On vacation with Fujifilm X-T1 + 14mm + X100s

I recently spend one week camping in the southern and south western part of Norway, on the coast line from Kristiansand to Stavanger. It's a beautiful area of Norway I think, especially in the summer. You don't have the nice deep fjords of western Norway, or the mountains of North Norway that goes steep into the sea - but this part of Norway has its beauty of its own I think.

Sunrise over Borestranda, Jæren. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mm lens, ISO 800, f/16, 1/125 sec. I could have used a lower ISO and 1/60 sec and gotten a sharp image - but the wind made the grass swayed in the wind so I bumped the ISO to 800. Also I wanted to use f/16 to get it nice and sharp from front to back

I travelled together with my wife. She is pregnant, and that made some impact of what I could and could not do. Most of my photos were taken during day time, in harsh sun light. Not the best time of the day for taking pictures. Still, I managed to get out some mornings on my own and take som shots, while she was sleeping.

Early morning, about 4:50 am I guess. Sun rise at Borestranda, Jæren. Taken with the Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mm f/2.8R, at ISO 400, f/11 and 1/60sec. Hand held. Developed in Lightroom 5.5.

I travelled with my Fujifilm X-T1 with the XF 14mm f2.8, XF 23mm f/1.4, XF 35mm f/1.4, XF 56mm f/1.2 lenses. I also carried with me the Fujifilm X100s. I had the 23mm angle already covered with the XF 23mm f/1.4 lens, but I soon discovered it was nice to have two camera bodies with different focals lenghts mounted. So I ended up having the XF 14mm f2.8 mounted on the X-T1 and using the X100s camera for everything else. That was true for 90% of time for that whole week!  I took some portrait shots of my wife with the XF56mm, but that was it. The picture below is my wife, 8 months pregnant. I used the X100s camera for this shot.

My wife, Joy, near Kristiansand, Norway. Fujifilm X100s, ISO 200, f/2.8, 1/250 sec. Post processed in Lightroom 5.5.

What I found was that the X100s was very, very handy for all the more social happenings - like going to a restaurant or meeting friends. It is so discreet and quiet. The X-T1 is not that big actually, but I found myself using the X100s a lot! I even took some landscape and nature shots with it as well. But for the landscape work I mostly used the X-T1.

Kvalsfossen, shot with Fujifilm X100s, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/60 sec.

Bridge over Kilefjorden, shot with the Fujifilm X100s, ISO 400, f/8, 1/125 sec. 

What I missed was longer lens for my X-T1. I was thinking about buying the XF 55-200mm lens, but I've read that there is a weather resistant verison coming later, so I might wait for that one. On the wider side I never felt like I missed anything wider than the XF 14mm f2.8. Maybe I could have made some more interesting shots some places, but shooting wider than 14mm (21mm on FF) is more demanding I think. Here's few more shots with my X-T1 and XF 14mm lens.

Bridge over Kilefjorden. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mm lens at ISO 200, f/8, 1/55 sec.

Jæren area, early morning. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mm lens, ISO 800, f/8, 1/60 sec.

Two years ago I was travelling the same area with the X-Pro1 and the XF18mm and the XF35mm lenses. I found it easer to photograph this time with the X-T1. Everybody's talking about the improved autofocus on the X-T1 over the earlier X-models. And that is true. But for the kind of photography I did on this trip it didn't matter. I use EVF for accurate framing on my landscape shots, and the EVF on the X-T1 is so much better than the X-Pro1's. Also, the the tiltable LCD screen found its use from time to time.

I used manual focusing most of the time with the XF14mm lens, using the markings/scale on the outside of the lens. Also having focus peaking helped me too. With the XF 56mm lens I used autofocus, and I used Face Detection when taking pictures of people. That worked really well, it makes sure the eyes are in focus and that is really needed when photographing at f/1.2-2.0. I wish the X100s had that feature as well. 

So - what will be my travel setup next time, for travelling as light as possible without missing anything? Two camera bodies for sure, the X100s and X-T1. The 14mm is a no brainer, that one has to come with me. The XF23mm I will leave at home because of the X100s focal lenght. The 35mm will stay home too most likely. The 56mm will come with me of course. Maybe, just maybe, I will get a 55-200mm lens too. But then again - it all begins to get heavy. So, we'll see. 

Early morning at Jæren, Norway. Fujifilm X-T1 + XF14mm lens, ISO 800, f/8, 1/60 sec. Post processed in Lightroom 5.5

All images copyright by Lars Authen.