Fujifilm XF 200mm F2 Preview: The Beast

XT30 with the Xf200mm F2
XT30 with the Xf200mm F2

Sometime, a maker decide to push the limit in both performance and price. A aps-c only super telephoto class prime that cost similar to those white ones you see at sporting event? This has got to be the first. Enter the Fujifilm XF 200mm F2 R LM OIS WR. The first of its class for aps-c or smaller sensor, 200mm F2 with a equivalent look as 305mm F2.8 on Full Frame. 200mm F2 are not new stuff, there’s the Canon and Nikon dating back from 1980s. Fantastic lens built with the best optics then. Both companies refreshed them in the past 10 years and when used on an aps-c, will give similar results to the one by fuji. What makes fuji special is its using the latest in optics design and built only for the smaller sensor, resulting in 10-20% reduction in weight and improved optics. At 2260g, it’s lighter then any 200mm F2 or its full frame focal length equals of 300mm f2.8.

200mm @ F2
200mm @ F2

Fuji is not one to shun from putting their latest in their more consumer centric camera. Infact their latest XT30 will out-perform the XT3 in auto focus till the new firmware is up. That may look and sound silly, mounting a small consumer priced camera that’s 1/6 the cost on a white beast of a lens. However what you get is a setup that weighs slightly over 2700g, with an F2 light gathering capability and 300mm view. There is probably no setup that performs similarly at this weight. Balance may be in issue but nothing an additional grip or monopod can’t solve, which is usually staple in such setups.

200mm @ F2
200mm @ F2

But there will be nothing great if optics are not there. And this lens delivers in spade! Extremely sharp, it even look as good as my GFX shots which is famous for sharpness. It’s also very well corrected, almost insignificant chromatic aberration (CA) at 100%. You can find some at 400% view but that’s really pushing it. The CA is also of a a light yellow variant, which is much preferred over the magenta ones.

200mm @ F2. No LOCA
200mm @ F2. No LOCA

But the biggest best thing is that minimization of longitude CA aka bokeh CA. This is a bigger issue then normal CA as they are hard to correct and tints the background especially things like silver railings above.

Speaking about bokeh, this is a cream machine. Even when compared to full frame equivalents. There’s nothing better then a 300mm f2.8 unless we take out the super teles of 400mm f2.8. And we still have f2 speed which means a faster shutter 😀

Other then optics, the lens is well built and also comes with a tele-converter. Initial test shows little drop in sharpness and with it, you can actually do some simple macro. 0.63X similar to a full frame anyone?

IMG_20190322_142212

And one last thing, I like the bag it comes with. Slide the lens in with the camera attached. Not bad really for a traveling solution.

So wait for my full review, where I have more close up and testing. Also look forward to more reviews especially the X, GFX and their series of equipment!

A Chance Hands-On: The Phase One IQ3 100mp Trichromatic

Today was a great experience with Mezame Shashin-ka shooting the XF + Trichromatic Digital Back. Being a photographer that loves backlitted shot and ambient lighting, the XF had the great dynamic range and shadow recovery unseen in my other system Leica and Nikon. All shots are done without additional lighting support equipment or reflector.

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The best function I love was also a simple one: the multi screen preview, showing the histogram, highlight burnout and image itself. This allow me to work to the cameras dynamic limit, something that doing on other cameras can be a slow process of switching screens. Theres red and pink to denote level of clipping. Really great stuff. The other thing is the AF system. It works on backlit situation. Something that can’t be said for many cameras today. And AF-R works too, though sometime I need to be a little patient and wait for the beep before firing off.

And no XF review is complete without a Detail zoom in. Rather then just doing it on screen, I printed it out on my printer in A2 and took a photo of the eye. Look whoes in there haha.

22548988_10213227668060533_1133121947416418672_o P1EyeCloseUp P1 Printing Out

Thats all for my impression, had a great time with the system and Mez haha.

Below are the photos from the shoot. Enjoy!

NanaP1 19_mr1508572749093

NanaP1 21_mr1508603728201NanaP1 17_mr1508572413982NanaP1 9_mr1508568968491NanaP1 6_mr1508569198337NanaP1SP

 

Behind the scenes: Rune Knight Ragnarok Online

RO-1
ISO 100, 35mm F2, 1/320s, Flash Fired

Another entry of behind the scenes. This is not a weekly thing, it just so happen that the shoots I been doing on consecutive weeks are great for article writing.

Brief summary of today shoot:

  • Shot with a leaf shutter camera
  • 3 light setup
  • 1 2′ octa for fill
  • 1 2’x3′ soft box for highlight and rim light
  • 1 reflector mounted light for back glow
  • Mist used for effects
backsword
ISO 100, 35mm F2, 1/320s, Flash Fired

Ragnarok online is a Korean MMORPG with the Rune Knight taking on a classic warrior class. Donning armor wielding a sword, a class that specialised in balanced defence and offence.

The way this shoot was lighted is very similar to the last post for Yuuki Konno. The key differences were that this shoot minimises the overall effects of ambient light. As such almost all light seen in the picture was generated artificially. The shoot was done from 830am to 1030am, how the ambient was killed to get the maximum amount of light produce was via a leaf shutter camera: the RX1.

ROBTS-1
Rim light fired only to see how it falls on the subject

Leaf shutter cameras are great as there are no limit to their sync rate. The limitation is the sync rate of the transmitter, in this case the Profoto Nikon TTL trigger, which goes up to 1/1200s. This kills the ambient light a whole lot as shown in the image above where only the rim light was firing. Notice how dark the ambient is even though it’s around 840am in the morning when it was shot.

ROBTS-2
Light Test before Effects
Photo 17-1-16, 12 08 33 AM
3 Light setup. B1 on the back, B2 above subject, B2 infront

Light setup:

1 B1 mounted with a zoom reflector behind the half closed fort door. This is to simulate the light leak out from a semi opened door, the door themselves acting as a large light shaping tool and adding to the mood.

1 B2 mounted with a 2’x3′ soft box with grid on a boom positioned top back of the subject. This was the rim light for the subject and gives a highlight on the hair. The additional function it has was to light the mist produced in the air for the glow and colours. The grid prevents unnecessary spill to the background doors and shadows.

1 B2 mounted with a 2′ octa soft box with grid. A Key light for the subject. The grid prevents reflection of the light from the back B! and controls the spill to retain the shadows.

With this shoot, every shot was done with the same shutter speed of 1/320 and lights at approximately 8 for the B1 and 6-7 for the B2 heads. The B1 and the top B2 2’x3′ soft box was gelled for the orange glow.

One note: Asians have a warmer skin complexion, as such orange gel for fill and key light is not needed unless you want a cool tone background.

ROBTS-3
Application of mist with lights fired. The top will light the mist to give it the glowing droplet effects.

Effects:

Misting was done by the 2 assistants. As we do not have the third, shots with flipping was done by the same person that was misting.

The edits were done similarly to my last shoot of Yuuki Konno so do refer to it for more information.

kneel
ISO 100, 35mm F2, 1/320s, Flash Fired
pray
ISO 100, 35mm F2, 1/320s, Flash Fired

Additional thoughts:

Shaping light with available structures are interesting ways to create effect and mood, in this case the fort doors. However as much as this photos look cool, with every shoot, some thoughts must be done prior so that the right setup can be used and execution can be done smoothly to produce the shots at acceptable timing. Try not to think and experiment only on the shoot itself with the lights as this will tire the subject and consume a large amount of time. With that, thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this article and do visit my FB page at ZerartulPeaktures!

Equipment used:

  • Sony RX1 35mm F2
  • Profoto B1
  • Profoto B2 with 2 heads
  • Profoto Nikon TTL transmitter
  • Profoto OCF 2′ octa box
  • Prfoto OCF 2’x3′ softbox
  • Profoto zoom reflector
  • Jinbei M1 mini boom
  • 2 water mist spray

 

 

 

 

 

Behind the Scene: Akatsuki no Yona

Yona-1
Yona: Nikon DF 85mm F1.8, 1/200, iso250, flash triggered

Akatsuki no Yona was one of the more planned out shoot I had for sometime. Thanks to Sumi for this shoot together with all those that helped out. For the full album visit my page ZerartulPeaktures

Todays article will talk about the creation of the above image at the start of this post.  The image is done using 3 lights. With a combination of 2 images for the spread of leaves.

File 4-1-16, 11 21 02 PM_NIK2292

A B2 head mounted on a boom acts as the simulated sun on the back. It’s mounted with a zoom reflector for a more controlled spill onto the back of the subject.

The light on the left acts as the key light for the subject. A B1 mounted with 2’x3′ box with a grid, it’s purpose is to light the subject like a hole in the forest. The grid prevents unnecessary spill.

The final light on the left as a fill. A B2 head mounted with a 2′ octa, it’s powered at around 2 stops lower then the key light. This is to soften the shadow on the dark side of the subject.

Photo 2-1-16, 10 31 42 AM

The helpers gather the dry leaves around the area and throws them in succession. Multiple shots are done with each throw to maximise the amount of leaves and their arrangement caught on the camera. This is a situation where a better light like the B1/B2 has an advantage. With a lot more capacity, they can be fired in rapid succession while still retaining the Color and exposure.

YonaBTS-1 YonaBTS-2

The images are combined together using photoshop. The images above are two shots straight out of Lightroom with the exact same setting. If you notice there’s almost no shift in Color and exposure which makes combining a Breeze.

Once the images are combined, all that’s left is touching up of image, removing the b2 generator from the image and final touches for the subject.

Yona-1

I will probably be posting more behind the scene shots in the future. Do follow them and my Facebook page @ ZerartulPeaktures

Equipment used:

  • Nikon DF
  • Nikon 85mm F1.8
  • Profoto B1
  • Profoto B2 with 2 Heads
  • Profoto 2’Octa Softbox
  • Profoto Zoom Reflector
  • Jinbei 2’x3′ Softbox with grid
  • Jinbei M1 Boom