I have been making portraits for executives and co-workers recently. For the corporate look, I shoot with lights, camera and not much action. The results are perfect for the intended use. However, I have been looking for something that’s closer to my vision of a good portrait.
This is where my office window and the Fujifilm X-Pro1 come into play. After I have created the artificially lit, corporate portrait, I ask my subjects to walk over to the window and I pick up the XP1. The subjects face the window and partially turn their heads in my direction. I shoot with the intention of converting to black-and-white, so I’m looking for a high contrast exposure. Because of the dark background, I underexpose a stop or so to insure that I keep the dark shadows, the background stays black and highlights aren’t blown.
I have used both the Fujinon XF 35mm f1.4 and 60mm f2.4 lenses for these portraits. I think my favourite shots have been made with the 60mm, but I also might be getting better at creating these window lit portraits with each successive session and the most recent ones have been shot with the 60mm. In any case, I am very happy with the results with both Fujinon lenses.
Many thanks to my co-workers who “sat” for these portraits and for allowing me to use their portraits in the post.
Although none of the portraits were shot this way, I have also done some testing with the M-mount adapter for the XP1 and the following lenses: 50mm Summilux (2nd generation), 28mm f1.9 Ultron CV and 90mm f3.5 CV. I was expecting great things from the Summilux, as it was my favourite lens on the M9. The photos turned out well, but not stellar. In fact, photos shot with the 35mm f1.4 Fujinon on the XP1 are easily as good as those shot with the M9 and the Summilux. The 90mm produced nice enough results and provides me a longish focal length, but I’m certainly happiest using the Fujinon lenses with the XP1.
(Updated 12/08/01) Notes: I have used both AF and AMF to focus. Because of the shallow depth of field, I use focus peeking to insure that I’m getting focus where I want it. I may have started with AF, but relied upon MF with the help of the magnified view given by pressing the command wheel to insure good focus. This is NOT what is termed “focus peaking.” With the XP1, a press of the command wheel, while in MF only, will zoom in on the focus point, showing a magnified view of your subject. In this case, I was looking at the near eye of my subject. A small turn of the focus ring on the lens tweaks focus and a half press of the shutter release returns the viewfinder to OVF or EVF, depending upon where you where when you pressed the command wheel. Then I recomposed and shot the frame.
With one subject, who was having a hard time keeping still, causing her to go in and out of focus, I also shot in small bursts. To process the photos, I cleaned up the RAW files in LR 4 and converted to B/W in Silver Effects Pro 2.
UPDATE 120811: Based upon a comment below, I am including two nearly identical crops of the same photo. The first is the XP1 RAW file processed with LR4 without any exposure or clarity modifications. The second is the same file converted to a 16-bit TIFF using the RAW Converter from Silkypix. Up to you to decide if one is “better” than the other.
UPDATE 120815: After further comparison of the RAW files converted to 16-bit TIFF and the native RAF files processed in LR4, I find the differences to be insignificant enough to make it a non-issue. By adjusting the clarity slider in LR4, I can achieve virtually the same results as TIFF created with Silkypix. For me, it’s not worth the additional hassle and hard disk space required to take this extra step. LR4 has enough control and options to create what I want with my native X-Pro1 RAW files.