Photo Diary

Nine Emperor Gods Festival, Singapore

"The Nine Emperor Gods Festival is held from the first to the ninth day of the ninth lunar month among Chinese communities in Southeast Asia. It begins with the welcoming of the gods into the temple where they are to be worshipped for nine days, and ends when the gods are sent off on the ninth day. The festival is known for the temple processions that take place during the celebrations." (Source: Singapore Infopedia)

Taken with Leica Q, Fuji X-Pro2 and Canon 5DMIII.

Rebecca TohComment
Street portraits with the Fujifilm X-Pro2

In today's post, using the example of a recent shoot I did with Foreign Policy Design Group in Tokyo, I want to show what a fantastic portrait camera the Fujifilm X-Pro2 is.

I have deliberately edited the images in various different ways to show you the versatility of the RAW files. Also, some of these images are JPEGs straight out of the camera, with the in-built film simulations applied. Can you guess which ones are those?

Click on each image to view larger.

I traveled to Tokyo for this shoot with only one body (X-Pro2) and two lenses - the XF18 and XF35. Super light! And they got the job done. In fact, because I am usually a 50mm-shooter (on full frame), I also used mainly the XF35 (which is about 50mm on a full frame camera) this time round.

So really, if you are looking to shoot mainly portraits, all you need is the X-Pro2 and one lens, the XF35. It reminds me a little of my very nostalgic 5DMI + 50mm f1.8 lens combo. Cheap, light, and super effective setup, just the way I like it. As my career evolved, I slowly moved on to the very heavy 5DMIII and equally burdensome 50mm f1.2.

So now that I'm using this new and light Fujifilm setup, I'm a super happy photographer again =)

Hope that this post shows you a little of what the Fuji X-Pro2 is capable of as a portrait camera. Now go forth and make pictures!

Rebecca TohComment
Fujifilm X-Pro2 x Tokyo

This is a blog post about my love affair with the Fujifilm X-Pro2, how I fell in love with it, why I think it's almost perfect, and why I believe we will be together for a long, long time.

You see, I have always been a Canon user. My first camera was the 5D Classic (or 5D Mark I). It was a camera that always felt like an extension of my inner being - with it I succeeded in making photographs that very accurately represented the emotions I was actually feeling inside.

As time went by, I graduated to the 5DMII and then to the 5DMIII. It's a natural progression, since the 5DMIII retains the magical qualities of the original 5D Classic but is packed with much higher image quality.

An example of what the 5DMIII is capable of - one of my favorite images

An example of what the 5DMIII is capable of - one of my favorite images

In the last couple of years though, I have begun dreaming of a camera that is so portable and light that it can be used as a travel camera, but creates images of such high quality that it can also double as a work camera. I also wanted this hypothetical camera to have that something special - what I think of as the X factor - that my 5D cameras seem to have.

Then my friend Toni Cuhadi asked me to consider Fuji. He himself is a Fuji fanatic. 

The thing is, before I talked to Toni I simply hadn't heard much about Fuji cameras at all. I had a vague idea that Fuji cameras make good street photography equipment - some of the photographers I admire (like Xyza Cruz Bacani) use cameras like the Fuji X-E2. Other than that, I didn't quite know what to expect about Fuji cameras.

After doing the usual feverish pre-camera-purchase online research about everything I could find out about Fujifilm and their line-up of cameras and looking at what their cameras are capable of through the reviews of fellow photographers, and after making a trip down to the Fuji gallery to experience holding the camera in my own hands, I decided to go with the X-Pro2.

And the rest is history.

In this post I will share with you some of the photographs I took with the Fuji X-Pro2 while I was in Tokyo recently. All the photos here have been edited in Lightroom, mostly because I enjoy tweaking the colors of my images. (Sometimes I shoot JPEGs too and upload them straight out of the camera - they will be the topic for another post in future!)

Remember: this post isn't meant to be a review. It's only meant to give you a taste of the possibilities and the kind of images that can be created by this mean little photo machine that is the X-Pro2.

But before we go on, here are some reasons why I think the X-Pro2 is an almost perfect camera:

1. First of all, it looks REALLY good, like an object of desire that has been crafted with utter care and precision. And it looks like a nostalgic throwback to the good old days of manual film cameras, which I love.

2. When you hold the X-Pro2 in your hands, everything feels just right. The buttons and dials inspire love.

3. It's very light. Which makes me want to bring it on trains and travel across oceans with it.

4. It has in-camera film simulations inspired by the actual films traditionally produced by Fuji. That's why the JPEGs look so good out of the camera - every JPEG comes treated with one of these gorgeous-looking film simulations (depending on which one you select), including the popular films Classic Chrome (color) and ACROS (black and white).

5. Its image quality and dynamic range rival that of my 5DMIII, which means it functions as a work camera for me as well these days. I still rely on my 5DMIII for most jobs but I do hope to eventually transition into using only Fuji cameras, since they are so portable and work so well. 

6. Since this is not an actual review, I will not touch on many of the more technical aspects of the camera that I love, like how it has a great electronic viewfinder, and how it has a WIFI function (which, while not the best, allows me to post my photos on the go, unlike my 5DMIII), and how wonderful it is to finally have TWO SD card slots (allowing you to shoot on one and backup on the other), etc.

7. I will instead talk about how with the X-Pro2 I have a newly rekindled passion again in making photographs on my own time or when I am traveling, simply because I have so much fun using it. It's a new-found love for an old hobby.

I can probably still think of more reasons but what I really want to do is show you some of the photos I made with the X-Pro2. So here you go!

Rebecca TohComment