The Fuji XPro-2 & ACROS

I'm still getting used to the XPro-2. I experimented a lot over a five or six day hiatus from client work I just returned home from. I tend to play a lot more when working on personal projects so my approach is a bit less conservative than when I'm working on something for someone else. I just happened to be playing around with the ACROS film emulation a lot for the first time.

Wide

Just a set of quick thoughts from some messing around I did on the chastity project. I've shied away from using any of the black and white JPEG settings on the XT-1 due to the fact (as far as I know) that there's no way to turn off the black and white preview in the EVF. Every other emulation yep; black and white, nope. I think it's the same for the XPro-2 as well but since I mainly use the OVF that's not an obstacle.

I'll leave the discussion on the in-camera grain simulation for another day. Instead I just wanted to show a couple of results that might be useful for a few XPro-2 or XT-2 owners out there I experimented with in a kind of tricky set of shooting circumstances.

  • On-the-fly picture making with not a lot of time to grab a few frames.
  • Rapidly changing lighting conditions due to bounced sun and changing cloud cover on a very windy day.
  • A bunch of white clothing in the frame that's a little tough to see if it's blowing out the highlights in the in-camera histogram or EVF preview.

I typically am not overly conservative with exposure but in this instance I decided to play it a bit safe and under exposed around a stop so that I could pay better attention to what's in front of the camera instead of highlights varying light. I kinda did this as my own set of tests regarding all of the stuff out there regarding how it's pretty much the same upping the ISO and exposing correctly vs just adding exposure in post on a Fuji X-Trans RAW file.

I don't know if anyone has put formal tests out there with the new sensor yet but I've messed around with the XT-1 and found that arguably the results of upping the ISO vs adding exposure in post on the RAW are more or less the same. Why not see what happens on the new X-Trans. I also wanted to see how close the Lightroom Fuji ACROS profiles were to the in-camera film simulation, at least without the grain.

Above is a resized JPEG produced via the in-camera RAW processor with the exposure bumped up a stop and ACROS-Ye (yellow filter) applied. Below is the same exposure bump and the Lightroom ACROS-Ye profile applied.

I am sure one could go about pixel peeping and find some reason that the Adobe RAW conversion is sub-standard to Fuji's conversion or some other RAW processor but from my point of view it's not really worth discussing. The grain simulation is another matter but for all intents and purposes matching the ACROS simulation in post with Lightroom can be considered just as good. As a side note I don't see any differences worth worrying about pushing the RAW exposure in-camera or in post vs a natively exposed file when I compare adjacent frames where the light level went up and I didn't need to add any additional exposure.

Great news from my perspective. Now I can use B/W JPEG settings, use the OVF so I don't have to look at the scene in black and white (which for some reason I just cannot stand for long periods) and possibly have similar flexibility as to negative film when I use film in tricky lighting situations. In the past the results I'd get in the shadows and lower mid-tones when pushed up a stop or two at higher ISO settings looked really ratty and choppy compared to film that was over-exposed in tricky lighting. It's looking like I may finally be where I was 20 years ago in real-world light with digital.

An Aside: Shooting Square

For the first time in a very very long time I decided to make some frames that were square while using an APS-C sensor. I love square format pictures (comes from decades of using my Hasselblad cameras). I figured there were plenty of pixels to spare with the new sensor even for printing and it turns out it's kind of fantastic with the XPro-2's viewfinder.

  • The frame lines in the OVF are great in square.
  • No flipping the camera around.
  • Virtually the entire square area is covered equally by the phase detect pixels.
  • The 18mm (or maybe the 23mm) primes are more or less the same field of view as the 80mm normal lens on a Hasselblad.

The 18mm which is one of my favorite Fuji lenses is a hair loose when comparing. The 23mm is a hair tight. Nothing worth arguing about. An 80 is a hair wider on 6x6 than what would mathematically be "normal" and noticeably wider than a 50 on 35mm film. The 18mm is a bit wider than officially normal on 16x16 APS-C square. The 23mm is one millimeter tighter. I prefer it a hair looser.

End Notes

All photos made with the XPro-2 and 18mm f/2 R. Settings were ISO 1600 f/2.8 and either 1/125s or 1/200s. Processing via Lightroom CC and the ACROS-Ye profile or the in-camera RAW processing.

Wonder if anyone but me will ever get the reference in the background of some of these frames. Oh well, you know the internet. Details don't matter just massive initial impact.