A couple of months ago, I headed to Precision Camera to by a small shoulder bag for the Fujifilm X-A2. I certainly have larger bags that fit the camera, but I wanted one as small as possible to fit the X-A2 and the usually attached Fuji 15-45mm lens. After all, I wanted to minimize the bulk of carrying this camera for my daily outings. I found the perfect bag, the Think Tank Mirrorless Mover 5, which fit my setup perfectly when I removed the divider.
With the purchase in hand, I noticed Sarah sitting quietly near the front. You might recognize her from a recent Drink and Click portrait. She works at Precision and was acting as a model for an in-store event. One that I didn’t know about beforehand.
I had the Fuji X-A2 with me with the 15-45mm f3.5-5.6 lens. A nice setup for general purpose photography, but far from ideal for portraits. If I would’ve known, I would have brought the Fuji X-T10 with the 56mm f.2 or at least the 35mm f1.4. I used the opportunity anyway for an impromptu portrait session.
In this first photo, you may notice that it looks a bit off. I purposely shot it at 15mm which gives a 22.5mm full frame equivalent. A rather wide focal length for being so close, especially for a portrait. Typically, wide-angles are not used in portraiture, especially up close, since it tends to distort facial features.
Here’s another one with a more reasonable 56mm equivalent. It should give a more normal appearance to the portrait.
Another downside to this lens is the lack of a big aperture, which prevents me from blurring the background to any large degree. The big softbox nicely lights Sarah, but I find the wrinkles in the backdrop distracting. A large aperture lens would give me less depth of field and better soften the background.
Here’s the setup for reference. You can see the large softbox to the right and the backdrop was placed at the front of the store.
Finally, here’s my favorite portrait, even though it was shot wide, again, at a 22.5mm equivalent. You can really see the effect of the wide-angle in this pose. Notice how large her hand looks in comparison to her face. Sarah’s pose, her hand, and the hat all work together with the wide-angle to make an interesting effect. It’s not textbook portraiture, but it makes for an interesting photograph.
Notice also how nice the photos look with great lighting and a little post-processing. Even this four-year-old consumer camera with a consumer kit lens can do a great job.
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