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Fuji X-T2 for Documentary Wedding Photography. Now I can!

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guest post by Andrea Bagnasco: www.andreabagnasco.itFacebook.com/andreabagnascopicturesInstagram.com/andreabagnasco

My name is Andrea Bagnasco and I am a professional wedding photographer based in Northern Italy. My style is mainly documentary, in that I like to stay as unobtrusive as possible during the day to capture the candid moments that make the story of the wedding.

Like most everybody else, I’ve been relying on full-frame dslr’s for years to shoot my weddings. I’ve been adopting the Canon 5D cameras from the beginning until the Mark III model. They have always been great cameras to work with: very reliable with excellent image quality and have been improving significantly every time a new model was released, especially concerning noise at high ISOs, dynamic range and autofocus. Which are all most important factors for my type of photography, mostly done with available light.

Over the years I’ve been trying to strip down my kit as much as I could as weddings have become endurance marathons and hauling around heavy equipment the whole day is a sure way to get to the end of the wedding completely exhausted and devoid of any creativity or energy to take good photographs. No matter how good and nourishing the vendor meal or my level of physical fitness. Despite my determination to travel light, I’ve always been taking three camera bodies with me at weddings, where I’d have two cameras on me for most of the day and the third one as backup in the bag.

When the Fuji X-T1 came out, after hearing good colleagues of mine singing its praises I decided to buy one to use as third / backup body and started to bring it with me at weddings. It was a very good camera indeed and I put it to good use during the cocktail hour or the reception, where the action isn’t as fast paced as on other parts of the day. It was good, but it didn’t give me enough confidence to even think about replacing my Canons. Autofocus wasn’t nearly as fast, especially in low light; focus point selection was troublesome compared to the Canon joystick; 16 Mpixels were ok but didn’t quite offer the same freedom to crop and eventually reframe in post production as did the 22 Mpixels of the 5DmarkIII’s. Not to mention high ISO performance, where the X-T1 could only practically work as high as 6400 ISO, while I was free to shoot up to 12800 ISO with the Canons. Also, the exposure compensation dial on the Fuji was a pain to operate, while with the Canons all I needed was to quickly adjust the big thumbwheel on the back. Something that had become second nature for me since most of the day I’m working in Aperture priority.

Fast forward two years when the X-T2 comes out and reading the specs looks like Fuji had been working on everything that I thought needed to be improved on the X-T1.

It gave me the joystick to select focus points, +/- 5 EV compensation that can be operated with the front wheel (hooray!), new sensor with 24 Mpixels, much much better dynamic range (better than the 5D MarkIII’s actually…) and much improved performance at high ISO, lightning fast autofocus and reliable in low light too! Much better AF-C focus tracking, much improved overall responsiveness and speed.

Indeed, the X-T2 did not disappoint.

I soon got one, then two and that’s my two main cameras at weddings now. The X-T2 finally allowed me to replace my Canons without changing the way I work. I didn’t have to adapt my way of shooting one bit, better yet: I’m enjoying the EVF more and more and the ability of seeing the actual exposure in the viewfinder. No guesswork at all. Taking pictures has become more like making an instant painting, where the technical aspect of photography is even more blurred than it used to be when I used my Canons, buried so deep in the left side of my brain that I don’t take even notice any more. So I’m free to explore the right side and just think about the image and be creative. That’s the highest praise to any piece of equipment that I can think of, where technology disappears and leaves you with the freedom to just take pictures. And hopefully, this is just the beginning.

For anybody interested, my wedding kit is now made up of a couple of X-T2 bodies, a 16 mm f/1.4, 23 mm f/1.4, 35 mm f/1.4, 56 mm f/1.2 and the Samyang 12mm f/2 (manual focus only). I’m also using a Nissin i40 flash which works beautifully in TTL mode and a pair of Serene Automation radio triggers for when a bit of off camera flash is needed.

What about the 3rd backup body? Well, for now I’m just carrying along a 5DmarkIII with a 24-70 f/2.8 lens just in case but I can’t wait for the X100F to be available as it looks like it would fit the backup slot beautifully and also offer some of the X-T2 performance goodness for my own personal photography.
Here are some photographs from one of the very first 100% Fuji weddings. Please feel free to get in touch if you have questions, visit my website (http://www.andreabagnasco.it) follow my Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/andreabagnascopictures) and Instagram account (http://www.instagram.com/andreabagnasco). Thanks!

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