I had an opportunity to take my X-T1 on its first photo shoot! I was rather excited, yet nervous, I'm honestly not 100% confident using the camera because all of the new controls. One, being the electronic viewfinder, it's amazing, but sometimes I'm not sure if I'm in focus, even with the focus assist (peaking) feature I've been second guessing myself; It worked great in portraits from the chest up, but pictures at a distance not so much, though I'm sure it's a user error. The other small flaw is some of the manual controls at the top, the ISO lock button is annoying, I've grown to appreciate it, I actually wish Fujifilm used this feature on every dial, because at times I accidentally adjust my exposure from time to time. The only downfall with this physical dial system is using it at night, it's hard to see at times, but with consistent camera usage, I think I will be able to overcome this issue.
Now that the negatives are out of the way we can move on... The little camera is amazing, I think I may actually invest in Fuji's XF lenses just to take advantage of their autofocus system. The face detection feature is insane when properly used it locks right on to the eyes! Easy easy easy! Once I got my exposure right the shoot was a breeze, I honestly didn't have to do much, composition was my only task, as the camera did the rest of the work.
On the shoot I took with me Fuji's 18-55mm kit lens, Helios's 44-2 58mm and the Super Takumar 135mm, these focal lengths are all based on the 35mm system. With the vintage lenses I used a Fotodiox lens mount adapter, and as always I shot the images in raw.
One of the biggest fears I had was going back to a crop sensor camera, as bokeh is a huge part of my portrait look. However I didn't notice a huge difference, it's not as round or clear as my 6D, but I'm still impressed with the way it looks... In a way it kind of produces its own little look, it's unique and different, and I could see other portrait photographers trying to produce a similar look later down the road. The helios 44-2 is a lens that produces a "swirly bokeh" effect and unfortunately, I wasn't able to replicate the look that my Canon produced, at least not in this situation, but that'll be a separate review in its own. The 135mm worked brilliantly, on my Canon it was a lens that normally stayed in my bag, because of how hard it was to focus, with Fuji's new focus assist this was a blur, I had no problem locking down focus on my model's face.
As a portrait photographer, I was really impressed with the camera, not only with its performance but also its ergonomics. The camera is small, but it fits perfectly in my hands. Initially, I was nervous that clients wouldn't take me serious because of its form factor, but I'm beginning to see that won't be a problem moving forward. It's not much more to say, for portraits, I'm completely satisfied with this device and if you haven't made the switch to a mirrorless system, then I highly recommend it, its such an easy system to adapt too. I'm almost certain that with a little practice you'll be able to yield the same results, with a fraction of the equipment and cost. View the full spread from my shoot with Jesmina below.