Fuji X-T3: Portrait Shoot Around NYC With The XF 35mm f1.4

Fuji X-T3: Portrait Shoot Around NYC With The XF 35mm f1.4:

One of my friends, who’s actually an excellent street photographer, wanted to branch out a bit, and had asked if I could schedule a shoot for him with a model that I know.  I did it and I said I would accompany him but I would not take any pics because currently, I have a ton of photos to still finish editing, and of course, finishing up some reviews for this blog.  However, I’m never without a camera, and in this case, I brought along my Fuji X-T3 just in case ;).  I also brought along a few lenses: one of my favorites, the XF 56mm f1.2 APD, the XF 18-55mm, and the XF 35mm f1.4.

Well, as you might’ve guessed by reading this post, I ended up taking some pictures.  I really didn’t want to because like I said, I am just buried with photos to edit but the opportunity was there, and the truth is, I still wanted a couple of images for my X-T3 review.  It has taken me so long to finish it that I wanted to make the review extra special.  Since it wasn’t my shoot though, I got to mess around a bit and experiment.  There wasn’t that pressure of actually having to produce decent work if I didn’t feel like doing it.

↑ This was taken at f1.4 around the Lower East Side.

↑ This was actually stopped down a bit to f2.5.  This was early morning, and I thought the little bit of light here was so cool.  Good that my friend saw this spot.

So, as I said before, I brought along a bunch of lenses but the star of this shoot was the XF 35mm f1.4 R lens.  This was the first shoot that I’ve used the XF 35mm 1.4 so much.  In fact, out of all these photos here, there were only two shots with the XF 56mm f1.2 APD, and one with the XF 18-55mm.

↑ Here’s another at f2.5.

↑ This was inside some food place.  I don’t do too many of those bokeh ball shots but there’s actually two in this post :).

As some of you know, the XF 35mm f1.4 R lens is one of the first lenses to come from Fuji for the X Series system.  Optically, it has always been fantastic but there are some out there that weren’t too happy with the autofocus when it first came out.  Through numerous firmware updates though, the XF 35mm f1.4’s autofocus has been significantly improved, and on the X-T3, it is really darn quick.  I haven’t had ANY issues with it.  I don’t speak for everyone but I find it downright fast on my X-T3, and in this shoot for instance, I had no problems locking on focus at f1.4, especially when she was moving quite quickly and changing poses.

↑ This was taken with my XF 56mm f1.2 APD lens.

↑ Here’s the other bokeh ball shot I was talking about.  This was taken with the XF 35mm f1.4 wide open.  This lens works so well with the new X-T3.  It’s like a dream combo to me.

In terms of size, it’s also not much larger than the XF 35mm f2 R WR lens.  I own the XF 35mm f1.4 but I’ve used the XF 35mm f2 a lot, and I also reviewed it.  Weight wise, it’s only 17g heavier than the f2 version.  I love both lenses, so I’m not ratting on the XF 35mm f2 or anything lol.  The XF 35mm f2 does have even quicker autofocus, and it is weather sealed.  However, not having weather sealing isn’t the end of the world for me, and autofocus wise, the f1.4 version is plenty fast enough for me.  All I’m saying is if you’re finding yourself needing a lens with a larger aperture (which is what I want), don’t let the fact that this is one of Fuji’s oldest X Series lenses deter you.  It’s still a killer piece of glass.  I reviewed it a few years ago when it first came out but I’m thinking about writing up a new review for it.

↑ This is an indoor shot taken at f1.4.

↑ I have a color version of this photo but I don’t know…I kind of like this in a darker, moodier black and white.  This was taken with the XF 56mm f1.2 APD.

Anyway, now that we got the gear talk out of the way, let’s talk about the pics.  Location wise, these were taken in Soho, and Chinatown.  We were walking around in the morning, and ended up pretty much spending the whole day shooting.  It was a very chill shoot; the model brought tons of different outfits, and I like working with her a lot because not only is there great conversation, she’s pretty much up for anything photographically.  I was talking to my friend, and we had mentioned that as street photographers, it’s not out of the ordinary to spend hours walking around the city.  It’s not unusual to walk in circles or back to the same spot multiple times.  However, not everyone who’s not used to this thinks that way.  This model is willing to walk miles in the cold just to look for some cool backgrounds to use.

↑ Of course, if you shoot with me, you’ll probably eat too because I get hungry lol :).  This was taken with the XF 18-55mm f2.8-4.

Processing wise, I had mentioned that I’ve been primarily using Capture One for all my RAW files.  However, I’ve actually switched back to Photoshop CC.  I have some settings I’ve created or tweaked that I still like, so I’ve been revisiting those.  Also, I did not use the Fuji profiles for these edits.  In fact, I actually don’t use those profiles much at all in general.  Lastly, with the exception of the horizontal shot, these photos were cropped to the 5:4 ratio to fit Instagram (btw, I have more photos on my Instagram if you’d like to see).

Anyway, I hope all of you enjoy the photos, and please stay tuned for my X-T3 review. I will have a lot to say about it along with plenty of photos to accompany the review.  I do have more photos from this shoot as well but I’ll post them up when I have more free time.  Thanks for stopping by!

For those interested, B&H Photo currently gives you a $50 gift card with the purchase of the XF 35mm f1.4.

XF 35mm f1.4 R lens at B&H Photo

14 comments… add one
  • inthedarkroom

    WOW! that b&w shot is a knockout!

    • Patrick

      Thanks inthedarkroom!

  • Jed Orme


    I enjoyed this teaser to your upcoming X-T3 review. Some very amazing images with a classic Fuji lens. And I agree with the above observation about the monochrome one. Was this conversion done solely in PS or ACR, without any editing in Silver EfEx? If so, a stellar job, particularly the facial lighting.


    • Patrick

      Thanks Jed!

      To answer your question, yes, it was solely edited in Camera Raw. You should give it a try: I still have Silver FX, and it’s a great plugin but it’s been years since I’ve used it. Nothing wrong with it at all; I just find ACR can do a pretty good job :).



  • Fatih ARAT

    Hi Patrick,

    I own the XF 35mm f1.4 and using it with the X-E1 and X-T1. Everyone who saw my photos are shocking with the sharpeness, even wide open.

    I love your blog and i think you can make one post about a full story of “one photo”, starting with the composition, light, etc.. and end with the final of post processing.

    Thank you so much.

    • Patrick

      Hi Fatih,

      It’s always great to hear from you! I felt like when the F2 version was released, there were many who switched but I’ve always loved the f1.4 version. It’s always been one of my favorite lenses.

      Also, thank you so much for your kind words! I really appreciate it, and your one post/one photo idea is a great one. Someone who emailed me a few months ago also suggested I explore this idea. When I finally catch up with my work, I’ll seriously consider it! Thanks for the suggestion!

      If you ever have any questions, you can always email me or leave me a comment :). Appreciate you stopping by, Fatih!



  • Elderin

    Actually some of your best work i ever saw here on your site. The 35R is a stellar lens for shure but you did a very good job to capture her in some beautiful light and color.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Elderin!

      These were done in all natural lighting. It was a nice day out :).



  • Mahesh

    Hey Patrick… Love all the pictures, especially the one with the morning sun and one with red bokeh balls 🙂 A new review of 35/1.4 would be great as a lot has changed with these Fuji cameras and your pictures from the old review look dated if you don’t mind me saying. I recently swapped my 27 with this 35. I love the quality of pictures with 35 but still miss the small size of 27. Haven’t played with Fuji raw files yet but mostly using astia, H -2, S-1, sharpness +2, NR-4 and doing lightroom VSCO on top.. astia again ! 🙂 The photos from my trip to almeria, Spain turned out quite well with that in plenty of sunshine with the 27.

    • Patrick

      Thanks Mahesh!

      It’s great to hear from you! Yeah, I am really considering re-reviewing the lens, and no, I don’t mind you saying my pics from that review look dated. If I remember correctly, I think I reviewed that lens near the start of my blog, so it’s been years lol, and those pics aren’t even Retina compatible :).

      I really feel like Fuji got the color rendering just right with the new sensor in the X-T3, and by the way, there’s nothing wrong with the jpegs coming out of the X-T3, so if that’s what you like, and it works for you, definitely keep shooting them! I love the jpegs coming from the Fuji, and now that I think of it, I have plenty of examples, so maybe I should just make a post with some of them soon.

      I love the 27mm but ultimately, the 35mm is a focal length I prefer more. Plus, I often use the larger aperture of the XF 35mm f1.4. You should post more of your photos on IG, so I can see them! Your trip to Spain sounds nice. I can use a vacation lol :).



  • Dane

    Hi Patrick,

    As usual, great job with the photos! That 35 is sure sharp wide open. I don’t know of any review that mentioned that they got a bad copy. Then again I don’t read much review other than yours so there’s that hehe. I got a hold of X-T2 and I’m really liking the result. I can see the resolution bump and speed vs the xpro1, but then again that’s like 3 generations in camera tech.


    • Patrick

      Hi Dane!

      Good to hear from you! Appreciate that little review comment lol :)! Yes, Fuji has come a long way since the X-Pro1 but there is still something I like about it. I think its that first gen sensor. I don’t care about the megapixels or that it has more noise than the newer ones. I just liked what came out out of it. I’m kind of sad I sold it a long time ago :). You still have yours right?



  • Dane Sigua

    Yeah, I still have the XPro1. And you’re right about the first gen sensor being its own thing. Even though it’s CMOS I think, it has that CCD vs CMOS look when compared to the new sensor.

    • Patrick

      I still have my X-E1…well, it’s my friend’s now because I gave it to him a while back BUT he never uses it, and it’s at my place haha :)!

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