Taking the plunge

Underwater photos with the X-Pro 2

In late 2017, I took my trusty, water-proof Fujifilm XP120 camera with me to Hawai‘i. It was so much fun to make photos under, around and on the water with the camera, that I decided the next time I had the chance to travel to Hawai‘i, I would try to shoot with one of my X-cameras under and around the water.

The opportunity to return to the Big Island presented itself at the end of January, so I did a bit of research and found a reasonable camera housing option for my X-Pro 2. Hong Kong-based Meikon sells a number of housings for Fujifilm cameras, and a couple of other brands. I read a very positive review of their products and decided to take the plunge. Although these housings are rated to 40 meters, I would just be using it for snorkelling and for shots around the surface of the water.

And when I was finished with water photography, I had my favourite travel camera with me on dry land. The X-Pro 2, three f/2 Fujinon lenses, a few spare batteries and the housing easily fit into my backpack or a small carry bag.

I switched between the XF23mm f/2 and XF35mm f/2 lenses for use with the housing. The XF18mm f/2 lens was too wide for the housing (it fits, but captures the corners of the housing lens) and I didn’t try the XF50mm f/2, but it also fits the housing. I preset aperture before encasing the X-Pro 2 and switched the view mode to the LCD screen. I shot in manual focus mode and kept the focus point in the centre of the frame. I focused with the AF-L button and recomposed before shooting.

The XF23mm f/2 was great for fairly shallow reef shots and the XF35mm f/2 was better for areas where the bottom was more than a few meters deep. Both lenses were perfect for the sea/landscapes I shot from the water. I found the view from the water, back to the land, was one of my favourite things to shoot.

One of the benefits of shooting with the X-trans sensor, instead of the small XP120 sensor, was that I shot in RAW and fixed white balance in post. All of the underwater shots have a blue cast to them. Fixing the white balance in Lightroom and applying some Dehaze to the underwater photos really brought out the colours of the fish as I remember them.

Of course, the other benefit of shooting with the larger sensor is that I can print the images large. A number of the Hawai‘i photos are now hanging on the living room wall as 16 x 20 prints, adding some much needed colour to our Winter landscape.

A few underwater (and other) photos follow.


NB: All images captured with the Fujifilm X-Pro 2 and XF Fujicron lenses.


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