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Being something of a cheapskate and also a technophobe I very rarely buy new kit. However the blue moon has arrived, and I'm considering an XT-2 with lenses to cover the 35mm equivalent of 24-70 and 70-200. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice on this? I'm not wholly committed to Fuji, if there are good alternatives. And a second question - I use Lightroom 6, not CC - presumably I can download and install the appropriate lens/camera profiles without upgrading?

 

Thanks,

Alex

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Timely post Alex - I'm a day or two away on pulling the trigger to get an XT2 with 18-55 and 10-24 ( for my landscape projects)

Cant fully answer your questions and depends on your usage requirements - but my research leads me to think i will be pleased with the camera - the user experience of this Fuji is high on my requirements list

 

Martin

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I got mine 3 weeks ago after first considering it last year. So far I am incredibly pleased with it, more than I expected to be and think my 5dII will probably just live in the studio from now. I got the 10-24 and 18-135 lenses both of which are excellent. I was really surprised with the 10-24 at how little distortion there is - also surprised at both with the quality, sharpness, lack of CA etc. 

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This is a funny one. I currently use an X-T2 alongside a Nikon D800, the idea being that the X-T2 is the nicely portable, go-anywhere stock camera, and the D800 (overkill for Alamy stock) with primes is the high-quality potential fine art camera.

 

I have very mixed feelings about the X-T2. The portability is great (fits in a laptop bag/briefcase well), meaning I take photos in situations I wouldn't otherwise. Everything people say about this camera being a joy to use is true. However, image quality is very mixed (and I guess you're going to get lots of different opinions on this). Colours are quirky - great in good light, but often dirty-looking under cloud or in low light. Skin tones are a good example - great if the light is good, unnatural and ugly in overcast conditions or shade. Even using the x-rite colour checker doesn't compensate for this - I need to experiment further but whereas with the D800, colours just come together with the colour checker, with the X-T2, it just doesn't happen (some reds come out really off, for example).

 

And those lenses you mention, Martin, are quirky! Or maybe I've just had bad luck with my copies. My 18-55 randomly defocuses the edges - one photo can be beautifully sharp at the edges, the next, blurry at the edges but still sharp in the middle. Fuji Australia say it's 'within parameters'. The 10-24 was only ever good at the edges from 14mm upwards, seems to have trouble focusing (lots of shots are blurry despite the focus confirmation saying otherwise) and sometimes has the same odd edge effect as the 18-55. I suspect the OIS, which both of these lenses have, so I need to experiment with having it switched off all the time. When they're good, they're very sharp edge to edge, but when they're randomly in a bad mood, images are ruined. On the other hand, I've had no problem with primes - and it's wonderful to be able to carry several of them in a small bag!

 

Now, let the contrary opinions commence!!

Edited by DHill

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David re the focusing, have you tried changing the setting so the OIS is in mode 2, ie it works when you press the shutter button rather than the mode 1 continuous setting? When I first got the camera I was finding the focus a bit hit and miss and was recommended to do this - it really made a difference to me. Also turning it off when you don't need it certainly does improve focus. I'm also trying back button focus just now, which I am liking so far.

My 10-24 is nice and sharp at the edges at 10mm from f8, softer at the edges at f4. 

Haven't had a problem with the colours yet, but I have not shot any portraits, only landscape and architecture and also always in good light. I'm shooting RAW, initial processing with Lightroom 6. 

 

btw, video is also quite pleasing, as compared to my 5dII - had some 4K clips accepted in the libraries I submit to anyway :) 

Edited by Callie

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Alex,

 

 

I have a Nikon D700 that I mainly used with the 24-70mm f2.8. That camera has not seen the light of the day since I got the X-T2 at the end of 2016. The Fuji will probably feel "strange" at the beginning because it is much more compact, but that is true to all mirrorless cameras. Due to its size, it is easy to press buttons that you did not intend to press. When I’m shooting handheld I setup the camera in advance and tend to lock all the command buttons at the back to avoid pressing them by mistake when holding the camera.

 

 

All the lenses I have are very sharp. The 35mm f2.0 makes the camera very “crowd friendly”, making it great for street photography.

 

 

I also have the 16mm f1.4. It focuses very close to the subject, it has very little distortion and it is extremely sharp. It is great for landscapes, architecture, and low light situations.

 

 

The only zoom I have is the 50-140mm f2.8 (equivalent to 70-200mm). It is really sharp. Because it is smaller and lighter than the equivalent DSLR lens, your hands will not get tired even after a full day of shooting. The VR on the lens works very well (you can read the reviews online).

 

 

All these lenses are weather sealed, allowing me to shoot in light rain. If you buy the Fuji, make sure to get at least a second battery because they don’t last long.

 

 

I’m not sure about Lightroom 6. I use CC.

 

 

All shots on my Alamy portfolio posted since end of December were all taken with the X-T2 and one of the above lenses.

 

 

Before buying, go to your local camera store and test the camera and lenses. Fuji has a program in Canada where you can borrow the equipment for a couple of days before committing to the purchase. I’m not sure if that is available where you are.

 

 

Good luck on your quest.

 

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Thanks everyone. I know one shouldn't pay too much attention to online chatter, but there does seem to be quite a lot about quality control, problems with focussing and decentred zoom lenses. I would probably go for the 18-55 and the 55-200 in the first instance, with primes to follow later, hopefully.

 

Alex

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Alex I used to use the XT1 with various Fuji lenses some time ago. After problems with some lenses and returning them to Fuji for service, one under guarantee and another out of guarantee, and receiving them back worse than when they left me. Then doing battle with Fuji to get them replaced. Well to much hassle.

 

Also I found their sensor to give peculiar results, as David above mentions, with images which contained trees and/ or grass taking on a distinctly painterly effect which could not be corrected in software. Possibly something to do with the sensor having a different pattern of photosites and extra green sites over the typical Bayer array.

 

In the end I sold all my Fuji gear and bought into Nikon and Sony.

 

I did like the arrangement of dials on the XT1 body though, more reminiscent of the old film SLR's.

 

Allan

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Alex I used to use the XT1 with various Fuji lenses some time ago. After problems with some lenses and returning them to Fuji for service, one under guarantee and another out of guarantee, and receiving them back worse than when they left me. Then doing battle with Fuji to get them replaced. Well to much hassle.

 

Also I found their sensor to give peculiar results, as David above mentions, with images which contained trees and/ or grass taking on a distinctly painterly effect which could not be corrected in software. Possibly something to do with the sensor having a different pattern of photosites and extra green sites over the typical Bayer array.

 

In the end I sold all my Fuji gear and bought into Nikon and Sony.

 

I did like the arrangement of dials on the XT1 body though, more reminiscent of the old film SLR's.

 

Allan

 

Funny enough I didn't have a fuji lens to start with so bought an adapter for my canon glass, the painterly effect you describe are what i saw with the 35mm f2 IS attached, since buying the 18-55 WR I haven't encountered this problem again (I have tried to recreate it!)

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Alex I used to use the XT1 with various Fuji lenses some time ago. After problems with some lenses and returning them to Fuji for service, one under guarantee and another out of guarantee, and receiving them back worse than when they left me. Then doing battle with Fuji to get them replaced. Well to much hassle.

 

Also I found their sensor to give peculiar results, as David above mentions, with images which contained trees and/ or grass taking on a distinctly painterly effect which could not be corrected in software. Possibly something to do with the sensor having a different pattern of photosites and extra green sites over the typical Bayer array.

 

In the end I sold all my Fuji gear and bought into Nikon and Sony.

 

I did like the arrangement of dials on the XT1 body though, more reminiscent of the old film SLR's.

 

Allan

 

Funny enough I didn't have a fuji lens to start with so bought an adapter for my canon glass, the painterly effect you describe are what i saw with the 35mm f2 IS attached, since buying the 18-55 WR I haven't encountered this problem again (I have tried to recreate it!)

 

 

 

I never used anything but Fuji lenses made for the XT1. (and other fuji bodies.)

 

Allan

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I have the X-Pro1, which has the same sensor as the XT1, along with the 18-55mm zoom.  I really like it, and find that I keep it on hand all the time.  My normal working cameras are the Nikon D3 and D800, so the X-Pro1 feels like a ping pong ball in comparison.  You take a bit of a hit going from a full frame to a APS sensor, especially in low light, but it's fine for most things.

 

The little 18-55mm is a surprisingly nice lens.  It's well made and solid, and the image quality is pretty good.  It's kind of slow for low light, but it's not really a deal breaker.

 

They may have upgraded the sensor's in the newer cameras, but I find that the latitude in RAW files is much less than the Nikon's (especially the D800).  If you under-expose it, you've basically lost the shadow detail.

 

The sensor doesn't have an anti-aliasing filter on it, so the files are natively really sharp.  Turn the in-camera sharpening right down to -2, then apply unsharp masking in post.  Also, I find most of the film pre-sets and the neutral setting to be way too contrasty.  The only way to really tone it down is to pick the film negative pre-set, which is kind of weird work around.

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Hi Alex,
I had a look at your portfolio, usually daylight, not much need for selective sharpness. I would recommend to look at mFT cams, saves weight, lenses are smaller. And image quality is fine for prints up to 45x60. I moved to Olympus after I used a D8oo and the cheapest Olympus (OMD M10, but with the 12-40 Pro zoom) in 2014 side by side.

Its perfect for travel shots.

- default sharpness area is larger than APS-C
- sensor stabilization works very well
- sensor cleaning much better than my Nikons where I had dust spots in my first vacation  (D300,D800)
- some nice features like live composite (only lighter areas add to night scene), focus bracketing are build in.

Regarding LR 6 - the current version usually gets updated with new camera profiles until the next version is published. New features, like haze removal, are added to cloud version only.

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David re the focusing, have you tried changing the setting so the OIS is in mode 2, ie it works when you press the shutter button rather than the mode 1 continuous setting? When I first got the camera I was finding the focus a bit hit and miss and was recommended to do this - it really made a difference to me. Also turning it off when you don't need it certainly does improve focus. I'm also trying back button focus just now, which I am liking so far.

My 10-24 is nice and sharp at the edges at 10mm from f8, softer at the edges at f4. 

Haven't had a problem with the colours yet, but I have not shot any portraits, only landscape and architecture and also always in good light. I'm shooting RAW, initial processing with Lightroom 6. 

 

btw, video is also quite pleasing, as compared to my 5dII - had some 4K clips accepted in the libraries I submit to anyway :)

Interesting about OIS Mode 2 (shooting only). I'd have thought Mode 1 (continuous) would work better, because it's already activated when you press the shutter button - presumably it saves having to wait for the moving lens elements to move into the right place. Anyway, I'll try it and see what happens. Thanks! 

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The Fuji cameras have a lot of menu settings that need to be set. Many settings can affect how your images appear. On the Fuji forum, the people who really understand these things in the past have listed their settings. I have followed recommendations.

RAW  (or raw/jpeg fine)

FILM SIMULATION -PROVIA STANDARD 

GRAIN EFFECT OFF

DYNAMIC RANGE 100

WHITE BALANCE AUTO

HIGHLIGHT TONE -0

SHADOW TONE -+4

COLOR- 0

SHARPNESS -0

LONG EXPOSURE NR OFF

LENS MODULATION OPTIMIZER ON

COLOR SPACE ADOBE RGB

AF POINT DISPLAY ON

NUMBER OF FOCUS POINTS 91 (can change according to needs)

PRE AF- OFF

FACE/EYE DETECTION OFF, AS NEEDED

AF+MF ON

MF ASSIST - PEAK highlight red for me

FOCUS CHECK ON

INTERLOCK SPOT AE &a FOCUS AREA ON

INSTANT AF SETTING AF-S

DEPTH OF FIELD SCALE PIXEL

RELEASE/FOCUS PRIORITY AF-S PRIORITY SELECTION  -RELEASE

SHUTTER TYPE MS

IS MODE -CONTINUOUS

ISO SETTING AUTO 1

WRENCH SETTINGS

EVF BRIGHTNESS -1

EVF COLOR 0

LCD BRIGHTNESS -1

LCD COLOR 0

PREVIEW EXP/WB IN MANUAL MODE -PREVIEW EXP./WB

SHUTTER AF ON

SHUTTER AE ON

SHOOT WITHOUT LENS OFF

RED EYE REMOVAL OFF

 

There are other settings I can't address, I left them alone.  Every image taken for the past three years in my port were mostly with the X-T1 then the  -T2 the minute it came out.  A small percent of my images were taken with one of the Sony RXs.

I love the colors. I'm impressed with all my lenses. I shoot a lot of stock with my 18-135 outdoors.

Portraits with the 56. Tabletop with the 18-55. 

Cityscapes/landscapes with the 10-24. 

The 50-140 is a beautiful lens that I use to shoot people including action. Then I have the 100-400 for birding and just got some amazing shots of mama egret feeding her babies with that lens.

I'll  never go back to before Fuji.

Betty

  • Upvote 2

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I'm sold on Fuji also. As to problems with foliage, I use Iridient X Transformer to convert the RAF files to DNG, then import those into Lightroom. It's an extra step, but results are better than going directly to Lightroom (at least to my eye).

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the problems with foliage seemed to me to be down to excess sharpening. It was certainly something I noted when I first got the camera - this is something also discussed at length on the fuji forum. The files need very little sharpening. In Lightroom the detail and amount sliders particularly need to be low - just checked one of my recent files which has a lot of foliage, my detail slider is down at 14, sometimes it is lower than this. No painterly effect in evidence at all.

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This was shot with an 18-55mm lens, hand held, 1/150 sec., f/9. The RAF file was processed in Lightroom in one case and Iridient X Transformer followed by Lightroom in the other. No sharpening was added in camera or in software. (My general thinking about that is that it isn't that sharpening will never be applied, but that the AD wants to do it after final print size and various press parameters are determined.)

Shot with red box showing cropped area.

_DSF0684.jpg

Processed in Lightroom only:

_DSF0684_lr.jpg

Processed in Iridient X Transformer plus Lightroom:

_DSF0684_ir.jpg

  • Upvote 2

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That is amazing. I'm stickin with Nikon.

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1 hour ago, DDoug said:

This was shot with an 18-55mm lens, hand held, 1/150 sec., f/9. The RAF file was processed in Lightroom in one case and Iridient X Transformer followed by Lightroom in the other. No sharpening was added in camera or in software. (My general thinking about that is that it isn't that sharpening will never be applied, but that the AD wants to do it after final print size and various press parameters are determined.)

Shot with red box showing cropped area.

_DSF0684.jpg

Processed in Lightroom only:

_DSF0684_lr.jpg

Processed in Iridient X Transformer plus Lightroom:

_DSF0684_ir.jpg

Quite impressive improvement DDoug but still not sharp enough to my eye. There being a touch of painterly effect still evident.

Allan

 

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Allan,
Some of that is no doubt due to the lens, the 16mpx sensor, the position of the sample toward the edge of the frame, and the shooter's shaky old hands. My point was to draw a contrast between the two software approaches. Iridient claims to be able to demosaic the Fuji X-Trans files better than Lightroom does, and I'm inclined to believe them. Perhaps a sharper lens, tripod, and 24mpx sensor would be more convincing.
Cheers,
Don

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Don's example looks rather similar to what I've seen a few times - I can take two shots in quick succession, one will be like the example (which, incidentally, I wouldn't submit to Alamy even with the Irident processing) and the other will be just fine. But I've only noticed this with OIS lenses, so it may well be relate to the issues I mentioned above. Other than that, I haven't had many significant problems with the 'watercolour' effect on foliage.  

Just another of those mysteries you have to deal with when using Fujifilm! I can understand people sticking with full-frame Nikons, if they have no need for anything more compact. 

Edited by DHill

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Yes, DHill, I've noticed that also. In this case, they were both taken from the same RAF file, the only difference being the raw converter. I didn't mean take the thread off on a tangent, only to say that X-Trans files give widely varying results depending on how they're processed.

 

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Alec, as you probably expected you got a 'mixed bag' of responses about Fuji (as you will with any make) so I won't address those but suffice it to say I'm in the same camp as Betty - very happy with all my Fuji cameras (including the X-T2 that you mentioned) having sold all my Nikon gear including a D800. Use mine for landscapes and motorsports - no complaints here.

But just to address the point you asked about lens profiles - if I'm reading that right - the Fuji lens profiles are 'built in' with Lightroom and automatically applied by Adobe so there are none to apply in any version of Lightroom. They do have different film emulation profiles as a drop-down under Lightroom's Camera Calibration section.

  • Upvote 1

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2 hours ago, DDoug said:

Yes, DHill, I've noticed that also. In this case, they were both taken from the same RAF file, the only difference being the raw converter. I didn't mean take the thread off on a tangent, only to say that X-Trans files give widely varying results depending on how they're processed.

 

Try Capture One for consistency and rendering of X- Trans files. No problem with smearing of foliage and bang on colours. Ming Thein hit the nail on the head in his test of the sensor, it's all in the sharpening. 

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