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Mike Kobal

January 7, 2013

Portrait of the day: Pablo, the hat maker, shot with the Fuji X-E1 with 35mm wide open!

Pablo_xe1_120612_1584

Fuji X-E1, Fujifilm XF 35mm f1.4, s 1/1000, shot at f1.4, ISO 320
Doesn’t this guy look like from a different era? More shots after the break

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Fuji X-E1, Nikon 50mm f1.8 G, s 1/1000, f1.8, ISO 250

Pablo_xe1_120612_1590
Fuji X-E1, 35mm f1.4, s 1/200, f 2.0, ISO 200

The behavior of the Fujinon XL 35mm 1.4 could be compared to the antics of a small child. Unpredictable. However, when it comes to shallow depth of field at that focal length, it produces the best results I have seen – on an APSC sized sensor. When it nails focus, it REALLY nails it. The center quality of this lens is nothing short of incredible, already wide open at 1.4! I am tempted to say it is the best 35mm lens out there!

Pablo_xe1_120612_1571
Fuji X-E1, 35mm f1.4, s 1/250, f 2.0, ISO 250

Of course it doesn’t always cooperate and at times it can be frustrating when this lens struggles to acquire focus. I would like to share a few tips with you to help avoid the af error blues:
For accurate framing on the X Pro1, switch to EVF.
A) AF in low light is generally terrible with the 35mm (I have no problems with the 18mm) however, with the latest firmware installed, MF is a breeze and the way to go. Because of the shallow depth of field, the subject snaps right into focus, esp with the 3x magnifier engaged.
B) Avoid moving subjects unless there is plenty of light.
C) When shooting portraits, I found the largest AF window works best. Make sure there is plenty of light.
D) On tight close ups portraits with the aperture wide open, use a monopod, DOF is too shallow and the slightest camera/subject movement might ruin the image.
E) Compose the image in the EVF/LCD, then move the focus point and place it over one eye, preferably the one closest to the camera.

Pablo_xe1_120612_1596
Fuji X-E1, 35mm 1.4, s 1/250, f3.2, ISO 200

I enjoy shooting with the 35mm lens, the bokeh can be incredible and easily mistaken for something we thought only possible with a full frame sensor. :)

Pablo_xe1_120612_1583
Fuji X-E1, 35mm f1.4, s 1/1000, f 1.6, ISO 200


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10 Comments »

  1. Nice pics, Mike. I just bought an X-E1 with the 18-55mm zoom lens and the Fuji 35mm f1.4. I’m very impressed with the IQ but not the AF especially in low light with the 35mm f1.4. I have question about speeding up the AF. Will putting the camera in AF-C increase the AF speed? I think it does from when I tried it but I’m not sure.

    Comment by JR — January 8, 2013 @ 3:31 am

  2. Thanks JR, I can only talk about prime lenses-I don’t have the zoom- I found AF-S is the fastest and most consistent option.

    Comment by mike.kobal — January 8, 2013 @ 11:34 am

  3. This is brilliant.. I haven’t bought the 35mm as I am saving up for the 23mm instead.
    Still have issues when shooting in low light with the X-E1 w 18-55. Shutter speed isn’t fast enough with ISO6400

    Comment by singiee — January 8, 2013 @ 6:30 pm

  4. thanks Singiee, although Fuji managed to produce an excellent standard zoom, I am sticking with primes, the 18mm has very few low light focusing issues – still misses focus from time to time but is very much in line with other mirrorless offerings-except the Olympus OM-D and Nikon 1, their af performance is exemplary.

    Comment by mike.kobal — January 10, 2013 @ 8:28 pm

  5. [...] Mike Kobal’s portrait of the day shot with the X-E1 and the 35mm lens. Its bokeh, he says “can be incredible and easily mistaken for something we thought only possible with a full frame sensor.” See his shots and read more here. [...]

    Pingback by MiXed Zone (X100s, X20 and more) + the 14mm mistery at Amazon | Fuji Rumors — January 12, 2013 @ 3:52 am

  6. Wonderful, wonderful portrait, Mike! All images grabbed me instantly…amazing!

    I also own the E-X1 w 35mm but somehow ‘we aren’t connected (yet)’. The IQ is simple stunning, the size & weight is perfect, but the AF speed especially in low light situation or with moving objects is what is holding it back for me at the moment. Anyway, seeing what this camera is capable of, I’m not giving it up this easily;-).

    Just curious, the 1st photo, did you used a monopod? And is the image cropped in PP? Or did you created it this close?

    Thanks for sharing and please continue!

    Ps: do you also won the 60mm lens?

    Comment by Jeroen — January 15, 2013 @ 4:28 am

  7. Thanks Jeroen! Yes, when very close and wide open, I use a monopod. No cropping in post. I had the same problem when I first started shooting with the 35mm, slow focus, mis-focus, frustrating in low light and even good light. This lens really shines wide open, produces wonderful bokeh. Forget it for moving subjects. I only use it in controlled situations with plenty of light and time. Produces rewarding results every time :)

    Comment by mike.kobal — January 15, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  8. Thank you for your reply! I really appreciated it that you shared your experience and I will take it into account:-). For other occasions I will use my good old bulky DSLR;-).

    Comment by Jeroen — January 16, 2013 @ 8:27 am

  9. Hi Mike. Great pictures ! Did you notice any AF behavior when you set a higher ISO, while low light shots ? (ex : 3 200 instead of 200). Did you try the new firmware 3,1. which improves the AF ? If yes did you notice any improvements in low light conditions ? Thank’s

    Comment by Jeremy — August 31, 2013 @ 9:10 am

  10. thanks Jeremy. I haven’t noticed any change in af behavior based on ISO settings. Latest firmware improved af in general, it still isn’t up to dslr standards, still struggles in low light esp

    Comment by mike.kobal — August 31, 2013 @ 9:17 am

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