Fuji X as a landscape system?

Fuji X as a landscape system?

I’m a long time Canon shooter, but more recently bought into the Fuji X system with the X-E1 shortly after it’s launch.  I love the Fuji and have a range of excellent lenses (XF 56mm F/1.2, XF 35mm F/1.4, XF 23mm F1.4, Samyang 8mm fisheye, Samyang 12mm).  All of these lenses are first class and it is hard to pick a favourite.  Of course the fisheye is a somewhat special use lens, but it’s a  lot of fun and sharp as a tack corner to corner.

I’ve just returned from a last minute solo trip to the UK Lake District and wanting to travel light, to make day walks a lot easier, decided to take only the Fuji system for what would be mainly a landscape photography excursion.  Leaving the beautiful 24mm TSE behind was a bit of a heartache, but I was determined to make this a Fuji only affair.  Now, with all four lenses (I left the 35mm behind as I don’t really favour this focal length for landscape), I am able to take the entire kit in a reasonably sized Lowe Pro backpack, together with a Sirui T-025X tripod and my three Lee filters (with adapter rings for the 23mm and 12mm lenses).

I have to say the Fuji system worked really well – and yes there is a magic to the Canon 24 TS-E that I did miss, but the weight advantage was so significant.  I made most use of the excellent Samyang 12mm and Fuji 23mm lenses which I find excellent focal lengths for landscape, both of which I can use with the Lee filters.   The tripod worked well too and is SO light I didn’t notice myself carrying it.

The other area in which the Fuji system did really well is in highlight and shadow recovery.  I often shot in DR200 mode (ISO 400) to retain some cloud detail, which was useful even using a grad filter to help balance the sky.  Even then the foreground was occasionally dark when the sun wasn’t playing fair with me.  In Lightroom, though, the sensor quality shines through and the exposure in dark foreground areas could be pushed as far as I needed without destroying the pixel level quality.

Judge for yourself – I’ve noted the lens used in each shot below.

XF23mm Borrowdale Sunrise

XF23mm Borrowdale Sunrise

Samyang 12mm Crummock Water reflection

Samyang 12mm Crummock Water reflection

56mm closeup

56mm closeup

Samyang 12mm Honister Pass Waterfall

Samyang 12mm Honister Pass Waterfall

XF56mm Buttermere Pines

XF56mm Buttermere Pines

Sunstars with Samyang 12mm

Sunstars with Samyang 12mm

DSCF6558

XF23mm atop Catbells

XF23mm atop Catbells

Samyang 12mm atop Catbells

Samyang 12mm atop Catbells

XF23mm Pano Buttermere

XF23mm Pano Buttermere