Fuji S5 Portraits Revisited

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 105mm 2.8 Micro VR – Big thanks to @iamnotvee

At some point I think modern camera culture will fall in line with car culture.  Folks wanting a different user experience, or just appreciate how something looks.  With cameras I think the best reason why folks should want to collect and use “old” digital cameras is because that’s the only way to get access to the raw sensor data embedded in each manufacturer’s raw processor.  If you’re going to dump a bunch of photos into Lightroom and apply a generic preset it kind of takes the “I did this” joy out of really digging into the file to see what the Nikon/Fuji/Canon imaging engineers were thinking at the time.  Again, as the years go on, different DSLR’s from the various 4-5 year product cycles will begin to really show their out of camera looks that will be similar to why film folks prefer different stocks over others.

So this rolling post will be about the good old Fujifilm S5 for portraits, the last Fuji DSLR that supported Nikon lenses.  This year I really spent a lot of time using the free “RAW FILE CONVERTER EX 3.0 powered by SILKYPIX” (yep long name) to edit the photos I’ve shot with the Fuji cameras.  I think the rendering and color engine is pretty great.  Almost on par with how Capture NX-D can get the most out of a Nikon RAW file.  (NX2 is still the best though, for many reasons, including the fact that it supports “layers” in a way)

From what I’ve noticed out of my catalog of 20+ years of photos, Canon photos are usually more magenta, Nikon and Sony files have more green, and Fujifilm usually opts for a cooler Auto WB.  Which is a great starting point to knock down the greens even further to get a Japanese aqua “filmic” look.

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 70-200mm 2.8

My S5 horribly backfocuses with every lens that I put on it, which from what I read is a common problem with this camera from 2007ish.  Again, old cameras probably aren’t the best or most responsible tool for work and professional settings, but for pure fun and learning of photography, it’s great, like any DSLR.

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 70-200mm 2.8

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 70-200mm 2.8

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 70-200mm 2.8

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 70-200mm 2.8

Bonus photos from the X-E1.  I went back and applied my same types of color edits to the more modern X-E1 files.  They grade pretty similarly.  I think this body is a good choice if you can’t find an S5.  The mirrorless setup obviously comes with its own operational and handling quirks, but it’s readily available on the used market.  The second hand price though, has definitely benefitted from all the Fuji fame in the last few years.

Fujifilm X-E1 + M42 28mm 2.8

Fujifilm X-E1 + M42 28mm 2.8

Fujifilm X-E1 + M42 28mm 2.8

Fujifilm X-E1 + M42 28mm 2.8

My Fuji S5 horribly back focuses worse with the 105mm 1.4.  This being an E lens, you can’t stop down the aperture on the S5 either.

For these fall photos I really didn’t do much in the color edit, the S5 actually did a pretty good job.  Again, if you’ve been following along on my blog for many years, you know I’ve pretty much edited every single raw photo that I’ve ever shot since the Nikon D70/Canon 10D days, and that was a crazy 20 years ago.  Editing is part of the job/part of the fun in my opinion.

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 105mm 1.4E

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 105mm 1.4E

Fujifilm S5 Pro + Nikon 105mm 1.4E

More photos as I continue to go through my archive and also shoot new ones!


Fujifilm S5 Pro – Sample Photos

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