Guess what happened yesterday on my Street Photography session?

We had sunshine.

SUNSHINE.

I’ll say it again.

SUNSHINE.

(for those of you in the UK, you may have read about sunshine in books, or seen documentaries on telly.  Maybe your grandparents can tell you about it).

In all seriousness, it was really nice to have some winter sun and spend it in The West End of London with some friends and like minded photographers.

This is likely to be my last shoot with my pre-production X-Pro2 as I believe it will be recalled to Japan soon.

I’ve loved it.  Absolutely loved it and those of you who are interested in the X-Pro2 (my review, by the way is on this site) I’m very confident you will love it too.

Anyhow, quick post and some images from the day yesterday.

In Camera Settings

I’m still establishing my favourite JPEG settings and the combination below is another variant of my traditional settings I’ve been using for years.  If you read the X-Pro2 Review you’ll see we now have more granular control over all of these settings.

All images are shot with:

Classic Chrome
Shadows +3
Colours +2
Highlights -1
Sharpness +2

Street Photography with the Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 Lens

The X-Pro2 has reinvigorated my love of this first generation Fuji 18mm F2 lens.  I’m using it a lot more now both shooting streets and in my “day job” as a wedding photographer.

X-Pro2 Street PhotographyFujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/2,000 sec @ f/4 ISO 400
London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/2,000 sec @ f/4 ISO 200London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/2,000 sec @ f/4 ISO 200

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/2,000 sec @ f/4 ISO 200

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/1,000 sec @ f/4 ISO 400

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/2,000 sec @ f/2 ISO 200

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/9,000 sec @ f/2 ISO 200

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | XF 18mm F2 | 1/2,000 sec @ f/2 ISO 200

Street Photography with the Fujifilm XF 18mm F2 Lens

Late last year I purchased a Samyang 12mm F2 NCS (manual focus) lens.  Its also fab, but it has taken me a little while to get used to it.

Essentially, you have to zone focus, as its a 100% manual focus lens.  It doesn’t have the electronic contacts that the Fujifilm lenses have so you need to tell the camera using the Mount Adaptor Setting the focal length of the lens attached.

You also need to set the Shoot Without Lens option to On.  Because of the lack of information passed through the contacts, we don’t get to see the aperture in the stored EXIF data.

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | Samyang 12mm F2 NCS | 1/900 sec  ISO 400

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | Samyang 12mm F2 NCS | 1/100 sec  ISO 640

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | Samyang 12mm F2 NCS | 1/1,100 sec  ISO 200

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | Samyang 12mm F2 NCS | 1/1,100 sec  ISO 400

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | Samyang 12mm F2 NCS | 1/680 sec  ISO 400

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | Samyang 12mm F2 NCS | 1/280 sec  ISO 200

London Street Photography with X-Pro2

Fujifilm X-Pro2 ~ | Samyang 12mm F2 NCS | 1/5,400 sec  ISO 400

  • Matt Bunting

    Great shots, Kevin! Thanks again for the workshop yesterday, it was such great fun and I’ve learnt a load of new techniques. I can definitely see what you meant from some of these about having certain elements as secondary in the image as opposed to being a singular focal point, it adds some real context. Particularly evident in the street dancer and Yoda shots…awesome!

    Just about to start looking through some of mine!

    • That’s great Matt – and I look forward to seeing yours. Cheers 🙂

  • While I’m fond of the optics, I find my copy of the XF 18mm F2 operationally loud while achieving AF, so much so that I zone focus it for street stealth…couldn’t imagine you tolerating it in AF at a wedding. Just my copy?

    • Mine is a little chattery but nothing overly concerning… There was an early fw update for this lens if I remember rightly.

  • Awesome shots Kevin! I love those very deep shadows, but I’m not “that brave” 😉

    Just one technical question, the Color Setting on the Q Menu, that I never touch, is related with the amount of saturation or is a sort of tint control from green to magenta ?

    Thank you for sharing this, you are a truly big inspiration for me!

    Juan Kis

    • Hi Juan – yes, its about the saturation of the colour (the depth almost). I love using +2 when shooting colour. Colour should pop in my eyes.

      About being brave….it’s nothing. Zone focus and wait for people to walk by. It’s simple 🙂

  • Thank you Kevin! With “Brave” I was referring to the very deep shadows. I shoot weddings, and I never show to my clientes images with a very deep shadows, but I love it! So…..I’ll start mixing a little bit . Also I was 100% RAW with Canon and now, RAW+F with the RAW as a safety net. I’m descovering how to can make the JPEG as you want. I just need to play more with the settings.

    Thank you Kevin!

  • Najib Mahmud

    I noticed that your settings for color and sharpness went from +3 to +2 (compared to the settings mentioned in your xpro2 review). Did you find +3 overly saturated or crunchy?

    I’m trying to figure out how the new -4 to +4 of the settings compare to the -2 to +2 in the current cameras. You mentioned you used +2 in color and sharpness for your xt1s so my guess is the +3 of the xpro2 offers more color or sharpness than +2 in the xt1, but I’m just guessing here.

  • efraim dimmer

    have you tried the 23mm with the X-Pro2 . is so, has doews it compare to the 18mm?

    • It’s great (the 23mm). Obviously a bit bigger but quicker in AF.

  • Steve Fry

    Great shots Kevin. They have a real sense of movement and energy. I love the darkness of the shadows. I found myself looking through them and suddenly realising that they were, in fact, colour. I guess I’m so used to looking at your black & white work, that my brain didn’t take it in at first. I guess they are, in fact, black & colour! I think it’s a fantastic balance of the two mediums.

    • Thanks Steve – I find myself drawn to colour more when shooting on the streets. There is less emotion, I think. At weddings, its all about hugging and touch and humanity etc. And those images generally need to be in mono in my mind.

      On the streets, I don’t have those remits so I tend to shoot more in colour – but I still like to crunch them.

  • Rex Adams

    Stunning photos Kevin, I love the 18mm and still think it’s my favourite lens. I do fancy something a little wider sometimes so may check out the Samyang.

  • I sold mine 18mm for 16mm, but I really miss it. It is so small and has so much potential in it.

  • Hey, Kevin. Love these photos! Did you have any experience with the X70? I’m asking because I’m having a hard time deciding whether I should get the XF 18mm for my XT10 or invest in a X70 as a complimentary body.

    PS: I’m a HUGE fan of your wedding work. Great source of inspiration 😀

    • Thanks Thais – sadly, I’ve not used the X70. In my mind, I don’t think I’d like the 28mm length and the fact there is now viewfinder. The 18mm would win for me.

  • Steven

    Hi,

    I just bought myself a Fuji X-Pro2 and a Samyang/ Rokinon 12mm F2 lens, but i can’t shoot with it, because i couldn’t find the setting, mind to help? Thanks 😉

    • Hi Steven – you need to take a look at the “Shoot without Lens” option in the menu.

  • Ashley O’Hare

    Hi Kevin

    I’m a big fan of your work and have invested in the Fuji systems thanks to people like you. I am very new to photography and I am wondering how you get the very dark shadows in your pictures? Are you using spot metering and exposing for the highlights, then locking the exposure and zone focusing on your desired composition?

    Keep up the great work mate.

    Ash

    • Thanks Ash – and yes, I spot meter a lot with focus/recompose.

  • Beautiful and powerful images, Kevin! As an XT-1 user, I recently acquired my first non-native lens, a Rokinon 8mm f/2.8 Fish-Eye. I set “Shoot Without Lens On, and use Manual and Focus Assist with Focus Peaking. Though my images are “sharp enough” by most standards, though I feel that it doesn’t quite achieve the “biting sharpness” of the Fujinon glass. Hoeever, this could be due to my setting manual focus distance slightly “off”. What’s your opinion on this, and of the sharpness of your Samyang 12mm, which I would think is close to that of the Rokinon 8, since they’re both ostensibly from the same manufacturer. Thank you, sir!

    • Hi Steve – the zone focusing technique is best with these manual lenses. The Focus Peaking works, but I find it unreliable unless using AF lenses. I don’t think any of the MF lenses are as sharp as the prime Fuji lenses though.

  • Charlie Peach

    Hi Kevin,
    Firstly, your blog is an outstanding resource, thank you!
    I am the recent lucky owner of the new X Pro 2 and have the 35mm f2 which is a joy.
    I am looking to get a wider prime for landscapes and am torn between the Samyang 12mm, the Fuji X 14mm and the FX 16mm.
    Any thoughts/suggestions/comments?
    Erring toward the samyang as it is the widest, despite it pit falls in electronics, the images I’ve seen people taking are great.
    Thanks!

    • Thanks Charlie – and yes, the Samyang is great. Remember, though, there is the Fuji 10-24mm which will have AF etc. It’s obviously not a prime but would cover the wider focal range. Its only an F4 however.

  • Nick Thompson

    Hi Kevin,
    I’ve just bought myself an adaptor so I can use my Nikon lenses. When you tell the camera which lens you are
    using, I assume that only applies to prime lenses. I’ve just put my Sigma 10-20mm on the camera and I only get 21mm, 24mm, 28mm etc. Which setting did you use for your 12mm? I’m using an X-T1.

    Many Thanks
    Nick

    • That’s a good question Nick. I’ve never used a zoom MF lens and I honestly don’t know the answer to this. When I used the 12mm I set it to 21mm. I’ll try and figure it out for you.

  • Jaco van Lith

    The Fujinon 10 – 24 mm is the best there is. Never a Nikon !

  • Katherine Muirhead

    Hi Kevin
    I have just ordered samyang 12 and fuji xt1
    How do I get the exposure, can I still use AV and have you written any books on the fuji xt1, love your black and white photos I think there amazing.

    Kind regards Katherine Muirhead.

    • You have to shoot manually and the aperture will always come out as “F0” in the metadata (or F1). No more books at the moment I’m afraid….publisher has stopped investing in books on the mirror less cameras.

  • Jaco van Lith

    Is this streetphotography? For me just snapshots, which can be made with any camera made in the sixties. Shooting with a f/2 optic in bright daylight. Strange …..! Do you drive a Land Rover in a low gearing through the empty streets of the City of London ? Check the Carl Zeiss brochure of 1936; examples of low light photography in Berlin with f/1,5 optics. So what is new today ?
    Everybody should buy the Fujinon 10 – 24 mm, f4. This zoom is a must for every Fuji X phographer. Do not fuzzle with adapters to fix strange common modern optics to a top quality body. Waist of money, time, comfort and QUALITY. A Pro photographer does not rape his gear with nonsense optics.
    Having experience with all Fuji bodies for over fifty years; Fujica Drive 18 x 24 mm up till Fuji Panorama GX 617.

    • Hey Jaco – thanks for your

        kind words

      . Always good to get the feedback from someone with so much experience.

      Have a great day.

  • Jaco van Lith

    Dear Kevin,

    Thank you for your feedback; sorry I am a little late. I do want to say, that after fifty years of photography I start getting crazy, when I watch today’s photographers. In the year 2016 everybody is longing for small cameras with bigger/ brighter optics. Sensors must be smal and optics need more mm to compensate the lack of DOV.
    Everybody is in a hurry with 14 frames / sec. to make a photo of a dead sparrow. So any optic of f/3,5 will do.
    Today we see the crazy show of EVERYBODY CAN ….. No, not everybody can make a photography. Just opening the
    shutter is not enough to make a photograph. I know a lot of British photographers, famous in the Sixties and today.
    But which photo-artist of today will still be remembered in the year 2066. Nobody, I am afraid. Greetings.

  • Simple question, as i’m about to purchase a new lens, and both Rokinon 12mm and Fuji 18mm are in my shortlist.

    If you’d have to choose one, which one would it be ?

    regards,

    Alain

    • Probably the 18mm, simply because of the AF. I use the MF stuff infrequently – it’s more of a novelty for me.