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, all of this served as a background to an amazing hour of looking at the latest gear from Fujifilm. 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.