Testing the updated Nissin flash system for Fujifilm users in studio

Perception is reality. The last thing you want to do when you are shooting a model is to show up and look like you are struggling with your gear. Even if you know exactly what you are doing but have to fight fiddly controls and menus that make sense from an engineer perspective but not from a user perspective. This sends the wrong signal to your model and impact his/her motivation and performance. This is part of the reason I was looking for a very simple flash system, that does only one thing but does it reliably. Often, less is more. This is especially true when doing without superfluous functionalities will remove the need to have to delve into an over-complicated menu to change a basic setting.

Surely, I did not want to give a bad first impression to Izumi-chan, my model of the day who I was shooting for the first time. Everything went very smoothly though, as the Nissin flash system has proved super easy to use. 3 hours, 3 outfits, 1 i60A flash and 1 Air 1 commander unit mounted on my X-T2. To be complete with the gear picture, I used most of the time a Lastolite softbox that is designed to be used with hotshoe flashes.

The main change from the latest Nissin firmware update was that Fujifilm users can now do wireless radio-triggered HSS flash photography with their Nissin speedlights, so I wanted to illustrate the benefit. When shooting with flash, your shutter speed controls the amount of ambient light that will be visible in the picture. In the picture below, I am using a shutter speed of 1/160th of a second, slower than the max sync speed of the X-T2, which recorded enough ambient light for the black paper background to remain visible in the shot:


By using a faster shutter speed of 1/800th of second I was able to kill the ambiant light, as if I had turned some switch off. Same ISO and same aperture. However, it did require to use the flash in HSS mode (which it did autonomously as I had autoFP selected in the flash menu), so to keep the flash exposure the same on the model all other things being equal, I needed to increase the flash power output.


Anyway, not sure which picture is better, just wanted to show an example where HSS would kick in. The point is you have complete creative control. The shoot went on for 3 hours, and while there was no epiphany moment there was no frustration moment either. I simply enjoyed the freedom of being able to use my flash with a reliable radio trigger, sometimes in HSS mode sometimes not, while being able to adjust the power settings from the commander unit directly on the top of my X-T2. Just what I needed to focus on the pleasure of shooting with a great models without Β the gear ever getting in the way.

Here are a few more shots from the session:

All in all, what I like about the Nissin flash system is that it is simple, capable and portable. Basically it does only one thing but it does it well without ever getting in the way, so I can focus on all the other stuffs. I think it’s a great system if you like effective gear that goes straight to the point, and/or if you are scared by off-camera flash.

Coming of Age Day (2016)

Coming of Age Day is held every year in Japan on the second Monday of January, to celebrate those who have become “adults” over the past year. The city townhalls hold ceremonies where the “new adults” are invited to receive some encouragements for their future. Many attend the event wearing traditional clothes, though this is mainly true for ladies (wearing the furisode, a long-sleeved kimono for unmarried woman), while the guys are mostly wearing suits. Here is a typical illustration of this:


Many people will couple this event with a visit to the shrine/temple with either their family or friend, to make wishes for the new year, so I usually go to Meiji Jingu to take portraits of them.


The complete gallery of portraits:

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Portrait Session on the Beach at Sunset in Okinawa

All the pictures in this post were taken with the Fujinon XF16-55mmF2.8 lens mounted on a Fujifilm X-T1.


I’m back in Tokyo after having spent the Easter week-end on the main island of Okinawa. Just a couple days relaxing on the beachside with the Ms. We stayed at the Busena Terrace hotel, which was built to host the G8 summit back in 2000. Not a photo trip, but could still used this opportunity to grab  few quick portraits of the Ms. by the beach…


… followed by a bit of jazz by the pool. 


As far as gear was concerned, I only wanted to use my carry-on luggage, so I only took one Fuji X-T1 body with the XF16-55mmF2.8 mounted on it with me. I just had enough space remaining to throw-in a Yongnuo flash with a remote trigger on top of my stuffs, which came in very handy for those backlit portraits. You can see below how I just handheld the flash at arm length for some easy off-camera lighting in this serie of images. Sure, bigger light modifiers could have provided a better quality of light, but as far as family holiday pictures go this works well enough for me. 

BTS Okinawa

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