Fujifilm X-Series Cameras
Normally I try not to focus too much on the nuts, bolts, and gear head aspects of photography. But over the past year I’ve been transitioning into the Fujifilm X-series cameras. The Fuji interchangeable lens bodies are “mirrorless”, which means that the sensor the captures the final image is also drives the electronic viewfinder and/or LCD display. These bodies were designed from the ground up to use APS-C sensors (23.6 x 15.6 mm for Fuji) . That’s not unique — Many digital single lens reflex cameras also use the APS-C sensor. However, since almost all of them come from companies with legacies in 35mm photography (24 x 36mm) they have to accommodate larger lenses and a fairly large mirror box (behind the lens and containing a mirror for the optical viewfinder light path that swings up out of the way every time a picture is snapped).
Being designed from the start for APS-C, using an electronic viewfinder path (no mirror box), and not having to worry about decades of legacy 35mm full frame lenses, Fujifilm was free to start with a fairly clean slate.
Notes: (1)The blog software downsamples the images in a way that reduces the sharpness. To see the photos more clearly click the image once with your mouse to fit it to the screen and a second time to bring it up to 100%. (2)All images were processed from in-camera JPEG files — which I normally don’t do but wanted to try out for this session. The final images were “saved for web” to 50% of their original size in Photoshop.
Cameras and Lenses
This photo shows the X-T1 (the latest camera in the line, emulating in appearance a classic SLR and with direct physical control of major functions) with the new 10-24mm f/4 mounted, the X-Pro1 (the flagship model which was a groundbreaking* entry into the mirrorless camera world) with the 35mm f/1.4 lens mounted (one of the original three Fujifilm XF lenses), and the new 56mm f/1.2 lens. I’ve had the X-Pro1 for a little over a year but the X-T1, 10-24mm, and 56mm are all very recent purchases. To get a feel for the new equipment I made one of my Sunday morning trips to the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum Udvar-Hazy facility at Dulles airport. To round out the kit, I also took the 35mm.
(* The groundbreaking X-Pro1 feature is the selectable optical/electronic viewfinder in addition to the LCD display.)
To The Museum…10-24mm f/4 Lens…
This was shot for Robert, a moderator on the Fuji-X Forum. The camera is just a few inches away from the panel so the background just won’t make it into focus (see last photo in this post). Lighting is difficult since the walkway runs east-west (we’re facing west) so almost as soon as the sun is up, the panels on the left are in shadow:
View from the observation tower facing north (right side of the tower in the photo above). Extreme depth of field:
From the walkway along the east wall of the museum:
Under the east walkway/ramp…A gallery of engines that were never able to be displayed before this facility was built:
From a point just to the left of the previous photo, looking across the facility:
From the floor of the museum with the Boeing 307 Stratoliner as centerpiece:
So the trick is to get the entire Concorde into a single frame:
An array of small satellites in the space hangar:
…56mm f/1.2 Lens…
Shallow depth of field for the jet engine in the “under walkway” shot above:
Detail of the Curtiss Helldiver (newly on the floor) using shallow depth of field for “subject isolation” — blurring the background:
The tailhook of the Helldiver. You can see how narrow the in-focus zone is at this f-stop and distance:
…the Venerable 35mm f/1.4 Lens…
An overhead shot of a P-47:
The Helldiver from across the museum (cropped a little):
…And the Nokia Smart Phone…
The setup for the first of the museum photos. That’s a Benbo Mini-Trekker tripod — perfect for odd shots like this: