X-Pro2 and Primes: a Good Combination for Sports?

· 27.October.2016

Earlier this year I was testing the X-T10 in Latsch on a company event and was quite impressed about the good job this camera did for sport shooting. So I dived deeper into the Fuji world and bought several lenses and the X-Pro2. Initially I thought the X-Pro2 with it’s hybrid viewfinder would be some kind of DSLR style mirrorless camera.At the beginning of August I scheduled a shooting in Innsbruck with Angie Hohenwarter. Angie is a professional mountain biker well known for her red hair and stylish way to ride a mountain bike. Half a week before the shooting I was thinking about my gear. On the one hand I wanted to take my proven Nikon gear, on the other hand I wanted to see how the X-Pro2 autofocus could handle those difficult situations between hard sunlight and shadows in the wood. One day before the shooting the XF 90mm f/2 arrived and the decision was made 🙂

Gear List and transportation

  • The X-Pro2 with a hand grip, 5 Battery Packs, 2 Sandisk X-Treme Pro 32GB cards in the camera
  • 14mm f/2.8
  • 16mm f/1.4
  • 35mm f/2
  • 56mm f/1.2
  • 90mm f/2


I own the XF 16-55mm zoom and I put it in my backpack as well, but on the way to the ropeway I decided to leave it in the car. All my gear was packed in a Evoc Camera Bag which fits perfectly into my Evoc Mountainbike Backpack.

Most of the gear fits in the bag. The other lenses are packed seprately in the backpack.

Most of the gear fits in the bag. The other lenses are packed seprately in the backpack.

Settings on the X-Pro2

On the X-Pro2 I selected the Power Mode under the Energy Settings. The EVF and the autofocus work a little bit better in this mode. As I use two SD cards, one is used for the raw files and the second one is used for jpegs. This is a kind of backup for me – in case the primary memory card failes.

The Dynamic Range was set to Auto, by doing this I can achieve a little bit more of dynamic range in the files.

I used the serial shooting mode with 8 pictures per second and the single field autofocus setting. I’ve tested all the AF-modes and this is the one I trust the most for my style of shooting. In bad light conditions I found the AF-lock button to be very useful and configured the button as a on/off switch in the menu. I can prefocus to a point where the rider will pass, lock the focus on that point and have no problem if the focus is not fast enough to find its target.

Beside from these settings everything is set to default values.

16mm fast and accurate

We started the shooting with a good capuccino at the summit and Eric, the trail builder, told us that there was a new trail which they were working on. Being the first to shoot a location, yeah! At the top of the mountain there was a beautiful water reservoir and the mountains in the background. Perfect conditions for the 16mm lens.

XF16mm. 1/8000s, f/4

XF16mm. 1/8000s, f/4


In my opinion, beside the XF35mm f/2, the XF16mm has the most accurate focus in combination with the X-Pro2. In most situations, when the rider is riding towards me I use f/2-f/4. In situations where the rider enters my field of view from the side and time to focus is very short I rely on f/4-f/8.

The mighty 90mm f/2

The main benefit of shooting with the Fujis is the amount of weight I don’t have to carry while I am riding mself. For Nikon full frame sensors there is nothing like the Fujinon XF90mm f/2. A fast and relatively light tele prime. I was very impatient to shoot this lens, because I never owned such a thing before at Nikon. At the beginning of the course there where these northshore obstacles and some beautiful magenta flowers, which name I don’t know.

XF90mm f/2. 1/6400s, f/2.

XF90mm f/2. 1/6400s, f/2.

XF90mm f/2. 1/5000s, f/2.

XF90mm f/2. 1/5000s, f/2.

This shot is taken at 1/5000s and f/2. I love the details and sharpness falloff for the background. The colors and the action frozen exactly at the right spot in this shot really made my day. I have to say that Angie and me were very quick. In most situations the first two attempts made the final pictures.

But what about the XF35mm f/2?

The XF35mm f/2 is the most versatile lens. It is small, extreme sharp and the autofocus is fast. It is always in my bag or on the camera. On that day I used it for stills.



XF56mm f/1.2 – not the best choice to shoot motion

The XF56mm f/1.2 is the fastest lens I own. Most people use it for portraits. For fast motion I found it to be good, but the focus is not the fastest. If the rider is heading towards you you have good chances to get accurate focusing. If the rider enters your field of view from the side, focusing gets tricky.

XF56mm f/1.2. 1/5000s, f/2.

XF56mm f/1.2. 1/5000s, f/2.


Editing the pictures

I have a certain tendency when it comes to editing: I edit my pictures immediately, most often on the same day or night ☺

A little extra for FujiLove readers: go ahead and download my colour profile and Lightroom preset here

My style of editing is 90% Lightroom an only 10% Photshop. First of all I use the gradient tool to darken the bottom of the picture. Lights are set down, clarity and depths increased.

Main adjustments from my preset.

Main adjustments from my preset.

Gradient tool on the lower left corner.

Gradient tool on the lower left corner.

Later on I am working on the rider with the brush tool. The main goal is to work out more sharpness and claritry from the rider.

Working on the rider to give her more pop.

Working on the rider to give her more pop.

Later on I adjusted some colors in Saturation an Luminance.

Colour adjustments for the flowers and Angie's skin.

Colour adjustments for the flowers and Angie’s skin.

That’s it. And here is the final image.

The final image.

The final image.

Verdict: Primes on the X-Pro2

With good prime lenses the X-Pro2 does a very good job when shooting sports. I really like to shoot the lenses wide open. Especially the 16mm is great fun and has this different look. The 90mm was a very positive surprise to me. The sharpness and depth of field at f 2.0 is very nice and the autofocus speed is quite fast.

To answer my opening question: indeed it is a good idea to use the X-Pro2 not only as a people or street camera. You are going to get some great results.


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