I had a number of weddings to shoot in August and thought I would post some thoughts that might be of interest to photographers, especially those using, or thinking of using, mirrorless for weddings. I’ve been trying to streamline my system a bit so that I don’t have to carry my quite heavy camera bag around. But, I hear you say, I thought mirrorless cameras were supposed to be lighter! Well they are, but I’ve got 3 cameras and 6 lenses in that bag..
Xpro2 * 2 ( now and X-T2 and X-Pro2 )
50-140 2.8 zoom
The fact that I can carry it with relative ease is a minor miracle, try putting the same sort of DSLR gear in one bag…Anyway, even so, I wanted to get to a system where I was just carrying around 2 cameras and 2 lenses and then could nip back and do a lense change if necessary. I finally found a camera strap I like in the Peak Design system.
I love this strap, it’s so much nicer than the horrible ones Fuji supply us with. I decided to try the spider holster for the other camera..here is their website ( although I got mine via wex photographic, which along with Amazon is my go to site for camera gear in the UK ( http://www.wexphotographic.com/).
I bought the single camera holster system and ended up with one xpro-2 on the holster with the 23mm 1.4, and the other camera on the slide strap with the 56mm 1.2 on. This left my hands free and if necessary I could wear the x100T around my neck, but I rarely did. I found this combination to be excellent, I’d leave my bag in a safe place and go back to it to swap lenses if I needed to. It’s hard to describe how awesomely liberating it is having that little weight to carry around, and the holster and slide strap are super quick to use. Those two lenses are all I need for most of the day, but I will swap to the 16mm 1.4 for group shots and especially the dancing, and occasionally use the zoom for candid shots if I need the reach. I do love the 35mm f2 but didn’t find it fitted into this system for me, I still use it is my everyday lense though. The 90mm rarely gets used at weddings, but I use it all the time on fashion/portrait shoots.
Here are some images then I’ll waffle a bit more about focussing and DR.
First off, dynamic range. I’ve always found that the DR on Fujis is pretty damned good. Its not class leading, but its easily good enough for me. I thought I’d try DR400 as a setting at one wedding, but it created some weirdness where the images were underexposed by a stop or two. I know the reasons behind this now, and it wasn’t a problem, but I didn’t like it and switched back to DR100 for the next wedding, which suited me much better.
As for focussing, it was great, no real problems except on one wedding where the band playing behind the couple was very brightly lit up and obviously the focus system picked them out a few times rather than the couple. That was a tricky one as there was no white ceiling to bounce light off and a very limited area I could stand. Note to self, manual focus more next time!
For the processional, which I know gives many mirrorless photographers nightmares, the xpro-2 was more than fine. I used AF-C, burst mode, and zone focussing with the cross on the bride, for one wedding, and the same thing but single point focussing on the other ( still AF-C and burst ). I found the zone focussing better for me, but your mileage may vary, both worked pretty well. I can’t wait to try the X-T2 with its deeper buffer and 5 frames a second ( so no EVF blackout ), and yes I know it can do 11-14 fps but 5 is enough and gives you the advantage of no blackout and no buffer effectively. One of the things I’ve been impressed with on the X-T2 is how customisable it is. Time for a few more photos.
So whats the conclusion? Not really sure, but I’m in a happy place with the gear for next season and the ergonomics and handling in particular are amazing. Can’t wait to do some serious testing with the X-T2. I wasn’t going to buy it, but a couple of niggles persuaded me.
Firstly, using the spyder holster, it covers up the battery cover on the xpro-2, so I had to unscrew it each time I wanted to swap batteries. A minor thing, but it took me a few minutes each time. With the X-T2 on the holster I can charge via usb or the grip so this won’t be an issue. Also, on the xpro-2, I did hit the buffer on the processional and confetti runs, I could just shoot slower, but it will be nice having the much bigger buffer on the X-T2. I’ll also use it for all the football ( soccer to you yanks ) matches I shoot, my son and my daughter both play for clubs now so that will be a big part of my weekends for the next few years! Finally, it is a shiny new toy and my GAS ( Gear Aquisition Syndrome ) go the better of me!