An update on my X-E2 journey and 90 pictures from one shoot with the Fuji X system to enjoy…
I shot both my X- cameras side by side because I wanted to see how easy it was to switch between them. My conclusion is that the X-Pro1 and the X-E2 have such different operating set ups it was a challenge. However when the new firmware for the X-Series cameras is released next week most features will merge and the cameras will seem far more coordinated. At the moment they both have their strengths and weaknesses. The ‘exposure preview when in manual mode’ function on the X-E2 is fabulous and is due to become a feature on the X-Pro1 too along with the minimum shutter speed setting in auto ISO. I hope the X-E2 gets the X-Pro1 focussing characteristics when in manual mode because at the moment the focus zone on the X-E2 is far too big. Both cameras could do with the best bits of each becoming integrated into a more coherent firmware with common characteristics.
I used three prime lenses for this set of pictures. Every frame here was shot wide open. On the 23mm and 35mm lenses that is f/1.4 and on the 60mm lens it is f/2.4. I used ISO 400 to ISO 1600 depending upon the light level and exposure characteristics I wanted to capture. All the pictures were shot hand held and I much prefer the handling of the X-Pro1 with the RRS ‘L’ bracket and grip to the X-E2 with no grip. A bracket and grip will become available for the x-E2 soon enough.
Ever since I embarked on my Fuji X journey there has been a useable set of prime lenses. The original three offerings 18mm, 35mm and 60mm set me on my way 15 months ago and now with a system comprising of 12 lenses and counting there are still two primes that I am patiently waiting for. The 56mm f/1.2 portrait lens and the 90mm f/2 IS long portrait lens. The 56mm lens should be with us next month. The 90mm lens is in my dreams. How is it when faced with fabulous tools we always want more? I’m now carrying two X bodies with me to shoots, 4 lenses and filters too so I’m going to need a bigger camera bag when the 56mm arrives. I’ve lost count of my camera bags but this time I think I’ll have a hand me down. My Canon 5D2 kit with it’s primes is living in my Think Tank Retrospective 20 in Pinestone. This will be a perfect size for my Fuji X / prime kit. I will be able to carry 2 bodies, 4 lenses and accessories at about half the weight of one DSLR and just three lenses in the same bag.
A three prime set up is always going to be a compromise in my book but with the new Fuji XF 56mm just around the corner I’ll be using a four lens set up comprising the 14mm, 23mm, 35mm and 56mm lenses. Some photographers have asked me if I feel the 23mm and 35mm lenses are too close and ‘is there a need to have both’? I love this combination because I use the 23mm lens to capture the establishing shots, telling the story and I use the 35mm to capture the intimacy in my portraits. The intimacy comes from a close proximity to my subject. If I want to go tighter than head and shoulders it is the turn of the 60mm macro lens. I also use the 60mm lens when I’m wanting to create long shots with a feeling of distance and separation. The lenses are merely allowing me to express what I want in the image by the nature of my proximity to my subject.
Photography is perhaps more exciting for me now than at any time in my 30 year career to date. That brings me on to this assignment. I was booked for a 1:1 tuition day in Bristol. My client stayed at a boutique hotel for a couple of nights and we spent the day between shooting in his room. My delegate chose to shoot on a Nikon D800 and a D700 with a set of top shelf primes while I worked the Fujis. I collected Samantha from Temple Meads station on my way to the hotel and after a rapport building session over tea and coffee we were taking our first frames in natural light. I’ve never worked with Natalie before and I’ve no idea why that should be because she is a fabulous model, fun and kind. Thank you Natalie.
Model: Natalie Wwstcott
Photography: Damien Lovegrove
Lighting: Sunbounce Pro reflector in Silver/ white, Lupolux LED 1000, Lowel iD light
Filtration: Tiffen Black Pro Mist 1/4 filter on 23mm and 35mm and 1/8th on the 60mm lens
Make up and hair: Natalie
Styling: Damien Lovegrove and Natalie
Corsets by: Lisa Keating
Camera kit: Fuji X-E2, X-Pro1, 23mm, 35mm and 60mm lenses
Post production: Adobe Lightroom 5.3 – no Photoshop, no presets
Here are 90 of my pictures from the shoot. The misty look was created in camera by shooting into the light with the pro mist filters. What you see is what we shot. If you would like to book me for a 1:1 training session click here for more information and get in touch. There really is no better way to improve your photography than a bespoke learning experience.
Well there you have it. There are more pictures here than in any other post on this blog. This represents a typical Lovegrove album selection. The energy and variety comes down to direction and the fabulous range in Natalie’s personality and acting ability. I’m sure she was laughing at me rather than with me at times. That’s okay, what matters is we had fun and it shows in the pictures. I’ll report back on the Fuji X cameras after my next shoot with the new firmware. In the meantime please feel free to take a look at my galleries of images here. There are 22 galleries to date containing just over 2000 photographs.
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