Day with the X-T4 and 500mm PF

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vcxz Regular Member • Posts: 134
Day with the X-T4 and 500mm PF
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Decided to try out the 500mm PF on my X-T4 using the Fringer adapter. I usually shoot Nikon for wildlife. I had the Fuji 100-400 but thought it was soft on the long end compared to the Nikons, and it wasn't any smaller. My Fuji shots are usually city shots that don't tax the autofocus system so not an expert on Fuji autofocus.

Overall everything worked pretty well. The lens is so big I didn't really notice the adapter. For "bird on stick," I used single point scaling the focus size up or down based on the bird size.

But I did have some annoyances, some of which caused me to miss the few birds in flight that came my way.

  • Slower startup time: Had some trouble adjusting to the higher startup time for mirrorless versus the "always on" DSLR. I turned the auto turn off setting to off, closed the LCD, set the EVF to the eye sensor and just kept the camera on.
  • No way to use LCD for menus and photo review only: Nikon has a "viewfinder priority" mode where the EVF is triggered by the eye sensor, and the LCD stays off except when you open a menu or to review playback. It looks like with Fuji you need to keep the LCD on if you want to use it for image review or menus or always cycle through viewfinder modes. I worked around it by closing the LCD but still a little annoying. Or maybe I can get used to viewing playback in the EVF.
  • Hard to use multiple focus modes: Nikon lets you assign different focus modes to different buttons so one button can be the "bird on stick" autofocus mode and another can be the "bird in flight" autofocus mode. The best I've figured out on Fuji is to assign the autofocus mode to the rear dial.

A few reasons why I was interested in Fuji for wildlife, even if the autofocus is objectively worse than Nikon:

  • Easier post processing with JPGs: The "pros only shoot raw" only made sense to me after I switched to Nikon, where I noticed a huge difference between the JPGs and raw. On Fuji, I have a hard time getting a raw to look better than the JPG unless it needs something like heavy shadow recovery.
  • Film simulations and recipes: The film simulations and recipes give a unique look to the photos without looking like a teen girl went crazy on filters. When I started I just wanted to count every feather, but the photos looked clinical and lacked soul and they looked like everyone else's. The last is an edit of a raw to look vintage. You can see it cuts off a lot of detail so it may not be favored by pixel peepers but to me it has some character that I find appealing.
  • Wasn't getting small BIF with Nikon anyway: It's hard to get birds in flight anyway even with a D500 or D850. I think Mark Smith said he returned the 500mm PF because it was unacceptable to him for tracking birds. Maybe you need a gimbal and the 600mm F4 to get this shot, which isn't happening for me. Even if I hold the shutter down at 10 FPS as a songbird takes to flight, I get two shots max usually with clipped wings and they're out of focus. Big birds like a pelican I imagine are no problem for Fuji.
  • Complementary compact bodies and lenses: I also enjoy taking pictures of food at restaurants and evening walks in the city. Nikon doesn't have a small body that's good at low light comparable to something like the X-S10 and 18mm F2. The only annoyance is it uses a different battery so I might go with a X-T2 and a grip, which should be fine for perched birds and large birds in flight.

SOOC with recipe

SOOC with recipe

SOOC with recipe

SOOC with recipe

SOOC with recipe

Comparison of robin with a Nikon--colors may be more realistic but harsher

Example where I'm appreciating photos even if you can't see every detail and I'm even adding ISO noise (grain)!

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Instagram: @vcxz_photos

 vcxz's gear list:vcxz's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon Z50 Fujifilm X-T4 Nikon Z5 +22 more
Fujifilm X-T2 Nikon D500 Nikon D850
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