I had made a wee blog video on the use of the Fuji xt2 in my wedding work a few months back. During the editing of the video I realised one thing, the second I started trying to talk seriously about cameras and their mechanics I turned into the most boring twat in Muff....I then binned the whole project, vowing to up my intake of Father Ted and Leslie Neilson movies.
Over the weekend I found myself again yapping to a friend about the pros and cons of the wee mini silver camera around me neck, I had a massive coffee in me, I was speeding off my tits and unable to shut up....when I finally opned my eyes to take a breath I found my pal was still there, still listening. It was a sign, I had to return. So after 6 months of shooting with Fuji around my neck and also Nikon around my other neck, I think I've finally got to a stage that I know the system well enough and have squeezed it into every extreme that a Donegal wedding might provide.
Fuji and me. I bought it for many reasons; the tiny weight, the dream that it would provide all the answers, the eternal hope that with it came instructions on how to shoot just like my pal Dave McClelland, but I know deep down it really was that masculine urge to keep on buying, keep on 'investing' in toys and trinkets. ' I've taken it on near 20 weddings, at one stage I was ready to dump all my Nikon stuff and began unloading lenses and bodies. Today I still use a heap of stuff, I keep most of it in the van and unleash each when I find the need or just want a change. There was a stage I hoped that I'd use only 2 lenses in every wedding, I tried and failed, I am weak, I craved and hankered for the rest of the gang.
On Fuji I have a 16mm, 35, and 90 (they roughly equate to a 24, 50 and 135), Nikon's lineup is a 16, 17-35, 85, 70-200 - they all come out to play at least once a week - I carry 1 on each camera, and 1 in a belt. The 70-200 was all but decomissioned in favour of the Fuji 90 but I have recently fallen back in love with it, and had it out for at least a wee while on the last 2 weddings - it still is the magical lens, brings surreal vision and can produce dreamy liquid magma out of the most boring of backgrounds. It has lost favour with today's shooters but that's OK, go your own way, wherever you find peace and love.
The Fuji performs magically, I find the colours of the classic chrome jpegs and even the raws are such a dream, the greens on a Donegal landscape and the subtle skin toneage make my heart sing a merry tune. The black and white I personally find can be a bit watery and dull, in lower contrast situations especially and I've tried them all...maybe the contrast can be boosted in camera and I just don't know yet ? Anyway Nikon's black and white cannot be fucked with....sorry. (ouch, who threw that turnip?) The a/f is grand, beyond grand, it's amazing - on the long lens where I find brides sprinting down big long Donegal aisles in ther Hi-tecs - it does not miss a beat. 'Click like fuck', as my pal Paula Donnelly advises, and that's what I do, 15 shots on the aisle, 15 on target - afc, big wide centre focus square mode on the Fuji. Or shooting a wee flower girls spinning in circles with the wide angle at 5 frames per second is the essence of pure fun. The 35 (read as 50mm) is my documentary mode weapon - it's the first lens in unleash in the bride's house, I use it all morning, I use it wee quiet situations where wee grannies are involved. The 16mm (aka 24mm.....do I have to keep doing the maths bit ?) is an all rounder for me, I never held much love for the 35mm full frame focal length, but I find a 24mm fits more with how I see the world....I shot about 8 years with a fisheye before I even started weddings, I seek a bit more extremity. Silent mode on the flip out lcd in chapel with a grumpy priest is a godsend, it takes away all my pain - I stand looking prayerful and holy with my rosary beads in one hand and the Fuji documenting in the other...not a sinner knows. I guess I use the Fuji 70% of the wedding day, the Nikon the other 29%, and a polaroid 1% - if I used Lightroom like the rest of the world I'd be able to put a real figure on it !
The Nikon's still stands strong and able on the front line. I thoroughly enjoy its black and whites, yum, the 85mm shot at f2 for portraits, double yum, the 17-35 for practicality - not so yum but handy, the 70-200 for liquid magma and the fisheye just to keep it real with the gangster grooms. The low light capabilities are still astounding (Nikon d750 btw) - and the massive tonal range and the ability to squeeze and mould the raws is almost criminal - sorry Fuji lovers, I personally don't rate the low light output from a cropped sensor and the lack of info deep within the raws....that's just how I love to and, sometimes, have to work.
Is there a conclusion - no, I'm just running out of caffine and am losing the will to hit 'post' so I'll stop shortly. I'm not preaching, I'd love to hear folks' views and stories from the fontline. I use a Nikon and Fuji, for me they work grand as a tandem system - do I notice difference when editing the files, yes,a wee bit but nothing major. I'd love if Fuji realised a full frame, and an autofocus fisheye and a wide zoom f2ish while they're at it. The firmware updates are a massive move towards consumer bliss - if something is wrong they'll come up the solution and make it available asap. The online community is an amazing resource - Fuji lovers seem so passionate about their toys and their craft - Kevin Mullins, thank you. Ok that's me, back to my real work, I told you I was a bore when I started to talk about cameras........did you ever hear the one about the Lone Ranger and Tonto walking into a bar..