First impressions of Fuji´s new rangfinder camera
There is a trend among photographers, who can be described as follows in short words: concentrate on the essentials and limit yourself in your equipment! After a short time and practice, you´ll find out that your photography will become more impressive. So the theory, but there is some truth in that.
Back to the roots with a beautiful small rangefinder camera? Why not, I try it with Fuji´s new X100F. After one month on the streets with this small tool, I am very impressed about what great results produces this little premium compact camera. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am since a long time an Olympus photographer. And it will remain so in the future. But that does not mean to look outside the box. Here a small illustrated field report with the new Fuji X100F:
All beginnings are difficult. Many people believe that the menu navigation and settings in the Olympus mirrorless cameras were very large and very complicated. I felt exactly the opposite way, as I had the Fuji for the first time in my hands. But that is the nature of things. Every camera manufacturer is cooking his own soup here. After a while and an intensive study of the manual I met then the camera specific features.
First of all, what inspires me on this camera are the excellent image quality of the 24 mp X-trans sensor and the fantastic film simulations. My favorites are Acros and Classic Chrome. The results here in the blog post talking for themselves. Already as a jpg. file the pictures come almost perfectly out of the cam. As far as possible to have the greatest flexibility, I shoot the images still in RAW. Lightroom makes it possible in the camera calibration settings to develop the RAW files very quick and easily with the respective Fuji film simulations. In this way, you can apply all film simulations on the respective image. Isn´t it perfect …!
The firmly mounted 23mm pancake lens is equivalent to a classic 35mm reportage focal length in full frame format. In the beginning, I was somewhat skeptical about whether the aperture of 2.0 is sufficient for a shallow depth of field. But take a look at the pictures above you. Is this not a fantastic blur …! As I said, back to the roots. The old Magnum masters of photography like Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa or Elliott Erwitt worked with no better lenses and cams, but have created masterpieces with their old stuff.
The camera offers a number of technical refinements. I will not write a technical review in this block post. If you are interested for all details, than take a look on Google. You will find tons of many good product descriptions. But I would like to hold two things still, although I have not tried one: the fantastic hybrid viewfinder and the leaf shutter. These two functions have a unique selling proposition in this class of camera. The leaf shutter allows flash sync speeds about 1/1000 sec. How sweet it is! I will report it as soon as I have tested it.
Finally a few thoughts to the camera performance in low light situations. The image quality is excellent even at high ISO settings. I tested the settings with ISO up to 12.800. The results are amazing, the noise is very low. But hand of heart: that should be a decisive factor for no one. The ISO advantage of the X100F relativized himself again with the missing image stabilisation. Ultimately means that in low light situations no big difference. With the Fuji, it becomes increasingly difficult to get hand hold sharp images under 1/60 sec. Cameras like the PEN-F with built-in image stabilizer allows hand hold shutter speeds up to 1 second.