x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes

Started Jan 21, 2013 | Discussions
MrChristopher
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x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
Jan 21, 2013

I was taking photos of a few models today and this was the first time I used the x100 for close up portrait style work. I think it passed the audition.  I was very pleased with the sharp focue and clarity, even though you might see a little movement or soft focus in one or two of the images below.  Any soft focus you see below is me and not the camera.  Additionally I processed these in LR 4 (which I don't like compared to LR 3).

The x100 is not fast like my DSLR (we all knew that) so I'm forced to slow down and compose better.  This is making me a better photographer in some respects and also I'm taking fewer shots because each shot represents a bit of work.  With my DSLR I can put on a blindfold and wave my hand around clicking in the air, with the x100 I am forced to act like a photographer.

So my x100 journey is paying off in more than way way for me. Increasingly every shot counts.

ps: I'm kind of new to this forum and realize the x100 is arguably old news these days but it's new to me so I'll be posting about mine around these parts for the foreseeable future

Chris!

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sjredo
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

wow, great photos, fell in love with the 1st girl (L)

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Richard3
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

Great shots ,  just a question there seems to be some grain or noise in the pics did you do that on purpose ?.

Richard

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ksgant
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

35mm aspect ratio is a wonderful portrait lens. I recently saw a live shoot by Sue Bryce, one of the leading women's portrait photographers working, where she used nothing but her 35mm on her 5D Mark III.

Her main lens that she used for years was the 24-105mm f/4.0 kit lens, but she said she usually stayed around 35-50mm on it, and with the 35mm f/1.4, she stays around f/2.8. And her shots look wonderful...as do yours here.

So I say yes too!

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Boreal
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

Like the first one a lot!

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CraigArnold
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I say yes and no.
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

Here's a blog post from nearly two years ago

X100 – a portrait camera?

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ksgant
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Re: I say yes and no.
In reply to CraigArnold, Jan 21, 2013

Yes, this has always been the consensus. Yet some people are making a very sizable living using the 35mm focal length in portraits. And not even environmental portraits.

As I mentioned above, people like Sue Bryce use it all the time. You may or may not like her work, but you can't deny that she's very successful at it and gets a lot of business. She uses a 5D Mark II and III with either the 24-105 or recently the 35mm f/1.4. She's said several times that the focal length that she usually shoots at with her 24-105 was around 35-50mm anyway, and she wanted the extra f-stops the 35 f/1.4 had.

But as I say, she may not be everyone's taste, but it's good to see people throwing out the "rules" (for instance, don't use wide angle as a portrait lens). And it works for MrChristopher also.

Check her out at her website: http://suebryce.com/

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CraigArnold
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Re: I say yes and no.
In reply to ksgant, Jan 21, 2013

Is a "portrait":

1. A picture of a person?

2. A headshot or at most head and shoulders with a very wide aperture to throw the background out of focus?

If the answer is #1 then of course ANY camera is a portrait camera. And the X100 is great for that, depending on your personal style.

But in internet land it often means #2, and for that purpose the X100 is less than ideal for a number of reasons:

1. It has a 23mm semi-wide lens.

2. You need to switch into EVF and Macro mode and AF is problematic.

3. At close distances and f2 the lens is not at its best.

However I have used the camera at macro distances and been very happy with the results, but for people who (especially in the early days) saw f2 lens and big sensor and therefore assumed it must be a portrait (#2) camera, it led to much frustration and anger.

A working distance of < 2m or so is very much right inside the subjects face; sometimes that is to the good, but usually it is not.

For my personal taste I generally find the #2 meaning to be very dull, and easy to achieve. All you need is a fast telephoto lens and a good AF system. Usually boring unless the photographer is a wizard with lighting, make-up and concept.

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ksgant
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Re: I say yes and no.
In reply to CraigArnold, Jan 21, 2013

Good points.

Wouldn't the benefit of the X100s of being able to manually focus using it's new peaking and split-image focusing come in handy now with macro mode?

Will be interesting to see how that all works when it actually gets into the hands of photographers.

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Chris Dodkin
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

working a treat for these environmental portraits Chris - especially like #1 and #4

How did you find the models responded to the X100?

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Rob13
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

Great looking snaps, however if you're looking for tighter shots head or head & shoulders, the 35mm isn't going to work.

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tiberiousgracchus
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

Lovely set of photos.

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Cane
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

I like the shots, but I am not sure I get the argument that somehow being slow and methodical is somehow being more of a photographer than shooting in other ways. I hear it on here a lot, probably because it's a nice justification, but I am not sure 'going old school' is as much 'real photography' as it is nostalgia to wax poetically about. It may be a nice experience to slow down, if you have the right the exact right subject and all afternoon, but does it really matter? Like driving an old sports car, it's nice for a Sunday afternoon, if you have the time, but good luck finding that perfect sunny day when you can find the free time.

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howardfuhrman
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

​I do not have an X100, but I know it is an excellent camera.  With the camera I have if I want to shoot a 1/2 to full body shot, I use my  40mm equivalent and would probably use a 35mm equivalent if I had one.  For head and neck shots I use a 90mm equivalent lens; with a 35mm lens I would have to get to close to the subject to fill up the frame.

Despite anything I may have written to the contrary,  you did a wonderful job with the photos that you took.

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MrChristopher
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to howardfuhrman, Jan 21, 2013

First of all thanks very much for all the feedback, comments and questions. I'm out shooting all day today and on my cell which makes seeing all the replies and trying to respond a bit challenging. So I will reply later and answer questions asked of me and pose a few more for yous guys. Cheers for now!

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CraigArnold
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Re: I say yes and no.
In reply to ksgant, Jan 21, 2013

ksgant wrote:

Good points.

Wouldn't the benefit of the X100s of being able to manually focus using it's new peaking and split-image focusing come in handy now with macro mode?

Will be interesting to see how that all works when it actually gets into the hands of photographers.

Yes, absolutely. I think that the frustration of people trying to get close and throw the background out of focus for people shots was a major pain point for Fuji. Even people who should really have known better were trying to do this and slagging off the X100 for being a different kind of camera than what they wanted.

The faster AF and much closer non-macro AF distance of 20cm seems to be precisely designed to address this.

It's not something I'd personally use very much, but I think it will definitely help a lot of people who were annoyed by the original X100.

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ClickRick
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

Hello MrChristopher,

You have taken beuatifull pictures of those two models. I like there poses too especially how they use or put there arms/hands. It looks the camera is in experience hands. So i hope you can and are willing to answer my questions.

Since friday I'm a happy owner of a second hand Fuji X100. I'm surfing the internet to look for tips and tricks for the X100.

What I did (still) not find is about the 'film choice' whiile photographing in jpeg. I thought I can choose standard and three filmsimulations. But apparently I can only choose out of three film simulations or...? What was your choice or what do you prefer?

Next question: For each film simulation I can choose different parameters like soft and sharp. What kind of film paramaters do you prefer?

Your first picture is especially beautifull because her eyes are so bright and attractive. Did you do some pp? Please tell your secret?

What I noticed is that the camera drains the batteries very fast. Maybe I'm playing a lot with the camera switch to 'On'. I doubt if I'm getting 300 shots with a battery. Maybe 100...?

What I noticed when I put a battery in the charger, the LED of the battery shines green. This is happening while  there iis still no connection with the elektricity. Is this normal?

Greetings,

ClickRick

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LaFonte
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to Cane, Jan 21, 2013

Cane wrote:

I like the shots, but I am not sure I get the argument that somehow being slow and methodical is somehow being more of a photographer than shooting in other ways. I hear it on here a lot, probably because it's a nice justification, but I am not sure 'going old school' is as much 'real photography' as it is nostalgia to wax poetically about. It may be a nice experience to slow down, if you have the right the exact right subject and all afternoon, but does it really matter? Like driving an old sports car, it's nice for a Sunday afternoon, if you have the time, but good luck finding that perfect sunny day when you can find the free time.

It is of course utter nonsense. Once the faster x100s is out I don't see the same people complaining about the camera being faster and that it breaks their slow "photographers" style.

The x100 is simply slower on focus and it IS NOT A FEATURE no matter how some people try to paint it. If it was a feature or if it didn't matter then FUJI will not be working their butts off to make it faster/better. The x100s is all about the improvement of focus otherwise they don't need to release it.

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LaFonte
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

MrChristopher wrote:

I was taking photos of a few models today and this was the first time I used the x100 for close up portrait style work. I think it passed the audition. I was very pleased with the sharp focue and clarity, even though you might see a little movement or soft focus in one or two of the images below. Any soft focus you see below is me and not the camera. Additionally I processed these in LR 4 (which I don't like compared to LR 3).

The x100 is not fast like my DSLR (we all knew that) so I'm forced to slow down and compose better. This is making me a better photographer in some respects and also I'm taking fewer shots because each shot represents a bit of work. With my DSLR I can put on a blindfold and wave my hand around clicking in the air, with the x100 I am forced to act like a photographer.

So my x100 journey is paying off in more than way way for me. Increasingly every shot counts.

ps: I'm kind of new to this forum and realize the x100 is arguably old news these days but it's new to me so I'll be posting about mine around these parts for the foreseeable future

Chris!

Nice work Chris.

However the x100 is not really a portrait camera. You can use of course anything, even polaroid for portraits but it doesn't make it a very good choice. The x100 is still fine for half body shots as you demonstrated, but once you get closer to head shoulder and beyond you are practically breathing into your subject face not to mention that x100 startas having trouble with AF at that distances.

I would definitely not buy x100 for majority of portrait work - that would be wrong choice.

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Joachim Gerstl
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Re: x100 Portrait shots, yes or no? I say yes
In reply to MrChristopher, Jan 21, 2013

Great shots especially the two black and whites. Love the bright eyes in the first image.

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