Wedding Photography – Fuji X100
“The camera’s got soul” is what I recently heard famed photographer, Zack Arias, say to explain why he’d choose the Fuji X100– if he had to have only one camera for the rest of his life. It sure does have soul, but it’s also the cause of many headaches to many people. The camera has a lot of things going for it, but even so– I regularly hear about people getting fed up with various aspects of it and selling it. But that soul– it’s a hard thing to shake. And so I’ve also heard lots of those same people that got rid of the X100, feeling like they needed it back in their lives and so turn around and buy it again! Despite its superb image quality, it is not exactly on par with its auto focus system, among other odd quirks. So, it doesn’t make for the most ideal tool to use when everything is on the line– like a wedding. It’s that very thing that made me want to, in fact, use it and only it at a wedding. I wanted that challenge. Less-than-ideal autofocus, odd quirks, plus the fact that the camera doesn’t have a zoom and so you’re stuck with a single 35mm perspective– which is a pretty wide angle when it’s your only one, you’re in a large space, and you don’t want to be up in everyone’s face to get the tighter shots– especially when you’re not even the lead photographer– those were some of the challenges presented to me. But, as I’m always trying to push my limits, this was the perfect opportunity to see what I and the camera had. Please understand– having extreme reliability in your wedding photographer is a number one priority and I would never have tried this as the primary photographer for one of my weddings. So, I was fortunate to be able to tag along with the great Chris Rebo. He and his couple understood the challenges and had no specific expectations for what I would produce. I drove from Denver, Colorado up to Cheyenne, Wyoming and met Chris, who had come in from Helena, Montana. I brought the X100 and nothing else. I had entertained the idea of bringing a Canon flash and a radio transmitter/receiver to do some off-camera flash during the reception, but then decided– no. If I’m going to shoot the entire wedding with the X100, then I’m not going to use anything else– at all. So I used the little built in flash, which I had only used once before– just to make sure it worked when I first got the camera. Another new approach I wanted to take– since my goal was to do everything in black and white, I set the camera’s viewfinder and image preview to black and white. All day, I was able to see in black and white and really pay attention to just those tones and not be distracted by colors. It was great. So, what was my experience? As expected– the camera was a joy to use– in that it is so small, so light, and so quiet. I didn’t feel the fatigue of carrying around all the other gear I usually do. Plus, I was able to blend in quite easily and caused zero noise distraction– even in the middle of mass. Certainly nowhere near what I can do with my two new Canon 5D Mark III cameras in terms of autofocus capabilities, but with the latest firmware onboard (1.21), even in very dark scenes (f2, 1/125, ISO 6400) the autofocus was keeping up… decently. Stationary objects– not a problem. Moving objects– was just ok. Anyway, enough of all that– let’s look at some photos!
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