Sunset Photography w/ Fujifilm X-T30 + Fujinon 100-400mm

Oquirrh Mountain Evening – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

My most expensive lens, by far, is the Fujinon 100-400mm, which retails for $1,900. Despite the hefty price tag, I find myself not using that lens very often. Why? There are several reasons. First, the camera that I reach for the most is my Fujifilm X100V, which has a fixed lens, so I can’t use the 100-400mm with that camera. Another reason is that the focal length is very long and sometimes difficult to use; it’s not the right tool for many situations. The final reason is that it’s big and heavy, especially compared to my other lenses, and it works best when attached to a tripod, so it’s kind of a hassle to use. I paid a lot of money for this lens, so I need to use it more often.

One recent opportunity I had to use the Fujinon 100-400mm lens was photographing the sunset in Bountiful, Utah. Some distant clouds and haze created the potential for a great sunset. I set my tripod at the top of a hill that overlooked the valley below, attached the lens to the tripod, then attached my Fujifilm X-T30 to the lens. I had my Velvia film simulation recipe loaded into the camera, which is a great recipe for sunset photography because of its contrast and vibrant colors. In the film days, Velvia 50 was a top choice if you wanted stunning sunset pictures, and now with Fujifilm X cameras the Velvia film simulation is a top option.

Temple – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm

The sunset didn’t disappoint. Actually, it was more vibrant and lovely than I could have hoped for! It was a great show that lasted about 10 minutes. Even though I had the lens on a tripod, I still kept the shutter speed high to prevent blur from shake because I didn’t tighten everything down so that I could swing the lens around. To get a faster shutter speed I had the ISO set higher than one might expect. I was doing manual exposure. I zoomed in and out, trying to find different compositions. These seven pictures were captured from that one spot within the 10 minutes of the sunset show. The 100-400mm lens allowed me to capture a variety of pictures without moving places.

These photographs aren’t in sequential order. The picture at the top of this article was actually the last exposure, and the picture above of the temple was second-to-last. The very first exposure is the last picture at the bottom of this post. The order of the rest are scrambled up. In some pictures, I think the saturation is a little too much, and perhaps the recipe too bold, but in some other pictures it was the right choice. The X-T30 is a good camera, and the 100-400mm a good lens, and they worked very well together to make these pictures possible. I need to use these together more often.

Lava Sky over Stansbury Mountains – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
South End of Antelope Island – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
Antelope & Stansbury – Farmington, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
Salt Lake & Stansbury Mountains At Sunset – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm
Stansbury Mountains – Bountiful, UT – Fujifilm X-T30 & Fujinon 100-400mm


  1. chardburn · January 5, 2021

    Some lovely images there. Like you, my 100-400 is my most expensive but least used lens although I don’t know why, as the image quality that comes out of it is excellent

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 6, 2021

      Thank you! The image quality from the lens is definitely good. Thank you for the comment!

  2. John Miliadis · January 5, 2021

    Happy New Year Richie! The pictures look amazing, thanks for sharing. I’m interested in this combo myself, so I’m wondering how do you find the handling of the X-T30 which is such a small camera, paired to such a big lens. Do you have a grip attached to the camera when shooting handheld?

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 6, 2021

      Happy new year to you, too! The combination is good, the lens is the bigger piece, and the lens needs to be held, either by your hand or a tripod. I think that would be true even with a bigger camera, such as the X-T4, and since you are essentially carrying a lens with a camera attached to it, there’s actually an advantage to a smaller, lighter camera. I don’t use a grip myself.

  3. Mark Healey · January 5, 2021

    Hi Richie, I have the same combo and also use Velvia a lot for nature shots as well as landscapes including sunsets. I have found that setting color to -1 works perfectly, have you tried this?

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 6, 2021

      I usually take a couple of test shots and adjust what I need. I don’t know if I just got caught up in the moment, or if I simply didn’t notice that some exposures were over-saturated. I could have reprocessed the RAW files in-camera, but I left it as-is. I prefer to take my time and get it right in the field, that didn’t quite happen in this case, although I wasn’t too far off. I appreciate the suggestion!

  4. Doug · January 6, 2021

    What a pleasant surprise to see such beautiful shots. I am purchasing this lens and can’t wait to use it with my XT3.
    Thank you for sharing yours.

  5. jazz110 · January 6, 2021

    Fabulous shots! I’ve been eyeing up this lens for a long time. But, not only are the pictures it takes breathtaking, so is the price 😉 I’d love to have one for moon shots!

    • Ritchie Roesch · January 6, 2021

      Thanks! It’s indeed expensive! I was surprised that not only did my wife allow me to buy it, but she suggested that I should.

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