Fuji X-T2 Low Light Test: ISO 6400

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Here’s a smattering of clips shot in the late afternoon in the lobby of my hotel in Penang. At ISO 6400, the Fuji holds up quite well, and I probably wouldn’t bother de-noising the footage even if it were going to end up being used in a project. I exposed for the shadows, and there would be no way to recover the highlights, even with Fuji’s Pro Neg, as it doesn’t increase the dynamic range of the camera. In order to save a little more of the background detail, you’d need to shoot F-Log, which requires an external recorder. Even so, there’s an enormous difference between the shadow and highlight detail. Best to shoot from a different angle to avoid those problems. The reason I shot against bright light is that in low light situations, there are often light sources facing directly at the lens, and I wanted to see how the Fuji 35mm f/2 handled that. Some lenses would produce awful veiling flare.

I know I’ve said this before, and Max Yuryev mentions this in his review of the X-T2: ISO 6400 is not ISO 6400. Sony’s low light monsters will be brighter at ISO 6400 than either the Panasonic or Fuji cameras. I went digging around for information on how ISO figures are reached, and learned that there are no fewer than three methods Japanese manufacturers may use, as well as a fourth one, if you include marketing shenanigans. From the late 1800s up until the digital era, there have been as many as ten different ways to measure light sensitivity. Some film manufacturers could put BLAHBLAH 1600 on their box of film, when in reality it was 400, and it wouldn’t be fibbing, because they didn’t say ASA or ISO.

In all but the first two shots, I used Fuji’s Classic Chrome film simulation, which, together with highlight and shadow tone adjustments, helps to soften up the the contrast under harsh lighting conditions; though Astia may be Fuji’s flattest profile. Because the Fuji 35mm f/2 lens is so small, it’s the perfect choice when you want to be discrete. I was resting my elbows on a table for support, but someone kept kicking it, so sorry about all the camera shake. The cool guy wearing the beret is Kim Gooi, a correspondent and photographer during the Vietnam war.

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