151118 FujiTuesday - matthew piers robertson • photography writing creative toronto

Every One a Winner

Yesterday I did something for the first time – I joined a FujiTuesday walk with an actual Fujifilm camera. At least, a Fuji camera that isn't an XQ1, which is only considered part of the X-series out of politeness. These photos were taken with my shiny new XT10, and I even had an actual Fujifilm lens for it, too. I picked up the classic 60mm macro lens the day before, and was using it alongside the Zeiss 50mm f/1.5 C-Sonnar.

I was also carrying the ZM 35/2 and Ikon film camera, but didn't use either.

Shameless Bokey Balls. Zeiss 50/1.5 wide open.

The 50 Sonnar was responsible for about 60% of my photos. I like the manual focus action, and its slightly faster aperture is nice to have at night. But given my limited experience with both lenses selecting between them wasn't really a sophisticated choice; the focal lengths are similar and I'm learning them both at the same time. And I don't even have a favourite between them so far, with about the same proportion of photos at each level of star ratings in Lightroom.

Unspecified Danger

There was one time when I thought about switching from my XF60mm to the ZM35mm lens, but the mechanics of juggling the process was too daunting. The ZM35 was on the Ikon, the XF60 was on the Fuji, and the XF-M adapter that would make it all work was on the ZM50 in my camera bag. Maybe if it was daylight and I wasn't wearing gloves…

Underground

Working with manually focused lenses does have its advantages – shooting down through a sidewalk grate would be frustrating, at the very least, if the camera had a mind of its own. But in the twenty-five hours since I took this photo I've learned a trick with the XT10 and XF60. I may just leave the camera in manual focus mode all of the time, and use the "instant AF" ability of the AF-L button for back-button focusing. I've never worked this way before, but it's showing promise.

Scenic Lake Ontario

When the XT10 is set to manual focusing mode, it uses peaking (if preferred) to highlight the areas of greatest contrast across the frame. With an XF lens this is automatically done with the lens at a wide aperture, making it easy to see where the focus plane falls. Pressing the shutter button stops the lens down, and suddenly the viewfinder provides an accurate depth-of-field preview before taking the photo. Nifty.

us

With a manual lens like the ZM50, which I used for the first four photos on this page, the camera can't control the aperture. This means that I'm focusing at the same aperture that I'll take the photo at, which is perfect since the 50/1.5 has some focus shift. When I'm using the lens on its native rangefinder I need to be a little careful with it to produce sharp results, but on the adapted Fujifilm I can ask it to do whatever I like. It's not often that the substitute is more capable than the original.

Catching a Train

I've yet to be disappointed with any of the photos that I've taken with the Fujifilm camera, and only have a couple of quibbles with the actual device itself. Both of those things are pretty impressive for me, since I can be a little bit picky, verging on idiosyncratic.

For such a familiar experience there has been a lot to learn about using the new camera with different lens systems, making this an interesting process with no clear outcome yet. Naturally, I'll have more to say on that later.


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