On Sunday the Forests issue got traction yet again in protest to the current Federal government's attempt to have half of the recently declared (by UNESCO, at the previous Government's request) as extensions to the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area, with an on-location protest rally in the forest. Considering it was a cold day, and that there is only one road into the area and no facilities at all out there, some 2,000 people turning up from all over the State was indeed telling as to the public mood concerning the situation. The main road was parked on both sides for over 4km, which meant some had a decent return walk to accomplish, with the rally itself being held on a contentious forestry logging road.
I had been contracted specifically to photograph 13 people standing in a line holding large cut-out letters in the form of a slogan whilst standing in the old growth forest. Now this may sound easy, but the room to do that simply doesn't exist in that forest, however a combination of the X-T1 & 14mm lens on a Nodal Ninja pano head, with the people standing in a part circle each 3 metres from the camera solved the problem just fine, 9 shots left to right. When stitched they appear to be in a roughly straight line . (Yes, I anticipated that & did it deliberately this way). Click on for 1920px HD size.
I also covered the shot with the X-Pro1 and Samyang 8mm fisheye with the camera on a 60° tilt, and while this allowed more foreground & height it was nowhere near the IQ of the Fuji 14mm on the X-T1 above:
I love the kid in the left background who got bored and went to look at the fungi
The forest was dark as it was raining lightly, so I shot the thing @ 1/15 sec, f/7.1, ISO 1600 for each frame to avoid as much subject movement as possible without losing DOF, and despite taking 5 separate sequences on two separate setups I only had one fidgety bloke who managed to move his head each time, but slightly enough that it made no difference.
I then switched to "coverage mode", shooting a series of speakers at the mic under a green marquis at 3200 ISO with the 55-200 lens and OIS engaged and only had to cull two shots out of the lot for movement. The IQ was better than acceptable, and I would have struggled for that keeper rate with the D3s (and for which I certainly didn't have a lens that could have gotten in so close with).
Celebrity TV actress Lisa Gormley getting a bit emotional (Home & Away TV soap drama)
Activist & Tasmanian forest tree-sitter (457 continuous days) Miranda Gibson
Lastly I attached the X-Pro1 & fisheye to my fully extended RRS monopod and held it up at full arm's stretch after triggering the self timer @ 2secs delay for an "overhead" of everyone turned to wave at the "official" aerial photographer who had climbed onto a platform 20 metres up the tree to take his shot... (I say "official" inasmuch as several photographers had each been allocated their particular tasks - this was primarily an event for publicising via the media).
So yes, I don't regret for one second switching to the Fuji - I was still fresh at the end of the day, no backache or shoulder pain, and my load including the tripod was around 6kg instead of over double that, all contained in four pouches on my Lowepro Technical vest and in my RRS Tripod bag.