Who Needs Carrots When You Have A Fujifilm X-Pro 1?


You don’t need carrots to see in the dark – you simply need a Fujifilm X-Pro 1. Hopefully the photos and story show just how this camera performs in low light when using high ISO – no need for those carrots anymore!

The soles of my shoes were wearing thin. Darkness surrounded me,  I was now in the back streets of Fremantle. Rain was softly falling wetting my brow as I clutched my Fujifilm X-Pro 1 protecting it from the unknown surrounds. My backpack felt light as I picked up my pace. The sound of crackling leaves burst into the air as I stepped along the long cobbled paved path.  Winter still had a hold on the air as I grasped my jacket ensuring zips were closed. The engineered 35mm lens was fixed tight onto the camera and my ISO control was set to extremely high. As I gazed around me the leaves on the trees were hanging onto flexing branches desperate not to fall. Cracked limestone buildings towered over me. Lonely lights lit the street as a car alarm silenced itself in the distance. Travelling along I noticed a doorway open almost inviting me in to escape the dampness of the cold street. I had never seen an open door in this area before. Steadying myself as the tripod I applied pressure to the smooth round shutter button.

Fujifilm X-Pro 1 – 35mm – ISO 3200 – f1.4 – 1/25 second

Passing the building with a disconcerting look for a welcome invite I found myself in an adjacent alleyway. Thick narrow walls swarmed the scene before me opening up briefly to form a dirty makeshift parking zone. An old neglected car sat lonely against the backlight.

The smell of rotting food filled the air as bouncing light filled the dark alleyway striking shapes along its path. Highlights and shadows formed, black and white was the clear choice as the light disappeared into the engulfing darkness. I bumped up my ISO to capture the little amount of light present before me. As I had no tripod I concentrated my mind and body to be in sync with the shutter action. I counted one, two and click. Instantly the camera came alive. Focus locked in pitch black conditions and the sound of the camera finishing its digital take on the scene was music to my ears. With excitement abound I pressed the large preview button, the clear LCD lit the world like a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. Adjusting my eyes the result excelled my expectations.

Fujifilm X-Pro 1 – 35mm – ISO 6400 – f1.4 – 1/15 second

Passing a window with a fleeting glance a wall of words stood out.  Instantly a warming fire coupled with a good read filled my mind.  The colour scheme of the shelved text shouted out to the depressing street as I stood reading the titles before me. The thought of a good book and a fire was too good to pass. Lining the camera up to the cold plain window I composed my artistic angle and mashed my finger on the X-Pro 1’s  retro shutter button.

Fujifilm X-Pro 1 – 35mm – ISO 3200 – f1.6 – 1/125 second

With Fremantle renowned for its small quaint stores I set out with a new stride turning my attention to closed doors or barred windows. I intended to capture the stillness of the earlier working day.  Time passed on my quest, eventually I found myself looking through recessed windows and strong iron bars. The rear of a cafe was in full view. Feeling like a tidy criminal I cleaned the glass before me. Peeping through the camera’s hybrid viewfinder the scene hit  my retina. The still scene suddenly jumped to life.

The old bicycle sign filled the empty cracked concrete floor. Couches sat unfulfilling their duties as respite for tired workers. The smell of freshly ground coffee brewed in my mind. Laughter and conversations emoted the scene; clatter of cutlery against white porcelain plates filled the air. The scene was alive. Without hesitating I continued to pursue my photographic journey.

Fujifilm X-Pro 1 – 35mm – ISO 4000 – f1.4 – 1/45 second

The high ISO/low light journey will  be continued…

Until next time – Happy Shooting.

Please note all these photos were taken without a tripod to test the capability of high ISO’s on the Fujifilm X-Pro 1.

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35 comments on “Who Needs Carrots When You Have A Fujifilm X-Pro 1?

  1. Mondrak says:

    Great photos. Is this a true story?

  2. Paul Szilard says:

    Excitement mounts — and rides off in the distance. LOL.

    Did you shoot JPG or RAW? I find that high ISO certainly needs a good dose of Noise Reduction in LR (which is fine), but the in camera NR is very well implemented. Doing an in camera RAW conversion allows me to experiment with different noise reduction settings, which is very nice.

    Do you use LR4, like most people or do you have a leaning to other raw processors? I have tried Oloneo on Windows and RPP on the Mac. Both were ok, but I am familiar with LR so have been using that mostly.

    Keep up the good work…
    -paul szilard

  3. Hi Paul,

    I shot all these photos in RAW. Noise reduction was turned off on the camera.

    Lightroom 4 is my preferred choice for removing noise. I was quite surprised to find the noise reduction slider only had to be moved a small amount to achieve a great result. Overall I think the X-Pro 1 is a brilliant camera.

    Thanks for the kind words regarding my work.

  4. Brian Richards says:

    Technically excellent. Images which are often seen as mundane or boring have been turned into real works of art. Well done.

    • Thanks very much Brian. I appreciate your comment and thanks for stopping by the blog. Be sure to check back or subscribe to hear the rest of the story and see some more images from the night shoot.

  5. Paul Szilard says:

    I love my X-PRO1 and can’t stop myself from buying it presents. (Gariz bag, Kipon adaptor, lens, case, etc.), however my D4 is not exactly tacky in low light either. :) Especially when coupled to a nice fast prime.

    • Ha! I love the way you say you buy your camera presents!
      The D4 is a brilliant piece of kit. Completely on another level. The X-Pro 1 seems to hold its own at the price level though. Certainly one of my favourite cameras at the moment.
      I haven’t ruled out selling my Canon gear and moving to the Nikon D4 purely for the low light capability. I have been thinking about it for some time now. Its a big decision to make the switch over to Nikon….something I think about every day….maybe after my next season? Time will tell.

      • sam stroud says:

        Leigh, well done. AND i have thought about selling my canon gear for the D4. but then i bought the MK3. ANYWAYS, great article. i just bought the XPro1 thinking i could replace my MK2 for weddings, and keep the mK3. so far in its test run its performed flawlessly. I am a little annoyed at the AF issue. But i believe its more of a “different experience” than my SLR rather than it being a true issue. Anyways, great write up and images.

      • Paul Szilard says:

        Hi Sam,

        What AF issue? Reminds me of the guy that was told he had a drinking problem. His reply was, “No I don’t. I drink, I get drunk, I fall over – no problem!” By this I mean there is no problem if you use it correctly.

        I have been shooting Nikon SLRs for ages, and most recently a D4, but the BIG difference is that with contrast AF like the Fuji X, you have to pick a contrasty subject point, that is SURROUNDED by content in the same plane! This is different from an SLR which is happy to focus on the outer edge of an object, where one half of the view is background and should be out of focus.

        This is an EXTREMELY important distinction and I only discovered this fairly recently, when reading some other post. So if you imagine looking at a face in profile (i.e. side on), an SLR would be fine to focus on the bridge of the nose, but the Fuji X must be focused on the eye, where there is no far away background in the viscinity, instead it is the rest of the face.

        If you follow this technique you should find that the Fuji will in fact focus at least as well, if not better than any DSLR. The contrast focus technique cannot suffer from back focus issues, as it is a closed-loop methodology.

        I do hope I explained this clearly. Let us know how you go…

  6. Albert says:

    The more I use the more i like the camera. I am just a beginner with digital tech. do you mind telling how you set the camera to get high iso, i mean did you set your AE and ISO and set speed to auto.

  7. Albert be happy to answer you question. I set the ISO manually and the shutter speed and aperture were set to auto. I simply wanted to test the camera’s metering system and ISO ability in low light. The X-Pro 1 made the scene appear like daylight. My metering was set to centre point and the result was mind blowing.

    I will continue to push the limits of the Fujifilm X-Pro 1 as I think it is one of the only cameras out in the marketplace that can handle it. Second on the list would be the Olympus OM-D EM5.

    • Albert says:

      Thanks, I am old man well at least close to, but feel like a kid learning photography all over. One question, I was having focusing issue so I reduced the focus frame (center green) box to the smallest size, hoping to help. Is this the right direction.

      • I think the smaller focus point will work for most types of photography. I would set the focus point somewhere in between the smallest and the largest square. Always look for high contrast points to focus on as the camera will instantly focus on these points. Once the camera gains focus keep the shutter button half pressed and recompose your image then press the shutter button down the rest of the way.

  8. monkeysan says:

    Great post!

    I have had the same experience with the X Pro, and, in fact, this is one of the reasons I’m so excited about the tool — I am currently using it on a project about the remnants of the day’s life that remain behind, like ghosts, at night in the city. So, naturally, when I saw this post I felt some level of kinship.

    • Thanks monkeysan, your project sounds interesting. I can visualise how the X-Pro 1 would assist in such a intriguing project. Be sure to post the link on my Facebook page (Leigh Diprose Photography) or here in the comments so I can check it out. Thanks for commenting.

  9. K C Towers says:

    Incredible! I have been blowing hot and cold over this camera for months. It’s still pricey in the UK though, and I will have to sell all my Canon Gear – 5D MKII – a couple of L series lenses and all the paraphanalia that goes with them – to own it. I’m impressed with the high ISO capability though I rarely go above 400 iso myself. For me the camera will have to perform as well as the 5d MKII to get into my good books (looking good though) and coming from a Contax G2 before my digital conversion it will certainly have to perform as good as that superb rangefinder camera. I’m almost there, and will soon go through the traumatic selling of my current stuff and head on into that six month learning curve to get to use this camera without thinking. Is it worth it do you think?

  10. Paul Szilard says:

    I wonder if I could be permitted to chip in? I am fortunate to have both a Nikon D4 with a good collection of glassware and the X-PRO1 (and an X100 for 1 day).

    You are quite right likening the X-PRO to the G2, for me I never had a G2, but I did have a Leica CL (made by Minolta), and the shooting experience is similar. The Nikon and Canon DSLR kits are better at tracking focus on moving subjects, e.g. sport.

    Here is a really good review, that might be worth reading: http://www.prophotonut.com/2012/07/13/fujifilm-x-pro-1-8000-frame-user-review/

    For me, I really love using the XPRO, especially for portraiture using the 35mm f1.4 lens. I had a number of people remark that my phot of them with this was the best they had ever taken! (and my skills were nothing special!).

    Anyway, good luck with your decisions…

    • I would agree with Paul on this one K C Towers. If you are looking at sports photography I would recommend going to a Canon or Nikon Pro Body.

      In my option I think the X-Pro 1 is certainly a good choice for general photography – lanscapes, portraits, street, documentary, weddings and so on. I have used a myriad of cameras in my time (too many to mention) and have found the X-Pro 1 to perform in all lighting conditions with ease.

      In response to K C Towers question: I would certainly rate the image quality on par with the Canon EOS 5D MK II – I also shoot with a Canon EOS 1D MK IV and the image quality from the X-Pro 1 is definitely on par with that.

      Thanks everyone for contributing to a great conversation. Be sure to subscribe to the blog to hear the second part of this post – coming really soon.

  11. K C Towers says:

    Thanks for your thoughts. I’m not into sports photography and prefer candid (street) and some landscape just for relaxation. I don’t think I do my 5DMKII justice to be honest and so the Fuji XP1 sounds ideal. Not being a pro, but just a long time enthusiast amateur, I will go with it very soon and hopefully enjoy it as mich as I did the Contax G2 and those superb CZ lenses.

  12. […] This is a continued post from Part 1 – Who Needs Carrots When You Have A Fujifilm X-Pro 1? […]

  13. Jason says:

    Your prose is so cheesy I’m following you to see if you improve. Love your passion for photography.

  14. These are beautiful images!
    I have also been stunned by the X-Pro1s low light capabilities, I have photos of Norries Headland (Cabarita Beach) that were taken at night and look like the middle of the day.
    I don’t even find the need for a flash in most situations, however I have just ordered a cheapie off ebay to play with.
    Have you used a flash with your’s? If so which one and what were the results?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ebonflow/

  15. Hi Ebony,
    I have never used a flash with the camera. I don’t really intend to. I think the light ruins the natural light within the photo. However I wouldn’t say no if Fujifilm sent me one ;)

  16. […] Who needs carrots – Kein Mensch muss Möhren essen, um im dunklen besser sehen zu können, eine X-Pro1 reicht. […]

  17. Ich weiß, was du meinst. Die X-Pro 1 ist alles was Sie brauchen!

  18. […] Who needs carrots – Kein Mensch muss Möhren essen, um im dunklen besser sehen zu können, eine X-Pro1 reicht. […]

  19. […] story was photographed with my Fujifilm X-Pro 1. All images were shot with the Fujinon 35mm at […]

  20. […] story was photographed with my Fujifilm X-Pro 1. All images were shot with the Fujinon 35mm at […]

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