Born in Niigata Prefecture. Joined ADfocus Ltd. where she studied under Eijin Araki after graduation from Tokyo Zokei University. Established Lightinguz in 2003. Active in a broad range of photography from products and portraits to interiors with a focus on corporate advertising photography. Recently promoting the “importance of photography from the heart” in photo seminars. Publishes a popular photo blog that always features new photos representative of her distinctively stylish and cute outlook on the world.
My first impression shooting with the X100 was the excellent sharpness and clarity of its lens. I was shooting at F4, but I was quite impressed with the exceptional crispness of the image.
Next I immediately wanted to open up the aperture and see what would result. I personally like photos of flowers with that soft fluffy look that women appreciate, and since I had a camera with an F2 lens, I knew I had to try it out on my favorite subject. So I set the X100 aperture to F2.
When I checked the results, my reaction was “Wow, a focus this soft!” Frankly I was shocked because recently I had not come across any lenses that could produce such a beautiful soft focus effect.
Recent lens trends have tended to put a priority on sharp resolution. Perhaps this is because more people are evaluating corner-to-corner image quality on their personal computers. Hard, crisp quality is the mainstream trend, and people are critically describing lenses with the ability to produce a soft focus as “out of focus”.
Against this background, the F2 lens of the X100 introduces users to the beauty of a soft focus-like “bokeh” effect. This was quite a shock. In-focus areas were crisp and sharp, while in the periphery, light was beautifully blurred and created a beautiful “bokeh” gradation. Truly the image seemed to smoothly melt away from the center to the corners of the image. The X100 exceptionally beautifully reproduced the “bokeh” effect just the way I like. I was so excited that I told everyone around and my photographer colleagues, “Look. Can you believe that this is a naturally produced soft focus effect? Isn’t this fantastic!” I felt that the integration of a lens that can produce this quality clearly demonstrates Fujifilm’s commitment to image quality.
Having experienced the capability to capture photos with a dreamy soft focus, I chose a cat for my next subject. I felt that the clear definition of its proud whiskers and the soft texture of its fur made it an ideal subject.
The results were just as I had imagined! I had never felt so good about a result. Because it was shot at F2, the overall lighting was well balanced. For photos, it is very important how well the camera collects light, and X100 does it well and also reproduces the atmospheric quality of the scene.
This is indeed a quality that can be likened to a soft lens effect during the film camera era. It would be a waste not to use the full potential of this lens! With that in mind, I set out to meet the photographic challenge of fully exploring the characteristics of the X100 lens.
As I continued to shoot with the X100, I made new discoveries. Just by closing the aperture one stop to F2.8, I can suppress F2’s softness. By attaching a flash to the hot shoe and bouncing the flash off the ceiling, I can get a slightly crisper photo. If I close the aperture to F8, the entire image from corner to corner is in sharp focus. I was quite amazed at the difference in photo expression with just small adjustments in the settings.
The more I shot photos with the camera, the more absorbed I became in exploring its potential. I could sense the developer’s love for the lens with every shot.
Then on a day when the skies were clear and blue when I went out and shot with a closed aperture under direct light, I captured some great shots with astounding clarity. I routinely take a lot of macro photos, but I must say that the results with the X100 were truly satisfying.