We at Fujifilm are happy to announce the extension of our FUJIFILM X-H camera series by adding the new FUJIFILM X-H2S. It’s FASTER than ever, More POWERFUL than ever and LIGHTER than ever, featuring a 5th generation sensor and processor the X-TRANS CMOS 5 HS and X-Processor 5.
Additionally, we launched two new lenses. The #FUJINON XF150-600mm, a small and light super telephoto zoom lens with high-speed autofocus, and the FUJINON XF18-120mm, tailor-made for motion production professionals and enthusiasts alike.
What is wrong with us that we do not see something that is so natural as natural? Something that happens to half of the world’s population over a large portion of their lives? Menstruation is not a problem, the problem is everything that surrounds it. How men have used it to oppress women, to keep them uninformed, to deny them opportunities. In the 21st century it is unacceptable that a girl should stop going to class because she is menstruating, but in countries like Chad, Africa it is still the norm…
Menstruation has always been and most of the time still is a taboo topic. Especially, in developing countries with a lower lever of reconnaissance, women get excluded and laughed at when they have menstruation. For example, they are not allowed to cook when having their periods. Girls even avoid going to school during that time because they cannot help getting bloodstained and their classmates laugh at them. All these problems occur because of sanitary issues and women kept uninformed. Being able to use a menstruation cup which usually appears in a pink colour would prevent these women from getting bloodstained. Consequently, they are able to continue going to school while being on their period and no longer miss a month and a half per year of classes. Subsequently, females would no longer have a tremendous disadvantage compared to their male counterparts.
Regarding this important matter, photographer Antonio López Díaz created a photo exhibition exclusively concerning this issue. From October 10 to November 7, 2021, he exhibited “The Pink Cup”, the theme of his photo series, at the EFTI International Centre of Photography and Film in Madrid, Spain. His event was sponsored by Fujifilm and all his pictures have been taken with a Fujifilm X-Pro2 camera and various Fujinon XF lenses. Additionally, all the images that can be seen in this exhibition have been captured on “Maxima Fujicolor Crystal Archive” professional silver halide paper at the Dinasa photo lab. The exhibition also documents the Grosso Foundation project, in which gynecologist Laura de Mingo gave informative classes on menstruation and female anatomy to Chadian women. She explained the advantages of the menstrual cup for the conditions in which they experience their menstruation.
Anzonio López Díaz knew it was not an easy task to figure out how to capture menstruation in an image, but he believes that he solved this problem with dignity.
When I’m heading out for a long day(s) in the outdoors this is the kind of equipment I usually take with me. Now it may be more than you would ever need, but for those looking to get into landscape or wildlife photography, particularly those about to head out on safari – this blog is for you.
A bag for your gear
There are too many camera bags in the world, meaning that the choice available is verging on ridiculous! If there is one item that ignites G.A.S (gear acquisition syndrome) over anything else it is probably camera bags. I’m currently using a Pelican 1510 hard case with a Thinktank Ultralight (discontinued) that fits inside the case. This basically acts like a backup backpack as it isn’t the comfiest bag for long treks, so it generally acts as a safe and secure place to store gear. I took this set up to Costa Rica because I’m based there for such a long time so the pain of travelling with such a heavy pack was negated by the benefits it offers me over the six months away, namely water-tight, lockable security.
For when I’m out and about I have two non-camera bags to choose from: Millican Dave, a great hiking bag that when combined with a cheap padded insert becomes a very good camera bag. Or a dry bag backpack which I often use on light treks where the conditions are looking a little ominous. This isn’t to say that Dave isn’t up to the challenge (he’s pretty good at being water repellent and has rain cover), but out here in the rainforest, when it rains, it pours! And having a bag that can in fact be submerged helps to ease the mind. The advantage of both of these bags is that they are easy to stuff lots of items into. One of the issues I usually have with camera bags is that once all of it is padded, it has lost of significant percentage of space for misc items. Misc items are usually seen as add ons with certain bag companies, leaving little room for other helpful items, so hiking bags can be really helpful non-camera gear.
What photography equipment do I take?
2 x X-T1 (fantastic all-round cameras, definitely brought the X-Series to a wider audience, and very much looking forward to trying out the new X-Pro2!)
X100s (Out of all the Fujifilm cameras I’m lucky enough to have this is the one I’d probably sell last! Does everything very well, wonderful lens/camera, makes you think much more about your photography. Above all else, it is small enough to carry around everywhere. So some of my most treasured photos are taken with this because otherwise it would have been left to my phone. Combined with the wide angle and telephoto adapters, makes for a brilliant little system. I haven’t had the chance to work with the T yet.)
XF10-24mm (Almost perfect – fantastic lens, hoping for a WR version in the near future.)
XF16mm (Generates so much creativity, from the extremely close focusing to the fantastic depth of field control, 24mm equiv. is quickly becoming my favourite focal length.)
XF16-55mm (Fantastic workhorse of a lens, built to last and equipped with image quality to make any prime-lover happy.)
Soon to be – XF35mm F2 (when I get back to the UK this is high up on my list – 50mm equiv. lens, small, fast and discrete WITH WR!)
XF50-140mm (My most used lens – can’t really say a bad word about it, produces the goods every time, simply fantastic!)
Nikon 300mm F2.8 ED Manual focus (The elephant in the room, because my current role is focusing on birds, I needed something longer than 200mm equiv. As the much anticipated:
XF100-400mm Isn’t quite out yet I opted for a quirky alternative… Yes it is heavy, yes it is manual focus, but thankfully peaking assist and a sturdy tripod help to make this a viable option. Nevertheless, my back is looking forward to Fujifilm’s new super telephoto zoom!)
Fujifilm extension tubes and Nikon 2x teleconverter (yep, that gives me a 900mm equiv. lens… Absolutely bonkers!!)
Filter system (Depends on what you prefer to photograph but I highly recommend a neutral density graduated filter set up and a circular polariser.)
Flash system (Lots of options out there, depends what you can afford/prioritise – space or power output.)
Things to always keep in your bag
Get some silica packs and store some in your backpack, these can be the difference in saving your precious lenses. Many believe that fungus is an issue reserved for older lenses, unfortunately this isn’t the case, and in particular non-weather resistant lenses are vulnerable so please look after your expensive investments! Bearing that mind, always have some lens cleaner and lens cloths in your bag. You never know when a speck of mud or raindrop will ‘attack’ your lens. Though easy to deal with they can easily ruin a photo, so best to deal with any artefacts asap.
Other items I have in my bag:
Duck tape (If you use lights in particular duck tape can be invaluable to secure lights in obscure locations to light your photos or simply to repair your watertight gear)
Pen knife (Always ends up being useful for different things but of course be mindful of this when travelling internationally.)
Table top tripod (Lets face it, tripods are always annoying to carry around and generally always scream PHOTOGRAPHER, but they are invaluable for certain situations. Nevertheless on some occasions you might not be carrying around a full size tripod so as a small, light back up is generally a good idea, so have a little tripod in the bag.)
Remote trigger (I have a variety from wired to wireless, all with their own pros and cons)
Rain cover (Generally not for me as in the tropics it is nice to get rained on! But I have a cover for my camera if I’m still shooting in moist conditions.)
Rogue Flashbender (A relatively inexpensive flash accessory, easy to pack and very effective, especially when used off-camera to help quickly improve a portrait.)
Food and water (Especially if you are trekking, these are the most important items to have on you!)
Insect repellent (Insects love me so I usually carry some form of bug spray, DEET is the best but pretty grim stuff to cover yourself with so I have a natural remedy that I prefer. Also a form Vitamin B is meant to be good for repelling mosquitoes so if you know you’re off to a problem region then start some Vitamin B pills or alternatively marmite.)
Hat and layers (Yes suncream helps to fight off sunburn but a hat can make all the difference when you are out all day. Depending on where you are, the weather conditions can change quickly so it is important to have spare clothes if it is likely to get cold.)
Rehydration sachets + general medication (You can never fully guarantee what is going to happen when you go out and about so it is best to carry some simple things with you to negate any ‘niggles’ that could hamper your day.)
Communication (Generally a normal mobile phone to contact anyone if necessary. Not for selfie usage!)
Scarf/shall (This might sound strange, being described as a ‘must have’ item, but they have a wide range of uses, from portable shade, towel, dust remover, etc.)
Thick straps, and a comfy all-round design. Makes long days so much more enjoyable!
Other items to pack in the hold:
Sensor cleaning kit (I’ve made the mistake far too many times of not bringing this with me and regretting it pretty quickly. The X-Series is very good for countering this problem, especially considering how often I change lens, but it’s best to pack safe.)
Spare chargers/cables (This may well be over the top for certain trips but if you are going into very remote regions the last thing you want is to not be able to charge your batteries or download your photos.)
Kit care in the tropics
Taking a look at the gear I have brought with me to Costa Rica. From camera gear to items keeping the cameras working, I hope this will give you a good visual representation of what to take on your next adventure!
Keep your kit dry
If visiting the tropics or areas where conditions can often be very humid then it is important to figure out a way of keeping your kit dry, generally wiping away any moisture and having some silica gels in your bag should be fine but for my current placement I created a form of ‘dry space’, an area which I draped a tarpaulin in front of and had a light bulb at the top, this is generally left on whenever it is raining and works as a dry location to keep kit dry, anything slightly damp is kept as close as possible to the light bulb to dry it out and to hopefully kill off any fungus.
My camera bag system is constantly evolving but hopefully this will help some of you looking to take your camera into the great outdoors. First and foremost, remember to enjoy yourself, that is the priority. Cameras are wonderful tools for enjoyment and capturing moments, but don’t let the very item you use to capture moments get in the way of them. If you have any suggestions or ideas for other things to take with you in the great outdoors then comment below.
Until next time, happy shooting!
A little about Ben
Ben is an environmental photojournalist, zoologist and Fujifilm X-Photographer. His passion is showing the beauty and fragility of the natural world. Find more of his work at:
I’ve been a massive fan of Canon since becoming a professional photographer around ten years ago. Photography is in my blood, passing down through family generations, and I currently shoot around 60 to 70 weddings a year in Staffordshire, Cheshire and throughout the UK.
I had been reading some excellent reviews about the new Fuji X-T1 cameras and lenses. Lightweight, portable, compact and an incredible (EVF) electronic viewfinder which enabled the user to see live changes including white balance, exposure and so on.
And yet, was I really ready to move from my trustworthy Canon 5D MKIII’s and 1DX to the lightweight Fuji X-T1?
I contacted Fuji regarding loan units but all the loan units were out with other photographers. So here’s the brave bit. I jumped straight in and traded-in my tried, tested and trustworthy Canon 1DX there and then for the new Fuji X-T1, together with the 56mm f1.2 and 23mm F1.4 lenses.
And the results? Incredible. Fuji had since then gone on to loan me an XF16-55 F2.8 and XF50-140 F2.8 lenses to use with the X-T1. Although I was apprehensive at first to use this new Fuji equipment at weddings, I eventually found myself over the past month or so using it more and more.
Here’s why I was so blown away with the results:
• The lightweight and compact Fuji X-T1 camera has revolutionised my working day – more portable, increased maneuverability, and less back-ache!
• The EVF is amazing – One massive advantage and top tip. When shooting manual focus or ‘back button focusing’ I get a split screen image in the EVF which contains a 100% preview of the focus point and a overall framed image. I am also able to adjust and see live results of exposure changes giving me a full knowledge of exactly what the finalised image will look like. In fact, I’ve found myself shooting fully manual most of the day as opposed to 60-80% Aperture priority on the Canon’s.
• The nifty folding screen helps me to reach those awkward high-up shots and low-down shots much more easily, albeit reaching high above the bride during bridal preparation or shooting low, such as ground or water level.
• The 56mm F1.2 lens is amazing – it’s one of the sharpest lenses I have ever worked with.
• And the 50-140mm F2.8 lens is really good too, in fact, seriously good – the lens is pin sharp throughout the whole focal range.
• Amazing natural light images are captured, the colour warmth and depth to the images is stunning. If you process in Lightroom like myself I would strongly advise changing the ‘Camera Calibration Profile’ back to Fuji’s own profile as Lightroom as a tendency of applying ‘Adobe Standard’ to all imported images. The photographs seem to show a ‘film look’ using Fuji’s profile and can be a little bland when using Adobe Standard.
Any negatives? Not many. I need three or four batteries to get me through the day (bit more than usual). And, with only one SD card, I miss that automatic back-up throughout the day. Plus, the Fuji focus tracking falls a little short of Canon’s. And I still prefer to work with raw images, despite Fuji’s track-record on JPG quality.
And finally, the million-dollar question..
Would I recommend the Fujifilm X-T1 and the above mentioned lenses to other wedding photographers?
Most definitely, yes. The 16-55 f2.8 is a direct competitor for the Canon 24-70 f2.8 and the 50-140 f2.8 for the Canon 70-200, pretty bold statements I know as these lenses have such a proven track record and any wedding photographer will tell you these are the ‘must have’ lenses.