Automotive Photography with the FujiFilm X-T2
by Stefan Kotze
I’ve been shooting Automotive and Motorsport photography for various magazines as well as online websites for a few years now and since switching to Fuji from Canon back in 2014, I’ve never been happier. Fuji has changed my life and saved my back from many aches and pains, in the most literal way.
My X-T1 has been amazing for automotive stills, allowing me to shoot amazing low-light, shallow DOF work as well as strobed work, but unfortunately there was one place where it lacked quite a bit and that’s the action stuff, like motorsport. The tracking for fast and sometimes erratic moving objects was definitely left wanting, and the EVF delay between shots was also not ideal.
Here came the announcement of the brand new Fuji X-T2 recently and even just on paper, my mind was already blown. Fuji had improved every single place where the X-T1 was lacking, and more! Anything can look amazing on paper though, but real world testing and results is what we all wanted to see, including me.
Lucky I was able to get one of these new beasts to test out a few weeks ago, along with the Fujifilm XF 50-140mm F2.8 and Fujifilm XF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6, as I own most of the ridiculously amazing Fujifilm primes, but not any telephoto lenses. After giving myself a short time to get acquainted with all this new gear and trying to stop drooling over the X-T2, I headed to a track racing event at Zwartkops raceway. As things would be, the weather was terrible, cold and rainy being the order of the day. This didn’t stop me though. The weekend after I also attended a drifting event, which featured one of the best international Red Bull drifters from New Zealand, Mad Mike Whiddett. These two types of events provided the perfect stomping ground for the new camera and here’s my thoughts on this new work of art called the X-T2.
Firstly, the new EVF is brilliant. There is no shutter lag at all and it really felt like I was shooting on an optical viewfinder, that’s how good it is! Then the tracking speed blew my mind completely. It could easily track cars going at some damn fast speeds, cars changing direction suddenly and cars either coming towards me or going away from me. I also love the new presets for continuous focus, which lets you choose specific setups for things like motorsport, wildlife and sports, where objects all move in completely different ways and at different speeds. The burst speed is also something else, and when I noticed I had taken 7950 photos over two days at the drifting event, I realised, this thing shoots FAST! Reviewing photos, it actually looked like I was watching a little movie. The addition of the little joystick also makes moving focus points around in the moment so easy and simple, it’s actually one of my new favourite features on the camera.
In closing, this camera is definitely what action photographers needed from Fuji and they delivered in the best possible way. It’s great to be part of a brand that listens to what it’s users want and always going above and beyond to deliver the results. I’ll definitely be getting myself a X-T2 very soon!