Fuji X-T1 16-55mm zoom compared to Sony A7 Mk II 35mm prime

Fuji X-T1 16-55mm zoom compared to Sony A7 Mk II 35mm prime
'I carried out a very interesting test today, that surprised me and I suspect will surprise you too. I've been very impressed by the 16-55mm f/2.8 Fuji zoom and I thought I'd give it a tough comparison test, up against the Sony Zeiss 35mm f/2.8 lens on the full-frame A7 Mk II.'
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Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - With this and X-T1, is Fuji finally 'PRO'?

Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - With this and X-T1, is Fuji finally 'PRO'?
'Well I don't think anyone would deny that the X-T1 / Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens combination certainly looks professional enough, but is it a serious alternative, with the 50-140mm f/2.8 of course, to a DSLR? And are there enough features and lack of operating anomalies to make those who make their living from photography switch to Fuji?'
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Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Tripod mounted landscape and video lens

Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Tripod mounted landscape and video lens
'Yesterday I took the Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens out with my Bayer CMOS sensor Fuji X camera, the X-A1. I shot some tripod mounted landscape shots and some video clips./
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Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Used with X-Pro 1

Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Used with X-Pro 1
'I went out shooting some generic country estate images today and used the Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens on my X-Pro 1. It performed really well on a camera that when it was introduced, may not have expected to have this kind of lens fitted to it. The 16-55mm is such good quality that it does work very well as a general outdoor landscape / location lens.'
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Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Raw files and jpgs. for download

Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Raw files and jpgs. for download
'So that you can see what the Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens is capable of for yourselves, I've shot some raw files and jpgs. at IS0 200, f/2.8 and f/5.6 on my X-T1 and made them available for download HERE (or click the image above).'
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Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - f/2.8 and low light

Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - f/2.8 and low light
'But where this lens shines is as an all-round high quality versatile work lens that will handle a huge variety of jobs and do them with aplomb. I love it, and to be honest I suspect that most Fuji fans will feel much the same. And ultimately, if you want it and you can afford it, who am I to discourage you?'
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Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Pro or just pro spec?

Fuji XF 16-55mm F2.8 R LM WR Fujinon zoom lens Review - Pro or just pro spec?
'OK. So lets (finally!) get to that really REALLY good news. In terms of image quality this lens is nothing short of sensational. After only one afternoon with it I have no hesitation in saying that this is the best Fuji X lens I've ever used. It's almost as sharp as the 23mm f/1.4, for me Fuji's crispest lens and that sharpness is right across the frame from corner to corner. When you factor in the focal lengths involved here, that's what makes me give this lens such an enthusiastic endorsement. .
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Upcoming Fuji Lenses - "Old School' and very tempting

Upcoming Fuji Lenses - "Old School' and very tempting
'Fuji continues to come up with interesting and 'legacy' type lenses to further expand their their ever more extensive range. 35mm 'equivalents' of lots of lenses I've used in the past, particularly 135mm f/2.8 (The 90mm f/2.8) and 180mm f/2.8 (120mm f/2.8) There's a small 'standard' lens, the 35mm f/2, a teleconverter, a huge  100-400mm (one for the birders and private detectives!!) and a 16mm f/1.4. All very tempting and liable to make it even more difficult for me to put a halt to my on / off relationship with my Fuji gear.'
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FUJI X - X-Trans or Bayer CMOS Sensor? The Adobe Camera raw issue.

FUJI X - X-Trans or Bayer CMOS Sensor? The Adobe Camera raw issue.
'First off, let me make clear that this article relates to how the Fuji X-Trans sensor compares to the Bayer CMOS sensor in the Fuji X-A1, with regard to raw files processed in Photoshop CS6 / ACR and the OOC jpgs. Raw files processed in other software, such as Photo Ninja and Iridient Developer is a whole other story. In fact the raw files processed from either camera in either of these 'alternative' software apps are very similar (and incidentally very sharp and detailed) and for me, this is still the best way to see what a Fuji X camera + XF lenses is capable of. However, Lightroom and Photoshop are the most commonly used raw development software applications and this is where all the issues have occurred. I'll also been very critical of how Fuji process their out of camera jpgs. and I thought I'd deal with this also.'
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Iridient Developer 3.0 beta 4 - The 'real deal' for Fuji X

Iridient Developer 3.0 beta 4 - The 'real deal' for Fuji X
'And 'nanny' Fuji and 'nanny' Adobe can no more exercise their noise paranoia on the files from my Fuji cameras and my raw X files will appreciate being liberated from the processing straight jacket that those two companies have imposed on them. And if you have Fuji X cameras and lenses (and a Mac of course) then you can judge for yourself if want to free your files as well.'
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Fuji X-T1 and 23mm f/1.4. Raw file samples for download - Is this the best Fuji X offers?

Fuji X-T1 and 23mm f/1.4. Raw file samples for download - Is this the best Fuji X offers?
'Regarding my last post Fuji X100s - Wide Angle And Tele Converters - Raw File Samples For Download. The X-T1 23mm f/1.4 combination is somewhat different. The 23mm prime interchangeable lens suffers from far less distortion (virtually none) than the fixed 23mm lens on the X100s. The AF is snappier, the viewfinder (OLED) and screen are amongst the best out there and the whole combination has a much more 'businesslike' feel to it. What it doesn't have of course is that wonderful rangefinder, retro, 'lookalaica' design and handling. For virtually all photographic uses though the X-T1 / 23mm is a better option.'
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Fuji X100s - wide Angle and tele converters - raw file samples for download.

Fuji X100s - wide Angle and tele converters - raw file samples for download.
'But understand what you're getting into.  Don't expect it to be a 1DX, or D800E.  Regardless of what you read online....it won't make you a better photographer.  It's not the DSLR killer some say it is.  It's not a Leica.  It is what it is, it has many flaws, and it might not be for you.  For me it's still the only camera I've truly loved'
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The 'lookaleica' Fuji X100s compared to the Leica that doesn't look like a Leica the T (Typ) 701

The 'lookaleica' Fuji X100s compared to the Leica that doesn't look like a Leica the T (Typ) 701
"Since unfavourable comments were made comparing the camera to other mirrorless alternatives I thought I'd have a look at how the Leica T compares to the Fuji X100s. Nothing on price, handling design etc. Just how the two compare against each in terms of image quality from the files."
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Fuji Rumors

http://www.fujirumors.com/x30-coming-july-3rd-via-dpreview/

http://www.fujirumors.com/digital-medium-format-camera-fujifilm-coming-end-summer-new-anonymous-source/


Two new intriguing Fuji rumours seem to gaining momentum. That the new compact X-30 camera will have a 1" sensor like the Sony X100's and the Nikon 1 range. The other is that Fuji are possibility coming out with a 50MP 'Medium-Format' fixed lens camera. With the first it would make sense. Use the excellent properties of the X-Trans sensor for clean high ISO results and we may end up with a 1" sensor camera that could equal or get close to the results from m4/3 in low light situations.

For the second, Fuji could bring out a digital version of their, still currently available, MF film camera, the GF670.
http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-fuji-gf670-medium-format-film-camera/p1521329?cm_mmc=googlebase-extension-_-cameras-_-medium-format-_-fuji-gf670-medium-format-film-camera_1521329&utm_source=googlebase-extension&mkwid=gq4w4ysm&pcrid=22191585489&gclid=clw888iwwl4cfc6wtaod9s0a7q
They also made a 6x4.5 and the amazing studio monster, the 6x8cm. 


Fuji do have this film camera heritage, so it's no real surprise that they are making a success of their move into old-school styled digital. And I have to say it's another reason I'm attracted to what they make. Despite getting a lot of things right, Panasonic and Sony don't really have that heritage nor that Fuji penchant for the 'quirky'. (Just look at the picture above!)

The 1" X30 seems virtually a done deal and the MF camera wouldn't really be that much of a surprise given that Sony are also rumoured to be planning one as well. Overkill? Well maybe. But just imagine how much you could crop into a 50MP sensor and pull out medium-telephoto shots with incredible detail. Fuji could even include a 'crop zoom' feature like choosing the APS-C frame on a camera with a 35mm film sized sensor. 

As ever, Fuji seem to come up with ideas that stir the imagination. And yes it may seem like I work for them, not helped by the fact that Fujifilm UK themselves linked to one of my 'gush' posts about the X100s teleconverter on Twitter yesterday, but I don't. I am however a self-confessed Fuji fanboy and I have a real enthusiasm for what they come up with. They aren't dull by any stretch of the imagination. 

So who knows what I could be using come the Autumn. A range of Fuji cameras from a 1" sensor compact to a megapixel monster. And that's one of the great things about Fuji fanboyism, always something to anticipate and dream about using. Somewhat different from drooling (or not!) about the next exciting (or not!) update to the Canon 'Rebel' range. And if any other camera is misnamed as completely as the 'Rebels' I'd Iove to hear about it. Since using one of those is about as rebellious as watching Strictly Come Dancing sipping a cup of cocoa!!

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.


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So whats so special about Fuji X-Trans sensor cameras?

Fuji X-E1 Voigtlander 90mm f/3.5 m-mount



If you'd asked me the question at the top of the post at various times in the past 16 months or so I might have answered 'Absolutely nothing!!' I have had my frustrations with the X-Pro 1 and X-E1 certainly, but despite everything I keep coming back to them and using them regularly. I'm even trying to base a whole system around them. They probably also get more column inches on the photographic internet and cause more heated debate than any other camera, particularly proportionate to their sales, which in terms of everything else thats available aren't really that big. So whats going on here? What makes them so desirable? and makes their owners jump to their defence so 'robustly?' Posts about them usually send the hyperbole meter into the red so what indeed makes them so special?

The first and most obvious reason is that they are different to virtually everything else out there. While others use old camera and particularly rangefinder design to give their cameras that currently popular retro feel, Fuji have gone the whole way. Their X series cameras look just like old rangefinder cameras. They aren't rangefinders of course, but a 1950's photographer in a time warp would imagine thats just what they are. Fuji have obviously spotted a market here. There are many photographers who are somewhat underwhelmed by gadgetry, apps and polycarbonate modernity. They like the old-school look and feel of the Fuji's. And yes they have copied Leica and Contax etc. but there's nothing wrong in trying to make a camera look like a classic. They do decent sized knobs and dials, they make leather cases for their cameras and they aren't engaged in some kind of miniturisation war for the hide your camera in your pocket people and for those who have developed 'hampster finger' and 'smartphone thumb' in order to work their devices. They are cameras for photographers who aren't ashamed of what they shoot with and are serious enough about their photography that they don't want to hide their camera away. They are indeed photographers and not snapshooters, they make photographs, they don't take them and they are pleased to carry their camera with pride.

The second reason is the X-Trans sensor itself. It is quite remarkable. It allows photographers to shoot in low light with excellent high ISO performance and when processed with the right software the files show a quality that exceeds expectation from a 16MP sensor. However its no secret that this sensor has caused me many frustrations and I'm certainly not alone in that. It is still difficult to realise the full potential of what the sensor can offer in both Fuji's own software and the most popular converters such as Photoshop and Lightroom. Difficult but possible. Quirky small-scale software such as Raw Photo Processor and Iridient Developer yield the best results but unfortunately they are Mac only. Its certainly a sensor that does require a bit of work to get the best out of it. The cameras produce excellent jpgs. but they are only the beginning. With some time and experimentation it is possible to produce some extraordinary images from the raw files in terms of colour depth, sharpness and low noise at high ISO's. I've just had one of my X-Pro 1 files accepted by a very picky picture library taken at ISO 6400. Something I never believed was ever going to happen. So the sensor is pretty special and it can be argued that Fuji released it without the means to get the best out of it, but fortunately there are now ways to achieve that, particularly if you own an Apple-Mac.

The third reason is the lens range. It is admittedly a slow roll-out and Fuji started out unusually with three primes. All of them were good lenses, not necessarily the best out there, but certainly a good deal better than your average kit lens. They also look good and feel good and are very well made. I'm still not convinced by the faux aperture ring on the primes but then it seems to work fine, so I'm nit-picking really. They have since brought out two zooms, neither particularly small and light, but again decent quality and pleasingly with reasonably fast apertures. They have also got Zeiss making lenses for them, which do seem to offer little in terms of a quality gap over the native lenses, but its an encouraging sign none the less. There is also the ability, as with all mirrorless systems to use third party lenses. Canons, Nikons and M-Mount all work with them and hopefully tomorrows firmware update with Focus Peaking will make this an easier and less fiddly procedure. 

Fourthly Fuji, with the exception of the X100s which is too expensive, seem to have a realistic attitude to pricing. Despite being the most 'authentic' of the lookaleicas they don't have Sony's ridiculous pretensions with a camera like the RX1, which is ludicrously overpriced. The X-E1 with the 18-55mm zoom is around £800-900 here in the UK, which compares favourably with the £1700 or so you would currently have to shell out for a GH3 + 12-35mm zoom. There are things the GH3 can do which the X-E1 can't, particularly with regard to video, but double the price? The lenses are also reasonably and realistically priced. They aren't cheap certainly, But again compared to the alternatives I think they are reasonable. The Zeiss badged Sony 24mm f/1.8 is still around £800 for a lens that my tests inicated wasn't as sharp as the 18-55mm kit zoom at certain apertures, so the 18mm and 35mm Fuji primes can almost be seen as bargains. 

While these are advantages there are certainly still improvements that need to be made. The appalling battery life is No.1 on my list of priorities and the AF speed still needs improving. Hopefully tomorrows firmware update can improve that. Again from my perspective I would love them to do something with the shutter. It reminds me of m4/3 shutter buttons, which is no compliment. If anyone from Fuji is reading this, can we please have an electronic shutter or if not that one which actually feels like something is happening when you press it? I would mention that Leica have electronic shutters on their X cameras. Also the lens range still needs extending. The 55-200mm zoom is currently the only serious telephoto option and that is big and heavy. A fast 90mm prime would be ideal. And do we really need a pancake? For gods sake everybodys got one of those, I thought Fuji was supposed to be different? And while we are on the subject, why the delay on the wide-angle zoom?

So thats my take on the Fuji cameras. An attempt to explain why I've been able to put up with their 'quirks' and problems. This is why I like using them and despite using unspeakable language when sometimes processing raw files (now thankfully much less with the Iridient software) have persevered.

Oh and I almost forgot. There is something else that makes them special. They are just so damn sexy!!