Fujifilm Australia’s People with Cameras, Darling Island Wharf, Sydney, September 7, 2019

I always try to attend Fujifilm’s annual People with Cameras in Sydney each year and was able to be there for much of this year’s event held at Doltone House on Darling Island Wharf in Pyrmont on Saturday the 7th September 2019. 

More female photographers seem to attend each year, a welcome trend given the low numbers of female photographers and moviemakers who manage to make it professionally in Australia in particular and globally in general. 

Those low numbers are not from want of talent but from systemic issues favouring male practitioners and thus the peculiarities of the male gaze and the male power structure, but I am hopeful that female representation in all aspects of photography and moviemaking will continue increasing to the point of parity, rapidly rather than slowly. 

Gentleman behind the Fujifilm Australia table, photographed with Fujifilm X-H1 and Fujifilm XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR telephoto zoom lens as raw file processed with Adobe Photoshop and Alien Skin Exposure X4 using a modified Polaroid Type 55 preset. I borrowed the lens to make this shot then returned it, but would love to try it out extensively before considering buying one.
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Attendee trying out Fujifilm GFX 100 medium format camera, photographed with Fujifilm X-T3 and Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR standard zoom lens.


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Fujifilm X-H1 with Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Red Badge professional zoom lens.

I carried a Think Tank Photo MindShift Gear BackLight 26L backpack containing my Fujifilm X-Pro2, a borrowed Fujifilm X-H1, a Fujinon XF 16mm f/2.8 R WR and a Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens both of which were also borrowed, and my own Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R, Fujinon 27mm f/2.8 and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R lenses.

I managed to very briefly borrow a Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR and a pre-production model of the Fujinon XF 16-80mm f/4.0 R OIS WR standard zoom lens which is due for release later this year.

I ended up swapping between my 56mm lens and the borrowed 18mm lens for this event but wondered if I might have been better served by the 50-140mm zoom lens or the 50mm f/2.0 prime in conjunction with the 16mm lens or the reportedly excellent Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR.

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SLR Magic MicroPrime Cinema 18mm T2.8 Fujifilm X-Mount.

Clicking on the links and purchasing through them for our affiliate accounts at Adorama, Alien Skin, B&H Photo Video, SkylumSmallRig or Think Tank Photo helps us continue our work for ‘Unititled’.

  • FUJIFILM XF 16mm f/1.4 R WRB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 16mm f/2.8 R WRB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 18mm f/2 R LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 16-80mm f/4 R OIS WR LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 50mm f/2 R WR LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM XF 56mm f/1.2 R LensB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-H1 Mirrorless Digital Camera Body with Battery Grip KitB&H
  • FUJIFILM X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • MindShift Gear BackLight 26L BackpackB&H

zonefocus: How I Set Up My Fujifilm X-T2 for Zone Focusing, by Steve Dimitriadis

http://www.zonefocus.net/blog/2018/7/23/how-i-set-up-my-fujifilm-x-t2-for-zone-focusing

I have always set up my cameras to zone focus by simply going into manual focus mode, setting the focusing distance scale to my desired focusing distance and shooting away.  The problem with this approach is that it is difficult to keep the focusing distance consistent because more often than not I am accidentely bumping the focusing ring.  However using the settings I describe below I have been able to circumvent both of these issues and have a reliable zone focusing setup….”

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Fujifilm X-T2 Graphite with Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 R prime lens

Commentary

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Leica Elmarit-M 28mm f/2.8 Aspheric prime lens for Leica M-System cameras, the perfect medium-wide focal length for street photography given the effectiveness of zone focusing via setting hyperfocal distance with this lens. This lens is also wonderful for a two-camera, two-lens available light documentary set-up along with one of Leica’s 75mm lenses. For available darkness work, consider the Leica Summicron-M 28mm f/2.0 Aspheric or Leica Summilux-M 28mm f/1.4 Aspheric lens.

I made heavy use of zone focusing via setting hyperfocal distance during a years-long urban documentary project during the analog era when relying on a pair of Leica M-Series cameras and mostly 28mm and 35mm lenses.

Of the two my preference was the 28mm lens as its medium wide-angle focal length allowed me to be right in the middle of crowds and close-up to my human subjects while still revealing telling details of the environment in which they and I found ourselves.

Narrower or wider than 28mm or 35mm does not cut it for that approach, as I have proven to myself many times before and since, and ultra-wideangle lenses like the otherwise excellent Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 R and Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR with their 21mm and 24mm equivalent focal lengths impose a so-called “lensey” look on the image the perspective distortion of which draws undue attention to the lens and not to the subject matter when using it up-close and in-deep in the street.

Setting one of two hyperfocal distances for either closer or more distant action with the 18mm-equivalent 28mm Leica lens was a brilliant solution to the need for maximum speed and meant I could concentrate on seeing and getting into the zone, achieving maximum flow, achieving extraordinary outcomes that evaded a slower, more deliberate approach.

Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R prime lens, regrettably much too slow to focus manually or via autofocus and its aperture ring too flakey and quirky for fast-paced professional work in stills and video, though some folks seem to like it for the quirkiness that made it intensely frustrating for me.

My term for this high-speed, highly-focused approach to urban documentary photography was “visual athletics” and it produced challenging, heavy-muscled images that upset the denizens of my then-local art and photography community and challenged them in accepting my work as art much less as being in any way creative.

More fool them, now that photography is understood as an art form in its own right and that so-called street photography has become an acceptable creative practice.

It can be a thankless task, though, to be something of a provincial pioneer in any art form.

Ah well, get out the world’s tiniest violin.

Meanwhile Sydney-based documentary and street photographer Steve Dimitriadis of zone focus has my gratitude for sharing his zone focusing methodology using his Fujifilm X-T2 camera and Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R lens.

As I have written here a number of times, I am not a fan of Fujifilm’s ageing 18mm almost-pancake lens and have been waiting far too long for its modernized replacement.

A Fujicron-style Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R WR lens would be an acceptable upgrade especially for urban documentary photography but even better would be a far more versatile professional-style manual clutch focus lens in the manner of the Fujinon XF 14mm f/2.8 RXF 16mm f/1.4 R WR and XF 23mm f/1.4 R for stills and video.

Fujifilm, where is the Fujinon XF 18mm that Patrick of Fuji Rumors has been telling us is coming for ages now?

Links

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Fujifilm X-Pro1 with Fujinon XF 35mm f/1.4 R, Fujinon XF 18mm f/2.0 R and Fujinon XF 60mm f/2.4 Macro prime lens, the first set of Fujinon XF lenses released by Fujifilm in March 2012.

Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled: Stories of Creativity, Innovation, Success’.

  • Breakthrough Photography X4 Brass UV filtersB&H – I rely on this brand’s beautifully-made non-binding knurled traction frame UV filters to protect all my lenses with filter diameters from 39mm up to 105mm.
  • Fujifilm XF 14mm f/2.8 R Ultra Wide-Angle LensB&H
  • Fujifilm XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR LensB&H
  • Fujifilm LH-XF16 Lens HoodB&H
  • Fujifilm 18mm f/2.0 XF R LensB&H
  • Fujifilm XF 23mm f/1.4 R LensB&H
  • Fujifilm LH-XF23 Lens Hood for XF 23mm f/1.4 RB&H – working close to your subjects in crowds demands protecting your cameras and lenses as much as you can, especially the front of your lens.
  • Vello LHF-XF23 Dedicated Lens HoodB&H – appears to be made in the same way as Panasonic’s pricier lens hood above.
  • Vello LHF-XF23II Dedicated Lens HoodB&H
  • Fujifilm XF 23mm f/2 R WR LensB&H
  • Fujifilm Lens Hood for XF23mmF2 and XF35mmF2 R WR LensesB&H
  • Fujifilm 35mm f/1.4 XF R LensB&H
  • Fujifilm X-E3 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital Camera with 23mm f/2 Lens (Graphite)B&H
  • Fujifilm X-T2 Mirrorless Digital CameraB&H
  • Leica CL Mirrorless Digital Camera with 18mm Lens (Black)B&H – Leica’s APS-C sensor digital rangefinder-style camera with 28mm-equivalent f/2.8 interchangeable lens is one possible solution to Fujifilm’s lack of a decent 28mm-equivalent 18mm lens.
  • Leica Q (Typ 116) Digital CameraB&H – Leica’s 35mm sensor digital rangefinder-style camera with 28mm f/1.7 fixed lens is another possible solution to Fujifilm’s lack of a decent 28mm-equivalent 18mm lens.

Think Tank Photo: Spectral™ Series Shoulder Bags – with COMMENTARY

https://www.thinktankphoto.com/collections/spectral-series-shoulder-bags

“Remain inconspicuous while shooting with Think Tank’s new Spectral Shoulder Bag. A magnetic Fidlock clasp enables quiet, one-handed access your gear — then locks automatically when closing the flap. An additional zippered closure gives you piece of mind while traveling and can be tucked away when you’re actively shooting. Constructed with durable yet stylish materials, the Spectral Shoulder Bag offers Think Tank quality and ingenuity at a reasonable price.”

Commentary:

Think Tank Photo’s new 3-strong leather-free Spectral line of shoulder bags is a refreshing change from the leather-trimmed product revisions it has released in recent years.

Think Tank Spectral 8

The Spectral 8 model in Think Tank Photo’s Spectral shoulder bag line-up appears to be aimed at mirrorless camera users and can apparently hold one Fujifilm X-T2 or X-Pro2 camera, two fast prime lenses such as the popular Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R with one attached to the camera, as well as the Fujinon XF 50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR Red Badge professional zoom lens.

It is unknown how many “Fujicron” f/2.0 R WR lenses and similar smaller primes the Spectral 8 accommodates, such as the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR, Fujinon XF 27mm f/2.8, Fujinon XF 35mm f/2.0 R WR, Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 R WR and the coming Fujinon 18mm f/2.0 R WR.

Based on Think Tank Photo’s information about the Spectral 8, it may prove to be a useful one-camera, several-lenses option for slow and steady documentary photography or cinematography with, say, a Røde VideoMic Pro+ in place of the 50-140mm zoom lens.

An Evolving Focus

The company’s marketing email and website product shots are increasingly featuring mirrorless cameras and lenses in addition to its tradition emphasis on DSLRs, with focus on Fujifilm APS-C and Sony digital 35mm mirrorless camera though Panasonic’s increasingly popular Lumix M43/Super 16 hybrid stills/video cameras have yet to make an appearance so far as I can tell.

Both moves are welcome and I would love to see Think Tank Photo add Panasonic’s GH5 and professional lenses for video and stills, for example, to its product shot scheduling.

I note that 3 Legged Thing’s also increasingly popular tripods are also starting to feature in TTP marketing material.

Seeing gear that one actually uses being featured in emails and web pages helps make better-informed purchasing decisions given many of us often do not live near a good bricks-and-mortar stockist where one can try-before-buy and so must rely on sight-unseen purchases at online retailers in other countries.

Not all mirrorless cameras and lenses have the same dimensions nor do they fit in the same bags, I have often discovered, so photographic evidence of good fit is incredibly useful and helps avoid purchases one soon comes to regret.

The Ever-growing Scourge of Mould

Leather, and certain plastics, are susceptible to the growing epidemics of mould infection popping up in places like Sydney with the onset of major climate change.

Although it has proven possible to chemically remove mould from the surface of leather and some synthetic materials, mould spores remain beneath the surface ready to spring into action should the weather change yet again.

As a result, we have had to throw out many leather and leather-trimmed products including camera bags to avoid the risk of mould and mould spores spreading to our photographic equipment.

We have been shocked to discover expensive bags made of synthetic fabrics infected with mould and mould spores too, though not all woven plastics are susceptible.

There are two other considerations in the use of leather in constructing and decoratively trimming camera bags, cruelty and environmental responsibility.

My Plea for Leather-Free

Industrial agriculture’s animal husbandry practices are inherently cruel, and contribute huge amounts of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, apparently to a greater extent than emission from motor cars.

I wish to see camera bag and accessories makers take up the challenge to go 100% leather-free and pro-vegan from now onwards.

Link:

Fujifilm: Quintuple honors at the 2017 TIPA Awards for Fujifilm with “GFX 50S”, “X-T2”, “X-T20”, “XF23mm F2 R WR” and “X100F”

https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/news/article/quintuple-honors-at-the-2017-tipa-awards-for-fujifilm-with-gfx-50s-x-t2-x-t20-xf23mm-f2-r-wr-and-x100f

“FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is delighted to announce five of its products received the 2017 TIPA awards. Widely recognized as the most coveted photo and imaging awards worldwide, “FUJIFILM GFX 50S” medium format mirrorless digital camera, “FUJIFILM X-T2” mirrorless digital camera, “FUJIFILM X-T20” mirrorless digital camera, “FUJINON XF 23mm F2 WR Lens” and “FUIFILM X100F” compact camera were winners in the categories of “BEST MEDIUM FORMAT CAMERA”, “BEST MIRRORLESS CSC EXPERT”, “BEST MIRRORLESS CSC ENTRY LEVEL”, “BEST CSC PRIME LENS” and “BEST PROFESSIONAL COMPACT CAMERA” respectively at the 2017 Technical Image Press Association awards (TIPA)*….”

Fujifilm: Fujifilm sets its highest record with 17 products won the globally-prestigious Red Dot Design Award

https://www.fujifilm.eu/uk/news/article/fujifilm-sets-its-highest-record-with-17-products-won-the-globally-prestigious-red-dot-design-award

“FUJIFILM Corporation (President: Kenji Sukeno) is proud to announce that its 17 major products, including the compact and lightweight medium-format mirrorless digital camera “FUJIFILM GFX 50S,” carrying a large image sensor, have won the Red Dot Design Award 2017, a product design award program organized by Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen based in Essen, Germany.

Fujifilm has won the Red Dot Design Award for five consecutive years since 2013 with its products, including the X Series of digital cameras, praised by professional photographers and photography enthusiasts for their outstanding image quality, excellent operability and premium design. This year, 17 products, the highest record for Fujifilm, have won the honor in recognition of their innovative product concepts that address leading-edge user needs, excellent performance, advanced technologies that enable the performance, and premium product designs….”

Australian Photojournalist Michael Coyne Explores Borneo with Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 23mm f/2.0 R WR

Dr Michael Coyne is a legendary Australian photojournalist and documentary photographer whose client list includes some of the most prestigious magazine, corporate and institutional clients. He is heavily involved in outreach and education, being Adjunct Professor of Photography at Melbourne’s RMIT University and Honorary Lecturer at Hong Kong University as well as a respected public speaker. 

A longtime Fujifilm camera user and Fujifilm Ambassador, Dr Coyne was chosen to test the Fujifilm GFX 50S in Tokyo in January between working on assignments and personal projects such as the one about contemporary village life depicted in this video.

FUJIFILMglobalMichael Coyne with XF23mmF2 R WR / FUJIFILM

Links:

Fujifilm Adds Fujinon XF 50mm f/2.0 Short Telephoto to Complete Its Rangefinder-Style Lens Trio

Fujifilm has added the third lens to its rangefinder-style lens set with the announcement of its Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR, adding the equivalent of the 75mm focal length to the XF 23mm f/2 and XF 35mm f/2 lenses equivalent focal lengths of 35mm and 50mm. 

The Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR is available in black or silver.

So now Fujifilm camera users can own a matched set of three lenses that have blazingly fast autofocus, are weather resistant, have small front ends for attaching 46mm diameter protection filters, and that have equivalent focal lengths of 35mm, 50mm and 75mm.

When trying out the XF 23mm f/2 and XF 50mm f/2 on my X-Pro2 last year, I found their small size and tiny front elements perfectly complemented the camera’s discrete look, with and without lens hoods attached.

The X-Pro2 is, for me, a cross between the Leica rangefinder cameras I built my style on throughout my analog photographic career and the 120-format film rangefinder cameras I came to love just as much after discovering them later during that time.

Although I appreciate the bokeh contrasting with the sharpness of my Fujinon XF 23mm f/1.4 R and XF 56mm f/1.2 R lenses, they can feel a little oversized and somewhat slower to focus when away from available darkness and out in the street compared to the 23mm and 35mm f/2 primes.

There is also the question of the wide front elements of the faster lenses intruding into the X-Pro2 OVF (optical viewfinder) window, something my Leica lenses were prone to as well but to a lesser degree.

I learned to account for that occlusion by training myself to see through both eyes while shooting, right eye through the OVF and left eye seeing the wider scene and especially lower left of frame.

The benefit of using lenses which don’t occlude the OVF window as much, as this trio is designed to do, is you can concentrate more on what you are seeing through the OVF while directing your left eye to see the broader scene, alert for the marvellous serendipities that make rangefinder photography so unique and so unlike shooting with DSLR and EVF-only cameras.

The 23mm, 35mm and 50mm Fujinon f/2 lens trio. In 35mm equivalent terms, these equate to 35mm, 50mm and 75mm. Images not to scale.

I throughly enjoyed photographing with the XF 23mm f/2 and 35mm f/2 lenses last year and may well add one or both to my kit in future. I am very much looking forward to trying out the XF 50mm f/2 R WR this year.

An obvious comparison

So many X-Pro2 users familiar with Leica M-System rangefinder cameras and lenses have compared Fujifilm’s f/2 trio with Leica’s Summicron f/2 lenses.

There is some relevance in that comparison given the Summicrons I owned and used (I borrowed the 75mm for magazine assignments when I could as I did not own one) were pleasurable and fast to use, and were as adept in available darkness as under bright sunlight.

I cannot help but make the analogy to Leica’s f/2 rangefinder lens set comprising its 18mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm Summicron-M and Apo-Summicron-M lenses. Of these my favourites during my Leica rangefinder days were the 28mm, 35mm and 75mm, with the 50mm and 90mm less frequently used.

Leica’s current Summicron lens set is five-strong, comprising 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 75mm and 90mm lenses. My personal pick of those five focal lengths would be the 28mm, the 35mm and the 75mm. In Fujinon APS-C terms that is 18mm, 23mm and 50mm.

If Fujifilm could now turn its attention to radically revamping its current 28mm lens equivalent, the Fujinon XF 18mm f/2 R, in the style of its f/2 trio then I would be enormously grateful.

Fujifilm, please update the ageing XF 18mm f/2 R so it has the same marvellous traits as your f/2 rangefinder-style prime lens trio, making it a quartet. I miss the 18mm (28mm in its 35mm format equivalent) focal length terribly.
The XF 18mm f/2 R’s 28mm equivalent focal length is perfect for documenting events where space is severely limited and the only movements you can make to better frame your photographs are leaning left or right, forwards or backwards. Wider focal lengths than 18mm can overemphasize elements at the edges and corners through distorting perspective and thus draw attention away from the main point of the photograph. I made this photograph with an XF 23mm f/1.4 R lens but would have much preferred an 18mm focal length to better tell the story.
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The Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 R short telephoto lens is a terrific focal length at its 85mm equivalence for deliberate, intense portraiture where the subject relates directly with the photographer and through that creates a sense of doing so with the viewer. Close-up candid snapshots of people’s faces like this one are better suited, in my opinion, to shorter focal lengths like the Fujinon XF 50mm f/2 R WR with its 75mm equivalency. Several reasons – faster autofocus, wider field of view, less bokeh at the same apertures and a wider field-of-view that better situates the subject within its environment.
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The kind of photograph where the Fujinon XF 56mm f/1.2 really shines. Shot at f/1.4 in dim fluorescent light indoors on a Fujifilm XT-2 with manual focus and focus peaking, with the aim of having only the catchlight sharp.

Specifications:

Image Credits:

Header photoillustration aka featured image created for this website in Photoshop by Carmel D. Morris. Fujifilm and Leica product photographs obtained from each company.

Tech Notes:

Two photographs made at the Women’s March in Sydney on 21st January 2017 with Fujifilm X-Pro2, processed in Macphun Luminar. Square portrait made with Fujifilm X-T2 then processed in Capture One Pro 10 using the Capture One Film Styles Kodak BW 400CN Pro preset.