Travel photographer Brian Houghton reflects on his Fujifilm X-T4 set-up – Make the Switch
Posted on Oct 21, 2020
People, street and travel are Brian Houghton’s main photographic interests. He made the big decision to change from his much-loved Nikon DSLR outfit to a Fujifilm X Series mirrorless kit – and he’s very happy with the outcome.
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I call myself a people and street photographer who enjoys travel, and when I am out photographing, this can mean that I end up carrying a camera and lenses around all day. I’ve been a Nikon owner for many years, but what got me thinking about moving away from that system was a trip to Ladakh in northern India, between Pakistan and China and next to Kashmir. I took my Nikon D850 with some lenses that included the 24-70mm f/2.8 and 70-200mm f/2.8. You fly in and its 3500m above sea level and it’s hard to breathe. You get to 4500m and lugging that stuff around is really tough.
Back home, my journey across to Fujifilm started when I bought a Fujifilm X100F compact, which I bought just so I could have a camera that I could put into my pocket, use for street work and use to take more photographs. I took it places where I wouldn’t have taken my Nikon with just a 35mm lens.
Bit by bit, I realised how very good the resolution was with the X100F, but I wanted more flexibility and felt restricted just having a fixed 23mm f/2 lens. A year or so later I traded in the X100F for an X-Pro2. I liked the retro look of all the Fujifilm cameras, and the X-Pro2 is a bit like Leica M rangefinders, so after I tried it out, I thought it would work for me. I bought the X-Pro2, XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS standard zoom and three of the f/2 lenses, the XF18mm f/2 R, XF23mm f/2 R WR, and XF35mm f/2 R WR, because they were small and easy to carry around with me. I started shooting events like the Notting Hill Carnival with that camera, mostly with the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS lens. I was very pleased with the results – the lens was sharp as anything at both ends of the zoom range and wide open.
The more I worked with the camera, I started thinking about buying a few more lenses and broadening my sphere. I added the XF55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS and the XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS, which is a great lens. I use that lens a lot in markets with it set to around 16mm. I later swapped the XF55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS for the XF50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR, which is a cracking lens wide open and throughout the range, and added an XF1.4x TC WR teleconverter.
I had a trip to Nagaland, India, planned and I thought I didn’t want to carry my Nikon outfit around, as it was going to be two weeks of carrying cameras around. One of the camera club members had bought a Fujifilm X-T3 and he was swearing by it. He was previously a Canon EOS 5D user, so I bought an X-T3 too and took that and the X-Pro2 on the trip. That was a great outfit. I could have both cameras around my neck at the same time, the X-Pro2 with the XF18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS and the X-T3 with the XF55-200mm f/3.5-4.8 R LM OIS, so I had absolutely everything covered and just had a small bag for spare batteries and odds and sods.
I’ve now bought an X-T4 and I’m delighted with it. It’s every bit as good as the X-T3 and better in so many little ways, as you’d expect. Obviously the in-body image stabiliser is a big advantage and the mechanical shutter is so quiet that I haven’t felt the need to switch to the silent electronic shutter. Interestingly, I found that, on the X-T3, I used to knock and change some of the top-plate controls and settings regularly, such as the drive dial, but that doesn’t happen on the X-T4. It’s a great camera.
I still have the Nikon D850, because I love the camera, but I’ve started selling the odd lens. I’ve used Nikon for many years, so it hasn’t been an easy decision moving to Fujifilm. However, I am delighted I’ve made it. Most importantly, I am amazed by the quality of the smaller sensor and reduced pixel count – and prints at A3 and even A2 look incredible. I am not going to compare the Fujifilm and Nikon systems, but it is enough to say I am very picky and the Fujifilm kit I have is everything that I need and more.
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 website.
The kit Brian owns
The X-T4 is Fujifilm’s most powerful camera so far. It boasts a resolution of 26.1 megapixels, thanks to its fourth-generation X-Trans CMOS sensor working with the X-Processor 4. This gives cutting-edge still image and video quality with outstanding colour and ISO performance. It also features a new Film Simulation mode, ETERNA Bleach Bypass. Add weather resistance, a top shooting speed of 15fps and a new larger battery, and the X-T4 deserves to sit at the top of the X-T range.
XF10-24mm f/4 R OIS
Perfect for when you want to get in close to the subject to make the most of bold foregrounds or when there’s limited shooting room, this lens covers from ultra-wide to moderate wide-angle focal lengths in a compact, lightweight package. Autofocus is smooth and fast thanks to an internal focusing system driven by a stepping motor and its minimum focusing distance of 24cm means you can get in close for dynamic foregrounds.
XF50-140mm f/2.8 R LM OIS WR
This lens is the ultimate all-round telephoto zoom, with silent autofocusing, weather-resistant build and an optical image stabiliser that offers a benefit of up to 5EV. Its advanced optical design featuring 23 lens elements means it’s capable of a stunning performance, delivering images of outstanding clarity. This is also one of four lenses compatible with XF1.4X TC WR and XF2X TC WR teleconverters. These high-quality optical accessories expand the focal length range of the lens they are used with, expanding their photographic potential even more.
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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