Fuji X-Pro2 Review Part Three: Vancouver Cityscapes, Long Exposures, and Street Photography

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Note:  This is part three of a five part review series on the soon to be released Fuji X-Pro2:

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.

Long Exposures:

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.

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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.

Street Photography:

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.

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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:

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Here is another, taken in Gastown:

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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.

Cheers,

Ian

26 thoughts on “Fuji X-Pro2 Review Part Three: Vancouver Cityscapes, Long Exposures, and Street Photography

  1. Howard Pepper says:

    Nice part #3 of the review, Ian, and the photos are excellent!

    Question: when you shot these, were you shooting in JPEG?

  2. Ian says:

    Hey Howard,

    I usually shoot RAW plus jpeg. If the jpeg looks good I go with it, if the photo needs a little extra love I use the RAW. One of the really nice features on the X-Pro2 is compressed RAW. I am finding the compressed RAW files to weigh in around 20MB each, compared to the 33MB RAW files from my X-T1 and X100t.

    Cheers,

    Ian

    • Ian says:

      Good afternoon!

      The X100 series is quiet because of its leaf shutter, which opens and closes differently than the shutter used in most cameras (including the X-T10, X-T1, and X-Pro2).

      I could drop the X-Pro2 into electronic shutter mode which is silent, but there are some limitations to using the electronic shutter so I only use it when I have to.

      Thanks for reading!

      Cheers,

      Ian

  3. elundqvist.photo says:

    Gorgeous images Ian. I especially like the monochrome long exposures of those buildings at the start of the review. Keep these coming please, they do help with the long wait until I get my own XPro2.

    /Erik

    • Ian says:

      Many thanks as always my friend. I have already shot the portraits for part 4 (one of them is up on my Instagram right now), so that part will drop early next week.

      Cheers,

      Ian

      • Samuel Liu says:

        can you tell me where I can buy the flash separately for the Pro 2, it comes with the XT-1.
        I mean in Vancouver, BC

      • Ian says:

        Good morning!

        If you mean the little detachable flash that ships with the X-T1 you cannot buy them separately. If you wanted something small for your X-Pro2 I would definitely consider the EF-X20 flash.

  4. Ibarionex says:

    Wonderful results. Could you speak to the start-up time of the camera, especially with respect to the EV screen. It’s always been a frustration with the x100s that I use. Thanks for the thoroughness of your evaluation.

    • Ian says:

      Hey Ibarionex. Here is the info from Fuji’s website:

      “(2) Ultra-high performance X-Processor Pro boosts processing speeds by 4x that of a conventional processor.
      The powerful X-Processor Pro dramatically improves a wide range of response times. Start-up time is now just 0.4sec., plus the camera also boasts the shortest shooting interval of 0.25sec., a shutter time lag of 0.05 sec. and AF in 0.06 sec.”

      I will pull the X100t and the X-Pro2 out tomorrow for a comparison and let know know.

    • Ian says:

      Hey Adam!

      Mr. Herzog is legend for sure. I love his work, and have an upcoming blog post on it coming up as a matter of fact!

      Thanks for popping by.

      Cheers,

      Ian

  5. T Gage (@TeddyRockSteady) says:

    Love the building shots! For you and anyone looking for a tiltscreen – Use an ipad with the remote camera app, you can preview the EVF! This works especially great for low angle shots and long exposures. Not quite as well for concerts but it’s a good workaround. Usable even on phone, but it’s amazing on the iPad pro

    • Ian says:

      Holy crap! It’s funny you say that… I use the wifi remote app often to control my camera, but I didn’t even think of it in that situation. 😀

  6. Mike Manzano says:

    Hi Ian, these photographs look great, and I’m especially excited about ACROS if the above is what you get right out of the camera! For the street photos, were you using the OVF? I’m wondering, with the 23mm, do the frame lines let you see enough area outside of the frame?

  7. Luis Curran says:

    Hi Ian,
    I’m going down to Leo’s tomorrow to pick up my new X Pro2! So, of course, I had to read your articles… thanks so much for the info and the great variety of images you provided.
    I’m curious as to which in-camera settings you used for both the Classic Chrome and B&W shots you took – e.g. sharpness, highlight, shadow tones, etc. It seems I’m on an everlasting quest to get the right combination for myself!
    Thanks, Ian, I appreciate the articles and I’m really looking forward to shooting with the X Pro 2.

    • Ian says:

      Hey Luis!

      I love Leo’s.. such a great camera store. You will LOVE the X-Pro2.

      I often shoot RAW and apply the film simulation in post, so I can’t say that I have found the perfect jpeg settings either. If you do, please let me know. 🙂

      Cheers,

      Ian

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