Fuji X T-2: The Magic of Beginnings

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” — Meister Eckhart

You might have read about my near horror story in a previous blog post, Fuji X T-2: When Support Helped Save a Vacation, but all turned out relatively well after the close call. This was my first major expedition with a nearly brand new Fuji X T-2 and I was anxious to see how it would perform.

I haven’t had a “state-of-the-art” camera in nearly fifty years. I had been using point-and-shoots with only a moderate interest in photography. I was generally a documentarian. I am now embarking upon the development my creative eye.

“You are never too old to set another goal, or to dream a new dream.” – C. S. Lewis

When we arrived in Portland, Oregon, the air was acrid and ash was falling from the sky and landing on our luggage due to the surrounding wildfires. We acquired an automobile and headed toward the coast. By the time we arrived in Astoria, OR, the sun was low in the sky; a saturated light grey. Little did we know that the coast was often grey and/or foggy.

One of my favorite photographs from this trip, was the very first one I captured in Astoria at the end of our first day. Our room was very near the Columbia river and the Megler Bridge. The area was, therefore, a waterfront and had many of trappings expected in such an environment.

As I looked outside the window of our room, I could see several boats that were in disrepair and in dry dock. The lure of these boats was probably the same as that which brings photographers to abandoned buildings. These boats were old and may not have been “sea worthy,” but they had character.

The sun was getting lower by the minute. I grabbed the camera and walked to the area with the retired Ladies of the River. One boat in particular caught my attention because it was stately even when adorned with decay.

I took a couple of pictures with the hope that I could capture the essence of the evening and the feeling I had standing next to this once dignified, yet working class boat.

A river boat in dry dock along the Columbia River, Astoria, OR

My first attempt with the X T-2 on our trip to the Oregon coast


File Name: DSCF0045.RAF
Capture time: 5:24:45 PM
Capture date: September 5, 2017
Exposure: 1/750 sec @ f/5.6
Focal Length: 18mm
ISO: 100
Fujifilm X-T2
Lens: 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS
Edited in Lightroom

Fuji X T-2: When Support Helped Save a Vacation

Picture of boat in OR out of focus

On my very first major trip with my new Fuji X T-2, I had a problem. It is hard to tell, but the boat is not in focus.

We recently returned from a hiking trip along the Oregon coast. This was in the planning stages for well over a year and it was the main reason, I purchased my new camera, a Fuji X T-2. JBRish followers know that I have taken the camera out for a few spins, but I did not have extensive experience with it prior to our departure.

I don’t recommend this protocol, but I live in the Sonoran Desert where summer temperatures are quite hot so I only made a couple of forays with the new camera. Naturally, I had plans to take other cameras to serve as a back up in case disaster hit and I couldn’t use the X T-2.

You might think that the word disaster is an overuse of the term, but for a photography hobbyist with their first advanced camera, disaster can come in many shades and so I needed to be prepared and glad I was to have made such plans.

After an initial, very brief evening walk to take a couple of photos (more about that in a later post), I was anxious to begin our walk around Astoria the next day to take some snaps with the new camera. Unfortunately, the weather had not improved and the day remained completely overcast and grey. Not great for photographs, but I wanted some photos for the blog and I hoped to concentrate on some subjects that were not too sunlight dependent and would allow me to write about this part of our Oregon experience.

Picture of birds on the beach in OR out of focus

Nothing appears to be in focus even though I used a very small aperture, i.e. f/14 (+/-).

I took a number of photographs, but in doing so, I must have pressed a function button or something. The almost brand new Fuji X T-2 stopped autofocusing. I believe I was trying to use the AEL or AEF buttons and I might have pressed some strange combination that included other buttons as well. I just don’t know. what I did know was the autofocus would no longer work. The green square did not snap into place as I half-pressed the shutter button and was AWOL for many attempts. As you might imagine, this was very disconcerting.

I tried using manual focus and focus peaking, but with the little experience I had with the new camera, this was not much help either. I continued to try to use the X T-2, off and on, but I could tell the camera was not focusing accurately most of the time.

I relied on my other cameras from this point forward. I did have the X T-2 reference manual and user’s guide for the camera. I began to change or modify settings that had taken me hours to initially configure. With trial and error and reading the manuals, I still could not get the camera to respond appropriately.

My thoughts were: 1 – Did I royally mess up something and break the camera?, 2 – Will I need to send it in for repair? and 3 – Is there any way to get the X T-2 back in working order for the remainder of the trip?. Remember, this was my very first day of our hiking/walking vacation down the coast of Oregon and then to Crater Lake.

Since we were in the middle of our exploration of Astoria, I put the Fuji into the bag and decided to stick with my other cameras for the remainder of that day. This was my backup plan which would still provide good documentation of our day’s experiences.

The next day we were off to hike in the state parks along the shore. Once again, I took the Fuji with me trying to use it a couple of times with no more success than the previous day. What was I to do? There was more than a week left of our trip and I wanted to use the new camera.

Picture of ship in OR out of focus
The ship was not in sharp focus. Take it from me, the letters on the ship are blurry.

We often knock those companies that don’t put the consumer first, but rarely do we read or hear stories of those manufacturers who treat their customers well and provide resources to help them use their products. Well, kudos to Fuji!

I called Fuji’s help line from the car at the state park. It was rainy and drizzly. I was put on hold for a while, but it seemed like forever. In reality, it was only a few minutes. Then Steve answered the phone and listened to my situation. We checked the settings I had which seemed fine to him as they did to me. Understanding that we didn’t want to waste time, Steve offered a solution I had also considered.

We decided to reset the camera back to the default settings. Once we accomplished that, he instructed me to take a few photos, check that the autofocus was working and review the pictures to see if they were recorded appropriately.

Sure enough, the camera was back in order and seemed to be working as desired. I thanked Steve and was glad that I could easily call Fuji and get this assistance. I am glad to report that the camera worked well for the rest of the trip and I was very careful to avoid inadvertently pressing function buttons, etc.

Thanks to Steve and to Fuji for helping to salvage my photographic exploration of Oregon. It was a great relief!

The picture below is the first picture I snapped after the camera reset. It was raining so we were sitting in the car while I was on the phone. The green focus box was back on the screen and the camera was working as anticipated.

Picture of car after focus was reset


  • I was prepared for this mishap by bringing several cameras on the trip; especially since the Fuji was so new to me. It would have been total disaster (perhaps) had I relied solely on the X T-2.
  • On prior hiking/photography trips, I had taken a computer with me to examine the photographs each evening to assure that the camera was working correctly. I didn’t bring the computer this time, but wish I had.
  • It is important to support companies like Fuji that provide resources to help their users resolve issues as easily as possible. No company is perfect, but obviously some are more consumer oriented than others. I have read about Fuji’s support of their base for a couple of years and this helped to confirm my choice of selecting one of their cameras.
  • Until you learn how to use the camera very well, be sure to have access to the reference manual and user guide. I made sure I loaded copies on to my iPhone and iPad. This provided a sense of comfort and helped me several times during the trip when I needed to review settings or procedures.
  • Modern cameras are actually computers and they are not infallible. It is nice to have a number of function buttons, wheels, dials, etc., but they need to be “respected” and understood.
  • The X T-2 can save custom settings. Saving the settings so they can be easily restored at a later date would be a step in the right direction when assisting in recovering from a problem like the one I encountered.

NOTE – This article is not aimed at knocking other camera manufacturers and to suggest that they do not offer the same type of support that I received from Steve at Fuji. They very well might the same service(s), but I have never had experience with them.

What I am trying to explain is how well Fuji handled my immediate problem and to extend special appreciation to Steve who made sure my camera was back in working order before he ended the call.

Thanks again Steve and thank you Fuji!

Read more photography posts HERE


All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Fujinomics – X T-2 and Polarizing Filter


Those JBRish readers who have been following my photography exploits, know that I recently purchased a Fuji X T-2. Until a couple of weeks ago, I did little more than take some test shots and “getting to know” the camera photographs.

That changed on September 5th when my wife and I left our Sonoran Desert home and headed for the coast of Oregon with plans to visit Crater Lake before heading home. I learned a great deal about photography in general, my new Fuji X T-2 and my Nikon D3300. Needless to say, there was a whole lot of learning going on.

With the understanding that I was heading for the ocean and lake, I wanted to purchase a polarizing filter for the X T-2. I think anyone getting involved with photography has ambitious plans/dreams and I am no different. My intent is to grow my Fuji system to include some of the telephoto lenses. Research indicated that the lens(es) in which I had some interest (FUJINON XF100-400mmF4.5-5.6 R LM OIS WR – for example) take a 77mm filter size.

My X T-2 has the XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 R LM OIS zoom kit lens with a 58mm filter thread. Naturally I want to minimize my expenditures and maximize the use of equipment I own or will soon own, so I immediately thought of purchasing a 58 to 77mm step up ring to use the filter on a number of lenses.

One of my concerns was the problem of vignetting around the edges. I called Fuji and asked if I used a polarizing filter with a 58-77mm step up ring on the 18-55mm kit lens would I experience vignetting. The Fuji techs didn’t think so. I then called the online photographic equipment retailer and asked their sales assistant and I received the same answer. Not being satisfied, I also called the filter manufacturer’s US office and they too indicated that they thought vignetting would be unlikely.

With those assurances, I purchased these items:

B&W 77mm Circular Polarizer MRC Filter and the B&W 58-77mm Step-Up Ring

You might be wondering why I selected this particular filter… These filters received very good reviews from those who have purchased them. These are not inexpensive filters. They are manufactured in Germany which has a reputation for quality photography products and engineering. Lastly, this particular filter was recommended by a professional photographer I follow online. Purchasing any equipment is never a “sure thing,” but with all of the above, I figured the deck was stacked in my favor.

Naturally, as soon as I received these accessories, I took them outside and shot a few frames with them and I did not see any vignetting on the sample images taken at a variety of focal lengths being sure to capture some with the lens fully extended and fully retracted. Based on these trail shots, I was fairly confident that the prospective filter and step up ring would meet my requirements.

I am recently back from the trip and I have only previewed the shots taken with the polarizing filter and step up ring and, at first glance, I don’t see any vignetting. This was a learning experience for me as I was able to spend significant time with the X T-2 and polarizing filter combo.


  • I wasn’t prepared for the surface area on a 77mm filter. It is HUGE.
  • I wasn’t prepared for the amount of dust and other “things” that were attracted to the filter.
  • I was prepared with my Giotto Q-ball (Rocket Blaster) and I was glad I had it. I used it every time I took the camera out of the bag. BTW, this was one of the best purchases I ever made regarding my photography gear; reasonably priced and used every time I use my cameras!

Giotto Q-ball blaster

  • I was prepared with a good number of lint free, microfiber cloths made specifically for cleaning camera lenses.
  • I was pleased with the beautiful rendering of the colors with the camera/filter combination.
  • I was surprised at how much light can be “lost” by using the polarizing filter at one of its stronger settings. When I use the word surprised, I don’t actually mean surprised because all the literature pointed to the reduction in f-stops, but I didn’t appreciate how much of a difference it would actually make in situations where there is not strong daylight.

** NOTES ** – I did not purchase a lens hood to fit on the lens with the polarizing filter because of my concern about the vignetting. I am going to try to find a lens hood and appropriate lens cap to help keep dust off of the filter.

I previously explained how I like to have a tethered lens cap and let me just say that had my lens cap not been tethered, I would have dropped it numerous times and perhaps lost it. This is my issue since I have a particular shooting style re: hiking as I shoot! You can read about my tethering of the Fuji lens cap in this article:

Fuji X T-2: Making the Lens Cap Stay Put on the Kit Lens

I will write more about my photographic exploits with my X T-2 and other gear. Check back for more articles and if you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below.

Read more photography posts HERE:



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Fuji X T-2: Making the Lens Cap

Stay Put on the Kit Lens

Some say TO-MATE-TO and some say TOM-AT-TOE so I guess it is whatever one is accustomed to that really counts; at least to them. I do a lot of hiking photography. You know the type – mountains, lakes, waterfalls, paths, bridges, streams, animals, etc. Because I am on the move a lot and the trails can be very dusty, I keep my lens cap on the lens when I am not actually taking photographs.

There have been several times when I have had to backtrack on the trail to find my lens cap and one time, another hiker was kind enough to retrieve it for me when I didn’t realize right away that I had lost it. He had picked it up along the way and handed it to me!

Do you like a tethered lens cap or do you prefer to have it totally removable?

Since I want to take it off and replace it when done, I like to have it tethered because most lens caps/covers don’t stay on the lens that well. With all the technology and innovation taking place, one would figure this problem would have been solved by now.

My new Fuji X T-2 does not have a tethered lens cap AND the lens cap does not easily stay put on my 18-55mm kit lens. Add the lens hood (more about that later) and it is even harder to get that cap to hunker down. I decided to do what I did with my Nikon D3300 and create my own tether.

Fuji X T-2 lens cap

Fuji X T-2 lens cap

This is my procedure for attaching my lens cap so that it does not get lost:

Supplies needed to tether the lens cap
Supplies needed to tether the lens cap

  • Get some relatively thick black thread.
  • Take a piece of strong tape. I use tape that is designed to be put on metal chimney flues so you can understand that it has a rather strong adhesive and it can stand the heat! This is sometimes referred to as aluminum tape.

Thick black thread attached to lens cap
Thick black thread attached to lens cap with aluminum tape (silver)

  • I tape one end of the thread to the lens cap with the aluminum tape and then cover that silver tape with black electrical tape.

Black electrician's tape is used to cover the silver foil tape
Black electrician’s tape is used to cover the silver foil tape

  • I then tie the other end of the black thread to the strap loop.

Thread is tied to strap loop

NOTE – If you think you will want to remove the lens cap completely to attach a different sized filter, change lenses, etc., make a double strand (loop) with the thread and “loop it” through the strap. This way, the lens cap can easily be removed by backing it out of the loop when necessary.

Thread is tied to strap loop
Thread is tied to strap loop (red oval)

Now when the cap is unleashed, it can hang by the side of the camera. I often hold it in my hand to keep it from swinging or being a distraction.

X T-2 with tethered lens cap

Lets talk about the lens hood. The lens hood is a pretty typical “tulip” type lens hood. It appears to be made of plastic. One would think that a professional level camera, even if ordered with the kit lens, would have a more robust lens hood. I would have paid a few dollars more for a better lens hood; just sayin’!

My Nikon D3300 lens hood does not stay on the lens with much active use so I tethered that to the camera too. Here is what that looks like…

Nikon D3300 with tethered lens hood

So far the Fuji lens hood has remained relatively loyal to the lens and has not wiggled off errantly so I will leave it as is unless it becomes necessary to tether that as well.

I am very happy with the X T-2 so don’t get me wrong. I am just modifying it to suit my particular photography style. You might or might not like to work that way. This just keeps me from lens cap hunting and enables me to keep my lenses as clean as possible through a day of hiking.

I will talk about my first photographic experiments with the new Fuji X T-2, but since, in my previous post, I said I would share a picture, here is the first picture I took with the new X T-2; Explanation and discussion to follow in another post.

First photo with my new Fuji X T-2

UPDATE – Don’t be disappointed with your Fuji RAW files when imported into Lightroom. Read about the way to post process those images to bring out the color and detail Fuji X T-2: Improving LR Post Processing Process

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Photography: Fuji X-T2 Valuable Resource

for Learning Your Way Around

The Fuji X-T2

For those who are following along, I have attended to unboxing my Fuji X-T2 and putting the strap and the lens on it. You can read about that experience HERE. One of the darnedest things about purchasing a new camera, is that you really shouldn’t try to just pop in the battery and start taking photographs even if you really do know what you are doing.

Most manuals advise to fully charge the battery first so that is what I did. Now a fully discharged Fuji X-T2 with the new batteries (NP-W126s – highly recommended for the X T-2) takes about 2.5 hours. Yep, I plugged in the charger with the battery installed and waited to get going.

So let me take this time to make a recommendation that I found to be a lifesaver for someone like me. What do I mean when I say: “Someone like me?” I am coming to the X T-2 from a background where I generally used primarily point-and-shoot cameras with the exception of my Nikon D3300. Don’t get me wrong, I truly like the Nikon, but it is really a beginner’s camera; nothing wrong with that. I am at the point now where I am looking to get more involved in manipulating the camera in multiple ways and spreading my creative wings.

The Fuji X T-2 is, comparatively speaking, like going from a budget car to a Lexus (IMHO). The menus alone can be very overwhelming and the owner’s manual doesn’t give enough detail about what each option does or does not enable.

What I decided to do was to purchase the eBook:The Complete Guide to Fujifilm’s X-T2 Amazon had the paper bound book for $50 USD and the eBook for approximately $15. USD. After having dropped a bundle on the camera, I decided to go with the eBook.

The Complete Guide to Fujifilm's X-T2 - by Tony Phillips
Cover photo courtesy of Tony Phillips via the linked website

My Recommendation – Purchase eBook. It is well worth having. EBooks also make it easy to bookmark sections, highlight others and find the notations later!

– My bad!! I previously listed the incorrect price for the printed book from the Tony Phillips website as I misread it. So I am modifying my original post to recommend the eBook as noted above. Thanks to one of the astute readers who pointed this out; sorry!

[Edited – 8/29/17 – 8:30 AM ]

Let me tell you what a “good guy” Tony is. With proof of purchase of the eBook, he will send you a spreadsheet with his list of settings for the X T-2. As you review the spreadsheet and the book Tony explains his rationale for his choice of settings. This is like learning at the Master’s knee.

The settings are explained and cross-referenced to the appropriate section of the book. This alone is worth a lot as it takes users through the menus and saves bundles of time just getting the camera set up.

If you get the eBook, Tony explains that it is difficult to get good graphic representations in an eBook (Kindle) as the photos and graphics tend to be on the small side. To remedy this, and with no extra cost to the customer, Tony will send a PDF copy of the book which is much more legible when it comes to viewing the diagrams, photos, etc. It is the best of both worlds.

If that wasn’t good enough, Tony Phillips also offers his eBook Mastering Flash with Fujifilm X Cameras without additional cost. This was an unexpected and much appreciated bonus.

Mastering Flash with Fujifilm X Cameras- by Tony Phillips
Cover photo courtesy of Tony Phillips via the linked website

Here was another issue I was able to resolve by learning about Tony’s website. Fuji has issued two firmware updates for the X T-2 and the book was printed before these updates were created and sent out to the world. At the above website, the addendum (which explains the details regarding these upgrades) can be purchased for a very reasonable $2.45 USD. How can you beat that?

I bought it all and I was glad to do it. I sat down with my camera for more than an hour and worked my way through the spreadsheet and settings, stopping every once in a while to refer back to the book. I can’t tell you how many times I have opened that book to refer to something about the new camera and I have had it less than a week. I am sure it will have the requisite digital incarnation of dog ears before I am done.

PLEASE NOTE – I haven’t been asked to write the above advice about the book. I am a former educator, school administrator and university instructor and I know the value of good learning materials. I receive no payment or any other remuneration for this recommendation. I am providing my honest opinion about a product I think will help many people like me, who are trying to “step up their photography game” with the X T-2.

The information provided represents my experience at the time I made these purchase.

You don’t have to take my word for it. If you have the Kindle App or a Kindle, Amazon will send you a sample from the book. Look at the TOC and the pages sent and I think you will see the benefits right away.

BTW – Tony knows about other cameras too. Visit his website to see what else he has to offer.

Next post about the X T-2, first shots and experience…

UPDATE – Don’t be disappointed with your Fuji RAW files when imported into Lightroom. Read about the way to post process those images to bring out the color and detail Fuji X T-2: Improving LR Post Processing Process

Read more photography posts HERE



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017

Photography: The Fuji X-T2 has arrived (Strap and Lens)

The Fuji X-T2

Hello JBRish readers. I have to say that my postings may be somewhat limited over the next several weeks as my new Fuji X-T2 camera has arrived and I am dedicating myself to learn how to use it.

NOTE – My apologies to anyone who isn’t like me. I celebrate everyone who has a different learning style, but I am basically a concrete, sequential person. What that means is that I like to learn everything in a logical, step-by-step progression with details and with lots of reviewing. This is my story of how I am trying to improve my photography skills and learning how to use a professional level camera; the Fuji X T-2.

There are so many unboxing videos for all types of cameras out there. I am going to skip that part and get right down to what I consider to be the “nitty gritty.”

When you buy a modern digital camera, it really isn’t a camera. The word digital is the giveaway. It is a computer that takes pictures. One look at this piece of gear and you know you have something special in your hands. Something serious that demands your attention.

It is easy to be overwhelmed and I thought that perhaps it would be difficult for me to get up and running quickly without assistance. Manufacturers don’t provide owner’s manuals that are very thorough. I am not complaining. I understand that the camera industry today is quite competitive and that everything is being done to cut costs. Still, we need to learn how to use the gear the best way we can. The Internet is a good resource, but it is spotty and doesn’t always have the information needed.

Let me offer some words from one who has, as of now, been down the path before:

  • 1 – When you first get a new camera, unbox it in a clear area where everything can be laid out in front of you. There is usually a page in the owner’s manual that shows what is included in the box so take everything out of the package and review all items to make sure all the pieces are there.
  • 2 – Next, let’s talk about the camera strap! I generally don’t go in for fancy camera straps and I make do with the straps that come with the camera and use carabiners to keep things organized and to stop them from banging into each other. The strap that came with the X T-2 is a bit above par, but not exciting or extraordinary overall. If I decide later on that a different strap is needed, I will consider it at that point.

Here is a picture from the manual describing the final two steps explaining how to attach the strap to the camera:

Attach the camera strap
Picture courtesy of Fuji X T-2 Camera Manual, v.2.10

I may not be the smartest bulb on the tree (so to speak), but I really needed a bit more direction than the information in the manual to make sure that the strap is firmly and securely attached. Nobody wants their camera falling off of their body to go smashing to the ground.

As an example:
That piece of plastic in the middle (shown in the bottom frame), the one with the two square-ish sections with the bar in between appears to have “teeth” on one of the faces/sides when you are actually holding it. This doesn’t show in the picture. Do the “teeth” face inward or outward?

I found the video below which presents a pictorial explanation. Truth must be told, I had to watch the video three times to get it done exactly as they explain!

The next logical step after attaching the strap might be to attach the lens.

Here is the picture and description from the manual:

Attach the lens to the camera

Picture courtesy of Fuji X T-2 Camera Manual, v.2.10

The marks” to which they refer really cannot be seen well unless both the camera body cap and the rear cap from the lens are removed. Then, you need to line up the red dots and twist the the lens until you hear the click. It is not easy to discern the precise position using the graphics in the owners manual (IMHO).

One reason why users want to do this quickly is to prevent dust form getting on the sensor and thus leaving spots on the images. Do this in as dust-free environment as possible.

This was only the first few steps in getting started. We aren’t quite at the point where we get to take some pictures, at least not yet.

The story will continue…

To read more JBRish photography posts, click HERE!



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017