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Fujifilm X-Series Camera & Lenses

30 Jun 2020

I use the Fujifilm X series camera and lens system, as it allows me to reliably obtain excellent image quality; with ample detail and sharpness, and perhaps arguably, the most accurate colour rendering of any camera manufacturer; without the additional size and weight of other camera systems.

Portability of equipment is extremely important; and the X series range provides this, in combination with highly intuitive and tactile manual controls, that allow me to focus more closely on, and enjoy the process of photography – which at its core, is what it is all about for me.

CAMERA BODY

Fujifilm X-T2

Fujifilm X-Series Camera & Lenses

Notwithstanding the quality of the images that this camera’s sensor produces, the camera itself is a joy to hold and handle given its small form factor, solid construction, and tactile manual ISO, shutter speed and exposure compensation controls. Its classic retro styling also makes it one of the most attractive cameras on the market.

Reliable weather-sealing protects it from the elements when partnered with WR (weather-resistant) Fujinon lenses, taking the pressure off when shooting in more testing conditions.

The performance of the cameras cropped 24.3MP APS-C X-Trans III CMOS sensor is more than sufficient for my everyday needs. I am a strong advocate of the X-Trans sensor array, which I think leverages more detail from a scene than other sensor configurations – as long as you use the right raw file converter and process the files correctly.

At the lower ISO sensitivities, the cameras sensor does an excellent job; displaying exceptionally clean results and resolving pin sharp detail, that can match most full frame competitors. Dynamic range is also very good at lower sensitivities, offering plenty of flexibility to recover detail in post-processing with raw files. As with any camera sensor: if you know its limits, you can generally work around this to achieve the right exposure. 

Lastly, for me, the cameras electronic viewfinder (EVF), with its 2.36 million-dot OLED display, allows me to see a shots exposure in real-time; so it is easy to toggle to correct. This makes the process of photography even more pleasurable, as you gain a good insight into how the final processed image will look.

MAIN (RED BADGE) LENSES

Fujifilm X-Series Camera & Lenses

Fujinon XF Zoom 16-55mm F/2.8 R LM WR 

This is an extremely well-built weathered sealed lens that can reliably handle every-day use. It has a versatile focal length of 16-55mm (or 24-83mm 35mm equivalent) that allows me to cover wide angle to moderate telephoto fields of view; along with a fast f/2.8 aperture, for good low light capabilities. 

Optically, for me, it performs arguably as well as Fuji’s prime lenses, with minimal drop in image sharpness towards the edges; certainly, for the lenses optimum f-stop range (f5.6 to f11). Chromatic aberration, vignetting and distortion are minimal.

The lens aperture ring has reassuring solid and definite clicks; and the front manual focus ring is very smooth, making focus peaking straightforward.

It is a relatively bulky lens compared to others in the Fuji line-up; although it is still in the order of 1/3rd smaller and lighter than its full frame equivalents*, and a small compromise considering the resultant image quality. A lack of optical image stabilisation (OIS) in the lens is a shame – however; the new XT4 camera body now incorporates in body 5-axis image stabilisation technology.

* Note: I do appreciate that you do not achieve as shallow a depth of field for a given f-stop on cropped versus full frame lenses, however; this is only really relevant to the degree of bokeh one can achieve; and therefore not a significant limitation given my style of photography. I should add that the longer total depth of field distance (in focus area) of the Fuji system is a huge advantage over full frame.

Fujifilm X-Series Camera & Lenses

Fujinon XF Zoom 50-140mm F/2.8 R LM OIS WR

The construction of this full metal lens (35mm equivalent focal length: 76 – 213mm) is second-to-none.

It is around two-thirds the weight of full frame equivalents, and is notably smaller in length, with a filter thread of only 72mm. It is also comfortable to hold in hand, with a responsive but precise zoom ring, that is well dampened, which makes it easy to find the focal length you’re looking for.

Optically, it is my favorite lens; producing razor sharp and highly detailed images; again, with minimal, if any, chromatic aberration and distortion.

The lenses OIS is incredible in low-light situations, giving you up to 5 stops of stabilization. As an example, I am regularly happy with results around 1/4 of a second for static scenes at 50mm, and about 1/20th second at 140mm).

Fujifilm X-Series Camera & Lenses

Fujinon Teleconverter XF 1.4X TC WR

I use this high-performance teleconverter with the 50-140mm lens to increase the focal length up to approximately 300mm.

When in use, there is no obvious loss in image quality; although it does increase the lens' aperture by one f-stop.