Note: This is part three of a five part review series on the soon to be released Fuji X-Pro2:
- Part One: Unboxing and first impressions
- Part Two: Low light autofocus and high ISO
- Part Three: Cityscapes, long exposures and street photography
- Part Four: Portraiture
- Part Five: Final thoughts
My original plan for part three of this Fuji X-Pro2 review series was to focus 100% on street photography. Things changed for me a little though because of the weather on the days I went out to shoot. The clouds were beautiful, the blue hour light was gorgeous, etc. These conditions just begged to be shot, so I have included some of those photographs in this part of the review too. Let’s just think of it as a “using the Fuji X-Pro2 in the city” kind of review.
Those amazing clouds I mentioned have unfortunately brought us a lot of rain lately (welcome to life on the “wet” coast). It was dry and sunny yesterday though, with a fairly strong breeze that was pushing the clouds across the city. The combination of sunlight reflecting off of high rises and moving clouds always makes for some great architectural long exposure opportunities.
The following three photos were all shot with the Fujinon 10-24mm f/4 lens mounted on the Fuji X-Pro2. The camera was on a tripod, a 10 stop ND filter was used to lengthen the shutter speed a bit to blur the clouds, and a remote shutter release was used to avoid vibration. Each image was shot in the Acros film simulation, with the contrast pushed in camera.
I experienced a lot of good, and a tiny little bit of frustration, when taking these photos…
The good was the exposure preview. I LOVE being able to preview my exposure, white balance, film simulation, etc in camera, BEFORE I click the shutter. It never gets old. Switching to cameras that preview the exposure made a fundamental shift in my workflow, and greatly enhances the creative process for me.
And Acros. I love, love Acros. Such a great black and white film simulation. I did edit these photos in Lightroom a bit though, to push the blacks and highlights a little bit more.
The one small point of frustration was the lack of a tilting LCD. I have to admit I rarely use this feature on my X-T1, and I get by just fine without it on my X100t. For these photos I had the camera pointed up and fairly low to the ground though, and an adjustable LCD would have made things easier in terms of focusing, etc.
My love of the X100 series is well documented, and I was curious to see how the X-Pro2 performed during a day or two out shooting on the street. I love the X100t for street photography because it is completely silent, it is small, and it is unassuming. I wondered if shooting street with the X-Pro2 and the Fujinon 35mm f/1.4 lens would be different due to the size and the shutter sound, but once I was out shooting it was all good.
As I shot in Vancouver’s Chinatown and Gastown areas I again noticed the improvements in the autofocus system of the X-Pro2. It is snappy and accurate. I often zone focus my X100t when I am out shooting street, but every photo below was taken with autofocus. At this point I feel quite comfortable saying that the autofocus system in the X-Pro2 is a definite step up from previous Fuji X cameras.
All the images below were shot in aperture priority mode (around f/8 depending on light), with the Auto ISO set to maintain a minimum shutter speed of 1/250th and a ceiling ISO of 3200. If I needed to make any quick exposure adjustments I almost always used the exposure compensation dial.
Colour images were shot in Classic Chrome, black and white ones were shot in Acros.
I honestly don’t have a lot to say about shooting street with the Fuji X-Pro2. It was seamless, and despite my earlier concerns people took no more notice of me with it than they do when I am shooting with my X100t. The camera got out of my way and I was able to focus completely on the shooting experience.
I really appreciated the improved autofocus, and having a little bit more room for cropping because of the new 24mp sensor was also a welcome addition.
Blue hour cityscapeS:
I love a good cityscape, and each evening I was downtown there was a beautiful blue hour. Here is one of Granville Street in Vancouver:
Here is another, taken in Gastown:
These are fairly straight forward photographs to take, regardless of the camera used. Lock the camera down on a tripod, get your composition, lowest ISO, set your desired aperture, use a remote shutter release, etc. What I loved about shooting these images with the X-Pro2 wasn’t that the process was any different, it was the colour and detail that I was getting off of the new sensor straight out of camera. It is very nice.
part 3 – Final Thoughts:
In many ways I feel like part 3 of this series is much ado about nothing, but I mean that in the best way possible. The X-Pro2 is refined…. the new sensor produces beautiful images, the new autofocus system is snappy and responsive, and I love the new Acros film simulation.
Looking back over this post perhaps the most telling thing is how easy these images were to capture. I had the Fuji X-Pro2 in a small shoulder bag with 2-3 lenses and a few small accessories. I walked about 10 kilometres in the city on the days I was out shooting and didn’t even notice the weight of the bag, nor the small travel tripod I was carrying. I was able to shoot street, cityscapes, long exposures, handheld, tripod mounted, all from this tiny but powerful little kit.
You have to love that.
I did find one situation where a tilting LCD would have been nice. For those that are curious I burned through 2 batteries during each full day of heavy shooting. Not too shabby.
In Part 4 of this series we will be talking about using the X-Pro2 in portrait situations, and in part 5 I’ll sum up my final thoughts.