01. Fuji X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF90mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/160th second at f/5.6. This close up image of Chantelle shows the clarity and detail captured by the Fujifilm X-Pro2. Ctrl click or right click the image and select ‘open linked file’ in a new tab to access a full resolution version. You can do that with any of the single images in this post. Please remember these are jpegs from a prototype camera with noise reduction set at -4 and sharpness at -1 that may have had a tweak or two in Lightroom.
For some months now I’ve been testing the Fuji X-Pro2. I am 1 of 100 photographers around the world commissioned to take a photograph on Fujifilm’s latest X series camera for an exhibition in Tokyo. As well as shoot for the exhibition I took the opportunity to put this camera through its paces and here are my findings after 2000 frames of usage.
This prototype X-Pro2 camera that I’ve been using for the past few months is similar to the full production unit but there are likely to be a few refinements in the feel of the controls and the firmware functionality. I added the battered shutter release button to disguise the camera somewhat when I was shooting out and about on location. The lens on this X-Pro2 is the same XF 35mm f/1.4 that I bought 4 years ago with my original X-Pro1. It still delivers sparkling pictures and was easily up to the increased resolution that the 24mp sensor can capture. It is no surprise to me that the new XF 35mm f/2 lens is weather sealed and tapered to the front. The tapering is perfect for the X-Pro2 as it avoids blocking the optical view when using the OVF.
I will spare you the obligatory list of specifications as the interweb will be be full of them by now. Instead I’ve decided to share a selection of portraits from my latest shoots taken in the studio and on location. Sometimes my choice of settings could have been better but these shots are regular ‘run of the mill’ type samples. These are all in camera jpegs with the camera settings defining the look. As Lightroom doesn’t recognise the RAF files yet I decided to just use jpegs rather than use a Beta version of Silkypix. I’ve not assigned any noise reduction in Lightroom and left the NR camera setting at -4. I love a bit of grain anyway and at least you can see the detail accurately. Some shots have had a tweak or two including a bit of cropping and straightening but generally I got the look you see here in camera using the white balance, film simulation and tone controls as required. Ctrl click or right click any of the numbered images and select ‘open linked file’ in a new tab to access a full resolution version of the shot.
02. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF90mm lens • ISO 640 • 1/250th second at f/2. Mischkah in my studio lit with a single Lupo 650 spotlight.
03. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF50-140mm lens • 140mm • ISO 400 • 1/125th second at f/2.8. Chantelle is lit with three Lupo 1000 LED spotlights
Some people think that 4 years is a long time to take to deliver a replacement or upgraded camera but I feel it is about right. This new X-Pro2 camera brings the original X series concept bang up to date. With it’s unique hybrid optical/ electronic viewfinder the X-Pro2 is a niche camera for a niche market that includes street, documentary and reportage photographers. They asked for a replacement camera that was true to the original concept and they have got it. There are no superfluous function buttons, no tilt screen or pop up flash either. The X-Pro2 is a no nonsense camera that will serve it’s owners for another 4 years before it needs replacing.
The official photographs provided by Fujifilm clearly show the phase detection pixels on the sensor and the X100T type hybrid OVF/ EVF. The button layout has changed considerably too. Although at first glance the X-Pro2 looks fairly similar to the X-Pro1 just about everything except the battery has changed.
Gone is the fixed dioptre viewfinder and in comes an adjustable one. The adjustment wheel on my prototype model was too easily moved and got knocked each time the camera went in or out of my camera bag. I’m sure little things like this will get tweaked when the camera goes into full production. The rumours were true about the dual card slots but failed to note that that slot 1 is a UHS11 read/writer capable of 300 mb/s transfer speeds. It’s the same specification unit as that on the Fuji X-T1. The ISO can now be changed with a dial rather than diving into a menu system and this is a really useful design change. I remember this lift and twist mechanism first time around back in the 1980s :)
04. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF50-140mm lens • 106mm • ISO 200 • 1/125th second at f/13. Chantelle was lit with a single Elinchrom RX 600 Flash head with a Rotolux 130mm x 25mm striplight softbox.
05. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF90mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/250th second at f/5.6. Chantelle is in my studio and lit with a Wafer 130 softbox on an Elinchrom 600RX head.
06. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF56mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/250th second at f/16. Lydia is lit with an Elinchrom RXi 500 head with a 42cm beauty dish fitted with a grid (from Ebay).
07. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF35mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/250th second at f/5. Lydia is lit with a Wafer 130 softbox on an Elinchrom 600RX head.
09. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF56mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/250th second at f/8. Lydia is lit with a Bowens Prolite 82 with a Maxilite reflector.
10. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF35mm lens • ISO 1000 • 1/250th second at f/1.4. Lydia is lit with a single Lupo LED 1000 spotlight through my plastic palm tree.
11. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF18-55mm lens • 25mm • ISO 1000 • 1/60th second at f/4. Lydia is lit with the same rig as above.
12. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF35mm lens • ISO 1600 • 1/60th second at f/1.4. Lydia is lit with the Lupo and I am shooting into the light to give a ‘beach’ inspired look. We were listening to ‘beach’ music apparently so I took my inspiration from that :)
13. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF35mm lens • ISO 1600 • 1/60th second at f/1.4. Lydia is lit as above.
14. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF56mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/100th second at f/1.8. Victoria is lit with just one Lupo LED 1000 spotlight.
15. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF23mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/60th second at f/2 • with a monopod. Victoria was lit with a pair of dual colour Lupo 650 spotlights set at 3200k
16. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF90mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/60th second at f/2 • With a monopod. Victoria is lit as above.
17. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF56mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/100th second at f/1.8 • with a monopod. Victoria is lit with a pair of Lupo 650 spotlights.
18. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF90mm lens • ISO 400 • 1/125th second at f/2 • with a monopod. Victoria is lit with a pair of Lupo 650 dual colour spotlights set to 3200k
19. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Pro Neg S film simulation • XF90mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/60th second at f/2 • with a monopod. Victoria is lit as above.
20. Fujifilm X-Pro2 • Acros G film simulation • XF56mm lens • ISO 200 • 1/250th second at f/1.2 • with a monopod. Victoria is lit with two Lupo 650 spotlights.
A note about Noise: When Lightroom gets to release it’s raw conversion algorithms for the X-Pro2 it will no doubt have the noise reduction and sharpening settings sorted like his has for the X-T1 and X-T10 etc. I find them so good that I just take them as they are at their default values. I decided to go with NR set to -4 (the lowest setting ) as it’s easy to remove noise later but impossible to replace detail. I really like the look straight from camera. I’m used to shooting Neopan 1600 film and I have learned to love a bit of texture.
I’m not a pixel peeper, I shoot from the heart and I love the look that I’m getting from this X-Pro2 camera. Is it the camera for me? Yes, for now because the images sparkle and resolve the potential from my XF lenses but I’m super excited for an X-T model to get the new sensor treatment. I have got used to and love the tilting screen and central viewfinder of the X T cameras. I’m left eyed too so using the offset viewfinder of the X-Pro2 means my face is blocked and the LCD gets smeary marks from my nose. Small things I know but important for me. This camera will be coming to Venice with me in a couple of weeks and to my Wild West road trip in America in May. I’m hoping by then Lightroom CC will be able to process the files.
I’m impressed. The potential of the X system is now realised with the X-Pro2. All those wonderful X series lenses have been made for a 24 megapixel resolution camera and the difference in image resolution is far more obvious than I ever imagined. The X-Pro 2 is also very well made. It feels substantial and refined. The controls are positive and will withstand an arduous life.
If you like printing your images you will love the detail that the Fuji X-Pro2 captures. When I prepare an image for print I optimise the file for sharpness, detail and noise before outputting it from Lightroom. I look forward to putting a few of the RAW files from this set through Lightroom at a later date to utilise the full dynamic range of the files. I know with some practice I’ll be able to raise the image quality bar even further.
Please feel free to comment. Please also consider that these shots are from a preproduction camera that doesn’t have the final firmware.
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