Fuji X100F first impressions from a wedding photographer

March 14, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

The Fuji X100F arrived just before my first wedding of the year.  I'm not a full time wedding photographer, but I do shoot 6-10 weddings a year and I take them very seriously.  Just because you are not a full timer does not mean you can't be professional in how you approach things.  Although I generally photograph weddings in the Berkshire area ( around Reading ) this one was a bit different, it was in Rugby, north of the M25, scary stuff.  Given I'd only had a day with the camera I wasn't going to use it for anything crucial, I was very impressed with the speed of the camera and the new layout of the buttons on the right, but I still wasn't going to trust it for the processional, not just yet.    Mostly I used it for the bridal prep stage, where I had always loved using the S and the T.  These cameras are so quiet and inconspicuous, they are perfect for this environment, where you really want to fade into the background.

Berkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and her MUA - bridal prepBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and her MUA - bridal prepBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and her MUA - bridal prep I immediately noticed how much faster the F is to to use than the T, from startup time to general autofocus. The X100T is a great camera, but it's slightly sluggish at times, the F does away with that completely and really does feel like a mini XPro-2.  This is a great thing.

Berkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and Gareth - candid child shotBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and Gareth - candid child shotBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and Gareth - candid child shot

Natalie and Gareth - kidprepNatalie and Gareth - kidprepNatalie and Gareth - kidprep Berkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie - bridal prepBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie - bridal prepBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie - bridal prep A lot of people bang on about how awesome ACROS is.  Well, it is nice, I do like it, but in all honesty I find it a bit too grainy sometimes, so for this wedding I switched to BW-R.  I was only using JPEGs as RAW support was not yet available in Lightroom ( I know there are workarounds, but I didn't have time to use them ).

 Lets talk about batteries...The fact that the new camera now uses the same batteries as the XPro-2 and XT-2 is a godsend and quite a big deal for me, as I have about 8 of these things.  I always found the slimmer batteries in the old X100 models to be quite unreliable, that's all gone now and I'm super happy with this change.  I took around 800 shots and had to change batteries once.  

OK lets talk about that lens.  I see a lot of people complaining that Fuji didn't upgrade the lens, and how its really soft etc etc.  Well, it is soft at f2 if you get too close to your subject, but I shot all these images at f2 and as long as you are over 5ft away its really not soft at all.  Example below.

Berkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and Gareth - the lookBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and Gareth - the lookNatalie and Gareth catch their breath at the signing of the register This photo is a classic example of why I love using this camera for wedding photography.  We had been told by the Church Warden not to take any shots during the ceremony.  The bride and groom were not happy about this, but we got round it in various ways.  When they called me in for the signing of the register I'd not yet been given permission to take any photos.  But I had my X100F with me, and the couple were giving each other this look..so with the wardens back turned I took this shot on silent mode, using the lcd to focus to make it less obvious, and no-one noticed.  This camera is just awesome for capturing these moments.  Even an X-Pro2 would probably have been too obtrusive at this moment.

During the ceremony I took lots of shots behind the wardens back, using a mixture of the quiet X100F shutter and the electronic shutter on the X-Pro2.  He eventually realised I wasn't being disruptive and allowed us to take many more photos from the back of the church.

Natalie and Gareth - ceremonyBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and Gareth - ceremonyBerkshire Wedding Photography | Natalie and Gareth at the wedding ceremony

When we got to the reception I decided to test out the tracking on the X100F.  As the couple entered the reception I put it on AF-C, burst mode and zone focusing ( the middle AF mode ).  It worked great and the buffer was better than I expected.  Here is one of the 8 shots that were in focus ( out of 8 ).  I think I would trust this camera for the processional.

Natalie and Gareth - entering the receptionNatalie and Gareth - entering the receptionNatalie and Gareth - entering the reception

As far as the ISO dial goes, I don't mind the way it works on the XPro-2, but being able to use the front dial to adjust the ISO is much faster, and I hope they roll out that option to the XPro2.  

So to conclude, the X100F was awesome, I can't wait to use it at more weddings.  I don't even have a problem with the infamous Q button placement!

 


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