Opening Night With The Fuji X Pro 1

Opening night receptions at your local gallery can be a wonderful way to hone your street shooting skills.  Gallerists appreciate the crowds, (and more so if you buy something), but I find that those who attend openings are more receptive to have their picture taken, or at least the expectation that is what occurs at opening night receptions.  Crowds at openings tend to be a lot friendlier and are more inclined to support the arts, and artists in attendance, which includes you the photographer as well.   When I shoot at functions like this I tend to lower my profile as a photographer.  I normally will not take the D4 into a setting like that, unless it’s a photojournalistic opportunity, I will take a smaller camera that helps me blend in with the crowd.  I tend to use the Fuji X Pro 1 with a fast prime, which on the Fuji right now is their 35mm f/1.4.   I’m not totally enamored with that camera right now.  Its IQ is quite pleasing, but despite the firmware upgrades to the camera and its lenses, I’m still not satisfied with its focusing ability in low light non-flash use.  It amazes me sometimes on how that camera will back focus on something I’m not even interested in focusing on in low light situations.  Despite upping the ISO to auto 3200 it still will periodically hunt to focus.  I do love it’s size and handling, and wish that Nikon would re-launch their S camera rangefinder as a svelte digital beast.  One can only hope.  I’m still trying to figure out if the Fuji is a keeper or whether I should sell it and take the loss on it.  I’m always evaluating  “smaller” compact systems.  It’s like seeking the Holy Grail in camera designs.  Something that can give you everything you’ve ever wanted in one camera.  I don’t think that will ever happen, but one can only hope.  Shots shown here were all shot wide open at f/1.4 and the auto ISO on the X Pro ranged from 200 to 1600 on these images.

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May 27, 2013 by Michel Fourkas

Hi John,

searching for Sigma DP Merrill blogs, I found yours. It seems as your name implied that you have Greek roots, I’m born and raised in Belgium (Brussels) but my parents are Greeks.
I felt in love with the Sigma DP2 and DP3 Merrill, and I bought them, these are fantastic cameras !
Regarding the Fuji X-Pro1, it’s my favorite camera, I use it all the time, and have found the way to use it properly. My former camera was the D800e, I sold it because I was bored to travel all day long with these heavy lenses. I never regret my move to Fuji !
Don’t sell it, all compacts cameras have problems to focus in low light, I work in a photo store in Brussels, and having tried all the cameras, including the Coolpix A, and the new Ricoh GR, they all kinda struggle in difficult conditions, more than the Fuji sometimes…
You should try this little tip, when you have problems focusing, put the camera in manual mode, and you can acquire autofocus by pressing the AEL button ! It works very well, and it’s sometimes faster than working in AF mode.

PS sorry for my poor english but I’m a french speaking guy ;-)

Kind regards


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