Knowing your gear …

helps you to achieve the best possible results. This is nothing new. Too often we hear people complaining it was their gears fault a shot did not work or did not come out as good as expected. Believe me in 95% of all cases, the Photographer behind the camera did not “perform” in an optimal way.

I know from experience that we are sometimes a bit lazy and think “Let the camera do it – it will be ok. It was often enough already”. Having a vast variety of helpers these days, one might get tempted to switch the “Face detection” on if one plans to shoot some human beings. Really ??
If it troubles you to take a Portrait of a person in front of you, you should go back to school (I do offer workshops and courses …) and learn a few basic techniques. Having a car with either manual or automatic gear box is fine with me, but you should not complain about the fact that you still have to do the steering yourself. Alternative: Take a Bus or taxi. Shoot yourself or let a Pro-Photographer shoot for you.

The following part of this post summarizes and references a few useful tips and techniques in order to optimize the use of your FUJIFILM camera. I am using a wide range of X-series cameras and lenses for various types of shoots and professional assignments and found out for myself that in practically all situations where I was in doubt if the camera “can do it”, in the end it depends on how well I understood how the camera works.

// Keep your cameras up-to-date.

All Firmware updates brought noticeable and even remarkable improvements. Especially don’t forget the lens-firmware updates. Taking the 60mm e.g. the AF-performance on any camera was transforming this lens from a “Macro-lens” into my standard portrait lens for me.

// RAW + jpg.

Even if you always shot RAW and prefer developing you final images later it’s a good idea to also save FINE .jpg files as they allow a much better control over critical image focus. Besides that even as a RAW-shooter myself, the image quality directly out of camera is stunning and the camera internal RAW processor allows to save various versions of the initial RAW file on site with out a computer even near by.

// Optical Viewfinder.

The optical viewfinder of the X-Pro1 has two magnification levels which allow to work with focal lengths between 18 and 60 mm. The appropriate magnification level is set automatically when shooting with an X-mount lens. 18 and 35mm are the two focal lengths the magnification level is optimized for but the superimposed frame updates accordingly when different focal lengths are used. Note: When using Fujinon Zoom-lenses manually switching to the desired magnification level is possible by pressing and holding the viewfinder selector lever on the front of the camera.

While I love the OVF in most shooting situations, it’s smart to remember that only the EVF (electronic viewfinder) shows directly what the camera “sees” without being influenced by optical shift or parallax problems. In any case the SHOOTING MENU — CORRECTED AF FRAME feature should be enabled to avoid that the camera focuses just a little bit beyond the spot that was selected due to this parallax issue. Generally speaking I recommend to use the EVF when your subject is rather close to the camera. E.g. using the SPOT METERING where aprox. 2% in the center of the entire image frame are used to determine the exposure as if the measured area of the image where a grey card with 18% reflectance can lead to dramatically shifted results due to parallax problems using the OVF.

End of part ONE

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