help to me even though I am dyslexic.

Customising the Q menu is so straightforward.

Using the wifi is easy and as I shoot a lot of events over the year and I can see this will be very handy for myself and my clients with social media.

The flip out screen is well designed and handy, you dont have to get yourself into funny position to see the screen and that is a blessing.

The dual slot sd cover is nice and rigid and the rest of the camera feels like it is built like a tank.

But the 2 most important things I like the most about the camera are the Quality of the images you can produce if you put your mind to it and the weight of the camera system in comparison to my old 5dmk3.

And I would just like to say thank you to the few mates who I have pestered quite a bit over the last few weeks with some questions being very daft but needing to be asked and answered… So if anybody reading this has any questions you would like to know (remember it is just my opinion) then feel free to send me them over

 

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The Caves of Drach. Porto Cristo, Mallorca.

Another one of our day trips while on Holiday, this one was fab as it was well under ground so nice and cool. It again was a good chance too have a play around with the Fuji x30 in a different environment. I have got so say, it was at this point I was really missing the dslr and its capability’s, as these images are no where near as good as they could have been. but considering this is a site that the website says no photography, flash or tripods, I think it did ok. So with all the shots being sot at iso 3200 around 1/40th sec handheld you will just have to use your imagination a little as too how nice this place is in real life. As I also found out that the tour guides are not keen on you placing your camera down and illuminating the cave with 3 torches I just so happened to have in my camera bag while in holiday in spain….. Oops

History

The Caves of Drach were known in the Middle Ages and explored in 1880 by M.F. Will and in 1896 by E.A. Martel, who discovered the cave with the lake that bears his name.
The cave was remodelled for visitors between 1922 and 1935: a new entrance was made, paths were designed and ladders built. An electrical lighting plan designed by the engineer Carles Buigas was also installed.

The lands on which the caves are found date back to the Miocene period, and water seeping through cracks formed the shapes inside, composed of calcium carbonate together with minerals that were swept down from the surface, allowing visitors to appreciate the different shades that appear in them.

The formations that hang from the ceiling are stalactites and those that rise from the ground are stalagmites. You can also make out columns, walls and root-like stalactites. Lake Martel is around 170 metres long, and its depth varies between four and 12 metres. The cave is around 25 metres deep. The stalactites are growing at a rate of around 1 cm per 100 years.

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