The Fuji X100T was announced at the Photokina in Germany back in September and when it was revealed I immediately contacted my friends at Michaels Camera Store in Melbourne to pre order one. As I had ordered only 1 hour after the launch in Germany, my order was premature to the effect that the X100T wasn’t even on the ‘books’ in Australia. So to much excitement on November 1st, I received the call that “its in the mail” to speak! The first assignment was to have it accompany a couple of 5D MKIII’s on the next wedding. But it eventually took over 3/4 of the workload and saved me much back ache I get from carrying around 15kg of Canon Pro Gear! Its primary job was only to capture the pre wedding and Reception as I could not shoot a Wedding with only 3 days non wedding practice.
Will it focus fast enough or should I still have the 5DMKIII close at hand? On this particular wedding, I was challenged by extreme backlighting during the Ceremony and not once did it have a problem with finding a contrast to focus on. During the pre-wedding bridal party getting ready photos, I had a predicted challenge when the Children were being dressed in a room that had virtually no external window light. The resulting focusing was unaffected, when the 5DMKIII would had a “hissy fit”. It did not ‘hunt’ at all, but I’m sure when it does, it may lock on quicker than my Canon. Actually its focusing ‘keeper’ rate today was 95%+ as I used the ‘decisive moment’ principle. All the focusing today was by “lock, recompose and wait” method by shutter release. I did not use the ‘D’ pad as I had assigned custom functions to each. Just for quick access on a day of first use.
Will the faster shutter speeds be most beneficial in the bright Australian Sun at f2? Yes and its a must. It sure beats needing to use a ‘ND’ filter like the’X100 S’. But do remember if you are going to use fill flash, then you have to switch back to Mechanical Shutter. This I found initially annoying and made the decision in advance to use mechanical/electronic or mechanical. But as this camera is designed to slow me down and think about what I am doing (unlike the 5DMKIII) it means plan ahead, which makes me creatively anticipate emotion. Having more than 1/8000 shutter speed on this camera is fantastic as Australia is renowned for Spring and Summer weddings with very bright sunlight. Its easy to see the benefit when using fast primes in bright light. My old 6D use to top out at 1/4000 f2.2 on a bright day, which is a bugger when using f1.2 lenses.
The OVF was fantastic to pre frame a shot in anticipation, ala ‘decisive moment’ photography. Its bright and the frame guides seem accurate enough. What a bonus to check focus in the viewfinder with the help of the small square.
The Chrome Film Mode, I found the Chrome setting was not what I remember from my 35mm Kodachrome days. But I have some tweaking to do with the settings, I think I could add a touch more contrast next time. But, the B/W film modes, were right on.. the results were like Kodak Tech Pan 25 developed in its own developer. Simply beautiful. Rich Blacks and a smooth roll off of highlights.
The noise was a little more than I would expect in a full frame Canon, but better than a APS. Don’t expect miracles, but the look of the noise is nicer, more like a film grain than digital noise.
Will I replace my 24/1.4 Canon lens and save me 2kg in weight? Yes and during this wedding I did not use the 24/1.4 for the first time. I would be happy to use the X100T for family photos next time as the Canon L Series lenses need to be stopped down too much to obtain edge to edge sharpness. I found that even at f2.8 with the fuji, I could obtain un-noticeable softness in any corners which is important for group and family photos.
What is the future for my Full frame Canon and 1.2 + 1.4 primes? Well they will be on ‘gumtree’ classifieds early next year when Fuji releases it’s much anticipated X-Pro1 replacement. I just hope that there is still a demand for Canon when that time comes.
Here is a sample of images that were taken by the Fuji X100T on its first Wedding in Wangaratta, Victoria Australia on a 35 degrees Spring Day. All images reduced in quality for the BLOG, but exif details remain when opened.