The 947/Huawei Jo’burg Day has always been a favorite concert for the people who want to experience a variety of bands while barbecuing (Braaing) in the sunshine with mates. I’m not going to talk much about the musicians, bands or artists but rather about my experience in documenting an event of this sort with my favorite Fujifilm gear.
For this event I had my favourite Fujfiilm camera, an XPro2, and a loaned X-T1. I also had a 23mm f2, 50mm f2, Samyang 8mm and also the truly epic 100-400mm Fujifilm telephoto.
I was determined to keep my camera’s sensors as clean as possible while changing lenses but this proved to be an impossible task with dust quickly manifesting itself of any images taken with an f-stop of f5.6 or more. I used my trusty Arctic Butterfly to remove all but the most stubborn specks and then struck on a plan, I would leave the 100-400mm on the X-T1 and shoot any lenses on the XPro2 wide open, thus mitigating the amount of dust that would become visible in images.
(As an aside, the best way to check your sensor for specks of dirt is to stop your lens down to f16 and beyond and take an out of focus photo of a plain, evenly lit background. A blue sky usually works quite well.)
So here I was set, the 23/50/Samyang would be swapped around on the XPro2 and the X-T1 would have the 100-400 on for the rest of the day.
This post could very well have been titled: ‘In praise of the 100-400!’ The lens is just so good. The advantage for me was the ability to walk around with a lens that was easy to handhold, with superb image stabilization and of course an equivalent 600mm reach!
I found myself giggling as I had reach I have never used before in a concert or live music environment. Using this long telephoto gave me incredible reach and the ability to shoot a wide image of the crowd and the artist, to then zoom into the artist to make a full length image on stage and then to crop in to a tight shot. One more thing, while the focusing engine in the XPro2 and X-T2 are a huge improvement over the X-T1, the X-T1 is no slouch in focusing and in it’s ability to capture moving subjects. I used single shot, single AF mode for all these images, the skill I suppose is in anticipating a subject’s movement and also choosing the perfect moment to make the image.
While I love my Fujifilm primes, especially the 23&50mm f2 lenses for my shooting style, the 100-400mm is an epic zoom lens. My first choice zoom in Fuji’s wonderful lens line up.