In this series of posts where I look back on my 6 month journey with Fujifilm X-T1, let’s discuss portraits. My choice of gear for this is the 56mm F1.2 lens. This lens is small and light but the build quality is better than any Canon Red ring or Nikon Gold ring lens.
The portraits at wide open F1.2 can be a little hit and a miss depending upon the lighting conditions and you distance from the subject. It does take some practice with the X-T1 to nail the focus. Initially I used the Multi-focus point option which may not lock-in focus at the exact point you want to be focusing and with the depth of field only being millimeters deep you either get the shot or not. However when I switched to individual focus point and selected my focus point of choice so I can aim at the closest eye I have a much better hit rate.
Late December Fuji released firmware version 3.0 which added a great new feature of combining AF+MF. That is when you have Auto Focus mode and after your Camera focuses you can turn the Focus dial on the Lens to do finer adjustments of the focus. This was a great advantage to have and combined with the Focus Peaking you can really nail the focus every time.
The second great feature with this firmware is the electronic shutter which takes the limit of maximum or fastest shutter of 1/4000th of a second. Now you can have fastest shutter of 1/32000th of a second, which means you can shoot at F1.2 in bright sunlight. Otherwise you would need to use a Neutral Density filter.
56mm Lens has an effective focal length of 84mm when compared to a 35mm cameras due to the 1.5x crop factor. 85mm is considered ideal focal length for portraits so this lens is perfect for this purpose. It has the least amount of lens or barrel distortion hence the portraits are as true as possible.
The colour tones and the bokeh from this lens are truly amazing. The way it renders skin colour is the best I’ve seen, although this is a combination of the X-T1 sensor and the lens design.
I was so impressed with the results with this lens that I went ahead and purchased the 23mm F1.4 lens. I used this for environmental portraits and also for indoor photography in low light conditions.
Again FujiFilm has produced another great lens which grabs sharp and crisp images and is a perfect companion for indoor photography. With effective focal length of 35mm when compared to a 35mm cameras due to the 1.5x crop factor it is wide enough for your to be close to your subjects and not having to step back. The F1.4 lets a ton of light into the camera so you don’t have to crank up your ISO too high in low light conditions.
Disclaimer: I’m not sponsored by Fujifilm Australia, although it would be nice. However I have spent my own hard earned money to buy all my Fuji gear. Switching camera systems is a big investment so please consider your personal circumstances before taking the plunge.