Sunday, March 23, 2014

To and fro, a weekend project with the Fuji X-T1 and X-Pro1

I try to give myself a photo assignment at least one a week, usually on the weekend -- something not related to what I do professionally and with some restrictions that force me to stretch my imagination and break the mold a bit. This weekend I attended an intensive seminar on platinum print leaving not much time to work on anything else.

The seminar was held within walking distance to where I live so I came up with the idea of carrying a camera with me and recording what I saw on my way to and from the place where the seminar was held. On day on, Saturday I grabbed my X-T1, my new favorite camera.  On Sunday I saw my X-Pro1 sitting neglected on the shelf. The X-Pro1 is one of my favorite cameras, probably because I really like optical viewfinders, and with its hybrid finder it represents the best of both worlds. I decided to give it a workout.

As part of my weekend project idea I decided to limit myself to to only fast aperture prime lenses and use them at full aperture whenever possible.

Each day began with breakfast at a local diner on the way to the seminar location. 

An old, appellate NY State Supreme Court Building taken through an arch of the Metropolitan Live Building with the 56mm lens on the X-T1, one of the few times I took the aperture down to f/5.6 to keep a focus in both the foreground arch and background statue. Had to stand in the middle of the street to get this angle -- never a safe place considering NYC traffic. A shot like this shows the extensive dynamic range of modern digital cameras like the X-T1. There is full detail everywhere, in the shadows and the highlights. 

Church and winter tree along Fifth Avenue.

This is a building I love. It is a small, state supreme court building on Madison Avenue across from Madison Square park, built in 1900 and decorated by exceptional statues. 

Another view of the small supreme court building in the fading light of late afternoon on my way home. What I like about this shot is that it is all about the composition formed by the shadows. Taken with the X-T1 and 56mm lens. 

Lock detail along the way taken with the Fuji 35mm lens at full open f/1.4 aperture.

A view of the Chrysler Building taken through the ornate metal fence surrounding Gramercy Square Park. Shot with the X-Pro1 and 35mm lens at f/1.4.

There is a very beautiful, cloistered church complex in the 20's between Fifth and Madison. From here you can see the top of the Empire State Building above it and through the trees. This photo was taken with the X-T1 and the 35mm lens at f/1.4 on my way to the seminar.

On my way home from the seminar the sun was low in the sky, not quite sunset, but close to it. I grabbed this silhouette of a typical New York water tower surrounded by the trees of Madison Square Park using the 56mm lens on the X-T1. 

Home for sunset. Weekend over. Project over. X-Pro1 and long zoom. The only time I used a lens other than a prime, but I needed to reach out with a long focal length for this graphic sunset silhouette in 16:9 format and aperture didn't matter. 
I have been complaining of the small-sized focus adjust buttons on the X-T1 command ring. Now I know why. Those on the X-Pro1 are large, rounder, and higher -- and I can find them without looking. Fuji is going to have to correct this on the X-T1. 

On the left is the command ring of the X-Pro1. Note the large rounded shape to the four buttons -- very easy to find without hunting for them. On the right is the command ring of the X-T1 showing a different shape and size with slightly recessed buttons. The entire ring on the X-T1 is also a little smaller, just enough to be difficult to find.  Now I know why I have been having problems moving the focus point around. The buttons on the X-Pro1 are much easier to locate quickly by touch, and press than on the X-T1.


  1. nice photos, were those dramatic bw's done with in camera or in post? particularly the shot of the the court building seen through the arches?

    i have the xe2 and the xt1, and MUCH prefer the buttons on the xe2; the xt1 buttons are simply a pitifully poor design. they're usable but a real fail on an otherwise excellent camera.

  2. I shoot the X-cameras set to record both RAW and black and white jpg at the same time. I use the jpg image as a reference for the final black and white that I create from the RAW. The court building image had no post processing at all.