I've been photographing weddings for almost 4 years with Fuji equipment and its' been a fantastic journey.
I was photographing with Nikon for a couple years and I learned a lot. I learned about the exposure triangle, depth of field and a lot more. I learned a lot from other photographers who used Nikon and Canon and we all had those debates on which was better.
THEN FUJI ARRIVED
I wasn't one of the first adopters of Fuji, but I became aware of them once the Xpro1 and X-E1 arrived. They were these small cameras that looked like film cameras and just looked neat. They were being revolutionary in designing something old, but something new. The x100 series and the xpro series were very unique with the optical viewfinder and electronic viewfinder. And off they went!
I tried the x-e1 and it was something awesome in size, in being different, and how it functioned, but the autofocus and viewfinder were sluggish. It was a lot to get used to for sure. So I quickly returned it and replaced it with the X-E2. I spent many hours with the X-E2 taking photos all over the place. At that time I was still doing weddings with Nikon, but Fuji had me very curious.
THE XT-1 CHANGES THE GAME
As soon as the X-T1 came out and I did my research I knew it was going to a game changer. They talked about a huge viewfinder, very fast autofocus and ergonomically awesome. Once I tried it out I knew this was a fantastic piece of gear. I sold all my Nikon gear and went head first into the Fuji ecosystem. I read a lot about the benefits and looked at a lot of portfolios. I learned about Fuji photographers all over the world. It felt like a community, everyone was excited to take photos and to try something new.
THE GLASS, WOW
The second reason that I felt so confident with my change over to Fuji was the glass; lenses. No point in changing gear if the lenses are not up to par. I always sought after great quality gear to produce the best photos I can for myself and my clients.
23mm and 56mm (35mm and 85mm)
For weddings I use two lenses primarily as I can shoot the full wedding with them. The 23mm 1.4 lens is fantastic as well as the 56mm 1.2. They are stunning lenses. And from my point of view they are better than their counterpart from Nikon.
THE X100F (NEW)
My newest camera is the x100F. For now its going to be my everyday camera for all purposes and to improve on my street photography. Eventually I'd like to use it for weddings due to its small size, silent shutter and great photo quality. I've used one of their earlier models, but none were at the level I'd hoped for. This one is just great. It'll be the backup to both of my X-T1 and it will stay in my camera bag for the long haul.
I've read a lot about the X-T2 and it sounds fantastic. They made everything faster, easier to handle, and improved the sensor/image quality. From everything I'm reading it is a step up from the X-T1. Will I upgrade to it? Most likely, but not yet. My gear still works really well and with all the recent firmware updates it has improved a ton from when I first bought them. Perhaps in 2019 I will update to a couple X-T2 cameras or whatever comes next. Fuji continues to come out with great cameras and even lenses.
I use the Fuji batteries and a few other batteries as well, but so happy to say that all three of my cameras share the same battery type. Thanks Fuji!! Used to be a pain when they had different sizes.
Thanks for reading about what I use for wedding photography. Its going to be a great 2018 wedding season!!
Excited to have this camera join my kit.
Fujifilm all the way!!!
Feel free to comment if you use any of this gear or if you have any questions about them.
Just like everyone else in the industry I was very excited about the new X-T1 which launched a few weeks ago. Fuji had really upped the ante with this camera. It boasted a lot of new features and instead of the full retro look it looks a tad more like a mini DSLR that happened to have dials. Being a gear guy I needed to learn more about it and see what it was all about. I checked out a ton of reviews and forums and saw that it was a little different to everything else Fuji offered and could very well be a big step forward. They were in short supply so as soon as I found out it was available at my local Best Buy I had to pick it up and test it out.
In the past, with Nikon, I had been pretty quick about accumulating lenses and trying to figure out which cameras to buy next. This time around I'm trying to be a little smarter and more practical with my purchases. What is it that I need and are there any gaping holes in my kit. This camera looked amazing online, and there were lots of great reviews on it. So I waited patiently for the shipment to arrive.
First things I noticed:
- Much larger viewfinder! Playing around indoors with it I was not very impressed, but when I went outside wow! The detail, clarity and refresh rate on the EVF was phenomenal. The viewfinder is now in the middle of the camera which is an easy move as that's what it was with my Nikons.
- It feels more solid and a little heavier, but there is a better grip area and thumb rest area as well which really helps.
- There is an ISO wheel on the left side which is nice although I generally keep that in AUTO as I trust the high iso limits of the camera.
- The lcd screen is now articulated. I used to have a camera like that in the past and although fun, I always shoot with the viewfinder and will rarely tilt the screen. This also means no buttons on the left side of the camera where I was used to going to on the X-E2. (Buttons are all different yet again.)
- View mode reappears on this model, but its in an awkward place, and the focus assist button is more prominent.
- I prefer this larger exposure control dial as its raised and large. Good job with that Fuji.
- The directional pad on the back is very small, which for some is too small. To me they were ok.
- The viewfinder shows more information like side by side images, the information rotates with you and the refresh rate is fantastic in low light.
- Memory card slot is on the side vs on the bottom. Makes sense as its easier to access and allows for the option for a battery grip as an accessory. People are really pleased with that one.
Why I picked up the camera.
Currently I own the x-e2 camera which I really like. It was a rangefinder (old manual camera) look and feel to it and works really well. But, I always work with two cameras for weddings and events and I was looking for a good second camera to work in tandem with this one. The options were a second x-e2, an x 100s and this X-T1. Given my style of shooting and how the camera saw things I passed on the x100s. It is a super camera don't get me wrong, but the focal length and metering was so different to the X-e2 and what I'm used to. I will purchase one of them in the future as it makes for the perfect travel, walking companion when you want to be discrete and pack light. Then there is the X-T1 with all its new features, better build and weather sealing. Actually the x100s and the X-t1 are currently the same price while the X-E2 is about $400 cheaper as its on sale.
What I decided:
Although the X-T1 is very impressive and boasts a lot of new features the image quality and general autofocus system is exactly the same. I decided I didn't need the titling screen, different button layout, the ISO dial, or the size difference. I am super content with the rangefinder look of the X-E2. So I have decided to pick up a second X-E2 save about $400 and have two cameras with the same buttons, and that work exactly the same. This way if one goes down I have a backup that works exactly the same.
- The one thing that I will miss from the X-T1 is that gorgeous viewfinder. I can see that making a big difference in everyday shooting. Luckily the speed of the viewfinder is something that the X-E2 will be matching shortly with a firmware update.
- I will most likely wait for the X-E3 to come out as it should keep the same retro look and also cost a little less.
- IF this is your first camera into the FUJI series I would highly recommend picking up the X-T1 as it will resemble your DSLR a little more and in some ways is snappier to the X-E2. Its a serious camera for demanding photographers I just can't justify it at this time as I also have my eye on the new 56mm 1.2 lens. Going to need a lot of pocket change to pick that one up.
No this doesn't mean that I have gotten rid of all the mirrors in my house.
I have moved away from the traditional DSLR and have entered the Mirorrless realm. These are cameras that don't require a mirror or pentaprism for its viewfinder. This allows the camera to both be smaller and quieter as well.
Its interesting how technology advances and brings about new gear.
Mirrorless cameras are slowly bridging the gap as a replacement for the DSLR. Of course there are some things that it does differently and they do have their limitations, but every generation gets better and better. Its exciting to see where mirrorless technology will be even a year from now.
Fujifilm offers everything I want:
- Great image quality (equal or better to most Nikons I've used)
- Small form factor, lighter gear is better
- Knobs and dials (I have always enjoyed the old film cameras. In use and in looks.
- AUTO FOCUS - This is important for me because prior to Fuji most retro styled cameras were manual focus only
- A variety of high quality lenses, and more coming soon
- Exceptional build quality, cameras are mostly metal and all their XF lenses are metal as well
- Electronic viewfinder, so cool, who knew?
- A what you see is what you get, view from the viewfinder, makes it easier to see proper exposure
- Price (compared to similar in quality Nikon equipment it is significantly less expensive
- Firmware updates (its amazing that even their discontinued cameras are still receiving updates!)
I'm confident that I made the right decision in my switch. I spent countless hours doing research, following blogs, reading reviews and went hands on with my first purchase.
They are very different in their controls, menus, settings, and even in how they see the world. I knew that having some Nikon and some Fuji would get very confusing, so I made the decision to dive right in.
For the future:
This technology really keeps improving with every new model. I see myself upgrading my cameras every year or so. Fuji already has a great selection out there and it'll only continue to improve. The retro look and functionality should remain with mainly internal improvements.
Make note that for many genres of photography mirrorless cameras will slowly start to take over versus the larger DSLR options in the upcoming yr or so. The newly released XT1 is already making some big waves. And cameras like the x100 and the xpro1 are already legendary.
Mirrorless is the future and Fujifilm leads the way.
Note: All these photos were taken with a Fuji camera.
Silver X-E2 with the 18-55mm 2.8-4
Black X-E2 with the 35mm 1.4
This is the X-E2 with the new 56mm 1.2. This is the perfect portrait lens and will also work well when I need a little reach during weddings/receptions. Really excited to use this for this upcoming wedding season.
I also picked up the X-T1 which is the X-E2's big brother and so far am really enjoying it. It offers me a larger and quicker viewfinder, a better grip and is a tad more responsive. This is a record winning camera with tons of rave reviews in the photography world. It is a fabulous camera and one that I will truly enjoy using for many weddings to come.
So please don't be alarmed when you see me at your wedding with these retro styled cameras. Their image quality is stunning, they are discrete and work perfectly for my Candid Style of photography.
And of course, if you're into photography as well, feel free to ask me about them. I love talking about my Fujis!
My evolution in photography has led me to DSLRs, zoom lenses, prime lenses, buying and selling, and always learning along the way. Much like any other creative business its easy to get suck into the buying and upgrading trend. There is always something new being released and cameras and lenses get replaced all the time.
I must admit that all aspects of photography intrigued me including the gear. Finding out why one lens and another similar one were separated by over $300 made me want to know more.
I read articles and spoke to other photographers who claimed to know the "must have lenses". They talked about using Full Frame cameras like the only way to go and if you didn't use Full Frame you were just a newbie and weren't taking things seriously.
They talked about the 70-200mm 2.8 lens and its companion the 24-70mm lens as the only two lenses real photographers used for events and weddings. But, you soon find out both of these are over $1200 each. So you work hard, try to save up to buy such equipment. So, you can't quite afford it and start looking at alternative. There are plenty of very comparable pieces of equipment that will almost get you there for hundreds less.
So you use that gear, but knowing that one day you'll buy that gear they say is the best and you're photos will just be stunning.
But, on the other hand you also need to save up for a full frame camera. They start around $2,000+. In the meantime you are learning as much as you can with your gear and trying to improve.
Sounds silly, but I know a lot of us photographers go through this. And the more budget we have the more we can feed the Gear Acquisition Syndrome. It seems to affect even the best of us.
So I got to a point where I knew I'd benefit from better lenses, but wasn't ready to buy the super expensive zoom lenses. Also, I found that I kept zooming all the time.
During non wedding gigs I found myself using my prime lenses more and more. They worked so well for portraits, although for other things I really needed to pay attention on how/when to use them.
So I made the transition to all prime lenses. I saw the benefits of better lenses which were lighter, and worked well in low light. I practiced and practiced. I had sold off all my zoom lenses and was actually quite happy with my choice. I no longer craved those expensive zoom lenses and found the strengths of using prime lenses.
Then, one day..... By accident almost, I was looking at the Ken Rockwell site where i like to go for quick gear reviews, I clicked on Fuji as I had never clicked on it before. And I was amazed at what I found. Smaller cameras, with great lenses, within my budget and with electronic view finders and best of all with autofocus.
The reason I had never clicked on it before was because the photo posted looked like a film camera and I assumed it was either a film camera or a newer digital camera with no autofocus. I was wrong. These new cameras had autofocus, lcd screens on the back and a knobs! When's the last time you turned a knob on a camera?
I read and read and read about Fujifilm. I wanted to know what people were saying, where they excelled and any drawbacks to them. I read countless blogs from famous photographers to every day photographers. I joined forums and even wrote to some of these photographers to hear about their first hand experience. And what's crazy is that a lot of people were selling off their large DSLR gear and replacing them with Fujifilm gear. I was shocked.
By the third week of my research I was sold.
I slowly started selling off my Nikon gear (once I'd bought and used the Fuji X-E1 which I later replaced for the X-E2). The XE-1 was really neat, but its wasn't as responsive as I'd liked. So within the return period I returned it and picked up the XE-2. This camera was much more responsive and just handled great. Of course I still had to get used to using the knobs, button and menu layout, but I was prepared to learn.
Now I have most of my new kit and have left Nikon behind.
Fujifilm is doing some really big things in the industry with their mirrorless cameras and are quickly becoming popular.
They are relatively young in this market, but they have been in the photo/video industry for decades.
MY FUJI GEAR
Fujifilm X-E2 with the 18-55mm lens
My second Fujifilm X-E2, shown with the 35mm 1.4
I tend to use two cameras in tandem for events and weddings instead of switching lenses all the time. Also, its always good to have a backup. So I got one of each color to make it easier to see which camera/lens I'm taking from my bag.
This is the Fujifilm 35mm 1.4. Very nice lens. All of the Fuji lenses are metal, and with metal mounts.
This is the so-called kit lens 18-55mm 2.8-4. But, given its price, build quality and fantastic optics it does not handle like a kit lens at all. Superb all purpose lens.
The one thing you'll notice is that each has a large focusing ring and also the apertures labeled right on the lens. This means that to change the aperture you have to do it manually by rotating the ring. Just like back in the day. Pretty neat right?
In the future I will most likely add one or two more lenses, but that's about it. I'm really looking forward to the release of the 56mm 1.2 lens. Will probably be a stunning portrait lens. But, all these lenses are very sharp, very well built and each are very hard to top. Fujifilm has always been regarded as one of the top lens manufacturers in the world and it really shows.
Its exciting to try out new equipment and learn how to use them quickly and effectively, but its also great to have top of the line gear. I feel like I've finally found the right gear for my style of photography, my wallet, and optical quality demands.
Update: I have the 27mm 2.8 pancake lens on order. Stay tuned for a post on the new lens when it comes in.
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