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Marine Shoots Bride & Groom on Their Wedding Day!

Wind in the Hair by Rick Birt with a Meyer-Optik-Goerlitz Trioplan f2.8/100

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*RequestI have just been informed that one of my photos has been nominated for an award. I would greatly appreciate it if you would support a fellow Fuji X-shooter by clicking this link and like, love, or comment on my black and white portrait. Thanks to all of you, and to Patrick for suggesting I add this request to my post.

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Written for Kelly Williams Photography by Rick Birt of RomeoBravoPhoto.com

I recently had the honor of documenting the union of Anna and Hayden Taylor. They are a cute and fun couple, and I thoroughly enjoyed shooting them. I should also mention that Anna’s mother, Charla, was kind enough to provide me with a shot list, and kept everything running smoothly that day. It was arranged to be an intimate ceremony with close family in the living room of the Groom’s parents’ home. It all sounded like the perfect scenario for photographing my first wedding.

So was it all rainbows and unicorns? Not quite…

I had just switched from a Sony a7R II camera to a Fuji X-Pro2 the month before. I absolutely love the Fuji, but I still haven’t mastered it like the Sony. Moreover, I got a bad copy of the 16-55mm zoom-lens and was in the middle of an exchange – so I didn’t have it for the ceremony. Therefore, I went looking for a second body. I almost bought another X-Pro2, but I got a great deal on an Olympus Pen-F and two prime lenses the night before the big day. Suffice it to say, I had not mastered the Olympus either.

As for lighting, I purchased an on-camera speedlight, a Diva ring-light, and a small LED continuous light array. My wife also suggested I bring her light-gun, so I stopped by her studio on the way to meeting the bride, and her mother, at the salon. When I got to my wife’s studio she told me her light gun was “in the attic.” So I proceeded up the stairs to a little loft area where she keeps some of her equipment.

She then asked, “What are you doing?”

I explained, “I’m looking for the light-gun.”

She then said, “It’s in the attic – at home.”

Great :/

So, I grabbed a couple of her Westcott Ice lights and off I went.

The salon was very nice, but was pretty crowded (which I’m sure is normal for a Saturday), so it was hard to find a good shooting position, but I managed to get a few nice portraits.

Click READ MORE for the Full Story and Wedding Images

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Two Years, Two Trips & X-E2

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guest post by Boris Chan – 500px

Hoi Patrick, hoi everyone.

This is Boris, a newbie in this Fuji wonderland. Unlike many of you guys, I am by no means a professional photographer- not paid, not freelanced, nothing. Currently I’m doing photography as a hobby, but this pastime is getting a little bit pricey, thanks to my obsession with faux-rangefinder cameras (more on the term “faux-rangefinder later). For goodness sake it’s not a genuine German rangefinder camera. Gimme one and I’ll buy all the compatible lenses till I become bankrupt… 

It has been two years since I bought the Zeiss Touit Duo during “the crazy sale” for $900 – a deal that was too good to be true and nothing but irresistible. To be honest, it was a reckless decision because back then I didn’t even have an X-camera to go with those lenses (or more accurately, I didn’t know which X-body to buy since they all have the same 16MP sensor). Luckily there was a XE2 – XF 18mm F2 bundle and I snatched it up (not in a sense that I didn’t pay) immediately without the slightest hesitation. And that was how I hopped on the Fuji X bandwagon.

In this article, I am not going to bore you all with the specifications, scientific test charts and comparisons because you guys either know it better than I do or can read it on any review page, so I will keep this article very subjective and personal.

My first impression with the XE2 wasn’t all roses.

The build quality surprised me – the silver paint on the top plate started to chip after a week of light use, and what’s beneath is not the attractive lustre of brass as you may have expected to see in such a Leica-like camera, instead the black base paint reared its ugly head. No wonder why some confused the magnesium top plate with a plastic one. Based on my past experience with Panasonic GF1, the paint should hold up quite well, unfortunately that wasn’t the case for the Fuji.

Secondly, the autofocus is quirky. It hunts a lot, it is slow, and when it doesn’t hesitate it confidently focuses on the background rather than the subject. Whoever designed the original autofocus algorithm deserves to be spanked if not sacked. Again, that wasn’t something that I have anticipated in a highly acclaimed premium camera system, as a result I have missed focus in 20-30% of the photos I took in the first week.

Another problem is the stated ISO. I cannot get a correctly exposed image with the Sunny 16 rule, images often appear to be underexposed by one stop.

And then the distance scale – it is not as accurate as it looks, especially when coupled with the Zeiss 32mm.

If there were a 14-day return policy in Hong Kong, I would have exchanged it for a Pansonic GX7, but there isn’t any. As you could have guessed right now, I didn’t sell it. After all, Kaizen is all above constant improvements, right?

During these two years, I have taken this camera on two trips, first to the West Coast, and then to Amsterdam and the UK. And during these two years I am getting used to most of the quirks, which can be partially attributed to the new firmware improvements, and partially to the overall shooting experience.

At first, I didn’t quite get why people compared this digital camera to an old school rangefinder film camera a la Leica M – to me it doesn’t feel like a rangefinder at all. This is a faux-rangefinder camera. It doesn’t have a rangefinder. It doesn’t even have an optical viewfinder. With a liveview EVF, I can preview what the final image will look like with my exposure settings and film simulations (yes, I am a lazy JPEG shooter); and since there is no optical viewfinder to show the world beyond my framelines, I can frame as precisely as I can with a SLR camera. By the way, let’s not forget this camera has autofocus, which again isn’t something you can find on an old school rangefinder with a rare exception of the late Contax G1 &2. To keep things short, the more I shoot, the more I like this camera. 

Okay, let’s talk about the image quality. Blimey, that’s where this camera shines. Punchy & contrasty? Checked.  White balance? Quite accurate. Saturation? Slightly too saturated but in a pleasant way.  Grains? Absolutely bonkers, I swear there’s real film behind that lens. Sharpness? Well, that depends on the lens, right?

Despite all that rubbish I hear about the 18mm F2, it is my favourite lens. It may not be as sharp as the Zeiss lenses, but mind you it weighs half as much, it focuses twice as fast, and just these two points alone make this a must-have for any X shooter. And despite the wide angle distortion, it’s also a great environmental portrait lens thanks to the smooth, characterless bokeh. If you’re looking for an art lens, this isn’t it; but if you want a wide reportage lens, this is it, until the 23mm F2 comes out.

Big Wave by Boris Chan on 500px.com

Sharp, contrasty, and having quite a bit of extra headroom to crop, I see no excuse to pair this camera up with a zoom lens.
Golden Gate Bridge by Boris Chan on 500px.com
 With firmware 3.0 came classic chrome film simulation, which has been my favourite and default film for a year or so.

Space Needle & Sun Flowers by Boris Chan on 500px.com


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The Architectural Charm of Porto

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guest post by Adam – adambonn.com website

Hello Fujirumours readers!

I was recently incredibly flattered by Patrick kindly publishing my (shot entirely with the X-Pro1 and X-T1) story about the stray cats of Porto, which you can read here

Someone in the comments section did lament that there were no actual scenes of Porto in that post.

It’s a fair comment, (because there weren’t) but the story was about stray cats!

However I fully understand, Porto is a charming city, and in my opinion a photographer’s delight.

Not only are there all the ‘street’ opportunities offered by a major city, but the very fabric of the city itself is a interwoven juxtaposition of old and new, shiny and faded.

So, as a follow up here’s a post about Porto itself.

Now I’ve got to warn you… this won’t be some postcard series where we just stand on the banks of the Douro and take some snaps of the Ribeira shoreline, nor we will we hang around the Dom Luís I bridge and shoot the Metro.

Today I’ll take you, ever so slightly off the well trodden track.

So sit back, get comfy and pour a moderate glass of Sandeman and we’ll begin!

After several visits to Porto, we decided to make it our home, can I offer any further proof of my love for this city?

Street photography may very well live and die by the people in the shot, or the humanistic nature of the image captured, but in a wider sense street photography often requires the context of the background.

But equally, some times the background is the shot!

Porto is no modern spring chicken, much of it is very, very old and parts of it have, well frankly, seen better days.

It’s this combination of people and scenery that will capture your eye when you’re here, so let’s take a look at the architectural charm of Porto.

All are shot on the Fujifilm X-Pro1. A camera that I love dearly, and a body that I find for me; ideally suited for the street/documentary/reportage subjects I like to shoot.

Old and New
Old and new, this side-by-side nature is so often seen here. I shot this with the XF35/1.5 @ F5.6. This was taken from the garden of Casa Branca, which is a healthy eating Café within Porto’s cultural space. (I don’t love salads… But I really enjoyed theirs!)

The Story Continues: Push READ MORE

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Fuji X-T1, X-T2 – A New Way of Seeing!

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guest post by Philip Sutton: philipsuttonphotography website + Instagram @finartfoto

Before I get to the point of this posting, I will give a little bit of background to add some perspective to my thoughts. I started my photographic journey way back in the film days. I shot for many years for a Stock Library in Sydney Australia. You know the deal – the generic girl with glossy white teeth eating a red shiney apple, or the squeaky clean couple with their 2.2 kids having a picnic under the perfect umbrella-shaped tree. All fairly boring stuff, bit it kept my artistic flair alive and helped to pay the bills. I still worked as a teacher (my main source of income), but I was able to make a healthy supplement to my earnings by selling ‘stock’. Back in those days the Nikon F3, then the F4 were the weapons of choice. Due to family reasons, I had a break from photography for about 10 years, and of course when I returned everything had gone digital.


For the last 6 years now I have travelled Asia extensively (usually for 3 months of the year), shooting Fine Art images for my website. My recent weapons of choice were the Nikon D700 and D3X. After thinking long and hard how I could lighten my burden from dragging these huge DSLR’s around in the tropical heat of Asia, I eventually threw caution to the wind and in 2012/13 I sold all of my Nikons and lenses and bought a Fuji X100, X-Pro1 and some lenses. On a good day, the X100 was just OK, but the X-Pro1 experiment was an unmitigated disaster. That trip to Asia in 2012 was highlighted with mutterings and expletives all aimed at the Version 1 Firmware of my X-Pro1 and its lack of focusing ability. I returned back home with not many useable photos and immediately (at great expense), sold all of the Fuji gear and bought another D3X with a selection of lenses.


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TTL Flash groups on the Fuji X series

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NOTE: FujiRumors is in no way Affilitated with Serene Automation. I don’t get any money from them.

Often I’ve been asked about TTL flash groups, why they are needed and how they work. Of course, you might ask yourself if this is something that applies to Fujifilm cameras – it does, and we will concentrate exactly on that.  Flash groups are an extension beyond off-camera flash. Simply taking the flash off-camera usually improves the quality of the shot immensely. Enhanced vibrancy, depth, and wonderful shadows are a few benefits.  But sometimes it would be nice to add light in more places and direct it where you want, maybe even with some color. For example, I may want to illuminate the background to resemble a cool green jungle and illuminate the subject with a more warm light. When we do that, things get a little more complex. For one thing, you need a flash trigger with multiple receivers.  But, more importantly how do you balance the light and exposure? After all when you shot TTL the camera sets the exposure – blindly. The answer, of course, is flash groups. With flash groups you can add as many speedlights as you wish, assign them to one of several groups, and set the group exposure and even flash head zoom independently.

Foreground - two groups on speedlight each, one using yellow gel. Background one group with green gel on two speedlights.
Foreground – two groups on speedlight each, one using yellow gel. Background one group with green gel on two speedlights.

In the above example I may place a couple speedlights with green gels to illuminate the background and a couple on the subject to provide warmth and depth, maybe from different angles. In this case, if I apply the background to one group and each subject light to their own group, I can control the lighting as I please. And because we use TTL, the overall result will be exposed correctly – always. But, what if I want to decrease the background? Simple, just reduce the background group’s exposure. Since it is still TTL, the camera will compensate and maintain a good exposure, but with the background a little lower.

The RoboSHOOT© TTL radio triggers from Serene Automation LLC do just this and much more.  In this article we will cover only the flash group capabilities of the product. Flash groups can be individually controlled to affect all speedlights assigned to that group – they can be enabled or disabled, exposure set and configured as TTL or manual (for those situations where manual exposure is preferred), zoom head can be set directly or configured to follow the camera zoom. In addition, the overall TTL exposure can be adjusted up or down, all flashes can be enabled or disabled, and the flash exposure can be locked for subsequent shots. So, whatever you want the speedlight to do, RoboSHOOT© provides it. Plus, if you want to use a powerful Nikon speedlight with your Fuji Camera you can do it, and with the same capabilities – yes! Nikon iTTL is supported on Fujifilm cameras.

The RoboSHOOT© product supports four flash groups. There are two ways to control them: using an Android or iPhone App or using profiles. The App can be used with the RoboSHOOT© MX-20 product – the app image below shows a basic example. As mentioned before, flash groups on RoboSHOOT© are full TTL. So, the camera will compensate when you adjust TTL levels of the group. So, the settings are relative, meaning if one group is +1 and the other is +1/3, the result is the same as +2/3 and 0 – in both cases the groups are 2/3 ev apart. To give more or less flash power then the camera asks for, a TTL offset value is used. This gives you predictable yet complete control over the results. Profiles, the other method of controlling groups, are simply stored flash group settings. You can set up four individual profiles and select the one you want or even bracket over all four with or without using the app! This is great for repeatable portraits or taking a variety of macro shots, as below, with different lighting profiles, for example.

Flash group control view including overall offset, enable, and exposure lock
Flash group control view including overall offset, enable, and exposure lock

Taking your flash off-camera opens an entire new range of possibilities – akin to owning a new camera. Adding the limitless configurations of RoboSHOOT© flash groups completely frees the imagination. More information about RoboSHOOT© is available on the Serene Automation Website. They are also distributed by OmegaBrandess and can be purchased at Adorama, B&H Photo, and other select photo retailers in the US.

Each image has identical flash / camera position. Profiles were used for flash settings.
Each image has identical flash / camera position. Profiles were used for flash settings.

John Poremba
Serene Automation LLC