Taking a Second Chance with the Fujifilm X-T1

Home|Blog, Fujifilm X-T1, Gear, Photography, Thailand, Travel|Taking a Second Chance with the Fujifilm X-T1

Not long ago, I purchased a Fujifilm X-T1. At first, I was in love. The retro feel, knobs I could change exposure settings with (I’m not much of a fan of all-digital settings), and the fact that it was just so small made it the perfect walk-around camera. I mostly used it at the local farmers market and to photograph my food at restaurants. It was so nice to have a camera on me but didn’t feel like I was carrying a camera.

Then, later in the summer, I went to Grand Teton National Park. I brought my new Fujifilm setup along with me to see how it fared as a landscape camera. The next month, I also took it along to Moab for the same experiment. But during that trip, something happened … I wasn’t happy with the images I was getting from the Fujifilm. They were soft, and “mushy”. To this day I’m still not certain if it was a lens issue, diffraction, or something else. Either way, I couldn’t rely on the camera and started to fall out of love.

Next week I will be traveling to Thailand to co-lead a workshop for a second time in Chiang Mai with The Giving Lens. I originally was planning on bringing along my Canon gear, but then my good friend and colleague David duChemin posted this article, and it made me re-think about my experiences with the Fujifilm, and also my upcoming trip to Thailand. (Curse you, David!) :)

As much as I love my Canon gear (and I do truly love the gear and the images I can create from it), it’s just so darn heavy. Plus, I have already been to Thailand to do this exact same trip, so I won’t have the pressure to create “good” photos in the same way I did on the first trip. Also, because it is not a landscape trip (mostly markets, people, temples, etc.), then I may not even run into the same issues I ran into before if I bring the Fujifilm along.

So I have decided to give the Fujifilm X-T1 a second chance. My goal is to have a different experience on this trip than I had the first time around, and to (hopefully) experience it on a deeper level. Having lighter and less noticeable gear may be the perfect thing to do just that. I will also have a second body and a few additional lenses that I have rented from LensRentals.com, so I should have a good setup to get another test run in with this type of travel.

If (or when) Canon ever comes out with a mirrorless camera system I will be one the firsts to jump in and try it out. And, my existing Canon gear is going nowhere (it’s still my preferred system for both food and landscape photography). But until then, I’m going to test the waters with the Fujifilm, as well as other systems (such as Sony).

I’ll be sure to post more on my experiences during and after my trip … be sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as well!

By | 2016-12-18T17:00:49+00:00 February 26th, 2015|11 Comments

About the Author:

My name is Nicole and I'm a photographer, author, & educator living in Portland, Oregon, USA. When I'm not making photos I'm writing books and tutorials for my online store, Learn more about me and my story here.

11 Comments

  1. Scott Wyden Kivowitz February 26, 2015 at 1:37 pm - Reply

    Well said. I had 2 bad experiences with the Sony system. So I feel the same way about my Nikon gear. The moment they have a good mirrorless system I’m all over it!

  2. Luc Schoonjans February 26, 2015 at 6:01 pm - Reply

    Are you shooting in RAW mode only? The XTRANS sensor has been a challenge for raw converter to demosaicize (is this even word?). Adobe Lightroom has been the slowest to catch up on the conversion front with Fuji sensors. Some photos use additional programs, like photo ninja or irridient (Mac only). Also sharpening had to be more aggressive with Fuji RAW files, with the detail slider going up to 100%. There have been endless debates in fuji forums on this topic. I currently shoot raw + JPEG with the X-T1

    • Nicole S. Young February 26, 2015 at 7:31 pm - Reply

      With the Fuji, I typically shoot RAW+JPEG so that it’s easier to transfer to my iPhone via wifi. I haven’t seen much difference with the JPEG versions, so I don’t think that it’s Lightroom. I’d love to see a comparison though.

  3. Paolo Lenzi February 26, 2015 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    Hi Nicole, Thanks for your interesting posts. Have you tried the Fuji 60mm 2.4 macro lens for food photography?

    • Nicole S. Young February 26, 2015 at 7:55 pm - Reply

      No, I haven’t used that lens. I will probably still stick with my Canon 5DMk3 for most of my food photography, I’ve only used the Fuji a few times but prefer the Canon for that type of photography.

  4. Didier February 26, 2015 at 11:34 pm - Reply

    @Luc when you say ” sharpening had to be more aggressive ” this is not exact and this impression comes from a very misleading LR’s denomination for the function. What happens is when you set the detail slider at 100% LR uses a completelt different sharpening method / algorithm which suits Xtrans. So it is not “more agressive”, it is just different. the 100% acts as a switch; Weird choice I admit.

    @Nicole for you food work, an alternative might be the new (inexpensive) 11 and 16mm extension tubes; may be worth a try. Anyway I always enjoy your interesting posts

    • Luc Schoonjans February 27, 2015 at 11:47 am - Reply

      Didier, Thank You for the clarification regarding the Detail slider in LR. Yes, you are absolutely correct about the behavior of this slider.

  5. Thomas Zsebok February 27, 2015 at 2:26 am - Reply

    Adobe inadequate quality, professional use. Capture one is bit better. The best quality for free Raw Therapee.

    Camera Raw 5.7 with Amount:30;Radius: 1;Detail:100;Masking:4

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99561784/Raw%20Converters/Camera%20raw%205.7.tif

    Capture One 8.1:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99561784/Raw%20Converters/c1.tif

    Raw Therapee:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/99561784/Raw%20Converters/Therapee.tif

  6. Andrew Gluck. February 28, 2015 at 8:54 am - Reply

    Nicole, just to add my two cents, using photo ninja or capture one you will see more sharpness in your photos. Download the trials and redue the old photos that you were not happy with and you should be pleasantly surprised.

  7. jpbarcelos April 6, 2015 at 6:48 am - Reply

    I’ve got a X-e2 and in general I’m extremely happy with the results I get (even though I still used a Canon 6D for professional family photography work). But you know, sometimes I do feel some pictures come out weird. But not that often. Specially in skin tones… if the ISO is too high, the results can get a bit unpredictable.

  8. ignatx April 11, 2016 at 6:22 am - Reply

    LR is a disaster with a Fuji x-trans sensor:

    http://darrel.io/fuji-x-watercolor-2015/

    Rawtherapee is one of the best converters and it is free.

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