Goodbye Fujifilm

I bought my first proper camera two years ago when I broke up my my ex wife. I called up a friend who was into photography and asked for advice. He recommended one of the Fujifilm X-series cameras and that is what I got. I used to do travel and street photography back then. As an amateur photographer, I found the ISO and shutter speed dials, as well as the aperture rings on the lens extremely intuitive, particularly for someone like me who was getting used to shooting in manual mode. Even though I am now leaving Fujifilm, I am sure I am going to miss my X-T3 camera, as well as the kit lens (XF 18-55mm) and the XF 35mm F2 for travel photography due to the extremely compact size of the camera plus lenses combo. But things have changed.

I have never done any fashion or lifestyle photography at all before December 2020. It all happened by chance. One afternoon I went to central London with the X-T3 and the 35mm with the view of doing some street photography. In fairness, the inspiration wasn’t there. Then I bumped into my friend Joe and a bunch of other people who were doing a flashmob.

Laurita, Fujifilm X-T3 & XF 35mm f2 lens

I spent the following lockdown learning the technique on You Tube. As restrictions were about to be dropped, I invited my friend Johnny to my place and turned my living room into a studio and I started practicing.

Johnny, Fujifilm X-T3 & Viltrox 56mm f1.4 lens

The following weeks gave me the opportunity to practice every Saturday at Pierre Garroudi’s flashmob. I met some cool people thanks to the flashmob who helped me in taking my photography to the next level. As now I am opening a collaborative network with another photographer and a group of models, I felt the limitations of my 24-megapixel Fujifilm, particularly after back to back testing with the X-T3’s cropped APSC mirrorless sensor, Nikon’s d810 full frame and Fujifilm’s GFX medium format cameras.

Daniela, Fujifilm GFX 100S medium format & GF 110mm lens

Obviously good cameras and good lenses don’t come cheap. I decided to sell my Fujifilm set-up (X-T3, XF 18-55mm, XF 35mm f2, Viltrox 56mm f1.4, Viltrox 85mm 1.8) and move to Nikon. I got myself a D850, a 46-megapixel full frame camera, and a 70-200mm zoom lens. I haven’t had the chance to test the new camera at length but the first impressions are good. The dynamic range is amazing and the lens, which I tested previously with the D810, is very sharp. Over the next few months I will buy a couple of other lenses (a wider lens, for travel photography and the 85mm for portraits).

In any case, I am happy I lived the ‘Fujifilm experience’. I am extremely grateful to Fujifilm for the support given, as well as awarding the picture below 2nd place in their ‘best picture taken in June 2021’ competition.

Fujifilm UK awarded my picture 2nd place in their ‘best picture shot in June 2021’ competition

Photoshoot with Nikon D810

Photos taken last weekend when we organised a studio photoshoot to test a number of cameras and different systems: a mirrorless (Fujifilm X-T3 with ca. 24 megapixels), a full frame (Nikon D810, ca. 36 megapixels) and a medium format (Fujifilm GFX 100S with 102 megapixels – see full report). Below are samples of the Nikon D810 with their iconic 70-200mm AF-S zoom lens.

GFX 100S MEDIUM FORMAT, DAY 2 REPORT

A few other pictures taken with Fujifilm’s flagship medium format GFX 100S, a 102-megapixel camera I tested at the weekend alongside the GF 110mm lens (85mm full frame equivalent). This is definitely a studio beast. We had such a great time with this camera as results were astonishing. The only issue I experienced was the built-in light metering I did not find as accurate as on a Nikon D810 (full frame, 36 megapixels), particularly when having the flash trigger mounted.

Having tested free of charge the camera, the obvious question is… would I buy one? Well, the camera and lens I used come with a heathy price tag, just south of £8k. Is it really worth £8k? The output is amazing but if you are willing to sacrifice a little the output, then a high resolution full frame camera e.g. Nikon D850 with 46 megapixels would yield phenomenal results as well.

GFX 100S medium format, day 1 report

Fujifilm UK lent me their flagship medium format GFX 100S camera coupled with their best portrait lens, the GF 110mm (85mm full frame equivalent or 56mm if you come from Fujifilm’s X-trans cropped APSC cameras e.g. the X-T3).

I am shooting indoor tomorrow but these are a couple of pictures from today’s outdoor session. It is by all means a phenomenal camera in terms of resolution and dynamic range, as expected. If you plan to get one, make sure you fit it with a very fast SD card otherwise the buffer – the lag between the camera taking a picture and storing it onto the card – lasts forever.

Make sure you shoot both JPEG and RAW but be aware the RAW file is very large. If you shoot uncompressed RAW, expect each file to weight in excess of 200 megabytes (!!!). Also, if you do not have a state of the art laptop, it is going to take ages to save the output file on both your local drive and onto the Cloud.

The GFX 100S is most definitely not an everyday camera!

Karri

Photoshoot with Los Angeles and Salt Lake City-based model Karri. Dress: Primark.

All images shot with a Fujifilm X-T3 camera and Viltrox 85mm lens.

Sifnos (not quite) outtakes

If I were a musician and had to pick a dozen songs to put out on a new record I would probably be silly enough to leave out some potential Number One singles! At least, this is the way I felt when a few days ago I scanned through the memory cards from my holidays. As I was ‘grounded’ with a fractured right arm and unable to take any new picture, I was desperate to find some cool shot I may have missed in the first place. And I got one that could possibly be one of my top 5 pictures taken in Sifnos in June. I actually did not make much of it when I started editing the picture until I showed it to a friend who simply said “this is art; you should print it and hang it on to wall”. I suppose it has nice colours. The terracotta ashtray nicely contrasts the different shades of azure coming through the glass window with the horizontal lines reminiscent of a Mark Rothko painting.

Kamares Port, Sifnos (Fujifilm X-T3 & XF 18-55mm)

Another picture I somehow overlooked is that of a local farmer walking home with his donkey. Shot in Katavati, a small village in Sifnos, I must have edited this one at least three times. The first take was in black and white but it seemed to be lacking character. The second version had a definite ‘film’ look but it was overedited and for that reason I never posted it anywhere. Below is my third and final attempt.

Katavati, Sifnos (Fujifilm X-T3 & XF 18-55mm)

Post scriptum. Both images were taken with a Fujinon XF 18-55mm. Not bad for a ‘kit lens’, uh?

The Nikon Sessions II

Another session, this time in a Pret A Manger coffee shop in Holland Park (London) with a Nikon D810 camera. All images shot with a Nikkor (Nikon) 85mm.

Photoshoot with Beth, Alessia and Xiena

All images shot in London in various locations with a Fujifilm X-T3 camera and a Viltrox 85mm lens (130mm full frame equivalent).

Beth
Beth
Alessia
Xiena (grain effect added in post-production)
Xiena