My Experience So Far with Fujifilm X-Pro 2 & Fujinon XF100-400mm lens - Joe Ng


I have been using the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 and Fujinon XF100-400mm lens for almost two months now. Over that time, I shot a few sports events and wild birds and would like to share my thoughts and experiences.

The Fujinon XF100-400mm lens extended my reach when I was covering the FIFA Men’s World Cup Qualifier game and Whistler Cup Skiing Race. My focal length for the previous FIFA game was limited when using my Fujinon XF50-140mm lens with a Fujinon XF1.4x teleconverter attached. With that combo, I was only able to capture shots that took place within my half of the soccer field (I staked out at one end of the field). The soccer players would be too small when the action took place on the other half of the field furthest away from me. This also applied at the skiing race. In order not to disturb the racers, all photographers had to shoot within a designated area that was quite distant from the race course.

I carried one Fujifilm X-Pro2, a Fujifilm X-T1, Fujinon XF100-400mm lens, Fujinon XF50-140mm lens, Fujinon XF10-24mm lens,Fujinon XF1.4x teleconverter, and a monopod in my backpack up to Whistler mountain. Thanks to the lightness and compact size of all my Fujifilm gear, I was able to ski down the black diamond runs to the race course with more ease than before. I was also able to change my shooting position more easily than if I was carrying heavier DSLRs. The weight of the Fujinon XF100-400mm lens (1,375g) is a third of that of the Nikon 400mm f2.8 (4,620g) and half of the weight of the Nikon 200-400mm (3,360g). A big bonus with the X-Pro2, X-T1, and XF100-400mm and XF50-140mm lenses is that they’re all water-resistant, so I don’t have to worry as much when putting them down on the ground.

I carried the same set of Fujifilm gear to the FIFA Men’s World Cup Qualifier game between Canada and Mexico as I did to Whistler. I had one Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the Fujinon XF100-400mm lens with a 1.4x teleconverter attached and the second Fujifilm X-Pro2 with the Fujinon XF50-140mm lens for any close action shots around the goal. I placed the Fujifilm X-T1 with the Fujinon XF10-24mm lens and Cactus V6 remote trigger behind the goal for close actions shots.

The Fujinon XF100-400mm lens proved to be an extremely flexible lens. The focal length is 150-600mm in full frame 35mm terms, which means I can cover almost the entire length of the field from behind the goal line. With the Fujinon XF1.4x teleconverter on, I could zoom right in on the action happening across the field. The AF is quick and snappy, especially on the X-Pro2, even with the XF1.4x teleconverter. The only trade-off is losing one stop of light. I still put the lens with the teleconverter on the monopod, even though the OIS is excellent, because I don’t want to hand-hold it for 45 minutes straight. The combination of the Fujinon XF100-400mm lens and the XF1.4x teleconverter helped me get some excellent shots throughout the game.

I have found the X-Pro2 to be an excellent camera for sporting events and is a step up from the X-T1. The X-Pro2’s faster processor, faster AF, more focus points, and larger sensor has made this my primary camera for shooting sports now. I’m looking forward to the successor of the X-T1 and hope Fujifilm will release it sooner or later.

While the X-T1 is still a great camera, I find that using it for sports events can be frustrating when shooting bursts at 8fps because of the blackout time of the EVF. The blackout only happens for a few tenths of a second but for sports, that can make or break the shot. The blackout time on the X-T1 is more apparent when I use the X-Pro2 simultaneously.

However the X-T1 can still produce great images, the AF is great, and I can follow the action and capture some good shots.

I used to be a RAW shooter before changing to JPEG + RAW after I switched to using Fujifilm. That being said, I now use JPEG as my primary file as Fujifilm’s straight-out-of-the-camera JPEG file is so good, so I only edit the RAW file if needed.

I can get the exposure right through the EVF and let Fujifilm cameras do their best to deliver the JPEG files. All of the shots on this post are JPEGS with slight adjustments to contrast and levels, with some shots being cropped slightly to improve their composition.

I’m not saying that taking the JPEG file straight out of the camera is necessarily the best way as compared to RAW editing since both have their advantages. Instead, I want to postulate the idea that it definitely speeds up my post-production workflow significantly and I am pleased with the results that my Fujifilm camera produces with this approach.

You can find more details on this topic from Kevin Mullins, a fellow X-Photographer who’s based in the UK.

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