Sunday, 18 October 2015

Back from the Dead......

Me and my Fujifilm X-Pro1 back together again. If only life could be so sweet!

Last week I finally got my beloved Fuji X-Pro1 back from the dead (and Fixation) after almost two weeks away having open heart surgery at Fujifilm UK HQ in Northampton. To be precise, it had both it's main board and lens mount replaced as new, along with a new battery and though the work didn't come cheap, it was beautifully done. My honey bunny now is a marvel. Boots up is mega fast, (back button) focuses like lightning and it's low light performance is just stunning. Alas, all this goodness is useless if you DON"T READ THE USER MANUAL, because this camera also comes with quirks that will stop it,  stone cold dead! So even though I had messed around, taking pictures of the house and re-familiarizing myself with it's various controls, in the short time the camera had been away, I had forgotten it's caveats. So last night, I set out to London Town, with my camera tucked inside my satchel, where I was to meet my friend and colleague, Paul "Ducky" Rodgers and his assistant Anna, on one of their many "jobs" covering a large Asian wedding, with the intention of giving my new assistant, Ales,  a bit of "on the job training". Well that was the plan anyway. The event was running late and we boys ended up watching Wales V South Africa play in the Rugby World Cup on Paul's iphone 6. When I did eventually pull my baby out of my bag, it was to follow Paul into the main hall where the reception was taking place and snap a few photo's of the set tables, etc, etc......All without flash. The hall itself was dimly lit and very atmospheric and presented a perfect opportunity to test the focussing and low light capabilities of my Fuji. I was blown away! The damn thing just worked.....But I didn't! I was rusty.....

1/3th of a sec, F4 @800asa handheld.

Then I decided to pull out my Nissin i40 Fuji Speedlight to take some photo's in and around Paul's studio and immediately things started to go wrong.  First the camera jammed solid and refused to fire and all of a sudden I remembered that I had forgotten the "caveats". First, I went into the camera's menu and set the camera to "forced flash". No joy! Then I switched the drive mode from "C" continuous to "S" single but still no joy. I was stumped to what to do next, until I spotted another photographer with a Fuji XT1 with the very same Nissin i40 sat in the hotshoe. God is good and god is great. My camera was in "silent mode" and with this final adjustment, I was back in business. Alas the batteries inside in flashgun were on their last legs and I had forgotten to bring any spares.  Why oh why does this camera and anything attached to it, just sucks the life out of batteries in double quick time? Fuji, are you hearing me?  Longer extended battery life wouldn't go amiss in the new upcoming X-Pro2. And so I plodded on to see what I could get....

1/125th sec F2.8 @800iso, manual flash set a 1/8th power bounced into the ceiling.
Ducky in the Dark. 1/60th sec F2,8 @ 800iso. No flash!

Now don't get me wrong, I will first need to return to the user manual for the umpteenth time before I can fully master this camera, as well as practice, practice, practice. And here I give nuff thanks to the miracle that is the internet for ONE very good reason. The X-Pro 1 is almost four years old and so alas is it's user manual. Since it's launch, it's undergone several firmware upgrades which have both addressed most if not all of it's early shortcomings (such as poor focussing) and transformed it into a totally different beast. This is NOT reflected in the manual, which has remained the same from day one. Here, both Google and YouTube come to the rescue. If you are like me and a newcomer to the Fuji X-Pro 1 system, my advise would be to let your fingers do the walking and check out the many reviews and tips to be found on the interweb, the first being FujiFilm's own website, where you can download and install the latest firmware upgrades for both your camera and lenses, as well as reading up on the latest info. Irrespective of it's age, make no doubt about it, this camera ROCKS!

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