Fujifilm Australia ‘Discover Fujifilm’ Shooting Manually Workshop at Fujifilm House of Photography in Sydney on Saturday 11th March 2023


After a series of misadventures with Sydney’s ever-challenging public transport system I finally arrived at the Fujifilm House of Photography in Park Street well after the Shooting Manually workshop began, enervated and exhausted but ready to document the event.  

I have a longtime saying, that the before and after is usually more informative and more visually interesting than the during, so it was disappointing to miss out on the before but I did my best with the during and the after. 

Stephen Pierce’s presentation was packed full of detail and more females attended than in any of the previous two that I’ve been though I can’t comment on the Landscape workshop that I couldn’t attend due to illness. 

Normally I’d cover events with a two-camera, two-lens kit with more gear in a backpack but in a pinch it’s possible to stick with one camera and one lens throughout so long as you vary the nature of your shots and the distance from your subjects.

I don’t have a variable focal length aka zoom lens for our Fujifilm camera, yet, and lenses that cover the entire desirable range from 14mm in APS-C through to 70mm or a little longer are rarely made due to the challenges of creating good enough optics.

Last year’s Fujinon XF 18-120mm f/4.0 LM PZ WR is almost there but needs to be supplemented with the XF 14mm f/2.8 R on the wide end or one of Fujifilm’s superwide zooms, the XF 10-24mm f/4.0 R OIS WR or the XF 8-16mm f/2.8 R LM WR Red Badge lens.

We’re believers in exactly the right lenses, not too many and not too few, as funds are limited due to being self-funded independent documentary makers.

Is Fujifilm planning on updating the XF 14mm f/2.8 R to 40 megapixel rating just like the XF 18-120mm LM PZ WR?

We certainly hope so as those two lenses would make for an affordable, lightweight and optically high-quality kit suitable for documentary video and stills photography compared to  the traditional trio of Red Badge zooms, the XF 8-16mm f/2.8, XF 16-55mm f/2.8 and XF 50-140mm f/2.8.

We’re leaning on the side of the Fujifilm X-H2 as best camera to go with the XF 18-120mm when covering events like this for its good balance with the lens and due to the likelihood that Fujifilm may not be releasing an updated X-Pro series digital rangefinder, the X-Pro4, any time soon.

Meanwhile I covered this event with one prime lens, the Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R with its excellent manual clutch focus, though I found myself wishing for a XF 18mm lens with manual clutch focus for a little extra width to enhance the feeling of being right in the centre of the action.

I hope that Fujifilm will seriously consider such a lens for release alongside the X-Pro4 later this year or early 2024 as 18mm is the perfect focal length for the immersive documentary and photojournalism work to which digital rangefinder cameras are so well suited.

A fast 18mm lens allows opening its aperture right up to place emphasis on a crucial foreground element while still keeping secondary elements in the picture, and closing the aperture down to f/8 or f/11 brings almost everything into focus, these variations compensating to some degree for using just one focal length instead of several.


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