Blood Brothers

DSCF9863FUJIFILM X-T1 (56mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO200)

Where have all those years gone? I have no idea.

We were young and happy. We knew little but to know little doesn’t hurt. It’s the other way around. Now times have changed. We grew up, we learned. We did not even ask for it. It just happened.

Or as The Boss describes it much better. “And what once seemed black and white turns to so many shades of gray. We loose ourself in work to do and bills to pay.” My favorite Springsteen song beside “Racing In The Street”.

We got older, our faces grew wider and we got harder to photograph. But sometimes we still look good. When we are happy or when we are relaxed. To capture those moments isn’t that simple anymore because almost everybody I know does’t like his or her picture to be taken. I’m no exception. Despite I love photography I hate if somebody takes a picture of me.

That’s even more true when I’m in poor shape like in the picture above but I love the shot. My wife took it after we had a winter walk through the zoo. I cropped the picture to cut out the bad hair caused by my hat and desaturated the image to avoid the frozen skin look. I set up the camera for my wife: aperture to f2, Auto ISO to 1/125s minimum shutter speed and AF to face detection. The reason I love the shot is the soft light from the window and the great, nicely blurred background. But most of all because I look relaxed.

DSCF8553FUJIFILM X-T1 (56mm, f/2, 1/80 sec, ISO1600)
DSCF8810FUJIFILM X-T1 (56mm, f/2, 1/125 sec, ISO5000)
DSCF8714FUJIFILM X-T1 (56mm, f/1.2, 1/125 sec, ISO800)

Of course the best way to take a portrait is in a studio. Plenty of controlled light that allows to stop down the lens for maximum sharpness. Some nice, neutral background to ensure that the focus stays on the main subject. Shot at base ISO to avoid noise and smear of detail. Perfect. And perfectly boring. Plus: I don’t have a studio and even if I had the best studio in the world my friends won’t care. They also don’t like to play the model┬áso I have to “steal” their portraits during lunch or dinner.

I prefer natural light portraits and the Fuji XF 1.2/56mm is the perfect lens for that. It is very fast f1.2 but there are a lot of very fast lenses. The great thing about the Fuji lens is that it can be shot wide open. Of course sharpness improves if stopped down but it is already very good at f1.2.

The reason why I shot most portraits at f2.0 is because DOF (depth of field) is too narrow at f1.2. So why not just make a f2.0 lens to make it smaller and lighter? The Fuji XF 1.2/56mm is not exactly a small lens. Because f1.2 is great if your subject is further away. It gives you a unique look and a subject to background separation that I thought is only possible with a full frame sensor. The first Fuji portrait lens gives you that look. Also the fantastic Fuji XF 1.4/23mm of course only to a certain extend. These two lenses lift the Fuji XF system to a new level. You can have a lot of fun with the kit zoom and the standard tele zoom but these two lenses transfer the system.

Maybe Fuji is right. Keep the sensor size APS-C and create fantastic and fast primes that are still reasonable in size and weight. Now please give me a a high quality Fuji XF 4/16-70 OIS WR and a Fuji XF 4/70-200 OIS WR for travel photography and I sell my DSLR.

DSCF0101FUJIFILM X-T1 (56mm, f/2, 1/60 sec, ISO1250)