Using my X Pro 2 over a DSLR for a Job by Stephen Swain

Using my X Pro 2 over a DSLR for a Job

by Stephen Swain – His website is HERE

Dear Steve,

As you have been showing some great images from Fuji X-Mount system cameras on your site I thought I would try to add something to the list!

After lugging my rucksack full of DSLR bodies and lenses up to the third floor of a natural light studio in East London (63 Sun Studio) I thought I would nip back downstairs and get my X-Pro 2 and a couple of lenses from the car (23mm f1.4 and 56mm f1.2) I bought these along for a few fun shots…behind the scenes etc. The outline brief for the shoot (children’s night-ware) was for the images not to be too “twee” and I thought I may be able to grab a couple of candid images more discreetly with the Fuji.

The thing is, once I started using the X-Pro I did not stop, and shot the whole job with it. I used the electronic viewfinder, and really found the “what you see is what you get” facility ideal. I shot RAW and Jpeg, and the Jpegs were good enough for the client to walk away with for layout purposes. The RAW files were processed in Adobe ACR with minimal work carried out on them.

The 56mm lens is gorgeous, it can be used wide open and remains razor sharp, and the same goes for the 23mm. The auto focus on the camera is very fast, and the toggle on the rear of the body for focusing is very useful. The camera did get warm, but not alarmingly hot as it did before the firmware upgrade a few months ago. I was on my third battery at the end of the four hour shoot, and had shot around 1000 pictures in total.

The biggest advantage of the X-Pro over the DSLR’s of course is the weight thing. I had no back or neck ache at the end of the shoot, and I am sure the small camera body was not at all intimidating to the children, which may have helped towards me getting such relaxed images..

This is the third commission I have recently shot where the DSLR’s were left in the bag…I do still use them as they are my “work horses”,  but times are changing!

Best wishes,


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  1. Beautiful!
    Are these jpeg? Which film simulation is your favorite?
    My x-pro2 images feel different from yours. More contrasted and a little too strong color.
    I do love my XE1 rendering because of soft and natural touch.your images have XE1-like feel.
    I want know your settings if they are jpeg.

  2. These are just delightful – whatever the camera, whatever the softness, whatever the commercial end product! Sheer enjoyment. Thanks.

  3. Very nice colors and some nice, playful posings and compositions.
    What makes me wonder, did you use the electronic or the optical viewfinder? The X-Pro 1 and the X100 hat the same problems like your X-Pro 2 finding the right point for the AF, especially in Sharpness-Critical Situations shown in the 2nd (having the eyes of the girl sharp is crucial for the picture i think), the 4th (where the first girl ist not in the dof) and the 7th picture, where the eyes of the girl beside being in the dof is a little too soft for my taste.

    • I agree, the unsharpness is a bit much at these 2 particular images… But this is what you get with fast lenses… people (me included) don’t stop down enough and focus errors are exposed immediately.
      I love the Nikon 1 system, where you have quite a lot of DOF even at 18/1.8 and don’t have to worry about focus while having a decent light gathering…

      Don’t know for the X100, but the X100T does have this problem and it is due to the large sensor and large aperture. Shoot the 23mm lens at f4 or f5.6 and there is plenty of DOF and sharpness.

    • They are rather crisp if you click through. I thought the same as you until I clicked on a few. Damned web renderings!

      • Very pleasing to the eye, but soft – that might be a good thing and perhaps what he was looking for.

        • they don’t look soft to me. did you try opening them as James suggested? Or maybe you like adding sharpness to yours so these feel soft to your eyes. i prefer this natural look, natural edges, not artificially enhanced ones.

          • Someone needs to get a computer with a retina screen, methinks. These images are all very nice, crisp and natural-looking on my MBP.

  4. I’ve been using Olympus 4/3rds and m4/3rds cameras since 2005, largely due to the Minolta Dynax 9 I use, being too weighty and bulky; I too have an X-Pro1, which I also use with a couple pf primes and have to say the optics are outstanding although until I discovered Sugru which I moulded around the buttons on the rear left-hand side because the palm of my hand was always activating these as they just weren’t recessed enough. I wouldn’t say the camera was that much less bulky than other APS-C cameras but in certain circumstances, the Fuji suits some of the situations I encounter when taking shots … Maybe the public perceive a R/F as being less intimidating or intrusive than my other cameras?

  5. X-Pro1 (title) or X-Pro2 (story)? I don’t think X-Pro1 is fast. Love the color, the models, the poses, and the simplicity. Beautiful.

  6. Excellent images, really. And way better than a clothing catalogue needs (thinking end sizes of images, etc.). No DLSR couod have done better, and as you mention, the silent shutter is gold working around children (and photo-phobic oldies, too!).

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