Chris Wormald – A Photographer's travel blog.

Fuji X-Pro2

All images and text copyright of Chris Wormald and are not to be used without a fee being paid and written permission granted.

 

Some years ago, I asked myself this question;  “If I sold my full frame Canon 5d2 and my L series lenses, would that mean am no longer a serious photographer?”. 

Well, time and technology have moved on and my question has been answered by the advent of the compact mirror-less system camera.

Full frame kit is heavy and now for me, aged 72, a lighter outfit is desirable.

It seems that the amount of kit that a photographer is able to carry every day, is inversely proportional to his/her age.

At 25 my normal kit was a 5×4 M.P.P. three lenses, 20 D.D.S. an exposure meter, a large leather case and a heavy tripod, at 50 it was a Bronica SQAi, 3 film backs, 3 lenses, a Polaroid back, an exposure/flash meter and a heavy tripod, at 60, a full frame Canon 5dmk2 body five L series lenses including a 24mm TSE that I used daily, a long zoom that I hardly ever used and a medium weight tripod.

Uk, London, Burlington Arcade, hats&reflection1

Apparel from another age, in 21st century London.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Tulip2020(11)b&w

Tulip 11, St. Aubert, 8th April 2020.      60mm, ACROS+Y plus  in-camera  +sharp +grain +highlight +shadow.  gently toned in CS4.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Tulip2020(13)b&w

Tulip 13, 10th April 2020.   Same lens and settings as above.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Iris, blue2020(3)

Blue Iris 3,  St. Aubert  14th May 2020. Easing the lockdown – maybe flying again.     60mm

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Dying Tulip2020(1)b&w

-and to Her we shall all return.   April 2020.

During the last four years of my ownership, I used the Canon less and less and my series of Fuji cameras more and more. The Canon outfit seemed to get heavier every year and I was inclined to leave it at home, but the decision to sell it was still difficult. The Canon, as well as being heavy is very obvious, the L series 16-35mm mk2 for example has a very large front element and is by no means discrete when used on the street.

My ongoing Fuji infatuation started with the X100 in 2011, then evolved to the X-E1, the X-E2, X-T10 and most recently, the X-PRO2 and the X-T20. These have solved my dilemma around exiting full frame and now  I do not regret selling the Canon outfit for an instant.

There are pages on this blog full of thoughts and images from my earlier Fuji cameras, so please have a look at the page list on the right hand side if you are interested.

I reiterate what I stated on the front page of this blog – I have never received any money or loan of kit from Fuji or any other camera or lens manufacturer. I like and use Fuji kit – it is as simple as that!

One of the strengths of Fujifilm as a company is that they listen to their customers and continue to upgrade the firmware of their current cameras –

19th July 2018 saw firmware version 5 introduced, this seems excellent.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Iris2020(4)

Iris 4, St Aubert,  6th May 2020.         60mm,   Classic Chrome

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Poppy2020(14)close

14th June 2020,  St Aubert,            50mm + MCEX-11 tube,   Classic Chrome.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Hollyhock2020(1)

Hollyhock,  St Aubert,  15th June 2020.            50mm   ProNeg-Hi

France, Normandy, Putanges, River Orne, 2016autumn-reflections1

October meditation by the Orne, 2016.        23mm f1.4  firmware version 2.00

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, leaf, granite1

Old leaf on Granite,   April 2017,  35mm f2,  firmware version 3

France, Normandy, Breel, Fete des Legumes2018, BalloonMan1

Bubble man at Fete des Legumes 2018, Breel.    50mm

France, Normandy, Domfront, IntFolkFest, Czec(1)2018

Domfront International Folk Festival 2018.   35mm f2.  firmware version 4.1

 

France, Normandy, Domfront, IntFolkFest, Uzbekistan(2)2018

Uzbekistan dancers at Domfront Int. Folk Festival 2018.    35mm

France, Normandy, Falaise, Medievales"018, Arcadia1

Arcadia at the 2018 Medievals, Falaise.     50mm

France, Normandy, Falaise, Medievales2018, cook1

Cooking at the 2018 Medievals, Falaise.    50mm

France, Normandy, St Aubert, Dahlia, close(8)2019

Dahlia “Mcalister’s Pride”,  St.Aubert,  August 2019,        50mm

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, poppyhead1b&w

Poppy Seed Head,  May 2017,     50mm ACROS

St Mawes2, Cornwall, UK

St. Mawes, Roseland. Cornwall 2018. From my page, Cornish Waters part 2

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/cornish-waters-part-two/

 

France, Normandy, StAubert, lilly,b&w3

Sweet line – lily.   June 2017     ACROS, 50mm MCEX tube.

 

Don’t forget to download and install any new firmware for the lenses after you have done the upgrade for the body.

Not all the lenses have new firmware (to do with the parallax correction algorithm for the optical finder).  My lenses affected were the 14mm, 23mm  f1.4 and the 60mm macro.  

 

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, tulip4

Open tulip 2017,    50mm, firmware version 3.00

My current full outfit is the X-PRO 2 body, the X-T20 body, the 14mm f2.8, 23mm f2, 35mm f2, 50mm f2, 60mm macro.

A while ago, I sold a little-used X100s body and bought a Samyang 8mm fisheye. I can’t imagine using that lens very much either; maybe once in a blue moon —

Here is a link to my X-T20 page –

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/fuji-x-t20/

As part of my kit rationalisation, the two bodies and the four f2 lenses and small accessories reside in a Domke F803 bag that easily fits in a pannier on my bike and is not too heavy (3.6 kilos) on its shoulder strap.

The X-PRO2 body is very robust and well made;  it does take a bit of getting used to if you are new to “rangefinder” style cameras.

The optical finder (OVF) is lovely for the shorter focal lengths – the 14mm and the 23mm especially, which correspond to 21mm and 35mm in full frame 35mm camera terms. Press the lever on the front of the body and hold for a second and the optical finder magnifies to give a full frame view, press it again and a bright-line frame re-appears giving the view for the focal length that is on the camera.  Pressing the lever the other way invokes the EVF.

I said that I  love the 23mm f1.4, on the X-T10 page. Had the 23mm f2 lens been available when I bought the 23mm f1.4, I would have chosen the f2 because the f1.4 intrudes more into the optical finder and is quite a bit heavier.

I have now sold the 23mm f1.4 and the 23mm f2 (35mm equivalent) is my most used lens on the X-PRO2, the lens I use most on the X-T20 seems to have evolved to be the 50mm f2 (75mm equivalent).

France; Saumur&Loire-morning2

Morning light at Saumur, Loire Valley, France 2018      23mm

 

France, Normandy, Alencon, Maison d'Oze, garden

Maison D’Oze, Alencon, Normandy.  May 2019  14mm

France, Loire Valley, River and Cathedral St. Maurice; September

Evening over the Loire, Bridge and Cathedral, Angers, Loire Valley

France, Normandy, Ice, reflection1

Icy reflection in the water butts – January 2017   60mm

Uk, Cornwall, Mylor Harbour, oyster punts, misty morning2

Oyster Punts at Mylor Harbour, Cornwall 2017.

The 50mm with or without the extension tubes has produced some nice images and does not intrude into the optical finder;  the 60mm macro with its large flowerpot lens hood does intrude. However the macro lens’s continuous range covers the bit between the maximum close focus without the tube and the minimum close focus with the MCEX-11 tube. the MCEX-16 tube range is very close indeed and for me is less useful.

France, Normandy, St Aubert, crocus1(2019)

A very warm spell in late February and the bulbs react.    50mm MCEX-11,  Pro Neg-Hi

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, tulip,

Tulip  March 2017     50mm

France, Normandy, Putanges, RedGateShadow1

Red Gate Shadow, March, Putanges, Normandy

France, Normandy, Briouze, Marais du Grande Haze, February2019(2

Mid-February 2019 at the Marais, Briouze.       50mm  Classic Chrome simulation.

fr-norm-briouze-MaraisduGrandeHaze-April1

A quiet morning,  April 2018, at Le Marais du Grand Haze, Briouze, Normandy.  23mm ACROS toned in Lightroom6

This link goes to a new page on the Marais du Grand Haze –

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/normandy-the-marais-du-grand-haze/

France, Normandy, Briouze, Le Maraise du Grande Haze, Maytrees2

Another morning at the Marais in May 2018.    23mm

 

If the subject is very contrasty,  adjust the dynamic range from 100% to 200% or greater.

France, Normandy, Briouze, Marais du Grande Haze, LateNovember20

Late November 2018 at the Marais.     50mm,  classic chrome.

France, Normandy, Briouze, Marais de Grand Haze, Dec2019(2)

Early December 2019.   ProNeg-Hi  23mm

Choose a film emulation that suits the mood that you are trying to create. The muted colours of Classic Chrome are subtle, the opposite of Velvia.

France, Normandy, Briouze, Marais du Grande Haze, February2019(3

Mid-February 2019, dancing reflections, Le Marais du Grand Haze, Briouze.     35mm,  Classic Chrome simulation

France, Normandy, St Aubert, Tulip, 2019(1)

Lovely Tulip, 1st April 2019, St. Aubert.    50mm,  ProNeg Hi simulation.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, tulip petals, close1

Tulip petals, close       50mm + MCEX-16 tube

France, Normandy, Breel,GorgesdelaRouve,riverRouvre2019(1)

Texture of water April 2019, River Rouvre, Breel.     50mm

I have found it helpful to look regularly at the last image taken when using the OVF to make sure that the mode is set to what you want, for example the ACROS b&w setting. The OVF does not change to b&w as the EVF does. Don’t make the mistake of thinking you are shooting Velvia when Mr Fuji knows he is shooting b&w!

One more thing – if suddenly the camera seems weird – manual focus and all sorts of other things seem not to work – check the drive setting selector group top and make sure the drive is set to single shot. In the drive menu at the bottom is something called Advanced Filter – I do not know why it is there; if I wanted the X-PRO2 to act like a toy camera etc. I would have bought a toy camera! Accidentally selecting it causes a rise in blood pressure and palpitations. BE WARNED.

 

UK-Wiltshire-Salisbury-cathedral-b&wMay2018

Salisbury Cathedral on a May morning.

France, Normandy, St. Aubert, Dahlia,2018,4b&w

The soft on the hard,  October 2018.     23mm ACROS+Y

Remember – the OVF has parallax correction built in for close shots, but I find it more accurate to use the EVF for close work, whatever the focal length of lens used.

France, Normandy, St Aubert, Salpiglossis, close2019(5)

Salpiglossis 5,   I have the 60mm returned from my son.  Use the EVF mode for close work.

France, Normandy, Angers, MaisondeChapelain

Maison de Chapelain, Angers, France.

For monochrome lovers, the X-PRO2 seems akin to a digital version of a Leica M6 with a Summicron (loaded with FP4) with a yellow or red filter on the lens changeable by just touching a button. The monochrome possibilities are wonderful using the ACROS film simulation. You can still tone or split-tone in Lightroom or PS CS+ afterwards.

Uk, London,Thames, monochrome,redfilter1

River Thames with evening clouds, 2016.  ACROS + R

Perhaps in a firmware update Fuji can program in an orange filter as well as the red, yellow and green. Maybe other photographers as old as I am, found an orange filter very useful; stronger than a yellow and not as extreme as a red. I remember that FP4 developed in Acufine, rendered lovely skies with the orange filter (and the correct exposure)!

The body can instantly pretend to be loaded with Velvia, Provia Astia, Classic Chrome, or a choice of other films (as preset emulations) changeable at the touch of the left hand portion of the selector button group on the rear of the camera. That would have been very difficult to do with a real M6!

I spent decades shooting editorial photos for various clients; they loved Velvia transparencies and today my Fuji cameras sometimes  pretend to be “loaded” with Velvia. However I love ProNeg-Hi and Classic Chrome depending on the subject, sometimes Velvia is too much!

France, Normandy, Lassay-les-chateaux-lakeview2b&w

Lassay les Chateaux, 2016.    ACROS +Red  toned in Lightroom

The image with longer focal length lenses, viewed in the optical finder is very small on the X-PRO. I believe in playing to a camera’s strengths. Having said that another touch of the lever on the front of the X-PRO, switches to the EVF which is fast and sharp. Even the 50mm lens frame is small in the optical finder, but the image in the EVF is crisp, so it is obvious which finder to use.

Auto and manual focus on the X-PRO2 is different too. Set the camera to auto-focus and the selection of points or groups of points of focus is easy. Where the points are in the frame is positioned by a tiny joy-stick on the rear of the camera controlled by your thumb making for much faster selection than any of the Fuji cameras I have owned. Manual focus is helped by a small magnified square at the bottom right of the frame. This can be customised – digital split image or peak highlight. Very nice!

So here are some more shots taken on the X-Pro2 – some with the earlier firmware and some with the latest.

France, Normandy, Gorges de la Rouvre, smooth river

Smoothly flows the Rouvre, Gorges de la Rouvre, Normandy 2016.

France, Normandy, StAubert, Dahlia1b&w

Japanese Dahlia  Sept 2016  60mm

France, Normandy, Caen, Place Saint-Sauveur2019(1)

Place Saint-Sauveur, Caen.    23mm.

France, Normandy, Angers, La Pointe, River Loire1

Summer tranquillity on La Loire after the confluence with Le Maine, near Angers, France.

France, Normandy, St Aubert, Dahlia, Pooh2019(1)

Dahlia “Pooh”,  July,  St Aubert,  Normandy.    60mm  ProNeg-Hi

France, Brittany, Pont Aven, boat stern, high tide1

A hansom transom, Pont Aven, Brittany.   June 2017

The above from a page shot exclusively on the X Pro 2.

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/france-brittany-2017/

natform-orange poppy1

Orange Poppy, St. Aubert  June 2016    60mm

France, Normandy, Pontd'Ouilly, RiverOrne, stormy1b&w

Sudden April Showers, River Orne, near Pont d’Ouilly, 2016.   ACROS+red

 

France, Normandy, Orne Valley, ancient mill2017

Ancient mill, Orne Valley, Normandy.   November 2017.      23mm

The X-PRO2 is changing my workflow, I am shooting the largest JPEGs and using them straight out of the camera – my vow to only shoot RAW files and process them in Lightroom and CS4 seems to have gone out of the window. All the images on this page are out of the camera. It’s bizarre how things change.

Warning — buy a spare battery – or two.

UK, Devon, Dartington Hall from Gardens, spring1

Dartington Hall from the gardens in Spring 2016.

France, Normandy, Putanges, ruined barn1b&w

Ruined barn, near Putanges, Normandy 2016.   toned in Lightroom 6

France, Normandy, Lassay-les-chateaux-lakeview1

Lassay les Chateaux, Normandy 2016

Uk, Devon, Topsham, River Clyst&BridgeInn,2017

The River Clyst and Bridge Inn, Topsham, Devon, 2017

France, Normandy, Honfleur, Quai St. Catherine, summer1

Quai St. Catherine, Honfleur, Normandy, France

France, Normandy, Cerisi Belle Etoile, Rose2

Cerisy Belle Etoile, Normandy 2016. – Beautiful Rose  60mm

France, Normandy, Cerisi Belle Etoile, Rose3

Cerisy Belle Etoile, 2016  – use the EVF with the 60mm

France, Brittany, St. Jacut de la Mer, dawn2

Sunrise, St. Jacut de la Mer, Brittany 2016.

France, Brittany, Dinan, colourful shop1

Colourful Dinan. Rue du Petit Fort, 2016.

Below is a link to a page shot using the X-Pro2 –

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/mayenne-laval-and-the-river/

France, Normandy, Mayenne, chateau&river2

The Chateau from the bridge, Mayenne, Normandy 2016

UK, Warwick, FolkFestival2016, MollyDancers1

Molly Dancers (Gog Magog), Warwick Folk Festival 2016

Another page shot using the X-Pro2

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/warwick-and-the-folk-festival-2016/

UK, Warwick, FolkFestival2016, Mummers1

Mummers, Warwick Folk Festival 2016

France, Normandy, Le Mans, MedievalCity3

Plantagenet City, Le Mans, Normandy, 2016.

Yet another page shot on the X-Pro2

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/plantagenet-city/

And another about Angers and the rivers –

https://chriswormald.wordpress.com/3425-2/

 

France, Brittany, Dournenez, harbour1

Douarnenez, Brittany, 2016.

France, Brittany, Douarnenez, harbour, LUN 11, trading ketch5

Unloading zero carbon rum, Douarnenez, 2016

France, Normandy, Briouze, flood plaine, imbolc2018b&w1

Imbolc 2018, February fills the dykes at Briouze.   23mm, firmware 4.01

France, Normandy, Briouze, February Flood-plain2020(1b&w)

February 17th 2020, Briouze, Normandy.     23mm ACROS+R

France, Normandy, St Aubert, tulip, close2019(1)

Tulip “Carnival de Rio”,  35mm MCEX-16 tube

The Fuji X-Pro2 is my work-horse and a delight to use – no it is not a Leica, it is lighter and for me, more versatile, AND a fraction of the financial outlay including four f2 WR lenses that are really lovely.

France, Normandy, St.Aubert, Rose, dying2020(1)

All things must pass,  St Aubert sur Orne,   18th May 2020.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: