Podcast: A look at the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and more…

Piet, (foreground) and Rene with the camera and the SMDV Speedbox Professional 70cm and a Cactus RF60 in the alleyway of Varanasi, India.

Piet, (foreground) and Rene (camera to his face) and the SMDV Speedbox Professional 70cm and a Cactus RF60 in the alleyway of Varanasi, India.

Every year after our workshop in India, Piet Van den Eynde and I spend an hour or so talking about this years new Fujifilm gear. Because we do it in the field it sometimes becomes difficult to find a good location to record these discussions. It is India after all, things are noisy. One year we even made a tent out of blankets and recorded the show under it. Not to worry, this years was a breeze. Piet and I only had to deal with noisy bellhops and stray dogs,Β  all of this served as a background to an amazing hour of looking at the latest gear from Fujifilm.Β  For this episode we invited camera geek and photographer Rene Debar, host of the Fuji Xtras blog to help us with our yearly overview and to discuss the new Fujifilm X-Pro2.

Note: You can keep reading or you can click here to skip to the podcast and refer back to this post while listening.

A sadhu watches a lady pass by as we photograph him with the X-Pro2.

A sadhu watches a lady pass by as we photograph him with the X-Pro2.

One of the first topics we discuses is our workshop in India and what we did during the 10 days traveling India. The last couple of years we have been doing more and more off camera flash work. This year, we hosted an exclusive group of alumni workshop participants and we did even more flash work. We brought with us two Jinbei HD600 studio strobe (Available in the USA as the Flashpoint Rovelight RL600 – $399!), three or four Cactus RF60 Wireless Flash with Built-in Wireless Commander and Receiver and even the small Nissin I40FJ Flash for Fuji. So as you can see were were ready to light up India! All this light needed modifying, so we brought the light weight and compact Lastolite 36-Inch Trifold Umbrella and what became our favorite, the SMDV Speedbox Professional 28-inch (70cm) and A110B – Professional 44 inch (110 cm). In many ways, the star of the show were the SMDV Speedboxes. They were so simple to set up and tear down that it was a no-brainer to use them. Sure, the Lastolite umbrella was light and simple to use, but it had a ton of light spill over. Frankly, the Speedboxes where almost as simple to use and with the benefit of a more directed light. As I said, a no-brainer!

In this episode we also spoke about the difference between the detail you get with using off camera flash verses available light. I said I would post an example of one image shot with both flash and available light. Here they are:

The set up.

The set up.

 

This old "fakir baba" was photographed with available light. Zoom in by clicking the photo to see the detail. But compare it to the next photo shot with the Cactus off camera.

This old “fakir baba” was photographed with available light. Zoom in by clicking the photo to see the detail. But compare it to the next photo shot with the Cactus off camera.

The above image is with available light. Nice, right? But if you zoom in by clicking on the image you will see the detail, not bad, unless you compare it to the image shot with the Cactus flash. This difference is striking!

The same fakir above, but this time photographed with a Cactus RF60 off to the left. Zoom in for more detail and see the sharpness and clarity. By the way, both photos made with the Fuji X-Pro2.

The same fakir as the first image, but this time photographed with a Cactus RF60 off to the left. Zoom in for more detail and see the sharpness and clarity. By the way, both photos made with the Fuji X-Pro2.

 

 

 

Check out the 100% crops to view the difference in sharpness:

UPDATE: I am a little concerned that the focus might be off on the “no flash” comparison shot. I used it because that was the only frame I had shot at the same distance AND focal length to compare and the to images. So, to be fair I adding another comparison. The only difference is the “no flash” or “without flash” image is shot closer to the subject. Both are still 1:1 and this time SOOC. But you can clearly see the flash image is sharper.

1:1 flash comparison.

1:1 flash comparison.

 

Piet with the camera to his face Raju our helper holding the Cactus with the SMDV Speedbox Professional 28-inch (70cm) attached.

Piet with the camera to his face Raju our helper holding the Cactus with the SMDV Speedbox Professional 28-inch (70cm) attached.

 

The results of the above lighting. BTW we put a CTO filter on the flash to warm the light's color.

The results of the above lighting. BTW we put a CTO filter on the flash to warm the light’s color.

 

Even the little Nissin i40 performed well withing it's parameters.

Even the little Nissin i40 performed well on the X-T1 within it’s parameters.

Of course much of the show is dedicated to discussing the new Fujifilm X-Pro2. An amazing camera, but not without a few quirks.

Here is the podcast, I hope you enjoy it. Please drop by iTunes and rate us.

Special thanks to our India crew. Raju and his men were a great help schlepping our gear and translating.

Special thanks to our India crew. Raju and his men were a great help schlepping our gear and translating.

 

Lights:

 

Modifiers:

 

Lenses:

 

Cameras:

 

Websites:

 

 

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About Matt Brandon

Matt is a Malaysia based humanitarian and travel photographer. Well known as a photographer and international workshop instructor, Matt’s images have been used by business and organizations around the globe. Matt also on the design board for Think Tank Photo, a camera bag manufacturer.

In 2013 Matt founded the On Field Media Project to train the staff of non-profits to use appropriate technology to produce timely as well as quality images.

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21 thoughts on “Podcast: A look at the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and more…

  1. Great shots Matt they are a treat to look at.
    In the second shot of the Fakir with flash it says you shot at 320 shutter speed how did you manage that with flash sync max of 250 or am i missing something?
    Thanks again for posting lovely shots.
    John

  2. Thoroughly enjoyed listening to that. The focus press things is on my X-T10… When I found it there not long after getting the camera, I tried it on the X-Pro1, and it worked there too. Never even noticed it in the 18+ months I’d had the camera to that point!

  3. Can the cactus flash be used in ttl or manual only?I have a xt1 and occasionally use one of my canon 600rt flashes used manually but otherwise am restricted to the “lowly” x8 .I’m so used to my PW controlled canon system that Fuji flash images above pay grade remain a dream.Great imagery of India and its incredible people (reminds me of my hippie trip in 60’s).

    • Ronen, Thanks for commenting. The Cactus is only manual. The only TTL flash for the X-Series cameras are the Fujifilm flashes and the small Nissin i40. But a we sated in the podcast, there is a new Fujifilm flash slated called the EF-X500.

  4. Pingback: Faqir Baba and the SMDV SPEEDBOX - The Digital Trekker Blog & PhotographyThe Digital Trekker Blog & Photography

  5. Pingback: Podcast: A look at the Fujifilm X-Pro2 and more… | Matt Brandon

  6. I noticed in a couple of the shots you used a CTO warming filter over the flash head. Was this a large sheet to cover the area od the softbox opening or a small piece over the flash tube? They look a little too warm for me ?

      • Thankyou Matt πŸ™‚ All information you give is valueble to me as I hope to do my own 1 man trip there sometime. Is hiring a guide/Interpreter /VAL reasonable too? Mike πŸ™‚

        • Mike, hiring a fixer is costly but can be a huge help. If you plan to go to Varanasi or Kolkata or Kashmir I can help with getting you in touch with one.

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