The Gear To Use to Photograph Immersively Like David Alan Harvey in Bryan Harvey’s Movie for the Fujifilm X-Pro2.

by Karin GottschalkLeave a Comment

In my article about how moviemaker Bryan Harvey depicted his father, photojournalist David Alan Harvey, using the Fujifilm X-Pro2 hybrid multi viewfinder camera, I write about the difference between cameras with optical viewfinders (OVFs) and those with electronic viewfinders (EVFs). I compared OVFs to windows and EVFs to walls.

In this article, a companion to This Short Movie by Bryan Harvey For Fujifilm’s X-Pro2 About His Dad, David Alan Harvey, Communicates What Using An Optical Viewfinder Camera Is All About. I Want More, I look at options for seeing and shooting as if through a mirror using two current Fujifilm OVF cameras, the X100T and the X-Pro2.

A Caveat

So far I have neither seen nor shot stills or video footage with either camera. I do own a Fujifilm X100 and carry it often along with my Panasonic Lumix GH4 and GX8.

I passed on the Fujifilm X-Pro1 after trying one out several years ago, due to problems with my eyeglasses prescription and the camera’s lack of built-in diopter correction as well as other concerns with the X-Pro’s user interface and autofocus speed.

I had hoped to purchase the X-Pro2 when it eventually appeared and when flush enough to do so. One big question remains: will I be able to use the X-Pro2 while wearing eyeglasses and will its built-in diopter correction encompass my needs?

Some eyeglasses-wearing photographers have reported problems while others say there are none. I suspect that results vary based on eyeglass prescriptions and lens types.

Fujifilm Australia is holding a photo event in Sydney’s Hyde Park on the afternoon of Saturday, February 27, and I hope to learn whether the X-Pro2 is usable for me then, whether shooting still or video.

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Recommended Gear to Shoot Immersively, Emotively & Safely

X100T:

There is a great deal to like about the X100T’s specifications, size and cost, especially in its black version when shooting in stealth. I must admit, though, that I can still get away with slipping into the midst of crowds with my non-black X100, slowly and deliberately.

The X100T’s apparently far shorter shutter-button-to-exposure lag time and rapid autofocus as well as silent mode would make for an excellent fly-on-the-wall camera when moving fast.

Fujifilm X100T Digital Camera (Black)

Fujifilm X100T Digital Camera (Black)

Even the much slower X100 and apparently somewhat slower X100S can be used fast with hyperfocal pre-focussing and previsualizing the image frame without peering through the OVF. If the fixed 23mm f/2 lens, equivalent to 35mm in 35mm film or ‘full frame’ digital, is not wide enough or narrow enough, then simply attach your choice of wide or tele convertor lenses without image quality loss.

Fujifilm’s camera body designs tend to be smoother with smaller built-in grips than non-OVF Micro Four Thirds alternatives also favored by photojournalists and street photographers such as the Panasonic Lumix GH4 and GX8, so both the X100T and X-Pro2 will benefit from adding Fujifilm’s own optional hand grips as well as third-party rear grip solutions like those made by Match Technical.

Having tried several brands and designs of soft releases now, I have settled on Match Technical’s concave Bop and Boop, and am looking forward to trying the revamped O-series version of the Boop. Soft releases are invaluable when working fast, for surety of finger on shutter button and for reducing apparent lag time. Speed and accuracy is of the essence.

When David Alan Harvey was onstage at the Fujifilm X Series 5th Anniversary celebration in January, I noticed him tightly wrapping his hand and forearm with his X-Pro2’s camera strap. I used to do exactly that myself when shooting on location, but the strap inevitably unwrapped itself over time, causing discomfort and slippages.

In more recent times, much better solutions have appeared, most especially Peak Design’s collection of camera straps. Now, every camera I own has at least a Peak Design Cuff permanently attached, as well as a Peak Design Clutch if the camera needs even better grip.

I also carry a Peak Design Slide, Slide Lite and a Leash in my camera bag or backpack when I want add more security via shoulder or neck, or by lashing the camera to a belt or camera bag strap.

Lastly, please don’t forget to protect your camera’s monitor via a screen protector of some kind. I tend to opt for protector film rather than glass but that is a purely personal choice. I also use top quality protector filters on my lenses along with lens hoods and spare center-pinch lens caps on the principle of better safe than sorry.

Oh and one last thing, batteries. Always carry more batteries than you think you will need. You never know what is waiting for you around the corner and better to swap batteries when they are down to one-third full than run out of power altogether at a critical moment.

I tend to stick with batteries made by the camera’s manufacturer as they won’t be questioned if you ever experience an electrical problem needing to be repaired under warranty. Some photographers report perfectly good results with much cheaper third party batteries but do please check reliable reviews before choosing a brand.

X-Pro 2:

Please refer to my notes on the X100T above as many apply equally to the X-Pro2.

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)

Fujifilm X-Pro2 Mirrorless Digital Camera (Body Only)

After reading comments from David Alan Harvey at burn magazine, and watching videos of him several times, it appears he favors just three different focal lengths in his various cameras, the equivalents of 28mm, 35mm and 50mm in 35mm full frame.

That choice is perfectly in keeping with David Alan Harvey’s immersive, emotive style of photography and with the nature of OVF cameras like the X-Pro2. Mr Harvey appears to have added a zoom lens to that default lens set since acquiring the X-Pro2, the Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS.

He has commented that, although he was a 35mm lens guy for many years, he has been enjoying the 28mm focal length recently as well as 50mm lenses now that digital photography’s higher ISOs and corresponding high image quality permit stopping down even in poorer light for greater depth of focus when needed.

(cover photo credit: snap from B&H)


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