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Enthusiast Mary Matthews hits the streets with the Fujifilm X-T4 – Make The Switch

Posted on Jan 18, 2021

Mary Matthews switched from a full-frame Nikon DSLR to a Fujifilm X-T2 and Fujifilm X-T4, and she is a very happy – and even keener – photographer


I’ve tried landscape photography, but scenes just don’t speak to me and I can’t get up early enough for the beautiful light anyway. Right now, I am really enjoying street photography, inspired by my new Fujifilm X-T4. Also, street is very demanding in terms of camera set-up and needs practice, so it’s more of a challenge for me.

I used to use a full-frame Nikon D800 with the Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8, and the lenses just on their own were heavy. When one of my Nikon lenses needed repairing – I got sand into it when I was photographing on a beach – I took it to my local camera shop.

The shop owner mentioned the Fujifilm X Series and even gave me a brochure – this was back when the X-T1 came out, so a few years ago. While I had been thinking about switching, I didn’t follow him up on it at the time and I carried on using my Nikon equipment.

Street portrait taken on Fujifilm X-T4

However, a lot of members in my camera club were switching over to Fujifilm mirrorless, saying what I was thinking.  My bag of Nikon kit and its weight was taking its toll and I was suffering more and more from backache. I went to my local camera shop to look at the X-T2 and I had just come into a little money, so I bought it, together with the XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR zoom.

A few months later, I added the XF23mm f/2 R WR. It’s a good lens and I did some night shoots with it, but I thought I’d benefit from a lens with a faster maximum aperture, so when a used XF35mm f/1.4 R lens came up on eBay, I thought, ‘Yes, I’ll try that.’ I went for the XF23mm f/2 R WR and not the XF23mm f/1.4 R, because it was weather resistant, but the XF35mm f/1.4 R was the focal length I wanted, so I went for it even though it wasn’t a WR lens – and it was a good price.

I shoot in London and I like shooting in the rain – and it rains a lot in London! – because of the reflections you get, so being weather resistant is important. Also, going back to the problem I had with the Nikon lens when sand got into it, having a protected lens would help if I got into a similar situation. With the XF23mm f/2. R WR and the XF35mm f/1.4 R in my bag, I can use whatever suits the conditions.

I really liked my X-T2 outfit, but when the X-T4 came out with in-body image stabilisation, I thought, ’Yes, that’s for me.’  I do all the right things, like elbows in, steady breathing and all that stuff, but I’m not the steadiest person and when you’re out doing street photography, I just want the shot – there’s no time to think about all the things you have to do.

When camera shops had ’hands on’ days with the X-T4, I went along to check it out and I was impressed. That was in February 2020, so before lockdown started, and I didn’t get to own one until May. I haven’t looked back since, and I’ve just bought an XF56mm f/1.2 R, too!

Portrait taken on Fujifilm X-T4

I’m really pleased with how my Fujifilm kit works. I am still experimenting with set-up on the X-T4, but I generally use aperture-priority AE mode and autofocus. However, I know I have to practise more with my X-T4 and get more familiar with it so I can quickly change settings.

One of the many things I like about Fujifilm cameras is that you don’t always need to go into the menu to change something. It’s all right there on the camera. If I want to change the aperture, it’s there on the lens. With dials for the ISO and shutter speed, you can make changes pretty much instantly. I have just started using back-button autofocusing, too. All these things need practice, so I’m practising so I can shoot quickly with whatever settings I want.

My Nikon stuff is still sitting at home, but since I bought the X-T2 – and then the X-T4 – I haven’t even dusted it off.

Street photography taken on Fujifilm X-T4

Free 48-hour Fujifilm loans

The Fujifilm Connect loan service means you can try specific Fujifilm cameras and lenses in your own home free of charge for up to two days (including delivery).

Loans can be extended, and if you decide to purchase it afterwards, Fujifilm will refund your loan fee. For full details of this special loan scheme, go to the Fujifilm Connect website.

The kit Mary owns

Fujifilm X-T4

The X-T4 is a camera blessed with outstanding skills and a great specification to satisfy still and movie content creators of all levels. At its heart is Fujifilm’s X-Trans CMOS 4 26.1-megapixel sensor and the X-Processor 4 image engine.

Fujifilm X-T4

XF56mm f/1.2 R

This lens excels when the light levels are low, but it also has huge creative potential when you want very shallow depth-of-field and smooth, blurred backgrounds in your portraits.

Fujifilm XF56mm f/1.2 R

XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR

With its fast, constant f/2.8 aperture, handy focal length range, robust build and outstanding performance, the XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR has all the credentials to be the ideal standard zoom.

Fujifilm XF16-55mm f/2.8 R LM WR

XF23mm f/2 R WR

Compact and lightweight, the XF23mm f/2 R WR gives a 35mm focal length equivalent in the 35mm format and is the ideal lens when you want to travel light or shoot discreetly.

Fujifilm XF23mm f/2 R WR

Get involved

If you’re looking to make the switch to Fujifilm and want to be featured in Photography News, click here, fill out the form and you could be selected to borrow a Fujifilm camera and two lenses for up to two weeks, free of charge! Terms and conditions apply and can be found here.

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