Wed. May 18th, 2022

fujifilm_sa @fujifilm_sa Official FujiFilm

A word of warning – the following blog is prevalent with adjectives, slight tongue twisters and inuendos and is written from a personal emotional viewpoint.
Fujifilm X-T2 50-140MM F2.8 with Profoto B1X and 3ft Octa
As an art student who took the leap into portrait, boudoir and wedding photography I tend to chase emotive images (as all art should evoke emotion). The old artist in me used to translate vigorous brush strokes and vivid palettes into emotionally palateable extensions of my imagination. Whereas the budding photographer in me merely ended up loading pallets full of unemployed gadgets and gimmicks sold to me through a series of devious stratagems.
What I have learnt along the way is to remember that your eye and subject is your photography, the canvas and brush strokes are your post processing. The translation between your mind and brush is your imagination!
So now that myself and google have your attention – I stand before you void of clutter, doubt and confusion.
My small bag filled with a minimalistic set of lightweight tools that now act as my minds eye! So enough with the overuse of metaphors and underuse of grammarly – let us begin!
Fujifilm X-T2 56mm F1.2 ISO 6400 Profoto B1 and Shoot Thru Umbrella
If we are to choose a brand and camera that we will accept into our family, its much like accepting someone to date our only daughter (we see how they fit into our eccentric family, find out what their life goals are and of course how they can be a positive influence on our innocent little buttercup).
Ok so maybe I lied about the metaphors…
Fujifilm X-T3 50-140mm F2.8 Profoto B1X, B1 and 2 Constant Lights, Gelled Ringlights
When I started photography it was still the days of film. Shooting on 35mm film (full frame equivalent) and the whole world had access to this format of “sensor”. And I followed the craze when I went to digital. I used a full frame DSLR with a 70-200 F2.8, 14-24 F2.8 and the 24-70 F2.8 which together weighed just shy of 4,5kgs. Now a few years on my APS-C mirrorless equivalent* kit weighs 2,6kgs. I know, I know weight doesnt dictate quality (I mean…what if they have a great personality. Then again piggy backing them on family trips could change YOUR personality for the worse).
Fujifilm X-T2 Single Light Profoto B1 with 5ft Octa
As some believe fitting in has nothing to do with size or shape of camera, lets delve into the personality. I have highlighted the word ‘equivalent’ as I do believe many of you do not agree with this as full frame and APS-C are comparatively wine to grape juice. When in fact its extrovert to introvert. Fujifilm takes a smaller sized sensor and body and gains the same light efficiency(eg F2.8) and focal length equivalent (24-70 FF from 16-55 Fujifilm roughly on the 1.5x crop factor).
Fujifilm X-T2 Natural Light, Shot Through a Window
Of course the next part is interesting – Bokeh! this is dictated by actual focal length and internal lens configuration and {distance to subject}:{distance to background} ratio. for instance the FF 85mm 1.8 is far closer matched in this regard to the Fujifilm 90mm F2 than the Fujifilm 56mm F1.2 that has the similar focal length equivalent. BUT the 90mm F2 focuses more than 20% closer which improves the above-mentioned ratio even more.
Fujifilm X-T2 56mm F1.2 shot @ F1.2 at Midday
If your faith is not yet absolved in this introvert, know this to be true – comparing the sharpness between the 85mm F1.8 and 90mm F2 to gain the sharpness that the fujifilm has at F2, the FF 85 has to drop down to around 3.5 to equate the sharp whit of this underrated introvert. So either choice really comes down to having the right understanding to which is a better fit for your eccentric family gatherings. We deal with enough ‘isms in our day to day life – don’t allow trovertism fall into a stereotype. (don’t bother googling it, I made it up!)
Fujifilm X-T2 56mm F1.2 Shot @ F1.2 Natural Light
As stated I am primarily a photographer of people. My original business name was shoot2print as I brought forward my past goals of film into my digital future. Saying that I hand over all my jpeg images to my clients unedited and untouched might elicit some shaking of heads and mxm sounds as well as some duck faced pouting in disbelief – but hear me out.
The mirrorless world of WYFSIWYFG (casually translated to ‘what you see is what you get’) allows me to capture exactly what my eyes see through the viewfinder. No hidden surprises after releasing the shutter!
Make changes on-the-fly to the Aperture (controlled from where your hand naturally holds the lens).
See the depth of field live within the EVF.
Independantly change my shadow tone or highlight tone, not simply a single slider that forces you to lose highlights or detail in shadows.
Fujifilm X-T2 56mm F1.2 Natural Window Light
Thus for my everyday workflow has saved me time as every image’s film simulation, monochrome options, contrasts, focus points, flash setting, face tracking and shutter choices can be changed within a second – altering the result instantly without taking your eye off the EVF. (Imagine having so much control over these troubled youths, without tripping over badly structured menus and incoherent slang that forces you to delve into the depths of the urban dictionary.)
Fujifilm X-T1 10-24mm F4 Available Light
As we know children are raised by a community, and so knowing the influence they receive along any journey is pivotal to their character and growth. So too my growth is due to my Fujifilm family. I dare you to find any camera brand or group of creatives that are more invested in sharing personal knowledge and insights to help you grow as a photographer. Workshops, one on one interactions at expos and friendly responses to any questions. Even behind the scenes hints and tips, helping you decypher the alphabet soup that comes with navigating this creative field. We are always here to help.
Fujifilm X-T2 56mm F1.2 Natural Light
You might be wondering why I don’t mention which camera within the fujifilm stable (and no it isn’t only because my metaphor doesn’t see colour, race or sexual orientation). The entire Fujifilm range of cameras have the same abilities – from the XT100s and XT30s all the way up to the GFX100! All of which are designed to put that gleaming, proud smile on your face as you walk your daughter down the aisle, knowing you are welcoming the right brand of character into your family.

We were fortunate to have the chance to test the latest from FujiFilm: the GFX100, a 100mp beast of a camera that takes shooting to a new level.

Having this camera to play with, Malcolm decided not to just do the normal technical test but to put it through its paces on 2 shoots that resemble actual working conditions.

We put an amazing team together for a beautiful lifestyle food shoot. Our day in the studio with food stylist Callie Maritz, model Bianca and Jonathan Basckin (who kept us entertained with his wit and commentary) was one of creativity, inspiration and lots of laughter.

Using a combination of natural light and flash, Malcolm used all the tricks to create amazing results.

We hope that you enjoy these pictures as much as we enjoyed creating them, and be on the lookout for our next mail, where we will show you the pictures of our second shoot with the GFX100 camera.

And the Winner is…
I was invited to present a lecture on Street Photography at Hein & Christine Waschefort’s Visual Skills School in Pretoria North.  Going past Johannesburg, I arranged with Fujifilm SA to get the long awaited 16-80mm lens for a couple of days to test its Street- and Travel Photography capabilities. 
As a street and travel photographer I have, over time, build up a travel photography kit that is, according to me, the ultimate travel kit. It consists of the Fujifilm X-T3 with the 16mm F2.8, the 35mm F2, the 50mm F2 and the X100F (with its 23mm F2 lens).  I also have the tiny Laowa 9mm F2.8 in my bag for those occasional ultra-wide landscape- or building views I want to photograph. 
This new 16-80mm lens could potentially upset the apple-cart by replacing all the above with one lens!
For those who do not know the Visual Skills School, Hein and his wife Christine has created a lounge cum bar area where photographers and students avail some time to build up inspiration for their next shoot.
The 42-kilometre drive from Fujifilm’s head office in Woodmead, Johannesburg took almost 2 hours through the peak traffic, so this legendary bar looked like an oasis on arrival.
We were admiring the beauty and size of this lens over a good Scotch when Hein pointed out that some of the students arrived for a game of pool.
The ideal opportunity to put this lens through its first test!
The ambient light was quite low and I did not bring a tripod along, creating the ideal situation to test the alleged 6-stop optical image stabiliser.
The first shot I took was at ISO 800, F4 with a shutter speed of 1/5 of a second.  It looked sharp! Handheld?! I swapped the viewing card slot to the backup jpegs and zoomed in 100%.  It was sharp!!!
I was hooked!
I was now running around the table following the rest of the game, as well as the following one. The only motion blur I witnessed was that of the balls spinning over the table (and the movement of the two players). When the winning player sank the black ball, I had to sat down to take in what I just witnessed through my viewfinder.  After I calmed down, I said to myself, this is only the first test, don’t sell you lenses yet, you have a full week ahead for some more testing.  Looking through the photos afterwards, I made the following conclusions.  
I am used to photographing with one focal length at a particular shoot, while in this photoshoot I used a range of focal lengths to get the best composition and creating the impact I wanted.
I got away with sharp photos as low as 1/5thof a second shutter speed – this is not possible with my current setup as all my prime lenses are without image stabilisation.
The F4 aperture did give reasonable separation, especially with the more close-up photos. 
(In the back of my head I knew that I have a winner in my hand…)
Here we are again, and I can already hear people say “another lens from a camera manufacturer”
Most manufacturers offer you an expensive “fast” lens, the more affordable mid priced high performance “slightly slower” lens, and then your budget option (which is normally a good entry level option in to the world of photography).
It’s all about how much light we can harness. The wider we can open those aperture blades, the more light we let in, and this allows us to take pictures when we don’t have enough light at our disposal.
Now, Fujifilm have had the red badge 16-55 f/2.8 lens for some time which is equivalent of 24-82.5 mm if we consider the crop factor from the Fujifilm sensor. In steps the 16-80mm f4 lens. This is a 24-120mm equivalent, a very popular lens used by many photographers over the world.
The lens has a constant f/4 aperture and a really innovative OIS system (optical image stabilisation). We will get in to that a little bit later.
Will f/4 let in enough light ?
If you have your doubts, read on.
I spent a limited amount of time with the lens, but the short time I had with this lens really excited me, so much so that I was very reluctant to give it back. I was with Fujifilm South Africa in Port Elizabeth where we hosted a photowalk with local Fujifilm retailers and some of their clients .
I was already impressed when I viewed the image back through the viewfinder on my X-T3. I then decided to take a closer cropped image using the beautiful patterns in the small dune as a leading line up to the Lighthouse.

From there we moved further down the beach as I wanted to make some pictures of the rocks and test the lens out over some slow shutter speeds. I set up my tripod and pushed the exposure times as far as possible narrowing the lens down to f 22 (why f 22 some may ask).

I firmly believe that the Fujifilm lenses defy the laws of physics and man made beliefs in the case of diffraction at these narrow apertures. This was something I learnt very quickly with my beloved 10-24mm.

We managed to capture some beautiful colour in the sky as well as some of the afterglow of the setting sun.

At this point I was already in love with this lens. It is compact, light and very well built.

Immediately noticeable, when looking at the front lens element, is how much bigger the glass is to that of the 10-24 f4.
On the Saturday morning we stepped out and made our way to the beachfront, it was a rather chilly morning with fortunately a very light breeze.
Once again we had a totally cloudless sky. The issue for me here, is that when one shoots into the sun at sunrise it becomes very difficult to balance the shadows with the highlights.
The clouds normally make for a beautiful natural “scrim” and they also add an extra dimension of depth to the overall presentation. Any way, regardless of the “not so perfect conditions” I put on my big boy photographer underpants and proceeded to do some seascapes.
It’s not everyday one gets to test a new lens before it’s official arrival. This time I decided to add my 10 stop ND filter in order to get some long exposures taken.
I love long exposures for mood and drama.
Immediately noticeable, is that the 16-80mm f4 has exactly the same 72mm thread diameter as the 10-24mm f4. Yet again, this lens did not disappoint and I hope that the images here reflect that.

Once we were done with the seascapes we discussed the ability of this lens to create some lovely depth of field when used with people portraits at 80 mm and f4.

I wondered how this lens would stack up against it’s bigger brother the 16-55 f2.8 taken at the same focal length at a max of 55 mm.

Barry was my willing model and we positioned him with the P.E. harbour behind him.

I took an image with the 16-55 at f2.8 and then with the 16-80 mm at 55 mm. and f 4.

There is a noticeable difference in the depth of field and one can see that the 16-55 f 2.8 does give a shallower depth of field , a more “blurred background”

But this is where it gets really interesting.
The next day we headed back to Cape Recife for our walk. I tried several frames and images on this walk, as my time with the 16-80 f4 was about to come to an end.

The first image I took was of the very same Lighthouse and straight in to the sun, the 16-80 did not even sweat. We then took a stroll down the beach and I saw an opportunity to take some images of shells and sand formations, these I took at 80 mm and f4.
The lens has a very close focussing distance, this is as a result of the unique design and the way the lens elements have been constructed.
The images shared here of the shells show just how smooth the bokeh with this lens is, and also how much detail the lens does capture.
Another immensely unique feature of this lens is the OIS, this is the image stabilisation system of the lens.
Fujifilm have included in the barrel of the lens an aspherical ED lens.
According to Fujifilm the lens has image stabilisation of up to 6 tops.
Holding the lens in your hand gives no indication that this is in fact an IOS lens ,the usual “on/off” switch is not there. The outer barrel is clean and very minimalistic in it’s design.
For me the beauty of this, and bearing in mind that when I do cityscapes, I shoot a lot handheld images and then the next second back to a tripod. The OIS system in the lens has been designed to automatically detect when it’s on a tripod, or when the photographer is panning.
This is one blazingly unique feature and I can vouch with my life that it works flawlessly.

I have attached sample images showing the 16-80 f4 next to it’s other family members.
The 10-24mm f4 as reference as reference to its compact size, and lets bear in mind that this 16-80 extends to 80 mm on the long end, then also next to it’s bigger brother the 16-55mm f2.8.
The 16-80mm f4 is powerful, compact and has some amazingly new design features that will hopefully make their way to other lenses in the Fujifilm range as Mk2 versions.
Quite simply anyone who cares about the best image quality at the best value for money.
For professionals who are looking for an all day carry around lens and for the traveller who is looking for a compact carrying kit, yet they still want the ability to create images that will hold their own against the best on any platform.
For videographers there is good news, the lens has very little breathing.

I am Anton Bosman.
Official Fujifilm X-Photographer .
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