Detail of the firmware update
The firmware update Ver.5.10 from Ver.5.01 incorporates the following issue:
- Camera performance used with the XF50mmF1.0 R WR is optimized.
- The phenomenon is fixed that in a multiple-flash shooting where the EF-X500 is used as a commander, flashes in some groups sometimes don’t fire correctly. Also in case the EF-X500 is used as a commander and the EF-60 as a remote flash, upgrade the camera firmware to the latest version.
- Fix of minor bugs.
September 17, 2020
To our customers:
FUJIFILM Corporation is due to release a free firmware update for FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR on September 17, 2020.
This latest update enhances the lens’ AF speed and enables Color Shading Correction to mitigate subtle color casts when images are made at the lens’ maximum F1.0 aperture. Please note that the lens must be connected to a supported X Series camera body for the firmware enhancements to take effect.
Today Fujifilm published the press release and product shots for its superfast Fujinon XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR prime lens, designed for the company’s APS-C/Super 35 sensor-equipped interchangeable lens cameras including the X-Pro3 digital rangefinder and the X-T4 DSLR-style camera.
FUJIFILM heralds in a new age of portrait photography with the FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens
The World’s First F1.0 lens with Autofocus
September 3, 2020
FUJIFILM Australia Pty Ltd is pleased to announce the launch of the FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens (hereafter “XF50mmF1.0 R WR”), the world’s first autofocus lens with a maximum aperture of F1.0, designed for mirrorless cameras. This is the 35th interchangeable lens for X Series digital cameras, delivering exceptional image quality using FUJIFILM’s unparalleled colour reproduction technology.
The XF50mmF1.0 R WR is an ultra-fast mid-telephoto prime lens with a focal length of 50mm (equivalent to 76mm in the 35mm film format) and a maximum aperture of F1.0. As FUJIFILM’s fastest interchangeable lens to date, it features a large-diameter design delivering incomparable resolving power and beautiful bokeh effects. The lens can also deliver edge-to-edge sharpness, showing versatility in the way it produces images.
The inclusion of a DC autofocus motor into the XF50mmF1.0 R WR allows for quick and accurate autofocus when images are captured at the maximum F1.0 aperture. With an extremely shallow depth of field, the lens also utilises the X Series cameras’ Face / Eye AF function to achieve sharp focus. This is especially important when capturing portraits, which is something that is quite difficult to achieve when focusing manually.
For times when manual focus is required, such as during video-recording, the manual focus ring provides 120 degrees of rotation to allow for precise, enhanced control and quick travel through the focus range to infinity. Lastly, despite being a large-diameter F1.0 lens, its weight, size and weather-sealing make it a practical choice for any professional photographer.
Key features of the XF50mmF1.0 R WR include:
(1) Achieve an incredibly shallow depth of field
The XF50mmF1.0 R WR consists of 12 lens elements in nine groups, including one aspherical element and two ED elements to achieve optimum control of spherical aberration. Used at or near its maximum aperture of F1.0, the XF50mmF1.0 R WR can produce an astonishingly shallow depth of field. Its precisely engineered, rounded diaphragm produces large, smooth bokeh in a professional fashion, allowing users to create clean portraits with almost true-to-life quality and edge-to-edge sharpness. Users can take advantage of this new feature to exclusively focus on the subject’s eyes, making captivating close-up character studies. The lens is not just for portraits. Take it out onto the street or into a lifestyle session and users can turn cluttered locations into clean backdrops with unrivaled subject separation.
(2) Be ready to make images more easily in low-light conditions
The large maximum aperture on the XF50mmF1.0 R WR means there are more options when it comes to capturing images in low-light conditions. At night, or in darkened interiors, the XF50mmF1.0 R WR offers the widest aperture on an XF Lens to date, allowing more light to be brought into an image. The XF50mmF1.0 R WR also easily achieves fast shutter speeds that freeze movement and keep ISO settings lower for detail-rich results. Alternatively, users can combine high ISO settings with the F1.0 aperture for incredible versatility and apply this to other low-light situations like astrophotography.
(3) World’s first F1.0 autofocus lens for mirrorless cameras
As the world’s first autofocus F1.0 lens made for any mirrorless system, including full-frame cameras, the XF50mmF1.0 R WR brings more light to the sensor than any previous XF lens. This makes it possible for the autofocus to operate at -7EV luminance level. The previous limit of -6EV luminance level is achieved using lenses with a maximum aperture of F1.4. X Series users now have fast and precise low-light autofocus, even when used in near-darkness. With the added benefits of on-sensor Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF), Face/ Eye AF and a powerful DC motor, precise and fast autofocus at shallow depths of field is now a possibility.
(4) Precise focus for those critical moments
To make the most of its extremely shallow depth of field, focusing must be precise. As a result, the XF50mmF1.0 R WR has a focus ring eight times more accurate than any previous XF lens. This makes it possible to change the focus from the minimum focusing distance to infinity with precision. For this, the XF50mmF1.0 R WR comes with a focus ring with 120 degrees of rotation to let users focus manually without error, as well as achieve accurate focus when using the X Series camera’s Focus Peaking and Focus Assist modes. The 120 degrees rotation also makes autofocus movements notably effortless and precise, while the lens’s engineering is designed to minimise focus shift effects while capturing images.
(5) Engineered to keep the images coming
With fast shutter speeds and a large aperture of F1.0, the XF50mmF1.0 R WR is a lens that enables users to take amazing pictures almost anywhere. Measuring 103.5mm (4.07 inches) long and weighing 845 grams (1.86 pounds), the lens is compact and portable. Like all other weather-resistant XF lenses, it is sealed in 11 locations to protect it from moisture and dust, as well as being capable of use in temperatures down to -10°C (14°F). When attached to a similarly specified, weather-resistant X Series mirrorless digital camera body, the XF50mmF1.0 R WR allows users to create unique images in the toughest environments.
*Users are advised to update their camera’s firmware to the latest version in order to allow colour shading correction at the angle of incidence for F1.0.
Product name, release date and price
Product name: XF50mmF1.0 R WR
Release date: Late September, 2020
Recommended retail price (inc. GST): $AU 2,799.00
For media enquiries, please contact:
Stephanie Qiu, CampaignLab
+61 470 178 743
Nadia Fidler, CampaignLab
+61 411 592 524
Fujifilm XF 50mm f/1.0 R WR
Images courtesy of Fujifilm Australia.
- B&H – FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/1 R WR Lens
- B&H – FUJIFILM X-Pro3 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- B&H – FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- B&H – FUJIFILM X-T4 Mirrorless Digital Camera
- Fuji Rumors – Fujifilm launches Large-Diameter Mid-Telephoto Prime Lens “FUJINON Lens XF50mmF1.0 R WR”
- Fuji Rumors – Fujinon XF 50mm f/1.0 Announced – Reviews, Samples, Pre-Orders and More – LIVE BLOG
- Fujifilm Japan – Fujifilm launches large-diameter mid-telephoto prime lens: “FUJINON Lens XF50mmF1.0 R WR”
- Fujifilm-X – Heralding a news age of portrait photography FUJINON XF50mmF1.0 R WR Lens
- Fujifilm-X – XF50mmF1.0 R WR: The “ONE”
In a recent interview, Top Fujifilm manager Toshihisa Iida said that Fujifilm is opening X mount to third parties, and that Tokina will be the first company to offer autofocus lenses for the Fujifilm X system….
I have placed my vote for the two current Sigma APS-C lenses most want the company to redesign and make for Fujifilm X-Mount cameras, and if more than two votes were permitted by Patrick DiVino’s survey then I would vote for several more.
The two Sigma APS-C zoom lenses I most want to see redesigned for Fujifilm X-Series cameras
There is little doubt that these two APS-C/Super 35 zoom lenses have proven popular amongst users of a range of camera systems and sensor formats for stills photography and video, whether adapted or in native mount versions.
The Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art zoom is the most popular of the two and is often seen in use in its Canon EF-mount version attached to cameras made by Blackmagic Design, Panasonic and Fujifilm via adapter or natively.
The lens is designed for APS-C/Super 35 sensor-equipped cameras, and is currently available in Canon EF, Nikon F, Pentax K, Sigma SA and Sony A mount.
Both Art lenses are also made in three-gear cinematography versions in Arri PL, Canon EF and Sony E mounts, available for purchase at B&H separately or as a pair with customised hard case.
Both lenses are also available at B&H as a kit for Sony E-mount cameras with Sigma MC-11 Mount Convertor /Lens Adapter to convert Canon EF to Sony E.
If a similar kit were already available with Sigma convertor/adapter for Fujifilm X-mount cameras, one might be sorely tempted.
But it is not, and there are good arguments for both lenses being redesigned and made native with typical X-mount features such as aperture rings but that can be used clicked with 1/3-stop detents or completely clickless, your choice set with the flick of a switch.
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens
Equivalent in 35mm sensor camera terms from 27mm through to 52.5mm, this lens includes some of my most-used stills and video documentary focal lengths such as 28mm, 35mm, 40mm and 50mm.
With a maximum aperture of f/1.8, it is well-suited to the indoors available darkness in which I often find myself.
It would become my most-used lens for documentary work, to be supplemented with Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R for scene-setting shots, or, if talking Sigma APS-C lenses then the Sigma 10-20mm f/3.5 EX DC HSM may be suitable provided a Fujifilm X-mount version is made.
In 35mm sensor terms, the Fujinon is equivalent to 21mm and the Sigma zoom is equivalent to a range of 15mm through to 30mm.
Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens
I have long been hoping Fujifilm would release one of my favourite portrait focal lengths, 70mm, as a fast prime lens with closeup capability, but my hopes continue to be dashed each time the company updates its lens roadmap.
In 35mm sensor terms, this lens is 105mm and is the focal length with which I became a portrait photographer.
Sigma’s 50-100mm f/1.8 zoom is equivalent in 35mm terms to 75mm through to 150mm, thus including another popular portrait focal length, 90mm, which is equivalent to 137mm.
Fujifilm’s Fujinon XF 90mm f/2.0 R LM WR prime receives high praise as does the Fujinon XF 80mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR prime lens, but the Sigma 50-100mm f/1.8 zoom would take the place of three useful portrait and documentary focal lengths at a fraction of the cost of three Fujifilm-made lenses.
The ongoing lack of a professional-quality Fujifilm 18mm prime lens
Fujifilm Australia staff members often confirm that the lens customers want to see radically updated is the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R, a lens I love and hate, with the emphasis on the latter.
Love is too strong a word for this 28mm-equivalent prime lens, so let’s use “like” instead.
I know some photographers adore it for its many old-fashioned optical and mechanical quirks but for me it is an irritating disappointment.
I have often asked Fujifilm to replace it with a compact Fujicron-style lens for documentary photography or a manual clutch focus Fujilux-style f/1.4 lens for available darkness work and especially for video.
In my Leica M-Series analog rangefinder days I relied on a Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 Aspheric lens mounted on my prime camera with a Leica Summilux-M 35mm f/1.4 Aspheric lens in reserve for available darkness documentary photography.
Incidentally, if I could only have two prime lenses for video work, then I would choose a 28mm equivalent and a 40mm equivalent, or in APS-C terms, 18mm and 27mm.
Fujifilm makes neither focal length as manual clutch focusing primes, much to my ongoing moviemaking disappointment, but I often carry the compact Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8 and 18mm f/2.0 R on a pair of Fujifilm rangefinder cameras when needing to be discrete and in the street or places where I don’t want to be noticed, but I would not use either prime lens for video.
Fujifilm makes three excellent primes equally suitable for video and stills photography, the manual clutch focusing Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R, XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR and XF 23mm f/1.4 R but there are no signs the company is serious about extending its manual clutch focus lens range any time soon, whether with primes or zooms.
Shame, given Fujifilm’s recent emphasis on great quality Super 35 video with the Fujifilm X-T4 and the coming Fujifilm X-H2.
If Sigma can be persuaded to make an aperture ring-equipped 18-35mm f/1.8 X-mount zoom then that can help with available light or darkness video work, leaving Fujifilm to finally pull its collective fingers out with a Fujicron-style XF 18mm lens that does need to be faster than f/2.8.
Given the success of the Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR, despite its maximum aperture being darker than the f/2.0 of its Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR, Fujinon XF 35mm f/2 R WR and Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR Fujicron-style siblings, a Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.8 R WR should do just fine for documentary stills, leaving the serious 18mm available darkness video work to Sigma along with the other focal lengths in its 18-35mm f/1.8 Art zoom lens.
I also want this for Fujifilm X-mount: Sigma 70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art macro lens
Fuji Rumor’s Sigma X-mount lens poll limited respondents to choosing two lenses but I would have chosen three if permitted.
Having learned to be a portrait photographer by using the art school’s Nikon Micro-Nikkor 105mm and 55mm lenses close-up and at normal portrait distances, I have long been looking for an X-mount equivalent to my favourite of the two, the 105mm.
Until this rumor and poll surfaced at Fuji Rumors about the possibility of Sigma opening up to making Fujifilm X-mount versions of its lenses, I had resigned myself to looking for a suitable manual focus 75mm manual lens to adapt to X-mount.
B&H currently lists two affordable 75mm Leica M-mount lenses, the 7artisans Photoelectric 75mm f/1.25 and the Voigtlander Nokton 75mm f/1.5 Aspherical lens, and a range of M-to-X-mount adapters are available, some with close focus capability.
I have no problem with the idea of using manual-only lenses for close-up and portrait work, but autofocus with good manual focusing extends the usefulness of any lens.
So, Sigma, will you be making good on the desires of many Fujifilm camera users for Fujifilm X-mount Sigma lenses?
If so, Sigma, please add the 18-35mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art Lens, the 50-100mm f/1.8 DC HSM Art lens and the 70mm f/2.8 DG HSM Art macro lens to the top of your list.
Fujifilm’s customizable in-camera film simulations for output as JPEGs are justly celebrated by JPEG-reliant photographers, and I find them useful as graphic reminders of how I visualized a photograph just before shooting it for later processing of the raw files.
I am, as they say, a “raw plus JPEG” shooter and I often discard the JPEGs during post-production after I have processed the raw files to satisfaction.
I have met several magazine and commercial photographers who shoot JPEG-only with their Fujifilm cameras, relying heavily on the cameras’ built-in and customized film simulation profiles and treating their JPEG files as reproduction-ready artwork to be shared with their clients without delay when needed.
JPEG ~ negative, raw ~ transparency
Shooting raw-plus-JPEG or JPEG-only can be compared, somewhat, to shooting negative film and colour transparency film during the analog era when I chose transparency films for magazine assignments and negative films for newspaper work.
The magazine art directors I worked with back then did little to no post-processing on transparency scans themselves while newspaper picture departments were in the throes of installing computers and film scanners to shorten developing-to-print times on daily editions.
Before that, their photographers were expected to develop and print their own black-and-white film while handing their unprocessed colour negative film over to in-house technicians.
My magazine clients would respect their photographers’ intentions when shooting transparency film by applying minimal cropping or colour correction, while newspapers’ nighttime subeditors would often crop the life and the meaning out of images and even apply crude image manipulation such as heavy vignetting.
Shooting JPEG-only and treating it as one would colour transparency film allows photographers to take back a little control over their images and how they should be seen on the printed page and the electronic screen.
At least, that is my theory, and if magazine work ever becomes available to me again I may well have a go at supplying JPEG-only to clients while reserving the raw files.
Too few custom slots?
There are only so many custom memory slots in every Fujifilm camera, and it has proven annoying when I want to set a film simulation that worked well for a specific subject in the past but had to remove it to make way for others more suitable for a different project, and then I cannot remember where I got the simulation recipe or even what its name was.
Photographer David Triregno has leapt to the rescue and is sharing an already large and growing spreadsheet that he has compiled from film simulation recipes by a number of photographers including Kevin Mullins (KM in the Name column), Peter Evans (PE) and Ritchie Roesch (RR) as well as the currently mysterious JC and LC.
Credit where it is due to Patrick DiVino of Fuji Rumours for sharing this huge and growing collection of custom film simulation recipes.
Credit is also due to Thomas Fitzgerald for his extremely detailed ebook on shooting and post-processing Fujifilm JPEGs, and I am looking forward to the second edition of this ebook.
- Facebook – Fujifilm Films Simulations List
- Fuji Rumors – This PDF Lists 80 Fujifilm Film Simulation Custom Profiles You Can Try out Yourself
- Google Docs – Fujifilm Customs Files
- Thomas Fitzgerald Photography – Fuji Jpegs: Shooting and Processing Guide – eBook
The Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR wide-to-long zoom lens has been one of the most long wished-for, long-awaited optics for Fujifilm’s APS-C/Super35 system cameras in recent years, and early reports from Fujifilm X-Photographer have been positive, especially regarding its apparent parfocal lens design.
But then one might well expect brand ambassadors to wax lyrical and skip over possible pre-production and early firmware defects given reasonable expectations that Fujifilm will get it right in the end or at least in time for offical product release date.
Not quite this time, apparently, as Fujifilm recently issued firmware version 1.02 for this now-shipping lens and some reviewers are already hoping that further firmware updates are in the pipeline.
I was lucky enough to have a short time with a preproduction version of the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR zoom at a recent Ted’s World of Imaging touch-and-try event for the Fujifilm X-Pro3, and found it worked well enough when shooting event stills on a Fujifilm X-H1 unequipped with firmware updates for the lens.
The lens is situated price-wise in-between the pro-quality, pro-priced red badge Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR and the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS kit zoom, and there was some speculation that the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR might be bundled with later-release Fujifilm X-T3s or the coming X-T4 as a higher-specced kit lens, especially for video production.
The 16-80mm’s parfocal focusing is especially attractive for video use as well as the lens’ apparent 6 stops of optical image stabilization that helps make up for its f/4.0 maximum aperture when handholding in low lighting when used on non-stabilized cameras like the X-T3, X-Pro3 and the coming X-T4.
Questions about the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR’s optical qualities throughout its focal range were bandied about during the long pre-release period and I have yet to find a complete set of in-depth tests of the lens’ image quality and focusing performance.
In the meantime, pal2tech’s initial and subsequent video reviews have rather dampened my enthusiasm for the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR.
Are what he is seeing in action when shooting video in particular early production model teething problems, uneven quality assurance, limitations in current firmware or the outcome of too many design and engineering compromises?
Zoom lenses are a set of such compromises compared to prime lenses and a certain amount of them are to be expected, especially in a lens with a longer-than-usual focal length range, but has Fujifilm compromised way too much?
pal2tech’s videos may help you make up your own mind, but I would recommend going off in search of more reviews by video professionals before definitively deciding against the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR.
While some optical and autofocusing problems can be compensated for via firmware and during processing of raw stills images, video is more demanding of lens quality given that shortfalls in optical quality cannot be corrected in video non-linear editing software.
My experiences with Micro Four Thirds cameras and lenses, as well as Fujifilm’s APS-C/Super 35 gear, have amply proven the advantages of having a stabilized zoom lens in one’s kit when shooting documentary stills and video in trying conditions and available darkness rather than available light, so the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR would, theoretically, fill a yawning gap in my Fujinon lens collection.
Provided that it is as good for video as it seemed to be for stills during my all-too-short time with the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR at Ted’s.
Like many others, I have had high expectations for this lens given my longtime need for a gap-filling zoom lens for video and photography, and given the poor Australian dollar and consequent high price in local online and bricks-and-mortar stores.
Should I be reconsidering the Fujinon XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS kit zoom lens instead, and go off to ebay to look for the latter secondhand?
pal2tech: Fuji 16-80 Lens Review
pal2tech: Fujifilm 16-80mm Lens Firmware Update 1.01
pal2tech: Fujifilm 16-80 Lens Focus Problem Fix — Possible Solution
pal2tech: Fujifilm 16-80 Lens Firmware Update 1.02 – Can’t Test (and my thoughts)
- pal2tech – YouTube channel
Help support ‘Untitled’
- FUJIFILM X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body with Battery Grip Kit – B&H – bundled with the unstabilized Fujinon XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR, this stabilized camera may still be the current best option for video despite its older generation sensor and processor.
- FUJIFILM X-Pro3 Mirrorless Digital Camera – B&H
- FUJIFILM X-T3 Mirrorless Digital Camera – B&H
- FUJIFILM XF 16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR Lens – B&H
- FUJIFILM XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR Lens – B&H
- FUJIFILM XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS Lens – B&H
Australian photographers rarely if ever feature in camera and lens makers’ marketing materials and few Australia female photographers are invited to become brand ambassadors whether they are based in Australia or overseas.
Documentary photographer Megan Lewis features in one of two recently-released Fujifilm X-Photographer videos about the X-Pro3 digital rangefinder-style camera with documentary photographer Michael Coyne being her male counterpart.
Both are long-time Fujifilm users and are well-qualified to offer their insights into the X-Pro3 as a dedicated documentary and photojournalism stills camera.
I have yet to have the pleasure of meeting either photographer, though I am keen to spend time with Megan Lewis to photograph her at work for ‘Unititled’ in order to show other female photographers that one can succeed as a documentary photographer or photojournalist.
In the immortal words of Geena Davis of the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, “if she can see it, she can be it”, and so stories, photo essays and videos about female creatives like Megan Lewis are crucial to creating the possibility of women succeeding in their chosen professions to the point where we gain parity with men.
FUJIFILM X Series: Megan Lewis x X-Pro3 / FUJIFILM
FUJIFILM X Series: Different Breed: Michael Coyne x X-Pro3
Fujinon lenses used by Megan Lewis and Michael Coyne in these videos
- FUJIFILM X Series – YouTube channel
- FUJIFILM X Series – Megan Lewis x X-Pro3 / FUJIFILM – video
- FUJIFILM X Series – Different Breed: Michael Coyne x X-Pro3 – video
- Fujifilm-X – Different Breed: Michael Coyne x X-Pro3
- Fujifilm-X – Megan Lewis x X-Pro3
- Fujifilm-X – X-Pro3: Pure Photography
- Wikipedia – Geena Davis
- Wikipedia – Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media
Help support ‘Untitled’
I attended Fujifilm Australia’s First Look Touch & Try event at Ted’s World of Imaging in Sydney on Wednesday, 6th November, 2019, and had a brief opportunity to handle a preproduction version of the Fujifilm X-Pro3 digital rangefinder camera that has already been well-covered in Fujifilm X-Photographer videos and articles, and first-look commentary by a range of online camera pundits.
As the camera is in preproduction at time of writing, the usual request not to shoot or publish photographs made with it applies, so I will not comment on its stills and video capabilities but will attest that the X-Pro3 is an interesting evolution of Fujifilm’s professional rangefinder line.
Fujifilm is marketing the X-Pro3 as a camera for “street photographers” as Panasonic did for its latest rangefinder-style GX series camera, the Lumix DC-GX9, and I am hoping that with its X-Pro series Fujifilm will not be imitating Panasonic’s decision to make its GX series something less than a great camera for photojournalists and documentary photographers.
I dread the day my Lumix DMC-GX8 gives up the ghost given Panasonic so unexpectedly dropped the ball on pro-quality rangefinder-style cameras in favour of DSLR-style cameras like the admittedly otherwise excellent Lumix DC-G9.
The Fujifilm X-Pro3 digital rangefinder-style camera
Photographs courtesy of Fujifilm.
Throughout my career I have relied on a range of camera styles and formats – rangefinders, rangefinder-style cameras, hand and stand sheet film cameras, SLRs aka Single Lens Reflexes in 120 and 135 film formats, and a DSLR upon Canon’s accidental revolution in the form of the Canon EOS 5D Mark II.
My first choice for immersive documentary photography has always been rangefinder cameras and I have been hoping the X-Pro3 would receive many of the advances found in the X-H1 and X-T3.
Until I have a proper hands-on with it, I will not know whether that is truly the case, but the X-Pro3’s loss of the ability to use its otherwise improved optical viewfinder aka OVF with the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R moderate wide-angle prime lens is a concern.
For many documentary photographers and photojournalists, as it has long been for me, the 28mm focal length (on 35mm sensor cameras) is our default and its 18mm APS-C equivalent works well on the X-Pro2 and especially in its OVF.
Since 2015 I have been daydreaming of a radically improved X-Pro3 being released alongside an even more radically upgraded Fujinon XF 18mm lens with both aimed at documentary photographers and photojournalists, but Fujifilm seems to have decided on setting its sights lower than that, upon street photographers whom I humbly suggest might be better served by the forthcoming X100V.
Time will tell where Fujifilm is heading with its cameras, but I hope that it will not forget its documentary and photojournalism customers as Panasonic appears to have done.
Both companies employed celebrated photojournalists to publicize previous versions of their rangefinder and rangefinder-style cameras but dropped them in favour of street photographers in their latest versions.
What the… ?
Australian feature film cinematographer/director Paul Leeming has released the first camera profile correction look-up table in his Leeming LUT Pro set for Fujifilm X-Trans sensor-equipped cameras, for Fujifilm’s F-Log logarithmic shooting profile, with Eterna Cinema, Pro Neg Std and HLG for Rec709 LUTs to come.
This is a significant and long-awaited event given that Fujifilm has finally delivered on its longtime promise to radically improve its cameras’ video capabilities with the Fujifilm X-T3 and X-H1, with the coming X-H2 hopefully improving on the X-T3 as a moviemaking hybrid mirrorless camera in Super 35 format.
Super 35 has long been the feature film format of choice for narrative and documentary production, and the arrival of improved video capabilities on Fujifilm’s X-T2 cameras was a relief after the disappointment of the X-Pro2’s video support.
Leeming LUT Pro for F-Log on Fujifilm cameras with X-Trans sensors
Even the recently announced X-Pro3 appears to have 4K Super 35 video features that may prove good enough in a pinch when more video-oriented cameras are unavailable.
The Leeming LUT Pro expose and correction methodology is based on exposing to the right aka ETTR followed by correction via camera-specific look-up-table files in one’s nonlinear editing suite or colour grading software of choice.
The ETTR method’s most vocal proponent was the late Michael Reichmann who was in favour for its use in photography and videography, and although he and many other photographers constantly lobbied camera makers for auto-ETTR in their Live View-capable cameras, to no effect so far.
Why camera makers continue to ignore the necessity of optimal exposure is anyone’s guess.
For that reason I am grateful that Paul Leeming has applied himself to solving the problem of correct exposure followed by correcting colour via Leeming LUT Pro, with the added benefit of making footage shot on a variety of affordable cameras usable in the same timeline without excessive shot matching work.
The ideal, maximum possible dynamic range and realistic colours, using Leeming LUT Pro and Expose-To-The-Right (ETTR)
Uncorrected camera maker luma and colorimetry
Luma curve and colorimetry levels corrected with Leeming LUT Pro
In the light of camera makers’ tendency to fudge their camera’s video output as illustrated above, exposing to the right appears to make footage appear darker than one may be accustomed to, but Mr Leeming has made available other, secondary, LUTs to quickly and easily raise footage low values, as explained below.
As usual, the LUT will “darken” the footage, which really just means it will make the curve perfectly LINEAR. Examine the attached image using your waveform scope in your favourite editing software, and you’ll see what that means, with the exposure steps forming a perfect “X” shape in linear fashion. This is of course ETTR, so if you under-expose your image, it will look darker.
The LUT(s) don’t make the image darker. The LUT(s) correct the manufacturer luma curves to be linear. In most (but not all) cases, this results in the image “appearing” to be darker, but it’s not affecting anything, nor clipping anything, nor adding additional noise that wasn’t in the shot to begin with.
Don’t forget, you also have the Apollo Pro Quickies to use after the corrective LUT in case you want to brighten the image without clipping the highlights or adding any more shot noise. But when you can, please ETTR and save yourself the problems (and give yourself the cleanest possible log image to begin with).
If your shot after LUT application has its highlights not reaching 100% IRE, then you underexposed it. Use the zebras as per the guide to see where the clipping point is. Expose just shy of that and you’ll maximise sensor dynamic range and minimise shot noise.
If you HAVE underexposed or simply want a brighter image post-corrective LUT, try following it with one or more of my Apollo Pro Quickies, which are expressly designed to lift the shadows in a natural way without clipping the highlights.
Stills frames from feature film shot by Paul Leeming, ungraded then graded with Leeming LUT Pro
Settings for shooting video Fujifilm cameras for processing with Leeming LUT Pro
- Pro Neg Std, Eterna Cinema, F-log or HLG
- H265 recording format
- DR100 for all profiles
- Highlight tone 0
- Shadow tone 0
- Color 0
- Sharpness -4
- Noise Reduction -4
- Zebra level 100%
Quick and dirty Leeming LUT Pro for Fujifilm F-Log tryout with Fujifilm X-H1 F-Log footage
I shoot documentary stills and video rather than make narrative feature movies, so often work alone under challenging conditions as in this example.
The Fujifilm X-H1 had a vintage Zeiss Jena Pentacon 50mm f/1.8 MC Auto prime lens attached to it via a Gobe M42-to-X-mount adapter with no neutral density filter, and I fudged on setting a custom white balance as I was more concerned with understanding the creative possibilities of this lens for video than in getting technicalities perfect.
An adapted 50mm lens on an APS-C/Super 35 camera equates to 75mm in the 35mm sensor format, which is one of my favourite focal lengths for documentary photography and video.
I have been throughly enjoying trying out this lens and its companion, a Panagor PMC 28mm f/2.8 wide-angle prime lens that Paul Leeming kindly gave us.
These sorts of vintage prime lenses are rare and overpriced here in Sydney, at least ever since camera stores like Foto Reisel with their secondhand gear cabinets closed down.
Fujifilm Super 35/APS-C hybrid cameras capable of shooting 4K and Cinema 4K F-Log video as well as in other picture profiles: X-T3, X-H1 and X-Pro3
- Gerald Undone – Best LUT for Beginners – Leeming vs FilmConvert vs Buttery – “Comparing some quick color grades using the Leeming LUTs, the Buttery LUTs, & FilmConvert with some general color correction tips and usage scenarios.” – video
- Jon Pais – Getting Good Colors Using ETTR, X-Rite Colorchecker & Leeming LUT Pro – “I made this video in response to a viewer’s question about ETTR.” – video
- Jon Pais – How to Expose to the Right – “How to expose to the right using the X-Rite Colorchecker and false color.” – video
- Jon Pais – Leeming LUT Pro and Leeming LUT Quickies – “Leeming LUT Pro and Leeming LUT Quickies” – video
- Jon Pais – Leeming LUT Pro Sample Footage – “A quick demo of applying Leeming LUT Pro to Sony Cine2 footage.” – video
- Jon Pais – Response to Viewer – “I believe a viewer didn’t like the flat lighting in my last video, so I’m uploading one with a little more punch.” – video
- Leeming LUT Pro – website
- Paul Leeming – How to ETTR – Quick And Dirty Edition! – “How to Expose To The Right (ETTR) to maximise your camera’s sensor dynamic range :)” – video
- The Luminous Landscape – Expose Right – This once-essential website is now paywalled, though a limited number of free page views is permitted before paying for access.
- The Luminous Landscape – Optimizing Exposure – “In 2003 I wrote a tutorial titled Expose Right. To my knowledge this was the first generally available essay that discussed the realities of digital exposure, as opposed to that required for film. Since then the technique described has become known as ETTR (Expose To The Right)…. A live-view histogram-based auto-exposure system is all that needed to generate the best possible exposure from a technical perspective.”
- Wayback Machine – Expose (to the) Right: Maximizing S/N Ratio in Digital Photography
- Wayback Machine – Optimizing Exposure: Why Do Camera Makers Give Us 19th Century Exposures With Our 21st Century Cameras? – “In digital photography, exposing to the right (ETTR) is the technique of adjusting the exposure of an image as high as possible at base ISO (without causing unwanted saturation) to collect the maximum amount. So – here we are, more than a decade into the DSLR revolution (and the new century) and camera makers are still using 25, 50, even 100+ year old exposure technology in our latest cameras. Why? I really can’t say, but they should be taken to task for not delivering the best image quality that their cameras are capable of and thus get the optimum performance out of the digital image sensor.”
- Wikipedia – Colorimetry
- Wikipedia – Exposing to the right
- Wikipedia – Gamma correction
- Wikipedia – Hybrid Log-Gamma
- Wikipedia – Log profile
- Wikipedia – Luma (video)
- Wikipedia – Michael Reichmann – “Reichmann proposed a new digital exposure method called exposing to the right (ETTR) in 2003.”
- Wikipedia – Super 35