Thanksgiving Point Tulip Festival With Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm Lens

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Tulips In Acros – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

Lehi, Utah, is a suburb of Salt Lake City. Within Lehi is Thanksgiving Point, which is a not-for-profit farm, garden, museum, sports, food and entertainment complex. It was founded by Alan Ashton, who invented WordPerfect software back in the late 1970’s. Within Thanksgiving Point is Ashton Gardens, an incredibly beautiful 55 acre oasis that seems miles away from the hustle and bustle of the city that’s outside the gate. The largest man-made waterfall in the western hemisphere can be found here.

Every year in mid-April through early-May there is a tulip festival inside Ashton Gardens. It’s reminiscent of spring in Holland. In fact, the nearly 300,000 tulips found at Ashton Gardens are imported from Holland. It really is an amazing sight to behold!

As you can imagine, if you are a landscape photographer or love photographing flowers, there are very few places that are better for capturing great images than Aston Gardens in the spring. It’s such a lovely place! There is so much beauty around every corner. If you are in the area during spring, be sure to plan a visit to Thanksgiving Point.

I went to the tulip festival at Ashton Gardens with my newly acquired Fujifilm X-Pro2 and Fujinon XF 16mm f/1.4 R WR lens. It’s a very good lens that I’ve been very happy to use, and its 24mm equivalent focal-length is great for this type of photography. The X-Pro2 and 16mm combination proved to be perfect for this photographic endeavor. All of these images are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs. I used Velvia, Astia, Classic Chrome and Acros film simulations for these pictures. Yes, the same recipes that I use on my X100F also work on my X-Pro2.

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Bright White Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Red Tulip – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Orange Blossoms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Cherry Blossom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Sun Flower – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Looking Up – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Blossoms By The Pond – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Flowers By The Stream – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Color of Spring – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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European Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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And It Was Called Yellow – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Blue Bloom – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Poppies Among Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Garden Flowers – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Flowing Water Feature – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Red Tulips – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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Paper Wings – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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3 Waterfalls – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro3 & 16mm

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Secret Garden Door – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

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White Blooms – Lehi, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 16mm

What Are The Differences Between The Fujifilm X100F & X-Pro2 With 23mm F/2 Lens?

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2 (left) and Fujifilm X100F (right)

One question that I’ve been asked since purchasing the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is what are the differences between it with the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens and the X100F, which also has a 23mm f/2 lens. Are they the exact same thing? Can they coexist in one camera bag?

The X100F and the X-Pro2 are two of the most beautifully designed digital cameras ever made. Fujifilm knows how to design great-looking cameras that also function as beautifully as they look. Nobody does form and function like Fujifilm, and these two cameras are perhaps the greatest examples of this.

When I first reviewed the pictures that I captured with my X-Pro2 and 23mm lens, I said to myself, “These are X100F images!” They looked identical. It shouldn’t surprise anyone, because the X-Pro2 and X100F share the same sensor and processor. But now that I’ve had a chance to really play around with X-Pro2, I can see some key differences between the two cameras.

Owning an X100F and the X-Pro2 with the Fujinon 23mm f/2 is redundant in many situations–it’s like having the exact same camera; however, sometimes one camera is better than the other, situation dependent. And there is no clear winner on which one is better. They are both very good, and each offers something that the other doesn’t.

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Advantages of the X-Pro2 & 23mm:

Interchangeable lens. You are not stuck with one focal length.

Faster. I won’t say that the difference is huge, but the X-Pro2 has a slightly better auto-focus system that’s also a bit quicker.

Weather sealed. If you are shooting in the rain, you’ll want to use the X-Pro2 and not the X100F.

Sharper wide open. Not only are the corners sharper at f/2 on the Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens, but the center is, as well. By f/4 there’s absolutely no difference.

Video. The X-Pro2 can shoot 4K while the X100F cannot.

Duel SD card slots. I’m not sure that I see a big advantage to this or not, but two 64GB SD cards hold a lot of pictures.

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Advantages of the X100F:

Smaller and lighter. You can’t put the X-Pro2 in any pocket, while the X100F can fit into a jacket pocket without problem.

Cheaper. The X100F will run you several hundred dollars less than the X-Pro2 and 23mm lens combo. However, if you already own an X-Pro2, buying the 23mm lens would be much cheaper than buying the X100F.

Leaf shutter & flash. This is perhaps the biggest advantage that the X100F has over the X-Pro2, and I cannot say enough good things about it.

Non-interchangeable lens. Sometimes less is more. Oftentimes limitations improve art.

Magical f/2. The Fujinon XF 23mm f/2 R WR lens is technically superior when wide open, but it lacks the magic dust that Fuji sprinkled over the X100F.

Battery life. It seems that, so far, the X100F goes just a little further on a fully charged battery than the X-Pro2. I haven’t scientifically tested this, but I just find myself going through batteries faster on the bigger camera.

Built-in Neutral-Density filter. The X100F has it, the X-Pro2 does not.

Other than that, the two cameras are basically the same. If you have one, you essentially have the other. In some situations, one camera will prove to be better for that particular moment than the other. Because of this, I can see both being useful. If you need something small and lightweight or want to snap family photos, the X100F is the winner. Otherwise, the X-Pro2 will be the better choice by a hair. You can’t go wrong with either camera, they’re both good options. If you have the money, there’s a place in your camera bag for both. If it’s between one camera and the other, you’ll have to decide what’s most important to you and pick the camera that best fulfills your needs.

Below are a few examples of similar photographs from the two cameras. They were captured at different times and days with different (but similar) settings. All of them are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs.

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Apple Blossoms – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

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Apple Bloom – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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The Sun Is Shockingly Bright – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

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Shocks – South Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

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Historic Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm lens

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An Historic Place For Beer – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F

Fujifilm X100F Film Simulation Settings

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There’s been a lot of interest in my film simulation recipes, so I thought that I’d put them all in one convenient place. Hopefully this will make things a little easier for those that are looking for them. Below are the different film simulation recipes that I’ve created for the Fujifilm X100F. Simply click the links to be taken to the different recipes. If I make any more I’ll add them to this list.

Color:

My Fujifilm X100F Velvia Film Simulation Recipe

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Trees, Rocks & Cliffs – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Astia Film Simulation Recipe

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Leaf In The Stream – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe

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Train Ride Through The Christmas Tunnel – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Vintage Kodachrome Film Simulation Recipe

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Old Log In Kolob Canyon – Zion NP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F PRO Neg. Hi Film Simulation Recipe

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Christmas Joy – Scottsdale, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Fujicolor Superia 800 Film Simulation Recipe

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Caramel Macchiato – Sandy, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F CineStill 800T Film Simulation Recipe

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Where Was Your Head That Day? – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Eterna Film Simulation Recipe

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Expedition Lodge – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Portra 400 Film Simulation Recipe

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Jump – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Kodak Ektar 100 Film Simulation Recipe

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Summer Boy – Layton, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Cross Process Film Simulation Recipe

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Taos Umbrella – Taos, NM – Fujifilm X100F

Monochrome:

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Film Simulation Recipe

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Walking Man – SLC, UT – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Acros Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe

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Watchtower Sky – Grand Canyon NP, AZ – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Agfa Scala Film Simulation Recipe

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Truck Stop – Bowie, TX – Fujifilm X100F

My Fujifilm X100F Ilford HP5 Plus Film Simulation Recipe

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Grey Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X100F

See also:
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Kodachrome II Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Dramatic Classic Chrome Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Vintage Agfacolor Film Simulation Recipe
[Not] My Fujifilm X-Pro2 Tri-X Push-Process Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-T20 Aged Photo Film Simulation Recipe
My Fujifilm X-T20 Kodak Ektachrome 100SW Film Simulation Recipe

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 2: Fujifilm X-A3

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Salt Lake Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

Part 1 – Fujifilm X-E1 

Kit Carson and John C. Fremont, who visited the Antelope Island in 1845, gave it its name after hunting pronghorn antelope. Daddy Stump and Fielding Garr would build homes on Antelope Island over the next few years. This is a place that people have been coming to for a long time. In fact, there is evidence that native people have spent time on the island since at least the time of Christ.

Something interesting that I’ve discovered since moving to the Salt Lake City area two years ago is that most people who grew up in Utah don’t visit Antelope Island. Maybe they went on a school field trip as a kid, but they haven’t been back since. The majority of people you find on the island are from out-of-town. The locals who do visit are often those that moved to the area from someplace else. It’s too bad for those who don’t make the short trip to the island because they’re really missing out.

The photographs in this article were captured using a Fujifilm X-A3, which is Fujifilm’s inexpensive interchangeable-lens option. It shows that you don’t have to spend tons of money on gear to capture something good. Being someplace interesting with a camera is more important than what camera you have. With whatever photography gear you have, just get to somewhere photogenic and make some exposures! These are all camera-made JPEGs, and a few of them were lightly edited using Snapseed on my phone.

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White Rock Bay – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Bush In The Crag – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Promontory Through Weeds – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Pyramid – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Coming Storm – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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One Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Two Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Rocky Hill & Cloudy Sky – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Rugged – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Early Spring At Buffalo Point – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Green Bush Over Orange Rock – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Rust Never Rests – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Forgotten Ranch Tool – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Red Lamp – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Lonely Blossom – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Sunset Over The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Little Wave of Big Color – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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Washed Up – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A3

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A Great Salt Lake Sunset – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-A5

Part 3 – Fujifilm X100F

Photoessay: Antelope Island State Park, Utah – Part 1: Fujifilm X-E1

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Bison In The Road – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

The Great Salt Lake in Utah is the largest natural lake west of the Mississippi River, the largest salt water lake in the western hemisphere and the 33rd largest lake in the world. It’s massive! It can seem almost ocean-like, or perhaps more like a large ocean bay, but it is located far from any ocean. One difference between the Great Salt Lake and an ocean is that the lake is much saltier, and the only thing that lives in it is brine shrimp.

The largest island in the Great Salt Lake is Antelope Island, which is 15 miles long and five miles wide. The highest point, Frary Peak, is 6,594′, and is often snow-capped in the winter. It’s accessible by road via a causeway. Antelope Island is managed by the Utah State Park system.

Antelope Island seems like a world away from the Salt Lake City metro area, even though it is located very close to the city. It looks remote, and it must have been very remote before the road was built and the city grew. Interestingly enough, the oldest non-Native American structure in Utah is located on the island, an adobe ranch house built in 1848. The Fielding Garr Ranch was a working ranch from 1848 to 1981, and now the old ranch is open to the public for self-guided tours.

Wildlife abounds on Antelope Island, including buffalo, mule deer, pronghorn antelope, big horn sheep and many other animals. At one time it was believed that the bison herd on Antelope Island was the largest in America. There are a huge variety of birds that migrate across the area.

The water is often calm and the reflections can be incredible. There are sandy beaches. There are trails that curve across the rugged landscape. There is a unique beauty to Antelope Island that draws me back. It’s one of my favorite places to photograph. But it’s also disgusting! There’s a certain “rotten egg” smell that can be found near the shores. There are tons and tons of bugs, including biting no-see-ums, brine flies (that cover the shore like a thick cloud), mosquitoes, tons of spiders (venomous and non-venomous), among other things. It’s pretty common to see dead birds. There’s plenty to love and hate about this place. I try to look beyond the gross to see the beauty.

The photographs in this article were captured using a Fujifilm X-E1. It was my introduction to Fuji X cameras. I bought it used about two years ago and kept it for a year. I loved that camera and didn’t want to get rid of it, but I used the money from selling it to help pay for my Fujifilm X100F. Without the X-E1 this blog wouldn’t exist. Some of these photographs are straight-out-of-camera JPEGs, many of them are not and were post-processed using Alien Skin Exposure and/or Nik Silver Efex.

Part 2 of this series will feature photographs captured at Antelope Island State Park using a Fujifilm X-A3. Part 3 will feature the X100F. And the final installment will feature the X-Pro2. Enjoy!

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Blue Umbrella At The Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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The Vastness of the Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Red Buffalo At The Great Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Boys Playing In The Salt Lake – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Buffalo Hill – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Area Closed For Bison – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Island Buffalo – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Deer Statue – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Ice on Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Ice, Lake & Mountains – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Frary Peak Reflected – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Light Streaming Over Antelope Island – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Wasatch Mountains From The Causeway – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

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Old Salty Stump – Antelope Island SP, UT – Fujifilm X-E1

Part 2 – Fujifilm X-A3  Part 3 – Fujifilm X100F  

Fujifilm X100F Aperture Series: f/2.8

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f/2

Aperture f/2.8 on the Fujifilm X100F is technically superior to f/2. The corners are not as soft. The center is sharper. Vignetting and chromatic aberrations are pretty much gone. But f/2.8 doesn’t contain nearly as much magic as f/2. Notice that I said “nearly as much” because some of that magic is still there. This aperture is both better and worse than shooting wide open on this camera, and overall not all that much different.

Perhaps the biggest reason to choose f/2.8 is for depth-of-field, which is shallow enough to achieve subject separation and large enough to have lots in focus, depending on how far away the subject is. Sometimes f/2 can be too shallow and f/4 not shallow enough, just depending on the situation. It’s a great choice for portraits or low-light situations. I appreciate the way it renders photographs in a variety of situations.

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Strong Coffee – Seattle, WA – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Hair & Lips – Ogden, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Torn At The Knee – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Empty Seat – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Holiday Sugar Cookies – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Daewoo Microwave – Moab, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Coffee Didn’t Help – Riverdale, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Hanging Print – South Weber, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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I-15 Overpass – Las Vegas, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Contrast of Johanna – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Curtain Abstract – Mesquite, NV – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

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Mary’s Watchtower – Grand Canyon National Park, AZ – Fujifilm X100F @ f/2.8

f/4  f/5.6  

New Arrival: Fujifilm X-Pro2

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 & Fujinon 23mm f/2

Two days ago a new (to me) camera arrived in my mailbox: the Fujifilm X-Pro2. This will replace the Fujifilm X-A3 as my “second” camera. The X-A3 is a good camera that I would highly recommend to anyone as an inexpensive entry into the world of Fuji X or as a “backup” camera body. It’s image quality well exceeds its price point. But it is no X-Pro2!

The reasons why I purchased the X-Pro2 are because I wanted it ever since it first came out (I wanted an X-Pro1 when I first saw it but couldn’t afford it) and I found it for a good deal. I bought it as a “kit” with a bunch of lenses and accessories, and to afford it I have to sell off a good portion of it (in fact, I’ve already sold some things). There are a few lenses that I will try and test but won’t be able to keep. That’s ok, as I’m very happy to own an X-Pro2.

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Fujifilm X-Pro2 & 23mm f/2

I took it out for a test run right after it arrived, and did some street photography in downtown Ogden, Utah, and three different people said something to me about the camera. There were two photographers, one shooting Sony and the other Canon, who gave the compliment as they walked by, “Nice camera!” Someone else asked me if I was shooting a film camera. The fact is that the X-Pro2 and X100F are two of the best-looking digital cameras ever made!

Once I’ve had more time to use the camera I’ll write more about it. I’m also planning to publish some articles comparing it to the X100F. For example, what are the differences between the X-Pro2 with the 23mm f/2 and the X100F? Can they coexist together? It should be interesting.

Fuji X Weekly Growing In Popularity

I’m shocked month-after-month how much Fuji X Weekly has grown in popularity. This blog has been online for only about nine months, and each month sees more page views than the previous month. It’s a pretty steady growth line.

What’s amazing about this is I’m doing so very little to promote this site. I’m doing almost nothing to make it grow. People are just finding it and reading it and returning.

The reason that I’m bringing this up is that there were more than 10,000 page views on this blog in the month of April. Over 10,000! Now I know for some photography blogs, that “few” views in a month would be highly disappointing, they get that kind of traffic in a few hours, not 30 days. But for little ol’ me, writing one or two articles per week and doing so little to gain attention, that’s huge.

I have so much more to write. I have a number of great articles to share with you. There’s plenty to come, so I would be flattered and honored if you came back to read them. Until then, I want to say a big thank you to everyone who came to Fuji X Weekly! Thank you for reading and looking at the pictures. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for sharing articles. Mostly, just thank you for being a part of this thing in one way or another!