London Dance shoot with the XT-1 / by Ferry Knijn

Recently I went to London for a business trip. I also did a photoshoot with two dancers. To keep my gear as light as possible I took the risk of only taking the Fuji X-T1 with the 35mm 1.4 and 65 1.2 lens, a Fuji X100 camera, a YoungNuo YN560II flash and Cactus v5 triggers.

The day of the shoot was the third day of my trip and unfortunately the charger of my X100 died, so I had only the X-T1 and the 35 1.4 and 56 1.2 lens left. For modifiers we bought a small Ezy-Box nock-off at the Calumet store in London. 

Location Scouting

The second day of my trip we went location scouting. We found a couple of locations on a small walk from Convent Garden to the south bank. When we wanted to start shooting at the first location, the garden behind the church at Convent Garden, we got asked if we had a license and since we didn't knew, we got send away.

First Shots

The second location was a small alley near Trafalgar Square. It was a lovely ally for some portrait work and some warming up shots. 

Trafalgar Square

If you are shooting in London you better show you are in London. So the second shooting location was on Trafalgar Square. This was a great location to shoot. The only big challenge was that I only had a 35mm (50m eqv) lens as widest angle. So to get everything in the shot like the high statue there was nothing left then getting really low, Like put your head on the pavement low. 

Westminster Bridge

If there is one landmark screaming London, it is the Big Ben. So we went to Westminster bridge for the last photo's with the Big Ben on the background. It was pleasent to see how the Crowd reacted and just walked calmly past us. 

The verdict about the X-T1

The Fuji X-T1 is a great camera. But not for things that move. 7 out of 10 shots the focus was wrong. This doesn't makes the Fuji X-T1 a bad camera, but for dance and action photography the X-T1 is not the camera. During the shoot I was wishing I brought my Nikon D800 or D610 with me. Although they are a lot heavier, the focus tracking is great. 

For the portrait and street work the Fuji X-T1 one worked great. Currently I am in doubt about getting a wide angle 14 or 23 mm lens for the X-T1 for some more wide stuff or upgrading the X100 to a X100S or T. But they stay additional camera's for travel or when I need to go light. Also they are great for portrait and studio photography. But when the chips are down I rather go for the Nikons DSLR camera's. 

Besides talking about camera's, trips to London are always fun. Also having the possibility to photograph two really nice ballerina's is always great! I had a great time and can't wait to go back again! Hopefully even later this year!