X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Started Feb 23, 2012 | Discussions
Anthony_in_SF
Anthony_in_SF Regular Member • Posts: 157
X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Hi. I'm intrigued by the X100 as an all around camera that's...well...compact and light enough to actually carry "all around". But I'm not sure if the effective 35mm focal length will work well for the types of photography I enjoy. First and foremost, I photograph my kids. Both tight shots and environmental portraits. Not so much action or fast moving stuff, but where he/they are the primary subject. I also like photographing architecture and misc travel subjects.

I'm confident the focal length is fine for the latter, but, again, not sure how well it does for portrait type images. Any opinions (and examples if you care to share them) would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,
Anthony
San Francisco, CA

 Anthony_in_SF's gear list:Anthony_in_SF's gear list
Fujifilm X100F
Fujifilm FinePix X100
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fearofhummingbird Regular Member • Posts: 150
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Some representative samples in here: http://www.flickr.com/search/?q=x100+portrait&ss=2&m=tags#page=0

It is a wonderful portrait camera, even with the relatively short focal length.

AlanPezz Regular Member • Posts: 163
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

The focal length is too short for formal portraits. You can get some really good candid shots of people with it.

Alan

millsart Senior Member • Posts: 2,771
Wouldnt be my first choice

Id say a m4/3 offering, or sony NEX has some better choices if you want a compact system that has some good portrait length lenses

45mm f1.8 for m4/3 and the Sony 50mm f1.8 OSS are both excellent

Me personally, I just use my DSLR instead with a 70-200 f2.8 zoom, or a 85mm f1.4 for my portrait needs. Thats for formal shooting though, which isn't the type of thing the X100 is used for.

For fun casual shots the x100 is a great camera, captures great images, and is way more fun to carry around than a bag of lenses
--
http://www.millsartphotography.com

dmartin92
dmartin92 Senior Member • Posts: 2,207
Wouldnt be my first choice either

Maybe while on vacation, you could use it at f/2, and it wouldn't fail entirely. But it wouldn't do it very well.

 dmartin92's gear list:dmartin92's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon EOS-1D Mark II Canon EOS 6D Canon 6D Mark II Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM +5 more
dmartin92
dmartin92 Senior Member • Posts: 2,207
the price would be much more

The X Pro 1 with the 35mm f/1.4 lens, that would be more what you want. But it would be a lot more expensive. Around $2500.

On you could get a Canon 1100D and put the EF 35mm f/2 ... for around $1100, I think.

 dmartin92's gear list:dmartin92's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix X100 Canon EOS-1D Mark II Canon EOS 6D Canon 6D Mark II Canon EF 85mm F1.8 USM +5 more
millsart Senior Member • Posts: 2,771
Or a 50 1.8 for under $100, or 85mm f1.8 for around $350 etc

If you move into a DSLR there are tons of great portrait length lenses to choose from

With the crop factor the 50mm f1.8 "plastic fantastic" works quite well for sub $100, or the 85mm f1.8 is phenomenal for a few hundred bucks.

But then your back to always carrying a camera bag etc with you etc.

Sure it works nice for portraits, but how many of lifes moments happen between portrait shooting ?

How many posed head and shoulders shots of your kids do you want verses how many shots that can show them and other people, them and their environment etc ?

I'm not knocking being able to take nice professional looking portrait shots of ones family, but how often does it need to be done really ? twice a year maybe ?

Something to think about before investing in a given camera system for that ability.

I wanted a waterproof compact for a while until I realized I live in the midwest, visit the beach maybe once a year if I'm lucky and really didn't need one lol

dmartin92 wrote:

The X Pro 1 with the 35mm f/1.4 lens, that would be more what you want. But it would be a lot more expensive. Around $2500.

On you could get a Canon 1100D and put the EF 35mm f/2 ... for around $1100, I think.

lnbolch
lnbolch Senior Member • Posts: 2,329
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Anthony_in_SF wrote:

Hi. I'm intrigued by the X100 as an all around camera that's...well...compact and light enough to actually carry "all around". But I'm not sure if the effective 35mm focal length will work well for the types of photography I enjoy. First and foremost, I photograph my kids. Both tight shots and environmental portraits. Not so much action or fast moving stuff, but where he/they are the primary subject. I also like photographing architecture and misc travel subjects.

I'm confident the focal length is fine for the latter, but, again, not sure how well it does for portrait type images. Any opinions (and examples if you care to share them) would be greatly appreciated!

My goal when shooting the X100 is to photograph people with an invisible camera, a camera that does not intrude or influence the behavior of my subjects, so I can chronicle life as it is lived. No posing, no altering the scene to produce a better composition, no altering lighting—at most a blip of fill flash outdoors when backlit. Very much a matter of decisive moment when there are two or more people, capturing actual emotions. Nothing staged. For my initial results see

http://www.larry-bolch.com/ephemeral/x100

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 lnbolch's gear list:lnbolch's gear list
Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1 Fujifilm FinePix X100 Nikon D700 Fujifilm X-Pro1 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 14-24mm f/2.8G ED +8 more
Moti Veteran Member • Posts: 8,924
Of course it is

I agree that 35mm might not be the ideal focal length for portraits but that doesn't mean that you can't take great portrait with it.

If you shoot mainly portraiture, maybe you should look elswhere. But if you need an all around camera which has an amazing IQ, fantastic low light performance, that can also do wonderful close portraits and gets into your pocket, I can't think of many alternatives that would come close to the quality of the x100 at this price range.

Here is an example shot in an a dark restaurant, handheld with no flash OOC, except crop and resize. Judge for yourself.

Cheers
Moti

inorogNL
inorogNL Regular Member • Posts: 198
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

some of my casual "portrait" shots with x100, I have to say x100 autofocus does not perform that well indoors with in "lower" light conditions. it will often hunt so you will need to be patient and have some luck in cathching the moment

 inorogNL's gear list:inorogNL's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon D600 Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Olympus PEN-F Nikon Z6 +1 more
Felipe Rodríguez
Felipe Rodríguez Veteran Member • Posts: 3,264
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Hi!

I wouldn't choose 35mm as a close-up portrait lens, but it is perfect for environmental portraiture. Some samples taken with the X100 (wide open):

-- hide signature --

http://www.felipe-rodriguez.com

Bokeh

Dadme un mundo sin contornos,
Un espacio feliz que ignore los perfiles.
Concededme, sí, la dicha redonda
De flotar sin conciencia en el fondo
Desenfocado de mis fotografías.

Give me a world with no edges,
A happy space knowing nothing about outlines.
Grant me, please, the round joy
Of thoughtlessly floating on the blurred
Background of my photographs.

 Felipe Rodríguez's gear list:Felipe Rodríguez's gear list
Nikon Z7 Nikon PC-E Nikkor 45mm f/2.8D ED Nikon Z 50mm F1.8 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 85mm F1.4G Samyang 8mm F3.5 Aspherical IF MC Fisheye +13 more
Alexii New Member • Posts: 16
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Northgrove Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

I also think the 35mm equiv of the X100 is a bit too short for portraits, BUT... This depends a bit on your style. If you can accept, or even enjoy, a bit of environment as you photograph people, then it can be great as long as you're comfortable with moving fairly close to your subjects.

So in essence I'd recommend at minimum a 50mm equiv lens for comfortable true portraits down to the neck and with little area around the face, but I'll say that the X100 does fine if the portraits are intended to include more atmosphere in the scene, telling more stories about the subject's clothes and giving the face some area to "breathe" in, including a backdrop, etc.

I see some good examples of what I'm talking about as for environmental portraits have been posted here.

naturalefineartcom Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Yes it is...

samhain Senior Member • Posts: 1,474
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

Eh...for a small portrait camera, i'd get the Pentax K-r with the 43mm ltd(and the 77mm ltd if you can afford it). For erratic, constantly moving kids, you'll need fast AF. And bonus- those lenses will floor you with the bokeh & rending, they're also really small.

I'd shy away from micro 4/3's due to the poor dof & reduced max aperture due to the small sensor. But Im probally way more picky when it comes to portraits than most.
But small is subjective as neither are pocketable.

woffles Senior Member • Posts: 1,074
Re: X100 suitable for portrait photography?

It wouldn't be your go to camera for portraits really but used properly can do a good job.

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