Fuji X-T50 Test Day 1 at Nottingham LCE

Shoot-out : The New Fuji X-T50 meets my X100 VI

Carol is a professional photographer who also works as an Imaging Solutions Product Specialist roaming the country showing the world Fuji products, and having inspired me to buy the lastest version of the Fuji X100 (the VI) a few weeks and 55000 shutter presses later I was back looking for a partner for the fixed lens model. I was excited to meet the new X-T50!

As a fellow professional photographer I have always chosen equipment that is most appropriate for my needs, and currently since most of my photography is made whilst walking on a Ginko Photowalk either whilst delivering a workshop, or whilst making private work for photobooks weight of equipment is really important to me. My current kit is based around the Olympus OM-1 and a series of pro lenses, which together in a billingham weighs in at a fair weight, the Fuji system interests me because packed around a really light weight camera and lens form is a powerful 40mb sensor which I am finding provides great quality that I am really happy with.

One of the photobooks I took to show Carol was ‘Streets of Nottingham’ which was the book of the photowalk I arranged for members of the Royal Photographic Society last year, when I was last in Nottingham, when it rained all day. It rained all day when we were there this week too. Maybe it has never stopped in between my visits!

Carol leant me the Fuji X-T50 with the newdesigned XF16-50 F2.8-4.8R zoom lens and gave me 15 minutes to test it! I was impressed at how small the lens was, and paired with the X-T50 which is a very similar size to my X100, a lot lighter than my Olympus OM-1 with a pro lens. It is lightness I am looking for at the moment.

In use I struggled with the lens, but only because I prefer manual lenses. Then, when I got back to the 27 inch computer the quality blew me away!! The image above is of my wife who I walked up behind, spoke to and then took the image quickly as she looked back. The quality is amazing!

Project 1: Heavy Metal and the Flowering High Street

Heavy Metal
and the Flowering High Street

I like working in projects rather than random images, and although Carol had only given me 15 minutes (I give my students much longer) I came up with two, the first of which was when I saw the man in the black T shirt walking towards me appearing to be a heavy metal rock band follower as I photographed some flowers to test the built in pop up flash of the X-T50. I was born in Ilkeston and my family lived and worked in the Nottingham area, and I have always associated it with steel and metal industries alongside the lace industry, which the flowers above reminded me of, which in turn reminded me of my Nan, who had worked in lace making.

Project 2: Brolleys

I suppose photographing umbrellas is an obvious project to do on a rainy day, but hey, 15 minutes does not give you a lot of time to get something on the memory card!

I think ‘The Brolly’ could make a great project for a photobook though … there are all sorts.. for example google tells me there are six functional umbrellas · Golf Umbrella · Windproof Umbrella · Automatic Umbrella · Beach Umbrella · Patio Umbrella · Bridal Umbrella, and there are many roles in a folding umbrella world: there is 2-fold, 3-fold, 4-fold and  5-fold style although three folded umbrella is the most common, and five folded is the shortest.

I asked more, and was told the following:

The invention of the umbrella is not attributed to a single individual, as it has evolved over thousands of years across various cultures. The earliest known umbrellas date back to ancient civilizations, where they were primarily used for protection from the sun rather than rain. Here are some key historical points regarding the development of the umbrella:

  1. Ancient Egypt: The umbrella, or parasol, is believed to have been used as early as 4,000 years ago in ancient Egypt. It was primarily a symbol of royalty and was used to provide shade from the sun.

  2. Ancient China: The Chinese are often credited with the invention of the first waterproof umbrella. Around 1,700 years ago, they created umbrellas using oiled paper and bamboo to protect against the rain. The umbrella was also a status symbol in Chinese society.

  3. Ancient Greece and Rome: Umbrellas were used in ancient Greece and Rome, mainly by women as a fashionable accessory and for protection from the sun.

  4. Europe: The modern umbrella, designed to protect against rain, became popular in Europe in the 17th century. The design and materials were gradually improved over time.

While no single individual can be credited with the invention of the umbrella, its development reflects contributions from various cultures and periods. The umbrella as we know it today is the result of numerous innovations and refinements over millennia.

Not just a photobook about umbrellas, but just like Mary Poppins, the Umbrella could fly us through many cultures.

I think this curled up sign says ‘Here Comes the Sun’. How did that get onto a Nottingham Lampost?!

I gave Carol the camera back 3 minutes before my 15 minute deadline, just like a good press photogrpaher does, had lunch with Shona at Wetherspoons (we invited Carol) and then travelled to camp overnight at Rhubarb Triangle Farm before heading to Leeds the following day to meet up with Carol again for round 2 with the X-T50.

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