Fuji X for portraits - too many decisions to make

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Mancunian0405 New Member • Posts: 7
Fuji X for portraits - too many decisions to make

Hello everybody,

I am an amateur photographer who mainly does portraits. I recently got frustrated with focussing on my Canon 6D, especially when shooting with 35mm and 85mm at f/1.4 and not using the central AF field.

So I was looking for a new camera and was certain it had to be full frame, mainly because of the look you get from a 35mm lens at f/1.4. Both the Sony A7 line and the EOS R did not appeal to me, at least not that much that made me, being a non-professional, spend 2.5k on a new body (+adapter). For Nikon I would have needed to replace all my lenses.

Fuji has always appealed to me (I once owned an X100) but in my head I was fixed on full frame. The release of the X-T3 made me change my mind. Both its price and features made me give the system a try by acquiring a used X-T1 with the XF 18 2.0 and 35 1.4.

The idea was to use this setup for travel, as the X-T1 is very light (considerably lighter than the X-T3), do a portrait shoot with it and, if it lived up to my expectation, buy an X-T3 and more lenses.

I recently had two portrait shootings and am enchanted. I now want to stay with Fuji.

Now for my question: as a portrait photographer, the most obvious lenses next to the 35 1.4 are the 23 1.4 and 56 1.2, the latter two being the equivalents of the aforementioned lenses I used on Canon full frame. I also shot with the 50 1.8 STM, which I used partly for portraits and partly for street.

In the portrait shootings, I exclusively used the 35 1.4 and realised that it is very good and pretty universal. It now seems to me that spending 2k on two lenses that would give me only a slightly different look than the 35 1.4 (compared to option 2, see below) is a bit of a waste. I have found out that I only want to change lenses if the look changes dramatically. Sometimes I cannon tell if a shot was made with a 35 or 50mm lens.

That leaves me with the following options:

1. get the 23 1.4 and 56 1.2 and don't use the 35 1.4 for portraits.

2. get the 16 1.4 and 90 2.0 and use them together with the 35 1.4

PRO option 1:

+classic portrait setup

+23mm more useable for portraits than 16mm

+56mm more flexible than 90mm, e.g. subject isolation indoors

PRO option 2:

+more range/options in total with three focal lengths far apart from each other

+especially environmental portraits with 16mm will stand out

+AF on the 90 much faster than on the 56, hence an option for action shots

As I can only afford the X-T3 and one of the mentioned lenses for now, I have come up with a third option:

Samyang 21 1.4 and 85 1.4 (both manual focus only)

PRO option 3:

+much cheaper, hence I can fully equip myself at once

+IQ probably (more than) sufficient for me

+21mm (32mm on ff) is a good compromise between the 16 and the 23

I have tried manual focussing with adapted M42 lenses on the X-T1, it works perfectly.

Thank you for reading up tp here! Any thoughts?

 Mancunian0405's gear list:Mancunian0405's gear list
Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 R Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R
Canon EOS 6D Fujifilm X-T1 Fujifilm X-T3 Sony a7
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